Grey's Anatomy recap: Shock and awe
It's serendipitous that this particular episode served as the pseudo season finale of Grey's Anatomy. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the cast and crew were unable to film the last few episodes. "Put On a Happy Face" ended up being the perfect blend of humor, nostalgia, and triumph, with a dash of WHAT JUST HAPPENED?
I may have inadvertently shouted while pointing to my TV.
All our favorite doctors are exactly where we left them last week. Anyone with a pair of scrubs and a pulse is on the hunt to figure out what in the world is wrong with Dr. Richard Webber. All signs point to Alzheimer's, but Meredith and DeLuca aren't convinced.
Catherine couldn't care less. The team has had more than enough time to land on a different diagnosis, and she's taking her husband home. Meredith rushes to try and convince Catherine to give her a little more time. That's when she learns that Richard's feet and fingers are numb.
This is brand-new information. It's something in his nervous system. Bonus: It's definitely not Alzheimer's. Meredith asks Catherine if she can run different tests and Catherine agrees. These involve Tom and Amelia shocking the crap out of Richard's legs to try and figure out where his nerves are breaking down. Fun times.
The neurologists agree that Richard is experiencing some type of degeneration, and they need to get him into an O.R. to figure things out. Tom puts Amelia in charge because he's brooding about the fact that Teddy is getting married THAT NIGHT. Amelia hands the baton back because her water just broke. She's in labor. For real this time.
The best part about this entire exchange is how chill Amelia is with the moment. Meredith is equally unconcerned and calmly offers to call Link to let him know he's about to be a father. Amelia wanders off to find Karina as she apologizes for leaving a mess. Ew. Also, love it.
As Link and Amelia prep for their bundle of joy, Jackson and Cormac work to help a young girl named Dalia find a little happiness of her own. In the form of a smile. She literally can not smile and is counting on the good doctors at Grey Sloan to help that situation.
It's an easy process. All you have to do is grab some nerves and tissue from your leg and put it in your face. There's only one problem: Dalia's dad is freaking out that his little girl is about to go under the knife. He thinks she's beautiful. Jackson talks him off that ledge, and it's off to surgery.
In another O.R., Meredith and Bailey prep Richard to do a biopsy. DeLuca comes busting through the door and demands that they stop. He speaks quickly, rushing to tell them that he was looking at Richard's chart, remembered he had a hip replacement, and just as he's about to explain himself, Bailey demands he step away from the sterile field.
DeLuca responds by swiping his hand over all of the cutting instruments, causing them to fall to the floor. He has a very angry Bailey's attention now. Before she can fire him, he loudly proclaims that he thinks Richard has cobalt poisoning. The tests they've run would not include cobalt in their panels.
A quick glance at Meredith to confirm and blood is drawn. Bailey hands the test tube to DeLuca and barks at him to run it directly to the lab. The chief wants this particular sample to be placed at the beginning of the line.
Lo and behold, DeLuca was right. Metal on metal has caused the cobalt to slowly seep into Richard's system. It's not permanent, but they have to get the cobalt out before it kills him. DeLuca begs to scrub in, and it's back to the O.R.
Bailey rallies the troops. Her first stop is Amelia's room, where she finds Link wincing in pain as his girlfriend squeezes all the bones in his hand with her super-mom strength. Bailey asks Link to join her in the O.R. to replace Richard's hip. She needs the best, and he's the best.
Amelia begs to differ. The baby is coming! She needs Link! He's the father! Any minute now!
Karina laughs. Amelia is dilated 6 centimeters. She has hours before the baby comes. Link is free to go and save the day. Bailey, on the other hand, must stay and be the new Link. It's a bittersweet moment. The Pregnancy Club is back together again. And Bailey is handling herself beautifully in a very emotional situation. She even climbs up into the bed with Amelia (like George did with her!) to help her push. I'm undone.
Eventually, Jackson finds out that Richard has cobalt poisoning while in the middle of his smile surgery. Cormac offers to finish up, which is weird because I don't recall him being a plastic surgeon. Details. He listens as Jo complains about dating and smiling and how Cormac has his own matchmaker. He has no clue what she's talking about.
I barely have a clue what he's talking about. What I really want to know is WHAT IS HAPPENING TO RICHARD?
Maggie also learns about Richard's diagnosis while she's in surgery. Owen and Schmidt's patient is a minor-league baseball player who has a piece of splintered bat lodged in his chest. Don't ask how it happened. It's best not to pull too hard at that string. What you need to know is that Maggie is trying to make sure the wooden pieces don't end up in his heart.
Maggie's cell phone buzzes and she makes Schmidt check it. After awkwardly reading the beginning of a sultry message from "some guy named Winston," Schmidt reports that DeLuca figured out the cobalt poisoning and Link is fixing her father. Maggie is super-emotional, but doesn't leave her post like Jackson did.
Meanwhile, Tom pages Teddy to his office to offer her some advice. He doesn't want her to get married because he loves her and she loves him, and that's that. He offers to be her getaway car driver when she breaks the news to the guy she's about to marry in a matter of hours.
Then Teddy starts kissing him! I blame pheromones. She drops her phone on the floor in a passionate embrace that ends up horizontal on the couch. What is going on?
Back in Richard's O.R., everyone is dressed in hazmat suits digging out green gunk from Richard's hip. It's disgusting. Link nods at DeLuca, grateful that he located the problem. He's not only saving Richard's life, he's saving others too. Then Link runs off to meet his new baby boy.
Maggie gets the all-clear that Richard is out of surgery and doing fine. Since Schmidt is doing such a good job reading texts, Owen asks him to play a voice message Teddy left for him. Use the speaker button, please.
That's when we hear a solid 10 seconds of sexy time. That's also when I yelled and pointed at the TV.
There are multiple moans. Multiple groans. A few shout-outs to a certain deity. Schmidt fumbles with the buttons and finally turns the phone off. Owen laughs, feigning embarrassment. Clearly that was an extra-special message from Teddy on their wedding day.
After they finish with the baseball player, Owen finds an empty closet and listens to the message again. With tears in his eyes, he hears his fiancé say that she is "marrying Owen" and "this was just goodbye." Does he know it's Tom? I'm unsure. And I'm irritated. I'm personally not a fan of the Teddy-Tom dynamic.
We finally get back to Richard's recovery room and everyone (including me) is excited to hear him say Maggie's name. He also knows that he's in Grey Sloan. Praise hands all around!
Catherine comes in, ecstatic that Richard is back to normal. She snuggles up beside him and is dumbfounded when he kicks her out of his room for not standing by him when he was fired and for buying Pac North.
Oh, right! Cobalt-free Richard HATES Catherine. This should be interesting.
Do you know what else is interesting? Cormac asking Meredith to join him for a drink and Meredith turning him down. I guess that's more infuriating than interesting if I think about it. McWidow walks off by himself and Meredith finds DeLuca sitting on the floor. He's clearly unwell. Meredith picks him up and takes him home.
Which is odd, because you'd think she would be going to Owen and Teddy's wedding, right? Wrong. Teddy walks out into her living room, only to find a handful of people taking down decorations. It seems Owen was called into a last-minute surgery. Teddy's face falls. Owen knows.
It looks like she's saying goodbye to both loves of her life today.
Meredith. Alex. Bailey. The doctors are definitely in on Shonda Rhimes' hospital melodrama.