Gun control is heavy on the mind of the folks at Grey's Anatomy in Thursday's episode, in which the central case is about an 8-year-old boy accidentally shot while on a playdate.
Kids in general play a huge component of the installment, with Callie (Sara Ramirez) and Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) facing off over Callie's proposal to take Sofia with her and Penny (Samantha Sloyan) to New York, and April (Sarah Drew) and Jackson (Jesse Williams) reaching a near-friendly truce when it comes to an upcoming prenatal appointment. We also get a glimpse into the chaotic morning routine of Meredith (Ellen Pompeo), Maggie (Kelly McCreary) and Amelia (Caterina Scorsone), whose approach is to take one kid apiece and try to get everyone out the door in a timely manner.
The Calzona drama begins when they meet for what starts as an amiable coffee, which turns south when Callie shares that she's found an apartment in New York - and some schools for Sofia. Arizona balks at the latter, and it's clear that there's a custody battle brewing between them. Arizona also isn't the only one who's unimpressed with Callie's decision. When Callie tells Bailey (Chandra Wilson) that she's leaving Grey Sloan to move to New York with Penny, Bailey sniffs at Callie giving up her career to "chase [resident] tail across the country," as she puts it.
At the hospital, Stephanie (Jerrika Hinton) is still texting with Hot Rock Star Kyle, who's coming into town soon and wants to meet up with her, and accidentally sends Meredith a suggestive message meant for him. But sexting aside, Stephanie says she isn't ready to meet up in person because she doesn't want to ruin their virtual relationship. As luck would have it, she and Meredith are treating a patient who's preparing to meet her online boyfriend of a year for the first time in person.
April, meanwhile, deals with two frantic mothers who have beaten their sons to the hospital, knowing that one of their boys is the victim of a gunshot wound, but it's unclear which one. Sure enough, the two boys show up seconds later - the victim, Brandon, in an ambulance with his spinal cord pierced by a bullet, and the other boy, Peter, who's brought to the hospital in a police car.
Once the boys' babysitter comes, she reveals that she left the room for a minute, during which time they found Brandon's mother's gun, and were playing with it when it went off. ("You have a gun?!" Peter's mother shrieks, appalled.)
Later, as the doctors are discussing gun safety while operating on Brandon, Jo (Camilla Luddington) states that she has a gun. This is news to Alex (Justin Chambers), who clearly isn't pleased. Later, he grills Jo about the gun's whereabouts (it's under their bed) and says he doesn't want to keep a gun in their house. Brandon isn't doing so well on the operating table, and the mothers start arguing- with the victim's mother blaming the shooter's mother for the fact that he pulled out her gun, and the shooter's mother blaming the victim's mother for owning a gun in the first place.
As Meredith and Stephanie are treating their online dating patient, her boyfriend shows up with flowers and - surprise! - he looks different (to put it mildly) than he does in his profile pictures. "You catfished her!" Stephanie blurts. On her way to surgery, the patient is kicking herself and lamenting her bad luck in love, just as Hot Rock Star Kyle shows up at the hospital to catch up with Stephanie, who brushes him off.
Elsewhere, Ben (Jason George) - who's going stir-crazy during his suspension and apparently has embraced a morning jog routine with Jackson - is contemplating alternative career options. Maybe he'll be a barista? He shows up at the hospital to take a meeting with another doctor and pitch the idea that he could pick up some cases as an anesthesiologist. When he shares his plan with Bailey, she puts her foot down and tells him that he's not getting out of his suspension. If he defies her orders, she warns him, he can find another place to sleep at night.
Meredith urges Stephanie to go for it with Hot Rock Star, and Stephanie insists that, like James, their patient's misguided paramour, she's better on paper than she is in person. Speaking of poor, balding James, he's still lingering around, waiting for his online love. But it soon comes out that the patient did a little deception of her own, lying to James and told him that her malignant tumor was actually benign. Guess this pairing wasn't meant to be.
Back in the OR, Amelia's working frantically to perform a risky surgery on Brandon and prevent paralysis, but she's not fast enough. Later, she and Alex break the news to his parents that it's unlikely he'll ever walk again, even with the assistance of physical and occupational therapy. Then, Amelia breaks the news to Peter, who tearfully tells her that it was just an accident. She makes him promise that he'll repeat "I didn't mean to" every time he starts to feel guilty about what happened to Brandon.
Later that night, Alex comes home to find Jo sitting on the bed with her gun, which she tells him she keeps because she's been protecting herself since she lived on the streets when she was 16. But after today, she's changed her mind and says she doesn't need or want the gun anymore.
Everyone's been shaken up by the tiny gunshot victim, especially Maggie, who grills the babysitter about why she wasn't watching the boys more closely and then later calls the daycare to check up on her nephews and niece. As she and Meredith are leaving the hospital, Maggie tells Meredith she thinks she loves her kids too much - that if anything ever happened to them, Maggie feels like she would die.
Owen (Kevin McKidd) congratulates Amelia for saving Brandon's life, but she's beating herself up about not operating faster. Owen tells her that Riggs (Martin Henderson) cheated on his sister - but, twist, it was actually Owen who told his sister to get on the helicopter (so she could get away from Riggs). "You didn't mean to," Amelia tells him.
Stephanie finally works up the pluck to go out with Kyle, who takes her to a (very dusty) recording studio, where he offers to play her a song - his signature move. But she doesn't even need a song before grabbing him to start making out.
Rather than just updating Jackson on her OB appointment the next morning, April invites Jackson to come with her. He accepts the invitation before heading off to a surgery - where Ben is acting as the anesthesiologist. And Callie tries to make amends with Arizona, who reveals that she got a call from one of the New York schools about Sophia's application. Arizona refers Callie to her lawyer. Ouch.
What did you think, Grey's fans? How ugly are things going to get between Callie and Arizona? Will Callie actually leave to be with Penny? And what do you think of the romance between Stephanie and Kyle?
Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8/7c on ABC.