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Grey’s Anatomy Mid-Season Premiere Recap: Next Time Take the Stairs

Grey’s Anatomy

Shelter From the Storm
Season 15 Episode 9
Editor’s Rating *****

Grey’s Anatomy

Shelter From the Storm
Season 15 Episode 9
Editor’s Rating *****
Photo: Eric McCandless/ABC

Hello! Did you miss Grey’s Anatomy during its unbearably long hiatus? Great, because the mid-season premiere wastes zero time getting back into the Greys-iest Grey’s drama you will ever peep your eyes on. I’m talking, of course, about the fact that a man’s legs almost get chopped off by an elevator. Grey’s Anatomy is a precious gift that I don’t think we treasure enough.

Perhaps that whole “distance makes the heart grow fonder” bullshit is actually true, because this episode had so much packed into it, and yet I wanted more. Not only are there three elevators full of drama, but also Jackson dealing with Catherine’s diagnosis, Nico and Schmitt ambo-banging, a Karev and Bailey scene that will ruin you, Webber helping Betty, and did I mention the thing about the guy’s legs getting chopped? I was into all of it. Okay, I was not, nor will I ever be into the Betty stuff, but Amelia ends up shipping her off to rehab, so fingers crossed we won’t have to deal with that for some time. Otherwise, yes, I was into all the insanity going down at Grey Sloan as the giant windstorm raged outside.

If you need a refresher: Meredith is on the clock trying to harvest some organs from brain-dead Phoebe (remember poor Phoebe and the selfie stick?) in order to give beloved Cece a heart and kidney transplant. Cece, of course, is the matchmaker who has been helping Meredith live her best life again by squeezing all the joy out of it and also maybe the pecs of DeLuca and/or Link. When the power goes out, Meredith and DeLuca are stuck on an elevator. Meredith gave birth in a blackout, so she isn’t scared, per se, but she understands the power that hospital elevators have over people’s love lives and is wary of being trapped there with DeLuca.

This elevator is doing it’s damn job tonight! Meredith and DeLuca are flirty and cute and left me wondering how much squealing is too much squealing for an adult human woman. Once Meredith realizes there’s nothing she can do but wait, she relaxes a little and, dare I say it, she looks like she’s having fun with this boy who can’t take his eyes off of her.

In between all the “we really want to do this but we really shouldn’t” conversations, DeLuca opens up about his family and his famous, er, infamous surgeon dad. He wants to confide in Meredith, but isn’t totally ready yet — so he tells her in Italian. His father has a mental illness, and while having a manic episode he operated on seven people and killed four of them, but because of money and knowing the right people, he was never held accountable. It’s a tough situation for DeLuca to grapple with.

Now there’s more than harmless flirting going on in that elevator: they are getting to know each other. Yet still, Meredith fights it — until she asks DeLuca to speak in Italian again. I MEAN. He obliges and tells her that when she finally lets him kiss her, he’ll never stop. Has DeLuca ever made you swoon this much? HAS ANYONE? Here’s the thing, friends: Meredith studied Italian for three years, so she, at the very least, catches his drift. Anyway, I’m sweating. They go to kiss, finally, but … the elevator doors open. Those Grey Sloan elevators deserve a promotion after that sexual tension work.

Meredith and DeLuca fly out of the elevator to figure out the status of Cece’s transplant. It’s not great. Cece’s incoming organs were also trapped on an elevator, with Bailey and Helm. As they are fighting to keep Phoebe’s body viable for the organ harvesting while also trying not to succumb to full-on panic attacks over plummeting to their deaths (Bailey has been teetering on the brink of a stress-related breakdown and is not doing well), Cece is up in the OR with Maggie and can tell something is wrong. She’s scared. To help take her mind off of the wait, Maggie fills her in on the Jackson situation. Cece tells Maggie she’s scared of losing the best thing that’s happened to her. Cece is apparently not a #Japril fan.

No one’s willing to just wait until the elevators open to get Cece’s organs — there’s a real possibility she could die. Jackson, who is feeling extremely helpless after learning about his mother, needs to do something. So he, Qadri, and Link attempt to physically open the elevator doors preventing Bailey and Helm from getting a heart and kidney to Cece. Nothing really works until they get a surprise assist from the hospital facility manager, Jay. He’s been in a terrible mood since the blackout started and every doctor’s been giving him grief about fixing things, but once he hears getting this elevator open will save Cece — who fixed him up with a nurse — he joins the fight. And guess what? Teamwork (and slamming metal into doors) makes the dream work. They get the doors open and Bailey and Helm get Phoebe into the OR to procure organs for Cece. Jay is the last one to get out of the elevator. He wants those who can save Cece to get a move on it, but that turns out to be a mistake — as he’s trying to climb out, the elevator starts moving and, yes, his legs almost go with it. Thankfully, Jackson and Link race back to stop the elevator but his legs are already dangling off his body like a loose tooth. It is a ridiculous, perfect Grey’s moment.

The good news: Jackson and Link are able to save Jay’s legs and he gets to kiss his lovely nurse girlfriend. I’m very invested in this facility manager-nurse love story, please give me more. The bad news: Cece doesn’t make it. They get the heart transplant done, but there are problems and she dies on the table. Meredith stays to close her up and thanks her for bringing fun back into her life — she’s the happiest she’s ever been. Meredith knows Cece will always stay with her. She especially knows it when she walks, once again, into a literal triangle with DeLuca and Link, both wanting to take her out. She ditches both of them to go home and see her kids, but man, does she have a good time toying with them.

There is one more elevator we need to discuss: Awkward Surprise Pregnancy Elevator! So, Teddy, Owen, and Amelia are all stuck in an elevator with a man who has a license plate sticking out of his chest. On the one hand, if you’re trapped in an elevator, bleeding out with a license plate lodged in your chest, the best possible scenario is to be in there with two trauma surgeons and a neurosurgeon. On the other hand, those surgeons are Teddy, Owen, and Amelia in the middle of some true baby-mama drama. Once everyone in there is up to speed on the fact that yes, Teddy is pregnant with Owen’s baby, things unravel. While they are performing one of the bloodiest surgeries in 15 seasons of Grey’s MacGyver-style in the elevator, they are also having an all-out emotional discussion of their current situation. It’s like, concentrate on the sternum you’re smashing with a heart monitor battery, would ya?

Teddy makes it clear that although she is staying in Seattle because her baby deserves two parents, she and Owen will never be more than friends — he doesn’t have to choose between her and Amelia. As if you expected anything different, Amelia freaks out because she has kids involved in this, too! Ugh, I’m removing some points for the elevators since they did not plummet to the ground right then and there.

Here’s the thing — Teddy and Owen will never just be friends. After the elevator doors open and they finish their surgery in the OR together (sans Amelia), they look like anything but. They smile, thinking about having a baby together. They hug. THEY TOUCH FOREHEADS. You know how I feel about the touching of foreheads! It’s clear from her sobbing after Owen leaves that Teddy is very much in love with her friend. Owen, well, he has some choices to make. In a surprise twist, Amelia does something rational for once. As much as Owen swears Teddy isn’t an option for him, Amelia knows better. It’s Teddy. And she’s in Seattle with his baby. He needs to take time and figure out what he wants. You guys, let’s all slow-clap for Amelia Shepherd and her personal growth. It will surely be short-lived, but for now, let’s celebrate.

Laughter Is the Best Medicine, Apart From Real Medicine

• Alex walks in on Schmitt and Nico hooking up in the ambulance. Instead of firing them, like they fear, he gives them a stern talking-to about finding rooms with doors that lock.

• “He was blown in the ambulance bay!”

• Meredith calling the Dr. Who Tardis “the Turdis” and declaring that she doesn’t speak nerd language is very on-brand Meredith Grey.

• Link trying to figure out how the snarky facility manager who just Donkey Kong-ed an elevator door could also be in a happy relationship: “That guy has joy in his life? Oh, maybe her name is Joy.”

• Okay, but seriously: How is Catherine going to react when she learns that both Jackson and Webber found out about her cancer from someone other than her?

Sob Scale: 4/10

After everything, Bailey finally lets herself break down in front of none other than Alex Karev. Although she’s rude and demeaning toward him earlier in the episode, she explains that she’s not well. She needs him to stay on as chief. She needs his help. Alex holds Bailey as she sobs! ALEX AND BAILEY. For longtime fans, this was a moment.

Grey’s Anatomy Recap: Next Time, Take the Stairs