Daaaaaang, Grey’s Anatomy. Here I was, preparing to write about a lackluster episode that had some touching moments but took us away from the hospital with very little payoff. But then “The Last Supper” ends with two major showdowns and I am on my feet and living again. I still feel weird not checking in on Meredith or Bailey this week, but I also feel like I want to take the drama that is being set up in the last three minutes, compress it into a bath bomb, release it in my tub, and soak in it for, like, two to three hours.
“The Last Supper” is essentially an episode about two deaths. The first is an actual death: Schmitt learns that his Uncle Saul, a man who apparently hated everyone except his nephew Levi, is on hospice. Schmitt and Nico go to pay him a visit, Schmitt tells his uncle he’s gay, and Uncle Saul immediately flatlines and dies. “I killed him with my gayness!” is a line uttered on Grey’s Anatomy in the year of our Lord 2020. What a time!
Thanks to the arrival of a well-dressed, very forlorn man named Daniel Schwartz, it doesn’t take long before Schmitt learns that Uncle Saul was a closeted gay man, his marriage to Schmitt’s Aunt Gertie was all for show, and Daniel was the true love of his life. Daniel weeps at Saul’s side. In a moving montage, Daniel teaches Schmitt how to properly clean and prepare Saul’s body per Jewish tradition. But even more moving is the moment after, when Daniel explains that he and Saul never had a real life together because Daniel didn’t know how to build a life with a man who was so ashamed of himself simply for loving who he did. It is tragic all around, for everyone.
There is one silver lining here. Daniel tells Schmitt that Saul really saw him for who he was, that it feels right that it was Schmitt with him in the end, and that now Schmitt has the freedom that Saul never did. So Schmitt goes home to the basement of his mother’s house and he and Nico start packing up his things. He had been waiting to iron things out with his mother who, you may recall, told Schmitt she was fine with him being gay as long as he didn’t tell anyone else in their family, so, like, she’s pretty terrible. Well, he’s not waiting around anymore. He tells his mother that her “accepting” him but wanting him to keep who he really is a secret isn’t “accepting” him at all and from now on he’s going to surround himself with people who truly love him. He’s moving out. You guys, Glasses has finally grown up.
The second death in “The Last Supper” is more a symbolic one: Catherine and Richard are really over. When this episode started, I thought we might get a short separation but that eventually they’d make up and make out and all would be right again. After what goes down at this dinner party? Oh, no. No, no, no. I don’t think there’s any coming back from that. Normally, I’d be bummed. In their heyday — we actually get to relive their swoony “Well, it’s about damn time” engagement proceedings and it’s just as good in the retelling — Richard and Catherine were great together. Sexy and loving and powerful. But now, I have to admit, I’m kind of into this messy, hell-hath-no fury breakup situation. This season of Grey’s needed a little hellfire and it is about to get some. Bring me my bath bomb of drama!
So, Catherine and Richard have decided to separate and, because they’re high maintenance, invite Jackson and Maggie over for dinner to tell them the news. The dinner falls just a few days before Catherine and Richard’s anniversary, so the kids assume they’re celebrating and not only do they bring gifts, but Jackson also brings Vic, who in turn, has asked Dean to tag along as a buffer. She assumed it was a “party” party and not a rich people’s dinner party in which there is a giant elaborate dinner table set up, but a minimal amount of guests. Later, Dean will remark, “this was not a place I should’ve been,” and now I want to use that line every time I leave any social engagement I ever attend for the rest of time.
Since you already know that Jackson and Maggie can’t go three seconds without taking swipes at one another, I’m sure you can guess that this dinner is poised to be uncomfortable at best and a garbage fire that burns as brightly as ten thousand suns at worst. And you’re right! People are chugging wine before they even get to the table, and once everyone sits down things get awkward and petty fast — both between Jackson and Maggie and Richard and Catherine. The Station 19 kids are sitting there, stuffing bread in their faces being like, “We crossed over for this?”
We should be thankful for the Station 19 kids because they are the ones who get Catherine and Richard talking about their engagement. That story, paired with Jackson’s toast, has Catherine rethinking things. She and Richard have a chat in the kitchen and guys, it takes a turn. Catherine knows they’re both hard-headed and angry and she doesn’t want to give up. Richard takes it in, and tells her she still needs to apologize for what she did to him. She’s never said she’s sorry for not standing by him when he got fired from the hospital he built, for forcing him to reinvent his entire life. Catherine gets as far as “I’m sorry, but” before Richard stops her. “Apologies don’t have the word ‘but’ in them,” he tells her before invoking the immortal words of JoJo: It’s just too little too late.
At this point, normal people would call this dinner party off. This charade is giving me an ulcer and these guys took an oath to heal, you know? But it is not their way. The whole thing goes downhill fast, thanks to an amusing text Richard gets that Catherine assumes is from “his girlfriend.” Richard doesn’t have a girlfriend and it’s actually a text from Karev (he’s still alive, folks!) with an offer for Maggie to head Pac-North’s cardio department. It doesn’t matter — Catherine drops the separation bomb and they both walk out. Jackson flocks to his mother, consoling her because she feels like a failure. Maggie goes to Richard, who confirms that it’s really over. At least now Catherine, Richard, Jackson, and Maggie can all stop pretending to be civil for each other’s sakes. It’ll be a sniping free-for-all! Oh, and no big deal, but Richard shows Maggie the Pac-North offer and her eyes bug out like a cartoon character and she says yes, please. Will everyone be defecting to Pac-North by season’s end?
Not if Catherine Fox has anything to do with it.
After all the guests get the hell out of there and swear off dinner for the rest of their lives, Catherine and Richard share some parting words. Friends, are we watching The Real World: Grey Sloan? Because things stop being polite and start getting real. Catherine thinks Richard’s embarrassing himself with all this Pac-North stuff and now he’s dragging his daughter down with him. Richard thinks Catherine can’t stand that he’s succeeding and she has nothing to do with it, that she has no control over it and there’s no way to stop him. Catherine’s like, excuse me, butler, hold my chardonnay. Then she up and calls someone on her team right there while sitting in front of Richard and tells him to look into purchasing Pac-North. Maybe it’ll be a good investment, or maybe she’ll just shut it down. Before walking out the front door she turns to Richard to make sure he knows she’s “not sorry for a damn thing.” Oh, okay, so Catherine Fox is exiting this marriage in a gosh darn blaze of bitter glory. Things are about to get real messy for Richard Webber.
The O.R. Board
• Remember when Schmitt had sex with Jo in his mom’s basement? This show is wild!
• I’m thankful that Dean’s at this dinner because he informs everyone, including Catherine Fox (Dr. Fox to him, thanks) that Vic “will put anything in her mouth,” and that’s just hilarious.
• But seriously, Dean wins dinner parties: “Let me tell you about that time [Vic] stopped a snake from eating a baby.
• I remain firmly planted on #TeamMaggie in all of this Maggie-Jackson animosity, so I found it delightful that she pointed out Jackson’s habit of jumping from one relationship to the next because he can’t be alone, and that she includes the random woman he befriended while off wandering in the woods trying to find himself in that list.
• Why don’t Maggie and Dean date? What’s stopping them now? Did you see him wearing that coat? Get yours, Pierce!
• Okay but seriously: no surgery?