It was another one of those bottle episodes when Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 12 gave us insight on Levi and his background and family.
The hour also led to the dissolution of Catherine and Richard's marriage.
Join TV Fanatics Meaghan Frey, Paul Dailly, Jasmine Blu, and Grey's Fanatic Berea Orange as they discuss the hour.
Do you like these bottle episodes where they focus on a select few characters?
Meaghan: I don't hate them, but they usually aren't my favorite.
Levi's storyline surrounding his uncle Saul's death was touching and exactly what he needed. It made me so much more invested in his character.
The Webber-Fox dinner, while entertaining, was far too much time spent with Catherine.
Paul: They're hit or miss episodes. I enjoy some of them, but others feel like they don't belong in the narrative.
Berea: I usually always enjoy bottle episodes where we get to delve further into certain characters and their backstories. Learning more about Levi was good, and the family dinner was extremely entertaining.
Jasmine: They can be hit or miss for me. I liked half of this one and was uninterested in the other half.
What were your thoughts on Levi's storyline involving the death of his uncle Saul?
Meaghan: I loved it! Levi thinking he killed Saul with his confession was equal parts hilarious and heartbreaking.
I killed him with my gayness.Levi
The fact that Saul knew all along that Levi is gay, but never pushed him to talk about it shows just how much he loved and accepted him.
I am also so proud that it gave him the courage to stand up for himself and for the acceptance he deserves from his mom.
Paul: It was intriguing, and giving backstory to one of the better characters on the show was needed. Grey's Anatomy excels in character development, and I could watch more episodes about Levi's past.
Berea: Levi is very sweet, and so was this story. It was so nice knowing his Uncle Saul showed him favoritism because he knew him better than he knew himself at the time.
Jasmine: I love Levi, and his portion of the hour was my favorite. I kind of wish the entire episode was just about him and his family, he could have carried it just fine.
I loved that the show explored his faith in addition to showing how far he has come in embracing who he is. I was proud of Levi, and I loved Daniel.
Did you feel Mrs. Schmitt's homophobia came out of nowhere or do you think they covered it well?
Meaghan: It did come out of nowhere in some senses, but I think it was handled well. Not all homophobia is in your face and loud. Some of it is more quiet, like not accepting your son's sexuality enough to tell your family about it, or making your brother feel as if he needed to hide his sexuality his whole life.
Paul: I agree with Meaghan here. It felt thrown in to amp up the conflict and didn't actually serve the story well.
Berea: I actually feel like this was just another contrived storyline (as has become the norm for this season). It was an interesting story, but I don’t remember this ever being discussed before now, so it seemed to have come out of nowhere.
When he introduced Nico to his mom as his boyfriend last season, I was under the impression that she accepted it.
Jasmine: I think the issue is how they eased it in. Because there were at least two instances where Levi was shown having tense conversations with his mom on the phone and speaking about her behavior, but they weren't memorable scenes.
They were so small and blink and you miss them type of scenes, and since those were the only breadcrumbs we had to go on, it does feel like it came out of nowhere.
Mrs. Schmitt: One day with Saul and you're super Jewish?
Levi: No, but I am super gay.
So I can understand the confusion or annoyance with that, but aside from it, I was proud of Levi for how he approached it, and I did appreciate that if they had to go in that direction, they showed how subtle homophobia can appear because it isn't always the extreme type.
What are your thoughts on the "anniversary" dinner?
Meaghan: It felt a bit forced to me. I understand that they felt like Maggie and Jackson deserved an explanation, but they know the two of them aren't on good terms, and they thought the best way to deliver that type of news was together?
Also, while Vic's set up came from a good place, it was bizarre that she would think it is okay to try to fix up your boyfriend's ex-girlfriend without her permission, and bring that date to an event he wasn't invited to.
Paul: While I agree that it felt forced, it was bursting at the seams with drama. Grey's knows how to do dinner parties, and this was a great way to get the wheels moving on some of the storylines that had stalled.
Berea: This dinner was a hot mess, and I enjoyed every second of it. The shade being thrown by everyone was too funny. I was cracking up at every turn.
First, I would like to say I don’t appreciate how they’ve dumbed down Vic’s character for this storyline. How tacky are you as a plus one to invite another plus one to a dinner party?
Maggie: I thought we were celebrating. I brought chocolates.
Richard: At least you didn't bring a date.
Jackson was out of line, too, for inviting her (making Maggie a 5th wheel) and not even telling his mother. They’ve made Vic extremely insecure to where she takes it upon herself to try and set Dean up with Maggie.
How she thought that was her place is a mystery to me. The entire dinner you see Maggie and Jackson bickering back and forth (obviously still into each other), and she’s just smiling there like an idiot.
He wasn’t even going to let her sit next to him at first (“Oh my mom usually sits here”), meanwhile Maggie was already seated on the other side of him.
I liked her character on the first two seasons of Station 19, but they are ruining her for the sake of this intershow romance drama.
This episode would have been the perfect opportunity for Vic to tell Jackson:
“Hey, Ryan’s funeral [on Station 19 Season 3 Episode 3 ] made me realize I’m still reeling from Ripley’s death. And tonight has made it very clear you’re not over your ex, so I think we should end this.”
But of course, they want to continue this intershow romance for the sake of having some drama.
Additionally, the Catherine/Richard drama is ridiculous. He is being a petulant child. He took it upon himself to protect Meredith (once again) doing something both stupid and illegal. Bailey was completely in her right to fire all three of them.
Catherine: Richard, I am sorry but,
Richard: Apologies don't have the word "but" after them. I'm sorry "But." I'm sorry, it's too late.
For him to be holding a grudge because she didn’t “support” him is a joke.
Catherine herself has told Jackson before that “nepotism is for the weak.” Why would she go out of her way to stop Bailey firing him?
He didn’t for a second think about how his actions would reflect on her in the first place. He is too old not to understand that actions have consequences.
The two of them and their lack of communication is mind-blowing. They need to just go to counseling and talk through this foolishness.
And this notion that Catherine would buy Pac North just to close it down is petty and out of character. But then again, she wouldn’t be the first one out of character this season.
Jasmine: I thought it was mildly entertaining at times but mostly dumb AF. I didn't understand why they needed to have a formal dinner to announce their separation when all of them have been out of the loop with one another for ages.
Jackson inviting his new girlfriend to a family dinner without telling anyone was ignorant, and how does a plus one invite a plus one? I do agree that Vic is so out of character throughout all of this. It's maddening.
Dean was the saving grace of the dinner party.
Should Maggie work at Pac-North?
Meaghan: I think it is going to be triggering for her, but she will get past it eventually.
I am so confused why the writers would move yet another character over to Pac-North, where Alex is in charge when they don't have Justin Chambers anymore. His absence is going to be even more glaring the longer we spend at Pac-North.
Maggie: Um, Alex thinks I'm worth this much?
Richard: Not just Alex, Maggie.
Maggie: Then I guess I have a new job.
Paul: I'm on the fence. She will miss out on seeing a lot of her friends and family, but this could be a big opportunity for her, even if she sticks it out for a year. The experience will be valuable.
Berea: Eh. If Alex was still at Pac-North, and we got to see him and Maggie working together, I would be looking forward to it. But knowing that’s not happening is not making me excited about it.
However, she should go ahead and take the offer since Tom wants to play games and not give her her job back at Grey-Sloan (which is another thing I take issue with). Maggie better get her job back as Chief of Cardio and NOT working under Teddy.
Jasmine: Meh. Why not?
I would've enjoyed it more if Alex was still there because of how close they used to be, and I'm assuming this was done before the abrupt departure, so there's that. Maybe she needs the break.
Her sisters are preoccupied with their lives to pay attention to what's happening in hers, and maybe a new place will do her some good.
Richard called it quits with Catherine and now she's buying Pac-North in retaliation. React.
Meaghan: Wow, that woman is a piece of work. That was such a spoiled brat move and yet so Catherine. Who buys a whole hospital just to get back at their estranged husband?
It is amazing that Jackson turned out as good as he did with Catherine raising him. I really wish they would just write her off the show. With such a huge cast, there is no room for someone as loathsome as her.
Paul: Catherine has been a frustrating character for some time now. She likes to control people, and I love that Richard is finally snapping back at her. Catherine does not love Richard, she likes the idea of him following her like a lemming. Richard's troubles are far from over, but this is a logical move for him.
Maggie: Jackson mentioned that he thought you two might be off but I had no idea.
Richard: Catherine and I tend to keep our problems to ourselves. It was quite a show, huh?
Berea: I guess I’m an outlier in that I don’t find Catherine loathsome or frustrating. She loves Richard and Maggie as much as she loves Jackson. She very clearly wants Maggie back at Grey-Sloan because she is undoubtedly the best.
Her buying Pac-North is a complete boss move, and I’m not mad at it.
This separation is getting messy, but I don’t think she’ll close down the hospital. Richard is being petty and she tried to make amends, but he wanted to try and force her to apologize (which she does NOT need to do).
I find this interesting and am looking forward to seeing what will happen with Pac-North.
Big picture, I honestly sort of see it as a way for them to bring everyone back to Grey-Sloan, much like when Seattle Grace merged with Mercy West. No way were they going to keep the cast separated between the hospitals forever.
Jasmine: I hated it. If they call it quits, then so be it. I'm not that invested in them enough either way to care, but I'm confused with when they got to the point of being irreconcilable.
They've been on different pages for a bit. I hated Catherine's boss move. They have both done some messed up things in their relationship, and Richard expecting her to apologize when he was in the wrong is a whole other thing.
But buying Pac-North instead of letting him go was too petty for me. If the roles were reversed, I wouldn't hesitate to call it an abusive move.
The exertion of power, control, and financial flexing over a spouse in a relationship, regardless of the situation generally disturbs me.
Who was the MVP of the hour? What was your favorite scene and/or quote?
Meaghan: Levi is no doubt my MVP. Him meeting the love of his uncle's life and learning he and his uncle were more alike than he ever imagined was fantastic!
Paul: Levi, for sure. I was fascinated by the way Levi wanted to know more about his uncle's life, and how his lover was the one to reveal all the details.
Berea: My MVP is Maggie and all the shade that was thrown at dinner. “You say actually a lot” really cracked me up. I hadn’t noticed, but he does!
Jasmine: Dean is my MVP. I have never related to him more than when he kept accidentally stirring up drama and sat there stuffing his face and watching all the drama and tension. It's me at every family gathering.
Saul loved men, he loved me for decades. But there was something inside of him that wouldn't let him. I would have married him. I would have built a life with him. But I couldn't allow myself to live a life with someone who hated himself for loving me.Daniel
I loved everything that involved Daniel, including him explaining how different the times were. It was something about him advising the younger generation in not just life, but life as a gay man that had a nice passing the torch sort of, "we put up with all of this so that you wouldn't have to" vibe; I found it touching.
Over to you Grey's Fanatics.
Hit the comments below with your responses. And if you missed it, watch Grey's Anatomy online to get caught up!
Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays on ABC.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.