Grey’s Anatomy Recap: Man on Fire

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Ellen Pompeo as Meredith, Martin Henderson as Riggs, Darby Camp as Erin. Photo: Richard Cartwright/ABC
Grey's Anatomy

Grey's Anatomy

True Colors Season 13 Episode 23
Editor's Rating 3 stars

Well, Grey’s fam, are your jaws nowhere near your face and instead somewhere on the floor, as promised by the ABC promo wizards? If I’m being honest, my jaw was sufficiently open but not on the floor. Although the ending of “True Colors” was so spectacularly Grey’s-ish — setting us up for next week’s, ahem, explosive finale — some of the other story lines were predictable or just plain dumb. I think you all know what the latter refers to. Cripes, Jo Wilson isn’t even in this episode and she’s ruined my night.

Because the guy can’t seem to help himself, Alex goes off to track down Jo’s abusive husband, Paul Stadler. He’s a doctor who moonlights as the director of a high school glee club (he’s played by Glee’s Matthew Morrison), and he happens to be at some medical conference to give a speech. What follows upon Alex’s arrival is a series of elaborate fake-out fantasy sequences in which we are led to believe Alex has beat the crap out of Dr. Glee and landed back in prison, or Alex has inadvertently tipped him off to Jo’s (excuse me, Brooke Stadler’s) whereabouts and he watches helplessly as Dr. Glee chokes the life out of her.

Be better than this, Grey’s. In the end, Alex has a quick run-in with the guy in the cab line (of course the jerk steals Alex’s cab), but other than a patented Alex Karev stare-down, they hardly interact. All of the buildup to Jo’s husband has been … for this? I’m sure the guy will pop up again, but for now, this entire story line feels like a huge waste of time.

Especially when things back at home were so much more exciting! You guys, I hate to say I told you so, but I totally told you so: Owen’s sister Megan is alive. Of course it takes about 30 minutes for Owen to spill the beans on what those two Army officers said to him at his doorstep through his very hazy vision, but yes, Megan is alive. Owen even has Amelia call Teddy (AS IN ALTMAN, PEOPLE), who is stationed at the hospital in Germany where Megan has been taken, to confirm that it’s really his sister. And it really is. This throws Owen into a deep, dark tailspin over the fact that he went on living his life while his sister was being held in a hole for ten years. He stopped looking for her. He stopped thinking about her. He gave up. Now she is en route to Grey Sloan Memorial and he will have to deal with all of those demons. Finally! A juicy development.

And not just for Owen, either. If you weren’t on the Megan Is Totally Alive, You Dummies Bandwagon from the moment we learned of her existence, you had to suspect something was bound to happen once Meredith and Riggs started moving toward a very real and committed relationship. After Meredith sees Riggs adorably holding the hand of a small child, she decides it’s time Dr. Dimples meet her own kids. If their growing happiness wasn’t enough to convince you, Meredith and Amelia also have a conversation about moving forward with Riggs. Amelia literally says, “There is nothing in your way. Let yourself have this.” Well, meet the next thing in the way. Man, does Grey’s Anatomy love tossing in mystery sisters at the most inopportune time to stir up some good ol’ fashioned drama or what?

(For what it’s worth: Even though she is being transferred to Seattle as we speak, something tells me we might not really get a dive deep into the Megan Hunt of it all until next season, since, like, the hospital is on fire and everything.)

Last we saw Stephanie Edwards, she was being forced off her surgical duties until she completed some counseling. Well, Steph’s been to three sessions and the woman is healed. She easily convinces Webber to sign her forms allowing her to perform surgery again. That guy is such a softy. Steph quickly gets tossed onto the main case of the week, in which two victims are brought in after their car went over a cliff. The victims in question are Allison, shirtless with hardcore internal injuries, and Keith, pantless with a head injury. The good doctors of Grey Sloan begin to invent stories to explain what must have happened to these two. Is it love? It is an affair? Everyone has an explanation as to why two adults would be having sex in a car in the middle of the day. But everyone is wrong.

When Allison comes to, she wants to know if she killed the guy who was with her. Yes, she hopes that she killed him. He was holding her in her car at knife point and was going to rape her, so she fought back the only way she knew how — by driving her car over a cliff. Bailey, Jackson, and Maggie immediately go into action mode. When no one can seem to locate Keith, the hospital goes on lockdown.

Meanwhile, Keith has woken up and tells Stephanie a sob story about having to be there when Allison wakes up. He needs to be the first face she sees. Stephanie buys it and gets him into a chair to take him to see Allison. Very quickly, thanks to police running around and a doctor whispering something into Stephanie’s ear about a patient being assaulted and then disappearing into thin air, Stephanie realizes Keith is not who he says he is. Before she knows it, he’s out of his chair and has a scalpel pressed against her throat. He demands that she get him out of here, or she’s a dead woman.

Seriously, how is there suddenly no one around to see this?

Stephanie and Keith go on the hospital tour from hell. There have been a lot of horrifying things to watch on Grey’s, and this hostage situation easily joins the ranks. Steph and Keith end up in an empty hallway and run into … a little girl named Erin (played by America’s hardest-working child actress, Darby Camp). Erin’s been causing trouble the entire episode, running away from her family, playing with medical paraphernalia, pushing all the elevator buttons, and now she ends up alone with these two. Stephanie wants Erin to run, but there’s nowhere to go. Because of the lockdown, they are trapped where they are standing.

As Keith grows more angry and agitated by the second, Stephanie tries to keep Erin calm. They aren’t going anywhere until the lockdown is lifted or there’s some type of emergency. Like, say, a fire. So what does this monster do? He builds a fire. As Keith attempts to set off the sprinklers and make a break for it, Stephanie sees an opening. She tells Erin to look away, douses Keith in alcohol, and turns him into the Human Torch. Dude is lit up.

Stephanie takes Erin to hide until it’s over, but Steph notices Keith getting dangerously close to some highly flammable tanks. If he gets anywhere near them, they’ll all be goners. So what does our fearless Stephanie do? She tells Erin to get as far away as possible, and then she goes out there to try to stop Keith from killing them all. Only, she’s too late. He sets off the tanks and, well, BOOM.

If you really think about it, Grey Sloan Memorial getting set on fire was bound to happen eventually.

Laughter Is the Best Medicine, Except for Real Medicine

• Amelia Shepherd speaks perfect German. Who knew? And why?

• To Webber: “You are the one true king, sir.” Tell us something we don’t know, Stephanie.

• Amelia talking Meredith off the Riggs ledge is delightful. Especially the part about her recognizing how completely insane she typically is. I feel like the biggest fraud for saying this but … I enjoyed Amelia in this episode? That question mark is not a typo, you guys. I’m questioning everything now.

• I can’t get a good read on what Grey’s is trying to do with Maggie and Jackson. Were they flirting in the Elevator of Sexual Tension? Are they just building a fun sibling-adjacent dynamic? Why haven’t Jackson and April had one scene together since their little mountain getaway? Help me, Grey’s Anatomy fam. You’re my only hope.

• In one of Alex’s fantasies he calls himself Alex Stevens. What up, Iz?

Sob Scale: 4/10

Owen’s speech about leaving his sister behind is very moving, but if I shed any tears during “True Colors,” they were out of fear for Stephanie’s safety as Keith dragged her around a mystifyingly empty hospital. That got real.

Grey’s Anatomy Recap: Man on Fire