Post Mortems
greys anatomy season 13 episode 18 recap kelly mccreary interview

Grey's Anatomy's Kelly McCreary Talks 'Unresolved' Issues, 'Irrelevant' Nathan and a 'Messy' New Romance for Maggie

Warning: The following is virtually wall-to-wall spoilers for Thursday’s Grey’s Anatomy. If you’ve yet to watch, you might want to put off reading.

Well, we knew it didn’t look good for Diane when ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy promos called Ellen Pompeo’s directorial debut “the most emotional episode this season.” So it probably wasn’t a total shock that, after Maggie learned her adoptive mother’s cancer had spread, ignored Meredith’s advice and pushed the patient into a painful clinical trial, she still lost her. Here, Kelly McCreary, who gave a crushing performance as Dr. Pierce, takes TVLine through the heartbreaking hour, which concluded with Richard flying in Maggie’s adoptive father and forgiving Bailey for her betrayal, and Mer warning Nathan that her half sister would need her for a while (meaning their date would have to wait).

greys anatomy season 13 episode 18 recap post mortemTVLINE | Were you relieved that Maggie got to make peace with her mother well before, you know, the end?
Yeah, that was a huge source of relief. She got to be totally on Diane’s team for the whole journey. But what’ll be interesting to see is what else was unresolved when Maggie comes to certain points in her life in the future — like when she walks down the aisle and her mom won’t be there.

TVLINE | As much as Maggie lashes out at Meredith in this episode, it seems like this shared experience ultimately can only bring them closer.
The loneliness of losing a parent is isolating, I think, so Maggie spends a lot of time pushing people away in this episode. But, in the end, her sisters [not only Mer but in-law Amelia] keep showing up no matter how much Maggie pushes them away, and that’s the last image that we’re left with — that they’re going to be there for her no matter what. And eventually, once she’s able to sort of let them in again, they’ll be there.

TVLINE | Which sets it up for it to hurt even worse when Maggie finally finds out about Mer and Nathan.
Absolutely. But [on the other hand, Meredith and Maggie have] gone through something so extreme together, and I think the whole Nathan question has been completely irrelevant this whole time. So when it comes up again, I think it becomes about weighing, “Oh, there’s this guy that I liked” against this life-and-death experience that they’ve shared.

TVLINE | In Part 1 of our interview, you mentioned that Maggie’s an optimist. Does losing her mom change that going forward?
No. That’s who Maggie is at her core. I don’t think that this is going to change that. But I do think she’s going to take to heart all of that lovely advice that her mom gave her in her final moments, when she told Maggie to just live life more fully and give herself permission to be a little messy.

TVLINE | Maybe even romantically messy?
Well, since all the single-ish guys [at Grey Sloan] are in these sort of ambiguous relationships right now, getting involved with any of them might give Maggie something to be messy about. I’d be game if it gives Maggie a chance to be a little less reined in!

What did you think of “Be Still, My Soul”? First-time director Pompeo? With whom would you like to see Maggie paired? Hit the comments.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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44 Comments
  1. msstargate says:

    An excellent and gut wrenching episode. Kept hoping a miracle would happen but not meant to be.

  2. kn1231 says:

    ‪With the episode being Maggie-centric I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it, but that dinner scene when they all lose it about Meredith & Richard washing Ellis’ ashes down the scrub sink was perfection. It gave me a glimpse of why I still stick by this show! Scenes including the whole ensemble are what can save this show! Shonda, we need more of that! I also love the Sister scenes, and this episode was full of them!‬

    ‪Yeah, the Maggie stuff was sad but I just don’t relate to the character that much. There’s just something about a grown woman calling her mother “Mommy” that I can’t get on board with (even in the situation where her mother has just passed away). I’m really hoping with her mother’s passing, Maggie grows up because she’s quite immature.‬

    ‪Also, as I feel this was one of the better episodes of the season, I’m going to attribute that to Ellen directing! Congrats to her for putting together a pretty great episode! Very exciting moment for her, and I’ve been loving all the praise she’s been getting from the cast on her work.‬

    • Coconuts says:

      I am 30 and I call and will always call my mommy, Mommy. I don’t think shes immature. Why would you think that?

      • kn1231 says:

        My feelings about Maggie being immature go far beyond this episode. And to each their own I guess, I just find calling your mother “Mommy” as an adult to be juvenile. Obviously you have a different experience with that than I do, and I respect that.

    • 3dogsattheranch says:

      So she can’t say “daddy” either? A lot, and I mean a lot, of Southerns call their fathers daddy.

  3. Anne says:

    I wasn’t a fan honestly. Nothing against the acting or directing but it felt a little rushed. And a little emotionally manipulative. I knows Greys is a drama but when they’re actively trying super hard to you make you cry, it falters. That’s what I felt this ep.

    • Gospino says:

      I feel little emotional attachment to Maggie and her mom, so I didn’t really get into the episode. Good acting and directing, just I didn’t care all that much about the central characters,

  4. Amber says:

    I really think this season’s secret theme is “saying horrible, awful things to hurt people so they feel the way I feel”. Meredith didn’t deserve to have her mom thrown in her face. Maggie the kid needs to grow up. Even her dad didn’t want to deal with her childish behavior and didn’t show up until the very end. The only good thing to come out of this episode is seeing Mr. Beyonce’s stepdaddy play a character who isn’t some kind of abuser.

    • Coconuts says:

      Childish behavior? She was freaking out over her mother. There is no right way to deal with that. I dont get why everyone is judging someone on how they handle these situations? And her dad didn’t want to deal with her? Didn’t you see that Webber was the reason that he was able to be there? So what do you mean by: “He didn’t show up until the end”?

      • Amber says:

        We’ve watched other characters on this show lose parents. None of them acted like Maggie. You’re right, there is no right way to act during this situation but Maggie acts like she’s 11 ALL THE TIME. I don’t know who on the writing team thinks that’s cute but it’s not.

        • LaShunda says:

          Not sure if you caught it but Maggie was a child prodigy. She was far beyond her years academically but behind socially. You can see that with the way she deals with relationships. We learned more about Maggie through her mother. The Pierce’s have treated Maggie like she will break. They lied to her pretty much her entire life because they didn’t want to break her heart…soooooo it’s probably the reason why she seems to be immature.

          • Dee says:

            Thank you!!! I had started to think no one followed closely enough to remember she was a PRODIGY but me!!!! She is supposed to appear socially immature BUT calling her mother mommy shouldn’t have anything to do with it😃
            Great episode Ellen😃

        • Terri Durrence says:

          As a niece who lost my aunt to ibc nearly 20 yrs ago to the day, I really appreciate this storyline. Thank you Grey’s, Shonda, Latanya, Kelley. Great directing debut Ellen Pompeo.

  5. Larc says:

    Why would Maggie have to get linked up with a guy at Grey Sloan? Kelly McCreary sounds as if Maggie has no other options.

  6. Jennifer says:

    I just don’t care for Maggie or Amelia. The episode was not for me.

    • abz says:

      Amelia was barely a presence in this episode. And the moments she was in I felt were some of the most powerful parts of the episodes with the sisters coming together on the couch and with the lasagna at the end.

  7. Tahina says:

    Another good reason why I’m still attached to this show. Good story lines and great acting! Now got to add very fine directing debut(and difficult) by Ellen,and Latoya Jackson( Mrs. Samuel L Jackson) Richardson was an excellent addition to the story. Sad she won’t be coming back. Kudos to all!

    • Antwon303 says:

      You are correct about her husband, but just and FYI the actresses name is LaTanya Richardson-Jackson….not Latoya.

  8. V says:

    I hope Maggie is reborn after this episode. I never cared for her, but after this great episode, I want to like her. I hope a change in her is coming.

  9. Coconuts says:

    I LOVED THIS EPISODE! ugh FINALLY! Maggie is my favorite character and I absolutely hated 85% of season 13. This episode made me cry so much. LIKE TEARS. OMG. One of the best episodes in my opinion. So emotional.

  10. Martina says:

    I have yet to see the episode but one thing that baffles me is, why would Maggie still be upset about Meredith and Nathan? I thought she gave them their blessing?

    • Stacy says:

      Um, nope. That storyline has never been resolved.

    • kn1231 says:

      She basically did when she commented that Meredith really understands Riggs. And while Maggie didn’t come out and actually give her blessing (because she still doesn’t actually know about the relationship), I would find it weird if she were upset by it after that conversation with Meredith.

  11. Jim says:

    “Tell Meredith not to sleep with Alex Karev.”

  12. N says:

    Loved it! So sad

  13. abz says:

    Honestly, even with the few episodes we’ve seen with Maggie’s mother, I still became very fond of the character. I know Maggie can be annoying, but I never really hated the character. It was definitely a gut-wrenching episode. I wish we have more dinner scenes or group scenes like this one (side note: dinner scenes never seem to go well…the Penny dinner scene, this scene, the one where Bailey’s dad was over after her divorce, etc.).
    I loved seeing the sisters together again…perhaps the writers can work on rebuilding and strengthening the bond between Amelia and Meredith at some point.
    I wouldn’t say her character’s death was as significant as more impactful characters like Lexie, Mark, George or Derek, but her death reminded me of Henry’s death which is one of the show’s most heartbreaking deaths for me as I adored Teddy’s character or Susan’s death too. This show really has a way of bringing on guest characters and getting you attached to them and reminding you that they can rip them from you as soon as they bring them on.
    Also I really enjoyed some of the music in the episode, however I wasn’t a fan of the “Closer” cover. It just felt like an odd choice and kind of took me out of the episode for a moment.
    And thank you for ending this rift between Bailey and Richard. I’ve been sick of it.

    • Tennisnsun says:

      I really enjoy the group scenes much better than the blood and guts surgery ones. It annoys me that they are holding someone’s life in their hands while chit chatting about nonsense. For my preference the music is overwhelming at times. I cannot hear what the characters are saying. I think the story line is far more important.. Been a fan since the beginning though and plan on seeing it through.

  14. Dominique says:

    not all that impressed with the episode. the storyline was heartbreaking and ellen pompeo certainly did a good job with her directing debut.
    but i just don’t care about maggie. and this episode only emphasized that. she was brutal. her mother was dying of cancer but the treatments were killing her. and even in the end, diane didn’t want to give up on the treatments for maggie. and maggie just kept pushing her, and her comments to meredith about ellis…
    i understand losing a parent is painful, and especially when you’re a doctor because you know exactly what’s happening. but man maggie was insufferable.
    and on that note; i think something should slip shonda rhimes a note that strong women are not women who only yell, and fight and stand up against everything and everyone just for the sake of it. and on GA, especially maggie, amelia and bailey have become like that.

    • Hannah says:

      I think the problem with Maggie was that she was coddled and spoiled her entire life. She was an only child who was a prodigy from the beginning (reading on her own at 2, genius kid skipping grades, youngest cardio chief, etc.), so her parents gave her everything and probably never told her “no” in her life. On top of that, she has been painted as the anti-Meredith – she’s bright and shiny and never lost anyone in her life (I think it was mentioned early on that even all four of her grandparents are still living). I don’t think it’s an accurate assessment to say that she was “brutal” – rather this was the first time in her life that her brilliance couldn’t save something that was important to her, and she fell apart.

  15. Carmen L Mercado says:

    Great episode. I think Maggie should get paired with someone outside of The Hospital. Jackson belongs with his wife Kempner. Good job Mer.

  16. Grace says:

    ant to see more of a happy Mer. has a great laugh and what happened to Thorpe. He was to be waiting for Mer. don’t Just dumped him from show. bring him back. they had fun together and Mer needs fun. Need Apr/Jackson back together. Losing the originals. they were great. New guys not good replacements. You can do better. Tired of sad Mer.

  17. want to see more of a happy Mer. has a great laugh and what happened to Thorpe. He was to be waiting for Mer. don’t just dump him from show. bring him back. they had fun together and Mer needs fun. Need Apr/Jackson back together. Alex and Jo. Losing the originals. they were great. New guys not good replacements. You can do better. Tired of sad Mer.

  18. Rosslin Dias says:

    Absolutely heartbreaking, real and breathtaking. Way to go Ellen!

  19. Maggie does not deserve Nathan he needs Meredith and vice versa Maggie needs Jackson .Yeah Give Meredith Nathan .

    • Stacey says:

      Jackson belongs with April, it’s clear that he still loves her.
      Meredith deserves way better then Nathan. They should put her with Alex or bring back the hot army surgen that Meredith first dated after Derek’s death.
      Nathan can go away, and if Meggie doesn’t grow up she can go with him

  20. BrianR says:

    Shinda must not like her mom because she has killed three of them on this show.so far.

    • Hannah says:

      A lot of characters are killed off – parents, children, siblings, spouses, etc. It’s a TV drama that has run for 13 seasons, so that’s going to happen. Idk why people are always trying to link stuff to Shonda Rhimes’ personal life lmao

  21. katsssblog says:

    I know it’s a medical drama, and that it is supposed to be sad, but I had hopes that this would be a happy ending. It’s a tv show, but it’s always hard to watch those emotional episodes. I want a happy episode.

  22. Yoko says:

    Good episode. Let’s not see Meredith and Riggs get together again ever! Give Maggie a nice story line and bring in some new people as the show is getting stale really fast. Worst season ever and Shonda DO NOT put Meredith and Riggs together! BAD chemistry. Yuck

  23. Robbin Heard says:

    I watched the show from the beginning season one throughout, GREAT JOB Ellen!
    Please tell me Maggie in Jackson will get together Pa pa pa please💖