BWW Recap: A Romance Finally takes Flight on GREY'S ANATOMY
This week's GREY'S ANATOMY literally took the drama to new heights with the episode "In The Air Tonight" (which has been advertised all week as #GreysOnAPlane). That's right, it's back to the unfriendly skies for Meredith...and neither she, nor the audience has a chance of forgetting another flight-themed episode from seasons past. I mean, there really isn't the chance of forgetting the season 8 finale "Flight" anyways, but the flashbacks in this episode bring us right back to that fateful night for the 'Seattle Grace Five'. The bulk of this episode, directed by Chandra Wilson, takes place on a plane that hits some pretty serious turbulence mid flight. Meredith and Riggs both happen to be on the plane and are forced to jump into doctor mode when passengers experience medical emergencies. This doesn't mean that their own romantic turbulence takes the back burner however, as Meredith finally confronts her feelings and reservations about moving forward romantically with Riggs. Oh, and the plane doesn't crash, so that's a relief.
The episode opens with Meredith getting comfortable on a plane en route to a medical conference while she informally meets some of the passengers around her-a mother trying to calm her young son, and a rude businessman who finds a way to complain about everything. After empathizing with the mother and lecturing the businessman, she politely offers to switch seats with the boy's father so that the family can sit together. She goes to her new seat and lo and behold, one Nathan M. (M stands for Mystery) Riggs is sitting two seats over. Meredith is not impressed, but is forced to buckle up, as the plane is about to take off. Their bickering starts in their seats, and continues in the lavatory where they eventually decide to join the mile high club. Meredith is adamant that this doesn't change anything. Riggs seems less sure. This gets temporarily put on hold when the plane experiences (some serious) turbulence. Max (played by QUEER EYE FOR THE STRAIGHT GUY and theatre vet, Jai Rodriguez), a man Meredith had bonded with outside the lavatory, gets thrown upwards and hits his head on the ceiling of the plane. Meredith talks his boyfriend through checking his pulse and then is eventually able to tend to him herself. It is determined that he has a brain bleed, but due to weather systems, the pilot is unable to land the plane.<
During a lull in the medical crises, Meredith and Riggs find an opportunity to chat. Riggs asks Meredith about her past plane crash experience and she tells him about Lexie. Riggs states that he now understands why Meredith is so protective of Maggie and her feelings. He encourages her to consider her own happiness and Meredith eventually blurts out "I'm married"...which puts an awkward end to that conversation for the time being.
Eventually, Meredith decides that she needs to stick a needle in his brain and drain the bleed....as one does. With the assistance of Riggs, a cute pediatric dentist, a flight attendant and another passenger, she starts performing the procedure. Riggs eventually gets pulled away to perform CPR on the rude businessman from earlier.
After Meredith does some MacGyvering with Max's brain, a needle, a straw and a cup, (all during turbulence) the plane finally lands and the passengers in need of medical attention are able to receive that attention at an actual hospital. Riggs' patient also survives...so it's a good day. Once on the ground, Riggs not so subtly suggests that he and Meredith share a hotel room. Meredith declines, and Riggs calls her out stating that this is not solely about Maggie's feelings but that a lot of it is about Meredith being afraid of letting go of Derek. The voiceover then discusses whether it is worth the risk of metaphorically (and sometimes literally) crashing to go on a plane, or if it is better to go home and not ever travel anywhere. I should point out that considering that the risk of crash is exponentially higher for Meredith Grey, her choice in this situation could be to choose caution and no one would hold it against her...BUT...this is Meredith freakin' Grey that we are talking about. She's our hero and she's going to take the risk. She takes Nathan up on his hotel offer. Only time will tell what this means once they are back in the real world.
GREY'S ANATOMY airs next on Thursday, April 27th at 7pm on CTV and 8pm on ABC.
Photo Credit: ABC/Richard Haaseth