Anyone else still gobsmacked that the powers behind Grey’s Anatomy have decided to explain a character’s worst qualities by giving her a giant tumor on her frontal lobe? You know, the part of the brain that controls personality and decision-making? I don’t know if I’m infuriated or impressed. It must be the most audacious way to fix a character problem in television history. Okay, so maybe I am impressed. Giving Amelia Shepherd a ten-centimeter tumor that’s been growing for ten years takes balls, Shondaland. Real big balls.
As Amelia’s old professor and chosen neurosurgeon, Tom Koracick, begins to question DeLuca and Webber as to how no one picked up on any symptoms, I just laughed. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one. Was Amelia ever erratic? Impulsive? Obsessive? Did she ever run out on her wedding only to screech about her terrible decisions whilst sipping a Slurpee? Okay, he doesn’t actually ask that last one, but he might as well have. Tom is basically writing an Amelia Shepherd character description. If she makes it out of this surgery alive (please, Shonda, do not take away another one of Tyne Daly’s children. That woman has been through some things), I suppose we’ll face several episodes about Amelia figuring out who she really is and if any damage control can be done to her marriage … if she and Owen even want to be married anymore. So, we have that to look forward to?
Anyway, this tumor is really happening, and aside from the initial shock, it provides some good moments. Amelia, like all Grey Sloan doctors, doesn’t want to tell any of her loved ones about it. Tom pretty much forces her to at least tell Webber. DeLuca hates being burdened with this secret, so he makes a hilarious attempt to tell Maggie without telling her. He brings her into a room with all of Amelia’s scans up and says he wants to talk about how his and Maggie’s relationship ended. He wants to “ameliorate the situation” and “shepherd in a new era.” Maggie doesn’t pick up what he’s putting down, but it is adorable to watch. When did DeLuca become such a great supporting character? Let’s have him hook up with someone soon. Between dealing with dumb Jo and crazy Amelia, not to mention his orgasm-obsessed sister embarrassing him at every turn, it’s only fair.
At the moment, Amelia only has Richard to talk to about her situation. Honestly, if you’re only going to have one person be “your people,” Richard might be the best pick. He walks Amelia off the ledge of believing she’s screwed up every patient she’s had in the last ten years — her mortality rate was better than Derek’s — and then he goes into one of his inspirational, thought-provoking Richard Webber speeches. She needs to let the people who love her help her through this. Hold me, Richard!
Amelia knows Richard is right, so she sits Maggie down for a chat. Maggie is weepy, but she can also see through Amelia’s attempt to mask her fear with humor. It’s a testament to their sister-bond. Amelia asks Maggie to be there when she tells Owen, and that she’s going to need Mags to tell Meredith. Amelia can’t bear to give Meredith the satisfaction of being right: Meredith’s been saying it for years, and now she is kind of crazy. Maggie obliges on both requests. Owen is pissed that he’s been summoned to the hospital after getting the cold shoulder for so long, but seeing Amelia’s scans shuts him up. Meredith comes to Amelia’s hospital bedside and doesn’t say “I told you so,” even though she is probably aching to, and instead crawls in bed with her sister. Amelia has her people with her as she’s admitted to the hospital. It’s all very “Izzie has stage IV metastatic melanoma,” but here we are.
Speaking of old friends and colleagues, Meredith’s therapist from when she was attacked by a patient that one time is admitted with a giant blood clot. He’s the one who helped Meredith embrace life post Derek. He’s a miracle-worker. Even in his hospital bed, he’s happy to listen to Meredith unload about her current problems with Nathan Riggs. She’s seemingly enraged by Nathan’s face, which is weird because it is a very nice face. Alas, she is in a mood and not even Zola can snap her out of it.
When I say Walter Carr is a miracle worker, I’m not exaggerating. While he’s being pulled in and out of tests, procedures, and even a life-saving surgery, he and Meredith chat. They chat about her anger. They chat about the fact that she will never EVER allow herself to be put into another love triangle, which is what Megan and Riggs are doing to her. They chat about why she started a relationship with Riggs: He understood what it was like to lose the love of your life. Walter listens and has thoughts, but ultimately, Meredith comes to her own conclusion as to the underlying reason for why she’s so upset. Once she has this breakthrough, she immediately goes to see Riggs.
Meredith is mad at Riggs because he is throwing away this wonderful gift that she’ll never get to have. They fell for each other because they shared that same unattainable dream that their true loves lived, and if Riggs won’t fight for Megan, he is betraying their dream. Riggs not fighting to win Megan back is offensive to Meredith.
Meredith is a complicated woman. What else is new?
Laughter Is the Best Medicine, Except for Real Medicine
• Can Debbie Allen and Chandra Wilson form a comedy duo? The two of them fumbling around after finding Harper Avery — a.k.a. the curmudgeon, resident misogynist, scathingly mean grandfather, and head of the Harper Avery Foundation that provides all of Grey Sloan’s funding — dead in a conference room brought life where there was none before.
• Jesse Williams could be their sidekick because that pregnant pause in the middle of his speech about his late grandfather (“I take special comfort knowing that he died … doing what he loved”) was a great little button to the story line.
• “You said the walls looked lovely!”
•After watching Bailey and Ben suffer through the whole “church and state” dark period of their marriage, it sure is nice to see them so in love and supportive and HOT for each other. Carina DeLuca teaches some of the staff that an orgasm is a natural pain reliever, so when Bailey complains of aches and pains after a long day, Ben puts that knowledge to good use. Get it, you two! Get it all the time!
• Thank Shonda for Megan Hunt bringing some much needed “get a grip” attitude to Grey Sloan. As Owen blathers on about his marital problems, she has very little sympathy. Being a hostage in Iraq for ten years and coming home to give up the man she loves so that he can be with the woman he fell for while she was presumed dead will always trump Amelia drama. Fact of life.
• I hate that a “hocopro” is a real thing, but not as much as I hate that I now know what a “hocopro” is. It’s a “homecoming proposal,” for those who would like to suffer with me. I’m so glad I’m not in high school in 2017.
• This Alex and Jo reunion isn’t really lighting my fire. However, even I can admit that Jo’s mini “hocopro” to ask Alex to move back into the apartment was cute. Ugh, I hate myself.
Sob Scale: 2/10
I’m not complaining about Grey’s hitting the humor and lightheartedness hard in season 14, but I fear that the show is just building up a whole reservoir of intense moments that it will release all at once, like some sort of dramatic sob-inducing kraken.