Friends, I am screaming. I mean, did you see that picture of DeLuca from when he was a kid? With your eyes? That was a mullet right? It had to be some sort of mullet. I know people will be talking about how DeLuca speaks Italian and cooks dinner for Meredith and that’s why they love him, but know that I love him for that outrageous haircut he had in middle school. So I guess I love him the most?
Not that DeLuca showing a child scared about being bullied in school that picture as a way to ease her stress gives him a total pass for some of his douchier moments in the episode. DeLuca is still processing what happened with his father last week. Apparently, he’s not great at processing. He’s grumpy and icing out Meredith. Does he not realize he’s on a show with his girlfriend’s name in the title? You don’t ice out the queen, is all I’m saying.
Alex throws DeLuca a bone by putting him on a surgery sure to lift his spirits: They’re doing a total pancreatectomy and islet transplantation on an 11-year-old math whiz named Nora who has been waiting years for this surgery.
She and her mother are adorable and she ends up competing against the ultimate nerd squad of doctors (Maggie, Bailey, Qadri, and Schmitt) in a math quiz (they even get a slo-mo walk, nerds are the best). She should be happy she’s getting this surgery and her life will go back to normal, but she’s terrified. So she sabotages it by spiking her glucose levels by secretly downing some apple juice. It takes a little while, but Qadri figures it out and Nora tearfully confesses: She has no friends, she gets bullied, she wants to stay in the hospital. You know things are bad when someone chooses to stay in Grey Sloan, the hospital where everyone dies.
Nora’s mom doesn’t know what to do, her daughter is refusing the surgery and she wants to be respectful of her wishes. Dr. DeLuca has zero time for that. He goes off on how it is her responsibility to make Nora get the surgery, it will save her life. The words he is saying aren’t necessarily wrong, but the manner and volume in which he is saying them is incredibly unprofessional. He’s Hulk-ing out on a patient’s mom. Alex kicks him off the case.
And he keeps him off the case even after he goes back to Nora and tries that different, kinder approach I mentioned earlier. It works, but DeLuca isn’t allowed in the OR. Alex also tells him to get his act together — parents can really screw you up, he knows from experience, and DeLuca shouldn’t let his father affect his job or his relationship. That’s right, Alex knows all about how DeLuca’s been treating Mer and he. Will. Not. Stand. For. It.
Come on, you guys, DeLuca is a gentleman. He knows he’s being the World’s Worst and he makes it up to Meredith with dinner and wine and a heartfelt apology about not wanting his pain to be her pain. It’s very nice. But can we just take a second to applaud our Queen for being very clear about her needs and wants? She has no time for angsty games with her boyfriend. She is too old for that shit. (I’m paraphrasing.) Meredith knows exactly what she wants and she is making it happen.
Someone else being explicitly clear as to what they want? Tom Koracick. Can you even believe? Teddy has some intense pain and learns from Carina that she has an “insufficient cervix.” She has to lie upside down all day to stop her contractions, etc. Owen being the Most Owen, runs to her side to assist her through the day, but doesn’t mention Teddy’s in distress to her boyfriend, who is standing right in front of him when he gets the page that she’s in trouble. Teddy and Owen spend the day upside down in hospital beds talking to the baby — I am forever scarred by Owen’s baby voice — and generally being Best Friends With a History. He says very nice things to a scared Teddy, but the whole time I was just shaking my head. This seems like trouble.
It is, sort of! Tom shows up and privately fires a warning shot in Owen’s direction. He makes it clear that if Owen is going to try and go after this woman who he has abandoned more than once, Tom won’t step aside willingly. Do you want to know why? Oh my god, do you want to know? Tom is in love with Teddy. Our Tom! In love! He tells Owen that Teddy deserves to be with the person for whom she is “the first choice and only option.” I imagine even Owen is like, “Whoa, that’s a good line, dude.” And so Owen does the mature thing and leaves Teddy and Tom alone. I mean, enjoy it now because it will pass. We’ve all met Owen before.
Speaking of women Owen’s emotionally devastated, we should talk about Amelia post–alternative medicine conference. Folks, please remember that “alternative medicine conference” now means “sex with the hot doctor trying to solve the opioid crisis.” Amelia is feeling very good, very calm, so Maggie immediately knows something is up.
The sisters are hanging out in Maggie’s “blue-light room” — she was inspired by her fish-skin-experimenting boyfriend last week to start innovating, and so she’s testing out calming room environments like a room full of plants and a room full of blue light to see if they have an effect on patients’ vitals —and Maggie knows the blue light doesn’t work that well. Thanks to a slip up by Link, Maggie figures it all out. And she’s into it. I think we all are?
Amelia and Link are definitely into it, so no matter how hard they try to convince us it is a one-time thing, their chemistry and lust eyes say different. It doesn’t help that they get put on a case together. It never does.
Kari and Toby are a mother and child who are rushed to Grey Sloan after a snowmobile accident. Kari gets stuck with the two horndogs. She has two severe spinal injuries and the surgery is intense. As good as Amelia and Link are, things go wrong and Kari ends up paralyzed from the neck down. It’s a pretty terrible outcome and no amount of time in the blue-light room can help Amelia feel better afterward. You know what might? Sex in the blue-light room. So she and Link try that. Am I truly into this pairing or am I simply into Amelia not being with Owen? I think it’s the former, but only time will tell.
Toby ends up being fine after a minor surgery with Webber and Jackson. Toby, who is genderqueer and nonbinary, does manage to teach Webber all about the importance of using the proper pronouns. It takes Webber a little while to catch on, but he does try, god bless him. It’s both entertaining and informative.
The real emotional kicker of this story line, though, is when the doctors inform Toby that their mother is paraplegic and will need their help. Toby breaks down — their mom is the strong one. Thankfully, Jackson is there. He has the same kind of mother and he’s just been through a similar situation and wasn’t sure if he’d be able to take care of the woman who takes care of him. But he assures Toby that a strong, fearless mom like theirs has already given them exactly what they need in order to be the strong and fearless one when the time comes. It’s a moving sentiment for a fairly low-key episode.
Laughter Is the Best Medicine, Apart From Real Medicine
• Never call Jackson “Jackie” if you are dating him. He will break up with you.
• “I want you to know I will never ever forgive you for that.” Maggie is not pleased that Jackson can solve Nora’s math problems faster than she can. Just kidding, you know she loves it. Remember how turned on she was by the merman?
• There hasn’t been enough Bailey these days for my taste. Do I enjoy watching her play Tetris in Maggie’s game room? Sure, but she needs, nay, deserves a juicy story line.
• Honestly, I would take an entire episode of Meredith and Alex just hanging out in that plant room.
• No but seriously, “don’t bring stress into the green zone.”
Sob Scale: 1/10
Prepare those unused tears for next week, people, when we discover just what happened on Jo’s trip to Pittsburgh to find her birth mother. From the looks of her crying silently in her bed, it seems like things went horribly.