'Grey's Anatomy' Season 16 Episode 4: Meredith Grey, Whistleblower (RECAP)
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 16, Episode 4 of Grey’s Anatomy, “It's Raining Men.”]
Remember when Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) wanted to write a series of articles about the broken medical system in America? Yeah, her editor went ahead and published all of her pitches as a list of grievances with the headline “Hospital Hell at Grey Sloan Memorial: Fired Surgeon Speaks Out,” and it’s quite the bombshell in Grey’s Anatomy Season 16, Episode 4 — a.k.a. October 17’s “It’s Raining Men.”
The doctors who, you know, still have jobs at Grey Sloan are equal parts awestruck and irritated, since they commend Mer’s ballsiness but condemn the headline. It’s a PR nightmare, and patients are even canceling appointments and surgeries. When the editor refuses to change the misleading headline, Meredith—who, by the way, is still working community service—tells her work crew supervisor that she has to leave work early, promising to make up the hours. (Oh, and Cristina texts, telling Mer to leave her Seattle troubles behind and move to Switzerland. Come back, Sandra Oh!)
Mer heads to GSMH, finds Bailey (Chandra Wilson) in her office, and tries to convince her that she had nothing to do with the headline and that she wasn’t trying to burn bridges. But Bailey has already taken it personally, especially since Bailey spent so many hours of her life—hours she could have spent with her family—teaching Mer everything she knows.
Later, Mer finds DeLuca (Giacomo Gianniotti) and lets him know she received a court summons. (Apparently, her supervisor was unmoved by her promise to make up the community service hours.) DeLuca tells her he wishes she could have finished her hours and then tried to fix the system from the inside, especially since her medical license is on the line. He reminds her that she once told him to develop an instinct for self-preservation. But Mer says that if he thinks she’d sit on her “mountain of privilege” and not take drastic action, he doesn’t know her at all.
Meanwhile, Koracick (Greg Germann) is trying to do spin control by operating on a young craniosynostosis patient named Clervie pro bono. It’s not exactly selfless, though—he’s having the whole process filmed for a Grey Sloan publicity campaign. Clervie’s parents are uncomfortable with all the cameras—especially when Koracick tells the father to recite his tearful monologue again somewhere where he wouldn’t be so backlit—but what choice do the parents have? Enter Jackson (Jesse Williams), who tells the parents that he and Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) will do the operation with no fee and no cameras. He knows that Koracick is going to be irate. (“Added bonus.”)
Jackson and Amelia construct a new skull from scratch for little Clervie, and a predictably irate Koracick finds them in the OR. Jackson reminds him that since the Catherine Fox Foundation is his family business, he’s actually Koracick’s boss. But Koracick tells Jackson that Jackson doesn’t know the error of his ways: Mer’s article threatens not just Grey Sloan but all the Catherine Fox hospitals. Jackson, unswayed, tells Koracick to recite that whole monologue again somewhere where he’s not so backlit. Hah!
Jackson’s smugness doesn’t last for too long, though: Schmitt (Jake Borelli) tells him that not everyone has the luxury of a stable career. The residents are all nervous about their jobs at a hospital that’s now under the microscope. (Oh, and speaking of the residents, Bailey appoints DeLuca as Chief Resident now that someone named Dr. Kang quit. Who is this Dr. Kang? We’re not sure either.)
The other patient of the week is Alicia, a young woman who was hit by a man falling out of the sky. Apparently, the man tried to hitch a ride on a jetliner out of desperation by stowing away in the wheel well, but he fell out midair and hit Alicia on the way down. Alicia dies on the operating table, despite the best efforts of Maggie (Kelly McCreary) and Teddy (Kim Raver). Teddy is especially shaken by the case, saying it’s not just the medical system that’s broken but the whole world, and here she is bringing a little girl into that broken world.
Link (Chris Carmack) breaks the news to Josh, Alicia’s boyfriend. The grief-stricken Josh tells Link that he and Alicia liked to just sit in the grass and enjoy life, taking a cue from the YA novel about the teen couple with cancer. (You know the one!)
Realizing that life is short and that it’s foolish to avoid risks to avoid pain, Link goes home and tells Amelia he loves her.
Meanwhile, Teddy finds Owen in the hospital lobby, as does Koracick, who tells Owen that he’s dropping the restraining order since the hospital needs all the good doctors they can get. But Owen doesn’t want his job back. You see, he spent all day at Pacific Northwest, having traveled there via ambulance with a trauma patient who refused to be treated at Grey Sloan post-exposé. Once at Pac North, Owen connects with Alex (Justin Chambers), who offers him the position of Head of Trauma and the chance to build the department from the ground up, so to speak. And Owen takes him up on that offer! (The Grey’s writers are really committing to this whole Pac North diversion. Are we gonna get another inter-hospital softball game?)
Oh, and in other life-changing news, Bailey has Maggie give her a blood test since Bailey has been feeling overheated for days on end. With results in hand, Maggie tells Bailey that Bailey is both perimenopausal… and pregnant! What the what?! Bailey and Amelia are both pregnant? Do we spy a joint baby shower?! See you all next week, Grey’s buffs!
Grey’s Anatomy, Thursdays, 8/7c, ABC