Hello, snapbacks and crabapples! Have you recovered from the Grey’s Anatomy midseason finale, or are you still picking pieces of Calzona shrapnel out of your bleeding, broken heart? I have some more sad news, so gird your loins: Gabby, our longtime Grey’s recapper/perfect human person, has one zillion commitments and won’t be able to recap the back half of this season. We will miss you, Gabby!
But I have some fun news, too: There’s going to be lots of lesbian, bi and trans stuff happening in the remainder of season 11, which means you’re gonna want your recaps, and that’s where I come in. My name is Jenn. You may know me as Heather Hogan‘s sister, or you may not know me at all, and that’s okay too. We’ll get to know each other here!
Below are catch-up recaps for episodes 1109, 1110 and 1111. Tomorrow, I’ll bring you a full recap of last night’s episode, “The Great Pretender.”
I’m happy to meet you, and happy to be recapping for The Greatest Website of Our Generation, and happy we have each other to hold onto as Shonda Rhimes continues to rip out our hearts while dancing around and gleefully and waving her magic wand of emotional torture. Shondaland, baby; it hurts so good.
Previously at Seattle Grace Mercy Death, Arizona and Callie forgot that they already have one kid they never see, and thought maybe they’d get another one, like a couple of Bette Porters and Tina Kennards. Arizona took a fellowship with Dr. Geena Davis, much to Callie’s displeasure. She wanted a baby and she wanted one RIGHT NOW, and she was NOT KIDDING, not even a LITTLE BIT. Arizona and Callie had some LOUD SHOUTY therapy that my therapist would probably call “unproductive.” We were treated to a montage of those many moons ago when we actually liked Arizona and Callie, and they actually liked each other. It was the last dying, gasping breath as Calzona tried to hang onto their relationship with bloody fingernails, but had to let go.
Bailey continued to be underused. Alex managed to exist in a state of behaving like he is the possessor of all knowledge in the known universe while simultaneously looking like he’s locked in a dungeon of his own stupidity. Derek continued to stagger under the weight of his own manpain. And other people were there as well, doing hospital-type things on a semi-regular basis.
Episode 1109: “Where Do We Go From Here”
Where indeed, you guys? Arizona, in a desperate effort to gain control over something after her marriage is left in shambles, has decided to fix Dr. Geena Davis’s inoperable tumor. Dr. Geena is having absolutely none of it. When she finds her scans and records and who knows what all up in the magic room of 3D tumors, she flips her shit and starts screaming at Arizona and Amelia that “THAT’S MY TUMOR. MY TUMOR!” Arizona, who committed about four hundred and seventy-three HIPPA violations obtaining Dr. Geena’s records, laments that she is too pretty for prison — Arizona, sweetheart, I’d like to introduce you to a couple of ladies called Alex Vause and Sophia Burset — so she has to convince Dr. Geena to give her a just one more last chance, lest she end up in Litchfield where, let’s be honest, she wouldn’t last a week.
Now you know as well as I do that the doctor/patient symbolism can get a little heavy handed on this show, but watching Arizona beg Dr. Geena to fight for her life is pretty shattering.
Arizona: If there is even the slightest bit of hope, don’t you want to know that?
Dr. Geena: Can you name the single worst most malignant symptom of terminal cancer? It’s hope…and every time the hope goes, it takes chunks of you with it. Until you only find comfort in the one thing you can count on—that this thing is going to kill you.
Oh Arizona. Oh Dr. Geena. Oh, ladies!
In the OR, April and Meredith are working together on a patient who is in some kind of distress that is not essential to the plot. Jackson, justifiably freaking his shit out about the knowledge that something is very wrong with the bun in April’s oven, is scrambling around trying to figure out how to help. I guess now that Derek is gone, we need another man to start talking down to ladies, so he sends Dr. Ginger into the OR to kick out April.
April is working away like a boss, doing surgery things, and Dr. Ginger comes into her OR and literally says to her “I’m tagging you out.”
Further behaving like a boss, April asks if it’s an order. Dr. Ginger tells her that he’s asking. She replies “Well then, my answer is no.” At that, Dr. Ginger tells that nope, he’s changed his mind and it is an order.
“Fine,” April says, and sadly does not stab Dr. Ginger with a scalpel on her way out of the OR.
April and Jackson are in an impossible situation, one I can’t even fathom, and it’s hard for me to judge how either of them are behaving. It’s so awful.
But Owen. Owen has absolutely no idea what’s going on, or why Jackson wants him to remove April from her OR, and he does it anyway. He stops her doing her from job, talks down to her in front of her colleagues, and removes all of her agency simply because another man told him to. How messed up is that? I miss Cristina, but man oh man am I happy she’s away from this controlling jerkface.
You, sir, are no Weasley, the gold standard to which all gingers are held and judged.
April and Jackson are not okay. They don’t understand why this is happening or what they’re supposed to do now. I wasn’t sold on them together at first, but the way the two of them are handling this storyline is making me root for them pretty hard. Unfortunately for them, this is season 11 and by now we know that Shonda Rhimes bathes in our tears every full moon, and I’m afraid her stores are getting low.
Episode 1110: “The Bed’s Too Big Without You”
Arizona is super excited about it being her turn to live in the revolving house of horrors built by Ellis Grey so many deathly moons ago, when gas was cheap and love meant boinking co-workers at all hours of the day, all the time, ever. Oh wait, no, the opposite of that. She absolutely cannot sleep, because Alex and Jo are making that loud sort of good-time love that is annoying as all hell if you’re not the one making it. Luckily for us, she’s being annoyed in some sheer red lingerie. After I have my heart broken, I like to wrap myself up in a variety of blankets, and then maybe fashion a set of jammies out of old chocolate wrappers and kittens, but Arizona’s heartbroken pajama game is next level. Thanks, Arizona.
Callie and Owen meet with a woman, whose name I can’t remember but whose cheekbones would be useful weapons in a street fight, about some transducers (at this point I think they’re just making up words) for their robotic limbs for veterans program. She pins Callie to the chair with her sex-eyes and literally says the words “sexy as hell” and “dying to climb into bed with you” to her. Get in there, lady. Except no, don’t. That’s not for you!
After the lady leaves, Callie turns immediately to Owen and tells him he should go for it. Owen, displaying the same level of awareness that God gave a bushel of corn, thinks Callie is talking about the transducers. Callie displays a level of restraint she’s not typically known for and doesn’t smash Owen in the face with a transducer. “You, idiot,” she says while looking perfect. “She wanted to get all up on Major Hunt for reasons that do not interest me at all.”
“Wow, did you read that wrong,” Owen says, which is the only correct thing he has ever said.
Callie and Owen shimmy across the street to have a drink at Joe’s, making me want to hit my own face with a transducer. Callie’s hair is magnificent. She looks like someone just tumbled her out of bed. Or into bed. I don’t know, whatever. She looks good, is my point. She’s also that sort of wingman you take out with you and who spends the whole night accidentally making everyone fall in love with her. She sees Faith, the lady with the cheekbones and the transducers, and goes over to make an adorable attempt at setting up Owen, who sits in the corner where he belongs. Faith laughs and laughs and tells Callie that no, she is not interested in any part of Owen’s major anything.
“Oh,” Callie says. “Oh.”
Yeah, Callie. Oh.
Callie rambles and rambles and turns bright red, and Faith leans in to her and says, “You’re gorgeous, by the way. Do people just tell you that all the time? Because you are gorgeous.”
Okay, Faith. I rescind my earlier statement. You can maybe get up on that a little. Girl could teach a master class on game and the having thereof.
“I would love to love that,” Callie says. “I’m just not ready.”
Me neither, darling. I’m not either.
Episode 1111: “All I Could Do Was Cry”
Nothing good ever comes from getting your own voiceover episode of Grey’s. Either you’re about to hurtle through a windshield, or you’re about to almost die of cancer, or you’ve just been shot in the chest. When “All I Could Do Was Cry” starts with April’s voice, we all know we’re in for a rough go of it. I don’t know about you guys, but I started crying about three minutes in, and didn’t stop.
There is, as always, all manner of hullabaloo happening around Grey Sloan Memorial. Callie, Bailey and Mr. Bailey deal with a patient whose husband has both accidentally shot and accidentally impregnated her. Not at the same time, obviously, but she does deliver a baby while bleeding profusely from the gun wound in her neck, which is gross. Callie catches the baby, and doesn’t smuggle it into her scrubs and make a break for it, so that’s good. That’s a little something we call character growth. You go, Callie. Four for your, Callie. (Wait, come back here with those babies! I didn’t mean four babies!)
Meredith wanders all around—the chapel, the reception desk, wherever—trying to find a babysitter so she can jet off to DC for a weekend with Dr. McManPain. I assume they need to write down their feelings on Post It notes and passive aggressively bait one another. Sounds super great. I’d rather crab-walk up the Washington Monument—not the steps, the actual side of the Monument—but whatever. You do you, Mer. A girl’s got needs, and I suppose a flight to DC is both quicker and cheaper than one to Switzerland. She eventually agrees to leave Zola and little Bailey with her half-sister, Dr. Pierce because she bakes cookies. There are worse criteria for a babysitter, I suppose.
My major Grey’s goal is to bring you all the gay, but this episode is short on that. Frankly, there’s not room for it. Every other ounce of emotional space in this episode is eaten up by the home-fucking-run that Sarah Drew and Jessie Williams collectively knock out of the park. Because April is pregnant, but their baby is sick—terminally so. April and Jackson, confused and heartbroken, make the impossible decision to induce April’s labor early and let the baby die.
Sarah Drew is so unbearably good in this episode, her emotion so raw and authentic that I quite literally had a hard time watching. She’s remarkable in every way and at every turn. She refuses to sign the death certificate for the baby before he’s born, refuses to be induced before choosing a name for her son. They’re only going to have a few minutes with him, she says, and she doesn’t want to spend that time trying to figure out what to call him. Unable to move forward, she leaves her room and actually puts on a gown and goes down to the E.R., where she ends up comforting a woman who lost her fiancé the night before. It’s in this comfort that she finds the strength she needs to go back upstairs and have her labor induced.
Samuel Norbert Avery. Norbert for Avery’s uncle, and Samuel, which means Name of God.
He dies in April’s arms, after squeezing her finger once. I sob for the rest of the night. So do you. Don’t even try to lie to me.
Next time on Grey’s: Just bring tissues and whiskey, okay?