Soooo, are the doctors of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital ever going to learn that they should never, under no circumstances ever go to another hospital in the Seattle area? As bad a track record as their own house has at losing surgeons in savage calamity situations, these rival facilities just seem hellbent on letting Seattle Grace's finest alums fall through the cracks (R.I.P. Derek).
Well, fellow Grey's Anatomy faithful, here we go again because Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) has a lot more health concerns to grapple with right now than her obsessive-compulsive disorder. She up and has a heart attack after breezily dropping Tuck off at school and decides to slyly check herself into Seattle Presbyterian without telling a soul, including her husband Ben Warren (Jason George).
To be fair to Miranda, Ben has been a little preoccupied with his new career path — he even tells himself, "60 flights of stairs in that heat, in that gear, you are a badass, Ben Warren" — and she's still not completely sold on the idea of him charging into blazing buildings for a living instead of working as a healer alongside her. But to withhold information about a life and death situation like this does seem a little harsh, even for the Chief.
But you know what? We're getting a full-on Miranda episode this week, and considering we've been with this woman for a decade and a half and we still don't know a thing about her childhood, this sepia-toned flashback series involving her overbearing mom and "Mandy's" unapologetic nerdiness from the start is something of a treat... heart attack scare notwithstanding, of course.
So, what do we learn about what motivates the Chief to never surrender on a single conversation ever? Well, she gets it honest. Her mother is a perpetual naysayer about her life's decisions — where she wants to go to read her stories (in a tree, of all places!), where she wants to go to college on her full-ride scholarship, and even the fact that she wants to live a life stressing out over others as a surgeon.
All that antagonism starts to weigh on Mandy, of course, because who wouldn't get bummed out by their own mother being a constant roadblock to success? But that's when her father reveals that Miranda wasn't supposed to be an only child; her parents had another daughter before her, named Danielle, who passed away from SIDS at just two months old. So, with Miranda, her mother has decided to be a helicopter mom like no other and ensure that this daughter will survive. Even if it means trying to guilt her into pursuing a "boring" speech pathology degree.
Of course, all of this intel comes in spurts as we deal with the very present but unclear danger Miranda's facing with her heart. Miranda feels convinced that she's having a heart attack and that she needs a full cardiac work-up, beyond the simple EKG test, to prove as much. But when this hospital's Chief, Dr. Maxwell, implies she's having some kind of personal stress-induced hysteria symptoms, she starts to lose it.
The only person in the whole hospital who's got her back is the wild-out motorcyclist-slash-sky diver daredevil woman who's in the next bed with a broken leg and gobs of sass. Miranda sends Maxwell away, in full Miranda-doesn't-play-that fashion, and, instead of sending a cardiac doc for that second opinion she asked for, she's treated to a psych consult instead. [Insert all the eye rolls here.]
Miranda knows time's a wasting, but she indulges the guy for the briefest spell. He tries to play head games with her by presenting her own symptoms to him, and she kindly informs him that her professional analysis would be to give said patient the darn tests she's asking for. Harrumph.
They're at an impasse, so Miranda decides to call Maggie Pierce (Kelly McCreary) and ask for her to come to the hospital without making a scene about it. But lo, Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.) has also picked up on the fact that she's there — during her sick call, he overheard a page for Dr. Maxwell on the overhead — and they can't arrive at a better time.
Just after Miranda's able to miraculously save her bunkmate from her own life-threatening episode, Miranda falls out on the floor.
Miranda justifies her stubbornness in not coming straight to Grey-Sloan with all of this by insisting it'd make her look weak to others. "It's taken me way too long to feel tall there and I'm going to be damned if I'll let a blocked artery take me down a peg," she insists in her very Bailey way. But her refusal to call Ben? Well, that's a different story.
In her mind, this is all going to blow over with a simple blockage removal, but despite Maxwell's, erm, best efforts (maybe?), her condition worsens to the point of the situation becoming desperate. The good news: Maggie is an excellent cardiothoracic surgeon and knows just the procedure to fix this with. The bad news: She doesn't have hospital privileges there, and Maxwell's a goon who doesn't want to let her take over the case, no matter how neglectful he's been to Bailey so far.
Webber intervenes and manages to win Maxwell over with the promise of a good golf game, and, fortunately, Bailey pulls through, even when the OR situation seems rocky. Oh, and she's decided to let Ben in on the situation this time.
Ben, who's just completed his herculean training routine for the fire squad — oh, hi Station 19 promo! — rushes to her side and promises he'll quit the squad. He doesn't want her to feel the impending sense of doom he's feeling in that waiting room hoping for her to make it. Bailey doesn't accept his resignation, however.
If this whole experience, and the accompanying memories of her own youthful ambition and stubbornness, has taught her anything, it's that one's chosen vocation is as important a piece of life as anything else. And with all of this reconciliation and forgiveness and healing feels set to the tune of Kesha's "Praying," well, Grey's has managed to make its viewers into little puddles of sobbery once again. Also ... who else
wants needs a reading tree house of their own now?
Grey's Anatomy airs Thursday nights at 8/7c on ABC.