Grey's Anatomy is back for its fifteenth season, and, as always, there's a lot of love and loss to go around for the Grey-Sloan gang already. While Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) struggles to open her heart and mind to the possibility of a true new love, Jackson (Jesse Williams) is ready to take the plunge with Maggie, whether that's advisable or not. And just as Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) starts to realize she wants more than to just play family with Owen (Kevin McKidd), Teddy (Kim Raver) comes back into the picture with a bombshell secret that might bring the whole house down.
Let's walk through what all our favorite fictional pals are dealing with in Thursday's two-part season opener, then, shall we?
The patient pool for this week is mercifully slim. We've got Cici and Nisha, a matchmaker with bum kidneys who lost consciousness on the road and her bicycling victim who was mangled when Cici's car slammed into her. Then there's the motorcycling dad who decided to take mom on a joyride together when they only had one helmet (and, gentleman that he is, he gave it to mom before they took a spill). Cici is a spitfire who sees right through everyone's carefully constructed walls — Meredith's in particular — while Nisha's totally lovelorn and thinks she's woken up in heaven thanks to all the hot male doctors roaming around, including the new self-proclaimed "Ortho God" Atticus Lincoln, aka Linc. Then, there's a hairspray-in-the-rectum dude; but he's really just here for the requisite WTF factor of the episode.
Thanks to Cici's astute observation skills, Meredith is made to reckon with the fact that she's now married to her work and has closed herself off to the prospect of truly moving on from Derek. Sure, she was bumping uglies with Riggs for a while, but that was never really going anywhere by design. He was emotionally unavailable during their whole fling, and so was she, so it worked while it worked, and no feelings were hurt when it didn't anymore.
Ortho God doc tries to make a move on her, but Meredith is a firm no on that option, so what does the great Dr. Grey want now? (It's certainly not Hellmouth who — surprise!! — apparently has a major crush on our titular surgeon. Cici reads that one like a book, too.) In Meredith's dreams, which are vivid and sexy, she's ready to practice babymaking with pretty much all of the guys she works with, and who could blame her for that? DeLuca seems to be the true star of her subconscious fixation, but Avery, Koracick, and even Linc make cameo appearances in her fantasies as well. Despite her mind telling her in REM mode that she's definitely ready to knock boots with someone special again now, Meredith wars with the idea of taking Cici up on the option for some guidance in the love department. Once Cici starts losing the will to live thanks to poor Nisha's fate, well, Meredith reconsiders.
Speaking of poor Nisha, she's blessed with the shock-slash-morphine haze that makes her awake but unaware of just how grim her situation is. Unlike Avery and Maggie, who were pushed out of the way of Cici's runaway vehicle thanks to his stunningly quick reflexes, Nisha isn't so lucky and arrives to the hospital looking more like a pretzel than a human being.
She's stable enough at first to be left to the night squad, and Jackson and Maggie retreat to his cozy abode, where he starts waxing philosophic about how lucky they are to be alive and how they need to embrace the now. That somehow turns into him halfway proposing to her — basically, he wants to take a leap of faith à la April and Matthew — but Maggie rightly reads this as a mistake in the making and dips out on a milk-shopping trip from which she never returns.
Jackson returns to the hospital to find that Nisha is so much worse for the wear, and, once she develops a degenerative infection, he decides to think outside of the box and inside the hyperbaric chamber. Bailey's (Chandra Wilson) new addition might just be a place for her to contemplate who'll take over as interim chief now that Teddy has decided against the job, but Jackson thinks it'll help contain Nisha's infection long enough for him to work some of his doctorly magic. Best laid plans being what they are, though, once she starts to crash, Jackson finds that they are now stuck in a pressurized tube with no electronics, and there's no way to save her. His high from dodging certain death has now resulted in him being trapped with the girl who died instead of him. Feels ensue.
He and Maggie eventually talk and agree that his fauxposal was a mistake, but they do finally exchange I love yous, so things are still quite serious! Meanwhile, he also agrees to take a moment to try and synthesize everything that's happened in his life recently, what with April getting married and his grandfather being exposed as a predator.
The one who's not dealing with things very well right now is Teddy Altman, who had asked Bailey for a job on the premise that she'd want to be here around Owen, now that she's pregnant. When she figures out that she was 100,000 percent right about him and his lingering connection to Amelia, however, she tucks tail and is only stopped from returning to Germany by the fact that she's got some kind of clot and doesn't want to kill herself by taking a flight right away. Maggie ends up treating her and has to keep the secret from Amelia, even though her sister-ish is currently blissed out with Owen under false pretenses.
See, Amelia and Owen do manage to work out the issues of how serious they're going to be about each other now. The tumor doesn't control her anymore, if it ever even did, but she is still an addict and has a tendency to be skittish about change, so she'll have to embrace everything more fully. Meanwhile, they've now got two kids — one of which is kin of a grandkid, if you think about it — in their charge. So, if it doesn't work out this time, they'll be making a broken home for two very vulnerable little humans, which is totally against their "do not harm" mantra as doctors. All of these things they agree to muscle through, but since Maggie has abided by her HIPAA oath and, more importantly, her promise to Teddy not to tell her about the baby, Amelia and Owen don't actually know what they're signing up to deal with just yet. Will things ever not be complicated for these two?
In other news, Koracick's kind of being a creep right now, isn't he? He's totally prowling the halls, making inappropriate comments to co-workers, and just generally seeming desperate. After everything this hospital has been through with harassment issues? Not good.
Meanwhile, Glasses seems to have found a new love interest in Ortho God's lieutenant; poor Qadri needs more to do than be put on dog-sitting duty; and Bailey's right that Webber does need to start thinking about a new sponsor.
Last but not least, we have Jo (Camilla Luddington) and Alex (Justin Chambers), who start out the two-parter on a blissful honeymoon until her unbridled ambition gets in the way of all the sandcastle-building. She's got a potentially game-changing idea that could save a lot of lives — basically, she wants to create anti-DNA supercells to expand the whole immunotherapy concept for cancer treatment — and she only wanted to go to Boston because she could, now that her dangerous ex is out of the picture and she's free to be whoever and wherever she wants. So, plans are changing. Why not.
At first, it's Meredith whom she consults about the idea, but when Mer is unable to scare up the financing from Bailey to make a fellowship happen, she goes directly to the source. Bailey, perhaps being a little cutthroat about it all, decides to scoop up this project for herself and green-lights it under her direction. Meredith is not amused, but the good news is that Alex gets to stick around in Bailey's stead as the new interim chief. What could possibly go wrong?
Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8/7c on ABC.