Maggie’s mom is back for her operation, and we get even more Amelia/Owen and Meredith/Riggs confrontation.
Meredith and Alex wait in the car outside of the airport while Maggie collects her mother, who is back in Seattle for her operation,from inside. Grey/Karev shippers may rejoice over their interactions between the two, although they are discussing Meredith’s potential relationship with Riggs. She notes that Riggs is an arrogant ass and Alex agrees, but it’s clear that Meredith is still interested. Maggie is still uncomfortable with her mother’s decision to get a breast augmentation. (As you may or may not recall, that is not what her mother is doing. Her surgery is a post-chemo mastectomy after Jackson had diagnosed her with inflammatory breast cancer in 13×12.) She tells Alex to check out her mom’s already ‘perfect’ chest when she arrives at the car, which makes for an awkward moment. Her mom gets in the car, and Maggie makes a joke that shows her mother that she is still not on board.
Arizona tries to convince Bailey to extend the budget toward peds so that they can buy wireless fetal monitors. Bailey asks Webber to back her up on the issue, but Webber bluntly says “Not my concern,” and keeps walking. Bailey assumes his coldness is solely her doing, but Arizona remarks that he’s mad at her now, too. Bailey asks what she did, but Arizona just walks away.
Owen is surprised to see Amelia back at the hospital when the doctors run outside to bring in a patient from an ambulance. June Squibb and Hal Holbrook play retired surgeons, Elsie and Lewis Klatch. They were on a hike when Elsie fainted and hit her head. Lewis orders the surgeons to run a head CT, an EKG, and labs with cardiac enzymes. Elsie tells her husband to let the doctors do their work. Instead of arguing with the former doctor, Owen tells DeLuca to listen to Lewis.
Riggs asks Meredith if she’s thought about what he said to her at the end of last episode. She says that she has three kids and hasn’t had time to think about it.
When Jackson realizes that Diane Pierce has still not told her daughter about her condition, he urges her to do so. Diane wants to wait until after her mastectomy, so that she can tell Maggie that she had cancer, but Jackson thinks she needs to do it beforehand. Ultimately, it’s Diane’s decision, no matter how uncomfortable it makes Jackson.
After she and Jackson part ways, Maggie asks her mom if they discussed everything, and what size implants she’ll be getting. Diane asks her to leave it alone, and Maggie concedes, passive aggressively adding that she hopes she’ll enjoy being ‘a nice, self-involved lonely person with an incredible rack.’
Jackson is consulting with an oncologist (I assume) on Diane’s case when Jo walks in and says that she’s on his service today. Jackson neither asked for, nor wanted, a resident for this case, given the secrecy, but Eliza gave her the assignment. Jo notices that it’s Maggie’s mother right before Maggie walks in, and Jackson quickly clicks away all of the screens displaying her mother’s scans. Maggie is upset that she can’t access Diane’s medical records, and Jackson tells her that she had requested privacy. Seeing that she is her daughter and a doctor, Maggie doesn’t think it’s fair that she’s not allowed to snoop. She wants to know her mother’s reasons for wanting a boob job and doesn’t understand why her mother had been shutting her out this entire time. (Not to be rude or anything, but maybe it’s because you haven’t been even the slightest bit understanding of her feelings.) Jackson tries to make Maggie realize that her mother is nervous about the surgery, as anyone going under the knife for any reason should be, and that she needs support. Maggie promises to try. Now that Jo knows, Jackson decides to let her stay.
Elsie tells DeLuca that she and her husband go on this hike every day, so she doesn’t know why she had a problem with it today. Stephanie asks Lewis if he is the Dr. Klatch, and he says that he’s one of two. (Awwweee, so cute.) Apparently he helped develop cardiopulmonary bypass machine alongside Dr. Raven. Lewis says that he actually did most of it. Amelia asks DeLuca to take Elsie for her CT. He offers to take Lewis to the waiting area, but Lewis demands that he stay with Elsie through it all.
After they wheel off Elsie, Owen confronts Amelia, reminding her that they took vows and are married, and that he needs her to tell him if she’s ever coming home so they can work this out. Amelia can’t bring herself to say anything at all. Before leaving, Owen says that he knows what he wants, and that she needs to figure herself out.
Elsie and Lewis are telling the residents stories of their youth when Amelia walks in and tells the residents to leave. Elsie points out that this is a teaching hospital and that the residents should stay and learn. She can tell by their faces that the doctors gave bad news. Elsie has a brain bleed that is only going to get worse, and Amelia let’s Elsie look at her scans. A surgical possibility is a craniotomy to decompress it, but the risks are high. The surgery, if successful, would buy her more time, but with her age and aspirin usage, she Elsie doesn’t make for a good surgical candidate.
Meredith and Amelia find Maggie in the break room sulking over her mom’s boob job again. Her mother has always been a conservative woman, so the fact that she wants ‘stripper boobs’ is jaunting. Still demanding a reason, Meredith and Amelia stand in solidarity that it’s about sex, but give Maggie a flimsy alternative reason – that she wants her shirts to fit better. Maggie wants advice on whether to demand a reason or blindly get on board. Meredith agrees that Maggie needs to hear the reason, but when Meredith leaves, Amelia says that Diane doesn’t owe Maggie an explanation.
Speaking of demanding information that is none of your business, Bailey demands that Arizona tell her how she pissed off Webber. Once she realizes that there is no way to shake Bailey, she admits that Webber caught her kissing Eliza. This fact makes Bailey feel better about her own betrayal, since Arizona did something even worse – Bailey’s decision was for business whereas Arizona made it personal. “Bros before potential love interests,” Bailey remarks.
Elsie is interested in the surgery, but Lewis just wants Elsie to come home. If she doesn’t have the operation, she will die in the near future. If the surgery is not a success, she could be dead tonight. Lewis isn’t ready for that risk. Elsie asks her husband to leave while she talks to Amelia alone.
Owen walks out with Lewis and assures him that Amelia doesn’t want to do the surgery either, so she will talk Elsie out of it.
Amelia voices her concerns with the surgery. Elsie says that she needs the extra time that the surgery will bring. She needs time to teach Lewis how to be alone. Not only does she need this extra time, but she wants it and says that even the sixty years that they have had together isn’t enough time.
Riggs tells Meredith that he can take no for an answer, and she tells him that she needs him to stop making jokes about this. She doesn’t even know if he’s serious about her. She feels like she doesn’t know Riggs, but everyone she knows who knows him doesn’t like him, which matters to her. She tells him that it’s up to him to give her a reason to like him, and his mind goes blank.
When Owen finds out that Amelia is going through with Elsie’s surgery, he loses it. Amelia thinks it was wrong of him to assure Lewis that they wouldn’t do the surgery. The actual messed up part of this, though, is that apparently Amelia didn’t even tell Lewis that the surgery was happening. I understand that the surgery should be Elsie’s decision, but to not consult with him at all?
The night before Diane’s surgery, Jackson tells her that he won’t perform the surgery if Diane doesn’t tell Maggie. Diane threatens to get another doctor, but Jackson reminds her that he is the best, and that Maggie won’t be afraid of cancer. Maggie would be a strong supporter and help her fight. Right on cue, Maggie walks into the examination room and offers her mother support with her upcoming operation. Diane cuts off her daughter’s sentiment to tell her that she’s really having a mastectomy because she has breast cancer. Jackson gives Maggie access to her charts so that she can see them herself. She is shell-shocked and leaves the room with a single tear.
While operating, DeLuca and Stephanie swoon over the Klatches still being in love and wanting more time together after all these years. Amelia says that their relationship is an anomaly and that that’s an unrealistic expectation of marriage.
Speaking of marriage, in the gallery, Bailey and Ben hold hands while Bailey talks about the cold war she has going on with Webber. Ben says that Webber will come around, and then also comments on the Lewis and Elsie’s 60 years of marriage. He plans on sticking around with Bailey for the rest of their lives, no matter what (last season was a good example of ‘no matter what’ and I think they’ve got this). The couple speculates what the other will be like in sixty years. Bailey will be retired and bossing everyone around in her personal life, while Ben will be one of those guys who tell the same stories over and over (“and then I sliced a woman open on a kitchen table during a rainstorm”).
Maggie goes through her mom’s charts that she stole from the hospital and takes notes.
Lewis stays by Elsie’s side all night long, checking her heartbeat with a stethoscope. In the morning, he concedes that Elsie was right – as usual. Lewis asks Owen if he wants to know their secret for a long-lasting marriage. Are you ready to take notes? The secret is that there is no secret. You just stay together. Who knew?
Maggie makes Jackson promise to not keep any more secrets about her mother from her. She tries to walk away, but she suddenly comes back to release some of her anger on Jackson for letting her speak to her mother the way that she did. The doctors at this hospital tend to think they deserve special access to all medical files just because they are doctors. When Diane specifically asked Jackson not to tell Maggie, it’s his job to give her that confidentiality.
Amelia gives Steph orders to do neuro checks on Elsie every two hours. Owen tries to start a conversation with his wife, but she quickly shuts down and tells him that he does not have the right to tell her what to do or to bully her. Amelia stands up for herself, saying that she is not automatically the wrong and messed up one, but starts fighting dirty by bringing up how suffocated Cristina, his ex-wife, must have felt. Bailey steps in and makes them move to an area that is a little more private than the middle of the hallway. In the stairway, Amelia asks Owen why he wants a baby so badly. When he says he wants a family, she points out that the two of them can be a family by themselves. He really just wants one because it’s ‘normal,’ but Amelia tells him that he doesn’t get to decide what’s normal. He wants the dream of having a family, but when you have a child, that dream may not come true. Things could be wonderful, or they could painful. When he says that he thinks she would be an amazing mother, she says that she was already an amazing mother (referring to when she opened up to Alex about her baby dying 43 minutes after birth in 13×06. It’s been unclear if she ever told Owen, or if she only told him that she doesn’t want kids).
Maggie paces during her mother’s operation. There is no dialogue in the OR, but the look on Jackson’s face shows that there must be bad news.
Amelia checks in on the Klatches and Lewis immediately says 16:22, meaning Elsie’s time of death.
Arizona says that she and Webber should talk about what he saw, but Webber, out of anger, replies that Arizona has always had an active love life, and he doesn’t have time to worry about who she’s kissing. She apologizes and says that she is still on his side. Webber knows he’ll come around, but he needs some time.
DeLuca makes plans to call the morgue and finish the paperwork on Elsie Klatch while Stephanie stands next to him crying. He tries to soothe her by reminding her that most people don’t even live to be 95. Knowing that Elsie thought it wasn’t enough time makes it harder for Stephanie to move on. They performed the operation and it took what little time they had. All of this makes Steph question why they even do this job, when they can’t control everything. When she pauses, DeLuca confesses that he thinks he is in love with Jo. (WHOA, WHAT A HUGE SHOCK. DIDN’T SEE THIS ONE COMING. But do we ship it? Let me know.) Stephanie asks him to leave.
After trying and failing to come up with a reason that Meredith should like him, Riggs tells her that he can’t find a reason. He thinks back to when he first realized he liked Meredith, which was before he ever spoke to her. She had laughed at something Maggie said, and he waited to see what name she wrote on the OR board so that he would know who she is. He decides that he doesn’t have a reason for her to like him because he doesn’t even have a good reason for liking her. At this, Meredith suggests that he ask her out to dinner. He does, and she says yes.
Lewis asks Owen if it’s okay if he finish Elsie’s paperwork in the morning, and Owen says that it can all wait until tomorrow. Owen offers to call Lewis a cab, since he and Elsie came in the ambulance, but Lewis just asks him to point him in the direction. Elsie was always taking care of him, and with Elsie gone, Lewis knows he needs to learn how to do things by himself.
Jackson tells Meredith that Maggie needs her, and she rushes through the hospital to get to her sister. She finds Maggie in a room surrounded by her mother’s scans, and Maggie tells her that Diane is really sick.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Stop killing every character’s parents, Grey’s Anatomy! Tune in Thursday nights at 8/7c for more Grey’s drama.