ABC

The Doctors Of Grey's Anatomy Are At War And It's Not Very Civil

Jackson focuses his anger on his mother while Alex and Nathan engage in a heart-to-heart duel.

When Minnick first arrived at Grey's, I was pleased. It felt like a much-needed shot in the arm. Her arrival was poised to give the show an ongoing plot arc not rooted in romantic musical chairs. Even better, it came pre-packaged with a great soap opera element, namely Catherine as the shadowy villain in the background, manipulating Bailey and being responsible for ousting her own husband through her machinations. Later, as Jackson took up Richard's cause, it added yet another delicious layer to the familial complications and I had been looking forward to the reveal and fall out of Catherine's involvement and the ensuing family drama.

This episode is ostensibly the one that should have been the payoff for that and yet it doesn't feel like we're getting anything close to a payoff. It just feels like we're in a holding pattern, waiting for something to break. The show has made it clear already the doctors are engaged in a war and just a couple episodes ago we got to watch them endlessly bicker about personnel issues while operating on the hapless souls in their care. Yet the Minnick plot line feels more like a bloodless coup than a bloody war. Everyone seemingly has fallen in line with her. She is aces now. Even Stephanie seems to have forgotten that Minnick is really a dud teacher.

But apparently the show hasn't quite plumbed the depths of the infighting; we need more! Let's rank this episode's battles from civil war to civil bore.

  1. Avery vs. Avery
    For the record, I need to state that I am so over everyone being petty and preferring to fight instead of putting all that shit aside and focusing on patient care. However, I will admit Jackson and Catherine's escalating animosity is taking an interesting turn. Mainly because it's giving Jackson something to focus on outside of April. A trauma patient arrives in very bad shape after a turkey-fryer incident. Because of the plot gods, his case requires that April, Jackson, Webber, and Catherine all be involved in and argue over his care. Warren is also involved, but he's mostly standing there giving them all the disgusted looks I would if I were in his shoes.

    During surgery, the arguing moves from how best to approach the care to what's really important: Richard vs. Minnick. Jackson knows that Catherine is the one responsible for Minnick's presence and says what I have been saying all along -- it isn't that the teaching program didn't need to be revamped, it's the way they went about it that was wrong. He tells her flat-out it showed very little respect to Richard.

    Jackson is one of those characters who has a tendency to just be there. I am rather indifferent to him normally, but I actually liked him in this. He's the one with the most power to stand up to Catherine in this matter, and it's nice of him to finally realize it.

    But frankly, I can't help but feel that Catherine is playing chess while Jackson is playing checkers. She is grooming April for reasons that are clearly her own and prodding Jackson in such way to jolt him out of his comfortable role into taking on more power. It is also negatively affecting his already prickly relationship with April. It will be interesting to see them play out the Avery family dissension completely separate from the Minnick issue.

  2. Karev vs. Riggs
    At the top of the episode, Alex is encouraging Meredith to pursue her interest in Riggs. He assures her -- in his very Alex dude-bro way -- that Maggie will get over it. By the end of the show, Alex thinks Riggs is a complete snake and congratulates Meredith on steering clear. So what happened in between? Alex and Riggs spar over the best way to treat a newborn baby with a heart condition. Alex wants to do a procedure called a Norwood, explaining that it will buy them time since the baby is in distress. However, Riggs wants to do a baby heart transplant, which will just be one surgery and less stressful for the child since a Norwood would require multiple surgeries over time. Alex counters that they might not receive a heart in time; baby hearts aren't that readily available. The two of them continue to argue about this in front of the distraught, very young parents.

    I will forever love that young mother for saying desperately, "What do we do? You are confusing us." Yes. Their pissing contest is annoying and unprofessional. What's worse, Riggs ups the ante by telling DeLuca to put the kid on a UNOS list but not to inform Karev.

    Again, the plot gods intervene and UNOS finds a baby heart for baby Gus. Alex is so livid once he finds out about the behind-the-back shenanigans that he files a complaint against Riggs with Maggie.

    It takes Maggie -- neurotic, arrested-development Maggie -- to tell them what we're all saying on our couches: Shut up and do what you need to do the heal that baby.

  3. Avery vs. Webber

    In a much quieter skirmish, Richard has removed himself from his marital bed and is sleeping in the on-call room at the hospital. He and Catherine have a few words about their strife but they aren't in open warfare until they wrangle over the turkey fryer patient. And even then, their issues take a back seat to Jackson. But still, they are at odds over what Catherine did. I am still rather burnt that Richard's revelation about Catherine's involvement happened largely off-camera and we're only seeing the results. He had more passion in his confrontations with Bailey than he shows with Catherine.

    Unlike with Jackson, whom I think Catherine feels like she can manipulate, Richard is a different animal altogether. Her stratagem doesn't seem to be working with Richard. She seems to think she can cajole him and needle him into coming back. But at the end of the day, Richard continues to make himself (un-)comfortable sleeping in the on-call room while Catherine looks on a little helplessly. I think he wins this battle.

  4. Hunt vs. Shepherd

    At Maggie's urging, Amelia returns to Grey Sloan on the QT to complete a quick little neuro procedure -- on the condition that Owen can't know she is there and that she can scuttle back out without him seeing her.

    Even though Amelia skulks around the hospital avoiding Owen, she eventually outs herself when an accident victim arrives needing a neuro consult. Owen is shocked to see her there and even more shocked to learn she's been there all day. After some tense moments and equally intense glowers, he finally asks her, "Do you want to be married?" "Yes," she replies.

    Or lies, rather. If she wanted to be married she'd act like it. This whole drama of hiding from Owen and not talking to him is making me actually sympathetic toward Owen of all people. For that alone my dislike of Amelia has grown tenfold.

    Oh who am I kidding, these two bore me to infinity.

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