After what only felt like a decade of buildup to Meredith’s exit from Grey Sloan — and Ellen Pompeo’s departure as a Grey’s Anatomy series regular — the doctor at last scrubbed out in Thursday’s midseason premiere. But the conclusion of the long goodbye wasn’t all bear hugs and champagne toasts. Read on, and we’ll discuss the confrontation that was perhaps overdue as well as how — if! — it was resolved.
‘I’LL PROBABLY BE BACK NEXT WEEK’ | As “I’ll Follow the Sun” began, the residents competed to see which of them would be allowed to scrub in on the groundbreaking partial heart transplant that Maggie and Winston were going to perform on baby Arlo. Mika, already having a s–t day, owing to her house/van being towed, quickly became frustrated by her less-than-stellar stitching and ran to Joe’s to get a tutorial from Helm. (Hello, sparks!) When Arlo’s mom got cold feet, it was Amelia, recalling her experience with ill-fated Christopher, that changed her mind.
After Maggie and Winston pulled off a miracle in the O.R., the marrieds finally talked about their fight in the midseason finale (recapped here). Apparently, in the two weeks that had passed on screen, he’d been waiting for an apology for her remark that she didn’t respect his willingness to change specialties to save their marriage. But at this point, he realized that no “I’m sorry” was forthcoming. What’s more, he realized that over the course of their relationship, he’d overlooked his wife’s coldness, an aspect of her personality that he didn’t respect.
‘I HATE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS DAY’ | Speaking of couples at a crossroads, Meredith and Nick also had it out. He was mad that she hadn’t returned his call. She was mad that he hadn’t said “I love you” back to her. He was mad that she’d decided to move without talking to him. She was mad that he’d sent such mixed signals that she’d thought it was OK to decide to move without talking to him. In disbelief that his (ex?) girlfriend was blaming him for the state of their relationship, he stormed off in a huff. (Oh, children — please!)
Thankfully (?), Mer and Nick soon had a more pressing issue to resolve: Kids-book author Tessa was back and bleeding out. Lucas wanted to fight to send her to the O.R. immediately but didn’t for fear of what others would think. As a result, she later died on the operating table. Afterwards, Meredith made her feelings as plain as she could. “I want you in my life if you want to be in my life,” she told Nick. “But if I have to choose, I pick me, I pick my kids, and I pick what’s best for us, and I am not going to beg you to love me.” Well said, Mer. Later, licking her wounds with Simone, the intern was able to cheer Mer up by revealing that Tessa had saved her last book on a thumb drive.
‘THIS PLACE WON’T BE THE SAME WITHOUT YOU’ | In other developments, Teddy pitched herself hard to Richard as a potential new chief. Then, when he offered her the job, she asked to think about it. (D’oh!) Jules traded Blue the story of why she feared babies for another hookup. And while the staff of Grey Sloan made toasts to Meredith and ate bar-mitzvah cake (thanks to a bakery screw-up), Taryn poured out some whiskey and candor for Nick at Joe’s. The gist of her scolding: Meredith is amazing and for some reason loves him, and if he blows it, he’s an idiot.
Off Helm’s lecture, Nick tried to make it to the airport in time for a cinematic reunion with Mer. When it became clear that he would be too late, he phoned to say that he loved her, and she… pretended that she couldn’t quite hear him. (D’oh!) As the hour drew to a close, Maggie asked to spend the night at Amelia’s new place, and Lucas and Simone both showed up at Mer’s smokehouse — Amelia had invited him to stay there, and Mer had invited her. The temptation to hook up was there, but Simone, who’d only recently been engaged, didn’t want to put Lucas through a rebound — especially not now that they were roomies.
A third wheel was on the way, anyway: Maggie had invited Mika to stay at the house, too. Sure, it had a hole in the attic, but there was no beating the rent. So, what did you think of the midseason premiere? Grade it in the poll below, then hit the comments. How much will you miss Mer — that is, if you will?