Following the last self-contained episode (Japril, The Sequel), Grey’s Anatomy’s “Till I Hear it From You” returned to the show’s usual format. It was a heartbreaking hour in which Maggie finally found out the truth about her mother’s health, Meredith and Nathan’s relationship took a baby step forward while Owen and Amelia’s marriage imploded. Meanwhile, Miranda and Arizona both tried to mend fences with Richard, Andrew made a startling confession, and Stephanie took stock of her life.
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You Have To Let That Go!
As the episode opens, Meredith, Alex and Maggie are picking up Maggie’s mom, Diane (LaTanya Richardson Jackson) from the airport. Maggie (who, for being such a brilliant surgeon, is so clueless in her real life that it is getting cringe-worthy) is fixated on the boob job she thinks Diane is in town to get. Dr. Pierce interrogates Jackson, Diane’s surgeon, asking if her mom’s new breasts will be “huge-huge.” Later, she blathers endlessly to Meredith and Amelia about the basketball-sized, stripper, G-cups that are to come. Let the record show that I actually agree with Amelia in this moment that Diane’s breasts and what she does with them are none of Maggie’s business. Diane owes her daughter no explanation whatsoever.
Unfortunately, as we learned in a previous episode, Diane isn’t really here for a cosmetic procedure. She has a very aggressive form of breast cancer and has been undergoing chemotherapy. She’s really in Seattle for a mastectomy and reconstruction. Diane knows she should have told Maggie about her condition months ago, so now she’s stubbornly insisting that she’ll wait until after the surgery to bring Maggie up to speed. Fortunately, Jackson finally puts his foot down and refuses to do Diane’s procedure until she tells her daughter the truth. Maggie is, naturally, both devastated by the diagnosis and mortified that she treated her mother so badly before the truth came out.
Just Pull It Together
Meanwhile, Owen looks up in the ambulance bay to discover that his wife, Amelia, has returned to work at the hospital. (Not that she bothered to tell him that, because she never tells him anything. She either runs away and gives him the complete silent treatment or she rants at him like a lunatic. More on that later.) Anyway, an elderly couple, Lewis and Elsie Clatch (played by acting royalty, Hal Holbrook and June Squibb) arrive at the hospital. Elsie fell as they were hiking. She’s not too concerned saying that she’s old and falls happen. As Elsie is being examined, Lewis has very specific ideas about how she should be tested. When Stephanie remarks that he’s been watching too many medical shows on TV, Lewis retorts that he’s a cardiothorasic surgeon! Stephanie then realizes that Dr. Clatch is a legendary surgeon.
As Edwards, Warren, and DeLuca go all googley-eyed over the Clatchs (turns out Elsie was also a surgeon and, as a woman, quite the ground-breaker at that time) it’s revealed that the couple has been married for 60 years. This touches and inspires most of the ensemble cast, but especially the surgeons for whom this guest couple is a story parallel, Owen and Amelia. Amelia discovers that Elsie has a brain bleed and, even though surgery is very dangerous for her, Elsie wants the chance to buy herself more time – more time to teach Lewis how to get along without her and more time with him, because 60 years isn’t enough. By the time Elsie dies post-op, after waking just long enough to give us all false hope, I couldn’t even muster the appropriate amount of sadness because I am so enraged by Amelia Shepherd.
Grey’s Anatomy has always had a distinctly “pro-woman” point of view and that’s fine. But why does “pro-woman” have to be “anti-man?” This story line has been clunky is so many ways but Caterina Scorsone’s maternity leave had to be accommodated somehow, so I tried to look past the nonsensical way Amelia left Owen without warning and refuses to talk to him in any way or share the dark and twisty thoughts that have been tormenting her. Let me be clear. Amelia has been through hell. She lost her infant son and that damaged her terribly. I do not minimize that in any way. That said, why refuse to talk to Owen for weeks and then let loose on him in such an outright cruel way? It is not wrong for a man to want to be a father, to want a family that includes children in addition to his wife. When Owen says it’s “normal” to want those things he’s talking about himself. That he’s not some freak show of a person to want to have children.
Amelia, of course, makes everything about herself and interprets his words as meaning that she is abnormal for not wanting kids. I don’t think Owen’s saying that at all. I think he’s feeling misled because, after what happened with Cristina, he was very careful to make sure Amelia wanted kids before marrying her. Now she’s done an about-face and the man is, understandably, very confused and, frankly, heartbroken. To be clear, if Amelia doesn’t want kids, fine. Then she should walk away and let Owen find someone else who wants what he wants. And the final straw for me? For Amelia to bring up Cristina (who loved Owen enough to walk away when she realized they were never going to be on the same page regarding children) in such a vicious, callous way? After Owen trusted Amelia with his deepest shame? Despicable.
Odds and Ends
* Arizona apologizes to Richard for the way he found out about her and Eliza. He says he’ll come around but needs time. He clearly feels like all of the people he felt he could count on have let him down.
* Stephanie is distraught when Elsie dies, saying the surgeons robbed her and Lewis of more time together. My inference is that Stephanie is about to make a major life change.
* Andrew confesses to Stephanie that he’s in love with Jo. Ugh. Seriously? You don’t even know Jo, Andrew. At most, you have a crush on Jo. But if you’re willing to take Jo far away from Alex and Seattle in general never to return again, I’m all over that.
* Bailey tries to sort out why Richard is still giving her the cold shoulder. To which I say, “Duh.”
* Nathan and Meredith finally gain some traction as he adorably admits to being enamored with her, tongue-tied by her, and trying to make her laugh as much as possible.
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Memorable Moments And Quotes
Maggie (to Diane): “I hope you’ll enjoy being a nice, self-involved lonely person with an incredible rack.”
Jackson (to Jo, who has a history of inappropriate handling of patient privacy and boundaries): “I don’t need to remind you of HIPPA, right?”
Owen (to Amelia): “You need to decide what you want.”
Miranda: “I want to know what you did to Richard Webber.”
Miranda: “Ooooh! It was bad. Really bad?”
Andrew: “60 years of good, bad, and ugly. What’s wrong with wanting that?”
Ben (about Miranda in retirement): “You’ll be…bossing me around. And Tuck. And Tuck’s poor wife. Lord help that woman.”
Amelia (to Owen): “I would love to ask Cristina how suffocated she felt by you.” [Too far, Amelia.]
Andrew (to Stephanie): “I think I’m in love with Jo. I might be. I’m pretty sure.”
Meredith: “So, you should ask me out to dinner.”
Nathan: “Want to go to dinner?”
Maggie (to Meredith): “My mom is really sick.”
Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8/7c on ABC. Want more news? Visit our Grey’s Anatomy page on Facebook.
(Image courtesy of ABC)