Super-human strength. That’s the topic of Meredith’s musings as tonight’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy, opens. Are the stories true? Can people lift cars or fling themselves in front of a bullet if someone they love is in need? Meredith (big surprise) is skeptical, though she hopes she could call upon those instincts in a crisis. In “Roar,” many superheroes step up and face their own crises in big, bold, brave ways. But, as is often the way in these kinds of stories, collateral damage still accumulates, leading to new, deeper challenges.
After being nearly MIA in the last episode, Alex returns to the forefront in “Roar.” He’s headed to court because a court date for his trial is being set. In the first of two bookend scenes, Meredith supports her friend the best way she knows how. She frets and fusses over him a bit then offers to just sit with him. Sometimes just being there is what the people you love need the most. The court appointment goes fine, even though Alex was running late because of a long security line, in which he meets…
Veronica is at court to fight a traffic ticket. She strikes up a conversation with Alex who can’t help but notice a really bad rash on her hands. He advises her to get it checked right away and, when she balks at the cost, recommends the free clinic at Grey Sloan Memorial. To his surprise, Veronica turns up later that day when he is on duty. He’s troubled to discover that in addition to the rash, Veronica is having weight loss and some other “red flag” symptoms, which causes him to page…
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Remember when Alex was Miranda’s intern five hundred years ago back in the first season? That history makes for great drama as Alex testily confronts Miranda about how long it’s taking for him to get his consult. Miranda’s in a prickly mood because Catherine Avery had the audacity to call Miranda “lenient” in regards to her pattern of giving people second chances. Catherine can not understand why Karev hasn’t been fired and tells Miranda to do something about it or she will.
Of course, Alex doesn’t know about Catherine’s ultimatum or how Miranda is trying to figure out a way out of the situation. He pushes her at exactly the wrong time, even arguing with the chief after she takes the time to do the consult he requested. Veronica’s got advanced pancreatic cancer. She’s also pregnant with a baby conceived with her best friend, Jeremy, the result of a long-standing pact between the two to have a baby together if they weren’t with other people.
Since Veronica sees Miranda’s advice (terminate the pregnancy, start chemo immediately) as nothing but death and more death (the treatment would buy her only a few months longer to live), Veronica chooses Alex’s proposed option. It’s a risky surgery called The Whipple (we’ve heard of that one before) that has the potential to save the baby, but will shorten Veronica’s life. This is Veronica’s happy ending. She dies either way, but now her baby will live and be raised by Jeremy.
Confronted with Karev’s audacity and his unrelenting advocacy for his patient, Miranda tells Catherine that she will not fire Karev. He’s staying right here. “Fine,” Avery replies, “We have a much bigger problem than Karev.” Which brings us to…
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Yep. Murphy’s back. She of the milk toast personality who flamed out of the residency program in her second year, leaving a trail of destruction (including a sexual harassment in the workplace debacle) in her wake. I loved the way she reappears – in an epic cafeteria scene that recalls days of Grey’s Anatomy past – in which Pierce raves about the new/old resident as Alex and Arizona squirm about the woman with whom they both share a sexual history. Meanwhile, Jo and Stephanie fill Andrew in on Leah’s story, including that one time she drilled through a patient’s leg all the way to the OR table. (Whoopsy.)
But there’s a twist! While it remains to be seen if she’s still fifty shades of cray-cray (early signs actually point to a leap in maturity in her years away) professionally she thrived at her new program. In fact, she’s now a superstar resident who, having decided she’s a cardio-thoracic surgeon in the making, sought out Maggie Pierce to be her teacher. She read one of Maggie’s articles, Murphy explains to Pierce and Riggs in the OR. She knew she had to study with Pierce and found a way to be reinstated in the Grey Sloan program. I never cared for Leah, but she’s got moxie. I’ll give her that.
She’s also (along with the Karev situation) part of the catalyst for Catherine Avery’s assertion that there’s a bigger problem afoot at the hospital. Why have so many surgeons (Karev, Murphy, Ben Warren, April Kepner, Meredith Grey) needed second chances? What is the fundamental flaw with how the residents are being taught? Catherine insists that she and Miranda will work the problem together. Miranda reminds Catherine that Catherine’s husband, Richard Weber, is the head of the residency program. There’s an awkward pause as Miranda realizes that something big is brewing and Richard’s about to be right in the middle of it. And, speaking of awkwardness and impending storms…
Owen can’t figure out why Amelia (who “loves to talk”) suddenly won’t talk at all about how the pregnancy test she took was negative and how that makes her feel. What Owen can’t know, of course, since Amelia won’t tell him, is that Amelia’s actually relieved that she isn’t pregnant. She suggests that they hold off on having a baby for now. They’re only newly married. They should spend some time just being two before they’re more. Owen tentatively agrees, but the look on his face says it all. He’s already been down this road. He and Cristina were MFEO (made for each other) except that he wants kids and she doesn’t. If he could accept a life and a marriage without children, he’d be living in Zurich right now. Harsh, but true. So I fully expect that this topic is not over from Owen’s point of view, only tabled temporarily.
Meanwhile, Amelia spends her day tending to a 12-year-old boy, Robbie. Robbie and his dad were in an accident following an incident of road rage. Except it turns out that Robbie’s dad was the one who caused their accident. After being cut off by a reckless driver, he initiated a a high-speed chase, which resulted in hitting a wall. Robbie appears initially to be fine, but the impact caused a brain bleed in his head (unleashing a congenital condition, which had been dormant up to this point). When Robbie dies, his parents are devastated and his mother blames his father, shouting that she wishes he’d died instead. This sends Amelia spiraling as she turns to…
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As Amelia comes apart in the Attendings Lounge, who should be there but Karev who listens kindly to a story Amelia had never told any of her family: not Derek, not Meredith, not Owen. Again, referencing events from Private Practice, Amelia confides to Alex that her infant son was born without a brain and lived less that an hour. Amelia held him, donated his organs, and then let him go, which almost killed her. She is terrified to have another baby. I feel so sorry for Amelia and her pain and her brokenness. But I also feel for Owen who is still without a child of his own and, after being careful to make sure the woman he marries wants kids this time around, is likely to be disappointed yet again. I fear this will not end well, which brings us back to…
At the end of the day (I love book ended scenes) Alex and Meredith are together again as he proposes Waffle Sunday – a day when he and she and the kids and Maggie and Amelia and whoever else they invite can all be a family, until he’s no longer around – presumably because he figures he’ll be in prison. Nooooooooooooo!
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Odds and Ends
* After an initial freak out, Arizona manages to act professionally about Leah being back at the hospital. For her part, Leah seems completely normal. Can this last?
* Jo and DeLuca continue to grow closer. After observing Jo talking to Alex, Andrew wrongly assumes it’s about the court case. Jo assures him that she and Alex were just talking about a patient. Andrew telegraphs his interest in Jo, saying that she always picks the wrong guy (Alex) but deserves better (Andrew?).
* April and Jackson are extra-careful with Baby Harriet after Robbie dies. They are clearly remembering their own loss of Baby Samuel who, like Amelia’s son, died shortly after birth.
* No MerThan scenes at all this week! Seriously???
So…what do you think? Is Alex going to prison? What steps will Catherine take to remedy the problems she sees in the hospital’s training program? Is Owen doomed to repeat with Amelia the differences he had with Cristina? And is Leah stable now or does a leopard not change her spots? Hit the comments!
Memorable Moments and Quotes
Meredith (to Alex about court): “It’s good to show them that you have people. You don’t want to look like some lone-wolf assailant with no friends.”
Jo (to Andrew about Alex): “We don’t talk. We barely even see each other. It’s like we never existed.”
Miranda (to Richard, complaining when he reminds her that the Karev decision is hers to make): “‘That’s why they call them the tough calls.’ That’s all you got? I just called you wise!”
Jackson (to April about road rage): “Somebody cuts you off in traffic, you unleash a stream of obscenities that would tear the paint off of the walls.”
Maggie (about Leah as Alex and Arizona look uncomfortable): “Really great suture technique, steady hands…”
Alex (to Maggie about Leah): “Robbins slept with her.”
Arizona: “So did Alex!”
Alex (again to Maggie): “If you go there, be careful. She (Leah) gets attached.”
Andrew (to Jo and Stephanie about Leah): “Robbins AND Karev?”
Veronica (to Miranda): “I already have an expiration date. Aren’t we past a little worry about some risks?”
Alex: “I want Waffle Sundays.”
Meredith: “Am I supposed to know what that means?”
Alex: “Well, every Sunday, I want to do waffles. Like a family.”
Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8/7c on ABC. Want more news? Like the BuddyTV Grey’s Anatomy Facebook page.
(Image courtesy of ABC)