“Life Is a Highway” could have been the unofficial theme song of Thursday’s Jesse Williams-directed Grey’s Anatomy. Not only did Bailey and Addison road-trip to a family planning center, but Meredith used some of the frequent-flier miles she’d racked up going back and forth to Minnesota to visit Boston (hi, Jackson). On top of all that, Catherine pondered an altogether different kind of trip — to, you know, the other side. And if you read on, we’ll pry open everybody’s travel diaries.
‘TWO MILLIMETERS IS NOT WORTH THIS CONVERSATION’ | As “When I Get to the Border” began, Meredith and Zola were touring Brookline Steam Academy in Boston. (Zola was not impressed but agreed to spend the day shadowing a student, anyway). Elsewhere in town, Catherine fibbed to Jackson that she and Koracick were working on a project. Once the coconspirators had taken off, Jackson and Mer reunited, and she revealed what Zola was going through. If only Grey could cure Alzheimer’s, then she could ease her daughter’s anxiety. Why not do that? Jackson suggested. In no time, they were talking seriously about Mer possibly doing exactly that. Look what she had done for Parkinson’s! Plus, Grey working to cure the disease that killed her mother is a story — it would get the foundation funding. No go, Mer said. Zola had been through enough and had to be her focus. Fine. “But I’m not gonna give up on this, not entirely,” Jackson said. Later, he shared with Mer that spending time with his father a couple of years ago had, in a roundabout way, led him to his current life. Maybe that was why Mer was staying up nights researching Alzheimer’s for Zola — she wasn’t having a breakdown but a breakthrough. Wouldn’t seeing her mom try inspire Zola?
Meanwhile, Tom reported to Catherine that her tumor was two millimeters bigger than in her last scans. No longer in remission, she needed more treatment, and she needed to let her son and husband in on what was going on, Tom argued. In response, Catherine reminded him whose name was on the building. Besides, she was getting help, she insisted. She had an acupuncturist and a medicine man, and neither of them made her sick. “This is my cancer, my choice,” she said. Later, Tom started in on Catherine anew. But she was grateful that she wasn’t in an oncology ward. Whatever time she had, she wanted to spend it living. If she was going to be in a hospital, she was going to be in one as a doctor. And what about when her loved ones find out she spent all that time lying? She was protecting her privacy and peace, she said.
‘WHAT DO I KNOW, I’M JUST THE CHAUFFEUR?’ | At the same time as all that was going on, Bailey and Addison made tracks to Washington to visit Miranda’s first-year college roommate Cynthia, who ran a clinic there. Cynthia was thrilled that they were coming; the abortion protesters who greeted them, terrifyingly less so. Inside, Bailey and Addison began making progress seeing patients… only to have their pile of to-be-seen patients’ files grow even faster than they could work their way through it. Soon, “the medical Thelma and Louise” were on the road again to reach a patient named Susan in Idaho with an ectopic pregnancy attached to her C-section scar. Sadly, Susan reported that her 5-year-old only wanted one thing for her birthday: a sister. Oh dear… suddenly, Susan started hemorrhaging. To keep her from bleeding out, Addison basically inflated a balloon inside her. That bought the doctors some time… but could it possibly be enough? Dead ahead was traffic at a standstill. Susan was desperate to stay alive so that she could watch her little girl grow up. “I’m not ready to go,” she sobbed. And right on cue, her heart stopped beating. Bailey and Addison performed CPR on the side of the road, but alas, their efforts were in vain. The lawmakers should be made to come out there, Addison cried, and see the carnage that they had wrought. How were she and Bailey supposed to be doctors under these conditions? “I am infuriated! Women’s lives are on the line, and our hands that are trained to help them… are tied!”
‘I WONDER WHAT OTHER KINDS OF FAVORS HE DOES FOR HER’ | At Grey Sloan, Lucas balked at how many familial tasks Amelia had given him — including taking Scout to daycare. But she cheerfully informed him that she’d ask any competent resident to drop off her kid for her. (Hilariously, Scout seemed to call Lucas Dada in front of his peers.) Later, Lucas got a 911 text — about the tot. What was the accident? The kind that happened… in a kid’s pants. As Adams bought Scout replacement clothes, he was caught by his fellow residents, furthering their certainty that he and Amelia were sleeping together. Later, Blue assured Amelia that her and Lucas’ secret was safe. She was surprised that he knew. Only when Blue started suggesting that he had skills outside the O.R. did she begin to catch on. Then Lucas finally explained what his peers thought to Amelia. Gads, she couldn’t have people think that she was having sex with her nephew. “Fix it!” she told him.
‘IF THIS IS THE FUTURE, IT’S BLEAK’ | In the episode’s last few moments, Bailey shared that she had miscarried and needed a DNC because the miscarriage was incomplete. So she wanted to prepare healthcare professionals at Grey Sloan to help, lest the next generation not be trained. Addison wanted to help, too — and not just in L.A. “I know I can make a difference.” In particular, in the places where women were having to cross state lines for care. Reassuring Addison that Susan’s death wasn’t on her, Bailey realized that what they had needed was Ben’s no-longer-in-use PRT. Back at Grey Sloan, Lucas reminded Amelia that he’d only asked her not to blow his cover. He’d always been the loser of the Shepherds, he wanted to try to succeed not as a Shepherd. Unmoved, she gave him three days to set the record straight. In Boston, Zola worried about what would happen if they moved and she still had panic attacks. That kind of concern was Mom’s domain, Grey assured her. Plus, Jackson had offered her a job. In that case, Zola was all in — she loved Brookline. “I’m in,” Mer texted Jackson. “We’re moving to Boston.” Maybe eventually she’d also let Nick know?
So, what did you think of “When I Get to the Border”? Hit the comments with your questions, comments, quibbles and more.