'Grey's Anatomy' recap: Love (and a kiss) is in the air
Credit: Mitch Haaseth/ABC

Link is in a Santa suit, the Karevs are ringing in 2019 with champagne, and Owen gives Amelia a huge bouquet of red roses. Thanks to these familiar Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and Valentine’s Day icons, viewers have clear indicators that help keep everyone on the same page during this hour-long episode that spans three months.

The foundation of the storyline is Natasha. You remember her as the woman who was supposed to get married to Garrett but is currently in a coma. Although all the doctors are deeply invested in Natasha’s case, Schmitt is the lucky one who gets the late December rotation in the ICU. He’s under strict orders: Watch her and page Dr. Grey if there are any changes.

It seems Schmitt is the only one working this yuletide season. Owen will be with Leo. Amelia is visiting Betty in rehab. Catherine’s entire family, including Jackson, Maggie, and Webber, are hovering around the fragile matriarch at the dinner table. Miranda flirts with Ben when he stops by to drop off holiday presents for Tucker. And Meredith is headed home to get ready for jolly old St. Nick.

Speaking of the big guy, let the record show that even though Link isn’t technically working on Christmas, he is passing out presents to the kids in the cancer ward. Jo makes sure Meredith knows this bit of attractive news and suggests that she invite Link to the Karev’s New Year’s Eve party. PS: She already told Link that he was Meredith’s date. Annoyed, Meredith invites DeLuca to participate in the festivities.

We call this a love triangle. Yet Meredith refuses to admit she is in one, even though everyone else recognizes it. Including the coma lady Natasha. That’s right! It’s a Christmas miracle! Natasha wakes up and immediately interrogates Meredith about her love life. How does the coma lady know about the triangle you ask? Well her husband has been talking to her. For thirty-five days. Pick DeLuca!

Okay, she didn’t say that last part. But DeLuca does. He’s concerned that Meredith is stringing Link along and giving him false hope. He’s also sick and tired of wasting time not being with Meredith. He proposes they should make the date official for New Year’s Eve and be brave enough to talk in public at Karev’s party.

So Meredith agrees and all is right with DeGrey. MerLuca? Let’s workshop that amalgamation.

While DeLuca rides his pending date high, Amelia receives a quick punch to the sternum (figuratively) at rehab. Betty says that she misses drugs more than she misses Leo. Then she rushes out of the room, leaving Amelia a shocked mess of a person.

Do you know who else is shocked? DeLuca. Everyone around him at Alex and Jo’s party is happily making out when the ball drops, yet he’s left sipping his scotch with the only other loser without a date. I’m sure he would rather be on the receiving end of a kiss with Meredith instead of an awkward “you got stood up too?” conversation with Link. Fun times.

DeLuca is not having it. The push and pull has been fun for the past several months, but Meredith standing him up crossed a line. The next morning, he tells Dr. Grey that he is not a doormat. If she’s looking for someone to walk over, maybe Link is her guy. The elevator door closes at that exact moment, which is equivalent to a mic drop in a hospital drama. (Continued on next page.)

With the time lapse, we learn a lot of new information in January. Catherine yells at her therapist for being a pain in “every part of my ass.” Teddy learns she’s having a baby girl and Owen hugs her a little too passionately for someone who is in love with another woman. Miranda tries to convince Ben to come home and unfortunately admits that her loneliness is the sole reason for her request. Ben leaves her standing in the rain. Natasha has to go back into surgery for complications and while standing over her open gut, Schmitt admits that he met someone. Who is gay. Also, he’s gay. And they are gay together.

Mazel tov.

The most disturbing piece of news comes from Betty. Or should I say Brittany. It seems Leo’s mother has been lying since the day she met Amelia and Owen. Her parents have no idea where she is and the person Amelia’s been talking to who she thinks is Betty’s dad is actually her friend Jerry. Whoops. When Amelia properly freaks out, Betty/Brittany begs her not to find her parents because she knows they will fight for Leo and take him away. That truth causes Owen and Amelia to push pause. Neither can imagine life without Leo.

Thanks to all the paper hearts and cupids, we can deduce that February has come and poor Natasha is still in the ICU. Only she’s worse. Garrett has a nervous breakdown in the hall, shouting that he can’t live without Natasha. If she dies, he dies!

Meredith gets in his face and talks him through the panic attack. She begs him to fight for his wife. And the best way to do that is to take care of himself. In the meantime, all of the doctors will be there to fight right along with him.

DeLuca explodes when Meredith walks away from Garrett. How can she tell him to fight for love when she runs away from it? He then snickers at Meredith and scoffs that he used to be intimidated by her. Now he realizes she’s a big kid playing hide and seek.

Oh really?

Link randomly walks up and Meredith turns from DeLuca to ask him out on a date. On Valentine’s Day. Suck it, DeLuca.

In keeping with the theme of surprises on the most romantic day of the year, Teddy and Koracick have a hot date planned, too. Manicures and pedicures for the win. Oh, and Ben builds Miranda a tree house and they are back together. Finally.

Regrettably, all plans must be put on hold due to the fact that Natasha has decided to take herself off the vent. She’s dying and she knows it. Meredith shuts the machine down and then leaves the room so Natasha and Garrett can be alone.

Later, everyone files back into the room with their cell phones held high. Natasha and Garrett will get the wedding of their dreams — under the stars. Jo lays Natasha’s dress on top of her covers. Meredith reads Natasha’s vows. A minister marries them and Natasha dies in Garret’s arms.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

DeLuca takes Meredith’s hand and leads her up to the roof. She’s all dolled up for her date with Link, but that doesn’t matter. He pops some champagne, toasts Garrett and Natasha, and gives Meredith a kiss that was acceptable.

After that almost kiss in the elevator, I was expecting something a little more steamy. But I’ll allow it. Only because I’m majorly shipping DeGrey. Rock on, MerLuca.

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