BWW Recap: Season 13 of GREY'S ANATOMY Comes to a Fiery Close
Well, another season of GREY'S ANATOMY is in the books. Thursday's finale, written by Stacy McKee and directed by Debbie Allen, was packed with action and emotion. We said goodbye to a series regular, and got a glimpse of what will likely be the prominent storylines to start off next season. Oh ya...There was also a huge fire in the hospital.
The episode opens exactly where it ended last week. Meredith is approaching the hospital from the parking lot, only to witness an explosion. We also see that Arizona and Minnick were getting frisky in a car, and they immediately join Meredith at the entrance, trying to convince the authorities to let them in to help. Bailey clears the three of them and they enter the chaos that is a hospital on fire. A triage area is set up in the parking lot and Bailey and Kepner take charge as the staff prepares to evacuate the hospital. Meanwhile, Jackson continues to be very concerned about Stephanie and runs through the hospital looking for her. This upsets Kepner and Maggie who are concerned for his wellbeing and frustrated with his stubborn heroics. When Jackson does emerge from the hospital, Kepner and Maggie express their anger and concern. In seeing how concerned Maggie is, and how Jackson responds to her, a look of realization creeps onto Kepner's face. She later comments to Maggie that it is clear that Jackson likes her and that she thinks Maggie likes Jackson too. She tells her to "go for it" but it is more than clear that Kepner's heart is breaking a little bit. It will be interesting to see where this goes next season. Maggie seems to move quite freely from on love-triangle to another...also, Maggie and Jackson are quite literally step siblings...so this whole thing is even more unsettling with that in mind!
In what is certainly the most intense storyline of the episode, we see Stephanie wake up after last week's explosion. She has burns on her arms and she sees that little Erin is trapped under a piece of medical equipment. Her leg is impaled by a the equipment and Stephanie has to perform a field surgery of sorts to stop the bleeding, and extract the child. She shares with Erin how she was sick as a child and would often have painful medical procedures performed on her. She encourages Erin to clench her fists and scream as loud as she needs to...this was what she had done as a child. Eventually, Erin is freed, but now there is a wall of fire blocking them from the exit. In true super hero fashion, Stephanie wraps herself and Erin in a water soaked blanket, soaks her hair with water, and runs through the fire. They are faced with more problems in the stairwell, as the fire has blocked their path down the stairs. They decide to go up to the roof but when they get there, Stephanie realizes that she doesn't have her key card and the exit door won't open without it. She wraps Erin in the wet blanket and sits waiting for help to possibly come, but then as she looks through the smoke and fire down the stair well, she catches a glimpse of her key card badge laying on the steps several floors down. In yet another heroic move (and the episode really is shot like an action movie at this point), she retrieves the card and emerges through the smoke to open the door to the rood for her and Erin. Erin's health takes a turn for the worse though and when the firefighters finally find them (with the help of Ben!) Stephanie is performing CPR. She refuses to leave her patient and advocates for life saving surgery to be performed in the ER once they are brought back down. Minnick tries to intervene saying that the surgery must be done in the ER and Edwards should leave the patient and address her own medical concerns. In what is probably the greatest moment of the episode, Stephanie shouts "Get out of my face" at Minnick. Sorry guys. I'm just really not a fan of Minnick, so this was wonderful. It should also be pointed out that Minnick was tasked with telling the police that Stephanie was missing in the first place and...SHE FORGOT!!! So...No sympathy for Minnick from me...Not even when she gets fired at the end of the episode.
After little Erin is stabilized, the adrenaline coursing through Stephanie's body wears off and she passes out from the pain of her burns. We see her next being treated for significant third degree burns. Webber comes in with some encouraging words, saying the entire hospital will be behind her during her recovery. Stephanie has already made up her mind though. As she puts it, she has spent her entire life in hospitals, and she has come to the conclusion that she needs to see what else life has to offer. She thanks Webber for his tutelage and formally quits. This scene was beautiful and heart breaking and Jerrika Hinton deserves all the awards! It was announced a few months ago that Ms. Hinton was leaving GREY'S to star in a new TV show on HBO. This was a fine exit for both the actress and the character. She will certainly be missed, and I certainly hope that one day, we will see Steph again.
While everything is going on at the hospital, Owen and Amelia are still dealing with the imminent return of Megan Hunt. Due to the explosion and fire, Megan is no longer being taken to Grey Sloan Memorial (probably a good call), so Owen and Amelia are en route to Madigan Military Hospital so that they can be there when Megan arrives. Owen is still in a state of shock, but during the drive, he shares details about his relationship with his sister. He tells Amelia that he doesn't know what to say to her, and Amelia tells him that once he sees her, he will know. She states that it doesn't feel real that Megan is alive right now, but once Owen sees her, everything will fall into place. It is nice to see Amelia there for Owen in such a big way. This story almost parallels the end of season 11 when Amelia struggled to grieve Derek's death, in part because she didn't get to see him. She didn't get that closure and it didn't seem real. Owen was there for her in her darkest moments and he was there again when she finally got to get a piece of closure by listening to Derek's voicemail for Meredith. It is fitting that she is there for Owen (and Megan) now.
One of the best scenes of the episode (aside from Jerrika Hinton's stunning performance) is when Meredith tells Nathan that Megan is alive. Martin Henderson breaks hearts with this scene as he goes through shock, devastation, a brief choking fit, and then elation. He then realizes what this all means for Meredith-A) She doesn't get this happy ending with Derek and B) Who knows what this means for this budding romance...but Meredith is nothing but happy for Nathan. She tells him not to feel guilty because if this were Derek, she would already be gone. She watches as he drives off to Military Hospital.
The episode ends with Owen and Amelia standing on the landing pad of Madigan Medical Center, holding hands in front of a questionable green screen/CGI backdrop, watching Megan being stretchered out of a military helicopter. It also appears that despite her 10 years in captivity, Megan has been allowed to regularly dye her hair. All jokes aside, this is a moving scene and it will be so interesting to see what happens next. Alas, we will have to wait for next season!
It has been a pleasure recapping GREY'S ANATOMY for you all this season! I look forward to doing it again for season 14!
Photo Credit: Richard Cartwright