Major swoon alert: The latest installment of Grey's Anatomy features copious shots of Jackson Avery holding his baby daughter. HE EVEN GIVES HER AN ESKIMO KISS. Who says ShondaLand isn't a place where all of your dreams come true? We really needed this win, too, because the rest of "Catastrophe and the Cure" is a bit of a downer.
Welcome to the chilliest housewarming party ever thrown. Okay, it's not as bad as that party when Meredith had to introduce everyone to Dr. Penny Blake, the woman who murdered true love. There's no milquetoast murderer at Amelia and Owen's house tonight, but the guest list does include a possible felon, a doomed love triangle, and Jo Wilson. Even Owen doesn't want to be there!
That possible felon is Alex Karev, of course. DeLuca and his lawyer surprise Alex in court by upping the charges against him. If convicted, he'll face jail time. Alex cannot go to prison, you guys. Who will drink tequila on Meredith's couch? How will he keep up his glorious tan? What will happen to all of the tiny humans? There's no way Grey's will sideline Alex, but even the faint possibility is distressing.
Meredith is certainly worried about her buddy, so she takes it upon herself to protect Alex once he returns to the hospital. (Would they really allow him back, especially after he's been charged?) Unfortunately, her protection isn't worth much: She inadvertently threatens DeLuca in an elevator and then forces Alex to go to Amelia's dinner party, where, unbeknownst to her, Jo will also be in attendance.
Alex isn't really helping himself much, either. Meredith tells him to focus on his work — which, at the moment, consists of helping a cute kid named Zack who recently had a kidney transplant — but that's easier said than done. Zack presents with the possibility of appendicitis, which isn't great since he just had kidney surgery, so Alex decides to wait it out for a little. When Ben realizes Zack is getting worse, Alex is too preoccupied and brushes Ben's concerns off.
Instead of checking up on Zack, Alex heads over to the newlyweds' house and runs into Jo. I know I'm tough on Jo, but it's hard to kick someone when they're down. And Jo is really down. Let's just draw one of those cartoon black clouds over her head and call it a day. When Alex sees her, he tries to make things right. He apologizes for what he did, both the DeLuca thing and the way he completely ripped into her afterward. But Jo Wilson is a broken woman and she has no time for Alex and his shenanigans.
Seriously, though: Who is the saddest soul between the two of them? One one hand, you have Jo, who is currently Dr. Zombie. On the other is Alex, the saddest pediatric surgeon who ever lived. When he rests his head on the hospital balcony, it's like he's being crushed by the weight of the world. He's royally messed up his personal life, and now he's failing at doctoring. You know, the one thing he's supposed to be good at.
After Zack's appendix ruptures and he almost loses his brand new kidney, Bailey has a frank discussion with Alex. She obviously loves him: He's one of her babies, the intern who has surprised her the most. Still, she has a duty to her hospital. She can't let Alex operate anymore, so he can take his big ol' compassionate self down to the Denny Duquette Clinic for the time being. That's right: Alex lost his lady, lost his operating privileges, faces a possible prison sentence, and now he has to work in the clinic named after his ex-wife's one-time soul mate-slash-tumor ghost. You rest that pretty tan head on that balcony, Alex. You've earned it.
If Meredith seems off of her Alex-comforting game, it's because she's still dealing with that accidental love triangle. Alas, Maggie is a woman obsessed. She's having hot sex dreams — set in a parking lot, Mer knows how that goes — and psyching herself up to finally ask Riggs out. Maggie decides to do this at the housewarming party, where she's volunteered herself to be a buffer between Riggs and Owen, who still wants nothing to do with his ex-BFF.
Meredith tags along because she's a great sister. Just kidding! She tags along because when it comes to Riggs, she can't seem to help herself. Mags shows up to the party looking foine, but before she can get any alone time with Riggs, Meredith pulls him aside. Now, I love this dark and twisty girl in all of her complicated glory, but telling Riggs that Maggie is about to ask him out and he has to politely say no? That I can't justify. It is betrayal heaped upon betrayal. Even if he hadn't been warned, Riggs would've let Maggie down gently. He's a good guy! Mer didn't need to blow up Maggie's spot.
Maggie shrugs off Riggs' rejection with a couple swigs of tequila, but all the tequila in the world won't help when she finds out what Meredith's been doing behind her back. Admittedly, though, Meredith and Riggs are crazy cute together. (If you can get past the "repeatedly lying to her sister" thing.) They're both so into each other, it's almost impossible not to root for another go around in the backseat of that SUV. I guess we're all very conflicted here.
Enough with the romantic conflict! Let's talk about Jackson Avery, adorable dad. It's time for Harriet to go home, but April's still healing from her C-section. She is distraught. Her weepy rant about needing Harriet to bond with her smell was so perfectly, typically April. It's Jackson who stands out in tonight's episode, though. He doesn't want to push April because she's made it clear she wants to do things on her own. But as Grandpa Webber reminds him, married or not, April's his family. You've got to be persistent when it comes to helping family.
And so, Jackson is considerate and lovely with his ex. He offers to stay at the hospital until she can stop crying. ("I won't stop. I'll just die of dehydration!") He video chats with her so April can sing the baby to sleep, and he doesn't even question the fact that her lullaby of choice is George Michael's "Faith." When April turns down his offer to pay for nannies and night nurses, Jackson makes the suggestion we've all been waiting for: He wants April to move in with him, at least until she heals. She's worried that they need boundaries, but he wins her over with a smooth line about being a parent. He knows Harriet needs her mother, and right now Harriet's mother needs help. He just wants to help his family.
The countdown to #Japril is on, people.
Laughter Is the Best Medicine, Except for Real Medicine:
- When Bailey is looking for a hospital mole to give her the scoop on Alex, Webber volunteers. He's a regular Hercules Mulligan. Does Webber know about Hercules Mulligan from a history lesson or is he a huge Hamilton fan? I think we all know the answer.
- Amelia and Owen are so lovey-dovey, even when Amelia tries to force Owen to rekindle his friendship with Riggs. Any bets on how long it'll take their relationship to turn into a dumpster fire again?
- Amelia's patient names her brain tumor Wilma, after her ex-husband's mistress: "They're both parasitic mounds of unwanted flesh."
- "You can have my whole body, but not my eyes and ears." Ben Warren is as good at hospital flirting as he is at C-sections. He's average. He's average at both of those things.
- "You're disgusting." "And yet, you're falling for me."
- After Meredith unloads about her parking-lot sex with Riggs and Maggie walks in to tell them she just got rejected by the same guy, Karev's face sums up this entire love triangle perfectly.
Sob Scale: 2/10
Automatic points are given out any time Alex reassures a child before life-threatening surgery, or any time a sick child asks a doctor to take care of his mother because she's the one who's really scared. I'll never look at broccoli the same way.