Miranda Bailey runs this town, baby!! Our chief of surgery is firing on all cylinders this evening. Here is a list of things she completely owns in this episode: being a great surgeon, spraying a python with alcohol to get it to release its grip from a human being, being a good mom, getting hit on by hot young residents, that thing where TV doctors jump on top of gurneys to give a patient heart compressions while the gurney is moving, her marriage. Maybe what this season of Grey’s Anatomy needed all along was to turn its focus to The Miranda Bailey, because she delivers.
As promised, a man shows up at Grey Sloan and informs everyone that his boyfriend Ivan is in the car and Ivan’s pet snake is slowly squeezing the life out of his body. And sure enough, they run to the car and find a giant python coiled around Ivan, and it’s dug its fangs into his arm. Is this story line bananas? Yes. But after so many snooze fests this season, I will 100 percent take a patient whose insides are at one point described as having been squeezed like a tube of toothpaste into his chest cavity. Cool, right?
We get a whole sequence of doctors showing up to the ambulance bay only to reveal their deep fears of snakes. You’d think they’d be more scared of something super-terrifying like the fact that if you work at Grey Sloan, you have like a 50/50 shot of making it out of that place alive, but no one seems to be worried about that. Everyone is worried about the giant snake. Well, everyone except Winston, who apparently is snakes’ No. 1 fan. He gets so excited to see a python up close and to use his vast snake knowledge. It is adorable. Also useful. He directs everyone on how to properly uncoil this thing without pissing it off, and while many of the doctors cower, Bailey, although also scared, steps the fuck up. She goes all “no one is dying on my watch!” on this thing and sprays the snake in the face with alcohol to get it to unclench from Ivan (Winston’s idea), and they get the snake off of him, trap it in the car, and get Ivan into the ER.
Bailey really runs this thing from start to finish. Webber attempts to take the lead, but Bailey notices something is not right and yells at them to not cut Ivan open before they get him a CT or they could kill him. Again, no one is dying on this woman’s watch today! Bailey’s right, of course. It’s the toothpaste thing: Ivan’s organs have herniated into his chest cavity and if they had just cut into him, they would’ve cut something vital and killed that man. Bailey is on top of her game in OR. On the way to the ICU when Ivan starts crashing, it’s Bailey who jumps on that gurney to keep him alive. Bailey saves Ivan’s life and barely breaks a sweat doing it. It’s so nice to see her get some real wins in the OR and not be relegated to running around being like “we have no doctors left!” for another episode.
You know what might be making her sweat just a little, though? This whole awkward situation with Hot Resident Jordan who kissed her last week after they spent the day nerding the fuck out. It’s not as bad as you think — he’s apologized profusely and Bailey told Ben all about it, so she isn’t hiding anything. If you don’t watch Station 19, they had a thing about it over there. They also are working things out with Dean’s parents. Just a lot of Bailey/Ben content on that show this week that would’ve been nice to have had on Grey’s, but this is the world we live in! Anyway, nothing is going to happen between Bailey and Dr. Wright, but he does give her a whole speech about how she was definitely giving off some sort of signal even if she didn’t realize it because maybe she doesn’t see herself the way he sees her and the way he looks at her … oh, buddy, I needed a fan. I hope they give Jordan more to do now that this Bailey crush has been put to rest, is all I’m saying.
And it has been put to rest — Jordan’s comments and interactions with Ivan and his boyfriend and the snake have gotten Bailey to think about the state of her marriage. They have a lot going on, and perhaps it’s meant they’ve been ignoring their relationship. Bailey’s not the only one who’s seemed “available” to someone else — Ben had a whole storyline about it too, earlier this season on Station 19. They promise to make each other a priority and it is a lovely little moment between Grey’s longest-running couple. Cherish them, people!
There’s a new couple in town, too. Jo followed through on asking Link to move out and although it’s clear she (and Luna) misses him and Scout, it has lifted a weight off of her. She ends up on a case with Maggie in which their pregnant patient Laura has a heart condition they’ve been watching closely. Laura has a cute, dorky brother named Todd (Skylar Astin joins the hallowed halls of Grey Sloan!), who is very involved with her health and pregnancy since she’s doing this on her own. He’s protective and he loves spreadsheets. Laura takes a liking to Jo — who shares her single-mom struggles — and asks if she could set her up with Todd. Jo tries to get out of it (with an assist from Maggie), but not long after she finds Todd in the waiting room and engages in some light flirting over a shared love for Ready, Set, Globe! (some sort of Amazing Race stand-in) and salt-and-vinegar chips. Great loves have ignited over less, people.
After Laura’s surgery, in which Jo has a big save (putting this character in O.B. was such a good move for the show), she gives Todd an update and they chat each other up a little more. Turns out Todd is just a very nice brother who wants to make sure his sister feels fully supported throughout this. Jo is into it. She awkwardly asks Todd out for drinks and he awkwardly accepts and you know what? This seems cute.
But, you might ask, isn’t Jo still nursing those feelings for Link? At one point during the episode, I was ready to start wailing about how we had all this lead up to Jo and Link getting together only for them to call it off in the name of friendship. In this episode, Link fears they ruined what they had (actually, he blames Amelia for ruining it because our boy is petty and angry!), but Jo says they were simply “smart enough to protect [their friendship].” It all seemed too easy and not narratively sound to have this situation end so cleanly. BUT THEN as Jo is waiting for Todd to meet her for drinks, Link comes up to her and asks if they can hang out. Todd pops in at the exact right time, Link realizes Jo is going on a date, and he sends them on their way. He watches her walk out and the look on his face is that of a man who has some unresolved romantic feelings for his friend. Have the tables just turned on Jo and Link? Is this the start of a new Grey’s love triangle? Maybe!
The OR Board
• Hamilton — who is doing so well, by the way — offers Meredith a permanent position as head of the Grey Center and chief of general surgery at the Mayo Clinic. He also gives her a boatload of money that can go toward any kind of research she wants. It is an astounding offer. He of course makes the offer in person, which puts Meredith off, but she hasn’t said no just yet …
• Nick would apparently benefit from this research money, too, but he wants Meredith to decide based on what is right for her. He’ll support her either way; he just wants to be part of her life. And so she brings him home to Seattle to meet her kids. They have pizza. It’s very cute.
• I loved Meredith and Kai’s conversation in this episode. Meredith is hesitant to tie herself to Hamilton because he reminds her so much of her mother with his demands and expectations and it might not be a healthy relationship for her. Kai has the opposite feelings about Hamilton — he is one of the first people they told when they changed their pronouns and name and Hamilton offered more support than anyone else in their life. Kai doesn’t want Meredith to write Hamilton off because of her past.
• Amelia gets bent out of shape that Link is being short with her, or ignoring her all together, but he explains that he needs to hate her for a little bit so that he can stop being in love with her. She … sort of drops it? Why is this still a thing?
• Teddy and Owen have a blow up — again — but eventually set things right. Teddy believes in death with dignity, but the way Owen went about it put their entire family at risk. Owen made a decision that affected them all, but didn’t trust her enough to talk to her about it. Whether she figured out a way to make it work or talked him out of it, they need to be a team.
• We’ve gotten several small moments this season in which Maggie learns something surprising about Winston. There was the miracle thing not too long ago and in this episode there’s his obsession with snakes and, apparently, him getting her to go to the gym with him. What are we setting up here? Don’t hurt Maggie and Winston!!
• After the incident with Ivan, Webber is worried about his skills in the OR He tells Catherine he wants a full assessment of his motor skills and cognitive abilities to see if he is still fit to be a surgeon. I’m worried?