Grey’s Anatomy Recap: Sex and Death

Grey's Anatomy

Leave It Inside
Season 13 Episode 22
Editor’s Rating *****
Jason George as Ben Warren, Jerrika Hinton as Stephanie Edwards. Photo: Richard Cartwright/ABC

Finally, it has happened to me right in front of my face and I just can’t — oh, sorry! Just over here celebrating the fact that Stephanie Edwards gets to do more than drop knowledge on people and look good while doing it. She gets a real story line! The day is ours!

Honestly, I thought she’d only warn DeLuca not to waste his time or energy or goodness on Jo (which, of course he does anyway … which, of course, Jo puts the kibosh on before the man can get the words out), but no — there’s more.

It’s that time of year when Grey Sloan Memorial selects residents to take fellowships at the hospital. There’s a little story line about how after his multiple rogue procedures and their consequences, Ben Warren has opted to play things safe, not smart. Webber eventually shows him the light and Warren gets back in the game. None of this is very surprising. More interesting is the real resident up for discussion: Edwards. She’s probably (definitely) the best of the bunch, but when she teams up with Karev on a case that involves a very sick kid (one of her triggers, clearly) and parents who just don’t understand, she puts her bright future in jeopardy.

Little Liam (Hudson West, heartbreaker extraordinaire) wanders into the hospital by himself and informs doctors Karev, Edwards, and Minnick that he’s in constant pain and very dizzy. It’s not long before they discover he has an aggressive brain tumor. They also learn that his parents’ religious beliefs forbid any kind of medical intervention. Before they can do anything to help Liam, his parents are signing an A.M.A. and taking Liam home. They move fast, but not fast enough for Liam’s mother to escape Stephanie’s reminder that signing that form and leaving this hospital is akin to giving her son a death sentence. Although Steph’s technically correct, Overlord Minnick watches the encounter and is none-too-pleased at Stephanie’s attitude toward her patients. “She’s not my patient,” Stephanie reminds her. Liam is.

The whole thing is a red flag for Minnick. After digging into Stephanie’s file, she wants to know why the resident was never forced to see a counselor after her boyfriend (we miss you, Wilmer Valderrama!) died during surgery. Her outbursts are obviously a side effect of never dealing with that. It makes her a danger to her patients. Webber and Bailey aren’t convinced.

Once more, with feeling: Liam shows up at the hospital by himself. Only now, he’s lost his vision. The little boy weeps as he tells Alex that he tried doing it his parents’ way. He tried praying, but it didn’t work. God didn’t fix him, so he needs Alex to do it. Now we’re all weeping. Or maybe just me. It’s always just me. Anyway, Alex and Stephanie have no choice but to help him. They are both doctors and humans. Without parental consent, operating on Liam is illegal. So, Alex comes up with a loophole. If Liam’s condition is emergent, they are obligated to step in … like, say, if Liam were seizing right there in the E.R., Alex and Steph would have to intervene. So, Alex decides Liam’s having a “seizure,” and they book an O.R. Dealing with a child’s life is never something to revel in, but Alex does make the whole situation a tiny bit satisfying by using Minnick’s teaching method against her: He’ll say Stephanie is running point so that he’s signing all the charts. It’ll only be his name on everything. Even when he’s defying hospital policy, Alex is such a gentleman.

They operate. And they save Liam’s life. He once was blind, but now can see! It should be a happy occasion, but mom and dad show up and a lot of words like “sue” and “jail” and “burn in hell” are tossed around. Okay, so that last one is directed at Stephanie, after she gives Liam’s dad a big ol’ talking-to about protecting his child. She also calls him terrible and weak. It’s probably that last part that really sets him off. But no one’s more angry that a child was left to take care of himself than Stephanie Edwards. So, she throws a tablet at the guy’s head.

It’s another red flag for Minnick. Although I stand strongly against anything that Minnick supports, this one makes sense. Stephanie knows she let her emotions get the best of her. She was wrong. Minnick points out that Stephanie only operates in extremes: She’s either overly involved with her patients, or cold and unfeeling. It’s a sign of burnout. Her surgical privileges are revoked until she gets cleared by a counselor. Oh, Stephanie, you complicated, lovely woman. Let us dive deeper into your story.

Hey! At least Karev realizes that Liam’s mom secretly dropped her son off at the hospital the second time in order to save his life. That’s a good day, right? Alex celebrates by getting the name of a private investigator, most likely to track down Jo’s husband. Quick question: Why, God, why?

Speaking of getting involved where one should maybe let things lie: Meredith, April, and Maggie work on a patient with a — and here’s a technical term for you — ginormous heart tumor. Holly, the human attached to said tumor, knows all about it and has decided to live with it. She’s been through multiple surgeons who’ve made promises to get it out and they always fail. Instead, she’s living her best life while she still can. That’s how she ended up in the hospital after a one-night stand ended with her tripping down the stairs looking for the bathroom. Yo, it’s tough being single out there.

The doctors want to operate. They can’t believe Holly would be so happy with her life of random sex until she dies. Honestly, I’m surprised Meredith isn’t more onboard with this. Meredith is the queen of sex and death! But she’s the biggest proponent of Maggie’s tumor-removing proposal. Meredith has been around a lot of death and knows death isn’t the scary part — the surviving is. She wants Holly to face that fear instead of running from it. When Maggie, Meredith, and April get inside Holly, though, they discover that the tumor is too pervasive to remove completely without doing irreparable damage. So, no, they will not be the doctors who finally conquer Holly’s impossible tumor. She seems okay with it, though. More sex and such.

Aside from adding a delightful new patient to the Grey’s pantheon, the story line pushes Meredith one step further toward moving past Derek. She and Nathan are a real thing, but she’s yet to be able to invite him into her bedroom. She’s de-Derek-ifying it. First, that big tumor drawing goes out the door. Then, the Post-It Note gets put in a drawer. (I gasped in that moment.) But it’s really her time spent with Holly that gets Meredith over the hump. Okay, so it was more of Meredith seeing how pathetic Holly’s one-night-stand-who-would-not-leave was, but semantics. She begs that cute little man to stop waiting around, move on, and live his life. And in turn, so does Meredith. You guys: She even holds Nathan’s hand in public. What is this world?

In much more important news: The previews for next week’s Grey’s Anatomy promise that “jaws will drop.” I’m always begging for Grey’s to make my jaw drop, but if any harm comes to my Stephanie Edwards heads will roll. She’s the best of us!

Laughter Is the Best Medicine, Except for Real Medicine

• Bailey compares choosing residents for fellowships to the Sorting Hat. AND I THINK WE’RE DONE HERE.

• A girls’ night out with Maggie and April sounds equal parts fun and terrifying.

• Seeing April and Meredith working together brought nostalgic joy to my heart. They are such opposites, yet are great as a pair.

• “Just tell him I’m dead.” Holly would fit in so well with the Twisted Sisters.

• I can’t take this Minnick and Arizona relationship seriously. Anyone else having trouble? That Elevator of Sexual Tension has never been so lacking in it — and people have died on that thing!

Sob Scale: 4/10

A little boy begs Alex Karev to fix his eyes. Every word in that sentence makes me tear up.

Grey’s Anatomy Recap: Sex and Death