Richard Cartwright / ABC

On Grey's Anatomy, Is Stephanie's Job Living On A Prayer?

Stephanie and Alex treat a kid with a brain tumor despite his parents' religious objections, while a patient with an inoperable heart tumor just wants to have lots of sex and then die.

It's tumor time, as both the week's medical cases each involves one. The first centers on a patient named Holly who has an inoperable tumor on her heart. She is at peace with it, and requires no medical intervention to try to remove it. The other involves a young boy named Liam, who has a brain tumor. Medical intervention to remove it could be attempted, but his ultra-religious parents object, believing that God's will and prayer will triumph in the end.

There is a third tumor lurking, though not explicitly mentioned in the episode. Her name is Eliza Minnick, and she is a malignant growth in the heart of Grey-Sloan. Since medical intervention won't work in her case either, I could suggest prayer. But much like poor Liam's case, it would probably not get rid of her either.

However, the episode does feature a number of things that just might benefit from a shout-out to the deity of your choice. Let's list them, starting with the one in most need of prayer.

  1. The Elevators
    The elevators on Grey's could probably write a juicy tell-all of all the sexy secrets they have heard and call it Fifty Floors Of Grey. Just the Meredith and Derek chapters alone would be worth the sticker price. However, no amount of money could get me to sit through more of the sexy talk between Minnick and Arizona. I love Arizona and I want her to have a great relationship with a woman worthy of her, but Minnick is not that woman. She is pretty, but she's a black hole of charisma.

    During this section, I actually wrote in my notes, "That poor elevator, how terrible to witness this." Yes, I am feeling sorry for an inanimate object. That's how bad that scene is.

  2. Stephanie's End Game
    Stephanie has been on Grey's for five years, four of them as a main character, yet has never really driven a storyline or had any real narrative about her. Sure, two seasons ago she made a one-episode revelation that she had sickle cell as a child, and then last season she had a lightning-fast romance with Wilmer Valderrama that we all knew wouldn't last. But for the most part, she has really just been Jo's cheerleader and best friend, and Jackson's thrown-over girlfriend, frequently described as the best resident of this crop. But now Jerrika Hinton is leaving after this season, and the show needs to give Stephanie an exit strategy.

    It's too bad her exit seems to hinge on something negative rather than positive. It feels like rather than going out in triumph, like Penny did with that previously unheard-of prestigious Preminger Grant, Steph's exit may be a little less celebratory. And it's all thanks to that tumor named Minnick.

    When Liam shows up wanting to get help because he hurts all the time, it's obvious his state as a sick child triggers something in Stephanie. She has no time for his parents' religious objection. I loved Stephanie's thorough read of the father. He may be a proponent of "laying on hands," but Stephanie's attitude is very much "you don't want to catch these hands!" Minnick isn't thrilled with Stephanie's attitude, and has morphed from thinking "she's a superstar" to "she needs therapy." I don't necessarily disagree that maybe Steph could have used some counseling, but it galls that Minnick is the one who points it out, and that it's coming so late in the game. This could have been a rich storyline for Steph much earlier. But I do like seeing her work with Alex on this case. It's like they have Wonder Twin powers to protect sick kids and activate them in order to get Liam into surgery: Alex's is the form of a fake seizure, while Stephanie's is the shape of the fake meds they had to give him.

    There is one more episode, and Stephanie could still leave happily. But it's not looking good. I will light a candle for her.

  3. DeLuca's Romantic Hopes
    It's no secret that DeLuca has the hots for Jo. Poor bastard. He's been telling designated BFF Stephanie all about it for a few episodes, and now he wants to ask Jo on a date. Stephanie points out that he dropped the charges against Alex and Jo still hadn't run across a field of lilies into his arms, so it just isn't going to happen. But nevertheless, he still tries.

    He fails. Poor bastard. Jo doesn't even let him get the words out before she shoots him down. DeLuca, you are a hot young doctor. If it is this difficult for you to get a woman, then you really do need prayer.

  4. Ben's Future
    Stephanie isn't the only one who needs to be wary of Minnick. Minnick, Webber, and Bailey all sit to discuss the residents for fellowships at the hospital, Bailey humorously comparing it to the Sorting Hat. Minnick is full of opinions. Stephanie is obviously a Ravenclaw, but Ben is a little more problematic. He used to be a Gryffindor, but now he's looking more like a Hufflepuff. Webber, astonished, asks if Minnick had read Ben's file, no doubt remembering such Ben Warren highlights as surgery with a clipboard clip and hallway C-section.

    Minnick is unmoved. Ben used to be brave, she says, but now he is just safe. If Minnick had shown any evidence of actually being a good teacher rather than someone who nicks arteries to make a point or runs away in tears after a patient dies, I'd have some respect for her opinion. But since she is terrible at literally everything, I just can't with her.

    Having heard somehow that he needs to step up his game, Ben promises to do just that. Lord save us because this does not bode well for him.

  5. The Men Of Seattle
    When Holly, the heart tumor patient, comes in with a broken arm after falling down the stairs in the aftermath of a really great one-night stand, she brings with her a very interesting life philosophy. She knows her tumor is inoperable, and she knows it will eventually kill her; before it does, she wants to have a lot of great sex with a lot of great guys.

    In a rather humorous monologue to Maggie, Meredith, and April, Holly describes the stages various doctors go through when they first see her tumor. They all think they can remove it; in the end they can't, and she ends up being the one to comfort them. She now thinks of her tumor as a part of her, like her hair or her weird feet. She's fine with it. She has her sex-to-death plan all mapped out.

    Just as Holly predicted, Maggie thinks she can remove Holly's tumor. Despite her skepticism, Holly allows Maggie to do the surgery. Surprisingly, the one-night stand guy she disappeared on shows up at the hospital and waits patiently during the surgery. Holly wants no part of him and tells Meredith to tell him she died. I kind of dig Holly.

    In a great development, it turns out Maggie can't remove the tumor and also -- thankfully -- doesn’t kill Holly in the process. Just as she predicted, Holly ends up comforting her doctors when they regretfully tell her the tumor couldn't be removed completely.

    But her attitude has given Maggie, Meredith, and April a new perspective. Meredith has already begun to move past Derek by first removing his big tumor poster from her room and placing the all-important Post-It note in a drawer. As she leaves, she actually smiles at Nathan and holds his hand.

    Maggie and April, however, are revved and ready to go out. To find love and a new relationship. To live! They make plans to hit the bars together.

    I know that guys on the receiving end of possibly great sex from attractive women need no sympathy from me. But two of these women are Maggie and April. These two together trolling for men and all the angst and drama that would inevitably follow is rather a horrifying thought. God help us all.

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