'Grey's Anatomy' Season 16 Episode 12: Stone Cold Fox (RECAP)
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 16, Episode 12 of Grey’s Anatomy, “The Last Supper.”]
One of the cardinal rules of Grey’s Anatomy is that no dinner party can ever go well, so Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.) and Catherine Fox’s (Debbie Allen) get-together with Maggie Pierce (Kelly McCreary) and Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams) in Season 16, Episode 12—a.k.a. February 6’s “The Last Supper”—was doomed from the start, even without all the underlying relationship drama.
Catherine and Richard intend to tell their kids that they’re separating—guess that “much bigger conversation” last episode wasn’t so conciliatory—but Jackson and Maggie mistake the dinner for an anniversary celebration. Worse yet—for this particular context, anyway—Jackson invited his girlfriend, Station 19’s Vic (Barrett Doss), who invited fellow firefighter Dean (Okieriete Onaodowan), who happened to ask Maggie out not so long ago. (Jackson offers to get everyone wine, quipping, “Let’s see if Maggie’s left us any.”)
In light of the unexpected dinner guests, Catherine and Richard decide not to drop the separation news. Regardless, things get awkward fast, even during happy hour. Maggie accuses Jackson of being a serial monogamist: “You couldn’t even go on your nature walk without getting entangled with some woman named Kate.” Dean botches a joke about Vic’s appetite: “She’ll put anything in her mouth.” And Vic mocks Pac-North, Richard’s new workplace: “We used to call that place ‘The Morgue.’”
The tension eases somewhat after Vic and Dean ask about Richard and Catherine’s love story Maggie shares the story of Catherine’s marriage proposal, and Jackson calls them the “gold standard” of relationships. And during a private moment in the kitchen, Richard and Catherine wonder if they’re being too hasty with their separation. The proposal story reminded them both of the great love they had—and still have—for one another.
But Richard still wants Catherine to apologize for not standing up for him. “You said a lot of things, but ‘sorry’ wasn’t one of them,” he says. Catherine tearfully apologizes—with a “Sorry, but…” mea culpa that Richard contends is a non-apology. “It’s too little, Catherine,” he asserts. “It’s too late.”
The dinner only gets worse from there. Richard starts texting at the table, and Catherine accuses him of chatting with some “Pac-North heifer.” But it’s not any sidechick—it’s Alex approving Richard’s idea of offering Maggie the Pac-North cardio chief job. Catherine, realizing that it’s war between her and Richard now, drops the bomb about the separation. And with that, the dinner is effectively over.
Catherine retreats to the kitchen, where Jackson comes to her emotional aid. She tells him she’s sorry that he’s losing a father figure, but Jackson tells her not to worry. Besides, as he points out, it wasn’t some man who made him into the person he is now. Vic enters the room, and the trio digs into Catherine’s famous blackberry cobbler, with Catherine scooping up the fruity goodness by the ladleful.
Outside the front door, Maggie commiserates with Richard, expressing her shock over the separation. She also asks if Richard was serious about the Pac-North job offer, so he shows her the text from Alex. “Alex thinks I’m worth this much?” she asks, amazed. She happily accepts the offer.
(Side note: How long will it be before Grey’s acknowledges that we’ll never see Alex again?)
The guests file out—with Maggie apologizing to Vic for taking out her anger with Jackson on her, and Vic replying, “I set you up on a date without telling you, so I think we’re even.”
Once they’re alone, Catherine and Richard resume their hostility. “I’m turning Pac-North around, and it’s killing you,” Richard tells her.
“It’s not killing me; it’s an embarrassment,” she responds.
Catherine even calls a colleague with instructions to investigate buying Pac-North. “It could be a good investment, or maybe I’ll just shut it down,” she tells Richard. Like we said, it’s war.
This episode isn’t all doom and gloom, though. We also get a touching Schmitt-centric storyline. As this week’s installment starts, Nico (Alex Landi) is helping Schmitt (Jake Borelli) recuperate from his broken heart syndrome—the medical condition he developed in the Emerald City Bar crisis. Schmitt’s mom, Myrna, tells him—bluntly—that his great uncle Saul is in hospice and “circling the drain.” Schmitt explains to Nico that Saul was “an ass to everyone else” but was always kind to him.
Schmitt and Nico head to the hospice and see this Saul, who peppers Schmitt with questions, including why he’s still living in his mom’s basement. Schmitt tells him that his mom came into some knowledge about him that she wanted to keep “in house.” (Read: the fact that he’s gay.) He then introduces Nico as his boyfriend, and Saul dies on the spot. “I killed him with my gayness!” Schmitt moans.
Because he’s only “culturally Jewish,” Schmitt has to find out via Google that he has to stay with Saul’s body until burial. Eventually, Great Aunt Gertie arrives and—to Schmitt’s astonishment—gives Saul a kiss and leaves, telling Schmitt that she and Saul agreed that when it’s over, it’s over.
That arrangement makes a lot more sense once a guy named Daniel arrives. Daniel knows all about Schmitt being a doctor nicknamed “glasses,” and he even figures out that Nico is Schmitt’s beau. He explains that Saul had impeccable gaydar because—twist!—Saul was gay, too. He and Daniel were the loves of one another’s lives, and Gertie knew about it all. But Saul also hated himself for being gay, and as Daniel speculates that Saul brought Schmitt there in hopes of sending him down a different trajectory. Daniel also says Saul’s sexuality was the reason for his falling-out with Myrna and other family members.
Schmitt and Nico eventually head home—or, rather, to Myrna’s house. You see, Schmitt starts packing up his stuff, telling Myrna that he’s not going to wait until he’s old and infirm to live his life in the open and to surround himself with people who love him for exactly who he is. And with that mic-drop moment, he moves out.
Next week? An episode titled “Save the Last Dance for Me.” See y’all there!
Grey’s Anatomy, Thursdays, 8/7c, ABC