Grey's Anatomy: The Force Awakens
Meredith decides to hit Penny with the soft bigotry of no responsibilities, Maggie has to explain white privilege to some basics, and Owen's PTSD is back, but mostly GO SEE STAR WARS PLEASE.
Do you love the Star Wars franchise? The cast of Grey's Anatomy sure does! Why, they were just standing around, talking about how their show has some of the same dramatic elements as the beloved Star Wars triology -- the good ones, not the crappy ones. Don't think about the crappy ones. Focus on the good ones. The fun ones. The ones that draw upon those little receptors in your memory and convince you to buy a movie ticket. Oh, God, please buy a movie ticket. Please, women in particular, understand that Star Wars is just like this primetime soap opera you love! There is practically no difference! Kylo Ren is "dark and twisty" just like your Meredith Grey! Chewbacca is Han Solo's person! Oscar Isaac is in this! Talk about McDreamy OH GOD, DON'T FORGET ABOUT STAR WARS WHEN THIS COMMERCIAL BREAK ENDS PLEASE BUY A TICKET BB-8 AM I RIGHT LADIES OH NOOOOOOOO
- Jo Wilson
Wilson spends the bulk of this episode on Meredith's service as they treat a man who's been waiting many long years for a kidney transplant, only to have to deal with a skull tumor at the last minute. Jo ends up getting incredibly butthurt by the end because Meredith has assented to actually teaching Dr. Blake some things, and Jo doesn't appreciate another human being getting any attention. It feels like this season is barreling toward Wilson quitting medicine, considering how often we're reminded of her utter dispensability.
- Penelope Blake
As indicated above, Meredith finally relents and agrees to start teaching Blake by episode's end, but the damage may already have been done to her character. She's spent two episodes now essentially Oliver Twist-ing for scraps at Meredith's table. Good for her for finally standing up for herself, but honestly maybe just go to another hospital?
- Nathan Riggs
The hot new Kiwi doc gets off to a mainsplainy start with Maggie, which isn't great since she's the chief of his department. Or are they gonna start doing it soon? He's also still in Owen's crosshairs, though we still haven't gotten an explanation why, and since Meredith promised Cristina that she'd be Owen's break-glass-in-case-of-emergency Person, Riggs has to deal with Meredith's side-eye too. Or are they gonna start doing it soon?
- Amelia Shepard
Congratulations, Amelia! You've won the lottery to determine which white doctor gets to be the recipient of the privilege monologue. Is she a great fit for it? Ehhhh. But she has the free time since the only other stuff on her plate is a fairly simple tumor-removal and a whole lot of looking at PTSD Owen with sympathetic eyes.
- Jackson Avery
Oh, Jackson. You were out! You got April to sit down with you and discuss divorce plans. And then that last shot of the both of you in bed, having just Awakened the Force, if you will. We call that regressing, doctor.
- Callie Torres
This show has a problem where sometimes they let Callie be strong and then sometimes Callie is just incredibly weak, and this is one of the latter weeks. She just keeps hollering into the void about Meredith treating Penny better, and Webber throws up his hands, and Meredith is all "deuces," and even Amelia gets to say "your girlfriend" with a real tone to it, which in a strong-Callie week might have gotten her squished like a bug.
- Intern Spencer
Well hello Third Intern! So happy you have a name and a storyline this week. Said storyline involves the mother of a developmentally disabled boy who swallowed one of his toys, and the mom is a "doc-knocker," which is a crude little phrase for, I guess, a patient's mom who likes to climb up on male doctors all sexually-like. The lesson Dr. Spencer learns is, I'm pretty sure, to be eternally vigilant against horny moms, which as lessons go will probably not be as universally applicable as, say, learning how to remove a catheter, but hey, he gets a storyline and a name. ...Hey, can he be gay?
- Miranda Bailey
So, okay, she's made two iffy hires in a row, with the hated Penny Blake followed by the hated Nathan Riggs. But she gets Jackson out of her house so now she can bone her husband in peace. I call that a net win.
- Meredith Grey
She's running the risk of becoming the ghoul who stalks the halls of Grey-Sloan, casting hairy eyeballs at the new staffers and generally scaring the crap out of the young'uns. Which I suppose is her mother's legacy, so that fits.
- Owen Hunt
Well, the PTSD is back -- clearly brought on by Riggs's arrival, since they obviously have some sort of Army past where someone obviously died -- which isn't great news. Meredith is his Person, which is actually pretty okay news. She may not be able to help him with his deep trauma, but she'll at least agree to hate Riggs along with him. And hey! Welcome to the Season 12 storyline game this season, Hunt! Good to finally have you aboard.
- Arizona Robbins & Richard Webber
The Chief loves bar trivia! Of course he does. And while in normal circumstances I would probably get annoyed that Arizona has this willing and competitive font of trivia knowledge by her side and she doesn't even like trivia (HOW DARE YOU), she's been so likeable lately, and it's very cute watching Richard shift from trivia mode to wingman mode.
- Stephanie Edwards
Barely in this episode, but when she is, it's to roll her eyes at Wilson for being such a crybaby about Blake participating in the transplant surgery, and then to take Blake out for a beer, which should have the dual purpose of annoying Wilson and loosening up Blake. It's the Lord's work Edwards is doing.
- Maggie Pierce
Tonight, the role of Shona Rhimes will be played by Dr. Maggie Pierce. And honestly, more power to Shonda. Lord knows this woman probably has had a lifetime's worth of well-meaning white people looking to her to validate them for being sufficiently non-racist, and that's gotta be annoying. The scene itself -- where Maggie basically has to break it down to Amelia that she's not a racist but she probably has a good deal of unchecked white privilege to contend with, that it's not entirely fair that Maggie has to be the spokesperson for black people just because Amelia is feeling weird about Edwards, and that, yeah, Maggie has to deal with a whole other layer of discrimination beyond just being a woman, and that Amelia can't understand it, and maybe just a bit of awareness of that fact wouldn't be the worst thing in the world -- isn't exactly a seamless fit with the rest of the episode. It's a Monologue About Race that feels very much like a Monologue About Race, but honestly? Twelve seasons in on this most durable of television hits, I'd say Ms. Rhimes has earned it.