“We can’t undo the past, ’cause the future keeps coming at us.” ~ Meredith Grey
Meredith. Alex. Richard. Miranda. Surely it was not by accident but rather, by design that the four remaining original characters would anchor the premiere of season thirteen of Grey’s Anatomy. Structured almost like a one-act play, “Undo” proved to be a magnificent episode as, piece by piece, the framework for the season fell into place, mining the rich history of the show while simultaneously raising provocative questions. What does it mean to be an adult? Does loyalty trump responsibility? What happens when a tragic misunderstanding leads to life-changing consequences for all involved?
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Five Minutes of Happiness
As the episode opened, our surgeons were enjoying Owen and Amelia’s wedding reception. It was so normal and lovely and short-lived. Just as Meredith was fending off Nathan’s flirty advances (having found out at the wedding ceremony that Maggie has the hots for Riggs), she got a call from Jo Wilson revealing that Andrew DeLuca was at the hospital ER, having been severely beaten. Mer sent Maggie to the hospital (driven by Nathan, since Maggie had been drinking). Meanwhile, Meredith and Richard headed to Jo and Alex’s loft where it took Meredith all of thirty seconds to figure out what happened. As Richard tried to console a despondent Jo, Meredith headed to Grey Sloan Memorial to find Alex.
Who DID this?
It wasn’t all that hard to find Alex, since he accompanied Andrew in the ambulance to the hospital and assisted in DeLuca’s treatment! In the chaos and confusion, Karev also managed to evade the questions of the other doctors, giving no indication that he was the one who attacked Andrew. Miranda immediately set upon trying to figure out what happened, while newly reinstated Ben connected the dots pretty quickly, but said nothing. Meanwhile, Andrew’s injuries looked to threaten his career and, perhaps, even his life.
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We Are The Bad Guys
It was a tour de force by Ellen Pompeo and Justin Chambers as an incredulous Meredith confronted a devastated Alex. Karev tried to defend his actions because DeLuca was “on top of” Jo. He was just protecting her in their home, he reasoned. Meredith shot that down immediately. “This is assault!” Furthermore, how long would it be before Alex was found out?
Torn between loyalty to the man who is like a brother to her and the long-term risk to both of their lives and careers, Meredith tried to buy them some time to think. “You slipped in the rain” would be Alex’s cover story as to why his hand was swollen. Meredith went off to check DeLuca’s scans while Alex had an ugly confrontation with Jo, who had managed to elude Richard. Still believing that she slept with Andrew, Alex lashed out in disgust that Jo could destroy their life. “I wanted to marry you. I should have known better.”
Bit By Bit, Putting It Together
Little by little, information was revealed. Jackson operated on Andrew’s eye in hopes of saving his vision and surgical career. Stephanie confronted Jo, who planned to quit the residency program and literally run away from the mess she made. Stephanie spoke to Meredith who, in turn, broke the brutal truth to Alex. He’d beaten an innocent man within an inch of his life. In trying to do the right thing, did Karev ruin three lives?
Having been talked down off the ledge by Richard (“We don’t quit!”) Jo apologized to Andrew for her role in all that happened to him, but things went awry when she asked him not to tell anyone about her being married. DeLuca assumed she didn’t really care about his well-being but was only looking out for herself. Alex attempted to apologize to Andrew as well, but DeLuca (understandably) freaked out. Meredith (who seemed to share scene after marvelous scene with Nathan – I am totally ‘shipping them!) admitted to Nathan that she had to do something she didn’t want to do, then went to Bailey and told her the truth about Alex assaulting Andrew. Just as it looked like Alex would try to slink away into the night, Meredith and Miranda approached Karev – as he was being arrested for aggravated assault, having confessed to the police.
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True confession. I haven’t always like Meredith Grey. In fact there have been times over twelve seasons when I couldn’t stand her. So, imagine my surprise now that Meredith has become one of my favorite characters. The three closing scenes of the episodes bear this out. First, Meredith and Maggie went at it. Maggie (as is her tendency) was being a bit self-righteous that Meredith didn’t tell her immediately about Alex beating up (her ex-boyfriend) Andrew. Knowing all that Meredith and Alex have been through together, I’m Team Meredith on this one, but – in fairness- Maggie did have a few good points. Namely, Maggie and Meredith are sisters and that should mean something. Maggie maintained that she would “go down swinging” for Meredith and she expected loyalty and honesty, which probably isn’t too much to ask, on balance. Meredith assured Maggie she wouldn’t lie to her again and then promptly lied to her again by omission, which is going to backfire in a big way, about Nathan.
The chemistry between Ellen Pompeo and Martin Henderson is amazing. It’s crazy-hot, but also playful and flirty with a dose of angst and longing thrown in for good measure. So when Meredith somehow resisted the magnetism that is Nathan Riggs and told him that she doesn’t have feelings for him (in the interest of somehow sparing Maggie) it was just gutting. He was hurt. She was hurt but putting on a brave face. How long can this last? I’m betting not long – fingers crossed!
And, finally, the scene at the jail between Meredith and Alex was simply perfection. As they acknowledged the gravity of the situation (“15 to 20” Alex cracked wryly) they were also there for each other in such a lovely and, yes, adult way. Alex didn’t even get angry when Meredith admitted that she told Bailey what happened. She had to do it and he understood that. He feared losing everything, not only Jo but also his career, yet Meredith was standing by him reminding him that he’d done the right thing. What happens next is still unknown, but Alex is facing the consequences of his choices like a man, with his “person” by his side.
Memorable Moments and Quotes
Meredith: “You have to stop being where I am, talking to me…”
Nathan: “That sounds unreasonable with our jobs.”
Ben: “Chief, you want me to page Dr. Hunt?”
Miranda: “On his wedding night?”
Ben (on Alex): “He reacted. In a split second. In the moment. And a horrible thing happened. I know what that’s like.”
Meredith (defending her loyalty to Alex): “He’s earned it. When I first got here, he was one of the worst people I had ever met in my life. And now he’s one of the best. I know both of those people are still in there. I just want to make sure the right one wins.”
Catherine: “Couldn’t you hyphenate? Avery-Kepner?”
Jackson: “We are hyphenating, mom. That’s what we decided, right?”
April: “Yes. Kepner-Avery.”
Catherine: “Well, why didn’t you say that?”
April: “Because she’s my baby. (She points to Jackson.) He’s your baby. She’s my baby.”
***Welcome Harriet Kepner-Avery! Hoorah! More for you another week, Japril fans!***
Meredith: “Nathan, come and sit with me awhile.”
Meredith: “The problem is, you show up here. Looking for…what are you looking for?”
Nathan: “I’m not looking for anything. It’s right here.”
Nathan: “There’s something happening here. We both know it. So what’s the problem?”
Meredith: “Someone is going to get hurt.”
Nathan: “Well, I can take it.”
Meredith: “Not you.”
Nathan: “From what I can see, you see indestructible. So what’s the problem? Tell me.”
Meredith: “The problem is you’re wrong. I don’t feel the same way. So let’s just drop it, okay? Goodnight.”
Meredith (to Alex): “We have to face up to the stupid things we’ve done.”
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(Photo courtesy of ABC)