This is a tricky one, Grey’s fam. As promised, Grey’s Anatomy delivers an episode focused solely on Megan Hunt, featuring the lead up to her disappearance in Iraq, and her relationships then and now with both her brother Owen and her fiancé Nathan. Aside from a few very brief scenes with Meredith and Amelia, this is all about the Hunt siblings. Much like any other episode that focuses on one or a few characters, if you don’t like who the story is about, you’re completely out of luck for the next 60 minutes.
The difference between “Danger Zone” and say, a #Japril-centric episode, aside from being way less swoon-y (not an opinion, just straight facts), is that Megan Hunt is a new character. While her romance with Riggs has a history on the show, it is also new to us viewers. Do not get me wrong: Abigail Spencer as Megan Hunt is amazing. Thanks to her performance and her chemistry with both Kevin McKidd and Martin Henderson, she makes the character feel lived-in. It’s like she’s been here all along.
Although I find it easy to be invested in Megan’s story, Megan and Riggs’s romance, and, for better or worse, Owen, I understand the opposite view. If you hated this episode, I totally get it … but I really liked it. Even if they did totally underuse Kim Raver’s Teddy, which is an affront to all of us. Can we just bring Teddy back for good?
In the present day, Megan is healed and she is driving down to Malibu, where Riggs and Farouk are getting their new house fixed up for her arrival. Just as she’s about to drive away, Owen hops in the passenger seat — he’s coming along for the ride, just to make sure she doesn’t fall asleep or anything. Obviously, he has ulterior motives, but at the start, it’s just a fun Hunt sibling road trip. Wouldn’t we all love to hang out in the backseat and join their “Push It” sing-along and terrible snacks and having gorgeous red hair and nice bone structure? Ah, to be a Hunt.
The fun doesn’t last long. Eventually, Megan realizes that Owen is trying to get her to stay in Seattle. He’s always deciding what’s best for her. It’s an argument they’ve been having their whole lives. It happened when they were kids, and more pertinent to this story, it happened when they were in Iraq.
In Iraq circa 2007, Owen, Megan, Riggs, and Teddy are all serving both our country and some drama. Seriously, there is a lot of angst happening in the middle of a war. It’s “strat ranking” day, and Megan has been working overtime in order to get ranked No. 1 so that she can apply to be a flight surgeon — a very specialized and very dangerous position. On top of that stress, she and Riggs have been fighting a lot. On this morning, however, she pays her boyfriend a visit and while she’s picking up his mess, she finds a necklace on the floor. Riggs proposes. They are happy. They hop onto a helicopter with Teddy and Owen and tell them the good news. Teddy gets a look at the “engagement necklace” and tosses some real side-eye toward Riggs. This side-eye tells tells 1,000 stories. This side-eye does not mess around, you guys.
Once they land at base camp, Megan gets some bad news: She’s not ranked No. 1. Since Owen is her commanding officer and was supposed to fight for her, she has some words for her brother. They are angry and loud words about him not respecting her or trusting her. When an emergency comes in after two shooters opened fire on some soldiers, the Hunts are forced to work together, until Megan is pulled away to work on a civilian woman who tried to stop one of the shooters and ended up with a gunshot wound.
Teddy and Riggs have their own argument while elbow-deep in a patient. Teddy doesn’t hold back: She knows that necklace belongs to another woman — it even has this woman’s initials engraved on it. It’s only a matter of time until Megan figures it out, which is upsetting because Riggs does actually want to marry her. Teddy advises Riggs to just tell Megan the truth. People mess up and people forgive.
Teddy is handing out all types of tough love to the idiot men in her life. When Owen heads out and Megan refuses to go with him, Teddy tells him it’s pretty obvious that Owen had something to do with Megan not getting top ranking. Owen doesn’t understand why Megan would want to perform an even more dangerous job when she could marry Riggs and have a happy, safe life. Teddy explains that being a flight surgeon is Megan’s dream, and now she has to sit and watch someone else take the life she wants. Yes, Teddy is talking about Megan, but she’s also talking about her and Owen, because Teddy is always talking about her and Owen. Anyway, Owen shouldn’t make decisions for Megan and he’s being real dumb about it.
At least Riggs follows Teddy’s advice. He goes to tell Megan he needs the necklace back, but before he can explain, she incorrectly assumes that he found out she cheated on him. This is news to all of us. Especially Riggs. He fesses up to his affair as well, but before they can really get into that, Megan is called back to her GSW patient who needs to be choppered out. We see the call we’ve heard so much about, when Megan tells Owen that Riggs cheated on her and Owen tells her to get on the chopper with her patient. We watch, helplessly, as Teddy finds out that the woman on the helicopter with Megan isn’t actually a hero — she was the second gunman. But there’s nothing anyone can do. Megan is already on her doomed flight.
In the present day, amid what’s turned into a very awkward road trip, Megan and Owen finally get into the fight they never got to have ten years ago: whether or not Owen purposefully held her back from being a flight surgeon. He admits that he told the powers that be that she makes rash decisions, and that she’s still doing that ten years later. She’s running away from her problems and her family in Seattle to go live in Malibu because she likes to take long walks on the beach and that Miley Cyrus song, probably. As if Owen has never made a bad decision! (Hint: It rhymes with “shmamelia.”) Megan lets her brother have it in a big Shondaland speech about seizing second chances and knowing what really makes her happy. During her hardest days as a hostage, she’d think back to a childhood memory of being at the beach in Malibu. She promised herself that if she ever made it out, she’d spend the rest of her life on that beach. Moving to Malibu isn’t a rash decision — she’s seizing her happy ending.
And that’s exactly what Megan Hunt gets. She arrives in Malibu to find Farouk asleep on Nathan’s lap. The boys have had a long but very adorable day. Farouk is overwhelmed about this new life and Riggs is just so, so good with him. He admits that he’s also scared about starting a new life, but he loves Megan and Megan loves the both of them, so the three of them will all be okay. Great, now we all want to move to Malibu. Except Meredith, I guess: When Nathan texts her thank you, she simply texts thank you back. Nathan is living both of their dreams. And now I’m waiting for the ceiling of Grey Sloan to literally come crashing down on a bunch of doctors, since the amount of people getting happy endings is just unheard of in Shondaland. Be on alert, people.
Sibling spats aside, Megan really wants Owen to be happy, too, and he is most definitely not. But he does leave California inspired to go after his happy ending, even if it means he has to do something hard, like break up with his wife who just had brain surgery. But that’s exactly what he does. Amelia is pretty cool about the whole thing, honestly. They both seem relieved. Owen can start over. Go to Teddy, Owen! GO TO HER.
Sob Scale: 4/10
As a personal policy, I am always emotionally available for a person crying tears of joy while putting her feet in the ocean. Am I sad that Riggs is leaving us for good? Yes. However, watching that new family playing on the beach and finally getting their happily ever after is a pretty decent consolation prize. Group hugs in the ocean for everyone!