Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) finally returns to work on Thursday's episode of Grey's Anatomy, but her colleagues at Grey Sloan have more interesting things on their mind - namely, new interns! And, wouldn't you know it? One of Meredith's first cases back on the job involves a bloody body stuck in a car crash. Oh boy.
Let's review this episode:
Remember, it's about a year later after the multiple time jumps in last week's installment. So, Meredith is looking into selling Derek's dream house (sad!). And the new group of first-year residents (chicks and ducks!) are getting their annual lecture from Webber (James Pickens Jr.). Also, the fact that Stephanie (Jerrika Hinton) is now capable of being in charge of interns reminds us that we've really had a significant time jump. (However, a winking nod to the pilot via an alternate version of that Rilo Kiley song is a nice touch here.)
Outside the hospital, it's Richard and Catherine's (Debbie Allen) wedding day (!), and Jackson (Jesse Williams) is serving as his mother's maid of honor (!!). But there's apparently trouble in paradise with Jackson and April (Sarah Drew), whose experience in the combat zone has really had an effect on her. Soon, we'll see just how much, because ...
Tragedy strikes: A tunnel collapsed on a major road during rush hour, and most of the initial patients who are brought to Grey Sloan don't even stand a chance of surviving. So Maggie (Kelly McCreary), Amelia (Caterina Scorsone), April and Meredith are sent to the scene. And April 2.0 is on full display in this whole sequence, staying calm (and even a bit blasé) in the midst of the insanity.
Needless to say, Richard's wedding has been put on hold while he - and his best man, Bailey (Chandra Wilson) - tend to the crisis. (Honestly, the doctors at Grey Sloan should not even bother getting engaged at this point.) Among the victims: A pregnant crash victim who is brought in by a very attractive man named Andrew, a surgeon who happens to have noticed the accident on his way to work and stopped to help. There's also a badly-injured 17-year-old named Scott whose friends are visiting Seattle.
At the scene, Meredith, Maggie, April and Amelia are tasked with extracting the pregnant woman's baby daddy (they've only known each other nine months and three days) from a very crushed vehicle through which he's impaled - twice. Good thing Meredith hasn't had any recent traumas involving car accidents! And, making matters worse, he confides in Meredith that he's terrified to have a baby with someone he's known for such a short time, but that he really does love her.
And at Grey Sloan, Andrew (who is now going by Dr. DeLuca) has fully scrubbed in and is assisting Arizona (Jessica Capshaw), Callie (Sara Ramirez) and Stephanie with the pregnant patient while Jackson, Owen (Kevin McKidd), Jo (Camilla Luddington) and Alex (Justin Chambers) are working on Scott. They plan to use "suspended animation" on Scott (i.e. freezing him from the inside out want that they can perform a bypass), until Catherine and Jackson object. But Webber steps in and provides the majority vote to go ahead and try the technique. I'm guessing this is going to cause a rift with his fiancée.
We also learn that Owen is stepping down as chief and Webber will likely be interim chief until the board elects a new one - and both Bailey and Arizona have considered throwing their names in the hat.
April decides the impaled dude is pretty much a lost cause, but decides to stay at the scene with the fire chief, who wants to try cutting him out even though it's a huge risk. April takes charge and sends the trio of sort-of-sisters back to the hospital - where the pregnant woman is at risk of paralysis after overhearing two of the new interns speculating (incorrectly) that her baby daddy is a goner. And, as Stephanie rushes in, we learn that Dr. DeLuca is, indeed, too good to be true: He's merely an intern who was on his way to training that morning, and he doesn't know how to do what Stephanie's asking him to do in order to prevent total paralysis in their patient. Sigh.
En route back to Grey Sloan, Meredith is insisting that they were right to leave the man in the car, while Amelia and Maggie wonder if there was something else they could have done. This quickly devolves into a confrontation between Amelia and Meredith over Meredith's (admittedly, inexplicable) decision not to call Amelia before she pulled the plug on Derek. Amelia believes she could have saved her brother's life, but Meredith assures her "it was too late" and there was nothing she could have done. "I didn't get to tell him goodbye because of you," Amelia counters. She has a point.
And they're not the only ones who aren't seeing eye to eye. Even though Owen's hypothermic technique works and Scott survives the surgery, Richard and Catherine have a blow-up argument about how they would run the hospital (causing Richard to realize that he's repeating his same pattern of putting his work above his relationships). Towards the end of the episode, Jackson also confesses to Owen that he and April have been having a tough time since she returned from her combat training. And Jo and Alex get into a tiff because she wants to have an adventure like April's, while Alex finally feels like he has roots somewhere (especially now that Meredith's back) and wants to stay put. Later, Meredith confesses to Alex that she doesn't feel like she's "home" in her and Derek's house, and asks him if she and the kids can come stay with him and Jo for a while. Alex says yes without consulting Jo, which obviously will go over swimmingly.
In an elevator, the pregnant, now-maybe-paralyzed patient begins to regain feeling - and immediately goes into labor. Callie, Arizona and Stephanie help to deliver what looks like a healthy baby, but all the woman can wail about is how her baby daddy should be there too.
Finally, Maggie takes what looks like a disturbing call from her mother, before hanging up to tend to the impaled car crash victim, whom April has brought on a tow truck to the hospital in an attempt to save his life.
To be continued ...
What did you think, Grey's fans? Are you ready for next week's season finale? Will Amelia ever be able to forgive Meredith? Who should be the new chief? And what bad news did Maggie receive? Sound off in the comments!
Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8/7c on ABC.
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