Meredith may have taken things too far on Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 4.
Now her colleagues and mentors are annoyed with her, the hospital's reputation is shot, and she and DeLuca are on the outs.
Join TV Fanatics Meaghan Frey, Lauren Busser, and Jasmine Blu, and Grey's Fanatic Berea Orange as they discuss the hour!
Are you surprised Meredith's article has negatively affected GSM?
Meaghan: In the way the website released it? Definitely not. Meredith used real-life stories for her ideas. If it had been released the way she had intended with only one being released, it wouldn't have seemed bad.
But having all of that dropped on the world at once? Yeah, that paints GSM in a very negative light.
Berea: Not at all. Meredith should have realized this was a real possibility, also. She should have considered the fact that she actually works in healthcare, and as someone who recently got fired from GSM, she should have realized how an article from her might have looked.
Lauren: As someone who understands how online journalism works, not at all. It's funny that this aired right after the NBC One Chicago crossover this week where there was a bit about how the news wants to drive fear to boost their ratings.
Much like that storyline, Meredith's article served a similar purpose, and it wasn't even Meredith's intention.
I feel like maybe Meredith should have seen that coming and not shown her hand as she did, but when it comes to scripting the show it's a lot more dramatic to show Meredith's viral article than Meredith trying to be methodical with pitching.
Jasmine: Nope. She's a Harper Avery winner and a world-renown doctor who got fired from a hospital she owned.
Everyone was going to jump all over this article she published and tie it into what happened to her. She should've seen it coming, especially as Lauren said, with the way media sensationalizes things.
Is Meredith getting carried away with her crusade? What do you think will happen now that she's gotten reported to the judge?
Meaghan: I don't necessarily think she is getting carried away, but I think she needs to learn that her actions have consequences. I don't understand why such strict rules are surrounding the community service.
You would think as long as you get in all your hours in the period you have to get them done, then you should be fine.
However, the rules are there, she didn't follow them, and she needs to face the consequences. She could have waited until after her shift was over to go.
Berea: Meredith is getting carried away. She is desperately trying to justify her actions and probably thought this article would do that. Her just walking off of community service for an “emergency” is the epitome of privilege.
There was nothing she could have done at that time. The article was already written. She could have gone and spoken to Bailey later. The constant disregard she has for community service structure is probably telling the judge she is not as remorseful as she claimed to be.
It could very well impact her negatively with the medical board. I am thrilled DeLuca told her how reckless she has been. The best way to fix a broken system is from within, and it is a shame that he had to be the one to tell her.
Lauren: I don't know that Meredith understands that actions have consequences because those rules never seem to apply to her. She's taken a lot of risks, and I think the more she gets away with, the more she thinks she can get away with.
This whole scenario this season is serious, and I think that she needs to take a breath and realize how this will affect her future.
She sees an area that needs change, but I think she needs to understand that the best way to do that is to take in what she knows, reflect on it, and then make sure she can affect it from inside the system. I'm also with Berea here, she needed DeLuca's wake-up call in this episode.
Jasmine: Yes. It's ludicrous, and she did become the poster child for privilege during this episode. It's court-mandated community service, and she's walking out like it doesn't matter.
Why does she think she's exempt from the rules all of the time? How she feels about it doesn't matter, it needs to be done, and she's showing the court that she isn't remorseful and hasn't learned anything.
DeLuca did the lord's work telling her about herself, but I don't know how she'll work her way out of this with the judge. If I were the judge, I would be over Meredith and her actions.
Do you think this is the end of Merluca?
Meaghan: No, but I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't kind of hoping that it is. The only two couples I like on the show right now are Teddy and Owen and Amelia and Link.
Berea: To be honest, I do not care either way. The previews for next week tell us there may be some trouble in paradise, Meredith saying she doesn’t know if he will ever be more than “sexy and fun.”
This coupling has always been “just okay” for me, and I did not imagine them lasting in the long run. I always thought Meredith would be better with someone like Dr. Thorpe or our favorite vet, Finn.
Lauren: How many times does it look like the end of a relationship on Grey's, and it isn't? I want Meredith to find happiness again, and I think that it's been long enough that she can think about finding love again. I think they could be a strong couple in time, but they're not there yet and are they strong enough, I honestly can't say.
Jasmine: I'm with Meaghan. It probably isn't, but I wish it were. Their pairing has done nothing for me, and it made me dislike DeLuca most of the time when he used to be a favorite of mine.
Damn, I do miss Thorpe. They could've been something magical.
How do you feel about Bailey being perimenopausal and pregnant?
Meaghan: That was such an eye roll moment for me. We already have had one surprise pregnancy this season. Do we need a second one? Has the show run out of other storylines to do?
Berea: On one hand, I am happy for Bailey and Ben because although he treats Tuck like his own, Ben does not have any biological children. I want to be happy for them, but I have a bad feeling it will not be a healthy, smooth-sailing pregnancy.
Teddy’s was successful. I do not see them putting Amelia through yet another disastrous pregnancy. So the odds of Bailey also having a good one are not good, but I desperately hope I am wrong about that.
Lauren: I go back and forth between, "really another pregnancy" and then also the idea of exploring these circumstances. I feel like the idea of a perimenopausal woman who is also pregnant doesn't get explored often, and it could be an interesting one.
I'm not a medical expert, but I can only imagine the complications this could bring, and as Berea said, I can't imagine pregnancy drama being in store for Amelia.
Jasmine: I want to be happy for Bailey and Ben because of it being them, but I'm over baby storylines in their entirety. I just warmed to the idea of Amelia and Link.
What are your thoughts on Jackson and Tom's debacle?
Meaghan: Tom was a douche bag, but Jackson was also overreacting. Tom was trying to do something good for the hospital, and after Mer's article came out, they needed it.
I'm not sure why Jackson was acting like nothing like that had ever been done at GSM, but he needed to get off his high horse. Would he have reacted that way if Mark had pulled something like that? Because that is for sure something Mark would have done back in the day.
Berea: This was nothing more than a power struggle between the men. While Tom was not necessarily very sensitive to the parents, he was doing a good thing. Jackson is acting as if he, too, did not do this same thing on Grey's Anatomy Season 14 Episode 21 to gather some good press after the news of Harper Avery broke.
Schmitt said everything I wanted to when he was in the OR with Jackson. Jackson (much like Meredith) takes advantage of his privilege. He, of course, is not concerned about the good press the hospital could get when he could get a job at any other Catherine Fox Foundation hospital. He did more harm than good.
Lauren: This storyline made me uneasy. Tom's plan was a good one, but in looking at the minute details of what was going down, it felt exploitive. I'm thinking particularly regarding the interviews.
Tom is doing something good and helping them, but also I feel like filming shouldn't have been the focus. I understand that photos and videos get more engagement, but it's such a raw moment and the directors were concerned with shots.
I get that Jackson was concerned for the patient, and I understand that the video would have made great press, but at the end of the day, there's the good deed at heart and then the production value.
Jackson and Tom both have faults in their arguments here, and no one answer would make it right, but at the end of the day, what matters is presenting the story, and I think they could have worked together to figure out a better way.
Jasmine: Yeah, I'm with Berea. Tom was an insensitive ass, especially with the parents. I also found him to be out of character when we have seen how he is with young patients before and know his past of losing a child.
However, Jackson was overreacting and being pissy with Tom and hiding behind this case. He's an Avery, he's done these same surgeries for publicity before. His mom does and arranges them all the time. If anyone else were doing it, he wouldn't have batted an eye.
Levi made me fist-pump when he reminded Jackson of how he has the luxury of not worrying about any of this. He reminded Jackson of how out of touch he was and knocked him off his high-horse.
Link confessed his love for Amelia. React.
Meaghan: I loved everything about that moment. These two are such a surprise hit and I can't get enough of it.
Berea: Link and Amelia are the bright spot of this season for me. I love that they are falling in love with one another, no matter how unconventional their relationship has been.
Lauren: I am in the camp that wants to protect Amelia at all costs, and I want her to have some happiness. It's good to see that she's finding that finally, and the fact that they're so honest and open with each other is a bright spot.
Jasmine: I could gush about Amelia and Link for hours. I love Link with my whole heart, and Amelia deserves happiness. I could not stop smiling at their scenes together.
What was your favorite and least favorite scene?
Meaghan: Favorite was Link telling Amelia that he loved her, followed by Meredith getting a text from Cristina. I miss so much of the OG cast and getting a reminder that they are still out there in the world is always nice.
Least favorite would be finding out Bailey is pregnant. I'm not excited about this storyline whatsoever.
Berea: Link confessing his love for Amelia was easily my favorite. They are just so sweet. It was a close tie with Deluca telling Meredith how reckless she has been, telling her “Or you work within the broken system to change it instead of bringing the whole thing down with you.”
Deluca had started to become a little frustrating with his newfound arrogance, but this put him back in my good graces. It is what most viewers who loathe this fraud storyline have been saying about Meredith all along.
My least favorite scene is Jackson looking on at his patient at the end, smiling and feeling good about himself, followed by him skipping off to eat with Vic. Schmitt’s words clearly did not resonate with him one bit.
Also, Vic hanging around at the hospital all the time is starting to bug me, and I hate that since I liked her character on Station 19. They are shoving this contrived inter show romance down our throats.
Lauren: I think my favorite scene was Link and Amelia. There's a lot of strife this season and a lot of tension, and it's nice to see them be so easy with each other.
My least favorite is the conclusion of the Jackson and Tom debacle. I don't know how I feel about Vic and Jackson, but right now I'm not invested in them. Seeing them together isn't adding anything to the show for me.
Jasmine: Amelia and Link were my favorite part of the episode. I also loved DeLuca telling Meredith off, it was overdue, and he was speaking for me. I also agree about the text, but also, Jacob Gibson was fantastic as Josh. When he broke down, and Link comforted him, I got all the feels.
My least favorite, well, everything else is too broad, yes? I don't know what they're trying to do with this Jackson and Vic think, but I'm not fond of it. Why is Vic hanging around the hospital as if she doesn't have anything else to do? What is this weird "book smarts" versus "physical strength" thing they're doing with her and Maggie? Eh.
How do you feel about the season overall so far?
Meaghan: I hate to say it, but I'm not loving this season. Anytime I watch the beginning of Grey's it makes it harder for me to like the newer episodes, and it is happening to me once again. I have faith that it can bounce back for me, but it is going to have to put in some work.
Berea: I have always said that season four was the worst season of Grey’s (writer’s strike season, so I give it a little slack).
However, we are only four episodes into season 16, and it is looking like it might dethrone season four as the worst. Characters we used to love are becoming unlikeable. We have people acting out-of-character.
Some of the storylines seem to be completely contrived. I am seriously hoping the season turns around and gets better from here.
Lauren: I've been frustrated with Grey's for a couple of seasons now because a lot of the plots feel recycled. This is easily a season that shook up a lot, and it's given us some shaky ground to return on.
However, that's also making a bunch of characters unlikable. So I'm not loving these episodes.
I don't watch Station 19, and so the inter show romance doesn't work for me. I love Meredith's observations, but I also feel like maybe she could have seen this earlier on...I mean Izzie did create a free clinic and this can't be the first time a patient has had insurance woes.
Bailey's pregnancy feels like they're setting up for some drama, and it now feels like half the core staff is at Pac North. I'm not sure where this is all going, and I hope that they can pull it together.
Jasmine: This episode gave me Grey's Anatomy Season 13 flashbacks, and that season was awful. I think there is a lot of potential for the season, and there are things I'm enjoying.
However, I'm incredibly frustrated with the abrupt change in characterization for some characters and the recycled storylines. Those are inevitable but no less grating.
Meredith having a come-to-Jesus moment a decade and a half after her career started is not working for me, and if I wanted to see a more in-depth, genuine exploration of these specific issues, I can, do, and review them on The Resident and New Amsterdam.
Over to you, Grey's Fanatics!
Do you agree with us? Hit the comments with your thoughts and reactions.
Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays on ABC.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.