It doesn’t seem like the best sign that Grey’s Anatomy had to borrow the firefighters from Station 19 in order to get the emotional heft this season has been lacking, does it? There have been complaints about the number of crossovers between the shows for a while now, and this one in particular relies heavily on your connection to the folks over at SFD. As someone who watches both shows, let me tell you: This one’s a doozy; it’s one of the more emotionally affecting Seattle crossovers in a long time. If you don’t watch Station 19, however, I have to imagine this episode doesn’t hit as hard. I’ll update you on firefighter drama where it seems necessary, but can we all just agree to cool it with the crossovers for a while now? The doctors over at Grey Sloan demand our full attention.
The latest “crossover event” does provide some much desired Bailey and Ben moments. Mom and Dad are getting so emotional tonight, and it is a thing to see! There’s good reason for it, too: A gas pipeline got nicked by a construction worker, which led to two major explosions — one that could be felt by everyone inside the hospital. Bailey is constantly terrified that something’s going to happen to Ben on the job (I mean, our Kitchen-Table C-Section Man does know how to get into trouble), so she understandably begins to panic when she can’t get a hold of him and there’s word that several firefighters were injured in the explosions. And then the ambos start rolling in.
First, Bailey finds Vic Hughes on a gurney. Grey’s fans may remember Vic as Jackson’s girlfriend for a hot second. You also may remember her from another crossover, in which her fiancé, Fire Chief Ripley, died. It was, um, fucking devastating? Well, she was electrocuted by an errant wire while up on the truck ladder. She was just hanging there for a while — it was very intense! She is hopped up on a lot of painkillers, but she does let Bailey know that it was Ben who gave her those meds, so he’s probably okay? The second rig that arrives has a firefighter in much worse shape than Vic, but it’s the third ambulance that really worries Bailey. The sirens aren’t on, and no one is rushing out. “There’s a dead person in there,” says Bailey.
And she’s right. Station 19’s Jack Gibson hops out of the rig first, looking unwell. Ben follows. At first, the reunion is full of relief for Bailey, but then she sees the look on her husband’s face and knows one of his friends is dead. Dean Miller was killed in the second explosion, and there was no bringing him back. Dean!! If you only watch Grey’s, you’ll probably know Dean as the firefighter who briefly flirted with Maggie. But what you should know is that Dean is the best, and he has been pining for Vic for so freaking long, and he sort-of almost told her he loved her right before she got electrocuted, and he saved her life, and now this man is dead! It’s gutting, people. Gutting! Okay, the other very important thing you need to know about Dean is that he has a 2-year-old daughter named Pru, whom he is raising alone after Pru’s mother ran off. Dean has a complicated relationship with his parents, and Pru’s maternal grandparents have popped by to apologize for their daughter, but twice Dean asked Ben to take Pru if anything were to happen to him. And one of those times was while they were lost at sea together, which is a thing that happened (don’t even worry about it; everyone is fine). Ben, of course, said yes.
Ben has never told his wife this. He says it’s because he just never thought Dean would actually die, to which Bailey basically says: YOU’RE FIREFIGHTERS, YOU DINK. She knows she brought Joey into their lives without asking Ben, but she’s not wrong when she points out that taking in an 18-year-old is very different from raising a baby. She wants to know if this was ever put down on paper and confirms that Pru has grandparents around. Bailey’s emotional reactions and follow-up questions aren’t because she is cold and uncaring — it’s the opposite, actually. Bailey has wanted a daughter for so long. Her miscarriage was devastating. She knows that as soon as she sees Pru, she’s going to fall in love with her, and if there is even the slightest chance that she could be taken away from them, then she just doesn’t think she can do this.
But then she sees Pru, and the little girl runs up to her and gives her a hug, and Bailey is in love. She holds her and tells her that everything’s going to be okay, and you know what? I need Bailey to tell me everything’s going to be okay! You know Bailey’s worst fears about possibly losing Pru are going to happen, and Bailey and Ben have been through enough! This whole situation needs some sort of happyish ending, okay?
Meanwhile, things are much rosier in Minnesota. There are no firefighters sobbing in the hallways, or people having heart attacks after they learn their favorite person has tragically died, or Baileys opening up their lives and their hearts to children that might be taken away from them. No, in Minnesota, it’s all people flirting and kissing and yelling about Tom Koracick sleeping with their daughters. Minnesota is a balm.
Honestly, not much happens in Minnesota plot-wise aside from the fact that Meredith hires Tom Koracick as the second neurosurgeon on the Parkinson’s project, and that really pisses off David Hamilton because Tom slept with his daughter and is kind of a skeezeball. But, like, none of this is new information, and Meredith isn’t about to derail a groundbreaking clinical trial because Tom is slutty. He’s also very good at his job and has a secret heart of gold — we know this. The whole situation reminds Meredith that David isn’t just some investor with altruistic dreams of curing Parkinson’s — he’s a surgeon who has lost the ability to perform surgery. He’s sick, and he’s desperate. They have a nice heart-to-heart about how hard this must be (and how David was working with Ellis around the time she got her Alzheimer’s diagnosis), but that is the very reason David needs to let Meredith do her job. Tom is part of the team.
The most interesting and important part of the Minnesota stuff, however, isn’t about cells clumping in fake gel brains or David’s grudges: It’s the flirting. There is so much flirting happening in this research lab it is wild. There’s Amelia and Kai, of course, who this week establish they are both extremely single and have the ability to make eyes at each other. This pairing is imminent. And then there’s Meredith and Nick. They really only share one major scene together, and it’s just Nick being a sounding board as Meredith figures out how to deal with David, but it is oozing with chemistry. It’s so natural and light, and I would be fine just watching these two hang out all the time. Which we do kind of get in the end: Meredith and Nick meet up for a date and finally kiss. My only note at the time was “goddamnnnn.”
The OR Board
• The pipeline explosion occurs just as Owen and Teddy are working with a few vets who are part of their burn-pit study, and the whole thing throws Owen into a panic. He is unraveling, but eventually Teddy finds him in a supply closet, where he is using the coping mechanisms he was taught to manage his PTSD. It only makes him more passionate about the work he is doing with the veterans.
• Winston and Cormac perform heart surgery on Farouk, and Megan, also unsettled by the explosion (knowing it is a trigger for Farouk), sits in the OR and holds her son’s hand for the entire surgery. It’s only after the surgery is complete and she knows her son is going to be okay that she lets herself feel all of her emotions, and she ends up a sobbing mess on the floor. Cormac breaks his promise and promptly tells Owen what has been going on. Owen and Teddy come to Farouk’s bedside and make sure that she knows they’re family. She’s not alone in this, not anymore. It’s very nice!!
• Megan should be hired full time at Grey Sloan, and she and Cormac should hook up. Immediately. We’ve talked about this before! Is this thing on??
• Pru Miller gets Jo thinking about what would happen to Luna if she dies. “It’s not even a question — I’ve got her,” Link assures her. Can these two just make out already? There are too many people on this show on the precipice of hooking up and not enough people on this show hooking up!!
• Nick texts Meredith to ask what she’s wearing. Her response: “A chastity belt.” His response: “Weird, me too.”