Welp, if anyone needs me, I'll be under my desk drinking a bottle of wine and sobbing until the end of time — it's all Grey's Anatomy's fault, and they managed the feat in mere minutes. Seconds even.
First, here's your head's up that this article contains spoilers relevant to this week's episode of Grey's. If you haven't yet watched, check back in later. If you have, let's go over the postmortem, shall we?
So, we should probably start with the fact that this was one of those episodes. You know, the more abstract ones where it's very artistic and beautiful but also confusing AF at times. On the plus side, we were cued into the change of pace early by an instrumental version of One Direction's "Drag Me Down" that was brilliant in its deconstruction.
As the episode got going, it was hard at first to gauge whether or not it was going to be successful. Historically, these types of episodes have been polarizing — you either really love them or really hate them, and there's not much middle ground.
Sure, it got a little choppy at times, but what was really interesting about this episode is that we essentially dealt with four characters in one room for the duration. People came and went in the peripheral, but the focus remained on those four and the patient they were operating on.
The case proved dynamic enough, as the man lying on the table in front of them basically had a shredded liver. There was nothing they could do to save it, so they had to resort to a series of Hail Mary efforts in order to give him a fighting chance.
What proved to be the episode's winning aspect was the way it peeled back the layers on those four characters. How many years have we known Dr. Richard Webber now? Over a decade, but we are just now learning that his mother succumbed to pancreatic cancer when he was a young boy.
And what about Dr. Owen Hunt? We've certainly heard about his sister, Megan, but only in small doses and with little to go on. This week, in one of the episode's signature flashbacks, we "met" her for the first time. We witnessed a bit of their banter and could almost imagine how strong their sibling bond must have been when she was still alive.
As for Dr. Stephanie Edwards, more of her backstory about dealing with an autoimmune disorder as a child was revealed. Jerrika Hinton, who brings the character to life onscreen, was brilliant in this episode — and since she happens to be one of my all-time favorite interviews, I was unabashedly happy to see her shift into a more central role on the show.
Alas, then there was Dr. Meredith Grey. Based on everyone else's flashbacks, we knew some part of Meredith's past was going to resurface. Perhaps a scene with her late mother, Dr. Ellis Grey. But nope! Shonda Rhimes plays dirty, remember?
Meredith's first flashback is to the moment she had to break the news to Zola and Bailey (baby Ellis came later, of course) that Daddy wasn't ever coming home. Ellen Pompeo didn't just nail the scene, she obliterated it — along with any chance we may have had to not ugly cry this episode.
Fast forward a bit, and they've saved the patient. They accomplished the seemingly impossible, with Meredith having just pulled a 48-hour shift, no less. And that's when she explains how the doctors of Grey Sloan keep pushing forward even when they are bone-tired.
As she washes her hands for the last time before leaving for the night, Derek walks in and stands there smiling at her.
I'M NOT CRYING; YOU ARE. Predictably, Twitter (like me) lost its damn mind. Seriously, Shonda Rhimes — this one stung.
never thought I could miss a fictional character but I miss derek shepherd so much #GreysAnatomy— Liv (@livvvvarthurrrr) November 11, 2016
Derek was literally digitally imposed into the episode for 4 and a half seconds and I'm sobbing #GreysAnatomy— Court (@courtneysmallze) November 11, 2016
Admittedly, it may have simultaneously been both the worst and best thing to happen this week. 'Cause, here's the thing: Figment of Mer's imagination or not, we'll take McDreamy. We've (sorta) made peace with the fact that he's gone, but seeing him onscreen again felt like coming home.
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