For one pair of couples, Grey’s Anatomy’s Season of Love was in full bloom in Thursday’s episode. For another pair, it appeared that the season was — and maybe the relationships were — as good as over. Was there any coming back from what transpired between Alex and Jo, and Levi and Nico? Read on, and after we’ve gone through the blow-by-blow, you can answer that question in the comments.
‘IS IT WEIRD HAVING SEX WITH A CARTOON CHARACTER?’ | As “Head Over High Heels” began, DeLuca got caught by Zola while he was sneaking out of Mer’s bedroom in the middle of the night. (You can watch the scene here.) When he went back in to inform his girlfriend that he’d been spotted, she took it fairly well, though it did mess up her plan to tell the kids about him over ice cream. As it was, the moppets only knew DeLuca from his post-Sam stint “as the sad guy from the couch.” The following morning, as Nico excitedly prepared to interview for a job in San Francisco, Levi eagerly suggested that he instead try to land a position in Seattle. Nearby, into the hospital walked a woman named Gemma (Jasmine Guy) who’d gone out dancing, had a few shots too many, taken off her shoes to make it up the stairs to her apartment and then fell on them, impaling herself with a stiletto! Richard, we soon learned, knew Gemma from AA. In fact, Ollie had also been her sponsor.
After Jo showed up for work looking like death warmed over, Alex, who was waiting for the extremely rare blood that Gus needed for his transfusion, predicted the worst for himself and his wife. He knew the drill, he told Meredith. The women he loves are “happy for a while, then they break, and then they leave me.” Have faith, his person replied, that “it’s not happening again.” In the lab, Koracick teased Amelia about her romance with “Ortho Barbie.” But, though she admitted that he wasn’t her type — a jock? Come on! — he was great. The sex was great. And as an added bonus, nobody cried after they were done. So the whole thing confused her. Suddenly, Tom got it: “He’s your Altman,” he said. In other words, someone so good and unbroken and kind that Amelia thinks he couldn’t possibly be right for her when he just plain is. Speaking of Altman, Amelia warned her pal not to get too attached. (A bit late for that!) “Owen and Teddy are inevitable,” she declared. However, since Koracick was headed into the O.R. with Link and Amelia to perform an experimental procedure that might give Carrie back the use of her arms, he wasn’t fazed. “Inevitable,” he insisted, “doesn’t scare me.” (On an unrelated note, how beautiful was Toby’s monologue about how hyper aware of their hands and feet they were since their mother’s accident.)
‘DOES IT INVOLVE ELECTRIC SHOCKS OF ANY KIND?’ | In therapy, Owen tried to make sense of his wanting to be with Amelia, then Teddy, then Amelia again after accidentally blowing things up with Teddy in Germany. Wait, accidentally? “Was it an accident?” asked his therapist. Owen wasn’t dumb and didn’t like hurting people. So why would he have blown it up? The therapist suspected that his patient was caught in a pattern, one that he could break free of if they could discover the event that caused the pattern to be formed. Using the NET technique — in which the therapist pushed down on Owen’s outstretched arm in order to detect stress-related responses as he asked questions — the therapist found that Germany triggered a response. “Do you feel distrustful of Teddy?” he asked. Had he ever felt distrustful of her? (Maybe Teddy is Owen’s Altman, too.) The patient was sure that they should be looking for trauma farther back, like during the Iraq war.
The therapist, however, went even father back than that, bringing Owen to age 10 and his science-bee victory. It was “the best I ever felt,” he said, choked up. Thing was, it didn’t sound to his therapist like it had been the best he ever felt. As the two of them dug deeper, Owen shared that that wondrous day had also been the day that his mother had told him that his father had died. As a result, Owen had never told her about his win; he’d been too ashamed to have felt happy at such a tragic moment. Aha, the therapist didn’t say but might as well have. Owen could have then gone forward undermining and stopping any feelings of happiness he might have experienced before the bad news that was sure to follow it could swoop in and ruin it. Major breakthrough for Owen! At the end of the day, Teddy, prompted by Megan, texted her babydaddy to make sure he was OK. He was, he assured her. The session had been hard but good.
‘I HAD ALL THIS HAPPY, AND I JUST TOSSED IT ASIDE’ | Recruited by Jackson to do what turned out to be grunt work, Jo refused to talk to him about Pittsburgh. “You were right” was all she’d say before observing that “this is a lab where boring things go to get more boring.” Still, Jackson persevered in hopes that he could make her feel “one drop less crappy.” Finally, when not guessing that Karev had asked him to talk to her, she opened up. Well, a crack. “I told you not to go looking [for your mother] if everything is OK,” Jackson reminded her, “so maybe everything was not OK.” But it had been, she insisted. She’d had Alex and her career, and she’d taken them for granted; now it felt impossible to get them back. Except, Jackson noted, she still had those things. And Alex would love to help her, so why wouldn’t she communicate with him? “‘Cause it would only hurt and not help,” she insisted. At last, Jackson admitted that it had been Mer who’d asked him to check on Jo, and it had been a good thing that she had. “You came to work drunk,” he pointed out. “You’re still drunk.” What’s more, if “you set foot in this hospital drunk again, you’re not gonna be met with compassion.”
When Alex returned home at the end of the day, stunned that Jo had been blotto at work, he again beseeched her to talk to him. “If you love me, you will let me… ” she began, vodka in hand. But this time, he wasn’t playing the “If you love me, you’ll… ” game. They’d been fine before she went to Pittsburgh, he noted, temper flaring. “So how about I go to Pittsburgh and find out what the hell happened to my wife? Huh?” At that, anger flashed in Jo’s bleary eyes. “I will talk to you when I’m ready to talk to you,” she said coldly, “and if you ever threaten to go to Pittsburgh again, I will leave you.” Oh, Jo. Nooo… In response, Alex drew a line in the sand. “If you ever come to work drunk again,” he said, “I’ll tell Bailey.” And something told me one of them would be sleeping on the sofa that evening… and maybe for quite a few evenings thereafter.
‘YOU’RE REALLY BATTING A THOUSAND TODAY’ | Circling back to DeLuca’s run-in with Zola, Mer asked if he even liked kids. Was she kidding, though? Based on his past interactions with 16 younger cousins, “your problem’s not going to be that I don’t like kids,” he told her. “Your problem’s gonna be that your kids might like me more than you!” While Bailey dealt with the fallout from Tuck hurting his father’s feelings by calling Ben dad, she got swept into the case of a woman who was surprised to find herself giving birth a day after she’d had her period. Since Dahlia had ordered a CT before anyone knew the patient was expecting, Miranda was able to discover that she had two uteri and was only pregnant in one. And right on cue, Mer and DeLuca delivered the newborn baby boy!
How had Bailey told Tuck that she was dating Ben? Grey asked later. In response, Miranda told her not to make a big deal of it. “All [Zola] wants to know is that you’re there for her,” she said, “and you’re not going anywhere no matter what.” Afterwards, DeLuca reported to Bailey that Dahlia had administered a pregnancy test, but since the patient had been so sure that she wasn’t pregnant, they hadn’t waited for the results. “Trust but verify” what the patient thinks, she reminded him so that his girlfriend wouldn’t have to. That evening, Mer sat down her kids to tell them that they’d be seeing more of DeLuca. And no, he wouldn’t be sleeping on the couch again. Zola immediately guessed that he was her mom’s boyfriend, and there was a good deal of “Ew!” about the prospect of the couple kissing. (Won’t someone think of the cooties?!?) But the kids took the news in stride. Zola only had one request: “Can he leave his guitar at home?”
‘JUST BECAUSE I MADE IT LOOK EASY DOESN’T MEAN IT WAS’ | After Nico once again impressed Levi with his surgical prowess, the would-be ortho god was dealt a blow when his patient, 21-year-old Josh, collapsed post-op en route to the bathroom. At the same time, Gemma made it clear to Richard and Maggie that she wanted nothing to do with him. After losing Ollie, he’d had his wife and kids. She’d had nada. And now she had a stiletto in her chest and a bottle of tequila waiting for her, she said. Before Maggie operated to remove the shoe, her dad told her that the last time he’d seen Gemma, she’d been getting a cake for 17 years of sobriety. He guessed that after Ollie died, Gemma, like him, had stopped going to meetings for a while. Only in her case, she’d fallen off the wagon.
Suddenly, Maggie had to run off to try to fix Nico’s mistake on Josh. It was OK, Richard said. He’d stay off of Gemma’s case as she wished, and would just talk Dahlia through the prodedure. Or so he said. Instead, he operated on Gemma himself. After he admitted to her that he’d done so, she threatened to sue, prompting him to call her an ungrateful, “stubborn drunk.” And just like that, they were laughing like old friends. Richard even encouraged her to start over at one day of sobriety. Meanwhile, Maggie found that she couldn’t undo or correct what Nico had done — Josh died on the table. “You made a mistake on a healthy 21-year-old man,” Bailey told Nico, the words hitting him like punches. “That man is now dead.” So he was going to accompany her to break the news to Josh’s grandfather, Pop Pop, a longtime patient of hers. “If you’re a good surgeon, you’ll remember it,” she said, “and you’ll never make this mistake again.”
‘I LOVE YOU… I DON’T WANT TO MISS IT’ | As the hour drew to a close, Maggie, exhausted, joined Jackson in the blue room. When he suggested they go to his place and order in, she noted that she needed clothes from her place, and she was so tired, she might just stay there. “Move in with me,” he said, turning to her. Off his conversations with Jo, he was determined not to take Maggie or their love for each other for granted. And based on her smile, I think it’s safe to say they’d very soon be living together. After Link, Tom and Amelia’s experimental procedure, it remained unclear whether Carrie would regain the use of her arms. Before she set off to ingest a culinary abomination with Link — sushi burritos… eesh! — she spent a last moment with Koracick to express her worry about how high he had his hopes up with Teddy. But “hope scares you,” he said. “That’s why you’re hiding behind a very pretty, very decent guy to cover the fact that you’re still hung up on Owen Hunt.” Amelia didn’t deny that she had lingering feelings for her ex. But she wasn’t using Link, she said. She was just choosing an “easier, softer” path, something she advised Tom to consider doing, too.
Last but not least, despite having had a day that shook him to his core, Nico still intended to do his Skype interview for his dream job. Why didn’t he just email them? asked Levi. Then they could get out of there and forget the horrors of the day. No way would Nico do that, he snapped, adding a layer of “Ugh!” to an already-ugly day. “You don’t get it,” he yelled at his boyfriend, “’cause you let failure hold you back your whole life. It’s basically your entire identity. It’s not mine.” And with that, he began his interview as if he hadn’t just been a total d—, and let Levi slip out of the room with a whole new — and not-remotely-appealing — perspective on his beau. So, what did you think of “Head Over High Heels”? Is the show going to break up Alex and Jo? Levi and Nico? (And please not my favorite… ) Teddy and Tom? Hit the comments with your thoughts/concerns/hopes/theories.