It's been a long while since we did one of the hands-stuck-in-a-body-cavity episodes (remember Christina Ricci and the bomb that killed Coach Taylor?), but here we are. What better way to introduce the upcoming Grey's Anatomy spin-off Station 19 than to start the show off with one of its central players nodding to the defining silly drama moments of the entire series?
This time, it's Andy Herrera (Jaina Lee Ortiz), a firewoman whose gut instinct was to stick her hand in the hole of a 10-year-old kid whose brother blew them both up emulating a YouTube chemistry experiment. Naturally, her hand is positioned in such a way that if she moves it even an inch, the kid's probably gonna be toast. Better yet, her hand, arm, and entire body are basically numbed out, so at this point she can't even feel what she's pinching to save the boy from certain doom.
Now, there's a proper welcome to Grey-Sloan Memorial if there ever was one.
The good news is her part is over relatively soon instead of dragging for the entire episode, and we get to see her do more than play passenger on the kid's gurney. In fact, Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) even has her clamp the kid's artery in the OR instead of trying to play hot potato with the other doctors. This gets Herrera all excited about the second half of the life-saving team effort, and lucky for her, Ben Warren (Jason George) is lurking around the halls all nostalgia-like himself.
Part of it is that he's co-babysitting Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) throughout her first day back on the job, alongside Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.), but the main issue is that he seems to feel pretty lost when he's not able to administer the medical knowledge he's so painstakingly acquired after bringing the victims to the ER. It's annoying just about everyone, but no one more than Webber.
Ben refuses to leave despite the former chief's many insistences, and he and Andy find their way into the gallery to watch in on the rest of the surgery from on high. It's kind of fortunate for Grey that they break protocol, though, because when the call from Spain — the one from the doctor who has the patent to the polymer she needs for her sci-fi liver treatment experiment — Herrera's there to butter him up in his native tongue. Between that and the fact that she gets to boss "rookie" Ben around, well, it's a good day all around.
As for Ben, well, Bailey's able to give him some doctor's orders that help a lot: He might've thought about what he was giving up by stepping away from medicine to fight fires, but he never let himself "feel" it. So, now he's just got to endure that emotional wash and get back to work. Just like she did after recovering from her heart attack.
Meanwhile, Amelia Shepherd (Catarina Scorsone) and Alex Karev (Justin Chambers) get a lucky break on their unfunded "Save Kimmy with the Laser Beam" idea when she invites Dr. Tom Koracick back into town to help work on it. At first, it seems like all hope is lost. The laser gets so hot that it burns through everything they try without actually doing anything useful, and between DeLuca's quietude and Sam's propensity to fumble-bumble around and burn herself, well, the team's looking a little shoddy.
But then Amelia and Tom get into a quasi-lover's spat about the whole thing and realize that if they use several beam sources and flicker them on and off so they won't overheat, well, that just might work. And to think they're doing this all on a shoestring budget.
In other news, things are SUPER awkward with Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams) and everyone he cares about. Not only has Maggie Pierce (Kelly McCreary) moved on from their half-flirting history to her Tinder hook-up Clive, but April Kepner (Sarah Drew) is also getting crazy with the interns on such a regular basis that they call her Dr. Party and have no qualms about discussing her bedroom behavior right there in the cafeteria.
April's got no shame about any of it — as she (rightly) tells Jackson, "You're Harriet's father, not mine" — but when Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) gets an eyeful of just how buck wild she's getting down there at the bar on her nights away from Harriet, well, it's concerning for more than just her ex-husband. Long gone is that doe-eyed farm girl, that's for sure.
Grey's Anatomy airs Thursday nights at 8/7c on ABC.