Grey’s Anatomy Recap: Cleaning House

Grey’s Anatomy

When It Hurts So Bad
Season 12 Episode 16
Editor’s Rating 3 stars

Grey’s Anatomy

When It Hurts So Bad
Season 12 Episode 16
Editor’s Rating 3 stars
Debbie Allen as Catherine, Jesse Williams as Jackson. Photo: Ron Batzdorff/ABC

A quick sex-ed lesson: There is good sex screaming and there is bad sex screaming. “When It Hurts So Bad” features two cases of the latter, unfortunately.

The first of those cases is patient-based — Very Small Ashley gets injured after having sex with Very Big Chris — and the other instance comes from our heroine Meredith Grey.

After Mer and Major Handsome share some very cute banter on her doorstep, he says “good night” with his mouth, but “invite me in” with his eyes and I feel all sorts of things all over my body. That’s the truest account I could ever provide you with how that scene went down.

Meredith, too, feels things all over her body, and Major Handsome ends up in her bed. We know this because the next morning, she promptly kicks him out of it. Maggie hears her sister yelling for Thorpe to get out and comes running, only to find a very confused Major Handsome standing in his underwear. Maggie and Amelia (who’s crashing at the house after her troubles with Owen) aren’t clear on the details, but if their sister wants the hot doc out, he’s out.

Meredith is physically fine, but emotionally, not so much. She refuses to talk about the night she spent with Thorpe. Instead, all she wants to do is clean. She wipes down the counters, bleaches the oven — is that a thing? — and when the kitchen is clean, Meredith moves to the living room. She seems particularly invigorated by an old carpet stain.

Though Maggie and Amelia are happy to oblige Mer’s new fondness for housekeeping, they realize that if they want to get her to open up, they need to call in the big guns: Alex Karev. Of course, Alex cancels surgeries when he hears there is a Meredith Emergency. Of course, Alex comes barreling into the house wanting to punch Major Handsome, no questions asked. Of course, Alex is the one person for whom Meredith finally stops cleaning and starts talking. This will all be very important in season 17 of Grey’s Anatomy, when Alex and Meredith finally admit they’ve been in love with each other the whole time.

While reorganizing her closet, Meredith finds Derek’s old blanket. Instead of breaking down, she wraps herself up and declares her epic cleaning sesh to be at an end. And then, she goes and makes a fire. In front of that fire, she explains to Alex that she always hated this blanket, but now it’s here and Derek is gone. She also confesses that her post-sex freak-out wasn’t because it was terrible, it was because it wasn’t terrible. It was kind of great. She wasn’t ready for that.

Because Major Handsome is a gentleman, he shows up later to make sure Meredith is okay. She’s not, but at least she’s honest with him. She explains that he was the first since her husband died two years ago, and that even though she wants to be ready for a new relationship, she isn’t. Then there’s more cute banter on the doorstep! Major Handsome is more than happy to back off, but he isn’t giving up for good. Meredith is a girl worth waiting for. There goes my body again, feeling all sorts of things.

Serious question: Is Meredith’s doorstep the new elevator?

Meredith’s cleaning extravaganza isn’t just a distraction for her, however. Amelia and Maggie also use it as an excuse to avoid some tough conversations with the men in their lives. Amelia hasn’t spoken to Owen since she found him drunk in his trailer on his birthday. (We’ve all been there!) Owen finds out Amelia’s hiding at Meredith’s and appears AT THE DOORSTEP — see, the doorstep is getting all the angst these days! — with a very heartfelt apology. Owen knows that Amelia has only recently gotten sober again, and his drunken behavior was thoughtless. Amelia knows he didn’t do it on purpose, but she can’t count on his promise that it’ll never happen again. Amelia is choosing herself and her sobriety.

It’s a huge deal for her to make such a healthy choice, right? I think the “maybe not at all” finality of the breakup was a little dramatic, but it was nice to see Amelia make a smart decision for once. I’m … proud of her. Wait, am I growing, too?!

Maggie has the opposite problem of Amelia: She can’t get her boyfriend to call her. Like, at all. DeLuca’s been standoffish since the two went public and when she starts listing all the ways in which he’s been weird lately, Amelia, Meredith, and Alex have to inform Mags that she’s getting the big ol’ brush-off.

Maggie confronts DeLuca. When she asks if he still wants to be with her and he hesitates, she calls the whole thing off. She doesn’t have time for games. I hope DeLuca realizes that in this relationship, it’s all his loss. Pierce is a catch. She should mash faces with Riggs or something.

Unfortunately, the one relationship moving forward is the one no one really cares about: Callie and Penny. I feel no heat towards this pairing. In fact, my note for their first scene was, “Wait, this is still happening?” Not only is it still happening, it may be around for a while.

Things aren’t looking great when Penny tells Callie she loves her and Callie responds with a tepid “thank you.” Penny is worried that she and Callie aren’t in the same place emotionally. This becomes even more apparent when Sofia — who is old enough to speak in adorable, full sentences, by the way — is brought into the hospital with a gash on her head, and Penny is the only one available to treat her.

Callie gets awkward and makes up a story about not wanting Penny around Sofia yet because it makes Arizona uncomfortable. Penny quickly discovers this is a lie, and she isn’t happy about it. After some prodding from Bailey, Callie admits that she loves Penny, but she’s scared of moving too fast. She always moves too fast. Too fast be damned! In the end, Callie officially introduces Penny to Sofia. Penny and Callie are still on, and we’re all still yawning.

Over in the land of #Japril, Mama Avery is in town and we’re all rejoicing. Mama Avery always manages to keep things interesting. Jackson forbids his mother from interfering with April, which means she immediately does. Catherine assures April that she doesn’t want to fight; she only wants to know how her ex-daughter-in-law is feeling. Before long, April opens up to Catherine in a way she still hasn’t with Jackson.

Later, inspired by her conversation with Catherine, April approaches Jackson — she wants to talk things out. Jackson pulls his mother aside to thank her for disregarding his wishes. It seems as though her chat with April could change everything for them. Catherine agrees: She got all the information she needs to prove April committed fraud by signing the divorce papers without disclosing that she was pregnant. Catherine is out for blood. Or, like, parental rights for Jackson.

Laughter Is the Best Medicine, Except for Real Medicine:

  • A historical moment: I enjoyed Jo tonight! Her gasping realization that Callie was lying to Penny was top-notch.
  • “Why are you all exchanging looks and not words?”
  • More stories of Stephanie’s sexual exploits in college, please!
  • Ben’s visual of a teacup chihuahua climbing a ladder to have sex with a German shepherd. Also, upon further research (Googling “teacup chihuahua”), I’ve come to the conclusion that this breeding is either impossible or the chihuahua would have to be the male. Right? RIGHT?!
  • Did AZ seriously try to put some of the blame for betraying April’s trust (and violating HIPAA) on Alex? I miss Sexual Renaissance Arizona. Wingman Webber would not suffer her foolery.

The Sob Scale: 0/10

No crying tonight, but there were some good sighs: Meredith opening up to Alex by the fire, Alex storming into La Casa de Grey wanting to crack Major Handsome’s Skull, Alex’s concern for the whereabouts of the pizza. Basically anything Alex-related. Sigh.

Grey’s Anatomy Recap: Cleaning House