Sometimes all you need is a push. A push to start dating again, a push to adapt to a new environment, a push to test out your surgical skills on an unsuspecting, unconscious elderly woman who definitely did not sign up for this shit.
In “Why Try to Change Me Now,” the entirety of Grey Sloan Memorial gets a big ol’ push in the form of Dr. Eliza Minnick (Marika Dominczyk). She’s the esteemed doc called in by Catherine and Bailey to evaluate the floundering residency program — and perhaps take the reins from Webber. The residents love her because she’s popping into surgeries and forcing attendings to let their students do more than observe. The attendings hate her because, well, she’s popping into surgeries and forcing attendings to let their students do more. You get the picture.
Understandably, Eliza’s arrival has some of our doctors worrying about their job status. When Maggie happens upon (read: steals) Eliza’s notebook with a list of their names, she assumes it’s a ranking based on resident reviews … and Maggie has landed squarely at the bottom. As it turns out, it’s just a list so Eliza can remember who everyone is. Snooze fest, right?
An attendings rankings would be most illuminating, but since Eliza didn’t do the deed, I shall take the job upon myself. Yes, a doctor ranking is just what the recapper ordered. Here’s how our Grey Sloan friends fared in tonight’s episode, from best to worst.
1) Arizona Robbins: Fetal Surgeon, Cute As a Button
Pros: Arizona is well-versed in Tinder dings and can tell someone off while being adorable at the same time. When she discovers that her name isn’t even on Eliza’s list, she works herself into a tizzy, as is her way, and makes sure to tell the new girl in town that Arizona Robbins is a damn good doctor who raises good doctors. Of course, she finds out that her speech was all for naught: AZ’s name wasn’t on the list because Eliza doesn’t need any help remembering a name attached to a face like Arizona’s.
Cons: Though typically known for her terrible choices when it comes to custody battles, Arizona is nothing but a delight this evening.
2) Alex Karev: Former Peds Surgeon, Current Sad Sack
Pros: Generally stays out of any trouble this week. He’s taken on the burden of Amelia Shepherd, which means he sees through her bull (“You just said ‘I’m fine’ a lot of times”), but he also knows when the hot mess needs some sympathy … and a room in Meredith’s house.
Cons: Has a very “dead man walking” vibe about him these days. It’s unsettling.
3) Jackson Avery: Plastic Surgeon, Creator of Cheesy Carb Towers
Pros: Jackson makes world-class plates of nachos (the most important criteria for this ranking), and calls April out for her use of the word “amazing.” He’s also making the best of a very awkward situation with his live-in baby-mama/ex-wife, who recently entered the Tinder game. When April admits that her first date was terrible and she doesn’t want to see the guy again, Jackson does the honorable thing and gives her a pep talk. She’s doing fine and she needs to just get out there. Dip her toes in the dating pool and “eventually [she’ll] learn to swim.” IT IS SO DREAMY I CANNOT TAKE IT.
Cons: He still hasn’t told April that he loves her and they’re soul mates, which is so obvious it hurts. Also, was the guac-to-chip ratio a little off on those nachos? No, just kidding, they were perfect. Typical.
4) Richard “He’ll Always Be the Chief to Me” Webber: General Surgeon, Gettin’ Too Old for This Shit
Pros: Even with the most to lose, he stands up for his attendings and their teaching methods while in surgery with Eliza. (His defense of genius daughter Maggie is the greatest.) When Eliza knowingly allows interns to nick arteries in surgery, he doesn’t let her get away with it without a stern talking to that includes the words “you’re insane.” But he also proves that you can teach an old dog new tricks, as long as that dog has a patient with a very applicable story line to what he’s going through. Thanks to real talk from Maggie and an illuminating moment from his elderly bowling patients, he realizes that Eliza’s methods are only meant to push Webber and the hospital into bold, new, successful territory. Furthermore, he kinda likes being pushed a little.
Cons: He gets very sassy-pants with Miranda Bailey, which is not cool at all. And he’s not very quick on the uptake, either. He’s oblivious to the fact that if Eliza comes to work at Grey Sloan permanently, there’ll be no place for him. You in danger, girl.
5) Miranda Bailey: Chief of Surgery, Queen of My Heart
Pros: Seems appropriately conflicted about wanting the best surgical program in the country while also wanting to protect her mentor. She handles being yelled at by said mentor like a pro. She married Ben Warren, which is a “con” when hallway C-sections are in play, but tonight is a “pro” because he holds her close and sincerely asks things like, “What do you need?” She’s facing pressure from Catherine Avery and realizing that her job is to keep her hospital moving forward. In short, she’s doing the best she can.
Cons: She doesn’t tell Webber that Eliza is seriously considering the residency program director job, so long as she’s the sole authority and he is ousted. She lets Webber blather on about how he’s come to realize he and Eliza would make a great team and that he’ll keep his fingers crossed that she decides to stay at Grey Sloan. It’s painful for Bailey, sure, but even more painful for us.
6) Maggie Pierce: Cardiothoracic Wunderkind, Big Nerd
Pros: Mags is a surgical prodigy, but also can admit that for this very reason, she’s a terrible teacher. She moves so quickly in surgery, she makes Leah Murphy’s brain melt. (Extra points!) After recognizing as much, she’s able to take a step back, consider her obligation to her resident, and admit her own shortcomings, as well as the benefit of having someone like Eliza around.
Cons: She’s real annoying about the whole Eliza thing until her aforementioned surgical epiphany. This includes stealing her notebooks, bothering all of her co-workers, telling Riggs he’ll probably be the first one fired with very little empathy about the whole thing, obviously sucking up to Eliza, and just generally being not cool about anything ever.
7) Meredith Grey: General Surgeon, Local Curmudgeon
Pros: She’s mean to Amelia.
Cons: She’s mean to Webber.
8) Amelia “Emilio” Shepherd: Neurosurgeon, Real Dumb
Pros: Ha ha ha. That’s cute.
Cons: Against the advice of Alex Karev, Amelia spends two weeks sleeping at Grey Sloan, moping and picking fights with her husband while standing over a patient instead of actually talking to him about her understandably dark feelings regarding pregnancy. When Amelia does finally talk to Owen, it’s less a mature conversation and mostly just her yelling, “I don’t want to have a baby!” in his face. She ends up seeking refuge at her new BFF Alex’s house, which also happens to be Meredith’s house. Yeah, that’s not going to be the smoothest of moves.