[Warning: This article contains major spoilers aboutThursday's episode of Grey's Anatomy. Read at your own risk!]
Ben put his own career, and marriage, in jeopardy when he performed an emergency C-section on a pregnant patient in the middle of a code pink. The rogue surgery turned out to be more of a butcher job as both the mom and her premature baby died shortly after the surgery.
To make matters worse, security footage later revealed that Ben performed the surgery after the code pink had lifted, meaning he could have gotten his patient to the OR and under the scalpel of an attending surgeon. The mess leads to Bailey setting up an advisory panel to decide Ben's disciplinary action.
The panel decides on a six month suspension, but Bailey drops a bomb on Ben by saying that if it had been up to her, she would have fired him. Yup, not only did his wife not have his back, but she was actually the greatest threat to his career.
Jason George talked to TVGuide.com about what led to Ben making this critical decision and what lies ahead for him and Bailey.
Why does Ben decide to go ahead with the surgery when he knows the risks?
Jason George: He would love anything other than to have to cut this woman open. He has to save her life and the life of that baby. That's the call that had to be made. The fact that there are bad outcomes doesn't change the fact that it was the right call. As every surgeon knows, sometimes the patient dies even when you did everything right. He feels like he did everything he could in the worst possible situation. He's trying to save a life. The fact that the video shows him seeing the door open, he's focused. He's in mode. He's getting it done. He's not blind. ... When you're in the zone, you're about getting it done. He's just purely, 150 percent about saving this woman's life. At that point, doors opening up or not opening up, he's only focused on her.
Does his perspective change when he finds out that the baby died as well?
George: It kills him. It breaks his heart. You want as a surgeon to build up a thick skin, but at the end of the day, there are certain ones where you just need to go the right way and it doesn't. This one really hurts his heart. On top of it, there's a crisis of confidence in yourself. "I know I made the right call and yet there's a dead mother and a dead baby. A lot of my colleagues who are very intelligent people and seasoned surgeons saying I don't think you did, and I'm being punished for it." It might be the moment where he starts to consider the difference between his skill set and his experience.
There's been a slight emasculation of Ben over the past few weeks — with Bailey as his boss, not letting him do the taxes and how much more she gets paid than him — does that affect him even on a subconscious level?
George: I don't think it plays into why he does. It plays into the aftermath. You become a surgeon because you believe you are the best. You want to be the best. We've watched this entire show for years where you'd watch Meredith and Yang battle to be the best. Ben automatically thinks he's the best. He's cocky as all hell. That's his job. That's why Bailey fell in love with him. ... He wanted to be in the action, be the one making the call and he has the skill set for it. He's actually a fantastic resident. When he's getting, in his view, dealt with more harshly — and perhaps unfairly because his wife is the chief — he's got to push back and he brings the thunder.
What does it mean to him when Bailey says she would have fired him?
George: It goes to a core piece of their relationship. [Ben is thinking,] "I get that there's a separation between work and home, but you're supposed to have my back. You're my wife. If these other doctors are saying, 'Suspend him,' and you go straight to fire, and they have to talk you off the ledge of firing your own husband, that's you holding me to a different standard than everyone else." It's going to push their relationship to a breaking point that we've never seen. This takes it to a whole other level. When she tells him that she's the one that would have fired him, there's a bit of snap you can hear in the back of the room.
Will they be able to work together in the same hospital?
George: This is going to be an incident that tests that and makes them figure out exactly what the ground rules have to be in order for them to have to continue working in the same hospital together. Ben really wanted her to be chief, but no one really understands fully the ramifications of getting that dream job and then you realize, "Oh, I have no life now." Everything changes. They have to figure out the new ground rules.
Does he hold any animosity towards Hunt, Owen and Maggie for being the ones to suspend him?
George: If anything, they helped him out. They at least kept him in the game, but [Bailey] wanted to pull him out of the game entirely. If there's anything that resembles animosity, it is reserved for his wife.
What do they need to do recover for them to recover from this?
George: Bailey needs to apologize. No, that's one of those things where it's got to work back. Ben needs to prove to himself and perhaps Bailey that he knows what he's doing. He's not the rogue agent that she thinks he is. She needs to admit that, however it reflects upon her, he's the one that's doing it and he needs to deal with the ramifications. It's not about her; it's about him as a resident.
Do you think they can make it?
Grey's Anatomy continues Thursdays at 8/7c on ABC.