Grey's Anatomy Season 14 Episode 23 Review: Cold As Ice

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This show likes to toy with our feelings just for the hell of it, and it's disrespectful. 

Fans have been in a frenzy because they were afraid of how Arizona and April would be written out.

First, Arizona had that brief (fake) breast cancer scare thanks to that douchey doctor. This time, Grey's Anatomy Season 14 Episode 23 had everyone on the edge of their seats fearing that April would die. 

April's Life in the Balance

It's rude, okay! Fortunately, we were not subjected to a cover of "Chasing Cars" or "How to Save A Life." 

Instead, it was a nerve-wracking, emotional, and beautiful hour. Was it emotionally manipulative? Absolutely, but I didn't mind it this time. 

The only downside to the hour was April not being the sole focus of it. Those are words that I never in a million years imagined typing, but if this season didn't do anything, it converted me into an April fan. 

"Cold as Ice" served as a tribute to her character while she was still there to receive it. At the forefront, we came to see how much the hospital and her colleagues value and care for her. She had many ups and downs during her tenure at the hospital.

EMT: I think we lost her.
EMT 2: No we didn't!
Meredith: She's not dead until she's warm and dead!

In the early days, she was one of those dreaded Mercy Westers and an interloper. She was the overwhelming ray of sunshine. Sometimes, she was the annoying, neurotic one, and she was the butt of jokes or the one made fun of for being a Christian and a virgin. 

She has been one of the screw-ups, and the one who got a second chance. She has been a turncoat and a hero, a great friend, and a mom. She has been many different things throughout the series, and her impact on it bled through in all of her scenes. 

Related: Grey's Anatomy Season 14 Episode 22 Review: Fight For Your Mind

It tugged at the heartstrings witnessing the various reactions to her life hanging in the balance. Jackson, Arizona, and Owen's reactions were predictable. They are the ones who are closest to her. What I loved was hearing how much Alex admired her for naturally being all of the things he wished he was capable of being. 

I hated Kepner at first. I hated her because I wished I was more like her.


I loved Miranda flipping out because her colleagues are her babies. No, April wasn't an original member who was under Miranda's tutelage, but Miranda views so many of them as her "babies." I loved the restrained emotion Richard had going on, too. 

Meredith breaking down was enough to cause anyone to follow suit. There are so many ghosts that roam the halls of this hospital. Grief lingers in the air. Memories are heavy. 

These people are a family for better and for worse, and they have endured so much over the years. When something happens to one of them, it happens to all of them. Their best moments are always when they rally together as a family during times of devastation. 

Meredith Breaks Down Again

When something happens to one of their own, it's like everything else stops. Every available person directs all of their focus and energy into their fallen person -- their person in peril.

We have been fortunate enough to see it many times over the years, and it has happened a great deal this season. It was powerful when it involved Jo and emotional when it involved Sam. 

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More than anything, as much as I hate to say it, we needed this after seeing so many of them drop the ball when April was visibly struggling for weeks during her crisis.  Most of them failed to notice when she was in need and required help and someone to reach out. Everyone was too consumed with their own issues. 

Their display during this hour doesn't absolve them of their failures, but it makes up for it a bit. 

April: Hey you! Are you OK?
Matthew: I'm alive.
April: Me too.
Matthew: That's not what I heard.

Is anyone surprised that Matthew is the boyfriend that April has been seeing? It can be argued that the two of them reconnecting is too soon, but I loved Arizona's explanation. They have matured since their relationship; they both have life experiences and a mutual understanding via their grief. 

I liked April and Matthew the first time. I love the idea of them together now. I can root for their connection here. My only frustration is that we couldn't see it play out. 

We were unable to see them reunite romantically, and we didn't get to experience April and Arizona talking about it. Their friendship is one of the best on the series right now, so that sucks. 

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Did anyone else fear the baby was in the car with them at first? Matthew is one of the unluckiest, most tragic characters in a series full of them. I kept muttering just let that poor man be happy, my goodness!

The ending scene with April and Matthew was promising. Maybe now they'll get their happily ever after. 

Jackson's Anguish

Meredith's breakdown was difficult to watch, but Jackson nearly broke me. 

It was frustrating that Maggie was attempting to tell him what was going on while he was in surgery. I understood why she wanted to do it, but it was reckless. Gosh darn it, Maggie, it was not the time. 

Jackson tapping into some faith was cliche, but I'll allow it this time. Owen was right when he said that it was what April would want. In fact, that was one of my favorite moments of the hour because it was a reminder of how close Owen and April are supposed to be, and it was a beautiful way to honor their friend.

Jackson's Newfound Faith

Jesse Williams's scene where he prayed to a God he never believed in for April to wake up was so moving. It'll go down as one of my favorite Japril scenes. I never shipped the pairing, but I always enjoyed their friendship. April is his best friend, and after years of being a staunch atheist, sometimes to her frustration, he was able to pray for her. 

April making fun of him for praying and teasing him about it working was the cutest. Arizona's uncontrollable happy sobs were cute, too. 

Then there is Maggie. Fans direct a lot of anger at her character, but I have always been fond of her. But do you know when I love her best? I love Maggie best during a crisis. 

I believe in you. I want to believe. I will. I will, I will believe in you. I'll do whatever you want. I'll do anything. Don't take her away, okay? Don't. Don't take April. Please.

Jackson [praying]

You can say a lot of things about Maggie Pierce, but that woman is a fierce, powerful badass during times of need. She's a force to be reckoned with when someone is in danger. 

I admire and adore Maggie's confidence in her abilities. She didn't waver when others thought she imagined seeing a heart rhythm. She didn't let them discourage her. She ignored Jackson's anguish because April needed to be saved. 

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This isn't the first time she was like this nor was it manufactured to make her look heroic. This is who Maggie is as a character, and it's how she has always been during times of crisis. 

Maggie went into beast mode when Miranda had her heart attack. She behaved similarly when a patient attacked Meredith. Maggie will go to war for the people she cares about and comes prepared and game face ready. 

Maggie Gets It Done

The scene between Maggie and April was a special one. 

Herman's return was lovely and served a purpose, but it was hard to enjoy most of it. It would have worked best if Arizona and Herman and April's storylines were in separate installments.

Arizona had residual feelings of abandonment and anger because Herman fell off the face of the Earth and stopped talking to her when she left her. She kept up with all of Arizona's work though. 

Herman had her reasons, and her reasoning made sense. She needed time, and time served her well.

Herman Returns

Was she always this delightful, witty, and fun? She brought a lightness and some levity to an intense hour.

Herman feared she had another brain tumor, but that wasn't the case. Meanwhile, Amelia was struggling with whether or not she should tell Herman the truth about her own brain tumor because she felt it may have contributed to Herman's blindness. 

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It was amazing that Herman already knew about it. It's fantastic that the show didn't go the ableist route and have Herman remain a self-loathing person who never adapted to her disability. Herman has accepted her blindness, jokes about it, and points out the many perks. 

Herman's proposal is a spectacular way for Arizona to exit. Their relationship was a special one because Arizona grew and matured as a surgeon while working with her. Arizona deserves her own clinic. 

Unsettling News - Grey's Anatomy Season 14 Episode 23

She'll have the best of everything working with Herman and getting to do it in New York. It is the happiest of happy endings. Thank goodness! 

Betty is back. Thank goodness for that too. I like the addition of Betty, and I like the effects her presence has on Amelia. Amelia serving as a mentor to this girl is something that the character needed. It's good for both of them. 

Betty's banter with Amelia and Andrew was easy and fun. She's like the annoying but lovable little sister shadowing her big sister. Betty broke down and finally told Amelia the truth, and it wasn't anything Amelia didn't already know. 

Betty: I lied to you. I'm not six days clean, and I was too high to miss Leo. I came because I was cold.
Amelia: I know. Let's go to a meeting.

Betty's honesty was an essential step for her, and I'm rooting for her. I'm rooting for both of them. 

Over to you Grey's Fanatics, were you on the edge of your seat? Are you relieved that April is alive? Were you happy about Arizona's job opportunity? What did you make of Meredith putting Derek's scrub cap away with the post-it?  Sound off below!

As always, you can watch Grey's Anatomy online here via TV Fanatic! 

Cold As Ice Review

Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.6 / 5.0 (99 Votes)

Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Grey's Anatomy Season 14 Episode 23 Quotes

Miranda: I thought you were a pixie stix.
Arizona: What?
Miranda: When I met you. I thought you were an empty vessel full of sugar who skated in the hospital. I didn't know then that it would be my pleasure to work with you and get to know you.

Amelia: Are you high?
Betty: No. I tried to get a fix, but I sweated it out on a friend's couch.