'Grey's Anatomy' Season 16 Episode 14: Too Much to Bear (RECAP)
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 16, Episode 14 of Grey’s Anatomy, “A Diagnosis.”]
Believe it or not, a diagnosis comes in the Grey’s Anatomy episode titled “A Diagnosis”—a.k.a. February 20’s Season 16, Episode 14—but it comes at the cost of one of the show’s power couples.
As the episode begins, Suzanne (Sarah Rafferty) is suffering extreme withdrawal symptoms after Andrew (Giacomo Gianniotti) and Riley (Shoshannah Stern), in a seemingly futile effort to decrypt Suzanne’s mystery illness, cut off her medication. Andrew is working himself to the bone trying to solve the case, but Suzanne is suffering so much that Bailey (Chandra Wilson) orders the docs to resume the medications.
Frustrated that Bailey has put the kibosh on her diagnostic strategy, Riley is one foot out the hospital door at this point. Andrew begs her to stay, but she thinks that Bailey effectively signed Suzanne’s death order. “Just email me the autopsy results,” she tells Andrew, grimly. And just then, Suzanne’s blood marrow test results come in: She has macrophage activation syndrome, which Riley recognizes as a complication of Still’s disease, a one-in-a-million ailment. Basically, Suzanne’s innate immune system is in “overdrive,” and her white cells are attacking other cells.
DeLuca rushes into Suzanne’s room and pushes steroids into Suzanne’s IV line as Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) looks on, alarmed. You see, Meredith and Carina (Stefania Spampinato)—Andrew’s sister—had a confab about Andrew earlier in the episode. Mer is worried about his exhaustion, but Carina is worried he’s exhibiting manic behaviors. In fact, the reason Carina came to Seattle in the first place is that Andrew is the same age their father was when he started showing signs of mental illness.
So now Mer is especially concerned by Andrew’s rash decision-making—and, to be fair, he probably could have spared a second or two to get her on board with his treatment plan. But Andrew calls Mer a hypocrite—and, to be fair, she has often gone rogue at Grey Sloan over the years. She tells him he’s reminding her of his father, and he breaks up with her on the spot. Cormac (Richard Flood) comes to her defense—speaking Italian, even!—but she tells him she doesn’t need his help. Cormac isn’t quite done meddling, though: He tells Mer that she should report Andrew.
Speaking of Cormac, he spends the episode working with Joey (Noah Gerry), the foster kid patient from last week’s episode. He needs Joey to start physical therapy to strengthen his injured arm—even suggesting that Joey play video games as PT—but the teen is feeling despondent since he’s separated from his foster siblings. So Bailey makes a few calls and reunites Joey with all of his foster sibs, and they bond over pizza… and, yes, video games.
And speaking of Bailey, she’s concerned about Richard (James Pickens Jr.), who’s facing a brutal divorce from Catherine (Debbie Allen). Bailey tries to get him engaged in work, but he shows little interest in training the latest batch of residents, whom he deems not up to Grey Sloan snuff. (We’re rooting for the one named Perez, though, since he rightly calls Bailey an “icon.”) Bailey finds Richard outside the hospital at the end of their shift, and he tells her he’s just “bone-tired.” But she thinks he’s showing signs of depression.
OK, back to the cases of the week. The other patients in this episode are crossovers from this week’s Station 19: A man named Scott who defended his wife, Rachel, from a bear attack during their camping trip and got his nose ripped off for his efforts. The first responders were able to salvage the nose, luckily, and Jackson (Jesse Williams) puts the severed schnoz inside Scott’s arm for safekeeping while the docs treat his other injuries. (Medicine!) Scott ends up dying of a chest bleed, though. Rachel—who escaped the bear attack with a nasty arm laceration and a torn artery—is devastated. Not just because he’s her husband but because she had long been cheating on him with a guy named Brian and she was planning on breaking up with Scott during the campout. Oh, and you better bet Brian shows up to the hospital. He tries defending himself to Jo (Camilla Luddington), saying, “I’m not a terrible person, just a person who’s terribly in love.” But when Scott dies, Rachel tells Brian to get out.
Later, Jo tearfully calls AWOL Alex, pleading with him to tell her what’s going on with him and why he’s not home. She even tells him she would step in front of a bear for him.
As for other relationship drama, Nico (Alex Landi) tells Schmitt (Jake Borelli) that his parents are in town, and Schmitt is excited to meet his potential future in-laws. But Nico resists. Turns out, for all of Nico’s talk of Schmitt being a “baby gay,” Nico hasn’t even come out to his folks yet.
But the real relationship turmoil is that of Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) and Link (Chris Carmack). Amelia is camping out at Chez Grey, avoiding the two potential fathers of her unborn child. Maggie (Kelly McCreary) plays hooky from work to be with her, and Amelia reluctantly accepts her help and tells her that the baby might be Owen’s. Amelia also explains she and Link are “almost painfully good” together, but he might not want to be with her if the baby if Owen’s, which means she might not to be with him if the baby isn’t. Maggie empathizes with Link, telling Amelia that his curiosity about the paternity doesn’t have to do with how much he loves Amelia. But Amelia isn’t convinced.
Later that day, Link drops by Meredith’s house, and Amelia tells him matter-of-factly that she has decided not to get a blood test to find out who the father is. She also tells him that she’s choosing to raise her child with people who don’t care about biological relations—i.e. her sisters—and she tells him that they’re over.
It’s not all doom and gloom at Chez Grey, though: Jackson shows up unexpectedly and gives Maggie the apology he has long owed her He’s sorry for leaving her alone in the woods, and it was just his pride keeping him from apologizing sooner.
The episode ends with Mer texting Alex, saying, “I need you.” She sees the ellipsis on her phone screen—meaning, presumably, that Alex is typing on the other end. But his reply never comes. And we fans still have no idea how Alex is leaving the show, six episodes after Justin Chambers’ final episode. Alas!
Grey’s Anatomy, Thursdays, 8/7c, ABC