‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 17 Episode 10: A Power Couple Is Resurrected (RECAP)
Season 17 • Episode 10
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Grey’s Anatomy Season 17, Episode 10, “Breathe”]
Anyone who saw the ABC’s promo for April 1’s Grey’s Anatomy episode (Season 17, Episode 10, “Breathe”) knew that Lexie would show up on Meredith’s (Ellen Pompeo) dream beach, with Chyler Leigh returning to the show for the first time in nearly a decade.
But the network didn’t tell us who else would be making a reappearance in this week’s installment…
As the episode starts, Mer is still unconscious with COVID-19, but she’s improving. And an offscreen Cristina is texting Owen (Kevin McKidd) for updates.
Stuck in her fever dream, Mer wades in the water. Someone offscreen hands her a towel. It’s Lexie. The half-sisters joyfully reunite. Lexie asks if Mer is going to stay. Mer’s not sure. Lexie says she likes it in the afterlife, which surprises her since there are no rules and Lexie was a total rules gal.
An offscreen voice agrees. It’s the late, great Mark “McSteamy” Sloan (Eric Dane)! Looks like Mark and Lexie – who both succumbed to injuries sustained in the Season 8 plane crash — really are as “meant to be” as they said they were.
Mer watches Mark and Lexie frolicking in the surf and says to herself that she likes it there on that beach.
Later, Mark says that he watches over Callie, Arizona, and Sofia — as in, his ex-hookup, her ex-wife, and the kid who unites them, who are all living in New York City now — and tries to guide them toward making the right choices.
And even later in the episode, as the trio lies in a field of wildflowers overlooking the beach, Mark and Lexie remind Mer that the depth of her pain is directly related to the depth of her love, and that fighting change and resisting pain is a waste of life. They also tell her it’s a waste for her to miss them. “Because we never left you,” Lexie says. (LexMark forever!)
Back in reality, Teddy (Kim Raver) meets up with Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) at Meredith’s house. Amelia says it’ll be good for them to share parenting duties and spend quality time together, but Teddy tells Amelia she knows Owen wanted Amelia to babysit her after her mental breakdown in last week’s episode. Amelia says both things are true.
Amelia also reminds Teddy that Teddy needs a break — and some therapy. Teddy says she didn’t like her one and only therapist so far, and Amelia tells her not to give up on therapy just because she didn’t like one dude.
At the hospital, one of the patients of the week is Marcella, a retired high-school music teacher who has COVID, along with her daughter, Veronica. But when Maggie (Kelly McCreary) calls Veronica to get details on Marcella’s advanced care directive, it’s Jackson (Jesse Williams) who picks up the phone. Turns out, Veronica’s COVID symptoms worsened, and she had to be admitted into the hospital.
Unfortunately, the hospital is low on ventilators — so much so that Richard (James Pickens Jr.) has to close the hospital to new traumas. But the news of the shortage doesn’t make it to Schmitt (Jake Borelli), apparently: When Marcella starts coding, Schmitt intubates her, not realizing that there may not be a ventilator to take over breathing duties.
Actually, there’s one ventilator left, and both Marcella and Veronica needs it. The doctors follow hospital protocol and give the vent to Veronica, since she’s younger and has a better shot at survival.
But then Maggie gets a flash of inspiration after she shares earbuds with her surgeon boyfriend, Winston (Anthony Hill): She realizes that the docs can put two patients on one ventilator. Richard thinks it’s a stroke of genius. He starts dancing and gives Maggie a raise on the spot!
(More good news for Maggie? Winston proposes at the end of the episode before he heads back to Boston to tie up loose ends: “I can’t imagine life without you anymore, and I don’t ever want to try. Margaret Pierce, will you marry me?” She says yes, of course!)
Another patient of the week is a woman named Irene (Azure Antoinette), who turns out to be Cormac’s (Richard Flood) sister-in-law, the sister of his late wife. Irene has a massive kidney stone, so Cormac asks Catherine (Debbie Allen) to join the case. Irene is the only other family that his kids have, so he wants the best of the best to treat her.
During the operation, Catherine hits a snag she’s never hit before: Irene’s ureter, the duct between the kidney and the bladder, comes out with Catherine’s scope. So Catherine temporarily removes Irene’s kidney to perform an “auto-transplant,” much to the amazement of Jo (Camilla Luddington), who’s assisting. Thanks to Catherine’s brilliance, Irene makes it through the operation with both kidneys intact and ureter reattached, and she even asks Cormac if Jo is single!
Even more cause for celebration: Owen and Richard take Mer off the ventilator, and she starts breathing on her own, to everyone’s jubilation.
And as the episode closes, Owen returns home with the happy news, and Mer’s daughter, Zola (Aniela Gumbs) runs to share it with her siblings. Amelia and Link (Chris Carmack) sing Owen’s praises, but Owen deflects that praise onto Teddy, despite his and Teddy’s fractured relationship.
“Thank Teddy,” he says. “She’s the one who never game up. She stayed with her night after night. I just did what the numbers told me.”
Now if only these docs could give us a prognosis for an 18th season!
Grey’s Anatomy, Thursdays, 9/8c, ABC