Grey’s Anatomy – What’s Inside
By: Krista Ann Freego
Disclaimer: Yet again you will need tissues for this episode. Once again beautiful performances abound. Okay you have your tissues, let us begin.
While watching this episode a saying kept coming to mind; “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.”
This is Maggie’s (Kelly McCreary) first day back at Grey Sloan Memorial since her mother Diane (LaTanya Richardson Jackson) passed away. Everyone is concerned for Maggie and how she is handling the death of her mother. Everyone wants to protect her and be there for her and is secretly wondering if it is “too much, too soon.”
Maggie wants a distraction. I can completely relate to Maggie. When I lost my granny (as previously mentioned) I did everything I could to keep busy. I made all the arrangements for the funeral and the service. I handled everything for the headstone. I gathered all the photos for the calling hours. I met with the priest. I packed up her apartment and her belongings. I did everything I could. I did these things not because I was okay. Not because I wasn’t falling completely apart inside. I did them because in this powerless situation, that is all that I could do. The members of my family kept saying how strong I was. Truth is, I wasn’t strong. This past Christmas, the first one since my granny passed, I balled like an idiot because she wasn’t there to share it with and because everything about Christmas reminded me of her. I am not strong. I just knew at the time that I had to keep myself busy. Once I ran out of tasks, all I was left with was the crushing reality that she wasn’t there anymore. That there would be no more movie nights and long hugs and lengthy conversations. There would be no more calls from her on my birthday letting me know that she was thinking about me. The harsh debilitating reality that I had already experienced all of my lasts with her, but that at the time I was experiencing them, I didn’t know they were the last.
This week’s episode opens at the graveyard with Maggie visiting her mother’s headstone with Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) and Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) waiting for her, leaning up against another headstone. While Maggie is at her mother’s grave, Amelia confesses that she doesn’t get it. She doesn’t get the act of talking to a headstone. “What’s this? What does she get out of it? Meredith states she doesn’t know either. Then, both characters reminisce about how horribly they handled grief in their own lives; Amelia with her oxy binges and Meredith who just disappeared and had a secret baby. Meredith hypothesizes “maybe this is what grief looks like when you have led a whole healthy life, you know before anything terrible happens.” Then, once again the two dark and twisty sisters (please note: no one is taking Cristina’s place or could possibly take her place) share a list of the terrible moments they experienced early on in their lives: Meredith watching her own mother slit her wrists and bleed out on the kitchen floor and Amelia watching her father be shot and killed in his store. It is nice to see that Amelia and Meredith can finally relate to each other and see that they are far more alike than either of them wanted to admit when they first started working together at Grey Sloan.
The question of the episode: “Are you ready for your first day back?” This is the question that is on everyone’s minds. Throughout the episode, Maggie’s answer never changes – “so ready.”
Next the Grey’s God or Gods (if you include all the writers) bless us with the gift that shall forever be known to me as “carpooling.” Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) and Eliza Minnick (Marika Dominczyk) arrive at work together. As they pull up to their parking space and get out of the car they are greeted by Riggs (Martin Henderson) and Arizona is automatically awkward and thus adorable awkward Arizona-ness occurs: Riggs: “Ah, you guys carpool. That’s nice.” Arizona: “Yeah, it’s nice for the trees.” Minutes later Arizona feels it necessary to confess to Riggs that they aren’t just carpooling and that they are together. At that moment, I rejoiced that Arizona has found someone that she can confide in and share her Minnick joy. And thus a beautiful friendship between Arizona and Riggs is born, whether Riggs wants it or not.
Maggie’s decides that on her first day back that she is going to do a risky operation on a baby of friends of Hunt’s (Kevin McKidd). At no point in this episode does a single doctor put absolute faith in Maggie and believe her when she states that she can do this.
Alex (Justin Chambers) and Meredith have an adorable brother/sister moment where Meredith tells Alex that she believes Maggie is fine and so she is going to go out to dinner with Riggs. Alex, not being a fan of Riggs, is apathetic during this conversation. Meredith calls him on it and he states that he doesn’t like Riggs. Meredith then accuses Alex of being a “grumpy old man.” When the interns try to enter the room before Alex tells them to, he snaps at them and Meredith chides “you are this close to telling the kids to get off your lawn” to which Alex grunts back with “stop acting like that is something new.” Ah, Alex and Meredith moments. I really have enjoyed the evolution of their friendship over the last thirteen years. Thank you writers for moments like these. They are almost as good as “carpooling” moments…almost.
The surgery of the episode is on a pregnant woman who has a baby with a tumor that they have to remove before the baby is even delivered. Hunt is vehemently opposed to Maggie doing this surgery on her first day back and insists that Riggs be the doctor to perform the surgery. Still getting use to Hunt arguing in favor of Riggs, well for anything. When pressed Owen even admits that his concerns have nothing to do with Maggie’s surgical skills.
Another favorite moment of mine from this episode is when Riggs and Arizona are in the elevator and Arizona tell her that they are now friends and that this is now a thing.
Arizona: I’m recently divorced.
Arizona: So its new. Me and Minnick.
Riggs: Oh right. Like I said. It’s none of my business.
Arizona: I wasn’t ready for it. That’s all I’m saying. I wasn’t trying to make it happen. I mean I thought it would happen sometime. But not now.
Riggs: I know the feeling. I lost my fiancés years ago. I wasn’t looking for anything either. And you’re right. It’s a surprise when it happens. It doesn’t matter how long it’s been.
Arizona: So you’re seeing someone, too?
Riggs: Yeah. Ah, maybe. Well, we’re trying. I am anyway she…Well, we’ll see if it goes anywhere.
Arizona: I hope so. Keep me posted.
Riggs: Wait. I’m keeping you posted?
Arizona: Yeah. This is happening. We’re now friends. You know what you don’t even need to keep me posted. I’ll ask you.
Back to Maggie…
On more than one occasion, Maggie tells Meredith and Amelia exactly what she needs from them. Maggie asserts, “Would you stop. How is this supposed to help me be okay? How is this supposed to help me go in there and do the impossible. Now is the part where you guys are supposed to tell me how awesome I am, like I do for you two all the time.”
For a moment during the surgery it appears that everything is going south. The gallery is filled with all the doctors filled with good intentions but nonetheless second guessing if Maggie is capable of this surgery so soon after the death of her mother. Sadly, even Arizona questions Maggie during the surgery if she is sure that she can do this. Despite letting everyone know that she can do this and what it is she needs from them; Maggie is all alone. Things look dire and everyone but Maggie is freaking out. Rather than remembering how calm and collected Maggie has always been under pressure in difficult surgeries, everyone rather easily assumes that she has frozen and she is going to allow the baby to die because she came back too soon and took too much on too soon. I for one never gave up hope in the capabilities of Maggie and was not at all surprised when she came up calmly with the solution and saved the day. Shame on those of you who doubted her and even worse made her doubt herself. Like I said, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.”
During the surgery, when matters started going south, Arizona asked Maggie what her plan was. This is her response:
Maggie: My plan is to give her a minute. She just lost something huge. Something that has been with her since day one. Her heart just needs to learn how to beat without that extra loud. She just needs a little time to adjust.
Long surgery short, the baby lived in utero happily ever after.
One of the best lines of the episode:
Kepner: I’ve already been exposed. I have the antibodies. Also, I’m not a gutless wuss.
Dictionary part of the episode:
Between Riggs and Meredith. What is and what is not a date?
Meredith: Tonight. Sabrina’s restaurant. Let’s go have a drink and have a conversation.
Riggs: Like a date?
Meredith: No. It’s not a date. It’s two people hanging out to see if we enjoy hanging out before I tell Maggie.
Riggs: Oh so when it goes well, then you’ll tell Maggie?
Meredith: It could go either way. We could end up hating each other. And then there would be nothing to tell.
Riggs: You don’t hate me.
Meredith: I could hate you. I have before. 8 o’clock.
In other news…
Owen and Amelia interact without screaming at each other, but by no means do they make any progress in their relationship. Meredith ends up calling off her date/non-date with Riggs. When he takes it badly and responds with “come on,” Meredith reminds him that she has “people to take care of” and that he is “not one of them.”
The episode ends with a distraught Maggie crying and confiding in her sisters. As a callback to the OG days of “Grey’s Anatomy,” Meredith decides that the only way to handle the situation is to dance it out. Thus, adding Maggie and Amelia to the list of chosen ones to dance it out with Meredith. Our closing image is of three unlikely sisters, together, supporting each other, comforting each other, making mistakes yet trying their best for each other. Love in any form is not perfect, but it certainly is beautiful how hard they all try to love each other perfectly!