Can I be completely honest with you? When I heard that tonight’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy would be Maggie-centric, I had my doubts. I mean, really. This Maggie Pierce is the new kid in town. She’s been on the show all of three episodes and already gets an installment centered around her, complete with voice-over narration? What gives? Sure, Maggie’s the secret love child of Ellis Grey and Richard Webber. Sure, that makes her Meredith’s secret sister. But an episode All About Maggie? What that be such a good idea? Turns out the answer to that question is a resounding YES!!! 

'Grey's Anatomy' Recap: Maggie Opens Pandora's Box

“Puzzle With A Piece Missing” aka The Episode In Which We Get To Know Maggie Pierce was terrific in almost every way. Written by one of my favorite GA scribes, Bill Harper, and directed by Rob Corn (who has directed more episodes of GA than anyone else by a lot), the episode rested heavily on the shoulders of Kelly McCreary (who carried it beautifully). Quibbles? I have a few. But overall this was a very impressive piece of storytelling.

Bringing The Thunder

Professionally, it turns out that Maggie Pierce is the Real Deal. She may have had the misfortune to follow the brilliant Dr. Cristina Yang (although technically Pierce’s predecessor was Dr. Russell, but whatever) but Maggie is an excellent surgeon in her own right. She ably juggled the many cases of the day (Robby with the kidney stone, pregnant heart patient Rita and her premature baby, Tracy who had a stroke during sex (don’t ask), and Marjory “please let me die” with lung cancer) and proved to be an excellent teacher to Jo Wilson, even if she couldn’t remember Jo’s name. Harnessing the power of Miranda’s shuttered Genome Lab, Pierce even did what Yang couldn’t do. She used brand spanking new gene mapping information to assure the McNeil Family (remember the three kids who all had the same heart condition?) that their children got sick because of a genetic mutation, not because of anything they did. 

Hang in There, Robby Maggie!

Having said all of that, Maggie is a complete train wreck so far when it comes to interpersonal skills and social interactions in general. Granted, she may have found some friends in Arizona and Amelia. But she also managed to get Karev fired from his job with Dr. Butthole (whoops!), insulted Avery by standing up for Miranda’s genome mapping project, and incurred Meredith’s wrath when she “slow coded” the resuscitation of Marjory (who unbeknownst to Meredith had begged Maggie to let her die). In short, Maggie feels like she doesn’t fit in at the hospital and worries that she can not be herself there.

She’s Worth Knowing

And then there’s the little matter of Maggie knowing that Meredith is her half-sister. Given that she and Meredith seem to loathe each other, Maggie decides to leave well enough alone. She’s gotten along this long without a sister. Why rock the boat? Then Maggie finds out that Meredith adopted a special needs African child. And that Amelia considers Meredith to be the only “sister” (in-law) who understands her. And that Richard vouches for Meredith unequivocally. 

Related aside: I happen to think Meredith is behaving like a brat right now, but that’s neither here nor there. She’s always been a bit of a brat and her life is in free fall, so I’ll give her a little more leeway than usual. But that’s my major quibble with the episode. Meredith is thisclose to being really, really unlikable. Right now, I’m on Team Maggie. Anyway…

A conversation with Jo convinces Maggie that she and Meredith got off on the wrong foot and that they need to start over, whereupon Maggie tells Meredith that she’s her half-sister. Meredith’s response? A face of stone, followed by the accusation that Maggie is either misinformed or lying. Oh snap! And Maggie is to stay far, far away from Meredith. So that went well.

In Other News

Calzona started the episode by fighting (again? still?) but ended it agreeing both to having another baby and to Arizona accepting the fellowship in Fetal Medicine with Dr. Herman (Geena Davis).

Jolex hit a rough patch since Jo’s loose lips resulted in Alex being fired from his private practice gig. Fingers crossed that they’ll take him back at Grey Sloan Memorial, board seat or not.

Owen quietly mourned the loss of Cristina, especially when he told Maggie that the McNeil family had been through a hellish year and needed to be left alone so they could heal. Oh, Owen…

Memorable Moments and Quotes

“Hang in there, Robby!” – multiple doctors

“Is everyone in this room somehow related?” – Maggie (um, yeah, pretty much)

“They caught me. And I threw you under the bus. Sorry.” – Miranda

Three Words: Giant Singing Sturgeon

Final Verdict

So I never thought I’d say this, but Maggie can stay. Despite the overly large cast, I will be just fine when and if (and, honestly, in my opinion it’s when and not if) Kelly McCreary is upgraded from recurring guest star to regular cast member. Her addition to the show not only fuels story for Meredith and Richard, but fills the need for a cardio doc while enhancing the overall ensemble. She’s won me over. How about you? Sound off in the comments below!

The next all-new episode of Grey’s Anatomy, “Got To Be Real” airs Thursday, October 9 on ABC.

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(image courtesy of ABC)

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Janalen Samson

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV