By Lincee Ray
October 03, 2019 at 10:58 PM EDT
S16 E2
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After 16 seasons, it’s natural for television storylines to get a little dull, especially with medical dramas. I think introducing a new hospital into the mix is a wise move. I find myself interested in what’s going on over at Pac North and I am secretly rooting for Korev and Webber to turn that dump of a hospital into something grand. Kudos to the writing team for a fresh twist.

Some of you die-hards are shaking your heads at me right now, annoyed that I have forgotten the time Seattle Grace once merged with another hospital. I did not forget. How could I with all of those deaths, not to mention the catapulting of Mandy Moore back into our lives? Here’s hoping the employees of Pac North have a happier journey.

As chief, Alex is determined to at least try to make Pac North No. 1 in categories other than mortality rate and patient dissatisfaction. He has Webber there to help, but he also wants Jo. She’s ready to get back in the saddle again, so he offers her a fellowship where she can be her own boss. Jo passes. It’s important for her to return to the life she left.

Bailey is eager to have a familiar face in the hospital and offers Jo free rein to pursue whatever she wants when she hears that Alex offered his wife a tempting position. She gives Jo the day to make her decision and resumes juggling all the balls in the air.

GREY'S ANATOMY - "Back in the Saddle" - The Grey Sloan doctors operate on a man who crashed into Maggie's car as Owen, back from paternity leave, struggles with Tom's new position. Outside the hospital, Meredith's recent firing doesn't stop her from diagnosing those around her. Plus, Richard and Alex start anew and it's not easy. All the while, Jo readies herself to return to work, and Amelia has a new revelation in her relationship with Link, on an all-new episode of "Grey's Anatomy," THURSDAY, OCT. 3 (8:00-9:01 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (ABC/Jessica Brooks)GIACOMO GIANNIOTTI, CHANDRA WILSON
Jessica Brooks/ABC

Why is Bailey so busy? She’s trying to find joy in the hospital again. With Meredith, Alex, and Webber gone, and Tom recently assigned as her new boss, Bailey is going to do what Bailey does best. And that’s making a duplicate Meredith Grey and Alex Korev. She created them and takes full credit for the surgeons they are today.

Enter Bailey’s boot camp. Everyone, including Tom’s protege from Hopkins and DeLuca, pile into the lab and practice performing a surgical masterpiece that will be used to return blood flow to a patient’s extremities and “gentleman parts.” The first one to finish will get to perform the delicate procedure in the OR.

It’s comical that Bailey has a classroom full of students learning to do intricate surgical procedures, while Webber can’t find a resident or a working CT over at Pac North. Moreover, he keeps receiving patients with one common theme, excluding their bright orange and yellow vests: “I’m friends with Meredith Grey.”

Instead of picking up trash on the side of the road, like her community service dictates, Meredith has created her own little outdoor clinic where she tends to burns and rashes and other ailments of her fellow felons. Robin, Meredith’s supervisor, immediately breaks up the long line of potential patients and barks for everyone to get back to work. This is when Meredith notices the lump in Robin’s throat. It’s time for Meredith to return to Grey Sloan. As Robin’s friend, of course.

She’s not the only one returning. Owen is back from paternity leave and is floored to learn that Tom of all people is “God of this place.” Owen has no time to process due to a trauma outside. A guy on an electric scooter plowed into Maggie’s stationary car and is hurt pretty bad, but conscious enough to berate Maggie for running him over.

At first, the team thinks it’s a cracked sternum. They soon realize, thanks to all the beeps, that this guy’s heart has been compromised. They open him up right there in the ER and Maggie tries to work through saving the guy and spastically coming to terms with the unlikely possibility that she could be charged with manslaughter, even though her car was perfectly still.

Maggie’s having a bad day. Not only did she take all of her things, including toilet paper from Jackson’s place, but she had to suffer through an inconsiderate Instagram post from Jackson’s account of a beautiful sunset with the hashtag FREEDOM. #rude

As Maggie and Owen work to save the guy’s life, Tom walks in annoyed that Owen is still trying to jump-start the heart with the tiny defibrillator. He claims that they have charred it beyond repair and suggests Maggie call it. Owen asks the nurse to charge the paddles one more time to 50 joules and is overwhelmed when he gets a pulse. Unfortunately, he never shocked the guy and when he lowers the paddles by his side, Tom walks right into them.

Owen has inadvertently shocked Tom’s gentleman parts. I guess Tom is officially having a bad day, too.

Speaking of shocking moments, Amelia follows Link into the stairwell so she can tell him in 30 seconds or less that she is pregnant. P.S.: She’s not asking for anything and doesn’t have the best track record with pregnancies. Bye!

A dazed Link finds his way to Jo’s lab and proceeds to tell her all the reasons why he doesn’t want to bring a baby into the world. Just turn on the news or go to Twitter and read about what makes people whine. Jo reminds Link that it’s Amelia’s body, but he can weigh in.

So he does. They meet in the jungle room and he listens as Amelia tells him all about losing baby Christopher. She prompts Link to speak, encouraging him that he is free to feel what he feels. And after hearing Amelia’s history, an emotional Link looks Amelia in the eyes and tells her that he doesn’t want anything to hurt her. Everything that scares him about having a baby seems irrelevant now. If she wants a kid, he is all in. If she doesn’t, he will be there for her in every way possible.

Amelia’s adoring response was a heartfelt, “Dammit Link.” Ahh, such a sweet couple.

Amelia later admits that she had made up her mind, but after hearing Link’s reaction, she’s decided that they would make a great baby. And she wants to meet that baby. So does Link. It looks like Meredith’s house is getting one more kid!

Which may be tricky, because if Meredith keeps treating Robin in the parking lot of Grey Sloan, she might not have a job, which would result in no money, therefore no house for all the children. Luckily, Schmidt and Jackson are there to cover for her. Fun fact: Both are Gryffindors. How do I know that? Because the Grey’s Anatomy writers clearly went to Hogwarts. Duh.

It turns out that Robin does have thyroid cancer. The good news is that it’s treatable. The bad news is that she can’t afford to treat it. This angers Meredith. To no one’s surprise, she chooses not to “lay low” like her lawyer advised. Instead, she’s going to write about how the system is broken.

I think Meredith is a fellow Gryffindor, too.

Back at boot camp, DeLuca beats Helm in the surgical challenge by half a second. Bailey awards the surgery to Helm and DeLuca is furious. When things get heated in the OR, Bailey refuses to step in and help Helm fix her mistake. DeLuca takes over and saves the man’s life.

DeLuca expects praise from Bailey. He doesn’t get it. He thinks she’s mad because of his relationship with Meredith. Bailey puts DeLuca in his place. Helm needed the time in the OR. She needed to feel the fire and fear. That’s what makes a good surgeon. Leave the petty stuff behind and tighten up.

It’s fun to see OG Bailey come out every once in a while, isn’t it? I wonder how she would have handled Maggie and Jackson’s elevator talk. Maggie is clearly jealous of firefighter Vic. Perhaps she can skip over to Pac North and find a nice ENT there?

Of course, we will have to do something about those terrible blah-green scrubs. That should be item No. 1 on the fix-it agenda. Some of us notice things like that and it would factor into our decision.

Not Jo, though. She uses Alex’s new offer of “General Surgery Attending” to get a better deal with Bailey. She is ready to assist at a hospital, but it’s Bailey’s decision if it will be Grey Sloan or Pac North. I’m happy to say that Jo will remain in her bright blue scrubs.

It wouldn’t surprise me if Owen ended up in the pukey-colored scrubs. You see, since he deep-fried Tom’s jewels, Tom decided to have a restraining order against Owen. I’m not sure if one can properly operate or run and ER when you legally have to be five-hundred feet away from your chief. Time will tell. Maybe Pac North will get an ER attending after all.

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