RECAP: “Grey’s Anatomy” Season 20, Episode 9

May 27, 2024

BY Joelle Boedecker

We’re in the final stretch Grey-niacs, and in this episode, the “shit hath hiteth the fanneth.” Because this is a shorter season, all the season-long arcs are coming to an end or a climax in the next episode. I have no doubt we’ll be left with cliffhangers; we already have a big one this week.

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“I value your opinion, but… you’re a resident.”

Jo and Link celebrate her last day in General Surgery. On her first day as (only) an OB Resident, Wilson asks Link for a consult. She is worried about a patient with a cyst. Link recommends doing the surgery, but Wilson thinks it’s unnecessary. Later, Yasuda approaches Wilson about scheduling the patient’s surgery. Wilson is still planning the conservative approach, but Yasuda informs her that Link talked to Dr. DeLuca, her attending, and the patient has agreed to surgery. Wilson is pissed! And for good reason, he undermined her, went to her superior and reversed her decision behind her back. In front of Yasuda, Link reminds Wilson that she’s a resident. When we next see them together at home, Jo and Link apologize to each other. Jo has learned a valuable lesson not to mix work and personal life. And this appears to be the overall theme of this episode. 

“I don’t think that either of us have strong enough feelings to prioritize this relationship over everything else.”

Yasuda is still giving Helm the cold shoulder, and Helm still seems miserable. Later, Yasuda approaches Helm and puts them both out of their misery by actually breaking up. The wording of her breakup (see heading above) is the most pragmatic version of “I’m just not that into you.” And oh, how painfully relatable it is. Their power dynamic never sat well with me, leading to misunderstandings, unfair advantages and disadvantages, and two sad surgical residents. (1 ended relationship)

“Put eyes on the heart. And we’ll go from there.”

Dr. Maggie Pierce has returned to Grey Sloan with her look on point! Richard greets her as she exits the elevator, clearly delighted to see his daughter. Winston also arrives in the lobby to greet, and it’s as awkward as expected. She’s here to see her first-ever Seattle patient, Brady, who she gave a new heart to many years ago. His transplant heart is failing, and they need to put him back on the UNOS list. He now has a very loving boyfriend who wants to propose, which is when Brady starts crashing, and they need to put him on ECMO. Adams runs off to contact UNOS about his critical condition.

Meanwhile, teenage pediatric patient Mason needs new lungs. We learn that the lungs and heart are a packaged deal, so they will be taking out his perfectly decent heart for the surgery. Griffith asks if it will be transplanted. That’s when Ndugu realizes this heart could go to Pierce’s patient. He sends Griffith on a life-saving mission to determine if the heart is a match and viable.

Griffith comes running to Maggie to tell her about Mason’s heart—it’s a match, and it’s ready today. Pierce is cautiously optimistic. She needs both permission from UNOS and to “put eyes on the heart.” Then, Pierce and Adams come into the surgical suite for Mason’s surgery to examine the heart. And we’re a go for a domino heart transplant! Ndugu is talking to Pierce while also getting the heart pumping. Mason’s old heart is not a good physical fit, but Ndugu thinks they can use bovine tissue. Meanwhile Schmitt is closing up Mason, and Beltran gives Schmitt a compliment. Which delights him.

Pierce and Ndugu reminisce while working on this heart with curious interns (Griffith and Adams) watching over their work. They repair the heart and get ready for a second transplant. After both surgeries, all the doctors update the families of Mason and Brady. The Brady’s and Mason’s families embrace. That was a beautiful moment.

As Maggie and Winston leave the hospital, they are sharing more memories. Maggie tries to kiss him and he pulls away. He reminds them they are past tense, and he hands her the—finally!!—signed divorce papers. Maybe Winston can finally move on? We needn’t wait long. Monica and Winston are bonding over their wild day and also being newly divorced when they get very close. The next thing you know, they’re tearing each other’s clothes off while stumbling into an apartment. And all I’m thinking about is poor Amelia. She put herself out there last episode and was awkwardly rejected-ish by Monica, and now this is happening. Sad souls find each other instead of the people who want them. This doesn’t seem like it’ll go anywhere, but I’ve been wrong before.

“Is this how you hold a ten-blade?”

Inside the Grey House in Boston, we get a glimpse of the Grey-Shephard kids and their normal life. Zola is practicing cutting with a ten-blade, and the other two are excited about something with stripes. I’m not really sure; it’s not important. Nick shows her the houses he’d like to get so they can all live together. And Meredith is distracted. As the episode unfolds, we see Meredith continue to choose her research, choose her work, over working on building a real relationship with Nick. Meredith is trying to have it both ways with Nick. Nick wants stability, he wants to live with Meredith, he wants to marry Meredith, and she is shocked. Obviously, they are not on the same page at all.

“People could be diagnosed before they’re symptomatic.”

Amelia arrives at Meredith’s front door, having flown to Boston seemingly in seconds when she finds Catherine in her lab. Meredith and Amelia move in to rush to the finish line. Side note: Meredith’s glasses are fabu-fucking-lous. They need Teddy’s help to rush the work using interns. Meredith insists that the plan remains, they will not tell Catherine, not ask for her approval, and they will publish an abstract first. Amelia hates this plan, fears losing her job, and is suddenly upset that this research invalidates Derek’s work. Meredith reminds her what’s at stake for her. I think we can all agree Derek would be all about this work if he were still around and this is a fabricated concern. Later after the interns send the data and Meredith validates all the numbers, we see the words “95% confidence” on screen.

“I have written a code that will do the work for us.”

Teddy puts Millin and Kwan to work to help rush the data entry for Alzheimer’s research. Kwan and Millin are arguing over who will do all the work when Millin shows Kwan the code she wrote to do the data entry work for them. Side note: They were given printed binders and computers. It seems like this is a manual data entry task. How will a script speed that up? But I love the ingenuity, even if it is absolutely not based on reality. Millin and Kwan are fight-flirting, their favorite activity, when they decide they can have sex in the on-call room while the data does its thing. Millin and Kwan start emotionally connecting which is when they both jump ship before it gets too far. These two have so much more chemistry than Simone and Lucas, and their “will they won’t they” is fun to watch. Unlike…

“I always thought I’d do Neuro”

Simone and Lucas are still hooking up. Oh, they’re so passionate—how exciting. All I see when I watch them together is how this cranky jackoff is bringing her down. She deserves SO much better than him. When we next see Adams, he’s been called into Chief Altman’s office, where she and Bailey inform him that his punishment for his role in Sam Sutton’s death is remediation (starting the intern year over).

Adams is on Pierce’s service today (kind of his Aunt or something), and he’s running off to help save a life when Griffith finds Adams to tell him she wants to set up another hookup. Being awful at handling stressful situations, Adams tells Griffith about his demotion, and she immediately apologizes and blames herself. Don’t be that woman, Simone. You told the truth about the behavior of this dude with a ‘tude, don’t regret telling the truth now. These two are exhausting. 

After an amazing and successful domino heart transplant, Adams is coming down from the high and is reminded that he’s going to have to repeat his Intern year. That’s when Pierce finds him and, without knowing his situation, offers him a designated cardiothoracic resident position in her cardio team in Chicago. TAKE IT! TAKE IT! Go away! Please! He questions going to cardio when he always thought he’d go into Neuro. As the nephew of two neurosurgeons this is his destiny, but honestly, this guy? Really? He’s no Derek or Amelia Shepard. He tells Simone he’s considering taking the position, and she gets all sad face, but my face… No sadness here!

“I didn’t say I understand.”

At the beginning of the episode, we see Owen showing Teddy his work in bed (that’s not a euphemism) when he reminds her he’s still waiting for her on the funding for his project. She tries to buy herself more time but has no idea he’s already approached Catherine, and she’s already committed. The next morning, Catherine is checking in on Amelia’s lab. And she clearly seems to have figured out the research going on is for Alzheimer’s research, and it must be the forbidden Meredith project. Amelia and Teddy have contributed to this behind her back. Amelia immediately takes all the research and runs it to Boston, then they call Teddy to warn her. 

After Teddy gets an update from Amelia and Meredith back in Boston, she turns to Owen. They both catch each other up on what Catherine does and doesn’t know about the discretionary funding, and Owen recommends that Teddy talk to Catherine. That doesn’t sound like a great idea, but Owen’s not exactly tuned into women’s brains. This feels like bad advice, and very naive. Catherine has many irritants, but the top of her list are subterfuge and people undermining her. Teddy confesses to Catherine, who offers her a compliment sandwich, that she’ll compliment her for her honesty and then turn around and fire her. Teddy calls Meredith at the end of the episode to say she’s been fired. Adios to your funding, Mer! Hopefully, you don’t still need it.

Teddy getting fired gives me mixed feelings. I love seeing a woman in charge — Bailey, Meredith, Catherine, and Altman — but I don’t think she was great at it, and it is certainly not very exciting. Granted, she was given just a handful of episodes to set herself up after her recovery. So, she had little runway to establish herself. I don’t yet know what she brings to the role, and I think this may not be bad. It would be much more exciting if they brought fresh blood for this role. I’m very curious about where this will go. Catherine likes to make big waves. She could do something more than just make this a revolving door of bored surgeons…

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