Wow! It’s been so long since I took the time to write one of these, but I couldn’t NOT do one for this episode. It was full of humor and love and happy tears––it’s one of those episodes that I know I’ll go back to when I need a mood boost. I was really nervous about this season finale, I’m not going to lie. I was really prepared for doom and gloom, but I’m so happy we got this instead!
Season 14, episode 24: “All of Me” Written by Krista Vernoff; Directed by Debbie Allen
“A recent study found that marriage has actual health benefits. Married people live longer, have fewer strokes and fewer heart attacks than people who are single. Scientific or not, I find that study incredibly irritating.” -–Meredith Grey
Where do I even start with this? You guys, when I say I loved this episode, I mean I LOVED IT SO MUCH. I laughed through the entire thing, which I don’t do very often on Grey’s so that was a welcomed change. Krista told us she wanted to bring the funny back, and she definitely did that last night.
First off, I want to say thank you to Sarah Drew and Jessica Capshaw for breathing life into two wonderful, badass characters. April Kepner and Arizona Robbins will be deeply missed, but I have to say, I’m very happy with how things happened. I was fully expecting death and heartbreak, and instead, they both got happy endings. It actually reminded me a lot of how Cristina Yang left back in season 10––they all got what they wanted. But let’s talk about it, shall we?
Okay, so since I haven’t written one of these since February, let’s do a quick recap of April’s life lately. It has pretty much sucked. She *almost* lost her relationship with God, she damn near destroyed her relationship with Jackson, then she started to get herself back AND THEN SHE FREAKIN’ DIED. Are you all caught up? Good.
After everything that she’s been through, I think it’s amazing that she still believes in magic and love and all things happy endings. I haven’t seen this April in a while, and I actually missed her… I’m glad we got her back, even if it was for just one last episode. But more than that, I’m glad she got herself back. I was really concerned with how she was going to be written off, because she did just get happy again. I wanted it to stay that way.
My friend and I actually talked about how we thought April was going to leave a few weeks ago, AND WE WERE *kind of* RIGHT! We both settled on the idea of her quitting her job at Grey Sloan to do something she felt called to do––and it turns out that she felt called to help the homeless. I knew that she wouldn’t willingly leave Seattle behind; not with Jackson and Harriet still there. So, it was either she was going to get a new job and stay in the city or she was going to die. And we knew that wasn’t going to happen after the torture we were put through in episode 23 last week.
Also, I have to acknowledge how much Matthew clearly loves her. I always had a feeling that we were going to see him again after April left him at the altar, and I wasn’t sure how I felt about that. I wasn’t the biggest fan of him at first, but mostly because I wanted April to be with Jackson. But now that so much time has passed, I see that Matthew and April just… they fit. I’m not saying Jackson and April didn’t work––they did. But I think they had the kind of love that burns so bright and so fast that it ends up burning out fast, too. I’m fully aware that a lot of you won’t like that, and that’s fine. But I really do believe that Matthew and April are better suited for each other NOW than April and Jackson ever were. I mean, let’s be honest––how do you make a relationship work long term when your biggest and most unwavering belief totally contradicts the belief of your spouse? I just don’t see how that could ever work.
The Jackson and April love story was epic. Don’t think I’m taking away from that. I will always believe that they were one of the great love stories of Grey’s. I think what was so great about them was how much they were able to grow together, and unfortunately, that growth is what pushed them apart. It’s beautifully heartbreaking… they taught each other so much about love and about acceptance, and I think they’ll always love each other. But just not how a lot of people hoped they would.
While we didn’t get the epic flash mob proposal this time, what we got instead was so much better. Not better in the sense that the flash mob was bad, because it wasn’t. But better because it was so personal, so full of love and faith in the future. And the fact that Jackson was there for it? Full circle. Jackson knows that Matthew is the right guy for April now––he knows it and he’s happy for them. It felt like to me, in this moment, Jackson let her go.
We’re not going to see it, but I have a feeling April Kepner is going to soar. Her future is going to be tremendous. So, even though we had to say goodbye, I really think that her life is just starting.
And Arizona. Oh, Arizona. I’m really going to miss her. Part of me doesn’t even know what to say about her… nothing seems like enough. But I’m going to try. From the get go, we can tell that she doesn’t want the fact that she’s leaving to overshadow Alex and Jo’s wedding––I love that. It keeps the day happy. It kept the episode happy. We’ve had enough sad lately, we deserved a happy ending, don’t you think?
“I want today to be perfect, you know? Because if today is perfect, then somewhere down the road, you know, things get a little rough and someone leaves you or sues you for custody, you can always always look back on that one perfect day and it’ll remind you why you got into the whole thing…” ––Arizona Robbins
What she said during that scene with Alex was not just for him. I’m sure you made that connection. She was definitely trying to talk herself into (or reassure herself of) the decision she made to move to New York with Sofia. And more-so about seeing Callie again. They left each other on decent terms. Or as decent as you can leave when you’re sending your ex-wife and daughter across the country so that your ex-wife can be happy with her new girlfriend. Yeah, okay, it was a total mess. BUT. Arizona sent Callie to New York to be happy, so that counts for something, right? I think her little chit-chat with Alex sent her back to her own wedding day––it was perfect. And now we’re at the point where she’s reminding herself of how perfect it was because she’s about to see Callie face-to-face for the first time in a while. She needs to remind herself of how good it used to be, and maybe it’ll they’ll find that again. (Calzona really is endgame, can you believe it?!)
And then of course they had to go and ruin all of us by playing Sara Ramirez’s version of “The Story” (which she sang in the musical episode). I had made it through the entire episode without even coming close to crying and then BAM! Tears!
Before I talk about the rest of the episode, I want to say this: I know a lot of you were very frustrated with how April and Arizona’s stories ended. That’s okay, you don’t have to like it. But you do need to remain respectful. To everyone. There is no need for hatred. These characters you spent so long loving would want you to share their joy––they both got happy endings. And remember, they will always be there for you. No matter what.
I want to start off this section by saying that this episode was totally perfect for Jo and Alex. The complete disaster, hot mess of a day was so them. This was so much better than any perfectly planned wedding ever could’ve been for these two. Just look at their faces in that picture! They’re so happy!
But before I talk about Jo and Alex, I think I need to talk about Meredith for a few minutes. The first conversation Meredith has with anyone in this episode is with Zola, and it’s a surprisingly heavy topic for a 7 year old (that was a guess) to bring up. Zola asks Meredith if she’s ever going to get married again, which isn’t a crazy question––she’s old enough to know what that means and her uncle is getting married so it’s pretty natural that she’d ask. Mer’s answer didn’t come as a surprise either, she’s been saying the same thing for years now. It’s what Zola said after that that really shook me: “I don’t think love is like candy… I don’t think you can be too greedy for it and I don’t think you could fill up on it.” I took two things from this bathroom conversation: 1) Zola is way too grown up for my liking, and 2) girl pays attention.
I’m not sure that she remembers what Meredith and Derek were like together, but she sure as hell remembers Derek as her dad. And the way Meredith (and everyone for that matter) talks about him, she knows that her parents really loved each other. Zola wants her mom happy. It’s the most precious thing in the entire world. I kind of get the vibe that this scene was the all-clear for Meredith… her oldest kid is okay with the idea of her mom finding love again. I’m not saying Meredith needs a man––we all know she doesn’t. But Zola is telling her that it’s okay to want that again. And who knows? Maybe she does.
As if that conversation wasn’t enough to shake Meredith up, let’s have Jo run inside the house and announce that she got offered a fellowship in Boston. Which, if she were to take, would mean Alex leaving Seattle. Now, we’re all very excited for Jo, but I don’t think any of us want to see them leave, do we? I know I don’t. You can tell how shaken Meredith is by this news by the look on her face––she’s scared. She’s actually scared that Alex is going to leave, and she jumps into damage control. And I don’t blame her, either. If Alex leaves, who does she have left? He’s her person, and I’m not sure anyone else could take over if he were to move across the country.
And why not throw something else on top of Meredith Grey? Like her sister-in-law accusing her of being in love with her best friend! Yeah! Let’s do that! Look, I actually know a lot of people who would totally be down for a Meredith/Alex romance, but let me just say this: ABSOLUTELY NOT! I could barely watch that happen in that “If/Then” episode, there’s no way I could watch it actually happen. Anyway. Amelia asks her if she’s okay, to which Meredith replies that she’s less okay than she has been in a long time. And while Amelia thinks it’s because Alex is about to marry someone else, I think it’s because she’s terrified of losing him. But I also think there’s an underlying feeling going on, too. She really misses Derek. The conversation with Zola brought up old feelings, being at a wedding always brings up feelings, AND she’s on Bainbridge. There’s a lot of Derek going on for her… I’d be drinking, too. Desperately missing your husband and fearing your about to lose your best friend at the same time? Someone give the girl a hug and a shot of tequila. She deserves it.
*Sidenote: please tell me I’m not the only one that laughed out loud when Amelia said that she gets lost on the way to the bathroom. That was a total Caterina jab and I thought it was hilarious. In case you somehow don’t know, Caterina is known for getting lost trying to find the bathrooms on set.
“Alex is my… he’s my Alex. I just got happy in a world without Cristina and without Derek, and I don’t want to be alone.” ––Meredith Grey
While all of that was going down, Jo and Alex ran off to have sex in a barn, because why not? Jo’s probably on some kind of high from getting two job offers in one day (even if one of them has ulterior motives attached), and Alex is Alex so you know he’s down. And then, in true Grey’s fashion, they get stuck. This whole thing was so funny, I don’t even know what to say about it. I feel like it’s not that deep, unlike some other storylines we got. I mean, Jo and Alex have never had it easy, we know this. I feel like this day is the proof we all needed that their relationship has passed the tests––they thrive in chaos. And this time, that chaos included finding a corpse named Elden (if that isn’t the name of their first son, I swear…) and Jo takes it as a sign. This skull was a person with a full life––the kind of life that she wants with Alex. Only Jo Wilson could find a silver lining while stuck in a shed with a dead guy on her wedding day.
And then this happend. When I say I laughed out loud, I mean I HOLLERED. It was the funniest thing ever to me, mainly because I know that a sober DeLuca would never be so… um… forward? But the things Meredith was saying… he needed to hear them. And, honestly, so did she. I hope she takes her own advice here.
“Andrew, you’re young. And you have that face! You’re going to fall in love again. And you’re going to get your heart broken again. And that’s life. And it’s beautiful and it’s messy. It’s a beautiful mess. But you can’t cling to what was. You have to look to what might be…” ––Meredith Grey
That purple part? I did that on purpose. I think that was the point of this entire episode: it was a beautiful mess.
Obviously Alex and Jo’s wedding did not turn out the way it was supposed to. Not even close. But what they got instead was so much better. It was a huge moment for them, clearly, but it was also a huge moment for Meredith. I’ve been saying this for a while now, but I actually think this time it’s true: she’s letting herself be happy. Alex has reassured her that, even if he does go to Boston, he isn’t leaving her. That’s one thing she can stop freaking out about. Another thing? Instead of focusing on what’s missing, she’s allowing herself to see the beauty in ferryboats the way Derek always did. She’s realizing that life is truly one big, beautiful mess. And her life is still happening… and she’s got to live it.
If you thought I was done talking, you thought wrong. I’m not done. I think I’m almost there, but we’ve still got some things to discuss. Like maybe Teddy Altman showing up all pregnant and stuff? Yeah, that happened. Listen, technically this little detail was a cliffhanger, but you’re not stupid and neither am I. We know full well that baby is Owen’s baby. Why else would she hop on a 12-hour plane ride and then ask for a job? This should be interesting… and what is it going to mean for Amelia? Her and Owen seem to be getting along better now than they did when they were married. They’re pretty good at playing house, as Betty called it. I’m not seeing Amelia or Teddy being down for a sister wives set-up, so… this probably won’t be pretty next season. But it’ll be good drama, that’s for sure!
AND MY GOD THESE INTERNS ARE TOO MUCH. They are so funny, and I love how different they all are. Like, they each have very defining characteristics that we haven’t seen in a batch of interns in a while. I think Glasses and Helm are my two favorites. Glasses because I think it’s hilarious that a surgical intern gets sick at the sight of blood and also he’s a total klutz, and Helm because she’s basically the fangirl intern. She literally never shuts up about how in love with Meredith Grey she is, and it’s the best thing ever.
And then there was the scene where, if you watched closely, you could see Sofia, Zola and Zola’s friend dancing away in the background. It was cute as hell. And I saw on Twitter that Zola’s friend was actually a little girl from Debbie’s dance academy. *sigh* There’s really nothing cuter than little kids dancing, is there?
And just real quick a few more things that I literally laughed out loud about:
- The pinwheel being used for the trach on the wedding planner AND THEN SPINNING WHEN SHE STARTED BREATHING
- Also the fact that Jo didn’t even know who the wedding planner was even though it was her wedding
- THE SPANX !!!!!
- DeLuca’s drunken speech was classic
- Seeing Bokhee outside of the hospital… it was like the freakin’ Twilight Zone or something
- And finally, I didn’t laugh about this one BUT baby Leo is actually the cutest baby I’ve ever seen in my life
Okay, I definitely did not say everything I wanted to say, but this is over 3000 words now and I need to stop talking and eat something. (I’ve been writing this review for like 5 hours now, you guys.)
“Happily, there are other studies that tell us the real truth about the health benefits of marriage; which is that the benefits have nothing to do with marriage at all, because those studies have shown that staying in an unhappy marriage is the worst thing you can do for your health and for your children. So better health is a direct result of healthy relationships. You don’t need a spouse, you just need someone you can trust. You need someone you can talk to. You need someone who will celebrate your wins and grieve for your losses. You need someone who can forgive you. You need someone who will show up, no questions asked, and walk with you through every unexpected twist and turn life throws your way.” ––Meredith Grey
And there you have it. The season 14 finale. It was a good one! I’m not going to promise you reviews in season 15 because I’m going to be even busier than I was this past semester, so… maybe this is the last one? I don’t know. I hope not.
See you soon! (Maybe)