'Grey's Anatomy' Season 15 Episode 18: Pregnancies, Pronouns, and Professionality (RECAP)

Dan Clarendon
Spoiler Alert ABC/Eric McCandless

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 15, Episode 18 of Grey's Anatomy, "Add It Up."]

There’s a ton of disparate drama in the March 21 episode of Grey’s Anatomy — Season 15, Episode 18 — and we can’t quite “Add It Up.” (Ba-da-boom.) So we’ll cover it piecemeal, starting with the patient-of-the-week storylines.

Two emergent patients arrive at Grey Sloan via helicopter: the genderqueer, nonbinary Toby and their mother, Kari, who were both involved in a snowmobile rollover. Richard (James Pickens Jr.), Jackson (Jesse Williams), and Helm (Jaicy Elliot) treat Toby’s vascular trauma without much complication.

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Well, OK, some complication: Richard has a hard time acclimating to Toby’s pronouns, saying that using they/them pronouns to refer to a single person is “wholly unnatural” and “grammatically incorrect.” Helm points out that the phrase “grammatically incorrect” is itself ungrammatical, and… goodness, are we suddenly Hellmouth fans?!

Unfortunately, Kari doesn’t fare as well. Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) and Link (Chris Carmack) discover she suffered extensive injuries to her spine, and under the knife, her spinal cord swells, rendering her a paraplegic. Toby doesn’t know how to care for their mom now, since Kari was always such a self-sufficient force of nature. Jackson, who’s still grasping for answers with Catherine’s cancer diagnosis, tells them, “I have the same mom. The smart, fearless, always-has-more-answers-than-you mom.” He tells Toby what he has learned recently: that his mother has already passed along all he needs, as Kari has done with Toby.

(ABC/Eric McCandless)

On a lighter note, Amelia and Link are trying to avoid the topic of their one night stand, but Maggie (Kelly McCreary) puts two and two together when Amelia tells her she had “insanely good sex” in San Diego and then Link casually mentions to Maggie that he just got back from San Diego. Despite Amelia’s insistence that her hookup with the handsome ortho doc was just a one-time-only event, she ends the episode making out with him (and, let’s face it, probably doing more).

Meanwhile, Alex (Justin Chambers) and DeLuca (Giacomo Gianniotti) are treating with 11-year-old Nora, a longtime hereditary pancreatitis patient of Alex’s who is finally getting a pancreatectomy. But the long-awaited operation is postponed when Alex sees that Nora’s glucose level has spiked. DeLuca later discovers an empty juice box in Nora’s hospital room. Turns out, Nora was sabotaging her own surgery because she doesn’t want to return to the hell that is middle school, where her peers tease her for her mathematical brilliance.

(ABC/Eric McCandless)

DeLuca basically yells at Nora’s mom, Eileen, to do whatever she has to do to save Nora’s life, and Alex threatens to fire him. Eventually, DeLuca talks Nora into the surgery, giving her the equivalent of the It Gets Better spiel. “We’re all a bunch of nerds here, and we all like you a lot,” he says.

Alex boots DeLuca from the pancreatectomy nonetheless, explaining that DeLuca projected his lingering drama with dad Vincenzo onto Eileen. He’s also mad that DeLuca has been ignoring the overtures of support from Meredith (Ellen Pompeo), who spends most of this episode working on her digestible diagnostic device (slash, scribbling on a notepad). “When people reach out a hand, you don’t bite it,” Alex tells DeLuca. “I did that for years. The only thing it gets you is that people stop reaching out.”

DeLuca finally asks Mer over to his place. She accepts the invite but tells him that she’s done obsessing about whether a boy will call or text. He tells her he just needed a minute to process his daddy issues. She says that now she needs a minute… but her minute ends when she sees the mouth-watering dinner DeLuca has prepared for her.

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Oh, while we’re on the topic of nerds, the more bookish of the Grey Sloan docs get into an informal math showdown, during which Jackson handily solves a calculus problem that’s been stumping Maggie (Kelly McCreary). “I want you to know I will never, ever forgive you for that,” she tells him. And speaking of Maggie, she’s doing research on alternative therapies for blood pressure, setting up a room filled with plants, a room illuminated with blue light, and — much to the delight of Bailey (Chandra Wilson) — a room for the sole purpose of playing Tetris on a jumbo screen.

Last but not least, Teddy (Kim Raver) freaks out when she thinks she’s having contractions. Carina (Stefania Spampinato) tells her she’s experiencing cervical insufficiency. Owen rushes to her aid, leaving Koracick (Greg Germann) alone in the childbirth class they were both attending. Owen helps Teddy perfect her baby talk and even reclines a hospital gurney to join her in the head-down, feet-up Trendelenburg position.

(ABC/Eric McCandless)

That’s where Koracick eventually finds them, and he’s none too happy that Owen didn’t page him. Once they’re out of Teddy’s earshot, Koracick warns Owen not to make a play for Teddy, especially since Owen opted to pursue Amelia. “She deserves to be with someone for whom she is the first and only choice,” he says. Touché.

The episode ends with Alex getting home to find that Jo (Camilla Luddington) has returned from her trip to Pittsburgh. He’d spent all day trying to reach her, but she was presumably preoccupied with connecting with the mother she learned about last episode. Now, however, she’s asleep, so he kisses her and heads offscreen. But she wasn’t really sleeping, as she reveals when she opens up her eyes, which look swollen from tears. Yikes. And the promo for next week’s episode has her confronting the woman she believes to be her mom, played by television pinch hitter Michelle Forbes. Plus, the promo carries a “viewer discretion advised” warning for “sensitive subject matter,” so we’re already braced. Till next week, Grey’s fans!

Grey's Anatomy, Thursdays, 8/7c, ABC