And Schmidt returns to the hospital… sort of.

I've been watching this drama for 18 seasons, so you'd think I'd be an expert on all things Grey's Anatomy. When Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) is given the opportunity to start a new life in Minnesota, I scoff at the idea that showrunners would take the Grey out of Grey Sloan Memorial. What a preposterous notion. But what do I know?

I was surprised in the final moments of tonight's episode, "Put It to the Test," when Meredith declares that she is going to take the offer to start over. It only took Bailey (Chandra Wilson) experiencing a mild heart episode and Meredith's attractive boyfriend holding a bag of urine to solidify her choice. 

It all unfolded on one of the busiest, nerve-inducing days at the hospital. Three huge events are occurring at the exact same time. First, the Medical Accreditation Council visits Grey Sloan Memorial to potentially shut down the residency program. Second, David Hamilton (Peter Gallagher) and Kai (E.R. Fightmaster) assess Richard (James Pickens Jr.) to see if he's still got it. And Nick (Scott Speedman) is performing a groundbreaking surgery that could change the field of transplants. 

Bailey has her work cut out for her. Even though she tries her best to prepare her doctors and residents, none seem to portray themselves in a totally positive light. The council wonders, did Maggie (Kelly McCreary) date Winston (Anthony Hill) when he was her student? Does Meredith ever spend time at Grey Sloan anymore? Why has a selection of Owen's (Kevin McKidd) military patients died in recent months? Did Jo (Camilla Luddington) really just tell the council that her husband left and she had a nervous breakdown? 

At least guest surgeon Nick is there to rally the troops with an interesting case. A man named Mason was hit by a car, declared brain dead, and has donated his body to science. While Mason is still alive, Nick has been given permission by his wife to remove Mason's kidney and replace it with one from a pig. It's not as gross as it sounds.

Or maybe it is. Let's move on to Richard and his decision to invite Hamilton to perform his assessment. Richard feels he needs someone who essentially dislikes him to manage the tests. He doesn't want a biased opinion. His presence in Seattle is also an excellent way for Richard to figure out that Hamilton is trying to poach Meredith. That cat is officially out of the bag, and trickles its way to the ears of Bailey and Maggie. The hospital is buzzing with activity.

Meanwhile, Schmidt (Jake Borelli) argues with his mother over recent tweets she's been posting regarding Grey Sloan Memorial's resident challenges. In a hasty escape from the basement, Ms. Schmidt trips on a step and tumbles backward. Her son calls 9-1-1, but is forced to perform minor surgery on his mother right there on the floor. 

Schmidt's nerves get the best of him. In a moment of trepidation, he calls only one person to help him through the darkness as he waits for the ambulance. Richard immediately leaves his assessment and walks Schmidt through each step, encouraging him along the way. As he speaks, he puts everything in motion for Grey Sloan to receive Ms. Schmidt once she arrives. 

Back at the hospital, Nick comforts Mason's wife and bemoans the fact that Mason isn't producing enough urine for this to be considered a success. Meredith comforts him just as Bailey walks in, disappointed by Meredith's decision to move to Minnesota. She begins to rattle off tidbits of frustration, including the fact that Meredith is still the little girl who followed around the handsome attending at the hospital, even though he was both her boss and married. Meredith is just about to come unglued, knowing that she hasn't even decided on the job yet. That's when Bailey holds her heart and starts to faint. 

While Maggie is off checking Bailey, Meredith loses a bit of her calm. Nick joins in. He knows Meredith is now rethinking Minnesota since the news of her potentially leaving may have caused Bailey to have a heart attack. (She doesn't, but the way. It was a panic attack.) To make matters worse for Meredith, Nick chooses this time to inquire about the bit where Meredith dated a married man?

Yeah. His name was Derek, and he was wonderful. 

Speaking of wonderful, as his mom is being rushed into the trauma room, Richard comforts Schmidt in the ambulance bay. Then, viewers are treated to some adorable flashbacks of Baby Bailey, Baby Richard, and Baby Meredith as we hear both Richard and Schmidt speak on the beauty of the Grey Sloan residency program. Richard is thankful for his opportunity to teach and nurture. Likewise, Schmidt is grateful for Richard not giving up on him. 

Naturally, the council finds Richard's testimony moving. The icing on the cake is that he passed his assessment with flying colors. And Ms. Schmidt is going to be okay. Hooray! 

Unfortunately, that's not enough to save the program. The representative feels Grey Sloan is doing a fantastic job with their residents. There's just one problem. They don't have enough physicians to maintain an effective program. 

Touché. McIrish moved back to Ireland. DeLuca died. Avery left. Tom Koracick followed him. 

And then there's Meredith. As her beau holds a bag of urine, beaming from ear to ear, Meredith escorts Mason's weeping wife into the OR. She looks at Nick and tells him she's ready to start over. There's no need to be working in the same hospital where she was a resident. There's too much history. It's time to move on. It's time to go to Minnesota and make a new life for herself. 

Again, what do I know?

Sign up for Entertainment Weekly's free daily newsletter to get breaking TV news, exclusive first looks, recaps, reviews, interviews with your favorite stars, and more.

Related content:

Episode Recaps

Grey's Anatomy

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

  • TV Show
  • 19
stream service