Season 14, episode 3: Go Big or Go Home
(Written by Meg Marinis; Directed by Chandra Wilson)
I know this is super late, I was in Georgia for a wedding when this episode aired. And then I was in Boston the week after that. It’s been a little busy in the life of Jordyn lately, but things are back to normal! I hope. Here we go! Episode three!
“I’m going to tell you a secret: doctors are not gods. We like you to think we have all the answers, you have to trust us enough to let us cut open your flesh and poke around at your insides, so it’s helpful if you think we have it all together. It’s helpful if you don’t know that, just like you, we’re anxious, we’re insecure, we’re angry. You have to let us come at you with a scalpel, so it’s helpful if you don’t know that, just like you, we are wrecks.” -Meredith Grey
Let’s talk about Meredith’s mood first, shall we? It’s obvious from the very first scene that Mer isn’t in the best of moods… what with the laundry and dirty remnants of Alex all over the house. (ZOLA IS ALIVE!) But she brightens up a little when she sees her old therapist, Dr. Carr. Remember him? From season 12? If you watched 12.10, you’ll remember that Meredith got along with her therapist pretty well, much more than she did Dr. Wyatt way back in season four. It’s really no surprise she’s happy to see him. It’s pretty clear that the two have kept up since Mer’s attack, especially when Dr. Carr asks about the birthday party, which I’m assuming was Bailey’s party. (Which means he’s also alive!)
Meredith really seems to be in good spirits around him, she even jokes about him needing the “tape and glue guy.” (Another 12.10 reference, so if you didn’t see that episode, I suggest going back at watching that.) But the mood, the snappy, I-hate-everything-that-breathes mood? It comes back as soon as Brody mentions Nathan. Ah. There it is. He’s the reason this mood exists. And as soon as Brody leaves, Meredith uses Dr. Carr as a therapist again. FROM HIS HOSPITAL ROOM. Classic, Mer.
It seemed strange to me, at first, that she did this, but the second time I watched, it actually made a lot of sense. Meredith doesn’t talk about her feelings. She’s notoriously horrible at it, and has been since we met her. But. She’s grown a lot since then, but the thing about this is… who would she talk to? She can’t talk to Derek because… well. Yeah. She can’t talk to Cristina because she’s off running her own chocolate factory, (and yes, I know they have phones, but Cristina doesn’t even know Nathan…) Maggie is out too because, awkward. Alex has told her, multiple times, that he doesn’t like Nathan. So, who does that leave? All of the people she feels comfortable talking to aren’t really options in her mind. Until Walter Carr shows up with his 24 inch blood clot. You take what you can get, guys.
“I don’t do love triangles. I was raised in one. I fell in love with my husband in one. I am done with triangles.”
When Meredith learns that Dr. Carr’s wife died 10 years ago and he still wears the ring, you can see the moment she starts to question everything. I don’t blame her, either. Wouldn’t you feel a little uneasy if someone giving you all of this life-changing advice couldn’t take it himself? This was another thing I didn’t catch the first time, but the second. We ALL do it. I’ve even said I do it on this blog. I’ve said it a lot. Giving advice is easy. Taking that advice is the hard part. And that also ties back into the VO when Meredith talks about doctors being wrecks too. That applies to therapists. And that’s terrifying. But also comforting. Because they are just people. I feel like this episode really helped out with the whole “I’m in therapy because I’m really messed up” stigma. We’re all messed up and we probably all could use some therapy. There’s no shame in that.
And because this is me writing this, I’m about to work Ellis Grey into the review. That has become my personal challenge to myself, getting her in every review. Here’s where she popped up this time:
“If you could have a scalpel in your hand at the end of your life, would you want to?”
ELLIS FREAKIN’ GREY. Did you catch that? I did. The first time. Because I’m me. The OG Ellis Grey stan. Let’s break it down some more. When Dr. Carr made that point, I was immediately taken back to seasons one through three, specifically the scenes with Ellis. Alzheimer’s is a terrifying disease to face, and it’s even worse when you can’t remember that you have it. Which is exactly the case with Ellis. She spent the last days of her life thinking she was still a surgeon. I’m sure there’s a reason her memories seemed stuck in the heyday of her surgical dominance. And now Dr. Carr is doing it too, except his memory is in tact. When Meredith sits down to talk to him some more, she gets a look, almost a longing look, that makes me think she was thinking about her mother… I hope she was, anyways. I’ll never have an answer to that questions.
And that realization (both on my part and Meredith’s) leads into what I think is the strongest parallel of the episode. But it’s not one that’s super obvious. Do you remember the scene in season 11 (the finale) when Meredith corners Richard and Catherine in the lounge? She had just come back after Derek’s death, Richard and Catherine had just called off their marriage, April was being a badass… remember that? (In case you don’t, here’s a link to it. Watch it before you read anymore. But then come back and read the rest.) This confrontation reminded me so much of that, it’s crazy and she’s essentially saying the same thing to Riggs.
“I’m angry because you got a gift that I’ll never get and you’re wasting it! You’re throwing it away! We had the same dream and when you don’t fight for her, you’re betraying that. And you’re betraying me.”
And there it is. The bomb has been dropped. Meredith’s pissed at Nathan because she knows if given the chance, she would run back to Derek no questions asked. We all know that and we’d all support her and cry and sob and be MerDer messes all over again. It’s true, don’t deny it. And here Nathan is, standing in front of her, his dream is right down the hall, and he’s wasting it. I get why she’s so pissed at him. At one point, he loved Megan enough to want to marry her, but now, he seems really unsure.
He loves Meredith, he said he does. He knows it. Megan knows it. And now Meredith knows it, too. I think the biggest issue here is Derek, and let me explain before I shut up about this storyline.
Nathan is terrified because he knows that Meredith would choose Derek if she ever got the chance. Her wounds are fresher than his, he’s had more time to fall in love again. Megan has been gone for 10 years. Derek has been gone for… I don’t even know at this point… three years maybe? He’s ready to love again, he is loving again, but Meredith? I think he’s scared of loving someone who can’t love him back yet. And nobody is to blame for that.
And now we have a little tumor to talk about. Actually, a big tumor. Amelia’s tumor. She studies her own tumor much like she studied Nicole Herman’s tumor in season 11. Much like Derek studied Isaac’s tumor in season six. (I guess it’s a Shepherd thing.) Her former teacher at Hopkins comes in to help her out with said tumor, and he’s kind of an ass. But the fact that she chose to bring him in means she knows she needs help. That has to be a good sign, right?
“You are not a sound mind now and you haven’t been for years.”
And with one line, the gravity of the situation sinks in for Amelia and all of us at home. This tumor has been sitting in her brain, just waiting, while nobody had a clue. What does that mean? Do we even know Amelia? Does Owen even know Amelia? These are questions we can’t answer yet, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say this: we know Amelia. She is not her tumor. It’s just something she has. And now that we know, some things could be explained (rash decision making, taking extreme risks, etc.) but the core of Amelia? What makes her her? It’s still there and it always has been. But still, 10 years is daunting. She’s had this tumor for as long as Megan’s been “dead.” Which brings me to this long, complicated theory. Buckle up!
Okay, so if Amelia’s tumor has been growing for 10 years and if Megan has been “dead” for 10 years, that means that the literal tumor and the metaphorical tumor both started growing for Amelia and Owen around the same time.
Amelia’s tumor would, most likely, have started presenting not too long after it showed up, which means sometime in Los Angeles, maybe even before. At the same time, Owen’s “tumor” would’ve been exacerbated by the fact that his sister is now missing in a warzone.
Take the fact that, in season six (Suicide is Painless) we watched as Owen had to let a friend die. His hand allowed this man to die. That’s enough to mess anyone up. Tumor grows. He comes home a different person. (I guess you could look at his PTSD as his tumor if you want, or if that helps you keep up with my thoughts on this. Whatever works for you.)
Amelia’s fiancé dies in bed next to her. Tumor grows. Her son is born with no brain. Tumor grows. Her brother dies. Tumor grows.
And then, Megan is found and brought home. She’s alive. Tumor shrinks.
Amelia’s tumor is revealed. Tumor shrinks.
Think of it like this: Owen and Amelia’s “tumors'” started growing around the same time. And now, they’re both disappearing at the same time. They can finally heal, and they can do it together.
I think if they look at it like that, their marriage can survive, but not only that. It can thrive. They can have a healthy relationship with the kids and the house. They both want it (I think Amelia still does, she’s just scared) and now they can have it. Hopefully. No funny business, please, Shonda.
* I know I left out a lot of things from this storyline, but this was the biggest point I wanted to make and I’m happy with leaving it there. If you have questions or thoughts about it for me, leave a comment and I’ll be happy to discuss more!
“It’s no mistake that God put the G-spot in the birth canal.”
I shat my pants with this line, you guys. I’m not sure if it was the line itself or Richard’s face, but either way…
Arizona and Carina are so fun to watch. This is what they were talking about when they said old Grey’s humor coming back. All the sexy talk has been missing for so long, but not anymore! Carina is just what we all needed, don’t you think? To me, Carina represents the rise of feminism in the United States. (and in Grey Sloan!) She brings in a blunt awareness and outspokenness about women’s sexuality that has been missing from both the show and the real world, and it’s as refreshing as it is empowering. She brings something new, something exciting, and redefines women’s sexuality representation across television if you ask me. Nobody has been as open about it as Grey’s has this year, and it needed to happen. And I said it once, but I’ll say it again, I’m so glad Grey’s took on that challenge.
And because it was too good to leave out, here is Richard’s face when the words “G-spot,” “God,” and “birth canal” were all used in the same sentence.
Now let’s talk about Harper Avery and the old-white-man-asshole syndrome he seems to possess. First of all, let me say this: I didn’t like Harper Avery the first time we met him, so I’m not about to go easy on the guy. Him and Jackson clearly don’t get along (shocker!) and Harper treats him like crap. He kind of reminds me of how Ellis Grey treated Meredith which pains me to say because I love her so much, but it’s true.
The biggest question I had during the live airing, was this: Is Harper questioning Bailey’s decisions because he actually has concerns or is he questioning them because it was a woman who made the decision? It didn’t take long for me to find that answer. The fact that we’re talking about designs makes it even more complicated. Medicine is one thing, you kill a patient or you save them. But this? We won’t ever know how he would’ve reacted if a man had made the call to spend millions on a redesign. But I’m going to go out on a limb and say he wouldn’t have said anything.
“That’s the problem when women are in charge. It’s always personal. Look what it’s made you two do to this place.”
Yep. It was always about the vagina. *eye roll*
But Bailey is Bailey and she’s not having it. She stands her ground, explains herself rationally (although maybe not so calmly) and makes him listen. Or tries to. I guess it didn’t work considering he fired her right before he croaked. Karma’s a bitch!
And finally, let’s talk about that Jolex reunion! We’ve all been waiting for what feels like years for this to happen and it finally is… at least for now because this is Shondaland and we can’t get too comfortable. The elevator scene? *Swoon* It reminded me of fetus Meredith and Derek from the second episode. It’s a plug into that classic Grey’s romance. Those elevators make me so nostalgic. And Jo’s HoCoPro (I’m with Alex. I had no idea what that was until April explained it.) might have been the cutest thing she’s ever done. And she’s done a lot of cute things on the show. I’m really excited to see them move forward as a couple again, and hopefully pull that ring out of the drawer? Maybe? Jackass husband notwithstanding. I guess we’ll see!
And that’s all I’ve got for this episode, guys. I know it was way late, but weddings take a lot of time, so I’m hoping for a pass on this one! As always, here’s the closing VO to finish things up:
“So, how do we do it? How do we save lives when ours may be falling apart? Well, for one thing, we never perform surgery without an assist. We look at the case, we gather the team, and accept that we don’t have to go it alone.” -Meredith Grey