Not everyone is as thrilled as Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) about Derek's (Patrick Dempsey) return to Seattle on this week's Grey's Anatomy - but more importantly, the show delivered one of the best case-of-the-week plots in recent memory.
The day starts out on a positive note for nearly all of the doctors: Meredith now counts herself among one of those "blessed" people who have everything they've ever wanted (i.e. a gorgeous husband, two great kids, an amazing job and an exhausting sex life), Dr. Webber (James Pickens Jr.) is entertaining a group of elementary school students who are on a field trip, Owen (Kevin McKidd) and Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) look like they're enjoying waking up next to each other naked, and Stephanie (Jerrika Hinton) is Tindering in the elevator.
Derek tells Owen that he wants to come back full time after "tying up some loose ends" in D.C., but unfortunately he needs the approval of Amelia - who has not only been appointed to the head of neuro, but is all too familiar with Derek's competitive side. Later, Derek proposes that he and Owen go fishing together sometime. (Fingers crossed for another bromance episode!)
But as Stephanie is flirting with the chaperone of the aforementioned field trip, and Jackson (Jesse Williams) is trying to resurrect Mark Sloan's phrase "The Plastics Posse" with Ben (Jason Winston George), the hospital is quickly thrown into chaos when multiple gunshot victims start to come in after a bank robbery - including two cops who are brothers.
(On a side note, it's really sad to see what a great awkward dad Jackson would make - he's already got the humor down.)
Amelia puts a miffed Derek in his place by assigning him to a boring aneurysm while everyone else is responding to the traumas. Callie (Sara Ramirez), meanwhile, is very impressed that one of the responding officers has fought through exposed bone and muscle, and they get a friendly rapport going. Bailey and Ben, meanwhile, are working on the suspected robber.
Unfortunately, one of the sibling cops codes and, though Maggie (Kelly McCreary) brings him back to life after 14 (!) minutes, Amelia quickly ascertains that he's brain-dead. (Although, if we're being honest, we all knew he was a goner after his sweet speech about his mother's potluck.)
But then, just as April (Sarah Drew) and Meredith are closing up his brother, he codes as well. It turns out that he suffered a large stroke during the surgery, and so their poor mother finds out that her second son is also brain-dead. This is the most tear-jerking case-of-the-week we've seen on Grey's in a while, no? Or am I just feeling sensitive tonight?
Elsewhere, Bailey (Chandra Wilson) and Ben are working on the suspected robber, with Bailey making the "innocent until proven guilty" argument to an irritated Amelia, who says he doesn't deserve a liver replacement.
Meredith is feeling a little less blessed now that she has to ask the officers' mother for her sons' organs. And, as luck would have it, the one officer is a perfect match ... for the 15-year-old robbery suspect. Though Mom is initially on board with donating her sons' organs, Bleeding Heart Bailey sneakily tries to convince her to designate one of their livers for the robbery suspect. Once the mother puts two and two together, she abruptly changes her tune and refuses to sign the papers (screwing over dozens of potential other patients in the process, as Meredith points out).
The schoolchildren, meanwhile, are getting ready to leave after what must have been the most eventful field trip ever, when the chaperones notice that one of the girls is missing. As the doctors and cops search the hospital for her, Stephanie ponders whether she could date the chaperone. "You're hot for teacher. Let it happen," Jo (Camilla Luddington) encourages her.
Callie mistakenly believes that Dan, her leg patient, has been repeatedly inquiring about the robbery suspect's condition because he wants him to die. But that's not the case. Dan is curious because he and Brett (one of the brain-dead brother cops) helped put the suspect into the juvenile detention program and, later, into a foster home. Dan tells Meredith that Brett would have still tried to help the teen turn his life around, and ends up convincing his mother to grant the organ donation. (We also see the rest of their organs getting transported to dozens of other patients who need them.)
Derek locates the missing girl, who's been hiding in the observation deck. As he explains to her the nuances of organ donation (what are Zola and Bailey's bedtime stories like??), he finds out that she wants to be a surgeon when she grows up. It's a nice relief to see Derek's pride on full display as he explains what his wife is doing down on the floor.
As we all saw coming, when Callie is escorting Officer Dan out of the hospital, he asks her out on a date. She makes a follow-up appointment with him to check in on his leg 10 days from now. Not quite dinner, but it's a start.
And Stephanie also musters up the courage to ask the chaperone out - but doesn't have as much success, upon finding out that he's only 17 (!). She and Jo go to the bark to get drunk on shots instead.
That night, Amelia opts to sit out on Derek and Meredith's porch and freeze, so that she can get some peace and quiet and escape the sounds of her brother and sister-in-law "reconnecting." Derek comes out to check on her and see if the robbery traumas brought back tough memories of their dad's murder. They have a sibling heart-to-heart, during which Derek admits that he doesn't need to be in the White House to change the world; he can do plenty of good in an operating room (or coaching a soccer team and going to ballet recitals). Amelia applauds her brother for not running this time, and says that he's inspiring her to try to learn that lesson herself because - bombshell! - she thinks she's falling in love with Owen. And she's afraid it's going to "destroy" her.
Are things moving too fast for Amelia and Owen? Are you as happy as Meredith is that Derek's back in town? And are you hoping Callie finds new love with Dan? Sound off in the comments!
Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8/7c on ABC.
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