As the promos for this week’s Denzel Washington-directed episode forewarned us, “The Sound of Silence” focused on Meredith’s brutal attack by a patient. But that was hardly the only traumatic incident packed into the hour.
Read on, Valium at the ready, and we’ll go over not only the details of the assault but the heart-stopping moments that followed it as well.
‘THAT’S NOT A GOOD IDEA!’ | Early on, it almost seemed like it WAS going to be a light, quippy episode, as Grey Sloan-bound carpoolers Alex, Mer and Maggie were stuck in traffic that was so slow they were lapped by a bumblebee. The only dark clouds on the horizon seemed to be the facts that Alex was crashing in Amelia’s room, and — as Mer was quick to point out — “It’s not Amelia’s room anymore.” (Should we assume from this state of affairs that Jo turned down Alex’s proposal?) Deducing that the back-up was being caused by a whopper of a pile-up, Mer and Maggie leapt into action, with Alex reluctantly following their lead.
When the docs arrived at Grey Sloan with the accident victims, Mer’s very nice patient, Lou, required help from neuro, which Amelia — not just pissy but also off her game — refused to give unless he became critical. After Lou had a terrible seizure and lost consciousness, Mer wound up being left alone with him. When he suddenly awakened, he was at first disoriented, then disoriented AND violent. Tragically, though April and Nathan were mere feet away losing a patient of their own, they didn’t hear the altercation or see Mer being thrown against the wall.
THIS TIME, IT’S PERSONAL | After Penny discovered Mer bloody and bruised on the floor, Owen, Richard, Ben and April began furiously treating their friend. April asked if anyone had informed Bailey — as the chief, of course, she’d want to know what had happened. But Richard insisted that Miranda had enough on her plate at the moment; they could take care of Mer themselves. For his part, Ben couldn’t believe that Lou had beaten up Grey — he had been stable. “Hyperaggression can occur after a seizure,” Owen explained, with Richard adding that the attacker probably wouldn’t even remember what he had done. In no time, Alex — his face a portrait of sincere worry — had joined the team.
When Mer came to during the hubbub, she couldn’t seem to hear Maggie’s reassurances or anything at all. And she was in such excruciating pain that Amelia totally froze. Richard argued that Maggie shouldn’t treat a family member. But Alex pointed out that everyone in the room was Mer’s family. When Stephanie asked Mer to wiggle a finger, a toe, anything, the group at first feared that she was paralyzed. Thankfully, Alex deduced that she just couldn’t hear the request. Not ideal, obviously, but still better than paralysis.
‘YOU’VE GOT A LOT OF SNOT’ | After Mer’s treatment became as brutal as the attack had been — good God, the jaw pop was the stuff of nightmares! — we fast-forwarded to her in recovery, still deaf. As hours, then passed, Mer watched helplessly as friends like Alex and Callie spoke to her, and Richard physically ushered a drunk and belligerent Amelia out of the patient’s room. (Why did no one think to write the poor woman a damn note?) Finally, Mer got Penny to show her her injuries on an iPad, and Alex, finding his BFF sobbing, climbed into bed with her and made her laugh by telling her that she had a lot of snot — yeah, she heard him! Whew!
At halftime, Mer asked (via note, since she was on voice rest) what had become of Lou. Bailey informed her that he had recovered and had, as predicted, been unaware of what he had done. Upon learning that he had hurt Mer, he had asked repeatedly to see her, to apologize, but his victim was adamantly against it. In the evening, while Alex slept in Mer’s room, Jo snuck in to lay a blanket over him. (Sweet, but didn’t see that engagement ring on her finger, did you?)
In possibly the saddest moment of the hour, Alex brought Mer’s kids to see her, and Zola was too freaked out by her mom’s wired-shut jaw to go near her. Afterward, Mer freaked and urgently, wordlessly demanded that Penny cut her loose, which she did. Happening upon the scene, Jackson yelled at Blake that she “could jeopardize the entire healing process” by doing that. In response, Penny — seeming to find her voice at last — shouted that she knew what she was doing, and since Mer needed some air, “I got her some damn air!”
‘FORGIVENESS IS A POWERFUL THING’ | Later, seeing Amelia in the hall, Mer threw a drink out the door to get her in the room. Since Mer couldn’t speak, Amelia did. She explained that she had been trying to figure out how to make amends, that she talked too much and felt too much, because it was what kept her sober. Since the monologue didn’t heal the rift between the two, Richard wheeled Mer outside, told her how terrible Amelia felt about blowing off her consult request and encouraged her to “forgive [Amelia] for not being Derek,” because it would be good for her as well as her sister-in-law.
As the hour neared its end, we learned that Jackson had served April with divorce papers. (To put it mildly, she wasn’t taking it well.) Mer did eventually meet with Lou and his family, allowing him to tell her how truly sorry he was. In turn, she took his hand — a powerful sign of forgiveness. Later still, Amelia showed Mer the chip signifying the 30 days of sobriety. “I’m trying,” she said. “I know you are,” Mer replied — the wired off at last. “I’m just not ready to forgive you yet.” (“Yet” — that’s a hopeful word, at least, eh?) Finally at home after six weeks, Mer told Alex that she was okay, and that it was okay if he had more than one person. And since Jo Post-It-on-the-wall loved him, he should go be with her — which he then did. (But how did you read her expression when he showed up at the door? To be continued… )
OK, your turn! What did you think of the midseason premiere? Hit the comments!