I love it when television showrunners cram their entire cast into one room. It’s like we somehow scored a VIP ticket to the hottest reunion in town or a seat at the Golden Globes. It’s even more glamorous when everyone trades up his or her scrubs for appropriate business attire.
As Meredith faces the medical board to learn the fate of her license, every doctor we know and love shows up to support the rock-star surgeon. Meredith’s attorney commands her to remain seated, with her lips zipped. This is called foreshadowing, people. Let the record show that Meredith will neither remain seated nor zip any lips.
Why? Because one of the surgeons on the panel, the row of people who will decide if Meredith is fit for a medical license, is Dr. Castello. Does his name ring a bell? It should. He’s the man who killed Derek Shepherd.
Meredith is livid. Particularly when he doesn’t seem to recognize her. Just looking at him brings back all the emotions of that day. In a split second, we see Derek lying on a gurney with Dr. Castello looming over him. The image pains Meredith. It pains me too, and anyone else watching who loved McDreamy. Unfortunately, if they dismiss Castello, it will be six months before the hearing can be rescheduled. That’s unacceptable in Meredith’s eyes. Bring on the witnesses.
Bailey is first to swear in and delivers her answers like a cold, heartless robot. Who cares that Meredith named her child after Bailey? She reminds the audience and panel that Meredith is no longer her chief of general surgery. The opposing counsel, Ashley, piles on a few other items on Meredith’s disciplinary record, and once again we see snippets of Cristina, George, Izzie, and young Alex cutting LVAD wires, performing surgery on interns, and instructing young residents to remove brain tumors.
In short, things aren’t looking up for Dr. Grey.
DeLuca is up next and appears smooth, until his relationship comes into play. Castello wants to know if the union is consensual. Both DeLuca and Meredith roll their eyes at this obnoxious question. Then Ashley asks DeLuca why he applied for a transfer once upon a time? (Cue Alex beating DeLuca to a pulp.) DeLuca shrugs and states that he changed his mind. Ashley squints her eyes and says, “Dr. Grey made sure of that.”
And then there’s Schmidt. After randomly telling the entire room that he was a human blood bank that one time, Schmidt sings Meredith’s praises. Ashley inquires about Gabby, noting that Schmidt was on the case. Which means he would have checked her ID bracelet, which read Ellis Grey. Didn’t he notice?
Schmidt melts into a puddle, explaining that he thought it was a mistake and that the hospital made an error. So he took it to Dr. Bailey to sort out. Now we know the one who ratted Meredith out.
Is that a bad thing? Meredith was breaking the law. Should we be mad at Schmidt like all the other interns?
This news sends everyone into a tizzy, causing the panel to offer a 15-minute break. During this time, DeLuca and Meredith sit on a bench overlooking the water. She thinks out loud that this might be her last day as a doctor. If that is the case, she projects that she and DeLuca won’t make it. If he can cut and she can’t, they are done.
That’s a harsh burn and a little uncalled for, right? Didn’t this dude go to jail for Meredith?
Hunt and Webber take the stand. Both fail miserably because this Ashley person is so good at her job. Webber straight-up lies and proves that he bends the rules in favor of Dr. Grey. Even Webber’s old assistant comes in and shares that Meredith was never matched at Seattle Grace. Richard Webber had to make a call.
The hits just keep coming. Alex defends Meredith’s recklessness but stops short when Ashley inquires if Meredith’s adoption (with Zoe) was held up because she was fired from the hospital. Alex sees no reason to bring children into the picture. Castello tags in and both wonder if insubordinate behavior is a part of life for the Grey household?
Meredith can’t take it anymore. She unzips her lips and lays into Castello. Her kids are off limits, especially for the coward who stood over her dying husband, refusing to order a CT scan. Blips of that horrible night bombard the screen and we are forced to watch Derek die all over again. It’s gut-wrenching and very effective.
Castello’s entire face drains of blood. He’s horrified by the things Meredith is shouting. Then he collapses to the floor and starts seizing. Lucky for this guy, he’s in a room full of doctors. Meredith is first to help. As Amelia, Teddy, and Link whisk him away on a gurney, Meredith’s voice can be heard over the commotion: “Get him a head CT.”
This calls for another short intermission. We find Webber and Bailey having a frosty conversation. She calls him out for lying under oath and chastises him for covering for Meredith. AGAIN. Webber’s defense? Meredith is family. She’s worth it.
Bailey pops back. Was it worth it? Tom Koracick is her boss. She lost her hospital and her best surgeons because of what they did. She was betrayed! Webber turns to face Bailey and says, “I stuck my neck out for her because I thought you’d do the same for me.”
So many burns in this episode. I love it.
Meanwhile at Grey Sloan, Koracick finds Amelia checking Castello’s brain scans. Guess what? The guy has a huge tumor and Amelia can’t operate because this man is the one who killed her favorite person on the planet. I often forget that Derek was Amelia’s brother. Of course seeing Castello is hard for her too. Through tears, she asks Koracick to step in. He does, but Castello dies on the table. Although Amelia is certainly not giddy about Castello’s death, she’s very proud of herself for not shoving a scalpel in the guy’s brain when she had the chance.
Back in the courtroom (read: hotel banquet hall), the panel decides the best form of action is to postpone. But wait! Alex suddenly storms the hall with a ton of people who have come to speak on Meredith’s behalf. It’s a who’s who of Grey’s Anatomy patients from days of yore. Moreover, Alex has letters from Crystina, Arizona, Torres, Kepner, and Addison Montgomery. The gang’s all here, sort of!
If that wasn’t enough, Bailey comes back to admit that even though Meredith is a thorn in her side, and that she deserves to lose her job and pick up trash, no one should question Dr. Grey’s license. She’s just too good. And with all that Meredith has survived, it’s made her a better person.
Well, of course the panel agrees to let Meredith keep her license after all that pomp and circumstance. Bailey even gives Meredith her job back. Look at everything falling into place, tied up in nice, neat little bows!
That lasts the length of a commercial break. Maggie is drunk at the hotel bar, tormenting herself (and the bartender) for Sabi’s death. Jackson takes her home and the two process through her emotions. We think they are going to start making out, but Jackson pulls back and Maggie kicks him out of the house just as Meredith gets home.
When there’s a knock at the door, Meredith expects to see Jackson, but DeLuca is standing there looking all debonair in his suit. He wants to talk.
Meredith apologizes for what she said and DeLuca laughs, knowing that she meant every word. He tells her the same thing I was thinking: I went to jail for you because I love you! That’s what you do for your partner.
Only DeLuca is not her partner. He can never live up to the passion she had (and still has) for Derek. Meredith respects Derek and considers him and equal. DeLuca will always be less. How will he ever compare to the legend? (Spoiler: He won’t.) DeLuca asks Meredith to figure out what she wants and let him know. I personally think Meredith is going to choose the OR.
May MerLuca rest in peace.
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