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Grey’s Anatomy Recap: The One Thing

Grey’s Anatomy

Momma Knows Best
Season 15 Episode 4
Editor’s Rating *****

Grey’s Anatomy

Momma Knows Best
Season 15 Episode 4
Editor’s Rating *****
Photo: Rick Rowell/ABC

A Station 19 crossover event! Meredith’s going on a date! Maggie is trapped in a moral conundrum! All of this should make for an exciting episode of Grey’s Anatomy, shouldn’t it? I’m sad to report, “Momma Knows Best” is mostly a snoozefest. Perhaps they were building up to the second hour of the crossover event but, like, give us something. Give us more than Josh Radnor being a jerk!

Let’s talk about Mer’s big date, shall we? It’s a lunch, so that’s not great. She’s dressed in business casual, also not a good sign — although everyone at the hospital acts like Meredith is a teen nerd in a ‘90s movie and Freddie Prinze Jr. just took her glasses off. How will they react when Meredith, I don’t know, wears A DRESS and a BOLD LIP? Will DeLuca’s jaw fall off? Anyway, Meredith doesn’t have much hope for this date, but Alex tells her she has to wait at least 30 minutes before bailing and no cheating by pretending to get a page. This friendship makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

At the restaurant, she meets Ted Mosby, I mean, that insufferable teacher from Rise, I mean John, and it’s a little awkward but they get past that pretty easily. Dare I say, they kind of hit it off? He’s a divorced privacy software guy who totally gets being married to your work. He also goes on a rant about something he calls “the one thing” which is a phenomenon that happens when you’re on a date and it’s going well, but then that person says or does “the one thing” that ruins it all. Like using incorrect grammar. Or being a racist. They really go into detail on this, so you know it’s going to pop up later. We’ve all seen TV.

Funny story, John and Meredith realize they are actually not supposed to be on this date together. Meredith’s matchmaker didn’t allow pictures beforehand, so she knew she was supposed to meet John, just not this particular John. This particular John mistook Meredith for the other blonde he was supposed to regale with his explanations of dating red flags. But they really like each other, so they agree to text the original dates that they’re bailing, who are over at the bar hitting it off (what a meet-cute!), and then sneak out of the restaurant together. It’s all going so well!

Until John says The One Thing. You’d think for a guy who is so concerned about great dates being ruined by one sentence he’d ask Meredith if she has kids before declaring that single mothers are desperate when it comes to dating. But he doesn’t. And that ends that. Maybe second time’s the charm?

Elsewhere, this Alex Learning to Be the Chief thing is entertaining. He thinks he’s terrible at this job and would like to quit, but Webber begrudgingly gives him a pep talk about how he cannot give up until he’s excelled at the job and decides he doesn’t want it — otherwise it’s just failing. It’s a perfect Richard Webber speech.

Alex ends up being thankful for his new power at the hospital once Julius, a victim from an apartment fire, comes in and refuses to let them operate on the bleb on his lung (it’s a real thing!) because it’s a pre-existing condition and his mom’s insurance only covers emergency surgery. Alex figures out a way around that technicality: He (lightly) cuts the kid and tells him he has to have emergency surgery which will WINK cover anything they happen to operate on while he’s on the table WINK. Webber is furious when he finds out; Alex could be charged with assault and insurance fraud, not to mention lose his medical license. But Alex understands where Julius is coming from. Alex had to steal a car when he was 12 to get his sick little sister to the hospital because they couldn’t afford to call an ambulance. He feels for the kid! Do all these reminders of Alex’s sad past mean more family members will be popping up soon? I love when Karevs come to town. So much drama! So much angst!

Anyway, Julius wakes up healed from his bleb and is very grateful. Alex is the Chief, and he’s not going to fire himself, nor will he be charged with anything, so this whole medical ethics disaster works out totally fine. Not like Grey Sloan has really ever been on the up-and-up when it comes to medical ethics.

Hey! Speaking of, let’s talk about Maggie. She is very stressed! Jackson is sending her photos of trees, which is fine but not helpful, and knowing about Teddy’s pregnancy is eating her alive. She is grappling with the thought that even though it breaks HIPAA, maybe she needs to tell Amelia about the bombshell that’s headed in her direction. Amelia needs to be prepared. Of course Maggie ends up with a case that very much has to do with whether or not to inform someone of the truth, even if it will hurt them, even if it is not your truth to tell.

Another victim coming from the apartment fire is Natalie, a woman who was evacuated but then passed out on the street. She’s not doing well and her son Max is freaked out by the whole thing. Natalie explains that he only calms down once he knows what’s going on and what’s about to happen. Maggie is great with him. But things go to hell when Max’s dad shows up. He’s not into being straightforward with Max, especially now that Maggie informs him Natalie must have suffered a heart attack days ago, not known, and has pretty severe damage to her heart. There’s only the slimmest of chances that she’ll wake up after her surgery. Maggie thinks it’s wrong to withhold this information from Max, to not let him say goodbye, but, you know, it’s really not her place to make decisions for other people and their kids. Max senses that something is really wrong with his mom and that his dad is lying to him, so he runs off, away from the hospital … into the second hour of the crossover on Station 19.

Meanwhile, Maggie reaches her breaking point with all this “keeping secrets from fragile people” stuff. She knowingly breaks HIPAA and tells Meredith that Teddy is pregnant with Owen’s baby. It’s wrong for so many reasons, but you know, isn’t it time we let this secret out? Let’s do this thing!

Laughter is the Best Medicine, Except For Real Medicine

• Let’s hope Carina isn’t leaving for good. Her scenes with Andrew have been highlights of the show. Plus we get some great backstory when Andrew tells Max about his sister lying to him when their mother died because she wanted to be there with him when he found out the truth. Okay, spelled out like that it sounds awful, but I promise, when Andrew tells the story, it is moving.

• Jo and Link know each other! Well, Brooke and Link know each other. They run into each other in the hallway and seem to be great old friends from Jo’s former life. Hey man, whatever gives Link more to do on this show, I am here for it.

• Amelia thinks Betty is lying about being sober and starts having a meltdown (what’s new) about not being equipped to parent a teenage drug addict. She calls Owen’s mother (!) to the hospital (!!) and seeks her advice on strong parenting tactics (!!!). Owen’s mother starts telling her about building an emotional boat and… I’m sorry, does anyone care about this storyline at all? It’s totally fine if you do, I’d just love to know more about your life choices. Anyway, Betty admits to smoking weed and Amelia grounds her for a month. She loves being a lame parent!

• Wait, I’m into Maggie and Dean! I know Maggie isn’t, but maybe she should be? He likes her because she’s smart and nice to scared kids and has beautiful eyes. Go to him, Mags! I doubt Dean would ditch you to spend time with trees.

• It’s just a matter of time before Ben gets seriously injured in a fire, right? They are planting those seeds. A whole garden of them.

Sob Scale: 0/10
Are we never to cry again? What is this world?

Grey’s Anatomy Recap: The One Thing