Oh come on, as soon as Meredith tells Nick that she will definitely be heading home after she finishes up with one last patient and that she of course wouldn’t miss the welcome party Maggie and Amelia are throwing for Nick, you know this woman is not making it to that party. It’s like Grey’s Anatomy 101. And who would blame Mer if she wanted to miss that dinner party on purpose anyway? Grey’s Anatomy dinner parties have a bad reputation. Remember that one dinner when Callie showed up with Penny and Meredith was all like, This is the woman who killed my husband? That was a rough dinner party. For them, I mean. It was pretty great for us. Regardless, memories of terrible parties past are not why Meredith misses one in honor of her boyfriend — she misses it because she has something much more important to take care of at the hospital.
Just as Meredith is about to leave for the night, an ambulance comes in with 72-year-old Alice Tom, the victim of a brutal racially motivated assault. Meredith isn’t going anywhere. It’s all very emotionally charged, especially as it’s Dr. Lin, head of plastics, and Nico, covering ortho, who are taking the lead here. In the OR, they’re angry and upset, and it’s beloved OR nurse BokHee who speaks up to remind them that the three of them are Americans, that they have the face of an American, and they should never let anyone make them feel differently. But just because Alice survives her first surgery, it doesn’t mean anyone is any less angry. Dr. Tseng is up in the OR gallery unable to stop crying once she finds out that no one stopped to help Alice or call in this hate crime. Later, Schmitt finds Nico in an on-call room with a bloody fist and a hole in the wall. Everyone is shaken up. And it certainly doesn’t help that, before long, Alice’s spleen ruptures and things go south. Meredith doesn’t even have time to get her back into the OR, she has to open her up there in her room. It’s touch-and-go for a while, but they’re able to save Alice, and it’s Dr. Lin and Nico who get to finally share some good news with the Tom family.
The vibe at the dinner party is decidedly different. It’s a little chaotic with kids everywhere and none of the food ready, and without Meredith, Nick is left to face her people on his own. The good news is that it turns out Nick Marsh is both an excellent surgeon and has the ability to charm the pants off anyone. Even Miranda Bailey, who walked into that party most definitely not wanting to have her pants charmed off. She can’t help it. Nick is very nice, and the two of them have the same views on very important issues, like Scrabble strategies. But more than being kind or charming, Nick isn’t afraid to be vulnerable or offer up some friendly advice when he sees it’s needed.
You see, there’s a Wendell Ndugu problem at this party. Winston got his brother to move out of his and Maggie’s house — he’s staying at a hotel on Winston’s dime — but Wendell is still around causing trouble. He shows up uninvited, and it doesn’t take long for Winston to have a meltdown over it. Wendell goes on and on about his lenders being really bad people and how he needs the ten grand to pay them back or something awful might happen. When Winston realizes those “really bad people” know where Wendell is, and that Wendell showed up at this house knowing they could be watching him, he blows up at his brother in front of everyone. He wants Wendell out of Seattle and out of his life.
Maggie doesn’t know how to help her husband, but she knows he hasn’t been the same since Wendell showed up. Nick tells her about his drug addict sister and how even though he knows she is a “master manipulator” who has lied to his face over and over, he still struggles to say no to her. She breaks his heart, but he falls for it time and again. She’s his sister, and he wants to help her.
Maggie wants to help Winston, which means she decides to help Wendell. When Winston returns after a cooling-off period, Wendell is gone, but Maggie tells her husband that she decided to give him the $10,000 — he’s her family now, too. Winston is pissed. Not because Maggie did that without asking but because he also gave Wendell $10,000. The guy fleeced them both!!
Nick has a run-in with Meredith’s other sister, too. Amelia’s being a sad sack out on the swing set after maybe, possibly breaking up with Kai for good. Surprising, no? Especially because at the start of this episode, Amelia and Kai are having great sex and being late for parties and generally seem extremely happy together. But then Kai gets a real look at Amelia’s life as a mom and an aunt. Kai doesn’t want kids, and they are never going to change their mind about it. They care about Amelia and would never want to lead her on. Quite simply, the two of them don’t want the same things in life. So where does that leave the new couple? Well, for one, it leaves Amelia crying on a swing. When Nick bumps into her, they chat about how he’s now been vetted by everyone but her and he asks if she has any questions for him. All she wants, she says, is for Meredith to have a happy, joyful life and all she wants from Nick is to know that he wants that, too. It’s approvals across the board, really.
Finally, Meredith comes home and she finds Nick waiting up with a dinner set up for her because he knew she must have had a tough case and wouldn’t have eaten and wouldn’t want to be alone. He holds her as she cries a little. Okay, these two are very in love!!
The OR Board
• Catherine’s doing chemo treatments as part of a new trial Richard found for her. Richard is very high-energy we are curing this thing, but Catherine needs a break from all the cancer talk every once and a while. She just wants to live. It’s all very sweet, and I still fear for her life.
• During chemo, Catherine and Richard meet Simon, Link’s old patient whose cancer has spread, and his wife, Kristen. Kristen, who is 35 weeks pregnant, ends up having Braxton Hicks contractions, but everything is fine. You know this story line is not going to end well.
• Bailey’s favorite pastime is finding surgeons hooking up in cars outside Meredith Grey’s house.
• That Bailey–Little Bailey fist bump? The cutest.
• Wait, was that Teddy dispensing some actual good advice to Link, or am I losing it? When he admits that he has some “occasional,” “small” feelings for Jo and asks if he should tell her, Teddy immediately says no. Figure your shit out first, Link. It could take a while.
• Love that Teddy is trying desperately to seem fun and even Owen — especially Owen — is like, Oh, sweetie, no.