Jackson and Meredith work to save face in more ways than one in the wake of the Harper Avery allegations.

By Lacey Vorrasi-Banis
April 26, 2018 at 11:33 PM EDT
Eric McCandless/ABc
S14 E21
B+
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  • TV Show
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As the saying goes, “What is done in the dark will always come to light,” and tonight Grey Sloan Memorial dealt with the consequences of the Harper Avery rock being kicked over, its slimy, cold underbelly revealed.

Speaking of slimy, a fetid Deluca has taken residence on Meredith’s couch, too depressed to do anything but play bad guitar and call out sick. Meredith is trying to get out the door while Zola peppers her with questions about their interloper’s ax skills, and why her mom is bringing her “trophies” to work. Meredith tells her that it’s as though she bought bad milk and now she has to return it. Before they make it out the door, Zola asks her mom why Deluca doesn’t have to shower, and Meredith tells her it’s because he’s European.

But Meredith isn’t done dodging questions for the day because when she arrives at the hospital, vultures in the form of reporters descend on her to peck at the quickly dissipating Harper Avery carcass. One asks her about the Harper Avery awards peeking out from her bag, and Meredith point blanks admits that she’s returning them.

Inside Grey Sloan Memorial, Bailey blows in like a hurricane on Jackson who’s in the middle of getting dressed. She tells him that she’s pulling the plug on the contest because they don’t need more nasty headlines once the media figures out that Harper Avery’s grandson funded the competition before she storms out. As the door closes it reveals Maggie getting dressed, mouth agape. She can’t believe what she just heard.

Immediately she runs to April and accuses her of knowing that Jackson put up the money for the contest and being in on it by agreeing to judge. Like wildfire, April in turn accosts Webber, assuming he knew about Jackson’s role.

Jackson, meanwhile, is trying to discuss the contest with his mother who’s in with a crisis management expert, Erin. Catherine is surprised to hear that Jackson both put up the money and competed. Erin wastes no time in stating the obvious, which is to say that if this gets out, it will destroy them. Erin has an ace in the hole, though, as she’s lined up a PR stunt of a surgery for Jackson and Meredith to do. She also plans to go after the women, as well as have someone go down for this. The public will need a head, and Catherine offers hers – even stating she’ll go back to being Catherine Fox – but Jackson is all of us when he tells them that there’s no way a black woman is going to take the fall for another white guy.

Jackson catches up with Meredith in the hall and asks her to participate in the surgery, but she immediately sees it as the PR stunt that it is and says no thanks. But when they see the patient they’ll be operating on and the size of the mass on his face, there’s no way either can turn it down.

Diego is an affable teen from Venezuela. His past surgeries did little to stop the mass from growing, and as Jackson and Meredith are scanning him, they start debating right away about how to tackle the small football on his face. Meredith wants to take the whole thing out, but Jackson wants to follow the safe route. He tells her that they can’t afford a bad outcome right now. Before they can get into it anymore, the charity representatives tell them that Diego won’t be having the surgery as their donors are concerned about the controversy surrounding the hospital. Meredith manages to smooth things over, though, by reminding them that Jackson is the best reconstructive surgeon and offering to do the procedure pro bono.

Jo and Karev are trying to plan their wedding, but they are having a difficult time of it. April overhears and offers to help plan as long as they give her a budget and a date. Jo checks her account first to help figure out what kind of figures they’ll be able to work with, but when Karev goes to check his bank account, he gets visibly shaken, shuts the laptop, and storms off.

Amelia and Owen arrive at Grey Sloan Memorial with adorable Leo in tow. It’s time for his 6-month checkup, and Karev offered to do the exam. Owen’s a little nervous, though, because Leo’s birth mom is going to be there, and they haven’t met yet.

Speaking of kids, Arizona is having difficulty with Sofia. She still hates her school, leaving Arizona to resort to cuddle bribes in order to get her to go. Arizona looks for empathy from Carina, but as usual, the sexual Energizer bunny is only interested in one thing.

Glasses the intern almost walks past a woman saying she needs help for her son who swallowed a chew toy. To the surprise of Glasses and Jo, the mom clearly knows her way around the hospital, and as she soon reveals, it’s because she worked there back in the day. It’s Nurse Olivia from days of yore, and like a Ghost of STDs Past, she almost immediately brings up Karev and how he gave her syphilis. Bah, scumbag.

Owen tries using his title at the hospital to get Leo seen right away, but as it turns out, in the waiting room domain, he’s just another patient. As he’s waiting impatiently, he obnoxiously asks the teen girl next to him to cover her mouth when she coughs. She replies, “They told me I could be here. I’m Betty, Leo’s mom.” Awkward.

Owen recovers nicely, though, and asks Betty if she wants to hold him. She tells Owen she better not, and then asks why they’re in the hospital. Owen explains that he’s a doctor and he wanted his fellow physicians to check him out. When Amelia shows up to inquire if Leo’s birth mom has arrived yet, it’s a second awkward moment when Owen introduces her to the teenager to his left.

Nurse Olivia is going all in on Karev as he tries to help her son. She tells him how faithful and good her husband is, you know, unlike him. After Karev and Jo leave the exam room, Jo tries to push him on why he acted so weird earlier with regard to the wedding budget, but he dodges her again. Nurse Olivia overhears and asks if they’re engaged. When Jo answers affirmatively, Olivia responds, “Best of luck with that!”

Because Karev is otherwise busy, Arizona steps in to check out Leo. As Betty watches the exam, she starts to get upset when it’s time for his shot. Recognizing the sign of addiction, Amelia pulls Betty aside and manages to get her to open up.  It’s sad when Betty admits that she went out and bought a new dress just for this, as though Leo would possibly know that she did that. Then it becomes heartbreaking when you see the tag hanging off her dress as she adds, “This guy’s a freaking doctor; what can I do for him?”

Olivia is not done dragging Alex. She tells Jo how Karev cheated on his almost wife with her, and encourages Jo to get tested. Ever the loyal person, Jo tells Olivia that people change right before Karev pops his head into the exam room to say he wants to do a procedure to remove the toy.

In the OR, Jo tries broaching things with Karev, but other than admitting he used to be called Evil Spawn (much to Glasses’ delight), he won’t really acknowledge the cheating that concerns Jo. After the procedure, when Olivia is thanking Karev for helping her son, Karev tells her everyone does dumb things, but then we outgrow them. When Olivia tells him that Jo is too good for him, he shoots back, “You think I don’t know that?”

Poor Glasses, though, is worried about the syphilis revelation, and in a perfectly Schmitty way brings up his concern as he and Jo are wheeling Olivia’s son back to the room. He reminds her how they had slept together, and Jo assures him it was a billion years ago and no, he doesn’t have syphilis. Phew and ew — still cannot believe they slept together.

Meredith and Jackson are getting ready to do Diego’s surgery, and they’re still disagreeing on their plan. Meredith chides his safety concerns, and asks him where the guy who did the throat transplant is because that is the guy Diego needs. Jackson admits that he’s concerned about getting bad press at the expense of the foundation. He reminds her that 72 hospitals will go down with the foundation, which is thousands of jobs. When he takes things too far by invoking her mother and who she assumes is his grandfather in the same breath, Meredith puts him in his place right away by assuring him that her mother had to work for everything she had.

As they’re scrubbing in, though, Jackson assures her that he was talking about their moms.  He shares how he doesn’t want his mom to have to take the fall for his grandfather, and he admits that he funded the competition because he wanted to compete with the best since he’s unable to compete for the Harper Avery.

The surgery itself is both awesome and disgusting to watch as they peel Diego’s face off to remove the mass. Jackson tells Meredith he wants to reach out to the women and rebuild the foundation, but Meredith saliently points out that the foundation bears the Harper Avery name. He was lauded, celebrated, while they’ve had to suffer in silence. “If you want to rebuild, you have to tear it down first.” This compels Jackson to decide to take the risk with Diego and take out the entire mass — successfully.

Amelia convinces Betty to go grab lunch wherein Betty admits how she became an addict. She was originally a soccer jock, but when a torn ACL sidelined her, she was prescribed 10 days worth of pain pills. Two years later she has a baby by a drug dealer, and she’s living on the streets.

Betty’s story inspires Amelia enough to talk to Webber about taking her in. Webber tells Amelia that it sounds like she could be Betty’s Ollie. When Amelia talks to Owen about this, he surprisingly gets so much behind the idea that he invites them to stay with him. “But Leo’s mine, and she’s yours,” he jokingly warns.

Arizona’s got a bee in her lab coat as the result of Carina’s dismissal of her Sofia story, and when she confronts her about it, Carina admits that she thinks Arizona is coddling Sofia. Carina assures Arizona that her parents’ divorce didn’t end her, and she was made tougher by having a café-sweeping job at the age of 9. Side note: Parents just love getting advice about parenting from non-parents.

Maggie catches up with April as they’re looking at their individual films. Maggie apologizes in a roundabout way by saying, “You really didn’t know?” April nudges Maggie to give Jackson the benefit of the doubt, assuring her that he’s a really good man. It’s Webber, however, who April has issues with.

Jackson proves April’s assessment of his character right by going to his mom and telling her not to take the fall for his grandfather. He fires Erin on the spot, and he and Meredith give Catherine a different statement to read to the press. The statement talks about new vision, new light, and new hope. It speaks about it being the time for systemic change and the dissolution of the Harper Avery Foundation. In its place will be a foundation dedicated to the preservation of all 72 hospitals, along with a solemn promise to give a voice to those silenced. This new foundation will repay, retrain, and rehire every victim of Harper Avery’s abuse. I’m a mess of tears as they reveal that the new foundation will be named the Catherine Fox Foundation.

Jo finally corners Karev at home about his behavior. She assures him she’s not concerned about money, and he reveals that he’s worried about his mom. He sends her money, but based on his account balance, she’s obviously not taking it. He feels horribly guilty for not realizing this until now, and worries that perhaps he hasn’t changed that much as he’s so caught up in his own life.

As Meredith says in a voiceover that mistakes will always come back to haunt us, we watch as Bailey leaves for the day and a man in a suit stops her. He introduces himself as Sanjay Roy, attorney for (and likely relative of) Dr. Vik Roy, who seems to appear from the shadows. Sanjay tells Bailey that they intend to sue because Vik was fed psychotropic cookies under her employ. The spineless Vik adds that he has weekend plans, but that he’s happy to start on Monday.

Carina gets to put her tough love parenting skills into action as Meredith asks her to get Deluca off her couch. Meredith laughs as the siblings start yelling at each other in Italian.

Ahhh, Europeans.

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