Grey’s Anatomy Season Finale Recap: Taking the Plunge

Grey’s Anatomy

Family Affair
Season 12 Episode 24
Editor’s Rating 4 stars

Grey’s Anatomy

Family Affair
Season 12 Episode 24
Editor’s Rating 4 stars
Caterina Scorsone as Amelia. Photo: Byron Cohen/ABC

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Grey’s Anatomy knows how to do finales. In the past 12 seasons, many of the most memorable Grey’s moments happened during a finale: Cristina holding Meredith back as Derek gets shot; Mark telling Lexie he loves her as she dies under a piece of that stupid plane; Addison introducing herself as Derek’s wife; Meredith and Cristina’s final dance; Izzie crying over Denny’s body; Meredith realizing the bus-crash victim was George because he wrote “007” on her hand. These are some all-timers, people.

So, which moments from “Family Affair” will join the Grey’s Hall of Fame? For starters, the phone call during April’s C-section will haunt me for the rest of my days. Or maybe that final shot of Meredith realizing that she and Riggs have feelings for each other and that those feelings will gut Maggie. Or, hey, it could be that scene where Arizona gives Callie plane tickets to New York and tells her the custody battle was a bad idea, so they should just share Sofia, and Callie shouldn’t have to suffer any consequences for being really dumb. Just kidding! It’ll never be that one because it was the worst.

No one dies in this finale and we don’t get any shocking cliffhangers to nag us all summer, but aside from the botched Arizona-Callie plot, “Family Affair” is an emotionally satisfying close to a pretty great season. In true finale fashion, the whole episode is centered around a wedding. So, in honor of Amelia and Owen’s nuptials, let’s recap this thing wedding-style.

Something Old. Like, So Old It’s Exhausting. Seriously Amelia, Get Over Yourself!

Surprise, surprise! Amelia is falling apart on her wedding day. Meredith and Maggie try to coax the blushing bride out of the bathroom she’s locked herself in — a bathroom, as Meredith points out, that has seen its fair share of adult meltdowns — after she learns that no one in her family supports her decision to get married. This doesn’t work. Instead, it takes a swoon-worthy visit from Owen to calm her down. Through the door, he tells Amelia that it doesn’t matter if her family skips the wedding because he’ll be there and she’ll be there. That’s all they need. I’ve never wanted Owen Hunt to carry me like a baby more than I did in this moment.

Amelia pulls herself together enough to get to the church, but soon enough, she delivers yet another tirade to Meredith. She’s doubting the marriage and feels completely alone. She knows Meredith is rooting against her. Meredith takes it all in stride, then tells Amelia that she is well-versed in tending to Twisted Sisters. If Amelia needs to be convinced to walk down the aisle, she can do that; if Amelia wants to run, Mer will drive the getaway car.

Amelia chooses the latter. She, Meredith, and Maggie run through the pouring rain, hop in the car (which leads to the best line of this episode, “Well, he could use some sun”), and end up buying Slurpees at a gas station. Then, of course, Amelia starts screaming again. She blames Meredith for letting her leave. She’s scared she uses Owen like a drug. And can a person really have more than one great love anyway? Ugh, Amelia. Just when you convinced me that you were not the Worst, you go and make a scene in front of a Slurpee machine.

Meredith is shockingly more patient than I am, and she gets Amelia back to the church, convinces her that people can have multiple soul mates (look at Webber, duh), reminds her that Owen loves her, and sends that girl down the aisle. Owen and Amelia are married, people! What a strange new world season 13 will be.

Something New … and Very Flirty

When Meredith and Riggs run into each other after their visit to Humpsville, they are positively giddy — well, as giddy as Meredith Grey can be. He wants to go for another round, but she doesn’t want him attached, she says, with a coy smile. This whole scene was so flirty and cute, that by the time Riggs ragged on Meredith for assuming she’d become his sun and his moon after one night together, I was totally in on this pairing.

Later at the church, Meredith and Riggs open up about Derek and Megan. These are simple stories with a lot of emotion behind them. Meredith and Riggs seem to look at each other as if for the first time. They’re realizing that maybe it’s possible to move forward — and maybe they already have. As Meredith stands at the altar, Riggs can’t take his eyes off of her. He is smiling like an idiot, and Meredith notices. Unfortunately, so does the gal standing next to Mer: Maggie. Mags thinks Riggs is sending that goofy grin her way, so she admits to Meredith that she has feelings for the guy. Meredith’s immediate uh-oh face is one for the books.

Something Borrowed for an Emergency C-Section. On Second Thought, Why Don’t You Just Keep That?

In a matter of minutes, April Kepner goes from history’s greatest best man to its worst. She remembers black socks for Owen, but leaves the rings at Meredith’s house. She forces early wedding guest Ben Warren to drive her back. While scouring the house for the rings, she starts having contractions. Yeah, this baby is on its way.

Ben wants to drive her to the hospital, but with the storm and traffic, April knows they’ll never make it on time. She prefers delivering her baby on Meredith’s rug in the backseat of Ben’s car in the pouring rain. Does she know how much sex has been had on that rug? Probably not.

Ben soon discovers that the baby is breech and its blood supply is cut off. April needs a C-section, and Ben Warren is going to give her one, right there on Meredith’s kitchen table. Oh, Grey’s Anatomy, look at you coming all full circle and everything.

With Bailey, Jackson, and Arizona on speakerphone, Ben uses a kitchen knife and cuts into April … with no anesthesia! It is horrifying. Just moments earlier, she made Ben promise that he would save the baby’s life over hers while Jackson yelled over the phone to keep April alive. Though this whole story line is a little extreme, the phone-call sequence is pure Grey’s drama greatness. Bailey tells Ben she trusts him! Jackson has to listen to the person he loves most scream in terror! Arizona stands there! It has everything.

And guess what? Everyone is okay! Ben, April, and the newborn girl arrive in the ambulance, and although April has to be whisked away to surgery, Bailey soon comes out to tell Jackson that she’s fine. Ben managed to save two lives today. Ben and Bailey hug, the #Japril family seems happy, and I am so very satisfied.

Something Blue (By Which I’m Referring to Karev’s Emotional State and DeLuca’s Face)

As most people guessed, it’s not that Jo doesn’t want to marry Alex — it’s that she can’t. Jo is drunk and ends up getting babysat by the endearingly chivalrous DeLuca. He takes her home to keep her from doing anything she regrets, and in her drunken stupor, she confesses that she can’t marry Alex because she’s already married. She married a guy to get out of her house-car, and he ended up being abusive. She had no choice but to run away, and she can’t divorce him because then he’ll find her. She can’t tell Alex because she knows he’ll want to go after the guy. Alex doesn’t even know Jo’s real name! This is supposed to be tragic, but I’m just bored.

Even more predictable: As DeLuca tries to get a stripped-down Jo into bed, he falls on top of her and — gasp! — Alex walks in to see the intern on top of his girlfriend. Before DeLuca can clear it all up, Alex reacts by repeatedly punching him in the face. This whole story line hasn’t even started and I’m already over it.

Well, team, that’s a wrap on the season! If nothing else, these 24 episodes prove that the show that built ShondaLand still has it. I wish you the best of luck as you navigate a summer without hot doctors, gross-out surgeries, and irrational attachments to fictional characters. Don’t forget to give those tear ducts a rest, too. They deserve it.

Grey’s Anatomy Finale Recap: Taking the Plunge