It’s happening. You guys, it is happening. As we inch closer to the finale of Grey’s Anatomy season 14, closer to the final appearances of Arizona Robbins and April Kepner, their routes of departure are becoming much clearer. Sure, April’s fate is only implied in the previews for next week’s episode, but they’re implied REAL HARD. Since it looks like Arizona is getting a somewhat happy send-off, the odds that April Kepner is going to die are higher than ever. Jackson telling April that he’s set aside enough money for Harriet and that their daughter will be okay amidst the scandal? That shoots the odds up, too. Oh, and the clips of the doctors pounding on her chest as she lies lifeless in an OR? Yeah, well, that seems like a big sign of what’s to come for April Kepner.
Although, this is Grey’s, and one never really knows what’s going to happen. Maybe April survives and plans the perfect wedding for Alex and Jo and Arizona never makes it to New York with Sofia. I mean, she’s probably going to die, but we should be prepared for anything.
Yes, that’s right! Arizona is moving to New York City! If she can make it there, she can make it — oh, who are we kidding, this sucks for all of us. Except Sofia, I guess. Kids ruin everything!
Two major factors lead to Arizona’s momentous decision to leave Seattle. First, she learns that Sofia stole the field-trip money from her school in an attempt to secretly buy a plane ticket back to New York without upsetting her mom. Then, after working with a patient who is terrified of hospitals but needs surgery on her child in utero, Arizona is inspired. She gives the scared mom-to-be a pep talk that sounds an awful lot like the beginning of an Arizona Robbins Farewell Tour. It’s all about her roller skates, and how as a child they were her safety net, the magic that protected her. Then, when she faced losing her leg, all she could think about was not being able to skate and losing that safety. She feels so lucky that her wife could clearly see what was best for her. Her worst fear wasn’t her worst fear after all. And now her life is filled with so much joy. Arizona is okay, you guys! Arizona is great. That’s why when she realizes that what’s best for Sofia is to go back to New York and for Arizona to go with her, you know it’s going to stick.
Surely, she’ll be around for whatever goes down with April as well as Alex’s wedding. Now, that’s a good-bye scene I’m waiting for with open arms. Make me cry with an unsentimental acknowledgement of your well-developed relationship that went from dislike to mentor/mentee to true friendship, Arizona and Alex!
Let’s talk about Alex, shall we? When he and Jo arrive at Alex’s mother’s house, expecting to find her dead or in the middle of a bad schizophrenic episode, they instead find … well, that she’s not home. Helen Karev is at work. Alex’s mom is even well enough to hold down her old job at the library. Surprise!
When Alex arrives at the library, the two Karevs take each other in. Helen explains that sometimes schizophrenia can “burn out with age,” and now she can manage her disease through meds and a strict adherence to routine. But Alex showing up like this is most definitely not part of the routine. He gets angry, wanting to know why she didn’t tell him she was better. Eventually, she demands that he leaves. She has to take care of herself.
Before Alex truly blows a gasket in front of a public library, Jo whisks him off to the local batting cages. Her boy needs to blow off some steam. Okay, okay: Jo and Alex are so good for each other and this is all very nice. ARE YOU HAPPY, SHONDA?
While straight-up murdering some baseballs, Alex lets his feelings out. His mom being better is a good thing, but he is angry. He spent his childhood wishing he could be a normal kid with a normal mom. Instead, he spent his childhood cleaning up her mess. So, why is she finally better now? And, even more heartbreaking, she doesn’t want him around even though she’s better. Jo reminds him that his relationship with his mom may never be what he wants, but at least he has a shot at having one.
And so, Alex returns to the library. This time, much calmer. He fills out a form for a library card so that his mom can focus on her work, and he tells her how happy and proud he is. Justin Chambers is obviously a grown-ass man, but sometimes he makes a face and you can just see the child he was. It’s very effective in these scenes between Alex and his mother (played by The Bionic Woman herself, Lindsay Wagner).
He ends up introducing Helen to Jo, but Alex’s mother can’t promise much more than what she’s given him today. She calls him “her sweetest boy, her truest love,” and I hope afterward everyone went and called their moms.
On the subject of mothers, Meredith finally confronts what her mother did to Marie Cerone all those years ago. Meredith is hiding out in the bar, avoiding reporters and Marie, all in town to see her mini-livers presentation (and press her on the Harper Avery scandal). She meets a friendly doctor and they proceed to play darts and help Meredith come to a realization about a few things. They are a little flirty, but he is no Scott Speedman.
Once Dr. Darts realizes he is sitting with The Meredith Grey (let’s be honest, her name should always be styled this way), he tells her that she wasted a year of his life. He was working on a method for abdominal wall transplants when one day, she just up and did one. She is Neil Armstrong and he is Pete Conrad. Who is Pete Conrad? Exactly, no one knows or cares. (Just kidding, we care! He was on Apollo 12, you know, the mission to the moon after Neil’s landing.)
The comparison and the continued chat with Dr. Darts gets Meredith thinking about her mother’s legacy. She may have made questionable choices — the difference between Meredith and Ellis Grey can be summed up by the whole “do you follow medicine or do you follow your friend” conversation — but she inspired a generation of female surgeons. Still, Meredith understands the gravity of what Marie lost when Ellis published without her. Marie deserved some of that sweet, sweet Neil Armstrong glory, but because she was blacklisted due to Harper Avery, she missed out. It doesn’t make Meredith any less angry that Marie is trying to steal the mini-livers from her. Something horrible happened to Marie, but it doesn’t justify cutting Meredith out of her own moment of glory.
Our girl Meredith knows she needs to do what is right. So, when it comes time for her presentation, she begins by acknowledging Marie. From now on, the Grey Method will be known as the Grey-Cerone Method. Marie is moved to tears. Afterward, Meredith makes it clear that this doesn’t mean she’s her little Mer Mer again. Marie did Meredith dirty, and she won’t forget that.
Much less interesting is the little spat between Bailey and Intern Roy. Obviously, any time Bailey and Webber do a team up, it is excellent – it’s just that Intern Roy is a blip on the Grey’s Anatomy radar. We barely know his name, so this drama doesn’t really hold up. It does, however, end with Bailey not wanting to formally apologize to the dummy and instead giving a Bailey Speech about how lucky he is to work with the doctors here and telling him that, sure, she’ll reinstate him, but for a probationary period. She’ll be all over him the entire time, trying to make some sort of actual surgeon out of him. Intern Roy doesn’t hesitate to accept the deal Bailey is generously offering. See? He’s already learning!
Amelia isn’t having quite as much luck with Betty, the opioid addict she took in. (Took in to Owen’s house, that is.) The withdrawal symptoms and Amelia’s constant surveillance prove to be too much for Betty. By the end of the episode, Amelia discovers that she has fled through the bathroom window. Saving Betty is a worthy mantle for Amelia to take up, and it is always illuminating to hear Amelia talk so frankly about her addiction, but can we get her back to busting up brain tumors with sound waves sometime soon?