Greys Anatomy / Television

Grey’s Anatomy 13×05: “Both Sides Now” Recap

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It’s abnormally hot for a Seattle autumn, and Meredith’s air conditioner is broken. Alex is being scolded for standing in front of the open fridge in an attempt to cool down. None of the surgeons inhabiting the house know anything about fixing an air conditioner.

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Bailey’s almost-80 year old patient, who has been waiting 3 years for a new liver, is finally getting one today. Bailey says that she feels like Ed McMahon with a big check. “It’ a glorious day!” she exclaims to Meredith. With everything DeLuca has been going through, Bailey asked him to be on her service today as a pick-me-up. Bailey puts a hat on that her patient, Granny June, had made her. Granny June didn’t get a chance to finish the scarf she was making DeLuca, but she gives him a container of snickerdoodle cookies. Her entire family is there, and they’re so excited for Granny June to get her new liver.

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Amelia thinks April is back to work three days too early, but April informs her that it’s the 29th, not the 26th, which makes Amelia realize that her period is late. (The actress herself is pregnant. Look how skillfully they hide Caterina’s baby bump behind her awkwardly placed purse.)

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Maggie asks Stephanie if she wants to scrub in on a massive cardiac myxoma, saying she needs the best resident. With Maggie specifically requesting Stephanie and Bailey taking DeLuca, Jo feels offended that no one is pulling her to their service. Stephanie on Maggie’s service also upsets Amelia, who claims that Stephanie is her resident.

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A 25 year old girl, Chelsea, went for a run and, according to Riggs, had a heat stroke. Once her twin sister, Chandler, is there, they find out that Chelsea’s liver is shutting down. She needs a new one or she might not live through the night. Chandler says to take part of her liver and give it to Chelsea. They’re identical twins, so she’ll be a match. Chelsea jokingly calls ‘trade places,’ which she and Chandler used to do as kids. If one of them called ‘trade places’ while in trouble, the other would have to take the punishment instead.

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Riggs says the he heard about Meredith’s air conditioner breaking and wants to help by giving up his. Meredith points out that that is not a thing normal colleagues do for one another.

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Meredith sees Amelia rummaging through the supply closet looking for a pregnancy test, and Meredith asks if shes looking for drugs. Amelia tells her that she’s pregnant, and Meredith is excited until she realizes that Amelia only thinks she’s pregnant. Meredith won’t be excited until Amelia pees on a stick and they see that it’s real.

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Amelia goes to tell Owen that she might be pregnant, but Owen runs into Jackson who just got called in for a surgery. Owen offers to take crying Harriet so Jackson can go scrub in. Jackson tells him that he’ll need to get the baby to fall asleep before he drops her off at daycare.

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Owen can’t get Harriet to stop crying. Alex observes this and takes Harriet from him for a moment. She immediately calms down. He suggests that Owen might be too tense and freaked out, causing baby Harriet to also freak out.

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Andy, a 59 year old ex-shuttle commander, opts for a tricky, complicated cardiac procedure with Maggie and Stephanie. He’s not afraid of risk, and if he doesn’t go attempt surgery, he’ll be dead within a month anyway, so he doesn’t feel he has anything to lose.

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After testing Chandler to make sure she’s a match and can donate, Meredith finds that Chandler is unknowingly pregnant, and therefore cannot be a donor. (I must say, I’m a little surprised that Chandler wasn’t hit with the option of abortion. It would have been interesting, albeit emotionally stressful, to see her choose between her twin sister and her unborn child. What a heartbreaking moral dilemma. I am in no way a medical professional, so maybe this was completely off the table. But if I were Chandler, I would have wanted to at least ask, “what if I don’t keep the baby?” so that I know my options.)

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With Chelsea’s case being an urgent life or death matter, Webber and Meredith approach Bailey about giving the liver to Chelsea instead of Granny June. She’s younger and more in immediate risk. Bailey says “Hell no,” but has to ask Granny June. Bailey is sure she’ll agree to give up the liver, saying Granny June is the closest person to Mother Teresa she has ever met. They approach her, telling her that the other girl is 25 and not likely to make it through the night without this liver. Granny June makes her decision, which is that Chelsea can go get her own damn liver. She’s been waiting in line on this list for 3 years and isn’t going to let anyone cut in front her now. One of Granny June’s daughters apologizes to Bailey for her mother’s decision. Bailey reassures her that her mother had every right to choose to keep the liver for herself.

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Amelia tells April that she’s pregnant. Once April finds out that Owen doesn’t know, she freaks out on Amelia to tell him as soon as possible. As you may recall from last season, Arizona was the one who told Jackson that April was pregnant with their baby, and it did not go over well.

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Ben suggests to Owen that maybe colic is to blame for the baby being inconsolable. Owen asks him what is colicbecause he’s heard of it before, of course, but never understood what is was. Ben doesn’t know either. He reminds Owen that Tuck was already 4 years old when he met him, and never had to take care of a baby. He offers to take Harriet to give Owen a break anyway, but Owen swerves, determined to make Harriet stop crying on his own.

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Webber tries to talk Bailey into encouraging Granny June to give up this liver because she’s old and should be more compassionate. Bailey calls him ageist. Arizona, overhearing, says it’s horrible to think that old people don’t matter as much as young people. While saying that she has a lot of old friends, she offends Webber by letting it slip that he’s one of her old friends.

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Andy asks Stephanie to tell him a joke as he waits to get put under for surgery. She tries her best to think of one, but her mind goes blank. By the time she comes up with something, Andy is out.

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Somehow, eventually, Owen manages to get Harriet to sleep. Instead of taking her to daycare, he just continues to hold her. (Apparently Owen, as Chief and a trauma surgeon, hasn’t been needed once today.)

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Meredith angstily sits outside with Alex, waiting for the liver to arrive. She daydreams about running up and stealing the liver, or pretending to be Dr. Bailey and taking it. Alex tells her that she should do that so they’ll both have lost their jobs and they can just hang out and watch movies.

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Amelia doesn’t know if she should tell Owen before she takes the test or if she should wait until she knows for sure whether she is or isn’t. April says that she needs to just tell him. Amelia comments that the last time she was pregnant, she didn’t have to tell the father because he was dead. (Callback to the previous episode where Amelia told Owen that she used to do drugs with a man she was in love with, and that one morning, she woke up to his dead body after he overdosed.)

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After Harriet wakes up, Riggs walks in the room and reminds Owen that the both of them had always wanted a pile of kids. Riggs jokes that Megan had liked the name Bernard, which slowed their conversation on procreating. Owen tells him that he and Amelia are trying to get pregnant.

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Stephanie thanks Maggie for letting her be a part of this amazing one-in-a-million-shot surgery. Maggie tells her that she’s great at cardio, which flatters Stephanie, but neuro is her love. The surgery was going great, but Andy crashes suddenly.

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Bailey, performing her liver transplant, mourns the joy that Meredith stole from her surgery by spending all day guilting her about Chelsea.

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Andy had caught a clot and is now brain dead. Stephanie cries because the last thing Andy had asked for was a joke. Something so simple and attainable, and she failed him. She tells the joke to Amelia. “What do you call a boomerang that doesn’t come back? A stick… because boomerangs are supposed to come back.” Maggie tells her that if the clot didn’t kill Andy, that terrible joke would have. She reminds Stephanie that Andy knew the risks, and he knew that this surgery was a long shot. Otherwise, he could have died at home of acute heart failure instead of at the hospital in post-op. This way, Andy is able to donate his organs, which had been important to him. Saying this, Maggie remembers about Meredith’s patient and that Andy’s liver could save Chelsea’s life.

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Granny June’s transplant went very well, and Bailey updates the family. One of the family members had finished Granny June’s scarf for DeLuca, and they take a group picture for their Christmas card, showing how thankful they are and how wonderful this day has been for them, restoring Bailey’s joy.

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Meredith and Webber talk while performing Chelsea’s transplant. Meredith says she understands why Bailey wanted to keep the liver for Granny June, and that if Webber needed the transplant, she would be selfish about it on his behalf too.

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After Stephanie’s rough day with losing Andy, Maggie (off camera) asks Meredith to let Stephanie scrub in on her transplant. Watching from the gallery, Jo wallows and complains about getting bumped off her own patient’s surgery and being replaced by Stephanie. DeLuca shares his cookies from Granny June with her and tells her to get her self pity gland checked.

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Chandler, on the phone, tells her husband that she’s pregnant. She had wanted to wait to tell him in person, but she couldn’t stand knowing when he didn’t yet. Upon hearing this, Amelia decides to tell Owen before she takes the test so that they can find out together. At home, she leaves the wrapped pregnancy test on the table for Owen to find.

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Standing in front of the refrigerator, Maggie, Alex, and Meredith all agree that they hope Amelia is pregnant.

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Owen daydreams while waiting for the results. As he’s talking about which room to convert into the nursery, Amelia sees the negative line pop up, instantly crushed. Owen comforts her and tells her that it’s okay. They’ve only just started trying, and they have plenty of time.

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Not getting pregnant the first month of trying doesn’t mean that anything has to be wrong, but with this being Grey’s Anatomy, I can’t help but feel like this will lead to Amelia going through a struggle with fertility (a topic that I believe the show hasn’t really covered much, even after 12 seasons). With Amelia’s history of drug abuse and her possible past abortion, partnered with her general self loathing and her husband’s desire for children, I imagine problems with fertility would hit her very hard. But hey, maybe Grey’s won’t go there, and she’ll conceive by the mid-season finale. We’ll see what happens.

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Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8/7c! 

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