Grey’s Anatomy Recap: This Means War

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Jessica Capshaw as Arizona, Kelly McCreary as Maggie. Photo: Nicole Wilder/ABC
Grey's Anatomy

Grey's Anatomy

Jukebox Hero Season 13 Episode 11
Editor's Rating 3 stars

First things first: In tonight’s episode, Webber says the sentence, “This isn’t about my butt!” He’s very angry when he says it! It is very awesome.

Second things second: Alex is fine! In the least surprising development in Grey’s Anatomy history, Alex Karev isn’t going to prison. After an entire day of cranky Meredith trying to locate her BFF, she finds him snuggled away in her bed. We don’t have the deets just yet on what happened between Alex arriving at the DA’s office to take a plea and his case being indefinitely postponed. Based on the confused look DeLuca gives Arizona when she admits to missing Alex (be still my heart, I love how much she loves Alex), we can assume he dropped the charges against his attacker or something to that effect. I don’t know, I’m not a lawyer.

Anyway, let’s get over the legal jargon and move on to the medical jargon, because there is lots of it here. “Jukebox Hero” is one of those patented Grey’s Anatomy “let’s set up a bunch of storylines at once and the drama will play out later” episodes. We’re slowly getting into some juicy stuff for the back half of season 13, but it’s time to pick up the pace, you know what I’m saying? As we wait for the real drama to descend upon the halls of Grey Sloan Memorial — as it always does — let’s dive into what we’re currently working with.

The biggest setup is that of Eliza Minnick, newly appointed director of the Residency Program, versus … well, everyone but Bailey. As you may recall, when the attendings and residents caught wind that Webber might be ousted from directing the very program he built, they decided to fight back. Richard, Jackson, April, and Maggie came up with a strategy: They know that Eliza’s plan is to win people over surgery by surgery, so if they keep her out of the OR, she’ll feel like she’s failing and will leave on her own. Icing out a person is very high school, but this is war. Also, Eliza talks of Alex’s plight very casually in front of Arizona and the woman doesn’t drink caffeine. She is dead to me already.

The Webber Strategy mostly works. As Eliza gets turned away from surgeries and blocked by attendings while encouraging residents to do more than just assist, she gets increasingly frustrated. Not for nothing, but it does seem like the residents are suffering at the hands of this plan to save Webber’s job. I know, I know — I shouldn’t empathize with the enemy. I apologize for this lapse in judgment. Before long, Eliza is onto Webber’s game. They wind up having a confrontation while operating on an injured hockey player. They use a lot of hockey innuendo. It is weird.

Let’s be honest: Eliza hasn’t won any of us over yet, so how do we get invested in this power struggle? I’m just not feeling it, people.

In the end, Bailey catches wind of this mutiny, calls a staff meeting that no one attends, and goes straight at Webber. He tells her that it’s not that she’s changing things, it’s the abruptness with which it is happening. In case you were wondering, this is the moment when Webber yells about his butt. In a fight with Bailey! To be fair, she puts butts on the table when she tells Webber he’s just acting “butthurt.” (It means getting bent out of shape over something you shouldn’t and being embarrassed by the fact. I’d like to thank the boys from Workaholics for bringing it into my vocabulary many years ago.)

Anyway, Bailey and Webber are both partially right. The underlying drama here, though, is that Webber still doesn’t know this whole thing was his wife’s idea, not Bailey’s. When he does realize that … oh boy, he’s going to be a whole lot more than butthurt.

The showdown between Webber and Catherine is eagerly anticipated. You know that’s going to be something, and I am very much here for it. In the meantime, the drama on today’s menu has to do with Arizona’s patient. Arizona is a zombie — she just got back from that field trip to the women’s prison, where in addition to dealing with an emotional case, she (incorrectly) learned that Alex was getting locked up. Poor girl needs a nap! What she doesn’t need is guilt for simply doing her job.

Leah pulls AZ onto a case where a taxi driver with a passenger in labor has video-called the hospital. (Is this a thing now? I’m very scared.) The taxi driver seems like a pretty good dude, but the baby is coming — fast. Arizona advises his passenger, Mindy, to put her feet on the dashboard; it will relieve some pressure. That would be great advice — except suddenly, as the car arrives at the hospital, another car slams into it. The force of Mindy’s legs being pushed into her chest causes some major internal bleeding and a broken pelvis bone, which traps her baby’s head. You think that would be bad enough, but there’s a twist: The driver of the other car is Mindy’s husband, Ryan, who was rushing to meet her at the hospital. Ouch. In more ways than one.

And so, Arizona and Ryan spend most of the episode dealing with the guilt they feel for hurting people who they are supposed to be taking care of. The scene in which Arizona and Ryan reassure one another that the other isn’t responsible for this mess, and were both only trying to help, is a lovely one. Remember when Grey’s tried its best to make Arizona insufferable? I’m so happy she’s wonderful again. Always let her be wonderful.

Meanwhile, good news for Arizona and Ryan: The baby is just fine, and it looks like mom will be, too. So, I guess Arizona’s never-ending day goes much better than she expected. She saves both her patients and gets that seemingly great update about her dear Alex from DeLuca. Take the wins where you can get them, girl.

Oh! I haven’t even told you the best part of the pregnancy storyline: the taxi driver! He’s totally fine, but spends the day in the hospital waiting for tests and chatting up Ben Warren. He’s a little down, because when he picked up Mindy, he thought he’d be going home that night and telling his kids that their dad was a hero — not that he was involved in the accident that almost killed them. Not all is lost! While hanging out in his ER bed, he overhears the patient next to him having trouble breathing and alerts Ben. Later, Ben tells him that he saved that guy’s life. He is a hero. He celebrates on his way out. It is very adorable.

You know what? Ben needs some adorable today. Other than that sweet driver, he’s dealing with a surly, absentminded Jo Wilson. (Remember that last episode when I said Jo wasn’t the worst? Guess who’s back?) Ben knows Jo is out of sorts because of Alex, but after he has to rely on a patient noticing his bed-neighbor is sick in order to keep Jo’s patient alive, he’s had enough. To be honest, I can’t believe it took him that long, what with all the snark and side-eye she was throwing him all day. When Ben Warren isn’t killing people with emergency hallway C-sections, he is an angel person. He confronts Jo — not to yell at her, but to let her know that he’s there for her, whatever she needs. As a sign of her boundless gratitude, Jo goes off on the guy. She doesn’t need anyone’s help. She’s not a fragile little girl. She’s built to handle terrible things. Welcome back, Terrible Jo!

Now that we know Alex is a free man, what’s next for him and Jo? I honestly don’t think I can handle the two of them reconciling and getting back into a relationship. Too much has happened! Am I alone in this?

Laughter Is the Best Medicine, Except for Real Medicine

• Amelia is seeking refuge at Stephanie’s apartment while she hides from her husband (ugh), and apparently eating all of Stephanie’s yogurt. When Steph reprimands her mentor, Amelia says she’ll go to a hotel. Stephanie’s response? “Or you could go to a store?” Stephanie is the best of us.

• It really is great when Grey’s goes all high school on us. Webber passive-aggressively calling out Eliza for using lowercase letters on the OR board, then stealing the pen so she can’t change it, felt like classic Grey’s scheming.

• “Can we call around to other jails?” “Sure, ‘cause this is Saks Fifth Avenue.” Bring the sassy government employee back!

Sob Scale: 1/10

Surprising, right? Usually pregnant ladies and babies in peril really get to me, but I was more concerned with Arizona getting some sleep than anything else.

Grey’s Anatomy Recap: This Means War