Until it doesn't.

After being mostly asleep for eight days, Meredith is awake. And the people in her life are delighted that she appears to be beating the virus. Unfortunately, there’s no time for a proper celebration. Seattle Presbyterian has reached capacity and is sending their patients to Grey Sloan Memorial. 

Three of these patients arrive in ambulances, straight from Station 19, courtesy of yet another crossover event. After posing as an influencer on social media, two young African American girls were kidnapped and left in the basement of some guy's house. The girls started a fire with the hope that firefighters would come to save them. And they did. 

One of the girls' mother was arrested on the scene due to an altercation with the police. Avery calls BS, fixes the girl’s burned arm, then leaves the room to “make a few calls.” Read: he calls his lawyer and asks him to pay for the woman to get out of jail. 

Suddenly Owen instructs someone to move the girls upstairs since the kidnapper is coming in right behind them. The man is handcuffed to his bed. Given that he’s most definitely going to jail, Owen treats the man for smoke inhalation while telling him exactly what he thinks. I believe “get used to the smell of burning flesh” was my favorite insult, eluding that the kidnapper will one day find himself in the fiery pits of hell. Burn. 

Owen didn’t expect the guy to have a stroke right now, but he took an oath to save all lives. He whisks him up to get a CT scan, and Amelia, who also took an oath, scrubs in to fix the man’s brain so he can live a long life. In prison. 

A woman lurks in the ER and shares a bogus story with Schmidt that she was mugged. Her shifty eyes immediately give her away as someone who is up to no good. Is she a bad person? Yes. Did I realize she was the woman from last season who was sex trafficking the girl that eventually led to DeLuca’s breakdown? No. I did not.

Evidently, she knows the kidnapper and is relaying information to another person on the phone. Her anxiety is alleviated when she learns he had a stroke. She leaves the hospital, and DeLuca spots her. He and his sister decide to follow her, and we have no idea what happens because winter finales are annoying. 

Do you know what else is annoying? The storyline between Teddy and whichever guy she loves that week. Even Richard is fed up with her sorry attitude. When she yells at Helm for setting up the beds in the cafeteria incorrectly, Richard tells Teddy to take inventory and claim her demons. Her screwed up life is on her. Own it. 

Teddy does own it, and it blows up in her face. She tells Owen that Allison was a woman she once loved, and other than Tom, she’s the only secret she’s ever kept from Owen. That fails miserably. Owen tells her he's never really known her and is irate that they named their daughter from a lie. 

Teddy tells Owen she loves him, but he’s out. Does that mean she’ll go back to Tom? It’s hard to tell. After witnessing a man die from COVID in the bed next to him (sidebar: could Maggie not pull the curtain?), Tom is shaken. He goes rogue and presumably bribes someone to wheel him to Meredith’s room so they can commiserate over how “the best two surgeons in the hospital” are the ones who contracted “the plague.” Their interaction was so fun and classic Tom. 

It was a breath of fresh air to see two people having a good time on Grey’s Anatomy. Everyone else is still exhausted in the trenches. And even though I long for happier times and secretly wish all of the episodes didn’t revolve around COVID, this is obviously the point the showrunners are trying to make. We forget what our front line medical professionals are going through on a daily basis. FOR TEN MONTHS. They are still fighting to save lives, and the rising death count still disheartens them. 

We need to see Bailey grieve over her mother’s death. Of course, DeLuca will encourage her and praise her talents before gently demanding she go away. It’s natural for Richard to feel the weight, not only of his patients but of his staff. Burnout is real. Just ask Jo. 

And then there’s Maggie, who reaches her own breaking point. She shouts at Amelia, understanding that the coronavirus is a big deal, but equally passionate about wondering who is fighting for those Black girls who were kidnapped? Why is it that they are disposable and rarely seen as victims? Why are they ignored? And why isn’t anyone infuriated by the fact that this plague is killing Black people at a higher rate? We should be outraged. 

How does Maggie carry it all? It’s because she gave an oath. Just like Meredith, who hears a patient coding across the hall. She unhooks herself from all the wires, hobbles over, begins compressions, and works to save the woman’s life because the code team can’t get there in time. Then she passes out in Helm’s arms. 

Teddy breaks the bad news to Amelia, Bailey, and Richard. Meredith’s stats, which were perfectly fine hours before, are now plummeting. Teddy offers that the experimental drug Meredith was taking may help symptoms, but it can’t heal the damage that has already been done. According to Teddy, Meredith has been on a COVID high, and her lungs are at a breaking point. 

We see Meredith drift in and out of her beachfront dream world. Richard decides to put Meredith on a vent, even though she didn’t want to be hooked up to one. She preferred those be saved for other patients. Even so, it’s not looking good.

If Meredith Grey dies, will the show go on? You never can tell with these writers. Do we have another Derek Shepherd-type death on our hands? Who knows? We’ll have to wait for the Spring premiere to find out. Here’s hoping Grey Sloan gets the vaccine. STAT. 

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

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