And Meredith is down and out again.
Mer was OK for a moment, but by the end ofGrey's Anatomy Season 17 Episode 6, Richard had her placed on a ventilator, and she is still battling for her life.
Meanwhile, Opal, the sex trafficker, returned, and the DeLucas went after her.
Join Jasmin Pettie, Meaghan Frey, Berea Orange, and Jasmine Blu as they discuss the midseason finale.
Opal, the human trafficker, returned. React!
Jasmin: I was surprised to see her there, and I'm a bit surprised that they chose to bring the human trafficking storyline back and make it a reoccurring plot.
I felt they wrapped that storyline up pretty neatly, and I didn't have any real desire for it to make a comeback. Plus, that storyline centered on DeLuca as a character, and since I'm not a fan, the storyline doesn't really do much for me. It's sad and scary, but it doesn't leave me excited to find out what happens next.
Meaghan: I thought I was seeing things, and then when I realized it was actually her, I was screaming at my television. Grey's hasn't done a callback like this in a while, and I'm interested to see where they are going to take it.
I have a theory that DeLuca was the one who was supposed to die last season, and after seeing her return, I think it would have been at her hands.
As he is the only one I have seen saying for sure this is the last season, I wonder if he'll make it through this storyline. It could be that when they approached him about being killed off, they revealed they planned on ending the show.
Even though I haven't been the biggest fan of DeLuca, I would hate to see him go out that way, so I'm hoping he can take her down and be the hero he deserved to be viewed as when he figured her out last season.
Berea: As soon as I saw her lurking outside the hospital, I screamed “THAT’S THE HUMAN TRAFFICKER! THEY’RE IN CAHOOTS!”
Unlike Jasmin, I didn’t feel like the storyline was that wrapped up. The whole episode, I was stressing for Deluca to see her in the hospital. I hope him following her doesn’t end up in his death.
Jasmine: I was shocked, and it took me a minute to realize that's who that was. I loved it because of how they left that storyline unresolved. I hope it doesn't end up in DeLuca's death, though! And I want his vindication after what happened before.
How do you feel about Mer's surge followed by her placement on a ventilator? Does it surprise you that she will likely spend the second half of the season bedbound?
Jasmin: I have mixed feelings, honestly. I read an interview that said they chose to do this storyline to allow Ellen Pompeo to act without a mask on the beach because of some health concerns she had regarding asthma.
I understand why they keep having to go that route. The actor's safety must come first. This episode was the midseason finale, and it felt tense the whole way through. I expected something bad to happen at the end, but I wasn't sure what it would be.
I am sad that we didn't get any new beach scenes or see Derek on the beach. I'd hoped or see Meredith chat with Hayes the way she did with other characters. I'm also discouraged by the fact that she may spend the second half of the season bedbound because that really limits the storylines they can do about her personal life.
Meaghan: I thought Mer not getting magically cured by the clinical trial was a good twist. The second she got out of the bed to help the other patient, I knew she was going to come crashing down. I just wish that we had gotten a true beach scene with an old fan favorite at the end of the episode to help soften the blow.
I was incredibly disappointed in Richard for agreeing to put her on a ventilator. She explicitly said she did not want to take one away from someone else who needed it, and with them being at surge capacity, it just feels irresponsible for him to make that decision.
I think it's a terrible idea to keep Mer bedbound if this is the last season. If the plan is to kill her off, then I don't think it matters either way. At this point, I just wish we knew one way or the other if they are planning on ending it.
I also agree with Jasmin that I wish we had gotten a Hayes and Meredith scene. He feels so underutilized on the show, and I can't help but wonder what the point in bringing him on if they weren't going to push the Meredith and him romance forward and if they were going to sideline him for episodes at a time.
Berea: The whole time I had Mark Sloan Deja vu and felt like it was a surge, and sure enough, that’s what this was. I don’t know, but this whole storyline makes me feel like it’s the final season, and Meredith is dying.
Jasmine: I, too, wondered about a surge, and I was shifting my concern to Tom. I kind of hoped it was over. I'm not thrilled that we're heading into the second half of the season, and we still have a bedridden Mer hanging on by a thread. It's exhausting.
I'm also wondering why they promoted Richard Flood to series regular if they weren't going to use him. Do they hand those out like candy now?
What do you think the odds are that Tom survives? How do you think he'll react after he finds out about Mer?
Jasmin: At this point, I'm not sure. I thought him getting better might be a surge before, but now his improvement seems more like a for sure thing. Plus, they did the whole storyline this episode with his roommate dying, so it would be a bit anti-climactic and predictable to have him suddenly die.
On the other hand, Meredith is the star of the show, and so if she lives, it's likely someone else on the show will die of this disease, and Tom seems the most likely candidate right now.
I think Tom will be upset, panicked, and distraught when he finds out. I think Teddy and Maggie will have to work very hard to calm him down, which gives the potential for some good Teddy and Tom scenes.
Meaghan: I've been very vocal about Meredith dying, and I still feel that way, so I think Tom will make it through this. I think that he'll go downhill once he finds out about Meredith because between that and his roommate dying, he will feel like he has no hope.
If they kill off Tom, I will probably riot. Every other character has abused this man, and he is an absolute gem. He deserves far more than to be the sacrificial lamb for this storyline. Also, after the Teddy and Tom scene, I definitely need them to work things out, so he has to live for that.
Tom: I just want to see for myself that it's possible to beat this thing.
Mer: Almost beat it.
Tom: I really just wan to be in a room where someone isn't dying. Everyone's dying.
Berea: At first, I thought they’d kill Tom, but I’m feeling like he will survive. He had a hard time this episode being surrounded by death, feeling his mortality. I think he is going to take Meredith’s downturn pretty badly.
Jasmine: I worried about Tom during the whole installment because of his dwindling hope and facing mortality. I'm still not sure if he'll survive, but I'll be upset if he doesn't. He's going to be devastated when he finds out about Mer, though.
Do you think Bailey should have taken time off to grieve?
Jasmin: Yes, but I understand why she didn't. Bailey is a workhorse, a workaholic, and she always has been. That hasn't changed, and as she says if she goes home, she risks infecting Tuck and Joey with COVID.
She could stay in a hotel, but it would be pretty hard for her to sit around and grieve when she knows patients are dying at Grey Sloan and she can help them. I hope she finds time to grieve and process the loss properly in the second half of the season once Meredith improves and gets better.
Even superhumans need more than a minute to grieve the loss of the person who made them who they are.DeLuca
Meaghan: Absolutely, but we all knew she wouldn't do that. As Jasmin said, she couldn't go home and risk infecting her family, and she couldn't go and sit in a hotel alone, so the hospital seems like her only option.
I just hope she remembers that she needs to put her own mental health first. Bailey's OCD has been triggered by stress in the past, and I would hate to see her spiral out of control because she didn't take the time she needed.
Berea: Yes, she should have, and I have been super vocal about this. Despite what Deluca says, she is NOT superhuman. I cannot stand how Bailey doesn’t get the chance to take care of herself.
And honestly, she and Ben staying separated -- it makes zero sense to me. Jo and Jackson and Nico and Schmitt hook up with no extra precautions. Maya and Carina take COVID tests and moved in.
Winston surprises Maggie, and she hugs and welcomes him without a thought. Link and Amelia have both been in the hospital and come home to take care of the kids. Ben and Bailey being the only couple remaining separated, makes absolutely no sense. I’m sick of it.
Jasmine: It's upsetting and concerning that Bailey still hasn't had time to grieve her miscarriage, and now she has to mourn her mother. And she basically has to do it alone.
I don't understand anymore why she and Ben have to stay separated either given what we've seen of the other couples. I did appreciate DeLuca checking in and looking after her, though.
Did Richard overstep telling Teddy about herself? Teddy told Owen about Allison; how will this affect what's left of their relationship?
Jasmin: I don't think so. I think Richard told Teddy exactly what she needed to hear. He told her what everyone else was too afraid to tell her or didn't want to because they were mad at her for what she did.
Richard speaks from experience as a recovering alcoholic who screwed up royally in his life, so I think that gave his advice weight and gravitas. Richard is right. Teddy needs to name her demons, deal with her issues, come clean, and stop feeling sorry for herself.
While I'm happy that Teddy finally told Owen the truth about who Allison was to her, she neglected to mention that she and Allison were having an affair. It is highly relevant, seeing as she starts the conversation off by telling him that she doesn't know why she cheated on him with Tom. She tells some of the truth, but not the whole truth.
She needs to come all the way clean. I don't think Owen will ever look at Teddy the same way again, and I honestly don't see any hope for them at this point. Hopefully, they can co-parent together peacefully.
Meaghan: It is about time that someone said it. Teddy has been selfish. She hurt Owen, and she hurt Tom, and she is acting like she is the victim in the situation. You are not the victim, Teddy. Richard was completely right when he told her that she needs to own her decisions and face the consequences.
We get it, you were heartbroken over Allison's death, but it doesn't give you the right to hurt the people who care about you. You have had years to cope with these feelings healthily, and you have neglected to do so. Owen was never going to look at her the same way again, regardless of the reason behind the cheating.
That moment destroyed their relationship, and they can't move forward in a romantic relationship after that.
Hopefully, now that she is at least admitting what could be causing her to self-sabotage, she will get the help she needs and be able to move forward in her life in a way that allows her to have healthy relationships in the future.
Berea: Richard told Teddy the truth. She needed to hear it. But honestly, I don’t agree with everyone being so against her. Most of them have done terrible things, especially Owen, so everyone treating her badly makes no sense.
I’m glad she finally came clean about Allison. But I don’t like how some people have taken Owen’s reaction as biphobic, and that’s the writers’ fault.
We find out Teddy is bisexual, and it’s surrounded by scandal; she and Allison were cheaters, and then she names her child after her without telling Owen the truth.
Anyone would be angry to find out their partner names their child after an ex-lover, and he was righteous in his feelings. I’m just not a fan of them shrouding her coming out in negativity.
Jasmine: Richard told her everything she needed to hear and some, and it was long overdue. Maybe she can stop playing the victim. Honestly, Teddy has been on a self-righteous, unpleasant, and rude kick since she returned, so it's not a surprise that the others aren't here for her or her drama.
Also, despite the many mistakes others have made, and previous incidents of infidelity, Teddy is the only one with a full-history of serial cheating and still refused to own her actions.
At least people like Owen told the truth. Teddy would've walked down the aisle the same day she screwed Tom and took the Allison thing to the grave (which she probably should have).
I agree that the proclamations that Owen was biphobic for simply reacting to Teddy's incessant lies were absurd. Whether it was baby Allison or a baby Henry, he had a right to be upset that his future wife named their baby after the deceased love of her life. I thought his feelings were valid.
I won't go into another rant about how all of the coming-out stories and the storylines with queer characters are always shrouded in questionable tropes like promiscuity (Arizona, Carina), biphobia (Arizona, Erica), or infidelity and deceit (Arizona, Teddy), among other things.
But yeah, Teddy isn't exempt from valid criticism or repercussions for her actions because of her bisexual representation.
Is there anything else you'd like to discuss?
Jasmin: I loved the scene between Maggie and Winston! They are so cute together. And since it appears that Winston has now moved to Seattle, I hope to see a lot more of them going forward. I love that he brought her flowers and was exactly what she needed at that moment.
Now, if only we could get that kind of movement on the Meredith and Hayes front, that would be great. My one real issue with this episode was that Hayes finally reappeared only to spend most of the hour in the background, and he didn't have meaningful conversations with anyone, which I felt was a waste.
Sometimes when you think the storm has passed, you realize you were just in the eye of it.Mer
Meredith woke up this episode and was well enough to laugh with her sisters and have a full-on gabfest with Tom, but she and Hayes didn't have a scene together.
Which felt odd and out of character considering that they're friends, he's invited her to drinks more than once, and she's accepted, he's the one that found her, and he came to talk to her when he heard she was looking for a POA.
So the fact that she woke up and was feeling better and we didn't get a scene with the two of them made no sense to me. It was also weird that he didn't have any kind of meaningful conversation with Jackson despite working on a case with him that was racially charged and where black girls and women were the ones affected.
Hayes is an amazing character, so for him to be MIA for two episodes and then show back up only for the show not to use his character to his full potential bothered me so much.
Meaghan: This was probably the most disappointing midseason finale in the history of Grey's for me. It felt extremely anti-climatic. It also put them in a position where they have to continue exactly where they left off because of DeLuca's storyline, and I don't think that was the best decision.
Given that they aren't coming back until March, it feels like a bizarre choice to want to be still living in April/May 2020. So many things could have changed in regards to the pandemic by then.
We are already seeing people all over the country getting the vaccine. Obviously, the vaccine will not be the end of this pandemic, but it could lead to a significant shift.
If we are in a better place in March, I'm not going to be happy if they are still living in the dark days of the pandemic. We need a bit of hope in the world, and as a show that has chosen to take on the pandemic, if we start to see that hope in the world, then they need to reflect that too.
Berea: Jackson stopped being worthless momentarily to get that mom out of jail, so that was nice.
Jo and her career change are boring.
I don’t see the point in making Hayes and Carina series regulars on Grey’s and Station 19, respectively. The cast is too large again, and they have no story of their own. Carina wasn’t even in the Station 19 episode and only showed up for a quick minute at the end of Grey’s.
Winston showing up at a time when Maggie was really needing someone was nice I guess, but I don’t like that they’ve basically alienated her all season for this to pay off. She’s been alone talking to a screen practically all season, and I’m over it, so I guess it’s nice he was finally in the same place as her.
I really think Grey’s is preparing for this to be the final season and kill off Meredith.
Jasmine: You know, I hadn't even thought of that, Jasmin. It is frustrating that they don't use Hayes at all (and the same goes for Carina). I don't understand the point of making them series regulars if they aren't using them.
But it was strange that Hayes, a man who had a Black wife and has biracial children, couldn't contribute anything or have more of a reaction to this case.
I also agree with Meaghan about the bleak setup for the second half.
What was your favorite scene or quote from the episode?
Jasmin: My favorite scene was when Owen finished telling the kidnapper that he was the "devil's barbeque" and what a complete scumbag he was. Then the guy's face drooped, and he passed out, causing Owen to remark, "Bold move Bob," and for him to realize he'd now need to resuscitate and save the guy's life from a possible stroke.
That made me crack up laughing! I'm not an Owen fan most of the time, but I must say he's had some great one-liners the last few seasons.
Was the world always this messed up and we didn't have kids so we didn't pay attention?Amelia
Meaghan: Tom and Meredith's scenes. Tom is dark and twisty like Meredith, and we haven't seen nearly enough of the two of them together before now.
Them arguing about which one of them is the better surgeon was the perfect light-hearted touch to a heavy situation. I hope that if they both survive their battles with COVID they continue this budding friendship.
Berea: My favorite scene had to be Tom and Meredith commiserating in her room. Those two have such great on-screen chemistry together. I wish they’d put her with him instead of Deluca.
Jasmine: The Tom and Mer scene was hands down my absolute favorite. It reminded me that I lowkey 'shipped Tom and Mer, back when they were forcing that DeLuca and Link love triangle on us.
Sorry, not sorry, but Tom made more sense than both Link and DeLuca, and if I didn't eventually enjoy Tom and Teddy, I would still be sulking about that.
What are your predictions and hopes for the second half of the season?
Jasmin: Grey's Anatomy Season 17 Episode 1 blew all of my past predictions out of the water, so I'm fully expecting to be wrong about several things going into the second half of the season. That said, I think Meredith will pull through. I think Tom or one of the other characters will die.
I think Winston will join Grey Sloan Memorial and start working there. I think we'll finally get that Meredith and Derek embrace that we've been hoping for, and I think we'll see Jackson and Jo's relationship develop more.
I hope that we see Hayes come and visit Meredith while she's out and that when she gets better, we see them talk. I felt like that was missing these last three episodes. I'd also love for them to quarantine at the hotel together after she's discharged!
Meaghan: When this season began, my mind was blown. I wrote an article earlier this year about how I hoped that this season would be the end of the series, and after the premiere, I was rethinking my stance. The first few episodes were incredibly strong, but the past two have been less than stellar for me.
I hope the second half of the season revisits what made those first few episodes so great -- what made the series so great in the past. Grey's thrives on three things: Tension, suspense, and emotion. If they can find the right balance again, I have no doubt the second half of the season could be great.
Hopefully, we can get some more great beach moments with old characters we love. I also hope they can figure out how to work the entire cast into episodes without sidelining people as much as they do these days.
I understand the cast is huge, but they either need to get rid of more characters or use them all. Otherwise, the audience is going to stop caring about the secondary characters.
Berea: My hope is that Meredith dies and the series ends.
Jasmine: I have COVID fatigue, and I need a better balance of COVID-related storylines and other medical cases and personal ones. I hope they sh!t or get off the pot with Mer.
I would like to see Lexie on the beach, and hell, Mark, too.
I agree about the secondary characters. The cast is massive, and restrictions mean they can't have but so many people in scenes, but it's time to trim the fat, rearrange characters they choose to focus on, and give some of them stronger storylines.
Over to you, Grey's Fanatics. Do you agree with us? Disagree? Hit the comments below.
Grey's Anatomy returns March 4 on ABC.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.