All of the core couples reach crucial crossroads as a storm brews in Seattle
There were so many season 2 throwbacks in tonight’s episode, I couldn’t even handle it: The potentially explosive OR, the original interns banding together to cover something up, infidelity and someone going into labor in less-than-comfortable circumstances. But the first half of season 9’s finale swapped a prom for an impending storm that was sure to turn everything upside down — hopefully not literally, though nothing would surprise me at this point.
Let’s start with Meredith’s voiceover, which adequately described what life has been like for these characters for the past nine years: “They hit you out of nowhere. We rarely get to see the catastrophe coming, no matter how well we try to prepare for it.” It was so true, and yet it still had me shaking in my rain boots (It’s May showers, y’all!), which Alex could have used as he stormed over — see what I did there? — to Jason’s house after putting some ice on Jo’s eye and tucking her in. But what he found when he got to Jason’s wasn’t the angry, riled up version of Chest Peckwell that he was expecting.
Throughout the course of the episode, we learned that Mr. Peckwell — I love that they won’t stop calling him that — “looked like someone super messed him up,” as Brooks put it. Asking Derek for his help, Alex brought Jason into the hospital with a brain bleed and begged Derek not to let him die, which prompted an intervention. Meredith and Cristina were no strangers to these controversial situations, but this time, they were no longer interns and there were no LVAD wires, thank goodness. But when Meredith and Cristina confronted Alex about beating Jason to a pulp, he quickly let them know that he found Jason like that. Cue Jo walking into the hospital and admitting that she was the cause behind Jason’s brain bleed. I knew the girl was scrappy, but is it bad to say that I was impressed? Hey, he did hit her back at one point.
Here’s how Jo claimed it went down: She and Jason were arguing when he “grabbed her” in a way that she had been grabbed before and promised herself she would never let happen again — more insight into Jo’s horrible past? — and she freaked out on him. But his brain bleed was caused when he fell back and hit his head on the fireplace. When she left him, he was still conscious and screaming. So what came next? Well, Derek and Brooks had to do their best to save his life. Stay tuned …
NEXT: Storm preparation, a feisty April, and a human shish kabob
While Derek ran around the hospital dealing with a catastrophe, Owen was busy prepping for one. The weathermen claimed that there was a serious storm about three days out, which meant that the hospital had to be ready for a large number of incoming traumas. Bailey, still not ready to enter an OR for fear of killing yet another patient, volunteered to print out hard copies of all of the patient charts in case the hospital lost power. Everyone else canceled elective procedures, and April was put in charge of stocking the ER full of life-saving goodies. But when a patient came in with multiple metal rods through his body, April fought for her chance in the OR. With very little time (but how much?) until she retakes her boards, April was feistier than ever.
But that feistiness only helped her for so long. After realizing that the “human shish kabob'”s surgery required a 4.5-inch angle grinder with a cut-off wheel (duh!), Owen and Ben stepped in and evacuated everyone they could from the OR. Let the season 2 flashbacks begin! Apparently, the sparks from the grinder could have combined with the oxygen in the room and caused an explosion. As Meredith put it, “I’ve been through something like this before.” And how did it end? “Not great.” Yea, tell that to poor Dillon, the bomb squad guy. R.I.P.
Back to the action! After the OR was evacuated, Owen, Ben, Callie and April were left to save one construction worker’s life. Meredith got kicked out after Ben informed her that the difference between she and Callie being mothers was that Callie “didn’t bring hers to the OR with her today.” I’ve missed Ben, and not just for his good looks. He did kind of save the day here, bravely coming up with a plan and stomping out a lot of sparks, which NO ONE ran from like they were supposed to. But everything worked out for all involved, well, except for April. After the surgeons seemed to be out of harm’s way, Owen immediately sent her back to her secretarial duties in prepping for the storm, and she was not happy about it. At all.
However, her frown would soon turn upside down when she realized why Owen had kicked her out of surgery. After being called outside to handle an oncoming trauma, a number of paramedics and what I think were past patients started a flashmob. It quickly became obvious that Matthew was making his move. And when he popped the question to a near-sobbing April in the parking lot, she accepted. It was a sweet moment, right up until April made eye contact with Jackson and nothing felt right in the world anymore.
NEXT: More inappropriate eye contact
Speaking of eye contact, what was with Arizona looking at Lauren when Matthew mentioned feeling “a shock” when he first saw April? Maybe it had something to do with the fact that the blond lesbians totally bonded over cyber-stalking, a shared mentor, and a need to be in control, like, all the time. And what happened when two control freaks spent their day flirting and operating? First, a baby got its brains put back inside its head, which is always a good thing. And second, they made-out. Correction: They lost control completely and slept together in the on-call room! Poor Callie. For the second time now, her spouse has cheated on her. All I know is that I would not want to be Lauren when Callie finds out. Also, is Lauren the new Sloan? Jackson mentioned how she made him feel like he could do anything, a trait that he last saw in Sloan. And now she’s coming between Callie and Arizona with her flirtaciousness and sexual vibes. As much as I’d prefer to see Mark with his shirt off, I have to admit that Lauren’s hot.
However, Lauren can’t officially become the new Mark until she befriends Derek, who spent the episode teaching Brooks not to say things like “grody” — and really not to be weird in general — and trying to save the lives of both Chest Peckwell and Ethan’s father. Or rather, he was trying to wake Ethan’s father up after Cristina found a new clot in his brain. Yes, I said Ethan. Because the kid is still around. Or at least he was.
After Owen asked Meredith about adoption and confessed that he really wanted Ethan, we learned that Derek’s surgery had been a success (and also that Brooks was a neuro rockstar). Owen wasn’t going to get a brand new 10 year-old after all, and his response was not everything Cristina was hoping it would be. The chief of surgery very abruptly told Cristina to transfer Ethan and his real father to Seattle Presbyterian, which prompted Meredith to tell Cristina all about Owen’s confessions. I’m not liking the way this is looking. Do we really think that Ethan’s dad is going to make it? If not, will Owen file adoption papers?
But even though Owen wasn’t getting a new kid — at least not right now — it seemed like Meredith and Derek might get a healthy baby boy after all … might. When Owen kicked Meredith out of the potentially explosive OR, she was left to deal with Alex and Jo. And after telling Jo that she “liked” her but that she “loved” Alex, she took a bit of a tumble on the stairs thanks to her “Jersey cow”-esque center of gravity. But don’t freak out! She went to OB to be checked out, and nothing appeared to be wrong with the baby. The only unusual thing that the situation ended up prompting was Derek saying four words he’d never said before: “Put your pants on.”
NEXT: Richard rips off the band-aid
And in honor of people wearing pants in this episode, Richard finally figured out how to deal with his work-wife drama. After Bailey refused to help Hunt in the exploding OR, Richard decided to rip off the band-aid. Bailey’s work-husband informed her that he was her boss and that the hospital was not in need of any more file clerks, so she could “Either be a surgeon or get the hell out because we don’t need you.” It seemed harsh, but Richard and Bailey have been work-married for a long time, guys. And clearly he has paid attention, because Bailey headed straight to the OR board to put her name back in the mix.
One person who wasn’t back in the mix was Alex, who, after witnessing Matthew’s proposal to April, couldn’t help but contemplate his love life. Somehow, April found the male version of herself and yet “I get crazy, cancer, and psychopathic maniac.” Luckily, Alex had his dark-and-twisty friend next to him to convince him not to walk away. The way Meredith put it was downright poetic: “Maybe Jo’s crazy fits your crazy.” Besides, what was Alex planning to do to Jason when he first showed up at his house? Well played, Mer. Well played. But Mer wasn’t the only one who had tricks up her sleeve. When Jason woke up and started asking for the police, Alex was quick not to blackmail him… but rather threaten him. Alex name-dropped some of his friends, who just so happened to own the hospital (The Grey-Sloan 7!), and then he told Jason a little bit about how this was all going to look for him. Basically, if people hear his story, all they’re going to hear is that he hit a girl. He didn’t take the punches. He didn’t walk away. He hit back. And now he’s “a guy who hits girls.” The story, at least for now, seemed to work. But Derek, who overheard the threat, wasn’t convinced that Alex should feel “good” about anything.
As the storm picked up outside — Surprise! The weathermen were wrong, and the storm is early! — Alex went home to confront Jo. And when he confessed that he didn’t think she was horrible, she asked why he would have gone to Jason’s for her. “Why wouldn’t I?” might be the sweetest three words Alex Karev ever muttered. But the moment was short-lived when a tree came through the living room. I know what you’re thinking: Both Alex and Jo were fine. And as Meredith’s voiceover reminded us, “The bad things come suddenly with no warning, but we forget that sometimes, that’s how the good things come too.” And what was good about the doctors setting up cots to stay at the hospital through the storm? How about the fact that Meredith’s water broke?! Hopefully, we will soon be welcoming a beautiful baby boy (with amazing hair) into the — literally — dark-and-twisty world of Seattle.
So the storm came three days early, and Meredith’s baby is coming three weeks early. Is there a third something coming our way? And what is happening to all of our favorite couples? Are Jackson and April done? What about Cristina and Owen? And will Callie and Arizona recover from infidelity? What’s going to happen with Meredith giving birth once the hospital loses power? And will Jo and Alex just make out already?!
Samantha on Twitter: @samhighfill
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