Welcome back, Grey’s Anatomy babies. Unfortunately, I don’t even have time to write a fun little intro about how this is Grey’s Anatomy’s Sweet 16 and that I hope the show is wearing a tiara all season long and that Mama Shonda bought it a shiny car and that the show is a woman now because, hello, all the drama happened. All of it! Every “cliffhanger” from the season 15 finale was pretty much answered before the title card even came up. I put cliffhanger in quotes because, let’s be real, there were several items left hanging over hiatus that I either was not worried about or just didn’t care. I’m looking at you, Jackson Is Lost in the Fog.
Immediately, we learn the following: DeLuca is not going to rot in jail for the insurance fraud Meredith committed last season; he’s too handsome to lock away and also he’s innocent. Meredith fully confesses to the crime and her lawyer is like, this is no big deal, as long as you act like you’re sorry you’ll get community service, have to pay a fine, and that’s it. The medical board might pursue taking away her license, but probably not — she’s Meredith Grey!
What else? Oh, Tom rolls into the hospital and sees that Teddy gave birth and immediately guesses that Teddy is back with Owen, but it doesn’t bother him because he loves her and he knows she’ll be back. Elsewhere, Jo is getting treatment for her depressive episode and Webber is so freaking angry that Bailey fired him and that Catherine sat there and did nothing about it. And of course, we learn that Jackson has not been lost to the Great Fog of 2019: After he deserted Maggie in the car in the middle of the road, he came across husband-and-wife hikers, Jai and Mari, whose lives were in peril. He and Mari are holding on to Jai’s climbing ropes trying to prevent the guy, who is unconscious, from falling off a cliff. Station 19’s Vic shows up in the ambulance and they get everyone to the hospital. Maggie and Jackson, fresh off the camping trip from hell, look miserable.
And that’s when the title card comes up! I am out of breath! You guys, that is so much content! And all of it — yes, even Fog Jackson, VP — is pretty compelling. And it doesn’t stop there — the entire episode keeps jumping forward one week at a time (all in all, we go through about five weeks), so the pace never relents! Okay, now I’m out of breath again because it is kind of amazing that Grey’s is still firing off truly great episodes in season 16. Anyway, remind me that I said all of this when we’re in, like, episode 14 of 24 and we’re still dealing with the fallout from Bailey firing everyone we know and love.
And there is fallout! Webber’s out there working for a medical house-call app, and he’s miserable. His marriage is in serious trouble because he feels betrayed by Catherine for not defending him when Bailey fired him and Catherine feels betrayed because Webber chose his loyalty to Meredith over his loyalty to her. When Webber can’t even get the chief of surgery job at the lowest-rated hospital in Seattle, he decides it’s time to visit his other fired friend, Alex Karev. Alex is in an even worse way than Webber! (Although, Alex’s I’m-not-taking-care-of-myself unkempt hair is working for him?)
Alex is distraught because after Jo’s week in the psych ward, he dropped her off at an inpatient treatment center, where she’ll stay for 30 days. Before they said their goodbyes, she apologized for being another name he’ll have to add to his list of “crazy women” he’s loved (his mother, Ava/Rebecca, Izzie …) and since they still haven’t filed their marriage license, he has an out, if he wants it. They also had a very tense couples-therapy session in which Jo admitted that she thinks Alex deserves someone less fragile than her and Alex admitted that he’s still scared she’ll shut down again. Anyway, he’s thinking about all of those terrible things when Webber comes knocking on his door, tells him he’s “drowning in [his] own filth,” and that he should go for the Chief of Surgery job at Pac-North. Partially so that he can show Jo that she has a stable, loving home to return to, and partially so that Alex can then in turn hire Webber to work at the hospital.
And you guys, that’s what Webber and Alex do! They get jobs at Pac-North! Oh, and also, Alex picks up Jo when her treatment ends and very sweetly tells her that he doesn’t want an out. He’s in this for better or worse, he loves her, and he thinks they should get married again. I know this is not news, but I am perpetually proud of our Evil Spawn.
Our other little unemployed bird hasn’t even thought about what her next job move may be, she’s too busy fulfilling her community-service hours and taking down judge-y moms from Zola’s school. It all felt a little to nice and neat to have Meredith cause all of this trouble for so many people, and also commit a felony, and suffer next to no consequences for it. I mean, this is Meredith Grey, she is a person who suffers! So, I wasn’t surprised at all that at the end of the hour, while eating ice cream in bed with her hot younger boyfriend talking about enjoying her days picking up trash (truly, a mood), she gets a message that the medical board is in fact coming after her medical license. They’ll be holding a hearing in the near future. So that should be a cool and fun time for all of us.
But friends, Meredith Grey isn’t the Daughter of Ellis I’m most concerned about this evening. Can we talk about Maggie? Can we talk about how Maggie and Jackson BROKE UP? Those two come out of the House of Sand and Fog in a very bad place (you may recall before the fog, they got in a doozy of an argument in which they both basically admitted they loved each other but didn’t like each other). And as much as Jackson wants to say it’s a good thing he left Maggie in that car in the dark because he saved two lives, Maggie is right: She deserves better than someone who has abandoned her twice to go walking in the wilderness. When Jackson tried to be all deep, comparing their relationship to a patient by telling Maggie that there’s something broken about them and it can’t be repaired, I wanted to be like, “uh, yeah there is, it’s you, you dink.”
Although I’m surprised Grey’s would pull the plug on this relationship already, it feels very real. Especially once Jackson runs into Vic again and the two start making googly eyes at each other. I hate to say it — especially because I’m still grieving over Vic losing Ripley, the love of her life, during that Grey’s/Station 19 crossover — but I’m into this. There’s so much chemistry already and they haven’t even kissed yet! They both acknowledge that they’ve just gotten out of big relationships, but they also both acknowledge how nice it feels when they’re hanging out. I’m both into it and also wanting to warn Vic, a precious angel, how much Jackson likes to run away into the woods.
Maggie certainly won’t be warning her. When she catches Vic and Jackson flirting by the ambulance, she has QUESTIONS and WORDS for her ex. The tense conversation ends with Maggie fully burning their relationship to the ground with this truth: “I don’t like you and you don’t like me. We’re not friends, so it’s none of my business.” Just reading it doesn’t do it justice. Picture Queen Maggie Pierce in a fabulous pink power blazer with eyes that look like they could literally burn a hole in Jackson’s face. See? I told you it was intense.
Laughter Is the Best Medicine Apart From Real Medicine
• Fun fact: One thing that Link has never done but would really like to do is surf a 20-foot wave. One thing that Amelia has never done but would really like to do is have a three-way.
• Well, um, Amelia’s pregnant. She discovers this when she goes to proposition Carina to join her and Link in bed (see above) and Carina says she’s noticed “the fullness in [Amelia’s] breasts.” Amelia assumes this is a come-on because she’s Amelia, but in actuality, Carina has just noticed that Amelia looks like she might be pregnant. But Amelia swears she couldn’t be pregnant … until she thinks about it and yep, she’s definitely pregnant. No word on if the three-way is still going to happen.
• Teddy is having a tough time adjusting to motherhood. It doesn’t help that she refuses to move out of the hotel and into Owen’s house because Owen bought that for Amelia, which, like, fair. Nor does it help that when she has a clogged duct while breastfeeding, Owen offers TO MILK HER. At least by the end, he comes to his senses and puts his house up for sale and brings listings for him and Teddy to look at together. Literally, the least he could do.
• Although every part of me hates the phrase “I’m generous with my money, and with my tongue in bed,” I am here for the sentiment. Tom seems very confident that Teddy will regret her decision (for those reasons and others) to leave him for Owen, so Owen should really be careful with all that “I’ll milk you” stuff. I think he has real competition with Tom.
• Bless DeLuca for so many things, but mostly for him suggesting that post-breakup Maggie and Jackson could just be siblings.
• Remember the fallout I mentioned from Bailey firing Meredith, Webber, and Alex? It extends to Bailey, too. Catherine, angry with how harsh Bailey came down on her husband, makes Tom “chief of chiefs” for all Catherine Fox Foundation hospitals. Or, as Bailey puts it: “I fired all my favorite people and my least favorite person now has power over me.”