One of the bright spots of the fall TV season has been ABC’s Shondaland trifecta of Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder. Each a force to be reckoned with in its own right, and taken together the block of shows has been a spectacular success fueled by high-octane hijinks and angsty melodrama. It came as a bit of a surprise to me, then, when lead-off show, Grey’s Anatomy, presented a Winter Finale (yes, I know it’s not technically winter yet, but that’s how the episode was billed, just go with it) that was more slow burn than spontaneous combustion. Yet, in the aptly titled “Risk,” lives began to slowly unravel as bad fortune met good people and long brewing animosities reached a boiling point.

Digging In Their Heels

So much for MerDer detente. Apparently the period of time out and using sex to gloss over their problems is over… in spades. Both Meredith and Derek were asked by Maggie to consult on her latest patient, a woman who contracted a massive infection following a dental (!) procedure who also had a lesion on her brain. Maggie felt that though both problems were important (no kidding) the infection had to be dealt with first followed by the brain lesion. Meredith agreed. Derek (no surprise here) insisted that if the brain lesion wasn’t dealt with first there would be dire consequences. 

What followed was a game of surgical chicken and unprofessional squabbling. Richard got pulled into the mix and sided with Derek. Ultimately, Maggie made the decision to deal with the infection first and the patient was fine. No harm, no foul. Right? Um, no. Not if you’re doctors Grey and (Boy) Shepherd. They sniped at each other like nobody’s business. It got ugly. Meredith even doubted herself until Alex set her straight. Derek (who rarely seems to doubt himself) got all cranky. Cranky enough to reconsider the offer from the President of the United States to chair the National Brain Mapping Initiative. On the upside, it was kind of wonderful to see Meredith and Maggie working as a team. 

You Are So Annoying! 

Meanwhile, Arizona became more concerned about Dr. Herman, who exhibited weird behavior — like eating bizarre flavors of ice cream and boinking her underling in an on call room. Turns out that Herman’s brain tumor wasn’t causing professional problems, though. At least not yet. Herman reamed AZ for continuing to pry into her personal business. Robbins countered that she’s doing it out of concern for her mentor and their patients. Arizona eventually went behind Herman’s back and had her medical records sent to Amelia Shepherd, who thinks she can remove the tumor and save Dr. Herman’s life.

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I’m Very, Very Sorry

Stephanie ended up doing April’s ultrasound (awkward!) and was startled to spot something that looked very, very bad. Edwards went first to Robbins and then to Herman to confirm her findings. Unfortunately she was completely right. Baby Kepner-Avery has a rare horrible congenital condition. Something about fragile bones. If the baby is even born at all, he will likely live only a few days or weeks, at most. All together now, Japril fans: Noooooooooooo!!! Why??? ARGH!!!

You Have People, Right?

In other news, Amelia came clean to Owen about her history of drug abuse, assuring him that she is sober and capable of doing her job. She knows it was a risk for him to keep her on at the hospital following the debacle of the previous week and she appreciates that he’s giving her the chance. Owen admitted that he has demons of his own that he has to beat back on a regular basis and they ended up offering to be a support to each other. Is this the start of a new friendship? If so, I say, good. Heaven knows each of them could use a friend. And, yes, I’m well aware of the rumors that an Amelia/Owen romance is in the works. Too soon to tell as far as I can see at this point, but I’ll keep an open mind.

Kale Rage Talkin’ 

Despite being in a mood and a little off her game (in fairness, drinking kale shakes would do that to anyone in my opinion), Miranda reminded Richard that as much as he wants a relationship with Maggie, he doesn’t need to apologize anymore. He’s already done that. Time to move on. And when Maggie inquired as to a method Richard uses to assess patients, Richard agreed to talk with her about it. But not right that moment. Maybe tomorrow. Over coffee. Yes! Way to take baby steps without being a doormat. Woot!

Last But Not Least

What else? Oh yes. Jo was jealous of Meredith and Arizona and the revolving door of people seeking shelter asylum advice support  alcohol at Casa Grey Karev. Alex told her to get over it. So it’s like a commune. That’s the way it’s always been and that’s the way it stays. Callie pushed a veteran too hard but learned from her mistake and did things better the next time. And Meredith and Derek had yet another epic fight which ended in Derek calling up POTUS and accepting the D.C. job offer. Wait. WHAT?

So Many Questions!

Are Meredith and Derek done for good? Is there any hope at all for April and Jackson’s baby? Can Amelia save Dr. Herman? And is it just me or is Dr. Herman becoming an awesome character whom I really hope can be saved? Share your opinions and predictions in the comments!

Grey’s Anatomy returns on January 29, 2015 on ABC.

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(image courtesy of ABC)

Janalen Samson

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV