By Lincee Ray
March 26, 2020 at 11:34 PM EDT

I find great comfort in knowing that doctors travel around to go to surgical conventions. I believe it's a segment of people who need to keep their skills sharp. A bunch of extremely smart individuals milling around a fancy Los Angeles hotel gathered together to learn about the latest, greatest technology seems like a good idea.

I did not expect to learn that the LA Surgical Convention is just like the traveling Olympic athlete’s village or dormitories. During the day, these highly trained medical professionals educate themselves to further the future of medicine. By night, they revert to their college days and party like there’s no tomorrow.

What I’m trying to say is that this convention is a breeding ground for hookups. And what better way to start this string of trysts than with Catherine Fox knocking at Richard’s door. Finally!

Credit: Tony Rivetti/ABC

Catherine has come into town to both support Richard’s upcoming seminar on his PATH pen, as well as apologize for her tacky behavior. They even share a laugh at the thought of a wife buying an entire hospital to get back at her husband for an affair that never happened. Does this seem like a quick fix? Yes. Do we care? Nope.

Richard gathers Catherine in a warm embrace and we see them fall onto the bed. Let the record show, Richard’s got game.

Back downstairs, Teddy patiently waits with Maggie for the Heart Valve Happy Hour to begin. Maggie spies a beautiful man up on a balcony and nearly chokes on the whimsical crazy straw resting in her festive fruity beverage. His name is Winston and Maggie worked with him at Tufts.

Teddy instructs Maggie to “get her some” and then smiles as Winston saunters up to humbly admit to Maggie after all these years that he had a crush on her ever since his first day of residency. Of course, she was his chief and he couldn’t ask her out. And then she went and moved away to dumb old Seattle.

But there she stands, without a wedding ring on a very important finger, and Winston is determined to buy this woman a drink. Maggie gives him a come hither look and the next thing we see is Winston doing a lot more than buying a drink. Maggie’s got game, too.

Once they untangle, Winston and Maggie share as much as they can about each other for the rest of the night. Their tastes and backgrounds are so similar that it seems unreal. Both are falling hard and, dare I say, bonding with one another. Everything clicks.

What doesn’t click is Cormac’s attitude toward this “sleep-away camp” for doctors. He is angry and a flashback explains his behavior.

Cormac met his deceased wife Amelia at one of these conventions. We see a meet-cute over a ballpoint pen advertising erectile dysfunction medication. AND CORMAC HAS HAIR! Truth talk: I prefer the bald head.

Moments later we see Amelia in the hospital, about to go in for a routine hysterectomy. She jokingly tells Cormac that if she dies on the table, he is free to move on. And with his widower/surgeon/single dad/adorable accent on his dating resume, his game will sell itself.

Sadly, the bright and shiny hospital room morphs into a grey and depressing one. Amelia is in the bed, sick with cancer. Once again, she gives Cormac advice on how to care for their two boys and the importance of letting them know it’s okay to grieve and cry about her pending death. Then she gives him permission to love again. He’s still a hot surgeon with a killer accent. The ladies will love it and he won’t have to work for it one bit.

Amelia passes away and the scene returns to the current timeline. A salesman hits up Cormac and Teddy to invest in his company’s hysterectomy device. Cormac goes off on the guy. This instrument is the same one that didn’t detect his wife’s cancer. A tumor that could have been removed was pummeled and cancer cells spread throughout her entire body. AND SHE DIED.

Teddy heads to the bar to let Cormac settle down in private. There she sees a woman named Claire and hugs her intimately. They briefly catch up. Claire asks Teddy, “Do you miss her?”

We melt into another flashback. This time, we see Teddy and Claire staring at the television, watching as the Twin Towers fall on 9/11. Then we get a flashback, within a flashback.

Claire is with a woman named Allison. They live in a small New York apartment with Teddy. Claire is paged to go into the hospital. She kisses Allison goodbye and heads out the door. Allison turns and sidles up next to Teddy. Those two start doing the same thing Winston and Maggie were (and probably still are at this point) doing. The relational dynamics are fuzzy until we hear Allison confess to Teddy that she is telling Claire about them the next day.

Present-day Teddy abruptly states, “I have a baby!” Claire asks to see a picture, gushes over the baby’s chubby cheeks, and asks her name. That name would be Allison. This is where the can opens and the worms spill out everywhere.

Claire gives Teddy permission to come clean. It’s almost been 20 years. She can admit that she loved Allison. Teddy looks like she’s going to hurl. How long did Claire know?

It seems Claire suspected for months, but the day she learned the truth was when she received Allison’s phone records from September of 2001. As the Twin Towers fell around Allison, the last person she tried to call was Teddy. That’s the day Claire found out that even though Allison was the love of her life, it didn’t mean the feeling was reciprocated. Claire pats Teddy’s hand and leaves her to cry tears in her wine glass.

Or was that me?

The next morning, Teddy seeks out Claire and offers an apology for being a bad friend and lying all those years. And if she’s learned anything in the past two decades, it’s that you can love two people. Teddy believes Allison loved them both as much as they loved her. Hugs all around.

We also see Richard working diligently on his PATH pen speech in his room. Catherine offers suggestions and helps him through a breaking discovery. He rushes over to his yellow legal pad and furiously writes down his thoughts. He turns to get Catherine’s take and she’s gone. There’s only a haunting echo of her voice.

Richard continues to have a full-blown conversation with no one. I did not see that coming. So help me if they kick Richard to the curb. The Karev thing is too fresh!

The scene switches to a roomful of doctors at Grey Sloan, including the real Catherine. Jackson logs into the televised simulcast of the seminar and everyone settles in to watch Richard crush it. In his intro, Richard gives credit to his brilliant wife who helped him, this very morning, figure out the cure to cancer. Dozens of eyeballs stare at Catherine. She concludes that Richard must be drunk.

Several minutes pass with Richard displaying adolescent drawings on the screen. His behavior is erratic. Maggie can tell something is majorly wrong. She and Cormac slowly descend the steps and escort her father off camera. The last thing we hear is Maggie shouting to a gaggle of doctors for someone to call 9-1-1.

Her father is having a stroke.

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