The judge awards the plane-crash victims $15 million each, effectively shutting down Seattle Grace. Also: vajazzling!

By Tanner Stransky
January 18, 2013 at 06:00 AM EST
Danny Feld/ABC
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It was an evening of newsy revelations on last night’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy. And, as usual, Meredith told us just that in her hour-opening voiceover. “The big day is here,” she intoned, in her usual, wiser-than-you way. “The day you’re going to hear the news, the test results. Is the biopsy malignant or benign? Am I gonna live or die? You just want to know. Because then you can move on — whatever that means.” The two big news beats that she’s referencing? The details about the plane crash lawsuit — Seattle Grace may be going down! — and then also, Meredith’s big reveal (to the other doctors at Seattle Grace besides hubby Derek, at least) that she was pregnant.

Let’s start with the continued fallout from the crash. It wasn’t but minutes into the hour that we found out the Seattle Grace doctors who were affected by the crash had won a summary judgement — and they’d be taking home hefty settlements of $15 million (!). “Each,” as were dramatically told by Cristina. Callie — who was affected by the plane crash via wife Arizona but has sort of taken to being one of the survivors of the incident — proposed that they “celebrate” the judgement before backpedaling and corralling everyone (rather begrudgingly) for just a dinner.

The money was, rather obviously, a topic amongst the doctors at Seattle Grace. In the elevators — where everything important happens, of course — benefactors Meredith and Cristina were joking about what they could do with the money. “We could buy five houses with yards as big as football fields,” Cristina proposed. “We could buy the teams to play on the football field,” Meredith offered. To which Yang added: “‘Mo money, ‘mo problems.” And Karev — who wouldn’t be getting a $15 million check — said: “I shoulda been on that plane.” The sentiment certainly makes sense in the wake of so much money being thrown around but I can’t really believe that he would have wanted to be on the plane that killed two and crippled two of his colleagues. But the comment also totally and completely smacks of Karev.

NEXT: “The hospital closes its doors.”

All involved with the crash despised going to the dinner, but it was decided that if Derek went, everyone would. And at first, the whole dinner scene did seem rather stilted: What exactly would these doctors toast to? To the deaths of Lexie and Sloan? To the fact that Arizona lost her leg and Derek is still trying to regain the full use of his hand? And that’s when Callie put everything into perspective a bit and offered up why she thought it was important for them to relish the moment a bit. “It feels weird and sad and wrong, but it also feels exciting,” she told the gathering of Derek, Meredith, Arizona, and Cristina, during a toast. “I miss Mark and Lexie, and I’m heartbroken that they’re not here tonight. But I’m also grateful that all of you are, and I’m going to celebrate that, and we are going to toast. C’mon on, toast!” And that’s when things finally took a turn for the better. Everyone got in the spirit, so much so that Cristina even called Owen to invite him to dinner. He declined for much more complicated reasons than any of the celebrants at that table could have known (more on that later).

The boozy toast led to the second big reveal of the night: Meredith’s pregnancy. When the other doctors urged our voiceover queen to imbibe in champagne with them, she balked. And then decided to — what the hell — just tell them all her good news. “I can’t because I’m pregnant!” she said. “And I’m happy so let’s celebrate.” The moment felt tingly, and it was spot on with what Cristina said earlier in the episode — that Meredith would share her big news when she was ready to be happy about it. She was radiant while telling her friends about the pending babe.

To get back to the lawsuit for just a second — I promised you I would! — darker things were swirling in that realm. Both Cristina and Derek had tried to get Owen to come to the celebratory dinner for a drink, but he told them he couldn’t. Derek even apologized, and Cristina was sexting him — she was tipsy. But the real reason he couldn’t — and this wasn’t yet revealed to the happy, celebrating doctors, who were too busy taking smile-laced photos and drinking bubbly — was that he had a special emergency meeting with the hospital board. It turns out — another big revelation! — that, because of a loophole with the insurance, the hospital would instead have to fork over the payouts to the plane-crash doctors, amounting (if my math is correct) to $60 million total. Owen immediately noted the Seattle Grace didn’t have that kind of cash on hand, and asked what was to be done. “We go bankrupt,” said the board lady unceremoniously. “The hospital closes its doors.”

NEXT: Richard deals with Adele’s passing

It was a poignant moment, of course, to hear those words while the episode cut to that scene of the money-happy doctors, taking photos, excited about their $15 million each, Meredith’s baby, and the forgiveness that was just granted to Chief Owen. Little did they know what was really happening back at the hospital! Presumably, they’ll learn what’s really going on by next week, and — wow! — what a wallop that’s going to be.

Basically, it boils down to all of them getting their cash payouts — but the price is that they (along with all of their pals) will lose their jobs. And, by proxy, the network/family/home they’ve built at Seattle Grace. Clearly, the whole “the hospital closes its doors” comment from board lady was for dramatic effect — there’s really no way that Seattle Grace will shut down. If it does, doesn’t Grey’s Anatomy as a whole shut down? Are we just being clued in that this is Grey’s last season?!? No, I really don’t think so. Shonda and Co. definitely have something up their sleeve to deal with this. Will the doctors forgo the payments? Give it all back to the hospital? Restart Seattle Grace somewhere else with their cash? Will Grey’s move to another location? Should be interesting, regardless. Also, wondering: Is this the end of Owen? I honestly can’t imagine that at all, but it seems like this is such a bungled situation where he’d have to not be chief going forward, no matter how much board lady said that they’re behind him, if only to just save face.

One other important storyline of the night was the continued fallout from Adele’s tragic death in last week’s episode. It turns out that a month has passed since she passed, and Richard had made his way back to the hospital. But everyone there (except maybe Cristina) was worried about him. Meredith led the way, and confronted him about not doing any surgeries and sulking around the hospital. “Richard, I’m worried,” she said. “I heard you haven’t been operating.” Even Catherine Avery showed up, and he rebuffed her after ignoring her messages for months: “I’m fine. I don’t need your help. I need to be left alone. So please — let me do what I’m doing.”

It wasn’t until Meredith confronted Richard again, as he cleared out a hospital room filled with his surgical achievements, that we found out what was eating away at him. “You know what I see when I look at the scissors Ron Newsome swallowed?” he said, while holding a jar with the instrument inside, his eyes filled with guilt. “I see the Thanksgiving I didn’t take off. So I didn’t join Adele in London.” After giving a few more examples, he added: “All of this stuff I saved…just reminds me of my failures.” Specifically, his repeated failures to Adele, which he finally delved into more when he met up with Catherine Avery at a bar. “I should have been there,” he told her. “I failed her when she needed me the most. I failed her. I feel like I can’t grieve, like I lost the right to grieve when I started seeing you.” His major despair from Adele’s death doesn’t so much have to do with the fact that Adele is gone — but the fact that he wasn’t there when it happened and had, instead, been running around with Catherine during Adele’s final few months.

NEXT: Kepner to Avery: “You know what I’m thinking about right now? Kissing you.”

But Catherine was there to help. A moment took place between these two star-crossed lovers that just made my heart melt. Catherine reached for Richard’s hand, in a show of solidarity. “I would like to just hold your hand,” she said, in comfort. “Would you let me do that? Could I just hold your hand?” It’s clear that these two have a long way to go before getting back to where they were before Adele’s death, but they’re on the road to reconciliation. I’m glad that Richard has Catherine to help him grieve — even if he doesn’t think he’s technically allowed — and something in me knows that Adele, no matter what she might have really felt about Catherine, would be glad that he has her there, too. There’s a real preciousness to the Richard/Catherine relationship that feels oddly appropriate.

There were many silly little storylines during the episode, but before I quickly get into those, let’s talk about the last story of significance. It only was touched on briefly, but it’s the continued romance between Avery and Kepner. “Are you still pining over Jackson?” Yang asked Kepner at the top of the episode. “April, April. Jackson is like a cookie. People wanna lose weight, they don’t eat the cookie! But then you get so hung up on not having the cookie that their whole life is about the cookie.” Kepner’s response: “My whole life is not about the cookie.”

But by the end of the episode — which referenced the fact that Avery was still sleeping with intern gal Stephanie — it was clear that her life was indeed all about the cookie. That crystallized when Avery approached Kepner to tell her that he was sleeping with Stephanie. She just said back: “I miss you. I just, I feel like, we were friends, and now everything is…” she trailed off. Avery suggested they remain friends. But Kepner wasn’t having it: “You know what I’m thinking about right now? Kissing you,” she admitted. “Standing here right now all I want to do is kiss you. So no, I’m not ready to be your friend yet.” This lady Kepner is stronger than I ever would be in a similar situation. Jackson Avery was staring back at her with those eyes and those lips and — you know what’s under those scrubs — that body? I wouldn’t be able to hold myself back like her. “You’re sure?” he asked. My goodness — she has strength! What this whole exchange also proved is that this is one love story that’s far from over. I want them to get back together, if only so we can see him shirtless again.

The rest of the storylines were silly or inconsequential. Avery worked on a old patient of Sloan’s, a patient who needed another facial surgery in his quest to make his face look “normal.” The surgery went great, and the only other note out of this whole situation is that intern Murphy found out that Stephanie has been sleeping with Avery. “How’d you know?” she asked after she admitted it to her. “I didn’t. Now I do.” That’ll be around the hospital in about two seconds, for sure.

NEXT: Vajazzling!

Intern Shane played ping-pong with Shepherd, as a part of his Callie-mandated physical therapy intended to resurrect his hand, post-plane crash. The whole hospital was loving the competition, and that’s where Wilson and Karev made a bet on who would win. Wilson ended up winning $1,000, which she used to buy Karev a couch and some beer. He commented that that’s the kind of thing a girlfriend would do — and the pair acted as if they still hadn’t slept with each other and that they wouldn’t ever. But yeah, right — that’s all so unlikely. That hookup is happening in T minus 3 seconds, 2 seconds, 1 second… They’ll be laying in bed together by next episode, I predict. Or hopefully, rather.

The final storyline worth mentioning was that of Bailey’s. It was funny…and also crazy. Bailey was working on a woman who had bruised her tailbone after falling off a stripper pole while trying to spice up her sex life. The funny part is that Bailey seemed extra crazy about the whole thing because — as she admitted to Callie — she had only had sex once on her honeymoon after she’d had some, um, trouble while having a little sex in the sand. Namely, she got an infection and bites from sand fleas. “I am not a fan of the beach or the pole or anywhere at this point!” she told Callie. “I am a fan of the bed.” All Callie could do was laugh.

The crazy of the storyline came from the sub-sub-sub-point about said stripper pole lady telling the doctors about how she had vajazzled her…well, you know the body part that one would vajazzle. I was just astonished — the vajazzling trend was so 2009, and Jennifer Love Hewitt subsequently killed it on a press tour for her Lifetime show The Client List. I can’t believe that the Grey’s writers were just pulling that one out now. The note “Let’s do a vajazzling storyline” must have lived for a long time on an extra-old Post-It note around the Grey’s office that someone just rediscovered. I suppose, though, despite it being a rather old reference, the story point did provide Bailey with some good fodder. I loved when she was going off on the whole practice of vajazzling while operating on the lady. “I suppose men do it, too. Bedazzle their penis? Somebody look that up,” she barked at a nurse, who appeared as if she’d comply with the request. Then she continued: “Foolish. Idiotic. Kepner, you ever vajazzled yourself? Oh right, Jesus isn’t a fan of the vajazzle.” That killed me!

The episode ended, as it always does, with some words of wisdom from Meredith in voiceover. “They say ignorance is bliss. Because once you know about the tumor or the prognosis, you can’t go back,” she told us, right after the news about her pregnancy and the state of the hospital was revealed. “Will you be strong — or will you fall apart? It’s hard to predict. So don’t worry about it. Enjoy the time you have before the news comes. Yep, ignorance is bliss.” Indeed.

What’d you think, Grey’s watchers? Had you heard of vajazzling before? Are you rooting for Catherine and Richard to reconcile? How do you feel about the way Cristina and Owen’s relationship is going? Sound off in the comments below!

Tanner on Twitter: @EWTanStransky

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