Welcome to an episode in which the end of every single storyline is completely infuriating! Okay, the exception here is Bailey, who, yes, finally realizes what we already knew, and after spending the day trying to show the now-18-year-old Joey all the possibilities there are for his future asks if he would want to be a part of her family — she has “an extra room, extra food, extra love to give” — and Joey says yes. It’s very sweet to see Joey and Tuck playing video games together even if, at the very least, Bailey should’ve texted her husband to let him know she just took in a teenager. You know if things were reversed and Ben made a unilateral decision for their entire family like this, that woman would have notes. Regardless, this feels like a nice development for the Bailey-Warren contingent and I wish them all the best.
Now, for these other fools. Have you ever uttered so many what-the-fucks at an episode before? I mean, maybe, we are working with over 350 episodes of television here and Grey’s Anatomy has had some doozies, but this was A LOT.
Obviously, I was beyond delighted to see Beanie Feldstein join the hallowed halls of Grey Sloan Memorial. The reveal that her Tess the Intern, who had endeared herself to Webber with her respect and reverence for the job so much that he has her scrub in to perform a procedure with him, is actually a runaway patient — just as she’s about to make her first incision! — is great and truly surprising. Thanks to Beanie’s performance, Tess the Patient’s story is a moving one: She’s in the hospital about to be treated for her fourth cancer diagnosis in eight years. After she beat cancer a second time, she decided she wanted to be a doctor and headed off to medical school, only to be diagnosed with cancer for a third time and have her money for tuition be completely drained, forcing her to drop out. Left alone in a hospital dealing with a blizzard crisis, she found herself closer to her dream than ever before and went along for the ride.
Webber is understandably pissed at being straight-up bamboozled, and, you know, almost responsible for letting NOT A DOCTOR cut into a patient, but mostly he sympathizes with Tess. He tells her about all the obstacles he had to overcome in order to become a surgeon, and that if she can beat cancer four times, she can finish med school. She shouldn’t give up before she even starts. Then he lays a whopper on us: The reason he was so eager to have Tess perform the surgery with him is because his hand is shaking. He doesn’t know if it is Parkinson’s or just old age, but he knows it signals the end of his career. Guys, are we really doing another “doctor with a hand problem” storyline? Sure, the details are much different, and Webber is in his 60s, so maybe he will have to give up surgery, but we’ve seen doctors — Burke, Derek — come back from hand problems before. It will surely be an emotional journey to see Webber learn how to define himself outside of an O.R., but so much of this feels like a rehashing of themes we’ve seen before.
Hey, speaking of hand problems: What the hell is happening to DeLuca? None of the tension from last week’s suggestion that he could be bipolar like his father is gone. It’s only getting worse. Cormac is screaming about his 6-year-old patient waiting for a liver transplant that is supposed to be coming from a hospital just three miles away, but because of the blizzard, the roads are blocked. His patient, Elisa, is running out of time. SOMEONE GET HIM HIS LIVER, DAMNIT, and all that. DeLuca hears this and immediately volunteers to walk to Seattle Presbyterian and get the liver on foot. When Meredith objects, he’s all like, “I’m a cross-country skier! I’m basically half snowman!” He’s going and he doesn’t need permission. When Meredith presses, DeLuca asks if Cormac screaming in the peds unit and slamming his phone also reminds Meredith of DeLuca’s dad. A petty kick in the pants if ever there was one.
DeLuca’s gone in the snow for a long time. It’s worrisome, but it also gives Cormac and Meredith time to chat as they prepare Elisa for her transplant. They’re bonding over widow stuff: Meredith tells Cormac, whose wife died just two years ago, that it’s really all the “firsts” that are the hardest — first anniversaries and holidays, your first kiss. Every conversation between Meredith and Cormac is so obviously screaming that they are going to get together, they should just make out over the patient’s open abdomen at this point. They don’t, but probably only because DeLuca runs in with the liver and… yeah, that’s definitely some frostbite. The dude went out on his mission in 8 degree weather (-15 with wind chill!) and did not wear gloves.
Elisa and her new liver are fine. DeLuca and his hands are not. He fights with Jackson, who is trying to save both his hands. He fights with his sister, who grows increasingly worried. And he fights with Meredith when she comes in to tell him that he saved that little girl’s life. “So, I guess you’re thanking me for not listening to you,” he spits back at her. And as she tries to explain that they’re immediately jumping to a possible diagnosis of bipolar disorder because there’s a family history, he snaps again: “I don’t accuse you of having Alzheimer’s every time you forget something, do I?” Dang, you guys, honestly, no pun intended but DeLuca is COLD. He yells at Meredith to get out of his hospital room. She should probably stay away from him for a while, no?
Then Meredith goes outside and has a followup conversation with Cormac about how DeLuca was the first man she said “I love you” to since her husband. Cormac tells her how lonely he’s been and how nice it is to have someone who understands what he’s going through, and they call each other friends but with eyes that mean more than friends and I still remain unmoved by this pairing.
There are other romantic entanglements going on that also boggle the mind. Apparently, Teddy has been worried about Amelia being pregnant with Owen’s baby all this time — it was a feeling she just couldn’t shake — and now learning that Amelia has taken leave and seeing Link IN A STATE, that worry is back. There are so many things about this storyline that seem off. First of all, has Teddy ever once seemed worried about the paternity of Amelia’s child? Nope. Second, yes, she thinks Tom Koracick is a good man, but she also knows that he’s insanely in love with her — he seems like the last person she’d confide in about her fears that Owen will always be in love with Amelia. I mean, he’s great about it, and assures her that Owen is completely in love with her, but still. Third, TEDDY AND TOM HAVE A SNOWBALL FIGHT??? Fourth, Teddy pulls Maggie aside and lays out all of the evidence she is mulling over about how Amelia’s baby could be Owen’s and tells her that Maggie doesn’t need to betray Amelia and give her all the details (!!) but she just wants to know if she’s crazy or not. Maggie says “you’re not crazy” and then just walks away. Seriously, that’s fucked up. Five, even knowing that she does not have all the details because she did not ask for them, Teddy heads over to Tom’s place and they hook up. That’s insanity. In what world would Teddy cheat on Owen that quickly? There has been like zero build-up to this moment and I am disturbed. If I’m being completely honest, I blame Amelia for all of this.
There are some other relationships going down the toilet, too. Honestly, aside from Bailey and Ben, the only other couple that makes it out of this blizzard looking stronger is Jackson and Vic, who have their “first fight” and then make up, because, sure? Anyway, for some messier couples, see first Schmitt and Nico. They get into it after Nico’s reveal that he isn’t out to his parents. Nico tells his boyfriend that he just isn’t a “talk about your feelings” type of guy and it’s wrong of Schmitt to want to change him. If Schmitt needs more than Nico can give, then they should just call it. It’s pretty clear that Schmitt does need more, but he isn’t ready to let go yet. This is definitely going to implode in the near future.
And finally, we get to the Karev of it all. Jo is growing increasingly agitated because she still hasn’t heard from Alex. Meredith, too, is still trying to figure out where her best friend is — “I know you’re not in Iowa” she texts him, still getting no response. When Link comes to hang out with Jo for a “doughnuts and despair” gathering since both their lives are in shambles, Jo finally breaks down. She called Alex’s mom and it turns out that he was never there at all. Jo is sure that Alex has left her. She thinks he woke up one day and wanted to escape his life and just left. I have to believe whatever happened to Alex isn’t as cut and dry as that, otherwise we’d be undoing 16 seasons of character development. The good news is that whatever Alex’s fate on this show is, we’ll be getting answers in the next episode. Stay safe out there, Grey’s fam. Next week is going to be a big one.