This was a slow burn of an episode, which is rare for Grey’s Anatomy. Most of our key players are trudging through life, trying to figure out next steps. If it hadn’t been for a boy with osteochondromas (thank you Google), I might have nodded off for the entire hour. But a long-lost doctor with amazing eyes and a musical montage sucked me right back in.
That’s right, Dr. Jackson Avery is in the house! And he comes bearing gifts. Instead of finding himself on a hiking trail in the wilderness, he found a father camping with his son who, according to the kid, “suffers from multiple benign bone tumors that are covered by cartilage.” Avery is going to saw off the tumors and give this kid his life back.
Because he used to be the head of pediatrics, Karev is all in. The Chief stuff can wait. His good mood is dashed when Link saunters in, immediately bonding with the little guy. Remember, Karev is leery of Link because he used to know Jo when they were young and Link seems a little too buddy buddy with his wife. Avery shrugs his shoulders. Link is the ortho god. They are working with bones. Of course, he will be on the team, too. It’s not at all awkward.
What is awkward is Meredith stalking Teddy. Guess what? Teddy didn’t go back to Germany. She’s been holed up in a posh hotel, trying all the selections from the room service menu. Meredith tracked her down at her favorite playground. Ignore the randomness of that detail. What you need to focus on is that Teddy now knows that Meredith knows about the pregnancy, so they are going to bake cookies all day long while Meredith beseeches Teddy to rip the Band-Aid and tell Owen already.
Why won’t Teddy step up to the plate? Because Owen is playing a convincing game of house with Amelia. They skipped work in order to spy on Betty to make sure she doesn’t skip school. Amelia is super paranoid and Owen finds this adorable. He’s completely content with spending his entire day in the car eating the baby’s food and listening while Amelia tells his fortune. Isn’t she the cutest?
She’s also the smartest. When Owen sees Betty with a few friends near the exit gate of the school, he whistles a warning to her and smiles like a dorky dad who just busted his daughter. But he’s not a dad. And that’s not his daughter. And that woman in the front seat is not his wife. Yet this is how he defines the word “family.”
While Owen is enjoying his foster kid’s jukebox, Bailey and Jo are responding to a saucy patient’s request. The woman is hurting, no one can diagnose her, and she’s come all the way to this hospital so Meredith Grey, the GOAT, can figure out what’s wrong. Bailey cocks an eyebrow and informs the woman writhing in pain that she’s looking at the surgeon who taught Meredith Grey everything she knows. Bailey and Jo are on this. There’s no need to pull Grey away from her dough-filled therapy session with Teddy.
Bailey and Jo tick through every scenario and run every test. They come to the unfortunate conclusion that the other medical professionals are right. There’s nothing wrong with her. The woman freaks and scarfs down a sandwich. Between bites (gross) she tells Bailey that she does not accept her lack of diagnosis. Then she screams in pain. Jo jumps in and performs an ultrasound. Lo and behold, there’s a ligament wrapped around the artery which causes her pain when she digests food. This has never been detected because the woman always fasts for her test. Problem solved! Move over Grey. There’s a new medical sensation in town!
Then Bailey does something odd. She complains about how she still feels stress, even though she has systematically removed a ton of things in her life that produce stress. Food, exercise, stepping back from the Chief position. She must look elsewhere for less stress. Then she brings up Ben and how she can’t breathe when he’s on call. Is this a plug for Station 19? Or is this foreshadowing for a Ben and Bailey break-up in the future?
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Continuing with the “wait and see” theme, the darling matchmaker Cece is still hanging around the hospital, waiting for a new heart. She’s extremely interested in the sudden return of Dr. Avery and wants to know how Maggie feels. Clearly, the woman has issues and Cece would prefer it if her doctor wasn’t going through some sort of crisis while Cece’s heart is literally in her hands. How does Maggie feel? Well, confused and irritated by the unknown.
She can’t have a conversation with Avery about it because he’s making miracles happen in the OR. Unfortunately, the doctors have just learned that the kid’s multiple bone tumors aren’t at all benign. They can remove is scapulas, getting rid of all the cancer, but he won’t be able to use his arms very much. Or they can scrape, knowing the cancer is still there, but he’ll have to have radiation treatments, which is also a risk.
His dad gives the doctors permission to remove the scapulas. His son will be devastated by his quality of life, but he will be alive. Maggie tries to console Avery, reminding him that “everything is clearer on the mountaintop.” A lightbulb goes off above Avery’s head and he rushes back into the OR. He’s got an idea. Why don’t they take out the cancer-riddled scapulas, scrape off the tumors, and then nuke the thing to death, killing the cancer cells? It’s a win-win, right?
Of course, it is. This is Grey’s Anatomy. Cue the three-minute musical interlude. Cue the entire OR giving Karev and Link a round of applause. Rejoice as Avery and Maggie make up. All is right with the world.
Once the scapulas are placed back into the very graphic open back of the little boy, the scene switches to Meredith. She goes after Teddy by playing the dad card. Teddy may raise this baby by herself, but one day, that kid is going to go looking for Owen. And how mad do you think that kid will be when he finds perfect Owen? Does Teddy hate Owen enough to do that?
No, she does not. In fact, she loves him more than anything. So much so that she’s sacrificed her feelings in order to keep him in her life. She’s been known to play it safe. And now her beloved is living with his ex-wife with two kids. How did we get here?
Owen asks Amelia the same thing. When he sees her putting the baby in his car seat like a pro, he melts. What happened to Amelia? Why the change of heart? It’s because of the brain tumor and Christopher. Who’s Christopher you ask? He’s the baby Amelia lost a long time ago. Amelia has been afraid that if she loved another baby, it would lesson Christopher’s memory. But she’s over that now. Naturally.
Finally, Link confronts Karev. He wants to know why the Chief looks like he’s ready to murder Link. Instead of a jealous rant, like we were led to believe would eventually transpire, Karev lays in on Link for not protecting Jo from Paul. If he knew her from back in the day, why did he not take Paul out like the good friend he claims to be? Link explains that he didn’t like Paul, but when he told Jo, she backed away and they lost touch. Had he known, he would have taken him out. Karev accepts Link’s defense and even tells Jo that Link is a good guy. I smell a bromance!
That night, everyone congregates to the place where you go when you don’t know what’s going on in your life. The bar adjacent to the hospital. Schmidt is hurt to learn that Dr. Kim wasn’t technically asking him out for a beer, so he broods at his own table with Parker and Helm. He refuses to join Kim in the group singalong with Link and DeLuca strumming guitars, backing a blues crooning Webber of all people. Now, why wasn’t this fine piece of heaven the background track of the musical interlude?
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