I’d like to start a slow clap for the Grey’s Anatomy writers for teeing up an impressive season finale. This episode had all the makings of an award-winning drama. There was intrigue, romance, near-death experiences, love triangles, and a pearl-clutching, “SHUT UP” shouting, and a shocking moment at the end.
It’s important to set the stage before we dive into the dramatics. Meredith is staying with Jo and refuses to leave until Jo admits why she appears to be checking out of life. This leaves Alex over at Meredith’s house, helping Amelia take care of Meredith’s kiddos since Aunt Maggie is off in the woods with Jackson pretending to like to camp.
I should also note that Link accidentally fell asleep in Amelia’s bed and has been forbidden from traipsing downstairs to have a bowl of cereal with the children. They’ve already been introduced to DeLuca. There’s no way Amelia is going to inaugurate Link into this modern-day family. I personally think Meredith’s offspring could handle it.
Grey Sloan Memorial is buzzing with activity. Most notably, Alex found some golden blood for Gus and is waiting on her plane to land. Link and Amelia are carefully watching Kari, the woman who became paralyzed in the OR but is currently receiving stem cells. DeLuca entertains Gabby, the little girl with abdominal pain whose paperwork reads “Ellis Grey.” He’s showing her how the CT scanner works using her stuffed kitty. So darn cute. Catherine and Bailey are in a secret meeting with strangers. And Teddy is picking out cribs. Are we all caught up?
The first emergency is the golden blood donor. Her name is Frances and she suffers from agoraphobia. Even though her condition causes her to see her environment as unsafe, Frances’ therapist managed to get her from London all the way to Seattle. Schmitt has been bestowed the honor of driving the golden blood from the airport to the hospital. Unfortunately, Frances’ therapist is detained for “VISA questions,” which leaves Gus’ one shot at survival slowly melting down while lightly singing “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.”
It’s her safe song. It calms her down. I approve.
Alex breaks the news to Gus’ parents and his mom, understandably, snaps. In an angry fit, she smashes Gus’ Lego tower, spilling the pieces everywhere. She immediately apologizes as her husband steps toward her to let her know that he too would like to punch something. As he takes that step, he slips on one of the wretched bricks, falls hard on the floor, and breaks his butt. Don’t laugh. It’s not funny. This is clearly another random emergency.
Okay, it’s a little funny. Although Dr. Kim insists on calling it a “cracked coccyx,” everyone else on the floor feels broken butt just sounds better. He’s placed on his stomach and rolled off on a gurney to have surgery. On his broken butt. And torn rectum. Not a good day for this guy.
Teddy, who is on Gus’ team, hands his dad off to Dr. Kim and Webber so she can watch Gus’ oxygen levels. Owen is sent to the airplane hanger to help talk Frances into saving the day. And Jackson and Maggie are still camping.
Jackson is camping. Maggie is reading in a tent. That counts.
Next up? Emergency number three. Meredith is literally in the bed with Jo, who is highly agitated that Alex sent his BFF to “fix her.” Jo also throws Meredith some serious shade, claiming Meredith is only there because she’s too scared to deal with her own crap. Remember when DeLuca professed his love and Meredith walked away? Not her finest moment.
Which is exactly Meredith’s point. She’s messed up. Everyone is messed up. There’s nothing Jo could say that would make Meredith flinch. Meredith knows pain. So does Alex. And both sets of parents royally screwed them up. She lovingly welcomes Jo to the Dysfunctional Family Club.
Jo whips around and stares Meredith in the eyes. Then she asks her, “Was your mother raped? Raped by your father? Is that why you exist? Do you look like a rapist? Do you wear his face? You don’t get this. Go home.”
Jo opens up a tiny little bit, recalling a memory she had as a foster child. She was on a playground and a little girl fell coming down the slide. The girl’s mother rushed over to her, said she was sorry, and just held her in her arms. Jo always thought if she ever found her own mother, she would do the same. Instead, she believes that the pain she’s endured her entire life is her birthright. Ouch.
Meredith lets Jo sit in that for ten seconds before listing off all the amazing things she has done since she’s been alive. Meredith assures Jo that she survived the violence. She has an enormous will and an extreme capacity for survival. Jo’s superpower is taking dark experiences and making them light again.
Then Meredith tells the story about the time she fell into freezing cold water and for a moment, she thought, “Why fight?” Jo halfway rolls her eyes, ready for the “here’s why I fought” speech and is shocked to learn that Meredith didn’t fight that day. She chose to stop. And her friends brought her back into the light. The people she loves didn’t give up on her.
She asks Jo a simple question: “Are you telling me you want to stop? Or just need a few days under the covers?”
Jo doesn’t want to stop. So Meredith makes her get up so they can talk to both Alex and Bailey. She wants her to have a proper leave of absence so her job will be waiting for her when she gets back. Also, she needs to take a shower because homegirl is ripe.
Meanwhile, Owen finally gets to Frances and the minute he pulls out a needle to draw blood, Frances shuts down. She’s afraid he will stab her incorrectly or she will get a hideous infection. Owen offers to give her a sedative, but she refuses. What she doesn’t know is at that exact same time, Gus is suffering from a heart attack. Teddy and Alex are fighting to keep him alive as they wait for the blood that is once again being serenaded by George Michael.
Frances won’t take a sedative because she’s not in a hospital. She won’t leave the airplane because she’s scared. She apologizes for the inconvenience and Schmitt rips her a new one. Just like the butt guy. He reminds her that she is a unicorn and Bigfoot rolled into one and she agreed to help, so she needs to follow through or a KID WILL DIE.
Frances apologizes again. She can’t go through with it. There’s a part of her brain that tells her if she bleeds, she will die and no one can help. And although it sounds ludicrous, that’s the voice she listens to. She wants to help, but can’t.
Owen goes for broke and FaceTimes with Alex, knowing he will be right there beside Gus. He explains to Gus’ mom that Frances is scared, but would like to meet the boy who has her blood, too. Gus’ mom graciously informs Frances that Gus “can’t talk right now.” Alex pans the phone to the little boy who is out conscious, recovering from a heart attack. Gus’ mom explains that his heart stopped because he doesn’t have enough blood in his body.
As Frances cries, Owen sweetly promises her that he will help her do what she needs to do. If he has to, he will lift her up and carry her. He will protect her. As we watch this tender scene unfold, we see Teddy, tearing up at the sound of her baby daddy putting himself on the line for the sake of his patient.
Owen literally puts a blanket over Frances’ head and carries her to the limo. Hooray! Then they get stuck in traffic. Not good. Cue Wham.
Gus isn’t getting any better. Alex has the brilliant idea to put him in the hyperbaric chamber to slow things down a bit, hoping the golden blood will arrive in time. The kid is suffering from heart failure and his doctor is out getting bug bites and twisting her ankle. Camping is fun, right Maggie?
Here comes emergency number four. Kari’s CT came back questionable and Teddy has to remove a lobe of her lung. Toby is there (Kari is their mom) and pitches a fit. The stem cells should be working. Isn’t surgery going to hurt more than it would help? Kari forces Toby to listen and remember that THEY are the reason she lives bravely. When Toby came home and announced, “I’m not a woman. I’m not a man. I’m both,” Kari knew that she no longer wanted to live in fear.
Kari tells Toby that she lives because of Toby. Kari is all in this life and wants Toby to know it. Toby cries a little and proudly declares that they are all in, too. Then Teddy jumps on the bandwagon, wipes a tear away from witnessing that touching moment, and states she’s all in as well.
We are flooded with a flurry of new information in the next moments. Leo has a cold so Amelia offers to take him “home.” Link wants to know where “home” is located. Meredith’s or Owen’s? Excellent question. Leo’s home is at Owen’s and that’s where she will be.
Link calls her out, asking if this thing they have is still pain management? Or more. She needs to tell him what she wants so he can decide what he wants. Then Meredith rushes in with Jo in tow, looking for Bailey (who is in the meeting everyone’s watching from a window) and Alex (who is rushing a kid to an oxygen chamber.)
Meredith tells Jo to stay with DeLuca and wait on Bailey to get out of the meeting. She runs to find Alex. Jo looks at DeLuca and asks, “Do you love her?” DeLuca responds, “Who wouldn’t?”
Suddenly DeLuca gets a call from Bailey, who is waving at him through the window, motioning for him to come in. He obeys and is immediately questioned if he treated Gabby the week before. Looking around the table, Catherine explains that the strangers are from the United Medical Program. These are the folks who provide insurance for doctors.
Emergency number five: “Did Meredith Grey submit her own daughter’s name to pay for Gabby’s care?” PS: This is both fraud and a felony and DeLuca needs to spill the beans.
Over at Leo’s house, Teddy shows up, knocks on the door, and jokingly asks if she’s stepped through a time portal when she discovers Amelia on the other side. She vows she will “not go down that road again” and Amelia wisely asks, “What road?”
In a nutshell, Teddy realized today that she loves Owen. Tom makes her laugh and he’s great, but the passion is not there like it is with Owen. He’s the only person in the world who makes her feel that way and she needs to tell him before she has her baby.
Which is coming. Because her water just broke. Cue Wham again.
Speaking of timing, Meredith found Alex and is sitting in the hyperbaric chamber with him and Gus. Just when she’s about to tell Alex what she learned from Jo, DeLuca taps on the tiny circular window. He apologizes for lying to her and wants to set the record straight.
Meredith is confused. I am not. The guy is taking a bullet for the women he loves.
As Catherine looks on from behind, DeLuca tells Meredith that he put her daughter’s name on Gabby’s paperwork. It’s been cleared up, but he wanted to say he was sorry in person before he turns himself into the police. What he did wasn’t fair to her or her kids. The kids who need their mother.
If that wasn’t dramatic enough, we find Frances, Schmitt, and Owen no longer stuck in traffic, but trying to negotiate the terrible weather and fog. And since we all know that Frances’ storyline had to be more than Owen fireman carrying her out of a plane, we watch her lose her wits when the car is involved in a pileup on the interstate. It’s hit over and over and over again.
Will DeLuca go to jail for Meredith? Will Kari regain feeling in her arms? Will Maggie ever camp again? Will Amelia have to deliver Teddy’s baby in Leo’s house?
And more importantly, will the golden blood ever get to Gray Sloan Memorial?
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