Richard Webber stole the hour.
Grey's Anatomy Season 15 Episode 7 was a heavy hour with a tragic death, a potentially fatal diagnosis, and a couple's relationship on the rocks.
The Tears of Grey's hashtag was dusted off again for a good reason.
Meredith Grey is at the center of Grey's Anatomy, but Richard Webber is the heart of it. He's a soothing, familiar figure who is prominent while remaining in the background or on the peripheral.
There has been a mounting concern for Richard’s well-being since the death of Ollie. He has been tempted, shaken, and waging an internal battle with himself as he fought like hell to maintain his sobriety.
All season long Richard has struggled in the background. This installment placed him in the forefront. Pickens' performance was breathtaking. His scene at the bar should be in his Emmy reel.
Richard: I haven't been a chief in years, Frankie.
Frankie: You'll always be my chief.
Richard’s stressors have been building, and Ollie's death has triggered him, but the loss of Frankie on top of all of that drove him to a meeting.
Frankie being dropped in out of nowhere was the only issue with her storyline. She was in the background for a couple of episodes if you paid close enough attention, but she was a new character with an old past used as a vehicle to drive Richard's arc forward.
Of all the medical dramas, Grey's is one of the only ones that doesn’t have a steady character who isn’t a doctor.
Olivia, Rose, and Eli served as a love interest for plot convenience. Outside of the silent Bokhee, nurses are only prominent when there is a specific storyline involving them (like a strike, or a pre- MeToo era strike against lovable lothario Mark ).
The show successfully made us love and mourn Frankie, but her death would've left a larger imprint if we knew her longer.
Frankie was a spitfire, and everyone loved her. She had such a special bond with everyone including Richard. The way she considered her colleagues her family and village warmed the heart.
Pancake wasn’t only her baby; he was everyone's baby. Was the baby named after Richard? They made such a big deal about what to name the baby with everyone throwing in their opinion.
It's touching that the other nurse used Frankie's nickname to refer to the preemie, but I wish we knew his name. I assumed the baby was either named after Richard or named after Frankie. We'll never know.
I know the risks. I don't care; $41,632 dollars. That's what this kid cost. Three rounds of IVF and a miscarriage. I'm not telling you this so you feel sorry for me. This baby is worth all of my time all of it. I'm telling you this because this is it. I literally have all of my eggs in one basket. This is it. I am not going.Frankie
The nature of the case was also devastating because it made you think about Arizona's focus on maternal fatality rates. The issue doesn’t go away because she did.
The scenes between Richard and Frankie were touching (especially when she could tell something was bothering him and asked about each member of his family), but the OB-GYN should have been on the case, not Richard, and Alex came into the fold too late.
What made sense from a medical perspective took a backseat for storytelling, but that's OK.
Frankie's death was the final straw for Richard. He went to an AA meeting, and it was long overdue. Based on what his peer said, Richard has not gone to a meeting in a while. He put too much into Ollie.
Of course, the meeting was difficult for him because of that horrific story about the bar that collected sobriety chips in exchange for shots.
What kind of vile, despicable piece of crap does that?! What a disgusting human being. It was as if the bartender took some sadistic, twisted pleasure out of filling up each glass until it spilled over.
There was only a brief moment I feared Richard would succumb to his illness and take a drink. I didn’t consider it for too long because Richard was operating on grief and pure rage.
It's a shock that the guy didn’t expect someone to get violent with him. It was bound to happen in due time, and he's lucky Richard only resorted to using that bat to destroy the liquor rather than using it to destroy his face. He deserved it.
And I'll tell them what you do to people! How you hunt 'em down. People who are trying to be there for their families and their children. Who are holding on with everything they've got!Richard
That scene in its entirety was perfection. Pickens sold every emotion imaginable during that scene, and the music was incredible. It had to be cathartic for him.
He's not out of the woods yet because he faces losing another wife after Catherine’s diagnosis, and he's been arrested.
It was obvious Catherine was the patient when she called Meredith and Tom to her medical center. That wasn’t shocking at all; however, Catherine’s potentially fatal diagnosis was shocking.
Tom and Catherine have an interesting and amusing dynamic, but adding Meredith into the equation was refreshing.
It hit home how close everyone is. Richard is like Meredith's father, so in a way, Catherine is like family too. We saw how they got along in the wake of the Harper Avery scandal, so it was nice experiencing their unique bond again.
Tom and Meredith have fun chemistry as well. Koracik is the best of the recurring characters, and I love how we learn more about him whenever he appears.
He seems like an arrogant jackass who doesn’t take things seriously on the surface, but he has so much depth, and the series has done a solid job fleshing him out despite him not being a series regular.
Tom’s goddess worship of Catherine has always been flirty, cute, and fun, but finding out the origins of their special connection was a punch to the gut.
Tom credits Catherine for bringing him out of the dark place he was in after the death of his child. She reminded him to live again, and that alone cemented their bond and his undying affection and devotion to her.
Meredith: What is with you two because you realize Richard and I are like family, so if there is something going on.
Tom: I don't kiss and tell.
Meredith: That's literally what you do.
Tom: Oh you want details.
Meredith: No, I don't.
Tom: She woke me up. I had a kid, a son, and then I didn't. I sleepwalked through years of my life, and Catherine reminded me that I was alive. And she sings a mean harmony, yeah. She's my friend.
Did you catch the way he had to excuse himself at the bar? He got choked up over the thought of losing his friend. He was keeping his emotions at bay at the opening too.
Catherine is prepared to fight. She earned respect when she told her life story to prove her indomitable spirit. She has endured too much and fought too hard to let cancer defeat her. If this will lead to the three of them working together that could be intriguing down the road.
Catherine was doing an exceptional job at keeping a strong front and maintaining her composure, but you can tell she is terrified. She wants to be there for Richard, Harriet, and Jackson.
It's funny Jackson and Maggie hit this snag in their relationship because when he finds out about Catherine, he's going to need her. He was there for her when her mother died, but Maggie, as she pointed out, is a good friend, sister, and support system.
Maggie and Jackson have to figure out their love language. They communicate in different ways, and they need to find a mix or happy medium that works for them.
They started the hour off with some cute sexytimes, but it was all angst after that. It was almost unbearable. Was Jackson always this terrible at relationships? Japril had plenty of issues, but Jackson never came across this bad.
First, he bailed on Maggie without a word and barely kept in touch while he was gone, but then she finds out he's talking to other women, and he turns it on her and says that it's because she doesn’t communicate with him.
Jackson: When is the last time you let me in at all. About anything.
Maggie: So you went and got it from someone else.
Jackson: Maggie, yeah. I find it easier to open up with people who open up with me.
Jackson's feelings are valid, but his timing was off. He's not sitting in the best position coming back after leaving her the way he did and having her discover that he's sharing his most inner thoughts with other women.
There was no way he could broach a topic he should have brought up eons ago without Maggie feeling hurt and attacked at that moment.
The biggest issue was that Jackson at no point thought he should tell Maggie that he made a new friend and they talk about things. By keeping Kate a secret, he made the situation much worse.
As for April, it's hard for Maggie, but April is the mother of his child and his best friend too. Jackson is always going to talk to April, and she will always be a part of his life. That alone will have him sharing things with her that he may not share with Maggie, and she may have to adjust to that.
Jackson revealing that he thinks about the wrong timing with April was so honest and something that came to mind the moment he started his faith journey.
It still hurt Maggie on top of everything else he threw at her. Maggie can be such a relatable character, especially in this case. She is aware of the difficulties she has in romantic relationships.
This is Maggie's first serious relationship. She wants to succeed, but it's not her area of expertise. It had to hurt hearing that it wasn’t enough for Jackson, and he's right. She does have to stop running, even if she requires the space to run over everything in her head.
They were making some progress, but the second she heard about April, she bolted. It was too much for her. Should she have left? Probably not.
Did she do the exact thing where she jumped to conclusions and assumed they were done? Yup. While it was frustrating, I also understand some of it to a degree.
I spent most of my life being five steps ahead of everyone else and no one wants to be friends with that girl. That girl doesn't have any dates or fights. She didn't learn how to fight... I never learned how to really love, or fight, or let anyone in without it feeling like the end of the world. You have been married, and divorced, and you have a child, and you lost a child, and you are five steps ahead of me, and I don't really know how to catch up.Maggie
Their relationship won't work if they can't figure out how to communicate with one another and they can’t sit through a difficult conversation without running.
Their spat was irksome though because Jackson has been in her position as an atheist who doesn’t get it, and as someone who was abandoned, and as someone who was compared to a former flame, and as someone who wasn’t given the space to be hurt before having his faults hurled at him as a justification.
Jackson has experienced all of these things, but he's doing all of the same to Maggie. He's also aware of her inexperience and insecurity in the romantic relationship area, but he held it against her in a way.
You run every time it gets complicated, Maggie. You hide.Jackson
He has been a terrible communicator, but he justified talking to other women (and why does he think only women can share this experience? Hell, Tom is right there) by saying that it's because Maggie doesn’t communicate with him.
He claims Maggie isn't open with him, but am I the only one who missed that? I assumed the reason they became this close was because they were opening up to one another. Please, tell me if I'm missing something on that front.
I'm interested in how Jaggie will get past this bump in their relationship, but I have no doubts that Maggie will be by his side to support him when he finds out about Catherine because that's what she does.
Over to you, Grey’s Fanatics. Are you shocked at Catherine's diagnosis? How much do you love Koracik?
Did Richard steal your heart during this hour? What are your thoughts on Jackson and Maggie's relationship woes? Hit the comments.
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Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.