Meredith (Ellen Pompeo)'s love life has taken a backseat throughout this season of Grey's Anatomy, and for good reason: her fling with Riggs wasn't meant to last, as she'll probably never get over Derek, so the best thing she can do is channel her broken heart into mending the bodies of others and enjoy the same kind of acclaim and accomplishment as her mother once did. But this week, her determination to stay semi-chaste is challenged when transplant surgeon Dr. Mars (played by Scott Speedman) comes into the picture.
He's cute, he's charming, and he needs Meredith's expertise. He's at Grey-Sloan Memorial to effectuate an organ transfer himself, since he's also a doctor whose path was chosen by his parents' past — albeit, in very different ways than Mer's. The two connect right away, and not just on a small talk level, either. If anything, their conversations seem to get a little too heavy and serious for comfort in the short time that they're together. He even invites himself to move into her Plan B house with all kinds of chickens and creature comfort (and her kids). Mer might resist the attention at first, but then she seems drawn to his generosity of praise and genuineness. It's honestly a good match, based upon what we see of them.
Nothing gold can stay, though, and once she patches him back up with a clot removal — he gets to keep his own transplanted kidney, thank heavens — they go their separate ways. He lives in Minnesota and loves to fly, and she likes neither of those things. Also, she's not sure she's ready for anything real to happen with her on the romantic front just yet, no matter how many cool stories the guy can tell. It's a non-starter ... for now at least. Don't be surprised if we see that boyish grin again, though.
Meanwhile, Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd) catches the first flight out to Germany to see Teddy Altman (Kim Raver), as expected, and their reunion is hot and heavy and filled with declarations. They takes some trips down memory lane by the fireplace with a nice vintage, they make love a whole lot, and they even trade the "L" word several times and start making plans for how they can possibly make this work. He's half-willing, at least, to pack up his life and move to Germany to be a part of her refugee clinic, if she'll have him.
Just like with Mer and Dr. Mars, though, the honeymoon era comes and goes at rapid speed, and soon enough she finds out that it was Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) who told her he should go after Teddy. Teddy doesn't want to be anyone's sloppy seconds, and she figures out that he'd be carrying on a sexual relationship with Amelia when she came to that stunning conclusion, which was about 24 hours beforehand, so, yeah, there's a definite ick factor involved here, too.
Owen might think he's sincere about wanting to have the ~real thing~ with Teddy this time, but she's already had her heart broken by him a thousand times before, stringing him along only to marry other women again and again. He points out that she, too, fell for someone else during their friendship (RIP Henry) and accuses her of being scared of having true love even with her late husband, since he was half-dead when she met him. At that accusation, though, the constructiveness of the talk is through. She kicks him out into the snow, once and for all, and not only has their chance at romance come to an end, but so has this "best friend"ship they've been carrying on for so long.
Now what? Does he run back to Amelia? Does he move in with Megan and Riggs? Does he try out for the fire squad like Ben Warren? It's hard to see where Owen goes from here, since he's not vying for some special research honor like the rest of the docs, his whole bed-hopping routine has just been brutally laid bare by Teddy, and he has almost no ambition or aim.
Speaking of Kepner (Sarah Drew), her big battle with God reaches a stalemate this week once she's introduced to a man whose entire body is literally falling apart, thanks to Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson)'s regrettable choice to prescribe antibiotics instead of performing surgery for something very minor. At first, she's angry — angry at Bailey for her treatment plan, angry at the patient for constantly confusing her with his own wife and not letting her give him morphine, and most of all, angry at God.
We've always known the real reason she harbors such resentment for Him: she spent her whole life being a doe-eyed farm girl who always said her prayers and she still had to hold her infant boy in her arms as he perished from an incredibly painful genetic disorder. She still had to watch her marriage fall apart after she finally had a healthy child. She still has to see her ex-husband finding new love with another co-worker, and she still has to be a mother, despite all her pain and desire to withdraw from it all.
Her solution of late has been to just drown her sorrows at the bar, but this patient challenges her to confront her anger and look at the good book to see that this is exactly what we're all expected to deal with. Chaos, pain, unfairness, it's all written in the Bible, just as in her life. If she expected instant gratification for her good deeds and fidelity to Him, she must've mis-read her scriptures. The only comfort he can offer her for any of it is the knowledge that her anguish isn't unknown or ignored by God; it's just part of the process.
With that, she is willing to forgive Bailey's mistake, and she even steps foot into the chapel to commemorate her patient's lost life, after allowing him the comfort of thinking she was his wife, by his side as he drew his final breath. It's ... a lot. But that's what's made April so great over the course of this season. She's a doctor, and they're always dealing with life and death, but she in particular has an eye out for the even bigger and more final picture. She'll be missed.
Grey's Anatomy continues Thursdays at 8/7c on ABC.