Meredith finds love again as April finally finds her faith in a most unexpected place

By Lacey Vorrasi-Banis
March 29, 2018 at 11:21 PM EDT
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Eric McCandless/ABC

Grey's Anatomy

S14 E17
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As Meredith so aptly reminded us tonight, life can change in the matter of a day: 24 hours, 1,440 minutes, 86,400 seconds, and everything can look entirely different than it did when the sun rose.

Which is exactly what happens to April. The sun literally rises on the wayward apostate. She’s face down on a bar when morning hits and we can’t help but wonder, as we have every week leading up to this, if this is rock bottom.

Owen’s 24 hours starts with showing up on Teddy’s doorstep…in Germany. Yes, Amelia’s candor has led him straight to Teddy’s arms. He tells her that he and Amelia are finally done and now there’s nothing standing in their way. She responds with what else? A kiss, natch.

Back at Grey Sloan Memorial, Meredith happens upon Dr. Nick Mars (Scott Speedman), a visiting surgeon who’s just finished getting a liver for his patient back in Minnesota. Unfortunately Dr. Mars also received his own transplant six weeks ago, and just as he tells Meredith this, he collapses.

In the ER, April is looking at a returning patient (Saul Rubinek) who came in a week ago with diverticulitis. Bailey treated him with antibiotics instead of surgery so he could go on his synagogue’s youth trip. When April points out that perhaps he’s a little old to be tagging along on that excursion, he explains that he’s a rabbi. After April opens his shirt to check out his rash, his skin literally falls off his body. She immediately has the nurse page Jackson and sends him to the burn unit.

In hunky Nick’s room, he’s fretting over his transplant while also trying to charm Meredith. He has both the boyish charm and ego of Derek Shepherd, so there’s an instantaneous spark between them. Nick tells her that great guy that he is, he just couldn’t let his patient — his most favorite patient — be taken care of by anyone else. So he came back a week early.

Rabbi Eli is in the burn unit when April has to deliver the news that he has toxic epidermal necrolysis, or TEN, a disorder caused by the antibiotics that Bailey prescribed. His skin is separating from itself, and since that’s really a bad thing, April and Jackson ask him if there’s any family who can visit. The good rabbi doesn’t want to bother his wife Elyse, who’s on a train after visiting her mother, but April and Jackson tell him that, no, he definitely should worry her.

As they leave Eli’s room, Bailey approaches to ask how he’s doing. “You know the expression ‘makes his flesh crawl’?” April responds before laying into Bailey for giving the rabbi antibiotics for the third time. Bailey offers to take over, but April tells her she’s not going to let Bailey sit vigil while he circles the drain. As Jackson tries to get April to calm down, she spits back, “He will be lucky if he makes it through the night, and if he doesn’t, that’s on her — fair or not.”

Meredith is doing an ultrasound on Nick’s kidney, but everything looks as clear as the attraction between the two of them. She assures him that his patient’s transplant is going well, and as she tries to leave, he convinces her to stay. We find out that Nick has a niece named Charlotte whom he takes care of because her mother (Nick’s sister) is selfish with no follow-through. We also learn that Nick knows a lot about Meredith, except the fact that she has three children. Rather than being discouraged by this, he smartly asks her where her superhero cape is. The two connect further over the fact that they’ve both lost their mothers (though Nick doesn’t know yet that Meredith has lost more family than not), and after some more flattery exchanged between the two successful surgeons, Meredith finally manages to leave as they’re awaiting Nick’s lab results to find out if his transplant is in jeopardy. (Recap continues on page 2)

In Germany, Teddy and Owen are making up for lost time by doing a lot of spooning, laughing, and sexy time while snow falls outside Teddy’s windows. I feel like I’m watching the love child of a ’90s ballad music video and a rom-com as Teddy can’t believe the Owen Hunt is naked and in her bed. They reminisce about how they first met and the grand gestures Owen’s made over the years, namely making it snow for in the desert for their fellow soldiers. Teddy asks him if this is it, if this is real, even though something clearly tells her it’s not. She doesn’t want to move to Seattle, as she’s actually started a life for herself in Germany that involves opening a clinic for refugees. Owen furthers the fantasy by suggesting that even though it’s not figured out, he does know that he loves her.

But a woman’s intuition is never to be ignored, and while Owen paints the dream that Teddy’s imagined for years, she continues to pluck at the thread of this beautiful but unreal fable that Owen has sewn. She eventually gets it out of him that it was Amelia who indirectly sent him to her. He tries to backpedal, insisting that it doesn’t matter how he got there; Amelia was right because being with Teddy makes all the sense in the world. “When did she say this?” Teddy asks before Owen admits that it was only last night (and after sex) when Amelia opened his eyes.

Meredith is still awaiting blood test results with Nick when they start discussing Plan Bs in case medicine isn’t an option for either of them. Nick’s dream is to be out on a canoe, like he used to do with his father. It’s a peace and a happiness he’s longed for. Meredith shares that she would go to Sardinia with her kids and sister and live an easygoing life with books and a hammock. In what has to be the fastest move ever, Nick asks if he can join her on that hammock, and before she can answer, his lab results come back inconclusive. When Meredith performs another ultrasound, she finds a blood clot that wasn’t there before because it just hadn’t developed yet — not unlike their budding romance.

As Eli’s time is drawing to an end and Elyse still has not manifested, he asks April to confide in him, as he can see how much pain she’s in. But April is reluctant to do anything but her job, especially because Eli is visibly hurting. He tells her that the Talmud speaks of taking even 1/60th of a person’s pain away and pleads with her to let him do his job. She finally relents and tells him how unfair life is, especially when she’s done all she believes He has asked of her. In what is perhaps the greatest scene of the entire season, Eli then proceeds to tell her that she’s being a child. “If people only believe in God when things were good, then I guarantee you that no Jew would be a believer. Faith wouldn’t be real faith if you only believe when things are good,” he teaches. When she questions again, he takes her to synagogue, teaching her that the world is just cruel and random and there’s nothing we can do about it, but more importantly, we don’t get to know why that’s the case any more than he gets to know why he’s dying from taking a pill that saves lives. He ends by reminding her that God is not indifferent to our pain, and while the world is full of brokenness, it’s our job to put the world together again — it’s our job to fix it.

Eli’s pain overtakes him, and as April begs him to let her alleviate 1/60th of it, he assures her that she has already done so. He then asks her to tell Dr. Bailey that he forgives her. April pleads with him to hang on, reminding him that Elyse is on her way. But the morphine and the end is here for Eli, and he begins to think that April is Elyse. “Elyse, I love you,” he says as he cups April’s face. With tears running down her face, she leans into his hand and says, “Okay, Eli, okay. I’m here, I love you.”

And this is the heart Grey’s has been lacking in the past few episodes. This is what makes Grey’s Grey’s: the ability to make us feel utter devastation over a character we’ve only met in a single episode.

Speaking of heartache, Teddy’s finally had enough in the Owen saga of her life, and she kicks him out of her apartment. She’s been strung along for too long, and she believes he’s only there because he just can’t be alone. Even after he makes a Hail Mary pass and tells her that the snow was actually for her, she tells him definitively that they’re done.

Meredith sees Nick through his successful surgery, and he tells her she saved his whole damn life. Later on at the bar, Meredith tells Karev about Nick. While she tells him all the reasons why things can’t happen with Nick, Karev asks her if it’s really the worst thing in the world knowing that it’s out there if she does want it.

But it’s the final scene with Bailey and April in the hospital chapel that strikes the biggest nerve. April helps Bailey light a candle as she tells her that Eli forgave her. “Some things just happen and we don’t get to know why,” she relays as Bailey is crying.

Meredith was right when she says that one single day can pull us from the depths of despair, because just like that, the sun figuratively rises on our beloved April.

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Grey's Anatomy

Meredith. Alex. Bailey. The doctors are definitely in on Shonda Rhimes' hospital melodrama.

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