And we're not talking about Derek Shepherd.
Credit: ABC

COVID continues to wreak havoc on Grey Sloan Memorial. The staff is exhausted, overworked, and teetering on the edge of sanity. And even though there are hundreds of coronavirus cases coupled with rising death rates, one particular patient is at the forefront of everyone’s minds. 

Meredith Grey is not bouncing back. In fact, her health is deteriorating. The good news is that DeLuca and Teddy have identified a trial drug that may help Meredith’s case. The unfortunate news is that Richard is unwilling to risk Meredith’s life on a questionable drug allegedly attacking a virus that medical professionals know so little about. 

As Richard and Bailey argue over this treatment's pros and cons, we take a trip with Meredith to Dreamland. We hear her calling to someone standing on a lifeguard stand. Instead of McDreamy gracing us with his phantom presence, we see George O’Malley smiling back. Old fashioned math tells me it’s been 11 years since T.R. Knight left the show. Yet somehow, he hasn’t aged a bit. 

Based on his appearance and Derek’s last week, there’s definitely something in the Grey’s Anatomy water that has magical life-giving powers. 

George and Meredith fall into a friendly rhythm. George praises Meredith for raising incredible children before confessing he “checks in” sometimes. Meredith recalls being devastated by George’s death, but she eventually moved on. Some grief is heavier than others. People either push through it, or they get stuck. 

Or they take advice from Schmidt, who chooses to follow the Dutch. He’s learned that medical professionals in the Netherlands suggest people designate a sex partner during war times. And Schmidt is happy to appoint Nico. 

Not to be left out of the fun, Jo chooses Avery. Before the tryst, she labels the night of beer and pizza as a “friendship reboot,” but it quickly transitions into sex on the couch. Since Avery just got out of a relationship with Vick (and Maggie and April), he’s not ready for anything serious. Luckily, Jo is looking for a distraction from a broken marriage and a world she does not recognize. It’s a win/win for both parties, in her opinion. Do I approve? The union seems forced, but as Schmidt says, these are war times. I’ll allow it. 

Another way to handle grief is by letting off some steam in slow, bitter outbursts. Amelia prefers not to be dismissed by Link’s bright side. She would rather wallow in her fear and anger. Link wisely sits with her as she feels all her feels. When she calms down, she encourages Link to let his freak flag fly. But the country crooner would rather pick his guitar. He likes living in the silver lining because he has lived in darkness before, and it nearly killed him. Link looks Amelia in the eyes and tells her that he's not her guy if she wants a partner in misery.

Koracick, on the other hand, would be the perfect person to commiserate with Amelia. He’s been banned from the hospital due to multiple positive COVID tests. And even though he puts on a cocky front, pretending to hate the world, we later learn that Tom is extremely sick and will most definitely be hospitalized in next week’s episode. 

This will be problematic for Owen, who’s had a tough day at the office. Resident Mabel Tseng is disappointed that a former patient of Dr. Hunt’s returned to the ER after Owen misdiagnosed his diverticulitis as appendicitis. She wants to confront Dr. Hunt, reminding him that diverticulitis is more prominent in the Asian population. Nico, who assists on the case, ends up harshly breaking the news, forcing Owen to ask himself if he’s a racist. 

When he can’t decide, he goes where everyone goes to get answers. He visits Bailey, who tells him he needs to address all his cases to the best of his ability. In some instances, that means to consider if he’s using a white lens. If he needs to change protocol, then so be it. Read, learn, and continue to make a difference. 

Speaking of making a difference, DeLuca channels his grief over Meredith’s withering condition into a stern conversation with Richard. He has a choice. Richard can either do nothing or do something. DeLuca implores him to DO SOMETHING. 

Cut to Richard sitting beside George and Meredith near the water. She can hear Richard stressing out over the consent forms for the clinical trial. George weighs in, reminding Meredith that if she stays, it might break Richard. Meredith mutters, “I know, George.”

Richard hears this in real life and rushes to find DeLuca. I can only assume that he didn't like the sound of Meredith speaking to a good friend who passed away. He instructs LeLuca to make the call. 

Meredith and George sit beside each other as the sun sets over the water. She tells him that she was so angry that he left her once upon a time. He died for someone other than himself! George is quick to point out that Meredith is doing the same thing. That’s why she’s here!

Meredith giggles and blames George for her current position in life. George’s ability to go all-in for everyone, including a woman at a bus stop, completely changed her life. 

Is it just me, or does this feel like an extended Meredith Grey goodbye? Is Ellen Pompeo leaving the franchise? Will we get to see Lexie and Ellis in upcoming episodes? Could I put in a request for Denny Duquette?

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