If this episode of Grey's Anatomy were instead, an episode of Friends, it would be called "The One With All The Exposition." Lighthearted (yay!) but kinda boring (Truth. #NotSorry), "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" is the set up for the entire back half of the season. Run by April and secretly funded by Jackson, The Big Contest (aka The Grey Sloan Surgical Initiative Contest) is officially underway as our surgeons strive to come with proposals that will change medicine as we know it and win them the $5 million grand prize.
I've Created A Monster
April Kepner is in a mood. Her sex friend, intern Vik, had the gall to fall asleep at her place. And he's making googly eyes at her at the hospital in clear violation of their "No Daylight" rule. Still, she laments to BFF, Arizona, it's kinda her fault. "I'm hiding from him by day then unhiding at night. Like a "sex vampire"...ROFL! Anyway,
Dracula April is running late and Miranda is on vacation covertly resting at home after her heart attack, so the surgeons are circling like vultures. Details! They need details!
April finally arrives and answers their questions with no small amount of irritation. Proposals are due in three days. No whining. They've known this for months. Twenty-five proposals will receive $100,000 in seed money to pursue their projects. Five finalists will receive $1 million grants. The winner will get $5 million and a huge professional boost. Let the games begin!
DeLuca (I know I should call him "Andrew") and Sam are still sparring but hear me, writers. It's getting old. Go forward or stop with these two, but enough treading water. As for the case, #TeamShepherd is working with Alex to treat a 12 year-old patient, Kimmie, for "stupid cancer," a kind of glioma. Unfortunately, her follow-up scan reveals that her tumor is back. Shepherd and Karev do a surgery with Kimmie wide awake(!) and discover that if they remove the tumor, she'll lose her ability to speak, not optimal, especially since Kimmie is a promising singer. Their proposal involves harnessing high frequencies to "shatter the tumor without cutting it."
Full disclosure: I'm so confused by all the new interns. There's too many of them and too many names! But good has come of this. The blonde female intern is Taryn, not Dahlia. Dahlia is the intern crushing on Jackson. Moving on.
Meredith gives a consult to Harry, an old AA friend of Richard's, whose liver is in failure due to cirrhosis. No transplant for him. And Harper Avery Award-winner, Meredith, is feeling the pressure. Everyone wants to know what she's going to do next, but she is stumped!
Fortunately, Meredith's former patient, Judy (Agent Carter's Lesley Boone) is back, despite having had a spleenectomy with "human blood bag" Levi. Apparently, remnants of Judy's spleen cells have grown many mini-spleens through her abdomen! When Jo remarks that it would be nice if the mini-organs could be something useful, like kidneys or livers, Meredith has her project. She'll try to produce mini-livers, inspired by both Judy and by Harry, who has died.
Jackson/Catherine/Dr. Michelle Velez
"Poor Jackson," says Meredith. What to do when you've got not one, but TWO "amazing ideas" for your proposal. Jackson's been working on a spray-on skin, which sounds pretty cool. But an old friend of Catherine's, Dr. Michelle Velez (played by Candis Cayne) is a renowned plastic surgeon who proposes a new vaginoplasty procedure which could benefit both trans and cis gender patients. Velez wants to be the first test subject. Jackson finally chooses this project over spray-on skin and Cayne will be on Grey's Anatomy for a multi-episode arc.
Maggie and Richard have a lovely little subplot in which she takes salsa lessons with him. He's trying to learn as a birthday gift to Catherine. Maggie's all out-of-sorts and Richard figures out that it's been about a year since Maggie's mom, Diane, died. Richard assures his biological daughter that anniversaries are hard, but first anniversaries are the absolute worst. Maggie's project proposal is a way of charging heart pumps through the skin and Richard's (inspired by Maggie's wish for a Magic Wand that could make all bad things go away) is an idea for a surgical pen that distinguishes between normal and cancerous cells on contact.
Did we know intern Casey was in the military? (I'm telling you. Too many interns. Too many plot threads. But, cool!) Casey was a lieutenant and calls Owen "Major," which is kind of awesome. Not awesome? The polymer that Owen needs for his clotting-factor proposal isn't available which throws a wrench into his plans. Later in the episode, Owen decides that research and patents aren't really his thing and so he doesn't submit a proposal. Seriously? Owen is the only
member of the cast surgeon on staff to not submit a proposal? On the one hand, it kind of makes sense. Trauma is this guy's thing, not lab projects. And he's not wrong when he says that he confronts death every day and most of the time he wins. Still, I fear that the writers no longer know what to do with my favorite GA doc. Figure it out! #TeamHunt
Arizona and April are both still traumatized by the death of paramedic/April's ex-fiance Matthew's wife, Karin. Arizona has a heart-to-heart with April. Neither of them was responsible for Karin's death. But there are far too many maternal deaths, particularly in the United States. AZ's proposal is maternal care and finding out why so many women die needlessly. Carina, who seems to have awkwardly ended whatever she and Owen had going on, will be Arizona's partner on the project. And, oh yeah, they kiss.
Glasses Blood Bank Levi
Miranda summons Levi to her home and it's more cringe-inducing ("I do not feel safe here.") than funny when he totally misreads the reasons she's invited him into her bedroom. Yikes! Miranda's project is a port for a water colonoscopy.
Wrapping Things Up
- Jo will go by Josphine Brooke Wilson to honor both her past and current life.
- Maggie's date, Clive, compares unfavorably to Jackson, because Jackson (who is a SURGEON) just "gets" Maggie and her work. Epic Fail. Insert eyeroll and make Jaggie stop!
- Most of the surgeons' proposals seem to make it to the Round of 25, but not Alex and Amelia's. What are they going to do now about Kimmie?
- Owen has a conversation with Meredith and Jo about that polymer (yes, this is really a story point) that's so hard to get because someone already bought it. Jo assumes that's Meredith, but Meredith seems cagey about the whole thing, if you ask me. Maybe Cristina Yang owns the polymer and she'll give it to her Person, Meredith, while simultaneously returning to claim her other Person, Owen???
Grey's Anatomy returns on Thursday, March 1st at 8/7c on ABC.