Grey's Anatomy recap: Did Meredith just cure Parkinson's disease?!
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How will you leave your mark? That's the question Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) asks the viewer as we watch her hike through a neighborhood, mentally preparing for the super-secret, groundbreaking, VIP surgery that will take place later in the day. Big things are happening at Grey Sloan Memorial, and lives will change as a result.
As you know, Meredith, Amelia (Caterina Scorsone), and Dr. Kai (E.R. Fightmaster) are on the brink of curing Parkinson's disease. All the pieces are in place, including a willing patient who has graciously turned his brain over to science. Dr. David Hamilton (Peter Gallagher) has overcome infection, arrogance, and dishonesty, and is ready to document his experience with a voice recorder and a small camera crew.
Hey, if he's going down in history as the first person to be cured of Parkinson's, then he will certainly celebrate with a six-figure book deal. Let's do this! (Secretly and as quietly as possible, of course.)
Dr. Hamilton isn't the only one with a future hanging in the balance. Bailey (Chandra Wilson) has just been asked to run clinical training for aerospace medicine at NASA. Although the tiny woman geeks out at the idea of practicing medicine to infinity and beyond, she can't accept the position at this point in her career. Her groupie Jordan begs to differ. He thinks Bailey should reach for those stars. Then he spends the entire episode unabashedly flirting with the chief. I'm sure Bailey would have noticed it sooner had Tom Koracick (Greg Germann) not chastised her for a sorry crop of moody residents.
What's that? Why is Tom Koracick back on the scene again? I'm glad you asked. He's on Meredith's super-secret surgery team. This news makes smoke come out of Bailey's ears, so Meredith decides to remove the "super-secret" part of this surgery and sticks with the "groundbreaking" description. Since this is a teaching hospital, she invites everyone to watch the entire procedure.
Schmidt (Jake Borelli) is not one of those people, unfortunately. He's still at odds with himself for accidentally killing his patient. Even Webber (James Pickens Jr.) can't talk him out of his doldrums. Schmidt claims the apocalyptic video game he's obsessed with helps him cope. It doesn't matter that he keeps dying in the game. The point is that if he fails, he can try again and take a completely different path.
Webber is encouraged by the metaphor. He likens this to medicine. Schmidt has the foundational knowledge and skills. The possibilities are endless! Why doesn't Schmidt return to work, and he and Webber can figure out their next moves together?
Schmidt would rather stay in his mother's basement. He's done. He's "bled out," if you will. There's nothing left to save. And Schmidt has no desire ever to return. Even for the groundbreaking surgery happening as they speak.
Do you know who else isn't around for that surgery? Owen (Kevin McKidd). Link's (Chris Carmack) had enough of his attitude and demands he starts physical therapy — or else. Link runs Owen through his exercises, casually digging around for information on how Owen and Teddy (Kim Raver) went from friends to lovers.
Ironically, Jo (Camilla Luddington) and Teddy are having the exact same conversation, but with copious amounts of alcohol. I don't need to tell you that their exchange was way more entertaining and full of colorful descriptions. That's one of the perks of day drinking.
Meanwhile, back in the operating room, all of our key players speak into Madonna mics, so those in the galley can hear step-by-step instructions on how to drill inside a man's skull while he's still awake before using a robot to inject three different rounds of stem cells into a rather massive hole in Dr. Hamilton's head.
Just as Amelia preps for the first round, a nurse notices a page for Dr. Shepherd. Everyone laughs, wondering who would be silly enough to page Amelia for surgery. The bad news: It's Owen. Something neurological happened during physical therapy. The good news: Amelia is ready to abandon all groundbreaking moments to save her former husband.
Hold on just a second. The world watches as Amelia and Meredith first speak with their eyes and then their voices. Meredith implores Amelia to tighten up and inject that man's brain. Even Kai comes in hard with a sharp word. Finally, Amelia turns to Tom and hands off the figurative baton. He begrudgingly leaves a groundbreaking atmosphere, replaced by a simple, minor brain surgery that's no big deal.
Tom calls Teddy to let her know that Owen is headed into surgery. All goes well, and when Teddy sees Owen afterward, she realizes out loud that Owen has forgiven her for so many things. Including that time she slept with the man who just cut open her husband's head. Owen may not totally be forgiven, but at least Teddy is speaking to him. It's slurred, but it's a start.
As Dr. Hamilton's surgery progresses, we see another storyline unfold in Minnesota. How Dr. Nick Marsh (Scott Speedman) makes olive green scrubs look good is a mystery I will never understand. And the conversation he has with the family of a young man who has just died was incredibly touching. He's at the hospital to retrieve a donated liver, yet he takes the time to learn the man's name was James and that he loved opera.
I found it interesting to juxtapose the pomp and circumstance of potentially curing Parkinson's disease and the bittersweet, yet respectful and seemingly insignificant, organ transplant. Nick insists everyone in the operation room knows James by name and carefully saves another life with a new kidney as an aria plays in the background.
It's all about leaving legacies. So, Meredith ditches her kids again and travels to Minnesota to celebrate with Nick. With that information, along with Kai and Amelia's happy, smiling faces, one can assume that Dr. Hamilton is still with us. Nice!
Of course, Bailey is leaving legacies, too. Especially when Jordan nerds out by comparing Bailey to Star Wars characters. His hype reaches new levels when he leans down (way down) to kiss Bailey right on the lips. Bold move, resident! Let the record show that Bailey is not having it and looks at Jordan like he's the biggest jerk in the world.
And finally, there's Jo, who finds Link taking a shower in her bathroom. Will it be a friendship legacy or what? Sure, Link is standing there in nothing but a towel, but that doesn't mean she should jump his bones.
Okay, she jumps his bones, but that doesn't mean they are together. It's not like she wants him to move out. Or is it?
Please help me make a decision. Do we want Link and Jo together? Or does this feel like we've matched everyone else, and they are the two odd people out? Do we need some new blood at Grey Sloan to mix things up? Perhaps a friendly environmental scientist?
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Meredith. Alex. Bailey. The doctors are definitely in on Shonda Rhimes' hospital melodrama.