Grey’s Anatomy Recap: Just a Little Closer

Grey’s Anatomy

It’s All Too Much
Season 17 Episode 8
Editor’s Rating 3 stars

Grey’s Anatomy

It’s All Too Much
Season 17 Episode 8
Editor’s Rating 3 stars
Photo: Ali Goldstein/ABC

A quick status update: Andrew DeLuca is gone and Meredith Grey is still on a ventilator because of COVID-19. Things are bleak as hell at Grey Sloan Memorial and people are coping — or not coping — in their own special ways. Working, drinking, sex, crying (so much crying!) — it all comes out following the death of one of their own. These doctors have been living through non-stop pain and trauma since the start of the pandemic and now some of them are reaching their real breaking points. Sounds fun and cool, right?!

Let’s start with Bailey, shall we? This woman has lost more than anyone should have to bear and when we find her in “It’s All Too Much,” she’s still processing DeLuca’s death. I mean, she’s still processing her mother’s death too, which, you know, also just happened. She’s in a state and no one can blame her. She, however, is looking for answers. She’s angry that no one came to get her until it was too late for her to do anything for DeLuca and she wants an autopsy report to make sure mistakes weren’t made. It’s a real slap in the face to Owen, Teddy, and Webber to a certain extent.

Richard Webber’s having a hard enough time as it is — he admits to Catherine that he’s been struggling with his faith and can’t understand the greater purpose to any of this — and so to have Bailey try to impede any grieving or healing with an autopsy, that bothers him. When the autopsy report comes back as they all expected — DeLuca lost too much blood and it’s clear there wasn’t anything they could do — Bailey then wants to schedule a morbidity and mortality conference so that everyone can walk through what happened. That’s when Webber has to get tough. “Let them grieve, for God’s sake!” he yells at her. Everyone in this hospital has been through enough and this would be torture. He won’t allow it.

It’s Webber who finds a way to help his people grieve since they can’t have a funeral. (Jo making dark jokes about a dress she bought for dates that she’ll now have to wear to her friend’s funeral and it dawning on her that there won’t even be a funeral was a real punch in the gut.) He sets up a memorial outside of the hospital.

Bailey almost misses it because she can’t get a handle on what she’s feeling. Surprisingly, it’s Schmitt who comes to find her as she is standing in the gallery over the O.R. where DeLuca died. She can’t be around anyone and she’s holding it all in, you can see it on her face. Schmitt talks to her about Jewish traditions when it comes to grieving and how healing they are. He reminds her that she lost her mother and DeLuca in the middle of a pandemic and she needs to take time to grieve with the people she loves — and they need her, too.

It gets to her. She heads over to that memorial and finally admits to Webber that she needs time off to be with her family. And then she walks over and gives Ben a big, long-awaited hug. The relief in this moment is palpable!

DeLuca’s memorial is simple, but moving. They put together a video of people from the hospital saying nice things and telling stories about DeLuca. Carina is there. Everyone’s bawling. The end of the video is actually a clip from DeLuca’s video submission when he applied to Grey Sloan’s residency program. He talks about how he was inspired to become a doctor by his sister, and how it would be an honor to work alongside the legendary surgeons at Grey Sloan and how all he wants to do is to help other people, he wants to do as much good as possible. He died trying to do just that, so perhaps that is comforting to his loved ones. It’s all very emotional, although I’m still in the “very annoyed they killed off this character for no good reason” phase of my personal grieving process, so what do I know.

People need some good news around this place. Hey, it looks like Meredith might be doing better: Teddy says that Meredith’s last COVID test was negative and her lungs seem to be improving. In fact, she wants to try and wean her off the ventilator. That’s good news!

Until it’s not.

Teddy and Hayes, who has replaced DeLuca as Teddy’s right-hand man on the COVID unit, make an attempt to start moving Meredith off the vent, but it doesn’t work. Teddy, who looks like she can barely stand up and is hallucinating DeLuca all over the hospital, is devastated. How is this not working?

The answer is simple: It’s the freaking beach. Meredith’s still hanging out in paradise in the perfect button-down shirt when along comes Derek again. He’s standing in the ocean fishing, as Derek Shepherd does, and Meredith is still unable to get anywhere close to him. It’s infuriating to be so close but not close enough. Derek reminds her that this is all her doing, it’s her beach, and then they have a nice laugh about how Meredith just loves to torture herself. He’s not wrong but also, I’m not in the mood for cutesy MerDer flirting at the moment.

Just kidding, of course I am!

Anyway, now that Meredith knows she has the power to change things here, she relaxes a little and suddenly, Derek is just a little bit closer to her. Of course this means that back in the real world hospital hellscape, Meredith’s condition gets worse.

There is only one point where she makes some small improvements and it’s after Hayes sits at her bedside and starts telling her that she needs to fight. She needs to fight for her kids and she needs to fight for her friends. On the beach, Meredith begins to hear him and Derek tells her that she should go listen to what he has to say — he’ll be waiting for her when she’s done. And so Meredith lets Hayes on the beach and she listens to him talk about all the video chats her three kids have been doing with her and how wonderful they seem. “They need you, Grey,” he tells her. “I know,” she responds. But she’s not sure she can fight. It’s so nice and free of pain where she is.

For a moment, it seems like she might be fighting. But that moment is fleeting. The next time we see Meredith and Derek on the beach, they’re sitting closer than they ever have before. That can’t be good.

But wait! We may have someone else’s health to worry about soon: Remember I mentioned Teddy hallucinating and looking unsteady? It gets worse throughout the episode. When everyone has cleared out after DeLuca’s memorial, Owen finds Teddy sitting alone on the curb. She doesn’t respond to anything he says, she just stares. Owen has to physically carry her out. Something is very wrong with Teddy.

The O.R. Board

• Maggie (and Winston, who has privileges now!) work on a patient who is terrified of getting COVID. So terrified that he won’t let any of the doctors or nurses touch him and as they’re about to operate, he freaks out and runs out of the O.R., butt naked. They find him crouched in the corner of a stairwell and he opens up about a friend who was completely healthy, caught COVID, and died within a week. Maggie, thinking of DeLuca, gives the patient a moving speech about how we “owe it to the people we lost to live the lives they can’t.” It’s a good one.

• Okay, Helm and Maggie’s back-to-back hug hit hard. People need physical contact!

• Amelia finds whiskey that Link’s been hiding and when he explains that sometimes this is all too much and he needs a little drink in the garage — the man is taking care of four kids all day during a pandemic and his friends are dying, so it seems reasonable — it turns into a big argument. Link cuts to the core of so many of us when he tells Amelia that sometimes she drives him insane and then he heads to Jo’s for some day-drinking. He spends the day venting about his current situation, but after DeLuca’s memorial all he wants to do is go home to Amelia. All she wants is for them not to keep secrets from one another. Seems easy enough, right?

• Wait, so, Jo is not going to adopt Luna?! What are we doing here, people?? Have we really moved on from this so soon? TBD. She has, however, started telling people about her desire to move to O.B., so that feels real.

• Catherine’s latest cancer scan showed no growth! That’s some nice news in the midst of all this doom and gloom, isn’t it?

• In case you haven’t been emotionally tormented enough: Zola writes letters to her dad in her journal. This! Child!

• I’m not saying I have superpowers or anything, but I am saying I may have manifested this happening last week. You’re welcome, #Japril ’shippers! Now I’ll begin my work on getting Cristina Yang back in Seattle. We need her.

• Meredith’s kids dance it out, too!

Grey’s Anatomy Recap: Just a Little Closer