With a title like that and it being the 13th episode of the 13th season, it’s no surprise that the voiceover theme for the episode is Murphy’s Law (“… because if anything can go wrong, it will”). April has her first day as interim chief of general surgery, and two attendings get to lead start-to-finish surgeries.
April updates Bailey on everything as the new interim chief of general surgery, which Bailey says is unnecessary and that she trusts April to do the job.
Webber and Catherine walk into work, bickering. At the end of the previous episode, Webber realized that Catherine is not only on Bailey’s side, but she’s pulling the strings.
Some rando surgeon who has never been on the show before is talking to April, confused as to why she is filling in for Meredith (apparently he didn’t get the same email Meredith and Alex). He seems a little shocked that April was chosen for the job. I assume it’s because she has been on trauma for years, and not general. This is never brought back up in the episode, but I like to pretend that this guy is jealous that he wasn’t offered the job. He walks away, and Eliza takes his place, asking April to assign an attending to supervise Ben’s solo colectomy. This week is all about “phase two” of her plan, where two residents have the opportunity to do a solo surgery start-to-finish. The Chosen Two (chosen from a hat) are Ben and Stephanie. Ben is the chief’s husband, and Stephanie has been referred to as the best resident, so color me skeptical about the choices. They’re my favorite residents, so I’m not complaining. The only attending with a scheduled colectomy is Dr. Webber.
Stephanie is beyond ecstatic for her start-to-finish today, doing a little dance in the resident’s lounge, and I can’t help but feel so happy and proud for her. You deserve this, girl!
April has to face Webber and tell him that his surgery will now be Ben’s, and that he can only assist. He is very angry and resistant, but April basically begs him to ‘please’ do it, ‘please,’ and agrees, still extremely unhappy with her. It’s clear that April is going to have a rough time with this job. The attendings all think she’s a traitor, but she’s just doing what is best for the hospital.
Eliza informs Stephanie that there has been a ‘complication’ with her patient. What is this ‘complication,’ you ask? Perhaps she ate breakfast when everyone knows you’re not allowed to eat before surgery. Nope. The ‘complication’ is that she died, so Eliza and Stephanie go trolling through the ER for a replacement surgery. Murphy is scheduling an ultrasound. Eliza asks her about the patient, and once it appears that the patient will need surgery, she poaches it and puts Stephanie in charge.
Jackson tells Webber that it’s time for one of them to talk to Jackson’s mother/Webber s wife, Catherine, thinking his mom would put a stop to these new changes. Webber fills him in that all of this was Catherine’s idea. As they are talking about Bailey, Ben walks up to talk to Webber about his start-to-finish surgery today, and the two of them shut down their conversation immediately.
One of Meredith’s patients, Lynne, is very unhappy that Meredith will no longer be performing her surgery, and keeps referring to April as ‘Not Grey.’ Meredith is the doctor who found Lynne’s cancer, and she’s been her doctor ever since. Meredith knows all there is to know about this case, and Lynne doesn’t trust April to do it right. She wants to cancel the surgery, but Maggie advises her that she needs to get this cancer out before it spreads, since they don’t know when Meredith will be back.
Stephanie gives an ultrasound to her newly stolen patient, a nine year old boy named Matty. He and his parents had been about to go on a cruise when Matty started getting stomach pain. They’re hoping the doctors can just give Matty some medicine and send them on their way, but he has gallstones and needs surgery.
Bailey is acting very cute while congratulating Ben on his upcoming first solo surgery, but he can’t find much excitement in it since his attending is Webber, who isn’t in support of Eliza (he had got on board with the new program Eliza wanted, but the feud started once she made it clear that he would not be her coworker). Ben says he’s tired of being Bailey’s ‘First Lady.’
While operating on Lynne, Lynne goes into cardiac arrest. Once they have her heart under control, she’s still too unstable to continue the operation. Without removing the cancer, April and Maggie have to close her up. Maggie seems to blame April, to which April responds, “Why are you looking at me? I didn’t give her a heart attack.” Maggie snaps on April for being a traitor and aiding the enemy, while April argues that this is her job and she was just acting like an adult.
Bailey decides to scrub in on Ben’s start-to-finish surgery, presumably to keep an eye on Webber to make sure he isn’t rude and resistant to Ben. If ever there were a time to bring up her marriage and that she’s proud of Ben, this would be that time. Instead, she remains transparent, and Ben is unhappy with the special treatment. Webber is perfectly charming while Ben operates, complimenting his movements and making conversation. He tells Ben that if he’s going to be one of those surgeons who plays music in the OR that he should choose his playlist carefully, mocking a past resident (Bailey) who had Mmmbop on her playlist. According to Bailey, it was a very popular song at the time. (Mmmbop came out in 1997. Grey’s Anatomy started in 2005. In season 3, Bailey was on her 5th year of residency. Hmm…)
At lunch, Owen voices his stance on Bailey versus Webber. He says you listen to the chief, and that that doesn’t mean you’re against Webber. Jackson asks what you’re supposed to do when you’re completely against an order you’ve been given. Riggs chimes in that a coup is frowned upon, but very necessary. April walks by and everyone stops talking until she sits down at a table alone. Arizona checks the OR schedule and asks “why is a resident listed as a lead surgeon on a lap chole on a peds case?” and then storms off to find Eliza.
Webber and Bailey continue bickering about teaching while barely paying attention to Ben. It’s his first solo surgery and he’s barely supervised. If there are any post-op complications (such as the instances where a surgeon left a rag inside of the person’s body before closing up), I hope both of them get in trouble. Once Ben is finished, he lets them know how angry he is with them for ruining something that should have been fun and exciting for him.
Arizona is strongly against Stephanie having this surgery. He’s a nine year old boy, and she thinks the first solo surgery Stephanie does should not be on a little boy. She reminds Eliza that she is not a peds surgeon. Eliza’s speciality is ortho for athletes, though, like everyone else, she as trained in general surgery, too, and also she teaches for a living. Arizona insists on scrubbing in. Eliza says she can, but only to assist.
Stephanie explains the procedure to Matty right before Arizona and Eliza prep him for surgery, saying he’ll only have an itty-bitty scar.
Lynne blames April for her current condition, and begins talking about how nice Dr. Grey is, and April snaps back (with a smile) that anyone in the hospital could tell you that she is nicer. Right as Lynne started go say “but Dr. Grey would have gotten my cancer,” she goes tachycardic and can’t breathe from gastric fluid in her lungs. They wheel her back to the OR for immediate surgery.
Stephanie is worried as she starts the surgery, not sure how hard to push. Eliza reassures her that she won’t know until she does it.
Maggie is being very rude to April and blaming her for messing up while stapling Lynne shut. She was having a heart attack, so April was working as quickly as she can. April, suddenly remembering that, as Meredith’s temporary replacement, all of Meredith’s patients are hers, tells Maggie that she is not welcome in her OR if she is going to continue acting this way. Jo, always loving attending drama, was seriously impressed and tells April “that was badass.”
Stephanie is doing everything she’s supposed to do, and seemingly doing it well, but then the monitor starts beeping. She turns the laparoscope to see if the liver bed is bleeding, but it looks fine. She keeps turning the camera until she sees the blood filling his pelvis. Arizona takes charge and opens Matty up to try to stop the bleeding. She does everything she can, but he’s bled out too much already. Stephanie keeps asking what she did wrong. Eliza is non-responsive and eventually just walks away. Arizona follows after her, unhappy with how she abandoned Stephanie after that.
Catherine tries to play nice with Webber, but he won’t have any of it. Bailey was his favorite student. She was his intern when she had first started out, and he was there for her all the way up to Chief. He says, “she was my start-to-finish,” and Catherine turned her against him.
April comes into the hospital daycare to see Harriet before Jackson takes Harriet home for the night. April is telling Jackson about the surgeries she is going to be doing and how busy she is, and Jackson is annoyed because he can tell that she is enjoying this new job. He tells her that everyone thinks she’s a traitorous opportunist, and that when Bailey asked her to step up, she should have said no. April says it was her responsibility to this hospital to accept.
Arizona finds Eliza crying in a dark room and lectures her about how she handled things with Stephanie. Eliza is her teacher, and it’s her job to teach her how to deal with losing patients as well as saving them. Eliza admits that she has never had a child die before. She only worked on children through her fellowship, and ever since, she has worked on athletes and old people. She asks Arizona how she stops feeling this way, and Arizona replies, “You don’t. You just learn how to feel this way a little faster. You let it hurt, and then you put it behind you so you can face forward to the next kid who needs you… Take your time, and then we’ll go.”
Lynne is rude to April when she wakes up after surgery until she learns that not only did April “fix the thing she broke,” but she also “got the damn cancer”
After getting no answers from Eliza, Stephanie finds Webber (a moment that really, really hit me in the feels). She explains all of the information in Matty’s and how the surgery went. She just wants to understand what went wrong and if she’s to blame. Webber tells her that it would have been an easy fix, but it was laparoscopic, and you can’t fix what you can’t see. Arizona and Eliza were both right there and they didn’t notice she had torn a vessel. If these experienced surgeons didn’t catch it, a resident couldn’t be expected to catch it either.
Once Arizona has calmed Eliza down, she offers to help Eliza tell Matty’s parents that he died in surgery, but Stephanie is already telling the family with Webber by her side.
April is working on paperwork, and Catherine advises her to take it home, so she can at least be comfortable while she does it. April has been living with Jackson as roommates so that they can both live with their daughter, and since Jackson is mad at her for taking this job, she doesn’t want to go home. Catherine explains that she and April are similar and have had to fight for everything they have, while Jackson grew up with an enormous amount of money to fall back on. Getting along for the first time ever (mainly due to how unwelcome they both are at home), the two go out for dinner.
Bailey doesn’t understand how Ben sees himself in the middle of everything that is going on at the hospital. When it comes to Eliza vs Webber, the residents want Eliza because of all of the exciting learning opportunities she is fighting for them to have. As a resident, Ben wants that, too, but he had worked at Seattle Grace for years as an anesthesiologist before deciding to go to medical school to become a surgeon, and he is friends with the attendings, who now avoid talking around him because he’s married to the chief. Bailey asks, if he’s so in it, which side he’s on, but he refuses to answer and goes to bed.
Eliza, having the worst night, is bawling in her car and banging on the steering wheel, which sets off her unrelenting horn. Arizona, who grew up in a family of manly men, knows plenty about cars and pulls out her horn wires. Eliza thanks her for everything tonight.
This is one of my favorite episodes in a while. Eliza has been fighting for this program, saying it’s so much better than the program that was already in place. She was so smug and cocky, and we watched her get knocked down in a major way. I do believe the new method of teaching is the way to go, but what happens when everything goes wrong? What kind of repercussions will this have? Fighting with Bailey aside, Webber really stepped up with Stephanie and was the kind of mentor she deserves. Hopefully a lot of positive changes will come from this.
Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8/7c on ABC