Instead of killing off half the roster, the showrunners of Grey’s Anatomy deciding to end the residency program, throwing Owen (Kevin McKidd) and Teddy (Kim Raver) into the wild to prevent arrest, taking Richard (James Pickens Jr.) on a sabbatical to Egypt, and giving Bailey (Chandra Wilson ) his fifth nervous breakdown of the season, which ends with a sudden “I quit”.
Note that Meredith Gray’s (Ellen Pompeo) name is not on this list. And with the season finale falling on the series’ four-hundredth episode, it’s no wonder the two-hour drama was peppered with flashbacks and musical montages depicting Meredith’s joy and trauma that unfolded. over the past eighteen years. It’s a good day when Izzie, George, Alex, Cristina, and McDreamy all appear in quick snippets of Meredith’s exhausted memories.
So how did we get here? How can so many people allegedly be discharged from hospitals without any care in the world?
The answer is blood. There’s a shortage, and it’s causing a perfect storm of chaos in Gray Sloan. There is no blood in the city. And, according to Schmitt (Jake Borelli), blood banks don’t want blood from a sexually active gay man. So a percentage of the population can’t rise to the occasion when Bailey orders all employees to “put needles in their arms” and donate.
Take Simon, for example. He is the man whose life hangs by a thread, hoping to see his baby born before he dies. His wife Kris agrees to hook Simon up to an ECMO machine after Simon struggles to breathe, thanks to his destroyed lungs. If he is intubated, he will not be able to meet his unborn son. Therefore, the machine pumps his blood out of his body, saving him time. What’s the catch? You need blood to do that.
Simon and Kris’ love story is what dreams are made of, and everyone is mesmerized by their affection for each other. This causes Maggie (Kelly McCreary) and Winston (Anthony Hill) to question their relationship. Maggie goes so far as to wonder if she and Winston got married too soon. Link (Chris Carmack) and Jo (Camilla Luddington) are also closely involved with this patient. Jo dumped Todd for his “musical orgasms”, and Link eventually wonders if Jo is more than just a friend.
They are the four doctors on deck when Kris begins to bleed profusely. Something is wrong, and Jo has to take the baby now. Of course, Kris needs blood in the operating room, and the only blood they have is the blood that keeps Simon alive on his ECMO machine. Simon begs Link and Winston to save his wife and baby by removing him from the machine. Tell me that’s not happening. What’s worse?
Oh, but it is. Maggie and Jo deliver the baby. Winston draws the blood to the operating room. The baby was born, cleaned, checked and rushed to Simon’s side so he could meet little Jamal. Winston and Link make this possible, and Simon dies moments later. I’M EMPTY.
Meanwhile, a man named John corners Owen, begging him to give his military wife drugs so she can die with dignity. Apparently he overheard Owen helping Heather’s veterans. It was her that Owen provided her husband with pills. Owen tries to explain that it’s illegal in Seattle but quickly falls silent when John threatens to find out his secret if he doesn’t help his wife.
Teddy gets involved and turns around. She tries to develop another plan, but John isn’t interested in moving to Washington, which has a death with dignity law. John storms off and immediately tells Bailey precisely what Owen and Teddy have done in the past.
Bailey is hot. She understands Owen’s sympathy but cannot allow the law to be broken. She threatens to get the police involved but luckily gives Owen and Teddy an out by “dealing with the blood issue” before making that phone call. This gives Owen and Teddy a few hours to quit and get the hell out of town. They quickly grab their children, share no information with Amelia (Caterina Scorsone), and jump on a plane.
Two doctors ashore.
Did I mention that Ms. Blake, the woman who decides if the residency program is viable, walks around the hospital? She is not happy to see all the residents donating blood during their shifts instead of working. Then Richard escorts her into the gallery, only to find Meredith Gray performing a risky operation he didn’t approve of. Not to mention one of the residents lovingly saying out loud how excited he is that Dr. Gray pushed to leave Gray Sloan until later.
All of this information is new. Mrs. Blake wonders what else is being hidden from her, especially when they bring in the big, burning, piercing eyes of Jackson Avery to sing the praises of Gray Sloan. He’s trying to work his magic. He fails. And playing the comic relief is none other than April, who is rushed to the ER to cover for Owen, who is currently leaving Seattle instead of being arrested.
Is everyone on the same wavelength? Because we are not done.
Meredith and Nick’s (Scott Speedman) patient is Cora, who has a tumor wrapped around all of her intestines. The only way to save her is to remove all of her internal organs, cut out the cancer, and put them all back safe and sound. Uh. Of course Meredith can do it, and of course Nick will be her right hand in the OR.
Even though Richard forbids it, Dr. Gray enters anyway. She goes rogue for many reasons. First, she’s Meredith Grey. Second, Cora’s aunt Sally suffers from memory loss and there is a sentimental connection. That’s why Ellis Gray flashed in Meredith’s vision the whole episode. Finally, Meredith thinks that such an advanced operation could save the residency program.
Unfortunately, there are complications and Meredith needs blood to fix Cora. Richard berates her in front of everyone, saying that Meredith only thinks about herself. To hell with the consequences. She probably killed Cora and the residency program with her. Richard insinuates that Meredith deliberately sabotaged the operation, hoping that Gray Sloan would flare up after she left. Ouch.
Cora dies and it’s hard for Meredith. Nick tries to talk her out of it, but Meredith won’t let him in. Especially when he claims they could have waited to get surgery when they knew they weren’t in a blood crisis.
Mrs. Blake hears about the operation and berates Bailey for letting Meredith waste all that blood on a procedure that could have waited. Finally, Bailey exhales and airs out all the dirty laundry. She confesses that the trauma ward is currently closed, her head of trauma and co-head of cardio have just resigned, and Dr. Gray is leaving, but Gray Sloan will persevere.
Mrs. Blake reminds Bailey that it is difficult to work with people for so long. They become more family than colleagues. And since there’s so little respect right now, she’s going to close the residency program. Cue the sad montage of current residents packing their belongings, mingling with 2005 Meredith and the gang filling their lockers.
A handful of residents left.
Avery finds Meredith and tells her that Richard and his mother, who have just received great news about his cancer treatment that is working, are going on sabbatical and will be away for several months. (Richard downstairs.) She can’t leave now, because her name is on the hospital. And if there’s a chance to save Gray Sloan, Meredith and Bailey will.
Except Bailey came out too. She tells Avery she’s quitting, hands the keys to the chief’s office to Meredith, and walks out. I guess it’s when she spots Kai and Amelia making out in the parking lot. I guess they aren’t so separate anymore.
Nick finds Meredith in Bailey’s office. She immediately tells him that he should go back to Minnesota. That’s when I scream at my TV for Meredith to get over herself. Nick feels the same way, but he expresses it so much better than me. He notes the trauma in his life and accepts that it is hard to leave a place where you have spent your entire adult life.
Meredith wonders why he didn’t stop her if he thought it wasn’t a good idea to have the surgery today. Nick replies that he has enough humility and respect to be wrong, and oh yeah, she doesn’t like being told what to do. It was his operating room. He let her run the show.
Meredith bickers and tells him again to go back to Minnesota. A defeated Nick runs his hands over his face, blinks his puppy eyes in Meredith’s direction, and turns to leave. A myriad of iconic moments bombard Meredith’s brain in thirty seconds. That’s all it takes for him to jump off the desk, run for the door, and scream Nick’s name.
It’s too late? Will Nick be waiting in the hallway? Can Meredith and her sisters keep Gray Sloan afloat? And will Todd ever find someone to appreciate his sex bear? I look forward to another season of Grey’s Anatomy.
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