They're trying to finish strong.
It's the new penultimate finale, but Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 20 did it justice with an hour jam-packed with drama and action. It was so much happening that it left your head spinning.
It made for a sound hour, albeit once again structurally odd.
Why odd? For now, it works given that it has unexpectedly become a shortened season, but there were so many different storylines to address within the hour that some of them didn't get the chance to breathe.
Also, some of them felt ill-placed in conjunction with the rest of the hour. Sort of like how on Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 19, Hayes' storyline was utterly devastating and great, but the hour smushed it into five minutes instead of allowing it to breathe -- it was a storyline worthy of the B-plot in an hour with four arcs, tops.
In this case, while the singing couple was adorable, there was no need for them. Link and Owen are utterly in love with their spouses to the point that they will sing off-tune for them.
We already know this, and in this particular hour, it was needless fodder taking up space and time. Fortunately, the husband decided he can live with his wife singing for the rest of their lives instead of talking.
They can pretend they're in a Disney movie.
You replaced me with Schmidt, didn't you?Link
Joli was slightly better in that it provided some lightness and humor amidst all the drama, stress, and tension. Jo has lowkey replaced Link with Levi as her BFF, and they're the cutest of roommates.
Levi has to work through the boundary things and realize that he has to separate their personal and professional life. Their friendship is not going to spare him from Jo going on one. He should reach out to Stephanie for a
warning advice instead of stalking Nico, who seems perfectly content to have dropped a buck and some change.
It established the two of them as a new friendship, and it was cute and gave them screentime, so it added levity even if it wasn't wholly necessary at this time.
Helm was there to deal with Levi's bragging. And my darling Casey Parker, who I got in my feels about again after the Grey's handle ironically tweeted their #Transvisibilty post celebrating a character who's only storyline in the past two years was having war flashbacks back on Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 10 but hasn't been "visible" since.
Sorry, I genuinely have a soft spot for Parker, and I miss him, you know?
Anyway, aside from those storylines, we had Amelia thinking she went into labor, Tom's disorienting blast from the past, the return of DeLuca, Catherine's guilt, and Richard's decline all in the same hour.
It was a lot, and they weren't letting up on any of these storylines, but it's not a bad issue to have.
I don't need you, Jackson, Richard needs you. You're letting him down.Catherine
Yeah, we had some more of that weird lapse in continuity that calls for you to maybe read through the lines. DeLuca was back, baby.
It turns out his suspension was still in effect, and he didn't get into an accident after speeding down the highway on his motorcycle.
It doesn't sound as if anyone else has reached out to the guy or told him to get help. It doesn't seem as though Mer caught up with him again, and Carina, well, I guess she gave up on trying to help her brother.
And she wasn't worried enough to give up on taking a vacation with her new girlfriend. It's a shame, really. Carina's extracurricular activities drive her character to the point that she wouldn't have been there to deliver Amelia's baby had she been in actual labor.
Link: Where's Carina?
Amelia: She's on vacation with her stupid girlfriend!
It's the one job Carina has to do, and she wasn't there for it, but hopefully, she'll pop back into town for the real thing.
But back to DeLuca. His colleagues and friends have taken the "out of sight, out of mind" mentality with him, so he wasn't a thought until Bailey caught him chilling with Richard.
The Richard and DeLuca friendship is underrated. Remember when DeLuca was dating Maggie, and he and Richard bonded? Oh, or how about when they were playing music together?
At the risk of sounding insensitive, DeLuca's manic state was looking good on him. It must be the facial hair, and he had a certain swagger, and the moment they showed him, it was evident where this was going.
Today he is not the Richard Webber you know and love, he is our number one patient.Bailey
DeLuca may be ill, but he's smart as a whip, and if anyone can figure out what's going on with Richard, DeLuca can.
Everyone else is beating their heads against the wall, and most of them are too close to this and have blind spots they don't want to assert.
No one wants to bring up things like dementia, or Alzheimer's, or anything else.
But this is why DeLuca may be their best bet at figuring out what's going on. He already was in contact with Riley to get information, and Bailey, despite her annoyance, couldn't dismiss him.
It must haunt her a bit that he was right during Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 18. But if there's a lesson in all of this, it's that his mental illness doesn't preclude him from excelling at his job.
He's hyper-fixating right now, but it's the type of thing they can use. He's been in the medical library doing his due diligence, and I love this direction for him career-wise too.
DeLuca has always been an excellent doctor, and he was sidetracked a few times for various reasons. Recently, it seemed as though he wanted to follow Meredith's path instead of finding one of his own.
Mer: What have you thought of that we haven't?
DeLuca: What do you mean?
Mer: Are you going to pretend like you're not in here trying to figure out what's wrong with Richard?
But DeLuca has many skills, and what has come to light is that he's a gifted diagnostician. It's something they could explore in the future, but I love this for him.
Meredith was the one who promised to figure out what was going on with Richard. She talked him down in the most gut-wrenching scene of the hour. I'm talking, reached into your chest, and squeezed your heart feels.
As per usual, James Picken's Jr was brilliant throughout the hour. Every time he slipped deeper into memory loss and a form of dementia, it was a dagger to the heart.
He made so many little errors. He was calling Grey Sloan "Seattle Grace." He went from thinking he and Catherine were still together, and she was at the conference with him, to his belief that he was still married to Adele.
Richard, I can fix you, and I know I can fix you because you are the one who taught me everything I know, and I'm not just talking about surgery. You taught me how to be a better person, how to be a better mother, and what about my children? I need them to grow up and know who you are. Please, and I still have things I need to learn. I need you, and I'm not ready to let you go yet, and I know other people aren't either.Mer
He called Meredith by her mother's name. Meredith has always looked to Richard as her father, and it was a remarkable scene when she told him that she's not finished learning from him yet and that her kids need to know who he is longer.
We know Mer is probably going to be at the helm of figuring out what's wrong with Richard, and she has the advantage of utilizing DeLuca as a tool and respecting him as a doctor rather than being ableist against him because of his mental illness.
Merluca may be the dream team.
But I also loved seeing the twisted sister trio brainstorming too. We've had so few of those moments between these women.
The only reference to Maggie's torrid love affair with Winston happened during the moment they were running scans. Leave it to Amelia to be the one to show some interest, but she'll put a pin in it until later.
Maggie: I hate everyone, myself included. I was too busy sexing it up with Winston, that I didn't notice, and I should have. He called me Meredith when he saw me.
Amelia: Wait, what's a Winston?
Richard was their priority, and they had the best minds in what Catherine aptly described as a war room trying to figure things out.
It sucks that Catherine had to push Jackson to be there. Jackson didn't know what to do, but he also has been more helpful in the past, so it was agitating that he seemed unfazed.
He then took it upon himself to flip it on Catherine, who acknowledged that he wasn't saying anything to her that she wasn't beating herself up about in the end.
I should've been there. I would've seen something. I'm his wife. I'm his wife, so I can't be there, so you get back in that war room and figure it out.Catherine
They found a happy medium and got their heads on straight by the end. Jackson stepped up to encourage his mother to pull it together when she broke down after Richard mentioned Adele.
They're going to figure this out. It's the most compelling story of the bunch, and it's going to make a hell of a season finale. The one thing every single fan of this series can agree on is PROTECT RICHARD AT ALL COSTS.
If we lose him, my goodness it's going to be a blow.
And then there is Teddy. She has realized that she can be in love with two people at once.
I'm begging you, don't make me do this.Tom
She hasn't done anything with this information, though. She was the shoulder Tom leaned on when his ex-wife sought out his help for her son Guthrie.
Bloody hell! Apparently, many people weren't fans of Tom. How you can dislike a man who calls Owen "strawberry shortcake" is a bit of a mystery. It's not a familiar sensation for this reviewer but to each their own.
But even those who aren't fond of him had to sympathize with this man when his ex-wife came to him with a son who looked and sounded like the one he lost.
Tom was barely functioning. Germann was incredible with his facial reactions and physical performance. You could feel Tom's pain and grief every time he was with Guthrie.
He could not operate on that boy who looked and sounded like his son. He didn't want the pressure of trying to save him when he knew he still beat himself up about not saving David.
Amelia stepped in to perform the surgery, but she predictably went into "labor," and Tom had to do it himself.
He almost froze in a way that mirrored Maggie's actions when she first did a surgery after her mother died, but Teddy had the words to kick him into gear.
Their relationship is endearing, and at the heart of it, they know how to take care of each other. Teddy was Tom's rock, and they had a moment of damn near handf*cking, but Teddy put the kibosh on it.
She apologized again for the complications she caused him, and she took all that randy energy and jumped Owen's bones in a supply closet.
She had a moment with Teddy and then told Owen that she wanted to get married that weekend.
She still hasn't told Owen the truth about anything -- the infidelity, the fact that she's in love with Tom, any of it.
Teddy being in love with two people isn't the issue; it's not what's making her intolerable, it's all the dishonesty and deception.
It would be intriguing if the series took a bold turn and introduced the idea of a polyamorous relationship, where Teddy can have these two relationships with both men that she loves.
But in the offchance they even broached the topic, it was a mess from the start. As I understand it, those relationships are about open-communication and honesty. It's about an actual choice, and neither man, namely Owen, has chosen this.
Tom: Thank you.
Teddy: I'm so sorry because you've had more than enough pain.
Tom: You've taken away more than you've caused.
What good is the realization that it's OK to be in love with two people at once if she's not honest about everything that has happened with her spouse?
Somehow, someway, Owen is going into a potential marriage with his best friend, and he has NO idea who she is. It's madness!
Meanwhile, Amelia and Link continue to be the couple goals and sunshine of this season.
They were such disaster children when they thought Amelia was in labor. They're the most adorable first-time parents.
The funniest moment of the hour was when Amelia found out her contractions were Braxton Hicks, and she realized she felt better already.
Screw this plan, I want to get married to you as soon as possible. Let's do it this weekend.Teddy
Why are they so stinking cute?
They were so excited, and Amelia cursing Carina out was the best. Link was trying to be the most supportive boyfriend ever.
It's hard to see how they'll top this fakeout with the real deal. It almost makes you wonder if it won't go according to plan, and maybe Link will miss it or something.
But gosh, they're the best. Carmack and Scorsone play off each other so well, and they've been a joy all season long.
Over to you, Grey's Fanatics. Will Mer and DeLuca figure out what's wrong with Richard? What's going on with Teddy, Tom, and Owen? Are you ready for the finale? Hit the comments below.
Also, if you missed it, we had a lovely chat with Elizabeth Grullon, who played Abigail Hayes. Feel free to check that out as well!
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Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.