I think I’ve been a good sport about the fact that while watching Grey’s Anatomy, we flip flop back and forth between two hospitals. I would prefer all of my cast of characters to be under one roof, but I understand the importance of drama and embrace the change. It’s called “adapting.”
What I don’t love is setting the primary storyline of an entire episode in Richard and Catherine’s house. The troubled couple host a dinner party to tell their kids they are separating and my main takeaway was, “This kitchen would make Nancy Meyers proud.”
Richard tries to break the news to a verbally dueling Maggie and Jackson a handful of times, but Catherine interrupts, insisting they wait to share their big news over shrimp scampi. When Jackson’s girlfriend Vicky and her fellow firefighter Dean arrive, adding two more wheels to this already awkward party, the room becomes tense.
Question: Is Shondaland purposely squishing Station 19 and Grey’s Anatomy together for multiple crossover events during this season? I don’t watch that show and I don’t want to watch that show. Also, Vicky’s hair is fabulous. Moving on.
Dinner is a well-orchestrated machine of polite conversation and fake smiles. Why? Well, Catherine is mad at Richard and annoyed with Jackson for inviting Vicky. Richard is irritated that they missed their window to drop the separation bomb. Jackson wonders why his mom is so rude to Vicky and tries really hard not to roll his baby blues at everything Maggie says. And Maggie is mad that Vicky clearly brought her a date and didn’t ask permission first. Pass the breadsticks.
Vicky tries to release some of the hot air in the room by asking Richard about his job. When she hears Pac North, she giggles, claiming Station 19 calls that place “The Morgue.” Whoopsie. Catherine piles on with the insults, telling everyone at the table that the moniker is correct, thanks to the bodies they found buried out back. Would you like some parmesan on your salad?
Dean takes a different route. Since everyone believes they are celebrating Catherine and Richard’s anniversary, he asks how the sweet couple met. Maggie tells the story about their elaborate engagement and Jackson follows up with a glorious toast to the happy couple. Check, please!
Catherine can’t handle it anymore. She finds Richard in the Nancy Meyers kitchen and reminisces about their engagement. Her face softens and she suggests that they pull the reins on the whole separation thing. Richard is willing, only if Catherine apologizes. He needs to hear her say she’s sorry for not standing by him and for firing him from Grey Sloan. A teary Catherine whispers, “I’m sorry…” and she adds a “but” at the end.
Richard doesn’t like that but. He proclaims that it’s too late to save their marriage and leaves her standing next to her famous blackberry cobbler. I didn’t see that coming.
Back at the table, the guests all stare at Richard when he spontaneously laughs at a text he receives. Catherine refrains from holding anything back. She invites Richard to ask his little “Pac North heifer” to dinner. The more the merrier!
Richard sighs. There is no other woman in his life. The text is from Alex, who presumably will be a ghost of a character in the Grey’s pantheon, always on vacation, at a conference, or working hard at that other hospital. Guess what? They are offering Maggie a job. Alex wants her to run the cardio department at Pac North.
Confused by all of the brand new information that has just spilled out onto the dinner table, Jackson and Maggie finally buy a clue. What is going on? Catherine grabs a bottle of wine and announces the separation.
Jackson follows his mom and assures her she is not a failure. Maggie follows her dad and accepts the offer at Pac North. Vicky and Dean eat rolls and gracefully leave once everything dies down. At least all of the cats are officially out of the bag.
Or are they? Richard tells Catherine that Maggie starts at Pac North on Monday. Catherine responds with a cold, “I’m embarrassed for you. And now you’re dragging your own child down with you.” Richard barks back, claiming Maggie is going to put Pac North on the map and there’s not a thing Catherine can do about it! For once she can’t control his life.
If looks could kill. Catherine stares him down, picks up her phone, and asks her money guy to “put out feelers for buying Pac North.” It could be a good investment. Or she could just shut it down. P.S.: She’s not sorry about a damn thing.
Hell hath no fury like a rich woman in a silk kaftan scorned.
In other news, Schmidt is dealing with the pending death of his great Uncle Saul. Apparently, this man was a major jackwagon to everyone in the family, excluding Schmidt. When he arrives on the scene, Schmidt takes great pride in introducing his boyfriend Nico to his favorite relative.
And then Uncle Saul dies. Flatlines right after the introduction. Schmidt freaks, questioning if he killed this man with his “gayness.” Nico talks him off that ledge.
Since Schmidt is Jewish, he knows he has to keep shemira, which is the ritual of watching over a body from the time of death to the burial. Thankfully Aunt Gertie arrives, so Schmidt is off the hook. Gertie cries a little, kisses Saul on the forehead, tells him “love you, buddy,” and walks back out the door. What is happening?
An elderly man named Daniel comes in a little later and weeps at the sight of Saul’s body. When he notices Schmidt, he immediately calls him “Glasses” and compliments him on his doctor status in life. Then he asks if the handsome young fella in the corner is Nico.
Suddenly the pieces fall together. Saul knew Schmidt was gay. Saul knew because he himself was gay. And Daniel is the man Saul loved his entire life. Ergo, he knows everything about Schmidt.
Daniel explains that he has been trained to prepare the body and will be happy to teach Schmidt. As they work, Schmidt wonders why Aunt Gertie was in the picture all these years? Why wouldn’t Saul just go live his life? Daniel gently reminds Schmidt that the younger generation takes for granted what once was not possible. However, it gives him hope that times are changing. Daniel would have built a home with Saul, but how could he live with someone who hated himself for loving him?
Daniel thinks that Schmidt’s presence is not an accident. He thinks Saul wanted him to be there at the end for Schmidt to know that it was okay. Saul is free now.
The next thing we know, Schmidt is packing up his room. He tells his mother that Saul is gone and immediately asks why she won’t tell anyone in the family that he is gay. He wants to be surrounded by people he loves when he’s old and grey and that place is not in his mother’s basement. He thanks her for the food and laundry and hugs her tight before walking out the door with Nico.
Saul isn’t the only one who’s free.
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