Well, that didn't take long.
This season of Grey's Anatomy has been front-loaded with a lot of major issues — Megan's return and Amelia (Catarina Scorsone)'s tumor chief among them. But here we are, with two profound turning points coming to a close like (snaps) that. Of course, any Grey's fan worth their salt knows this isn't the end of the drama on either issue, but let's take it from the top.
First thing's first: Amelia Shepherd is a badass. The woman has had brain surgery and refuses her pain meds for fear that she'll fall down that slippery slope to using yet again. And even though she wakes up unable to speak, she's still able to communicate that intention to her doctors-slash-friends without uttering a single word.
It takes her a while to regain her talking faculties, but Dr. Koracick knows her well enough — based on his professional experience and the fact that she was "hot for teacher" once upon a time, apparently — to know that she'll snap out of it all soon enough to find herself back in the OR for very different reasons sooner than later.
Until then, there's a moment where she can only speak French and then another where she's forgotten that her brother Derek is dead; but it all comes rushing back to her sooner than later, and it scares her in a way she's not used to. How do you take shelter for a storm you're sure is coming but which has zero warning signs?
Thanks to Dr. DeLuca (Giancomo Gianniotti), who's arrived as the surprise voice of reason this season, she comes to realize that there is no other shoe that's just itching to drop this time. She's spent so much of her life experiencing setbacks, caused by herself and external factors in equal measure, that it's hard for her to cope with the fact that she's safe and in control now, but it's still true nonetheless. Which means ... now, it's decision time with Owen.
Up until now, Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd) has been exceedingly patient with his wife, knowing just as well as she did that there was something intangible (but still very real) contributing to her malice towards him, and now ... now, it's real. There's a massive tumor there swirling around in a lab jar that explains everything that was aching her all this time about, and the matter can go right in the garbage if she wants, or it can live on as a shrine that takes his place in her life, but the choice is hers and it's real.
Judging by that last shot of her accepting a ride home — to their home, this time — she's choosing the latter at long last. Will they finally get the happy honeymoon they've been waiting or all this time? Gah, let's hope so.
Meanwhile, Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) is also something of a force tonight. When Megan turns up with a low-grade fever, Meredith manages to drudge up some of her own difficult history — kidnapping Zola in the thick of her guardianship dispute — to convince Megan to stay under care despite Faruq becoming hospitalized with his own (comparatively minor) disease.
And she's clearly sticking by her decision not to play third wheel to Megan and Nathan Riggs (Martin Henderson). In fact, she ignores Riggs' calls, despite their increasing frequency, until she can't take the buzzing anymore and answers to find out he's on a pseudo-reconnaissance mission to rescue Faruq from the embassy. Immediately, Meredith picks up the cues and consults her web browser to answer the consulate's questions enough to go along with his story and bullies an FAA agent into letting her see the boy, who's currently under Riggs' watchful eye.
To Meredith, his above-and-beyond expedition proves that he's in love with Megan, or at least wants to make her happy. She'd already decided to back away once Megan returned, but this? This is enough to make her want to throw her own hat in the ring to push Megan to make it work with him. If he's willing to "move Heaven and Earth" to bring her son to her, what won't he do?
We've seen a lot of Meredith Grey's relationships bust over the years, but this has to be the most noble breakup she's ever had, no?
Speaking of splits, Japril is in bad shape right now. April has officially moved out, and she's struggling with the ramifications of actually being alone, when Harriet's got daddy time. And while Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) tries to mollify the situation with some of her "hey, have fun adult times" moxie, April's just not feeling it. (Besides, who is Arizona to talk anyway? She's about to be in uncharted single mom territory herself, now that Sophia wants to move back in with her.)
Perhaps April has some kinda psychic knowledge that the heat is definitely brewing between Jackson (Jesse Williams) and Maggie Pierce (Kelly McCreary). Maggie is invited by Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.) to join his family dinner with Katherine and Jackson, and while Katherine is a surprisingly ungracious host, she does come to appreciate Maggie's wine-induced ramblings because they remind Jackson of how many opportunities he now has thanks to his late grandfather's estate passing down to him.
Annnd Katherine's all too happy to remind Jackson and Maggie, in her sly roundabout way, that they are technically stepbrother and stepsister, which adds an all new level of weirdness to their budding attraction to each other that neither of them expected. Could the great urologist herself have just you-know-what-blocked her own son? It certainly seems that way. Maybe there's still hope for Japril yet. After all, April does say, "I don't want a new normal."
Meanwhile, we still don't know who the new interns will be for this year because the crop of applicants that interviewed with Bailey (Chandra Wilson) and Webber were almost exclusively ridiculous people — from bringing non-service dogs in a purse to blathering on about social media follower counts to literally telling them they're not as good as the other place, it's clear there's no Christina Yang in this year's crop. Maybe it's time for Grey-Sloan to hang up its "teaching hospital" cap once and for all, if this is what they'll be dealing with — especially since it's clear Ben Warren is secretly readying himself for the exit sign to start up his new career in firefighting.
Last, but certainly not least, there's also Jo (Camille Luddington). Like a lot of real-life women in her situation, there's no end in sight for the reality she has to face when it comes to her abuser. She was just a part of a very publishable surgery that could make her famous in the medical community, and yet ... she has to request that her name be taken off of the paper because it'll necessarily include a picture of herself, and she can't chance her ex seeing that and deciding to pay her a visit.
This show has grappled with a lot of very real difficulties over the years, but this is one of the gravest yet. Jo confides in Alex (Justin Chambers) that she hates her ex and how he still has power over her, just by existing, and they didn't take the easy way out by having Alex kill him off last season, so the torment is still very real for her — as it is for so many women.
There've been bombs and plane crashes and fires and the works, but Jo's plight is perhaps the most realistic and devastating of them all.
Grey's Anatomy airs Thursday nights at 8/7c on ABC.