Break Down the House; Get Off on the Pain
Episodes 1 and 2
Season 14 of Grey’s Anatomy (yes, haters, this show is still on) arrives with a gift already in tow: a double serving of Grey Sloan soapy deliciousness. I’m taking this super-sized premiere as an apology for that episode last season when we had to watch Alex imagine different scenarios as to how he’d handle Jo’s abusive secret husband. Remember that? What was that? Anyway, with two great episodes in one night, apology accepted.
Last we left our fearless badass surgeon queen, Meredith was both assisting with a hospital explosion (Stephanie has already been sent away to a burn unit in Texas — Texas is so lucky), and telling her newly serious boyfriend with a very serious head of hair that his fianceé, whom he believed to have died in a helicopter crash in Iraq ten years ago, is alive. It was a great moment for Meredith. She knows exactly what she would do if Derek came waltzing back into the hospital, so how can she be anything but happy for Riggs and his second chance with Megan?
Things are going to get much more complicated than that, though. I mean, this is Grey’s Anatomy.
As it turns out, Megan Hunt (now played by the lovely Abigail Spencer, #PleaseWatchRectify) is doing pretty okay. I mean, she looks great for being a hostage in Iraq for ten years and surviving a recent bombing. What’s her skincare routine? Apparently, once her captors discovered she was a trauma surgeon, they wanted to keep her alive so they could put her to work. Surgeons are hard to come by. On top of it all, she became a mother to an orphaned Syrian refugee. Since she was never able to formally adopt the boy, he’s unable to come to the U.S. All she wants is to be reunited with her son. If that means going back to Iraq, so be it. There is one small problem: Megan has an abdominal injury from that bombing that hasn’t healed properly. I’m not a doctor, but I think the correct term for it is “Her Insides Are On Her Outsides.”
Megan can’t go back to Iraq with that kind of injury, but she also doesn’t want to sit around waiting to heal. It could mean months away from her son. Enter Meredith Grey. Sure, she has a conflict of interest seeing that she is currently schtupping the guy who is technically Megan’s fiancé (Megan isn’t privy to this info yet), but Meredith has no ulterior motives here. She’s the best surgeon for the job. As Alex so astutely points out as he eats her entire lunch with his hands, Meredith wants to be the surgeon she wishes had worked on Derek. Yes, Meredith, we all wish Penny had never happened.
However, it is a little shady for everyone surrounding Megan to lie about Riggs and Meredith’s relationship status. Thankfully, we have one heroic goddess to point that out to everyone: You guys, Teddy Altman is back! We can all rejoice because she is the best and she is not taking shit from anyone. She finds Owen having a panic attack over the possibility of losing Megan again and she talks him off the ledge. As soon as she hears that Meredith and Riggs are a thing, she talks some sense into Meredith about being upfront with her patient. When Amelia comes at Teddy for … well, for breathing pretty much, Teddy shuts Amelia’s nonsense down. Teddy has no time for the drama! That’s what happens when you move away from Seattle. It’s called perspective.
Speaking of Amelia, the more Megan learns about her sister-in-law, the less she likes. Eventually, all the women in Owen’s life get together for an Amelia intervention. Megan, Teddy, and Owen’s mother confront him about his nonexistent wife. Shouldn’t she be here comforting Owen? Amelia’s excuse is that she is busy proving an inoperable tumor is in fact operable, much to the chagrin of Jackson, who refuses to help Amelia do something so dangerous, and DeLuca, who is trying to keep his superior in check while also dealing with his older OB-GYN sister. Oh, Carina DeLuca’s in town to hook up with Andrew’s roommate Arizona and perform a study at Grey Sloan that involves women masturbating in the MRI machine. DeLuca’s having a time.
Amelia’s excuse isn’t good enough for Owen once he realizes what the three most important people in his life think about his wife. Owen confronts Amelia, as, you know, most normal people would do when their support system has completely abandoned them in a time of need. He’s worried that something is really wrong with his wife. That she needs help, whether it be therapy or medication. Something is off. Amelia goes ballistic on the guy. I throw something at my television. Go home, Amelia.
Is it great that Owen reacts to his wife’s reaction by kissing Teddy? No. It’s a terrible decision, but it is understandable. Also, Teddy is great about the whole thing because she knows Owen so well. She’s not mad, but also, she’s not into letting Owen cheat on his wife, whatever the situation may be. Perhaps one day these two people who are perfect for one another will finally get together. Today is not that day.
Anyway, back to Meredith and Megan. Meredith is the one to finally tell Megan that she and Riggs have been dating, since neither Riggs (who should be the one telling Megan) nor Owen have the cojones to do so. Grey’s was flying its feminist flag high this evening and it was much appreciated (Bailey’s conversation with Ben and Jo? Yes, yes, a thousand times yes). Meredith tells Megan that she’s already had the love of her life, the two women agree Riggs has excellent taste, and then they move on. There are more important things to think about … like having your insides but back where they belong.
Unfortunately, Meredith’s first plan does not work. After a short stint of self-loathing and a bedroom hang with Maggie and Alex, Meredith comes up with another plan: Instead of repairing Megan’s abdomen, which is virtually impossible, why don’t they replace it? It’s time for a transplant. It’s just as risky as it sounds and everyone is appropriately scared, but Megan is a badass who recognizes the badass in Meredith. Before Megan goes under, Riggs wants to show Megan that he is completely there for her — so he proposes. It would be a very touching proposal (I’m already ‘shipping Riggs and Megan), if not for Meredith walking in during the good part. As you can imagine, things are real awkward. “Panic” is the word I’d use to describe the look in Riggs’s eyes. There’s no time to talk about it, though, because Meredith has found a donor and one does not have time for drama when there is a viable abdomen hanging around.
The transplant is a success. Meredith is a miracle worker. You’d think all houses would be in order, but then Meredith comes across a forlorn Riggs. His marriage proposal is a non-starter: Megan thinks he’s still in love with Meredith. Megan saw those panicked eyes, too, apparently. Meredith, who has made it repeatedly clear that Derek was her one and only, that this thing with Riggs can’t be more than it is, has no words for the guy. It’s a rough day for Nathan Riggs.
As it turns out, it is also a pretty rough day for Amelia Shepherd. Sure, she proves she can do the impossible by going ahead with her inoperable tumor surgery and succeeding, but she also has to stand there and get an earful from an extremely angry Jackson Avery. She doesn’t seem to care much. What does the doc do to celebrate? She volunteers to be a part of the other Dr. DeLuca’s female orgasm study. It sounds like the perfect release after a long day, but when the DeLucas and Amelia take a look at Amelia’s brain scan afterward, they discover a very large brain tumor. That’s right: Amelia has a brain tumor in her frontal lobe. By the looks of it, it’s been there for a long time.
If this development is supposed to be emotional and shocking … it doesn’t work. First of all, haven’t we already dealt with one of our main doctors having a brain tumor (not to mention the Geena Davis storyline)? Wasn’t the ghost sex enough? Second, if this is the show attempting to explain all of Amelia’s awful and erratic behavior, I’m not buying it. Was this planned, or was this just the only believable explanation for how ridiculous Amelia is? I always like to give Grey’s the benefit of the doubt, but man, this is a tough sell. In an otherwise “very Grey’s in the best way” two hours, this twist misses the mark.
• We all know I’m #Japril through and through, however if Jackson needs to go romance someone else before realizing April is his true love, I guess I will allow very awkwardly sweet interactions with Maggie Pierce. I GUESS. Although, there was nothing funny or cute about April spilling her very confused guts to her ex/roommate/baby daddy/part-time lover before telling him she needs to move out so that she can move on. That was just the saddest.
• Webber is put in charge of Minnick’s (girl, bye) selected “sub-interns.” They are terrible. But watching Webber deal with those dummies is definitely not terrible. Even better is when Alex and April complain to Webber about said dummies, and he reminds them how terrible they were until he molded them into excellent doctors. There were so many classic callbacks in this episode — I love that Grey’s Anatomy uses its rich, ridiculous history for comedy.
• Meredith to Jo after stealing a surgery from a sub-intern: “If you want to be a shark, be a shark.” Yet another great callback to the Grey’s days of yesteryear. Cristina is always with us (and Meredith)!
• Funny Arizona is back and better than ever! She has the appropriate response to learning what being “ghosted” means, her reaction to seeing Teddy again is everything we could’ve hoped for, and she freely admits that she doesn’t know how to console someone who’s been fired because, well, she’s never been fired.
• Watching Ben squirm as Jo gives him no choice but to become her “new Stephanie” is perfect. Ben hates the high school drama, but he’s such a nice guy. He can’t help but laugh when she admits she had sex with Glasses, a sub-intern, but he’s also there for her when she tells him about being physically abused. Ben isn’t here for vent-fests, but he also doesn’t want to see Jo spurn Alex because of misinterpretation. Because of his meddling, Jo and Alex reconcile. They reconcile real good.
• “Way to make Stephanie’s life-threatening injuries about you.” Ben just gets Jo.
• Bailey and Ben comparing the construction workers repairing Grey Sloan to surgeons forever and ever.
• Ben telling Bailey where she could wear her uncomfortable, sexy shoes also forever and ever.
Anyone out there get super emotional? I teared up twice. First, when Megan told Owen he was half of her heart and her son was the other half. Another time when we got a glimpse of Cristina’s face as Meredith read one of her published articles. I miss Sandra Oh so much.