Holy hell, a lot goes on in Seattle between Christmas and Valentine’s Day. How do people survive all the couples reuniting and the making out on rooftops and the secret identities being revealed and the treehouses being built and the patients breaking your heart into one thousand tiny pieces because life isn’t fair? Honestly, there should be a web series featuring the therapists of Seattle just dealing with surgeons from Grey Sloan coming in and being like, “Listen, there is a lot going on right now.” Because there is a lot going on right now! Maybe too much? I mean, I’ve barely thought about the fact that Catherine Fox wants to speed through rehab so that she can get down and dirty with her husband again. Try processing that!
Alas, we have no time because we need to discuss the gorgeous, tragic patient story that steals the entire episode. Garrett and Natasha! I am still and will always be weeping for them. We just began to heal from the loss of Cece, now this? Will it ever end, Grey’s? (I mean, the answer is obviously no, we’ve been riding this Trauma Train for 15 seasons.) As you may recall Garrett and Natasha are the engaged couple who came into the ER the day before their wedding because Natasha had stepped out on her hotel balcony like the bride-to-be she was, after waiting her whole life (she’s 45) to find love, only for that balcony to collapse. She was put into a medically induced coma, leaving Garrett to say, “I don’t want to do life without you now that I know what it’s like with you,” and other heartbreaking things that will stay with you for a long time. Well, Garrett hasn’t left Natasha’s side. Days turn into weeks and suddenly it’s Christmas — and Natasha finally wakes up.
The episode speeds along and uses Natasha’s progress as a framing device. She’s doing great and by the time New Year’s Eve rolls around, she is talking to Meredith about how wonderful Garrett is — when he sees they missed the countdown to midnight, he rewinds the video — and advises her doctor that she should be kissing the guy who turns back time for her. As if you couldn’t love this couple any more, Garrett, who is very up to date on the hospital goss, has nicknamed Meredith’s two suitors “Abercrombie and Stitch.”
Natasha and Garrett are too good for this world, so obviously things start going south. The doctors try everything they can while the couple fight to be together, to survive this and start their lives together, but it is not to be. It’s clear that Natasha is dying, and so she asks to be taken off her ventilator. She’s not angry — the doctors gave her and Garrett time, and she got to spend the rest of her life with the man she loves. In case you’re not sobbing yet (a monster!), the doctors give the couple their “wedding under the stars” by gathering in the hospital room and holding up their cellphones with pictures of the stars while Meredith reads Garrett and Natasha’s vows and a priest makes it official. And then, Natasha goes. Not to be dramatic, but I legit yelled “BUT WHY” at my television while liquid poured from my eye holes. Because seriously, why?!
This story line is not just about the patients (it never is!), it’s also very much about Meredith and her love life. She’s still flirting with both DeLuca and Link, though still not dating either. It starts to get to DeLuca, who is very much in this. He’s done with games and being stood up. When he sees Meredith telling a broken Garrett that he needs to keep fighting for Natasha, that he cannot give up on love, he’s angry. He doesn’t understand how Meredith can tell someone else to fight for love when all she does is run from it. THIS BOY CAME TO WIN.
After Natasha passes, just as Meredith is about to meet Link for dinner, DeLuca takes her to the roof of the building. There’s Champagne waiting. They toast to Natasha and Garrett. And then they make out. And that’s a big deal because Meredith is wearing a killer bold lip and you don’t want to mess that up for just anyone.
Meredith and DeLuca aren’t the only ones giving us butterflies in this episode: You guys, the Bailey and Ben horror show is finally over! It takes some time (like from Christmas through Valentine’s Day), but the stalwart Grey’s Anatomy couple is back. I’m glad that Ben doesn’t immediately jump at the chance to move back into his home when Bailey tells him she wants him back because she’s lonely and there’s a fence that needs fixing (not a euphemism … or is it?). The guy had his heart broken and he’s not cool with the fact that Bailey called a timeout on their marriage without fully explaining what was going on.
I’m also happy that Ben mends that broken heart within this episode. He realizes that Bailey was Going Through Some Things with her mental health and anxiety and he should have caught it. When she had her heart attack he promised to build her a “tree house” to keep her safe and protected and he failed. So he shows up at the house and literally builds her a treehouse and it is wonderful. They’re celebrating Valentine’s Day in bed together and all seems right with the world. What could possibly ruin these good vibes?
Oh, right, that ridiculous twist in the Owen-Amelia-Betty story. Amelia and Owen visit Betty at rehab, who does not seem to be doing well. She informs them that she’s at the “making amends” part of her program and she has something to confess: She’s been lying to them from the beginning. Her name is not Betty, it’s Brittany (or Britney, Owen’s still Googling it) and her parents have no idea where she is or that she had a baby. When Amelia and Owen would call and “update her parents” they were calling her friend. Aside from having to absorb that shock, Owen and Amelia also have to deal with the fact that the right thing to do would be to find her parents and tell them everything — although that would most likely mean losing Leo. Owen is distraught, but wants to do the right thing. Amelia doesn’t think it’s up to them.
You just know this whole thing is going to put Amelia into a tailspin about how if they don’t have their family Owen won’t want to be with her, and I’m already annoyed. Also, Amelia, did you not see Owen and Teddy out in the snow together so peaceful and happy as they embark on this journey of parenthood? If those two don’t end up together, what is even the point?
Laughter Is the Best Medicine, Apart From Real Medicine
• What’s up with the lack of Alex Karev this season? He’s felt like such a supporting character, there in the background hugging Bailey and handing out cured meat to his employees. I miss him!
• As a person into both hot doctors and meat as holiday gifts, DeLuca uttering the phrase “You wanna take our hams out for a drink?” made me feel a lot.
• Listen, I get why Jo is all #TeamLink in this not-a-love-triangle love triangle, but shouldn’t she be cutting DeLuca a little slack? Does she somehow forget the time when he tried to help her drunk ass out and Alex beat him half to death? Furthermore, why would DeLuca EVER want to go to a party at that apartment? Do people just forget that this happened?!
• Catherine is the horniest and I am here for it. So is Webber. His “she’s back, baby” as she led him into the bedroom was so full of joy.
• Speaking of joy, Meredith and Jo notice that Schmitt has been very un-Glasses like as of late, and it isn’t just his switch to contacts. He comes out to them during surgery and he is so dang happy. I mean, Natasha is on the table dying, but it is a nice moment nonetheless.
• Oh, okay, Tom Koracick, taking pregnant ladies on dates to nail salons so they can have their feet rubbed. I see you. (And so does Owen, who might not be thrilled?)
• Is there anything wrong with being in a love triangle with ham and cookies?
The Sob Scale: 8/10
Update: Still weeping.