Well, the neuro team at Grey Sloan sure has their hands full at the moment, don’t they? All three of this episode’s major storylines are tied to our brain surgeons in some way, and I don’t know anything about staffing a hospital, but maybe we should have more than just Amelia and Tom walking around holding precious brains in their very busy hands.
Most importantly, there is Richard Webber. He’s back from that disastrous conference — which has turned him into a meme because people are awful — and immediately admitted to Grey Sloan. He has no idea what’s going on, thinks people are overreacting, and still believes that Catherine was with him in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, Bailey, Meredith, Maggie, and Jackson have started a war room in hopes of figuring out what’s going on with him. None of the test results coming back make sense, and the scans Amelia does show nothing useful. People are obviously suggesting it could be dementia, this could be Alzheimer’s, but Meredith insists: She knows what Alzheimer’s looks like and this isn’t it. They need to keep digging. Even after she and Maggie administer a cognitive abilities test and Richard can’t perform any of the exercises on it, Meredith is adamant: This isn’t Alzheimer’s.
In the most harrowing moment of “Sing It Again,” Richard goes missing and Meredith finds him in an empty OR about to slice into himself because he is hallucinating being in surgery. There he calls Meredith “Ellis” but still, she won’t accept an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. When Meredith gets Richard back to his room and into bed, he asks if he’s at Seattle Grace. He wants someone to get the interns to him now so that he can get home to Adele in time for dinner. Everyone in the room — Meredith, Maggie, Jackson, Catherine, and Bailey — is devastated and defeated by what they’re seeing. Catherine, especially, is being hard on herself. If she had been with him instead of letting their fight come between them, she would’ve noticed something earlier. Honestly, she isn’t wrong and I am very much okay with letting the woman who BOUGHT A HOSPITAL to spite her husband stew in her guilt for a little longer.
Meredith may be upset over the possibility of losing the closest thing she had to a real father — hey, I know Richard’s life being put in danger is alarming and honestly, rude, but let’s hear it for Meredith Grey finally having an juicy storyline I can fully get behind — but she isn’t going to give up on him. She ends up in a research room sitting across from none other than Andrew DeLuca. Technically, he’s still suspended, but he’s been buzzing around Richard’s room trying to use some tactics Dr. Riley taught him to help with diagnoses. Now, as hope is fading, Meredith wants to know what he’s thinking. He tries to be all indignant about her asking him for help after telling him that he needs to go home and rest and get help himself, but Meredith has no time for it: “Are you with me?” she asks. Of course he’s with her.
Sure, DeLuca was right about that human trafficking stuff, and yes, maybe he will be able to come up with some brilliant diagnosis and help save Richard. But Meredith’s voiceover in the moment she joins forces with DeLuca is ominous. She’s talking about how certain moments in her life, the big mistakes that keep her up at night, are always coming back to haunt her. Maybe she’s speaking in general about having to yet again watch a loved one suffer through dementia, but what if she’s not? What if she’s talking about that specific moment haunting her — the one where she let DeLuca get involved with Richard’s care? It looks like we’ll get some answers in next week’s season finale, but until then, hold me.
Let’s get back to neuro. Amelia barely has time to brainstorm what might be plaguing Richard because she has been called away to fill in for Tom. What’s wrong with Tom? I’m glad I asked. Surprise, surprise, who should walk into Grey Sloan but Tom’s ex-wife Dana and her 10-year-old son from her new marriage, Guthrie. Tom stands in shocked silence when he sees them — not because he has animosity toward Dana, but because Guthrie looks exactly like his late son, David. David, you might recall, died when he was 10. It shakes Tom to his core. When Dana tells him that Guthrie has a brain tumor that’s spread to his spine — and it is a big one — Tom can’t bring himself to operate. He can hardly be in the same room as the kid, he reminds him so much of his son. He feels like he’s “drowning,” he tells Teddy at one point. Grey’s Anatomy is really rounding out Tom this season and it is a thing to see!
Hey, remember how last week we learned that Teddy’s backstory about her best friend Allison, a story we’ve known to be true since the first day she showed up in season six, was actually a lie and Teddy and Allison were secret lovers having an affair while sharing an apartment with Allison’s girlfriend? What a time, huh? This week, Teddy is back to angsting over her feelings for Tom while still engaged to Owen. You may recall that Owen has been the love of Teddy’s life until this Teddy 2 had other plans and completely upended her and Owen’s finally stable relationship over a situation to which she had zero of the details. Why, Teddy 2, why? Anyway, Teddy is Tom’s rock as his grief is completely spilled open on the hospital floor.
Thankfully, Amelia takes on Guthrie’s case and heads into the OR. Tom thinks he’s in the clear and goes to help Owen and Link with their strange case of the week: A woman who broke her foot and then came out of a successful surgery with an inexplicable case of musicophilia — she can’t stop singing. It’s very weird and it basically ends with her and her husband being like, welp at least I’m alive! It’s truly insane. Like, if I wake up from surgery and have to sing everything and hear constant music in my head, those doctors are going to do everything they can to fix my ding-dong brain, you know? Not Vera and her husband. Their love is so strong, they’ll get over the constant singing. Love is wild, guys.
While Tom is dealing with Vera and avoiding his feelings, Amelia continues Guthrie’s surgery… until she starts going into labor. Because of course! Tom has to tag in and Amelia is wheeled out while screaming a pep talk in his face, only for her to soon find out she’s having Braxton Hicks contractions. Has this hospital taken crazy pills?
Back in Guthrie’s surgery, the kid starts crashing and Tom freezes. Teddy is up in the gallery and she talks him down, calming him as only Teddy can. And Tom saves Guthrie! That’s very nice for him. Teddy ruins all the good vibes though when she goes to see Tom in his office to apologize for all the pain she’s brought him, when he’s already suffered so much. She’s tenderly holding his hand and he’s telling her that she’s “taken away more pain than [she’s] caused” and that’s fine and all… until Teddy walks away from that conversation and almost immediately runs into Owen, who takes her into a supply closet to have sex, where she tells him she wants to get married that weekend. Teddy 2 is a maniac and she must be stopped.
The O.R. Board
• Jo and Schmitt have some roommate growing pains to work out: Mainly, they are best buds in the apartment, but at the hospital Jo can’t stop yelling at Schmitt. He takes it personally, but as Jo calmly explains to him, it’s just because he’s terrible at his job and she wants him to be better. I guess that passes for nice?
• Sorry not sorry but what was up with how fake “Guthrie” looked in the OR? I honestly spent several minutes assuming Amelia was doing a practice run on a dummy. Justice for Guthrie! Justice for that dummy!
• Nothing makes me laugh more than when Grey’s characters have to list off all the trauma they or a colleague has been through. Tonight, Bailey has to explain Richard’s medical history which, yes folks, includes a brain tumor and being electrocuted. No one in that war room flinches.
• Tom may be dealing with a lot in this episode, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have time to partake in his favorite pastime, making fun of Owen Hunt: “I hope you and Strawberry Shortcake live happily ever after,” he tells Teddy.