‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 18 Episode 8: One Doc Goes Over the Edge (RECAP)
It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
Season 18 • Episode 8
If last’s week’s Grey’s Anatomy felt a little anticlimactic, December 16’s installment—Season 18, Episode 9, “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear”—certainly made up for lost tension! Just ask the three surgeons teetering on the edge of a precipice in this midseason finale’s literal cliffhanger.
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Grey’s Anatomy Season 18, Episode 8, “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear.”]
As the episode starts, the Grey Sloan surgeons are getting ready for the holidays—and for a busy day at work. Link (Chris Carmack), who apparently has another day off, tells Jo that he’s flying to Minnesota to get Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) back. Jo, who has newfound feelings for Link, feigns enthusiasm for his romantic gesture.
Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) and Amelia are back in Seattle, along with Kai (ER Fightmaster) and David (Peter Gallagher). They’re using Grey Sloan’s OR to try their experimental Parkinson’s treatment on David, who’s getting “star patient” treatment at the hospital. Richard (James Pickens Jr.) doesn’t really think David deserves that VIP label, even though Kai says that Minnesota doesn’t have many stars. (“Prince was from Minnesota,” Richard argues.)
Jo is surprised to spot Amelia back at the hospital, and she does the honorable thing and calls Link to tell him not to get on his flight to Minnesota. And later, Link finds Jo at the hospital and rehearses what he’s going to tell Amelia when he sees her. That involves Link telling Jo, who’s standing in for Amelia, that he loves her. That Jo cannot catch a break!
Before his surgery, David apologizes to Meredith for being so hard on her during the research phase. She’s acting nonchalant, but later, once Amelia starts running through the steps of the surgery, Mer vomits. Certainly seems like she’s feeling the stress!
But it’s all for naught: David develops a perforated bowel, and so the research team has to postpone the operation and seek a new window from the FDA. Facing a weeks-long delay, David pressures Meredith to lie to the FDA, but she refuses. She says, in so many words, that they can’t jeopardize their Parkinson’s research for one rich white man, when so many other Parkinson’s patients are waiting on a cure.
So David undergoes his emergency ex-lap to fix the bowel. But things hit a snag: Meredith has to rush into the OR when Nurse Linda informs her that David is hypotensive. (Cliffhanger #1.)
Amelia finds Kai pacing outside the hospital and calms them down by having them picture themselves in an idyllic setting. “Did you just guide-meditation me?” Kai asks, inching closer. “It didn’t not work.”
And with that, Kai and Amelia finally kiss. And of course, Link emerges from the hospital entrance just in time to see Amelia in a liplock with someone else.
Meanwhile, it’s Wright’s (Greg Tarzan Davis) first day as a resident at Grey Sloan, and he impresses Bailey (Chandra Wilson) by cursing through a bowel resection without her help. He tells her he knows his surgeries forwards and backwards. He doesn’t want to learn how to operate, he wants to learn how she operates. (That’s also why Wright respectfully opted not to do Richard’s resection method. Sorry about your ego, Richard.)
Levi (Jake Borelli), meanwhile, isn’t having such a good day. He and Helm (Jaicy Elliot) are assigned to perform an ileostomy takedown operation on Devon, a podcast host Levi recognizes, to treat the guy’s ulcerative colitis. Levi, feeling cocksure, doesn’t wait for an attending before he starts the critical part of the surgery. He just forges ahead, confident that the surgery is “routine” for him at this point. He was wrong, of course. Devon starts bleeding uncontrollably, and by the time Bailey, Richard, and Maggie arrive, Levi and Helm are soaked in blood, as is the OR floor. Bailey, looking gutted, has Levi call time of death. This seems like the kind of mistake that could the Webber Method, if not Levi’s medical career. (Cliffhanger #2.)
Maggie, by the way, spent the episode being skeptical about her bio dad’s teaching method, and Devon’s death could be an I-told-you-so moment for her.
As if all that weren’t dramatic enough, Megan’s (Abigail Spencer) son, Farouk, gets a donor heart in this episode, just in the nick of time. Megan was just telling Cormac (Richard Flood) that if Farouk dies, she does, too. She doesn’t want to be in this world without her. (Cormac, as you might expect) looks very concerned.
Speaking of Cormac, he has a sweet moment with Meredith in the attending’s lounge: She tells him not to be blue about his late wife this Christmas, since she now has reason to believe that dearly-departed spouses are always with us. (Thanks, Dream Beach Derek!) And Mer also thanks him for talking to her about her kids while she was unconscious with COVID-19. She says she heard what he said, and it helped.
Cormac, Owen (Kevin McKidd), and Teddy (Kim Raver) head off to Tacoma to pick up the donor heart ahead of Farouk’s heart transplant, and en route, Cormac sounds the alarm about Megan’s emotional state. Owen tries arguing that Megan has been through worse, but Cormac isn’t so sure. “She’s profoundly depressed,” he tells Owen and Teddy.
On the way back from Tacoma, however, the driver of the car loses consciousness. Owen tries grabbing the wheel, but the SUV flips and lands on the edge of a steep cliff. Owen, Teddy, and Cormac try escaping through a broken window, but the car keeps sliding down, threatening to tumble down the embankment at any moment. The docs realize that they only need two passengers in the car to balance out the weight, so Owen and Cormac send Teddy to take the donor heart—which is still in good shape, miraculously—and find help. Teddy does so, taking one last look at Owen through the windshield of the car.
The car keeps lurching down, and Owen commands Cormac be the next person to leave the vehicle, reasoning that Cormac can’t orphan his kids. But Owen tells Cormac one thing, in case it’s their last conversation: He says that he gave his burn-pit patient Noah the drugs he needed to die, and he plans to do so with three more veterans in similar situations. (That’s certainly a shocker, but we trust that Owen is acting out of mercy and not murderousness.) He tells Cormac to find Noah’s widow, who has a list of names.
And with that, Cormac tries scrambling out of the car fast enough for Owen to do the same, but the car tumbles down the embankment before Owen can get to safety. Cliffhanger #3!
So that’s where we are leaving things for more than two months. See you in February, Grey’s fans!
Grey’s Anatomy, Season 18 Midseason Premiere, Thursday, February 24, 9/8c, ABC