A New Consultant Has The Doctors On Grey's Anatomy All Shook Up
Meredith gets angry, Maggie wants to please, and Richard feels threatened as a medical consultant tells them what they are all doing wrong. Tina Mitchell ranks everyone from who's coping best with the interventions of super-consultant Minnick to who's coping worst.
I admit that, by the time super-consultant Dr. Eliza Minnick had pushily horned into Meredith's surgery to suggest that Ben was capable of doing the procedure himself rather than simply watching Meredith do it, I was already over her. She clicked all of my "oh no she didn't!" buttons. I viewed her as an abrasive invader who is obnoxiously shoving her way into areas she has no right to be. And she's upsetting Richard, dammit!
But I also admit that, by the end of the episode, I found myself actually agreeing with her philosophy, if not her methods: she deliberately nicks an artery during surgery to force a teachable moment. I mean, whatever happened to "Do No Harm"?
I'm not the only one with conflicted views on the good Dr. Minnick: some of the doctors are more receptive to her than others. Let's rank the Grey's staff from who's coping best to who's coping worst.
- The Residents
Minnick invites the residents to a closed meeting -- only the residents, no attendings invited. She wants them to give her their naughty and nice list of doctors. Which ones are good and which ones are bad? At first, no one wants to speak up. But then Minnick sweetens the pot a little. She promises that she can guarantee they will be the ones actually doing the procedures -- not just helping or observing. And not just next week or next month: they'll be doing them today. That's when the residents decide to spill all the tea.
By the way, where did all these surgical residents even come from?
Anyway, Minnick does make good on her promise. She maneuvers it so that Stephanie takes over a procedure instead of Owen. She creates a situation where DeLuca quickly shows his prowess in surgery, and she pushes Maggie into talking Leah through a surgery instead of Maggie doing it herself. Stephanie's quickly professed love for Minnick and DeLuca's pleased-proud look after he clamps an artery gives an inkling how most of them probably feel.
- April & Jackson
Honestly, these two are on a whole other show -- a sitcom called The Tinder Chronicles or something. They're coping well with Minnick's arrival because her presence has no effect on them. Instead, April is busily swiping left, while Jackson is offering dating advice. I hate this. It seems a waste since it is taking up screen time when we know April and Jackson are inevitably going to get back together.
- Amelia & Owen
Yet another pair that seem to be on a different show, but with these two it's a drama called Honeymoon With The Bickersons. They spend the entire episode arguing, barely acknowledging Minnick's presence; only Stephanie's long-suffering comic asides make them almost bearable. Minnick does come in handy as she makes a suggestion about a change, swapping out Owen's role in a surgery for Stephanie (of which both approve) and, surprisingly, results in a temporary détente.
But that reprieve doesn't last very long as Amelia later bursts out that she doesn't want to have any children. Owen looks crushed. I know the moment is supposed to be dramatic, but I couldn't help but giggle a little as the visibly pregnant Caterina Scorsone hides her belly behind a ginormous purse. I mean, the woman is practically glowing with maternal fecundity. But man, can we please get Owen a storyline other than "I am married to a woman who doesn't want children"?
Maggie happens upon Minnick's notebook, left behind after her conference with the residents, with the attendings' names in it; hers is at the bottom of the list. Maggie assumes the list shows their ranking, and begins a very Maggie-like freakout. She has never been last in anything before! She's a prodigy! She's always been at the top of lists. Arizona and Alex both grumble that at least she made the list; neither of their names is even on it.
Maggie seeks out Minnick in an attempt to ingratiate herself, but Minnick smiles frostily and makes a comment about Maggie talking too much or too fast.
Later, during a bypass surgery, Minnick prods Maggie into talking Leah through the surgery rather than performing it herself. However, Maggie's instructions are too fast and skip key steps. To her credit, Maggie realizes her shortcomings and truly attempts to slow down her thought process and explain better, understanding Minnick's point. Leah, also to her credit, realizes that she isn't confident enough in the procedure and taps out.
Of all the places Minnick sticks her nose, I felt this one was the most instructive. Her coaching of Maggie and then her assurance that even Leah's doubts are all part of the process felt very authentic to me.
Meredith only has one encounter with Minnick, and it is a rough one. Just as in Maggie's surgery with Leah, Minnick suggests that Ben do the work while Meredith observes and instructs. But Mer is not having it. Post-surgery, a supremely pissed Meredith tracks Richard down and demands that, as "director of the residency program, [he] direct her to the door."
As the architect of Minnick's arrival, Bailey is not having a good day. If it had just been a matter of shaking up the residents and attendings, I don't believe Bailey would have any problems; after all, she wasn't called The Nazi for nothing. No, Bailey is suffering under the weight of what she feels is a betrayal of her mentor. She knows that Minnick's arrival will have the biggest impact on Richard. Arguably, Minnick's presence is because of Richard; hence she spends the entire episode with a worried look on her face.
And her worries are not in vain. Minnick declares that, if she decides to stay on an whip the residency program into shape, "I don't share authority; I am the authority."
Richard spends the entire day feeling defensive and powerless. He watches as Minnick questions the administration of his program and the old, outdated teaching methods of the surgical unit. He butts heads with her on several occasions and unsuccessfully attempts to wrest back some control.
In the end, Richard comes around. When he explains to Bailey, in a very poignant scene, that he could see himself working with Minnick, I couldn't help seeing that there was a real element of fear underneath as he wonders uneasily if he is just a dinosaur. He pushes that aside as he gamely comes aboard the Minnick train. But it might be a little too late. Poor Richard.