The Grey's Anatomy Season Premiere Is Full Of Secrets, Lies, And Surgical Tape
In the aftermath of Alex's brutal beatdown of DeLuca, Jo is desperate to keep her secret, Meredith lies to everybody, and DeLuca needs surgery to save his eyesight, his career, and most importantly his pretty face.
This season starter picks right up right where the show left off last season. Owen and Amelia are happily dancing at their wedding reception. Maggie is giddily drunk and making cow eyes at Riggs while Riggs is busily trying to entice Meredith away for more sexy times. But this festive occasion is interrupted when Meredith receives a hysterical phone call from Jo. The three of them rush to the hospital, Meredith suspecting something is not on the up and up and Maggie uncomfortably aware that as DeLuca's ex she should be there at least to give him comfort.
Meanwhile, at the hospital everyone who wasn't at the wedding works frantically over DeLuca's poor damaged face. This includes Alex, who deflects the "what happened?" and "who did this?" questions with puppy eyes and doctor-speak. But the whole episode is just one long tense exercise in waiting for everyone to learn the truth. Yes -- even Alex -- who spends most of the episode laboring under the misconception that he was defending Jo's honor.
As we wait for the truth to set us free, let's rank everyone from "little white lie" to "liar, liar pants on fire."
April is only on the list for successfully yanking Mama Avery's chain and falsely leading Catherine to believe that her new grandchild would not be given the Avery surname. April assures Catherine that Kepner is a fine surname all on its own. It is synonymous with "a fair price for quality pork," after all! Honestly, I can't blame April too much. She is recovering from her non-anesthesia C-section and Catherine is being her usual overbearing self. Catherine has all sorts of opinions, but April has a farm acre strewn with no fucks to give. In the end, I think maybe Catherine has a glimmer of respect for April and April realizes that some of Catherine's advice is good. They close on a hopeful note and we are formally introduced to baby Harriet Kepner-Avery.
Ben is on the scene when a bloody and unconscious DeLuca arrives at Grey Sloane accompanied by Alex. Even though everyone else is blind to the bruised knuckles and blood spatter Alex is sporting, Ben can see through Alex like one-ply toilet paper. But Ben doesn't spill the beans -- not to the cops who are questioning everyone and not even to his Chief/wife Bailey. Instead he makes cryptic comments and stares meaningfully at Alex. Even when Meredith confirms his suspicions, Ben stays mum, believing it is not his place to be the tattler. So he lies through omission, really.
To be fair, Alex feels that he was justified in his attack, convinced that he was protecting Jo from DeLuca's forceful attentions. But even so, the seriousness of DeLuca's condition brings home the fact that Alex could be in deep trouble. Hence Alex doesn't lie, per se; more like he takes the Fifth and refuses to incriminate himself. Except to Meredith, who has pretty much figured out Alex is somehow involved in DeLuca's beating after seeing the blood on the floor of Alex and Jo's apartment. For a minute there I felt like I wandered into a suspense movie complete with sinister music, scenes of Alex and Meredith whispering in shadowy stairwells, and Alex looming over DeLuca when he regains consciousness. And when Alex isn't whispering with Meredith, he is trying -- and failing -- to talk to Jo to figure out what happened. But their ability to communicate is about as messed up as DeLuca's face.
Thus it is Stephanie, in the role of deus ex machina, who finally gets the truth out of Jo and explains what happened to everyone else. The reality that he had beaten a guy who was just trying to do his girlfriend a solid prompts Alex to turn himself in the police, and we end with him getting perp-walked out of the hospital and deposited in a jail cell.
They say it isn't the crime, it's the cover-up that hurts you the most. And Meredith goes straight to the cover-up after Alex confesses that he's the one who hamburgered DeLuca's pretty face. Spying the noticeably bloodied knuckles, Meredith feeds him the story to tell people: "You slipped on the sidewalk and bruised your hand." She straight-up lies for him through both omission and commission, first by covering for him and then by denying any knowledge of what happened when Maggie asks her point-blank.
But Alex isn't the only thing Meredith is hiding. She is the only one who is aware of the love triangle that really isn't among her, Maggie, and Riggs. Riggs is pushing really hard for more from Mer who is holding him off, finally declaring that she doesn't feel anything for him. However, we know this is an obvious lie to preserve Maggie's feelings. Even after Maggie calls Mer on her deception about Alex and tells Meredith how important their sisterly relationship is and asks her to be honest from now on, Meredith still lies to Maggie. Why Meredith can't just tell Maggie that she slept with Riggs is a mystery to me. Wait, no, that's not true. We all know why Mer just can’t come clean. If she did, the triangle that really isn't wouldn't get to play out.
Let's face it, Jo is the clear "winner" here. She has the biggest secret and is perpetuating the biggest lie. It's what kicked off this whole mess in the first place. I do feel bad for Jo's circumstances. A little. Look, I get that she is on the run from her secret, possibly abusive husband and wants to stay in hiding but trying to go on the run again isn't about her husband finding her, it's about not being outed for living a lie. Even DeLuca realizes that, when she comes to visit him, it isn't out of concern for him but to ensure he keeps her secret. He bitterly assures her that her secret is safe with him.
Richard gentle-talks Jo into opening up and wants her to talk about what happened, but she feigns ignorance at first and then skedaddles while his back is turned and he's making her tea.
Stephanie finally gets the story out of Jo, horrified with herself that she may have left Jo with a predator DeLuca. And while the truth about Alex beating DeLuca may have been finally revealed, Jo is still hanging onto the biggest lie of all.