What's the "normal" way to grieve? The answer, of course, is there really isn't one... and the ladies of Grey's Anatomy are learning that lesson together.
Thursday's episode picks up presumably a week or so after the death of Maggie's (Kelly McCreary) mother, on her first day back on the job at Grey Sloan. That morning, Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) and Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) accompany Maggie to the cemetery to put flowers on her mother's grave, marveling at the fact that Maggie does grieve "properly," as compared to their methods of popping Oxycodone like M&Ms, in Amelia's case, or disappearing to have a "secret baby" like Meredith.
For Maggie, the chosen way to grieve is to throw herself into work and the case of the day is fetal heart surgery for a couple who are friends of Owen's (Kevin McKidd) and Amelia's. Everyone's a little wary of putting Maggie on such a high-risk case, but she insists she can do it.
Everything's going swimmingly until the machines start beeping and Maggie freezes. Everyone around her and in the observation deck starts to panic, but Maggie calmly says she needs to give the heart some time to adjust after its loss (~symbolic~) and it works! But poor Owen realizes things might really be over for him and Amelia when she refuses to go see the couple and explains "they're your friends."
Meanwhile, Edwards' (Jerrika Hinton) patient is Cross (Joe Adler), who's complaining of stomach pains. An irritated Stephanie initially thinks he's being a hypochondriac and is reluctant to spend time and money on treating him. But a scan shows he has diverticulitis and Edwards and DeLuca (Giacomo Gianniotti) have to operate.
Once they get in there, they discover that Cross has abdominal tuberculosis, which he caught when he was in India for a month volunteering (and no one noticed he was gone). Stephanie and DeLuca freak out and leave April (Sarah Drew) to finish the surgery, and Stephanie later feels extremely guilty for dismissing his concerns.
The protocol for TB exposure is quarantine, which Webber (James Pickens Jr.) reminds Bailey (Chandra Wilson) of when forgets, giving Webber an opportunity to reiterate his earlier statement that he's gotten to a "water under the bridge" place with Minnick but still wants Bailey to admit she was wrong. She agrees to do so, but only if they can go out to dinner to hash out their issues and if Webber promises to move back in with Catherine.
Elsewhere in Grey Sloan, a new friendship is blossoming between Riggs (Martin Henderson) and Arizona (Jessica Capshaw), after Riggs observes Arizona and Minnick (Marika Dominczyk) "carpooling" to work. When Arizona clarifies that they weren't carpooling, Riggs is all like "no judgment" and says he believes people should keep their opinions to themselves. He and Arizona confide in each other about how they both recently unexpectedly found romance. (Of course, Arizona doesn't know he's talking about Meredith.)
Speaking of Meredith and Riggs, Meredith tells Alex (Justin Chambers) that since Maggie seems to be OK, she feels like she can finally have dinner with Riggs and not feel guilty about it. She agrees to meet Riggs for a drink but refuses to call it a date. Rather, it's a trial to see if they get along and if they do, she'll tell Maggie.
Or maybe not. When Jackson (Jesse Williams) tracks Maggie down to congratulate her on the successful surgery, she admits that she's not "doing well," but can still perform her job duties — unlike Jackson, when it came to helping her mother. Yikes. Hopefully Grey Sloan has good burn unit where Jackson can go for treatment after that one!
Later, Riggs tells Arizona he has a date that night but won't tell her who it's with. She guesses that it's Meredith though after running through the names of literally every female staffer and his face twitches at her saying "Grey." But then Arizona goes into major buzzkill mode, telling Riggs that she's shocked Meredith would date anyone after Derek because they were so great together and "he was perfect." Riggs looks crestfallen.
And that's only the start of the evening going downhill. At her house, Meredith is all set to leave to meet Riggs, with Amelia complimenting her date-worthy outfit, but when she opens the door, Maggie is on her doorstep, crying. "I want my mom. I don't know what to do now," she sobs. It's heartbreaking. As Amelia and Meredith comfort her, Riggs shows up and Meredith tells him she can't go out with him tonight, then gets annoyed when she hears him mutter "come on" as she closes the door.
The three gals have a good old-fashioned "dance it out" party, a la vintage Grey's, and then Jackson comes over with Diane's medical records to show Maggie that her mom knew she was sick long before she came to him, as well as a bunch of photos she asked him to give to Maggie. It seems like this is as good a way as any for Maggie to start the healing process.
Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8/7c on ABC.