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Grey’s Anatomy Recap: How Do I Love Thee?

Grey’s Anatomy

Old Scars, Future Hearts
Season 14 Episode 15
Editor’s Rating *****
Photo: Mitch Haaseth/ABC

Am I the only person who’s super into this Marie Cerone story line? Meredith’s relationship with her mother is a part of the foundation of Grey’s Anatomy, and the fact that we’re still exploring it, still discovering new facets of that relationship all these years after Ellis’s death, is just tremendous. To those who thought Meredith wouldn’t work without Derek, get out of my OR right now.

Meredith has been scouring her mother’s journals for some clue about why the one-time BFFs had a falling out, but is coming up short. According to the journals, Ellis and Marie were … well, they were basically Meredith and Cristina. There were tequila nights and deepest darkest secrets. So when Marie shows up back at the hospital, Meredith confronts her. Is she trying to sabotage Meredith’s possible game-changing medical breakthrough just to get back at Ellis? Marie assures Meredith that she isn’t here to sabotage — she’s just here to get what’s hers.

According to Marie, Ellis’s second Harper Avery Award — which she won for that little thing known as the Ellis Grey Procedure — was actually supposed to be the Grey-Cerone Procedure. They worked on it together: Marie even has the paper they was going to publish until Ellis published first and removed Marie’s name from the entire thing. Marie felt so betrayed that she moved back to Spain and never returned. Now, she is holding her polymer patent hostage. She won’t allow Meredith to license the polymer unless Meredith makes a public statement revealing the truth — or Marie’s version of the truth — about her mother’s second Harper Avery.

After a chat with Webber, Meredith realizes that she’d be dismantling her mother’s legacy without her mother around to defend herself. She understands Marie’s anger, but this is just not something she can bring herself to do. Marie isn’t going to budge. She has the polymer and now she has Meredith’s science. Any mini-liver breakthrough will be known as the Cerone Method.

Obviously, we’ll be revisiting this whole polymer situation at a later date. At the moment, however, there are more pressing issues to discuss.

Kimmie has been wonderful and all, but we really haven’t had a great, memorable patient story in a while: Enter cosplay-loving teenager Charlie and his scarred heart. Maggie, Alex, and Jo are prepping to do a very cool, but risky procedure on the kid’s damaged heart until a transplant miraculously arrives. Charlie doesn’t want the transplant. He wants to keep the heart he has because that is the heart that fell in love with his very adorable boyfriend, Henry. Death be damned! Alex echoes all of us when he’s like, Uh, dude, love doesn’t work that way. Normally my eyes would hurt from rolling so hard at someone wanting to forgo surgery for something as dumb as this, but, you guys, Charlie and Henry are wearing crowns and reciting poetry and they are just so stinking cute.

It doesn’t much matter anyway: After the good doctors explain that if Charlie turns down this heart, he may never get back on the transplant list, so Henry asks for a moment alone with Charlie and dumps the kid. Now Charlie will take the transplant after all. He doesn’t care if they cut his heart out. IT IS USELESS NOW. Teen drama is the best drama.

This intense display of first love gets each of our doctors thinking about their first loves, which means we finally get some flashbacks up in this place. Most are appropriately tragic, except for Maggie’s, which is appropriately hilarious. Her first love is Steve and she falls for him over a cadaver named Leonard. They have a funeral for Leonard, where they bury his heart and Maggie reads a poem that both declares her love for Steve and compares him to a cadaver. So, it does not have the intended effect.

In Alex’s flashback, we finally meet his mother. It’s a big deal! In 1994, he’s dating some blonde and she gets a full dose of Alex’s mother one day while off her meds. Alex has to calm his mother down and he is, as expected, so good at it. Later, Alex goes to meet his girlfriend at a party and overhears her cruelly retelling the story to a group of friends. Alex is better off without her.

In 2003, Jo is in high school and living in her car. A classmate, Chris, helps her out of a sticky situation and the two fall in love. Chris is great! He is kind and generous and wants a future with Jo. As he is headed off to college, he asks Jo to move in with him. Jo is supposed to pick him up and help him move into his new place, but instead she skips town. Jo is broken inside!

Speaking of broken, Alex and Jo are having some troubles. Alex finds Jo’s applications to fellowship programs all over the country. He’s upset because he doesn’t want to derail her career, but he also doesn’t want to lose her. He understands that since Paul is gone, this is her first opportunity to choose to go where she wants, but he thought he was enough to make her want to stay in Seattle. True confession: I think my dislike for the Maggie and Jackson situation is making me appreciate Jo and Alex more. Is this happening to anyone else? Am I a monster? Don’t answer that.

Back to sweet Charlie. The transplant does not go smoothly. The new heart is too big and he ends up having to the spend the night with his chest still open, heart exposed to the world. We get the metaphor, Grey’s. Poor Henry comes back, thinking Charlie would be fine and he could explain he only broke up with him to get him to do the surgery, but he finds him unconscious, heart exposed.

Don’t fret: Charlie makes it through the second surgery and wakes up just fine. Better than fine, really. Moments after he wakes, Henry walks in wearing a surgical gown with his knight cosplay outfit drawn on it, reciting Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s “How Do I Love Thee?” and all is right in the world once more.

Jo is inspired by the grand gesture of love. Alex comes home that night to find their apartment filled with candles. Jo pours her heart out to Alex. They fit together. She’s spent her life running, but he is her home. She doesn’t want to go anywhere without him. Alex searches for that pesky old engagement ring, but can’t find it — because Jo is wearing it! Then she proposes and Alex says yes. Actually, he says “hell yes” because this is Alex. This episode is so romantic!

Well, except for April. She and Tom are recovering from their night together, which apparently was pretty great. April is making herself a Bloody Mary after she’s done vomiting, and Tom is refusing to leave until he figures out this whole April situation. The woman he slept with the night before does not match up with the April he’s met in the past — including the one Amelia trusted to be her power of attorney. Or the one who lives in a very well-organized house with her 2-year-old. He plays a guessing game as to what happened to her and lands on crisis of faith. They continue to talk until Tom reveals that he’s also had his own. He lost his 10-year-old son in a freak accident and got in a huge fight with God. April is surprised that Tom is an actual person and that he has some real insights into her life. Of course, before she allows herself to open up to him, she distracts him with more sex.

Thankfully, Jackson gets a glimpse of April’s weird Tom Koracick bender. He must see that April is spiraling. Help your baby mama, Jackson!

Laughter Is the Best Medicine, Except for Real Medicine

• Is “grood” the new “gruel?” #TheLimitDoesNotExist

• I really want to rag on the Jackson and Maggie developments, but then Maggie goes and says she can tell us what happens in every chapter of every Harry Potter book and I’m like, That’s my girl. The respect is short-lived because then they go and talk about how they are “undone” by each other. Looks like they are forced to go public next week, and I cannot wait to hear what Richard and Catherine will have to say!

• Quick update: Amelia and Owen are having lots of ex-sex and loving every minute of it.

• A round of applause for the casting department! The young versions of Alex, Jo, and Maggie are great. Young Jo especially!

• When young Alex goes to that party, TLC’s “Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg” is playing. Don’t you just love the ‘90s?

Sob Scale: 4/10

Did you not read the part where the teen turned his surgical gown into a knight’s costume to reunite with his sick boyfriend?

Grey’s Anatomy Recap: How Do I Love Thee?