‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 18 Episode 2: Is Meredith Leaving Seattle? (RECAP)
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Grey’s Anatomy Season 18, Episode 2, “Some Kind of Tomorrow.”]
Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) didn’t keep us waiting long to find out whether she’s moving to Minnesota to find a cure for Parkinson’s. She told potential boss Dr. Hamilton (Peter Gallagher) her decision at the end of Grey’s Anatomy’s October 7 episode, “Some Kind of Tomorrow.”
Back in Seattle, though, Richard (James Pickens Jr.) is filling in for Meredith, trying to get the residents up to speed in their COVID-19-delayed education. He hosts the Surgical Olympics, offering a rare solo surgery to the resident who shows the best proficiency in a variety of skills. Schmitt (Jake Borelli) wins, and as his prize, he gets to remove a healing amethyst “yoni egg” from the stomach of Jo’s patient. (That woman wanted to eat a strawberry and insert the amethyst in her vagina, but she got flustered and mixed up the two.)
Jo, by the way, finally works up the courage to drop Luna off at the hospital daycare. Oh, and she fixed her mess of bleached hair into a wavy blond bob, so all is well.
Speaking of surgeons and their progeny, Teddy (Kim Raver) and Owen’s (Kevin McKidd) child Leo is still dressing up as Elsa from Frozen, and Teddy is having doubts about whether that’s a good thing. “I want Leo to be okay in the world,” she tells Owen. “And I’m worried that the world won’t be kind.”
Owen, however, gently puts her back on track. “Maybe it will be,” he replies. “But we won’t be. Leo’s happy. Let’s just let him be happy.”
And speaking of Owen: He, Cormac (Richard Flood), and Megan (Abigail Spencer) treat a father and son who were in a car crash. The son, Danny, escapes major injury. But the father, a veteran named Noah, starts coughing up blood. He reveals he has pulmonary fibrosis as a result of encountering burn pits during his tours in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. (His case is based in reality: Real-life members of the armed forces have developed pulmonary fibrosis and other health conditions from run-ins with burn pits.) Owen wants to march in to the Veterans Affairs office and demand that they pay for Noah’s treatment, but Noah resists treatment and ultimately checks himself out of the hospital: He just wants to have whatever time he has left with Danny.
The other patient of the week is Rashida, a patient with chronic kidney disease who doesn’t qualify for kidney transplants because her eGFR number is too high. Winston (Anthony Hill), her doctor, realizes that eGFR formula is racially biased, since it’s based on the assumption that Black people have higher muscle mass. As he tries to explain to Rashida’s nephrologist, the eGFR formula “unjustifiably uses race as a factor.” (Again, and unfortunately, this storyline is also based in reality. That racial bias is very much in play in the eGFR formula, according to researchers.) Eventually, after Rashida develops superior vena cava syndrome, Winston bucks the rules and gets Rashida on the transplant list, and Rashida tells him that he not only saved her life but changed her life.
OK, back to Meredith and her big decision. At the very start of the episode, Nick asks her out by slipping a note under her door. She says yes, but first, she has a day of decision-making in front of her.
Hamilton has also flown Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) to Minnesota, too, because Meredith wants her help. Amelia gets amped up about the prospect of solving Parkinson’s with cutting-edge technology and brilliant doctors, including one Dr. Kai Bartley. “People with Parkinson’s need more than just hope,” Amelia tells Meredith.
But Mer is still on the fence. That night, though, she goes on her dinner date with Nick (Scott Speedman), who has set up a headlight-illuminated nighttime picnic for the two of them. And during their meal, Mer confesses to Nick that the only thing holding her back is her ego: She knows the Parkinson’s project is risky, and she doesn’t want her first post-COVID project to be a public failure.
Finally, though, she heads back to the lab and tells Hamilton her conditions for accepting the job offer: She wants autonomy over the work and her team, and she wants any results to be shared freely with the public. She also wants to move the project to Seattle, and that’s the one stipulation Hamilton can’t abide. So Mer proposes a compromise: She’ll work from a remote lab in Seattle and fly to Minnesota once a week. He agrees, and they’re in business together!
Meanwhile, it seems like Mer’s Grey Sloan job as residency director might be over almost before it began. Bailey (Chandra Wilson) is concerned about surgeon burnout since she has people quitting right and left, so she wants to bring the joy back to the workplace and remind her surgeons about the why of the work. And Richard, elder hospital statesman that he is, tells Bailey he has ideas on that front. “Big ones,” he adds.
We’ll probably hear about that next week… as we reconnect with a certain surgeon!
Grey’s Anatomy, Thursdays, 9/8c, ABC