To paraphrase April, we are all just living in a chaotic void where everything is meaningless and nothing matters. And I’m not talking about the new episode — I’m talking about the genuinely shocking news that Sarah Drew and Jessica Capshaw will be leaving Grey’s Anatomy at the end of the season because of “the show’s creative direction.” Okay, maybe it isn’t that dire, but it is an unwelcome surprise. I guess the best way to describe my feelings over the ouster is that I am currently that GIF of Viola Davis in How to Get Away With Murder shaking her head, picking up her purse, and leaving. You know the one.
Now begins the agony of wondering just how these characters will be written off. Arizona has some easy outs — Carina, Italy, and New York, to name a few — but April is trickier. Obviously, the best-case scenario for my #Japril-loving heart is a Doug Ross/Carol Hathaway from ER sort of situation. But I can’t see April leaving Harriet and I can’t see Jackson letting Harriet go, even temporarily. The Angel of Death hasn’t paid a visit to Grey Sloan in a while … so will they kill her off? Will it happen just as she and Jackson reunite? WHY SHONDA WHY.
Apologies, you came here for a recap. But the pain is still raw! I am honestly worried that April’s current shame spiral is going to end very badly. In “Games People Play,” she arrives at work in a foul mood — like a worse mood than me if I haven’t eaten in a while. (Ask around, that is pretty bad.) She is yelling about elevator capacity and unruly rugby men goofing off in the ER. She is yelling about rules, people. When the rugby player does not listen to April’s rules, he ends up causing an accident that ends with April accidentally cutting off her patient’s ear and DeLuca slipping on that ear and getting a concussion. I love this show!
DeLuca is sent to sleep it off in a patient room and also finally admit to Sam that he loves her and she loves him. Can we talk about how great DeLuca is? Sam not so much, but DeLuca, yes.
Things end differently for April: Owen is mad that she didn’t report the accident, which is very unlike her, and now the hospital lawyers are worried about a lawsuit. April is dismissed for the day. She doesn’t take the news well, and it’s yet another example of a person breaking the rules and someone innocent paying for it. She goes home to chug a bottle of liquor and … I don’t know, look at pictures of baby farm animals to remind her of her roots or something.
Meanwhile, Maggie is planning a game night as a ruse for a Sister Panel. What’s a Sister Panel, you ask? It’s when your sisters meet the person you’re sleeping with so that they can tell you if he’s the right guy to officially date. Mags is having a lot of fun with Clive, and now the time to convene a Sister Panel has come.
But there is a minor issue: Jackson Avery. Jackson and Maggie team up to work on Sarah the Ear Girl, who has had a hole in her heart since birth and is worried about going into surgery with that defect. Sarah may only have one ear at the moment, but she claims to have a well-tuned vibe-o-meter. She senses something is going on between Maggie and Jackson, even just by the way Maggie says his name. I think Sarah is the only person on the planet who senses these vibes. Who is into this pairing?
Maggie and Jackson flirt over surgery, both trying to play up how into their significant others they are. (Yes, Jackson is still dating Priya the human-rights lawyer.) When game night rolls around, Jackson and Priya are the first to show up, and the two of them standing in the foyer with Maggie and Clive is as awkward as you’d expect. But it gets even more awkward when April arrives. She is seemingly buzzed and also packing her own bottle of alcohol.
But wait! Then Tom Koracick shows up. (Amelia, who’s busy off having sex with Owen [not a typo] invited him.) Sister Panel is a bust, so Maggie tries to make the best of game night. They attempt to have fun, but things get weird. April grows more and more heated as fewer and fewer people follow the rules of the games. Eventually, she has the aforementioned “life is meaningless” freak-out.
YOU GUYS, IT GETS EVEN WORSE. April’s awkward meltdown is only stopped by her getting up to grab more booze … and Clive’s wife showing up at the door. You read that right: Clive is a dirty dog and he’s cheating on his (probably very nice) wife, Daphne. Maggie is left stunned and Jackson saves the day by telling Clive and Daphne to deal with their crap elsewhere, and that Clive should lose Maggie’s number, real fast. Game night can’t really survive that bomb, so everyone shuffles out. Since April is too drunk to drive, Koracick “offers” to “drive” her “home.” Only April and Koracick are pleased with that turn of events.
Maggie is left alone to lament over how she could have slept with a married man, until Jackson shows up again. He broke up with Priya. He doesn’t care if it’s complicated, he wants to be with Maggie. They kiss. This is really happening, people. And now, with April’s imminent departure, who knows how this whole thing will shake out?
Before Jackson and Maggie can go any further, Meredith barges in on a mission: She needs Ellis’s journals and she needs them now. Remember that Spanish (and not at all Italian, sorry!) doctor who owns the patent to the polymer that Meredith and Jo need for their mini-livers Surgical Innovation Contest experiment? Yeah, well, he’s dead. And now, his daughter is on her way to hear about Meredith’s proposal. It is very urgent that they get this lady to hand over the patent because they’ve been using the polymer without permission and it is working. In a mouse, at least.
By some crazy stroke of luck, or, you know, television, the doctor’s daughter walks in and it is Dr. Marie Cerone, also known as Auntie Marie — a.k.a. Ellis Grey’s one-time best friend! She hasn’t seen Meredith since Mer (or Mer Mer) was 8 years old, but she seems delightful and very happy to reconnect with Ellis’s daughter.
Marie is impressed with Meredith’s proposal, but she can’t just hand over what could be a very lucrative polymer patent for just a proposal. So Meredith brings in the big guns — the mouse. Yes, it is proof that Meredith used the polymer without permission, but it is also proof that her theory works. It is a game-changer and the polymer is the key. Marie is onboard and heads out with the promise to get all the paperwork together the next day. As Marie leaves, Webber catches sight of her and stops Meredith. What is Marie Cerone, enemy of Ellis Grey doing at Grey Sloan?
According to Webber, Marie and Ellis had a huge falling out and Marie loathed Ellis. And Meredith just handed over all of her methodology on the mini-livers — a real medical breakthrough — to someone who wants revenge on Ellis. Did Meredith just get played? She has to figure out what is going on, which is why she rushes home and enlists Maggie to go through Ellis’s journals for a clue.
What a twist on this polymer-patent story line! I mean, sure, what are the odds? But honestly, any excuse to go digging around in Ellis’s journals is a welcome one.
Laughter Is the Best Medicine, Except for Real Medicine
• The idiot rugby player crying because he didn’t get to thank his parents for being his parents warmed my little heart. What a doofus!
• I was happy to see even a little Carina and Andrew interaction — those two are great together and I’m ready for a DeLuca sibling story line. For now, I’ll settle for Carina and AZ discovering the Head of OB is performing way more C-sections than necessary. It’s a serious subject, but those two just get cuter and cuter together.
• Is tumorless Amelia really funny? Seeing her get all hot and bothered over Owen being authoritative in the ER and then laying down truths for Sam about her love for Andrew made me laugh a lot. What a strange new world we’re living in.
• My happy place is Bailey and Webber eating snacks and howling with laughter while watching surveillance video of the ear fiasco.
Sob Scale: 0/10
No tears, but I am legitimately frightened for how soul-crushing it will be to watch Alex Karev lose little Kimmie. The weed? The shared experience of surviving parents who were drug addicts? PLAYING CHECKERS?! They are really setting up the impending weepfest.