Ah, midseason Grey’s Anatomy. It’s that time of year where there are some moments of gripping drama, but mostly episodes are laying track for big things to come toward the end of the season. We’re treading water again, and in “Save the Last Dance for Me” you could really feel it.
Take the Amelia–Link paternity debacle (YES WE HAVE TO). Amelia, in all her maturity and non-tumor-ness (wait, remember when Grey’s blamed all of Amelia’s irrational actions on her tumor? But then they removed it and she’s basically the same? LOL, so cute), has taken to avoiding Link altogether while they wait for paternity results. Poor Link is just wandering around like a sad puppy waiting to find out if he’s going to be a father or not — as is his right, by the way — and Amelia is acting like this is all about her. Yes, of course that tracks, but that doesn’t make it fun to watch. She calls Link for a meeting in the plant room and pretty much tells him that he needs to figure out what he’s going to do if the baby ends up being Owen’s right that very minute. “You said you love me, is that true?” she asks. This is such manipulative bullshit because hi, hello, he can love her and also be upset that this baby isn’t his. Both things could be true, and where is a sister or two to come talk some sense into this lady when you need one? She especially needs a patented Meredith Grey speech about not being so Amelia about things by the end of the episode, because just as we think we’re going to get the paternity results, Amelia texts Link and tells him she hasn’t even run the test yet. She can’t. She needs time. What about our time, Amelia?!
Speaking of things we have a lack of interest in: the Grey Sloan Merger 2.0. That’s right, guys, Catherine went ahead and bought Pac-North, and it and its employees are being absorbed into Grey Sloan. They’ll be weeding out the extra staff by good ol’ fashioned interviews with Tom Koracick, the Chief of Chiefs. Once again, Tom is reveling in his power: Maggie gets her job back, but she’s going to be working under Teddy; Owen is going to get his job back but gets strung along the entire day; and Richard is offered his job because Catherine demands it. No one is happy about any of this and Richard storms out, refusing to be a piece in Catherine’s chess game. He’d rather quit than let her win. But the people won’t stand for that! And by people I mean Jackson, Bailey, and Meredith.
Jackson, Bailey, and Meredith grab Owen and Richard and go marching into the conference room to confront Koracick. They’re the Board, ya see! They’re not going to let Tom rule this hospital, ya see! They’re a family and they do things a certain way, YA SEE! I mean this is all nice and fun, but it’s very confusing to keep track of who is on the Board and who isn’t and also who really has power at Grey Sloan? This all seems convenient, but Tom goes along with it because he knows they’re right: If they all walk out on him, Catherine will not be happy. If he goes along with their plan, he can remain Chief of Chiefs in both title and salary, and that is enough for him to agree to making Maggie and Teddy co-Chiefs of Cardio, making Alex and Cormac co-Chiefs of Peds, and no longer running the hospital with a “his way or no way” mentality. For those who have been wondering how on earth we’d get all our doctors under one hospital roof again, you have your answer!
Not all is lost, dear Grey’s friends. There is one storyline that has me intrigued: The unsolvable case of Suzanne. Remember Suzanne? DeLuca’s patient who started getting sicker after a routine appendectomy and they can’t figure out why. She’s getting much worse, and although DeLuca has set up the “war room” Bailey requested, they still have no answers. DeLuca tricks a master diagnostician into coming to Grey Sloan by telling her The Meredith Grey has requested the consult, which is mean — DeLuca repeatedly describes it as “luring” her to Grey Sloan and seems to think that makes it better and I really need someone to tell that child that is is only making it worse — but ultimately a good decision.
Welcome Dr. Riley, Grey’s Anatomy’s first deaf doctor. She has no time for DeLuca’s nonsense, which is always delightful. After Maggie has to operate on Suzanne because of fluid building around her heart, Dr. Riley has an extremely risky plan: They need to take Suzanne off all of her medication — antibiotics, steroids, everything — so that they can see if maybe her medication is blocking out a clue to what’s really going on. Obviously, taking a sick woman who just had heart surgery off all medication is not advisable, like, at all, but Riley’s the best and this is her best recommendation. DeLuca turns to Maggie for her opinion, but Maggie, who may be back in the OR but is definitely much more detached than we’ve ever seen her, simply says Riley’s idea is “reckless” and a “catastrophic mistake.” People should be watching out for Maggie.
Alas! There is no time! In the end, DeLuca offers Suzanne Riley’s plan. It’s risky — she’s definitely going to get sicker and be in pain while they try this — but they’re all out of options. It’s Suzanne’s sister Hadley who puts up the biggest fight. Riley wins her over with an emotional speech about her own sisters, how one is her best friend and so she understands what she’s asking Hadley to do. She tells Hadley that Suzanne’s immune system is completely compromised and with the medication all gone, the disease will finally be able to talk to Riley. This is the best shot they have at saving Suzanne’s life. Suzanne and Hadley agree to move forward with Dr. Riley’s plan. DeLuca’s moved by Riley’s speech and when he starts to tell Riley about his own sister, she stops him — she’s an only child. She made it up to get Hadley on board. Dang, Dr. Riley. That’s cold but also I’m impressed.
The O.R. Board
• Well, I guess it’s time to talk about the Alex update: Jo confides in Amelia that Alex, still with his family, hasn’t been taking her phone calls and told her he’s “going through something.” Are they really going to have Alex just… leave his wife and never return? We should reserve judgment until it plays itself out, but currently it’s all feeling a little too Izzie Stevens for me.
• Is there really any hope for a reconciliation between Richard and Catherine at this point? Jackson seems to think so, well, until he sits down with Richard who compares Catherine to Godzilla stomping all over Tokyo. I’m no expert, but that doesn’t seem like a good sign for mending fences.
• Wow, wow, wow. Is this the end of Schmitt and Nico? Nico’s annoyed that Schmitt has basically moved into his place, just as Schmitt meets an older patient dying of cancer and her husband, who are the loves of each other’s lives. Former ballroom dancers, Schmitt helps Norman share one last dance with Irene in the hospital cafeteria. It’s lovely. But it also makes Schmitt think about his relationship. He wants more than just great sex. He wants a real partner. It might not be Nico.
• Meredith also has a big reaction to Norman and Irene dancing in the cafeteria: She realizes that back in the day, it would’ve been her organizing that dance. She wonders when she stopped being such a romantic, and what that says about her relationship with DeLuca. The two of them are sleeping together again, but she wonders what it means that when he sort-of-dumped her, she barely felt anything but annoyance. Is DeLuca out and Cormac in? Did Cristina Yang truly know best?
• Wait. Are Bailey and Ben going to adopt 17-year-old foster kid Joey who came in from Station 19? They’re totally going to adopt him.
• Speaking of Station 19: What’s with all the crossover stuff? I watch both shows and even I find it all to be a little too much. Next week: Bear attack crossover! I mean, that’s hilarious, but still.