If your blood pressure wasn’t high before you watched Thursday’s Grey’s Anatomy, it almost had to be by the time you were done. Not only did the episode tee up an especially nerve-wracking surgery for Link, it dropped in Teddy’s path an unexpected “obstacle” to succeeding Meredith as Grey Sloan’s chief, delivered to Simone’s doorstep a blast from the past, and took Maggie and Winston’s marriage from bad to worse. And yes, apparently, that was possible. (I was surprised, too.) Read on for all the details…
‘THE HOSPITAL NEEDS THIS’ | As “All Star” began, Simone, Lucas and Mika put a fresh coat of paint on Mer’s their house and drew names for the biggest bedroom. Simone got it, but there was still the matter of the second-best bedroom to be settled. Link was fretting to Jo about the Tank, aka the Seahawk whose career was going to be in his hands in the O.R. Teddy bought until 6 pm to tell Richard whether she was accepting the chief position. The chill between Maggie and Winston was so palpable, Amelia all but wondered whether the AC was up too high in the hospital. And when a fellow stumbled into the E.R. not having taken a crap for… too long, Levi suggested that he reduce his stress, prompting the man to reply, in essence, that he was full of s–t. Surgery, Schmitt said, was going to be their last option to clean him out. Before that happened, Mika told Lucas that she’d give the guy an enema in exchange for the other good room. Success! “I feel like I lost 10 pounds,” the patient said after taking a dump at last.
Nearby, a pregnant woman named Sierra told Jules that she’d been spotting for days. An ultrasound was ordered to discover the cause of the bleeding. Jo later reported that her pregnancy was progressing just fine; she only had to avoid stress. Easier said than done. It seemed like her childcare wasn’t going to be available for her two kids. Later, Sierra shared with Jules that she hadn’t been trying to get pregnant again; she just didn’t like the way the pill made her feel, so she and her husband used condoms and, well, one broke. After the first two kids, Sierra had been so overwhelmed, it had gotten really dark. Pills for postpartum hadn’t helped. It was so bad that she’d felt like she couldn’t breathe. She’d actually been relieved when she’d started spotting. By and by, she asked Jules how much an abortion cost, and the doc called for a consult. When Jo returned, she explained to the patient how an abortion would work. Sierra wanted to stay alive, to be OK for her kids. So Jo would perform the procedure with Jules assisting. As soon as it was over, Sierra reassured herself, “I’m OK, I’m OK.” And she was.
‘EYES FORWARD’ | After everyone took turns posing for selfies with the Tank, Simone told the rising star that she’d had a similar injury back when she’d been a competitive ice skater in college. In turn, he explained why it was so important that he keep playing: He wanted to bring his family over from Haiti and finally get them all back together. “What happens if it doesn’t work and I’m back bagging groceries?” he wondered. As if there wasn’t enough pressure to go around, the Tank’s mother ordered Simone and Blue over cellphone to “take care of my baby.” Before the procedure started, Jo swung by to lend Link moral support and remind him that he’d never folded before; he wasn’t going to start now.
During surgery, Link explained that the Tank at best had a six-year career ahead of him — that was average, based on the stress to players’ knees. “Let’s hope he’s better than average,” Link added. After the seemingly successful operation, the gallery gave Link, Blue and Simone a standing ovation. But before they could call Tank’s mom, oops. He started coding. What the what? He needs an emergency embolectomy, Winston advised. So back to surgery, the Tank was rolled. In the O.R., Tank crashed yet again. “Eyes forward,” Simone whispered, recalling the saying Tank and his mom had used. The docs took turns desperately trying to revive Tank, but he was down for the count. Winston offered to walk out first, stall the press. But Link would do it himself. The press just sees stats and dollar signs, he said. The Tank was just a kid doing what he loved. And now he was gone. “That’s on me.”
‘THIS SEEMS LIKE A ONE-PARENT JOB; LET’S MAKE THIS ONE YOU’ | Meanwhile, Owen tried to convince Teddy to take the chief job, if only because he’d get to be trauma chief again if she did. Just then, they were paged to the nursery — Allison had bitten Pru, apparently. Discussing the position with Bailey, Teddy learned that the pay bump was more of a nudge and not worth the complaints and paperwork. Miranda advised Altman to “ask for the moon and the planets and Pluto.” In turn, Teddy went to Richard and listed her demands, from an assistant to an additional three weeks off to double the pay increase on offer. Hmm, in that case, Richard was going to need some time himself to think over the decision. Later, he informed Teddy that he’d decided to take the job himself. Suddenly, she was willing to renegotiate. As Bailey spied on their talk, Amelia interrupted to announce that she wanted to be considered for the chief position. “You have got to be kidding me,” Teddy exclaimed.
As Maggie went over her notes from the partial heart transplant, she wondered why she had written down “socks.” Winston would probably know, Amelia pointed out, but Maggie wasn’t willing to ask her husband. The silent treatment wasn’t going to make the hard parts of their marriage easier, Amelia said, it was only going to make them last longer. When Owen asked Winston how things were going, he reminded Hunt that the last advice he’d given had blown up in his face. It was Winston’s own fault, though, he said; he should’ve known better than to take advice from Owen. (Amen!) As the episode drew to a close, Jo complimented Jules on her ability to connect with a patient. The resident was stunned. She had grown up “a little left of normal” and hadn’t had anyone compliment her work before. Well, “you saved that woman’s life today,” Jo said. Nearby, since Amelia’s list of chiefly demands was even more over-the-top than Teddy’s, Richard said that he couldn’t consider her interest since he’d already offered the post to Altman, most of whose demands he met. “You’re welcome,” Amelia told Teddy afterward. “Bailey sent me in here. I don’t wanna be chief.”
‘WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?’ | After losing Tank, a despondent Simon told Blue that she’d offered to call the patient’s mom for Link. Blue would make the call with her. He knew firsthand that there was no right way to say those words. Outside, Maggie told Winston that she’d heard about Tank and was sorry. If her husband wanted, he could send him the intro to the paper on the partial heart transplant as a distraction. Wrong suggestion, per Winston. Once again, they fought over their difference of opinion. And at least he agreed with her on one thing: “Not everyone can be resuscitated.” Or everything… like their marriage. In the elevator, Simone kissed Lucas. Ah, and minutes after Teddy became chief, she learned from Owen that the press was saying that Link had killed the Tank. The ortho doc, meanwhile, was drinking and blaming himself and half-listening as Jo assured him that what happened could have happened to anyone. He went to kiss her, and she pulled away. (Oh, these two!) As he turned to go, she pulled him back, and they hit the couch holding one another. Finally, when Simone and Lucas got home, they were surprised to find waiting for her… her ex-fiancé Trey, with flowers and an apparently keen interest in kissing and making up. Who’s this dude? he asked. Lucas? Um, “he’s my roommate,” Simone said. Man, that was a fast trip to the friend zone!
So, what did you think of “All Star”? Hit the comments with your observations, critiques, etc. and also so forth.