‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Midseason Premiere: A Tale of Two Love Triangles (RECAP)

Spoiler Alert
ABC/Eric McCandless

If your New Year’s resolution was to bear witness to as many love triangles as possible, the Grey’s Anatomy Season 15 midseason premiere — January 17’s Episode 9 — will put you much closer to your goal. But if your resolution was to overcome your fear of elevators, maybe don’t watch “Shelter From the Storm.” Here’s a blow-by-blow — ahem, no pun intended.

Let’s start with the plot point ABC promos already gave away: Owen (Kevin McKidd) tells Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) that Teddy (Kim Raver) is pregnant, and Amelia realizes it’s his baby. Since they’re still trapped in the elevator with the patient impaled by a license plate, the docs have a ton of time to talk about it. Owen and Amelia realize Teddy came to Seattle because she was pregnant, but just then, their patient starts crashing.

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The docs decide to do surgery right there in the elevator — Season 1 flashbacks, anyone? — and Amelia watches on as the two trauma surgeons work in perfect sync, even finishing each other’s sentences. Owen realizes he can use the license plate to crack open the patient’s chest, and he and Teddy end up saving the guy’s life. Meanwhile, Teddy tells Owen he can stay with Amelia — though she still wants him in her baby’s life — and Amelia offers him time to weigh his options.

(ABC/Eric McCandless)

All this lifesaving and love triangulating leaves Betty (Peyton Kennedy) to her own devices, which isn’t the best for a teen with an addiction problem. Richard (James Pickens Jr.) puts her to work in the ER but later finds her rummaging for drugs in a supply cabinet. At the end of the day — literally, not figuratively — Amelia asks her to go to rehab, and Betty consents.

(ABC/Eric McCandless)

In another elevator, Bailey (Chandra Wilson) and Helm (Juicy Elliot) are stuck with the braindead patient whose organs will be donated to Cece (Caroline Clay). Both docs start panicking, despite their best efforts to stay calm. Luckily, however, Jackson (Jesse Williams) and Link (Chris Carmack) are able to pry the elevator doors open with the help of Jay, a hospital maintenance guy with a debt of gratitude to Cece. The docs are able to get out of the elevator safely, but the car starts moving as Jay is clambering out. (You saw that coming, right?) His legs are gruesomely crushed, and after the docs take him to the OR, Link thinks the only option is amputation. Jackson, hero that he is, inspires him to do everything they can do to save the legs. When Jay wakes up post-surgery, he has both hope and jokes. (“I gave this building everything, and then it tried to eat me.”)

Much to Bailey’s frustration, Alex (Justin Chambers) had been marooned at home because of the storm, but when the roads clear, he leaves a drunk Jo (Camilla Luddington) and arrives at the hospital — where, of course, he finds a post-coital Schmitt (Jake Borelli) and Nico (Alex Landi) putting on their clothes in that Sex Ambulance. Bailey has Alex take over for her in the OR so she can mind the hospital, and Alex thinks she’s taking back her Chief of Surgery job. But really, Bailey informs him, her anxiety is getting the better of her and she was worried she wasn’t fit to operate. She texts hubby Ben for a status update, and Ben texts back to say he’s fine, and she breaks down in Alex’s arms, begging him not to quit.

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On a lighter note, Schmitt and Nico are confident Alex will fire them for their workplace hookup, and Schmitt’s poor choice of words doesn’t help matters. “He was blown in the ambulance bay,” he tells his colleagues, referring to the wind gusts that threw Nico for a loop. Alex calls them over for a lecture on the proper protocol for Grey Sloan Memorial nookie: “On-call rooms, storage closets, that weird little radiology room on 4 — those rooms have locks, understand?”

And in yet another elevator, Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) is stuck with DeLuca (Giacomo Gianniotti), who passes the time by alternately flirting with Mer and sharing his family history, sometimes in Italian and sometimes in English. His father, it turns out, is a famous Italian surgeon who operated on patients during manic episodes — sometimes to fatal results — and used his money and influence to cover his crimes. Then again, he was also a good dad to DeLuca, so it’s complicated. DeLuca also tells Mer, in Italian, that he wants to start kissing her and never stop. Then Mer responds, in Italian, that she happened to study that language during undergrad. Translation: She understood everything. They go in for a kiss, but of course, the elevator doors open right before they lock lips.

(ABC/Eric McCandless)

Sprung from that Elevator of Love, Mer helps Maggie (Kelly McCreary) with Cece’s surgery. The heart transplant goes well, but Cece dies during the kidney transplant. As Mer tidies up, she gives the deceased Cece an update on her romantic prospects with both DeLuca and Link, knowing that the matchmaker would have been gratified to know she’s dating again. “I’m having fun,” Mer tells her. “And when I do, I hear your voice.”

Elsewhere, Maggie briefs Jackson about the cancer prognosis facing his mom, Catherine (Debbie Allen). Jackson realizes there’s nothing he can do to treat her. “I’ve never felt less like a doctor in my life,” he says. Then they team up to deliver the grim news to Richard.

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And at the end of the episode, Meredith — who somehow found time to braid her hair — runs into DeLuca, who suggests that they go on a date, and then Link, who’s ready for his date with her. She chooses neither and opts to go home to her kids. But if you remember the Season 3 premiere, with Mer choosing neither Derek nor Finn, you probably knew that would happen!

Grey’s Anatomy, Thursdays, 8/7c, ABC