Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) is a smart cookie. A Harper Avery-winning surgeon who's somehow managed to maintain her status as a research goddess while raising three kids and making a home for both of her sisters. And yet, she couldn't see this coming. When it comes to compliments about her mother, the late, great Ellis Grey, well, those blinders go right up on "Mer Mer."
Let's walk through where it all went wrong for her on Grey's Anatomy.
Turns out, Dr. Cerrone is dead, and only his daughter can sell Mer and Jo (Camilla Luddington) the patent they need to complete their research project and produce all these life-saving mini-livers. The good news — or, at least, what seems like good news — is that Meredith has an unknown history with Marie Cerrone. In fact, once upon a time she used to call her Auntie Marie and celebrate her birthday with rooms full of balloons from her mom's BFF. To Meredith, this wonderful woman from her past just up and disappeared, but to hear Marie tell it, she had to move back to Spain to run her dad's company, and now here we are.
She hits her with the feely compliments about how Meredith's mom would be so proud of her and how she's exactly like Ellis was — which, at a time when Mer's channeling all her romantic energy and otherwise into work, it's helpful to get some results — before letting her know that she can't sell her the polymer patent. See, she's currently being courted by a whole bunch of other companies, and what Meredith has at hand is just a dream.
Either she knew or she suspected, but Meredith certainly has more to show for herself than just a power point. In fact, she and Jo have been able to keep a lab rat alive for days past its liver-extracted lifespan thanks to the polymer, and even though she was planning to keep that piece of intel close to the chest, THIS IS AUNTIE MARIE HERE, it's fine. So, she shows this miracle to shame all miracles to Marie and seems to earn her blessing at last. But as soon as Marie tells her she needs some more time to rest up before she can sign anything, it's pretty clear she's scheming. Somehow, Grey doesn't get wind of the treachery afoot and hugs her goodbye like the gentle, doting aunt she still sees her as. Unfortunately, though, Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.) remembers the fuller story about how Marie hated her mom after the two had some very sour beef back when Meredith was still a tot.
So, now, this woman has the exclusive rights to the polymer, a run-through of Meredith's entire procedure, proof that it all works, and meetings with some supposedly deep pockets that are very interested in all of the above. Meanwhile, all Grey can do is rifle through her mother's old journals and look for Marie's name. Yow, this is bad.
But she's not the only sister who gets majorly mistreated tonight. Maggie Pierce (Kelly McCreary) has been feeling just fine about the relationship she's been developing ("no labels yet") with Clive — even if the walls are too thin for her sisteroomates to appreciate it — and it doesn't even irk her to see Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams) getting super cozy with his new girlfriend Priya. Sure, it might give April Kepner (Sarah Drew) even more reason to hit the bottle and verbally rage out over all the rules and whatnot, but Maggie's fine with it.
The two couples, plus April and Dr. Koracick, end up at Grey HQ to play some games for what's supposed to be a "sister panel" analysis of Maggie's new beau (no sisters in sight, natch), but things take a terrible turn when Clive's wife shows up to claim him after tracking his phone. Turns out, all that great sex Maggie's been having has been with a married man. It's the Meredith-Derek-Addison gobsmackery all over again, and Maggie's hurt, embarrassed, and just plain livid.
The arrival brings game night to an abrupt close, of course, so Maggie's left to drown her sorrows in a bottle of red before she gets a knock at the door from Avery. Turns out, he's just been waiting to make his move all this time, and now that Clive's out of the picture, well, kissy time can commence (don't worry, he let Priya down gently). This has obviously been building for so long, but hilariously, the situation is marred both by Meredith's burst-through to find her mother's old journals and April's earlier comment that their parents will be so thrilled!
Jackson promises to take Maggie on a proper date and do this thing the right way, so brace yourselves for much swoon to come, Jaggie/Mackson fans! (The side eye from April should be pretty epic all the while as well, for what it's worth.)
Also earning some head-tilt-aw action are:
-Andrew DeLuca and Sam, who've finally decided to declare themselves to one another (FINALLY);
-Karina DeLuca and Arizona Robbins, who are fully in that place and still getting business done on their maternal mortality study;
-Amelia Shepherd and Owen Hunt who, again, have figured out that they're hot for each other and have mad respect for each other's passions and talents. Right now, they might be trying to keep it casual with some naughty bedroom behavior, but when has that ever worked out on this show before?
To be fair, we probably should've known this would be a racy episode since it did start out on an elevator.
Grey's Anatomy airs Thursday nights at 8/7c on ABC.