Wow. What an hour of Grey's Anatomy!
Many of the installments have been hit or miss this season, but after a bit of a rough patch, Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 15 was quite an entertaining installment.
It was by no means flawless, and there are a few storylines that are maddening, and a sense of impending doom about the way the series will write off our beloved Karev, but it was a solid hour for this season.
One of the most delightful aspects of the hour came with a gut-punch. Beanie Feldstein joined the hour, and she may stick around if I'm reading it right.
She was a breath of fresh air. The series hasn't provided us with many pleasant surprises that make you laugh out loud this season but finding out that Desmond/Tess wasn't a doctor, but rather the missing patient was hysterical.
You couldn't pay me to step foot in Grey Sloan Memorial for medical help. At best, I would hang around and watch the drama and ogle all the pretty people. No amount of world-renown doctors would persuade a girl to attend a hospital where a patient could end up in the OR with a scalpel in her hand.
Richard was eager to have another protege, and it was precious the way he gravitated to her. The thing is, he knows great doctors when he sees them. When Tess later revealed that she did attend med school, and she wanted to be a doctor, but cancer got in the way, you knew greatness was her destiny.
She found a mentor in Richard Webber, and she can take that to the bank with her. Can we keep her? She was one of the most refreshing characters that guest-starred on an installment.
Webber: If you can survive four cancers, you can finish med school. You know why I asked you to be my hands today?
Tess: Some teaching crap, I guess.
She let her four battles with cancer get in the way of her dream, and she shouldn't. Richard told her as much, but then he shared with her something we didn't know.
Richard's hands are shaking. He doesn't know if it's Parkinson's or old age. He wanted Tess to be his hands, and the thought of not being able to practice surgery is destroying him.
It explains why he was so depressed. His sadness goes beyond his marital issues with Catherine. Now there are so many questions.
How long has this been affecting him? Has he been hiding it all this time? What does this mean?
We've lost so many of the original characters, only three remain, and Richard is one of them. The hospital isn't the same without him. Hell, most of us still call him the chief even though he hasn't held the title in ages.
Does this mean he's going to retire? One can only hope that he can continue to mentor the young talent at GSM. It won't be enough for him -- it's not surgery, but he's incredible at it, and it means he can stick around.
You tend to lose sight of how long the series has been on and how many years have past. A decline in Richard's dexterity is a wakeup call -- it's jarring, like the moment you realize time hasn't stopped and your parents are getting older.
He hasn't shared any of this with anyone, only Tess, but he has to talk about it sometime.
Meanwhile, Bailey made a rash decision without speaking to Ben, but can you blame her?
Bailey: I've never seen it snow like this before.
Joey: It isn't supposed to, but y'all ruined the planet so ...
Usually, when a character makes such a huge life decision without consulting their spouse, it's irksome, but my heart burst with joy when she asked Joey to live with her, and he accepted.
Ben and Bailey haven't been able to grieve much, and they haven't done so onscreen, so Ben will possibly have a hard time with this and not know what to do.
Bailey's joy may coalesce with Ben's grief, and it can make things messy. Joey's presence may be harder on him, and he spent so much time trying to make Bailey happy and make sure she's OK, at his expense, after the miscarriage.
Bailey: Come home with me, with my family?
Bailey: Come home with me, and finish high school.
Hopefully, he can come around to this and accept it. Joey's such a good kid, and he's smart and deserves a shot. He's about to age out of the system, but we all know as much as 18 is considered adulthood, it isn't.
Teenagers and young adults still need family, love, and guidance. Joey deserves a loving home, and Bailey and Ben can give it to him.
Nico deserved more screentime and background to better understand who he is as a character. It's not that you set out to dislike him, but he and Link both came into the hospital at the same time, but Link is a full-fledged character with development, and Nico is a mystery.
It's hard to like someone with no real development or characterization. It's inconsistent too.
He and Levi are together, but for what? He had a speech about how Levi was trying to change him and that he isn't like Levi, but I couldn't tell if it was a serious conversation or if Nico was gaslighting the hell out of Levi.
And it's because of how little we have a grasp on Nico's personality, so it's hard to decipher.
Is it another continuity issue or example of another persona behaving out of character (which has happened too many times to count this season), or was it legitimate?
Did Nico believe Levi was trying to change him, and he's right, or are we supposed to roll the tape and point out that Nico was the one who set a precedent for their current issues?
He threw a tantrum about Levi trying to change him, and then it prompted Levi to reassure him that they were good, and they went back to making out or whatever.
The frustrating thing about Nico's character is we're left putting more work into ascribing a personality and inferring what his background is like than the show has.
They have something there where they could touch upon Nico's background as a driven, closeted gay man and how his conservative Korean culture affects him, but it's what we're assuming, it's not anything they've bothered to show, and that's frustrating.
Jo: I thought you were him. He left me.
Link: He didn't.
Jo: I think he did.
It's too early to get a feel for DeLuca's mental illness storyline, but while there were possible doubts that he's battling it before, it's leaning toward it now.
DeLuca was determined to go out in the blizzard for Cormac's patient. Meredith and Carina were treating him like he was off his rocker for doing it, but his actions weren't outlandish. Any cowboy doctor would've done the same and have on other series.
DeLuca's actions weren't questionable until he busted in the OR looking like he got in a fight with God, Mother Nature, and Frosty the Snowman, and lost.
He wasn't off for going into a storm, but he was for not wearing gloves. A doctor's hands are the most valuable instruments they have, so it was reckless and a potential career-ender.
What is irksome right now is not how ambiguous DeLuca's actions are but how Carina and Meredith respond to them. They're following him around like helicopter moms trying to rein in a toddler.
It's offputting, and they won't get anywhere with DeLuca if he is mentally ill. It's demoralizing how they're treating him out of concern.
They've been broadcasting that he might be Bipolar without coming out and saying it, and he has a right to some privacy and dignity too. They're stripping him of it during this situation that has gone from zero to 100 seemingly out of the blue.
It would've been better if it was something reserved for DeLuca and his sister to sort through as a family matter. Somehow, Meredith's presence in it is grating.
It's to the point where DeLuca's statement about not assuming she has Alzheimer's every time she forgets something was the type of snappy retort you could understand.
Hell, Meredith has butted into this situation more than she has any of the issues both her sisters were facing, not to mention Jo's freakouts, and Alex's absence.
But Jo is leaning on Link. Their friendship is unexpectedly pleasing. He's torn up about Amelia, walking around in literal funk, wearing a hoodie like Eminem in 8-mile, and she's yelling at residents.
Jo: I thought you were him. He left me.
Link: He didn't.
Jo: I think he did.
We're closer to finding out what happened to Alex, and we can expect the answer in the next installment.
He was not in Iowa, and he didn't visit his mother. His mom hasn't seen him.
Jo has concluded that Alex has left her; he abandoned her, and she doesn't know what to do with herself.
And I don't know what to make of this storyline. We KNOW the writers were in a tough spot here, and they were left scrambling to write a pivotal character out of the series without him there for a sendoff.
It is unquestionably hard to do, and it is what it is.
I called his mom. He wasn't there. He had never been there. He left me, and I can't, I can't breathe.Jo
But no exit will be satisfying. All possibilities are heartbreaking. Nothing outside of death will suit his character without destroying his development.
The Alex Karev we know wouldn't abandon Jo and his family without a word. It's a regression.
The Alex Karev we love having a mental break and disappearing is too devastating. If they scratch the itch and kill off his character, it'll be unbearable.
It's time to accept that we'll never be satisfied. However, while Luddington has had some incredible moments over the past couple of seasons, I am not ready for any destruction of Alex's character to prop up Jo.
And moving on to out of character moments, we need to discuss Teddy. What happened?
As someone who is a fan of Teddy and Tom as a couple over Teddy and Owen these days, they had some sweet, endearing moments.
Their hot cocoa scene was cute, and Tom admits that the others ostracizing him and treating him like a monster no matter what he does gets to him. Poor Tom.
He's not a bad guy, and when he shows it, they don't appreciate it, and when he gives in and acts the way they expect him to, they don't like it either.
Teddy: I had this fear for a couple of months, and I'm afraid it might be true.
Tom: What's that?
Teddy: I'm afraid that Owen is the father of Amelia's baby.
But then they made him cheat with Teddy, and ugh, this show!
Teddy wasn't a cheater, and she also was someone who berated Maggie for spilling information, but then decided it was OK for her to do it if she could benefit.
She and Owen rocked the hell out of their case with the pregnant woman and delivered a healthy baby. As a side note, is there a reason why they cut vertically for a c-section?
But she couldn't enjoy the moment. Her women's intuition and Link's errant comment told her that Amelia's baby was Owen's.
Instead of talking to Amelia about it, she went and asked Maggie to blink twice if she should be worried.
And instead of talking to Amelia or Owen, she went to jump Tom's bones. Make it make sense!
Teddy is all kinds of messy right now, and it's OOC, and crazy, but it's also grabbed my attention. We will die before this love pentagon ever does.
It's our life now, the carousel keeps on turning, you guys.
Cormac: Grey, Dr. DeLuca who is it to you?
Mer: He's one of my first. He's the first man I said I love you to after my husband died.
Cormac: Is it good? Saying I love you to someone new?
Mer: Yeah, It was good. It was pretty good.
Cormac: It's been lonely. I never met anyone like me. Widowed so young. It helps. It's nice, having a friend.
Mer: It helps me too.
Cormac: She talked to me about having a twisted sister, Yang did. I'm guessing that's you.
Ah, but there is some intrigue surrounding McWidow and Mer. For a bit, it seemed as if they were setting him up to be her new person, and maybe that's still the case.
However, Cormac is a conversation away from shooting his shot, and if we must do this, then fine. Their final scene together had me holding my breath and on the edge of my seat anticipating what they would say or do next.
It was almost as captivating as Meredith and Nick Marsh. He dropped some more hints about the conversations he had with Cristina. He knows that Meredith is the twisted sister.
He asked about Meredith's relationship with DeLuca as if he was trying to clear the air. And Mer's answer was evasive.
She said DeLuca was "a first." He's the first man she said "I love you" to after Derek. However, she didn't imply that he's her only.
She was noncommital with her response, and yeah, make of that what you must. All I know was that scene between them was hot enough to disintegrate your unmentionables, so things are heating up with those two.
- As someone who has dealt with many (and is currently dealing) blizzards, I couldn't help laughing at how much they were screwed up over five inches of snow.
- So, this time they promoted it like a full-blown crossover, which made many of us think it was another two-hour event when it wasn't? I thought the cases would be connected somehow, but nope.
- Helm is kicking some butt since she's been back, but we need an update.
- Um, so what happened to Casey? I've been worried about him for weeks.
- Are Jackson and Vic on the verge of breaking up or something? They fought, and, eh, it doesn't matter. Does anyone care?
Over to you, Grey's Fanatics. Are you feeling Mer and Cormac? Are you worried about how they'll sendoff Alex? Hit the comments.
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Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.