Well, it’s taken 16 seasons but Grey’s has finally done it: A doctor gets accidentally shocked in the balls by a defibrillator. Now that it’s a plot point, I honestly can’t believe it’s taken so long. That’s right, people, in a moment of chaos in a trauma room, Owen plays fast and loose with those juiced-up paddles, “doesn’t realize” Tom Koracick is right behind him and, as Tom so eloquently puts it, Owen deep-fries Tom’s nads. Owen attempts to apologize while Tom recovers, but there is only bad blood between these two thanks to the Teddy of It All, and Tom slaps Owen with a restraining order. I don’t much care about this either way, but come on, a little ball-frying on Grey’s Anatomy is just what we needed.
Otherwise, “Back in the Saddle” is mostly an episode designed to set up some major storylines for the season. The one that will surely have the longest effect on the show is that of Amelia and Link and that whole Amelia-being-pregnant thing. Link is basically shocked into paralysis and seeks his friend Jo’s advice. Because of a childhood spent fighting cancer and watching his parents fight … and also, climate change, Link is extremely apprehensive to have a child. Though, of course, he knows this is ultimately Amelia’s choice.
When he and Amelia finally have a sit down, she tells him about Christopher and explains that she’d never survive something like that again and she doesn’t want to risk it happening. And then Link goes and says that he never wants to see her hurting so if she wants to have this baby, he is in, despite his fears, and if she doesn’t — well, he’s still in, any way that he can be there for her, he will be. These are lovely, perfect words coming out of a lovely, perfect face, so it’s no wonder that by the end of the episode, Amelia tells Link that she didn’t want to have a baby because she was scared, but then he said those lovely, perfect things and she wasn’t so scared anymore. In fact, she kind of wants to meet their kid. Link kind of does, too. So it looks like we’re having another Grey-Sloan baby! Man, that place is Fertile Factory.
Amelia’s sister and medical outlaw Meredith Grey is also making a possibly life-changing decision tonight. While awaiting her medical-license hearing scheduled for three months from now (hm, right around winter hiatus?), Meredith continues to administer medical treatment to other people performing community-service hours with her. She basically becomes a walk-in clinic for her fellow lawbreakers. The more people she tends to, the more she hears awful stories about insurance problems that stop people from seeking out the medical care they need. She knows she’s supposed to “lay low” until her hearing, but she decides she wants to write and publish an article about all the people slipping through the cracks of the medical-insurance system. This is basically the opposite of “laying low.” She is sure to ruffle some feathers, which, honestly, is what Meredith does best.
Meanwhile, the woman who taught Meredith Grey (almost) everything she knows has decided to stop wallowing about firing all of her best doctors (and friends!) and get! Her! Groove back! Medically speaking, that is. Yes, Bailey’s been a mope about losing Webber, Alex, and Meredith, and she’s been out of sorts since Catherine made Tom her boss, but Ben reminds her that she’s Miranda Freakin’ Bailey and she doesn’t let any man steal her joy! And what, exactly, is Bailey’s greatest joy? Making kickass surgeons. She finally remembers that she made Meredith and Alex who they are today, and that means she can make more extremely talented surgeons. Old Bailey is back, baby!
She decides to get tough on her residents and runs a little boot-camp competition with them to see who rises to the top. It’s DeLuca who ends up giving her the most trouble, comparing her techniques to Meredith’s, arguing with her when she picks Helm to perform a tricky surgery over him, and then, after Helm royally screws up and DeLuca has to swoop in during surgery and save a patient, YELLING at her about her decision-making skills and ACCUSING her of punishing him for dating Meredith. Honestly, how dare he.
Bailey puts him in his place, of course, and tells him never to question her methods — Helm needed to learn about being scared in the OR and working under pressure, and Bailey knows exactly what she’s doing, thank you very much. I mean, it’s like DeLuca never watched Grey’s Anatomy season 1 through 11 to learn about the greatness that is Miranda Bailey before he arrived on the scene. Anyway, Bailey got her joy back.
Laughter Is the Best Medicine, Apart From Real Medicine
• Okay, I guess I’ll buy that Schmitt is a Gryffindor, although he seems more like a Hufflepuff to me (and that’s not a knock — after years and quizzes spent trying to avoid it, I am a proud Hufflepuff myself), but Jackson? Oh no. Jackson is probably a Ravenclaw … but possibly a Slytherin, especially after all that #freedom bull he pulled on Instagram. Seriously, Jackson? #Freedom? SERIOUSLY. You don’t deserve Maggie Pierce!
• Oh, okay, Jo Karev. She uses a job offer from Alex as leverage to get a General Surgery Attending position (and a parking spot) out of Bailey. Get yours, lady.
• Don’t you kind of love seeing Alex Karev and Richard Webber teaming up to save a hospital from itself? Like, way back in season one, could you ever have imagined such a storyline? What a delight! Pac-North won’t know what hit it (in a good way).
• Who is this fifth-year resident Tom Koracick has brought to us all the way from Johns Hopkins, and which doctor will he be hooking up with first?
• Whenever I’m sad, I’m just going to think about Ben and Bailey eating doughnuts and giggling in bed.