The season opens with Owen’s sister, Megan (recast as Abigail Spencer after a brief appearance in the season 13 finale), being airlifted to Grey Sloan after being thought dead for so many years. Owen removes the oxygen mask from Megan’s face in hopes she’ll say something to him. Megan, looking confused, asks, “Who… who are you?” After a beat, she breaks out in a smile, saying she just had to do that.
Once settled in a hospital bed, Megan recounts her time held prisoner in Iraq. She says she was treated pretty well and kept as a surgeon; she just wasn’t allowed to leave. Nathan Riggs walks and hugs the love of his life. He moves away when Megan express pain. She had been hit by shrapnel and has severe damage to her abdomen.
Bailey speaks to her staff about the places in the hospital to avoid until reparations are made. While the boss is speaking, of course people are talking amongst themselves about their personal problems. Arizona tells April that Eliza was fired, and April suggests that Arizona give Eliza space to deal with that hurt. Jo tells Alex that Stephanie has left Grey Sloan and has been transferred to a hospital in Texas. (Bye Stephanie. I knew you were leaving, but I still hate it.) Owen informs Webber that he and Riggs will be taking a leave to be with Megan for the time being. Amelia, who has been by her husband’s side this entire time, walks away awkwardly. Since she and Owen are kind of separated, it has to be hard to tell how much you should be there for someone and when it’s time to leave them alone. As Bailey wraps up her speech of places to avoid (including ORs 3-6), the ducts in the fourth floor nurse’s station crash to the floor.
Meredith and Maggie find Amelia getting ready for work, which surprises them. They ask her about Megan, who is doing surprisingly well, and then Maggie asks why Amelia isn’t taking off work to be with Owen today. Amelia says that she was there for the crisis, but the crisis is over. A miracle happened in finding Megan alive, and she’d like to get back to work to provide another family with a miracle.
Riggs is chatting with his wife from behind the scenes as she gets a cat scan. Megan asks if Riggs has met anyone significant since she’s been gone. Cue Meredith’s entrance. Riggs turns off the intercom promptly while Mer checks in. Riggs still feels bad for Megan’s return cutting his relationship with Meredith off, but, as a widow, Meredith completely understands and would do the same. After she walks back off, Riggs turns the intercom back on. It didn’t go unnoticed by Megan that there was a huge pause after her question. He tells her that he did meet someone, but that she wasn’t Megan.
In the ER, Amelia consults on a fourteen year old boy, Beau Martinez, who has intense jaw pains and headaches on the left side of his head. His father says he’s in so much constant pain that he had to quit baseball, but that his other doctors thought Beau was just faking it for pain medication.
Meredith walks in on Bailey and Webber looking at Megan’s scans and proceeds to check them out. Bailey describes Megan’s abdomen as being ‘one big blob.’ The surgeons list off the things that need done, including reversing the colostomy. Webber doesn’t think it’s possible, but Meredith says that they had taught her how to do this. She presents it to Megan and Co, though Bailey and Webber make it clear that they’d recommend a more ‘conservative approach.’ Megan states that she has been presumed dead for the past several years, so she’s not about to play it safe… then she drops the news that she plans on returning to Iraq to be with her son. After a commercial break, we learn that the child wasn’t really hers, but she took it in after his parents died and has been his mother for the past six years. Riggs follows Meredith after she walks off to tell her that she doesn’t have to do this, but Meredith is confident that she is the best one for this job.
Ben and Jo are looking at the empty OR board when it seems like Jo is about to cry. She asks Ben about how Stephanie was the previous night when he found her. Ben found the whole experience kind of thrilling. Jo quickly shifts gears to focus on herself: “Who am I going to talk to? Who am I going to compete against?”
Alex finds Jo standing at the OR board and brings her along for his case. His patient, Max, has been having abdominal pain and vomiting for months. When Max looks up at Jo, he’s starstruck, thinking she looks like the heroine in his comic book, Allora the Warrior Queen. Alex announced that Jo aka Allora will be performing his Ladd’s procedure by herself.
Bailey tells Webber that the new interns that Eliza had been courting for their residency program are now here and his to teach. They’re all in the top 10% of the program, and probably socially inept due to that.
When Meredith comes back to Megan’s room for an exam, Megan notices that Meredith is on a first-name basis with her mother. Meredith says she was in both of Owen’s weddings (to Cristina, her best friend, and Amelia, her husband’s sister). Megan is shocked to know there was another wife she missed out on entirely. Megan goes on to ask who Riggs has been dating, but Owen tells her to let Meredith do her work.
Webber shows the new interns around and is annoyed to find everyone taking notes with technology. A girl named Candace is repeating everything he says into her phone with a voice-to-notes app, which Webber asks her to stop. Ben and April rush in with a man who had been hit by an SUV. Webber asks if the students may observe, but as the man is cut into and blood squirts out of him, Candace starts screaming this ridiculous scream while another intern faints.
Owen and his sister catch up as Owen tells Megan that their mother has been dating a 38 year old firefighter. They have a laugh over it before Owen’s focus switches to his remorse over not trying harder to find Megan. She assured him that it really wasn’t that bad, and that she never wanted him to be wasting his life looking for her. She does ask for a specific coffee order, which Owen goes out to get for her. While in line, who should walk up but Teddy Altman! We’ve missed you, Teddy. She had been close with Owen and also Megan, so of course she’d be here now.
Arizona goes to Eliza’s apartment in hopes of helping her girlfriend get through this, but she only finds some moving men there.
Amelia gives a presentation on her patient, Beau. He was found to have a large osteoblastoma, encasing the nerves in his jaw. A biopsy of it through Beau’s ear has proven it to be benign. Amelia plans on removing the tumor, but will need help with jaw reconstruction. Jackson says that the tumor is inoperable, but Amelia doesn’t believe in inoperable. Alex suggests radiation, but Amelia counters that it won’t do very much. Alex argues that she’ll accidentally cut into the cranial nerves. Beau could end up with no lower jaw, but without the surgery, he’ll be in constant pain for the rest of his life.
Jo tells Ben that Alex has offered her this solo surgery, and she asks if that’s a bad reason to fall back in love with someone. Stephanie was always the person to tell her that she is making bad decisions, and Jo is wanting Ben to fill this role. Ben sees what Jo is doing and says he won’t be the new Stephanie. Webber walks in with the interns and tells Jo to show them what she’s working on. It’s a virtual dissection. Instead of looking at what Jo is doing, everyone is taking notes on what she is saying.
At lunch, Arizona tells April that Eliza just took off without saying a word. April starts in with an ‘at least she made her intentions clear and isn’t confusing you with the Montana situation’ throwing vague shade at Jackson. Before April can explain, Teddy walks up and is greeted with a big hug and a lot of word vomit from Arizona. On the other side of the room, Jackson sits down at Maggie’s table. Maggie gives him a weird look, making Jackson question if something is on his face. Maggie says ‘No, your face is perfect ‘and promptly feels awkward about it and leaves.
Teddy finds Owen having a breakdown and she reminds him that Megan’s surgery isn’t that major. She rubs his arms and tells him to put his head between his knees until he’s breathing more stably. Amelia walks by, seeing her husband comforted by another woman.
As Meredith adds saline to start Megan’s tissue expansion, Teddy gives Meredith her condolences over Derek. Megan asks who Derek is, to which Meredith replies “It’s a long story.” (What’s such a long story about ‘my husband died’?) Owen receives a snapchat dog filter face selfie of Megan’s son, Farouk, and hands the phone to Megan. They ask where Farouk is now, and Megan tells them that he’s in Baghdad. As a Syrian refugee and not legally adopted by Megan, he’s unable to come to America. She can’t wait to go back to Iraq to be with him.
In the park, Teddy confronts Owen about his weirdness around Riggs. When Riggs had first come to Grey Sloan, Owen was so angry at him, blaming him for Megan’s death. Owen says that it’s not that, but that Riggs had been dating Meredith up until they got the call about Megan being alive. They’re trying to keep that relationship a secret from Megan. Teddy doesn’t approve of hiding this from Megan, seeing as Meredith is her surgeon.
Jo preps for Max’s surgery and tells him that he’ll be a warrior king after he wakes up. Webber walks in and asks if the interns may observe. While the interns stand around the table, observing, one of the interns lose their glasses into Max’s open abdomen. Understandably, Jo asks Webber to remove his students from her OR as she fixes the situation.
Teddy tries to talk to Meredith about the Megan situation. Meredith is focused on an article Cristina had published on ex vivo lung perfusion until Teddy interject that it is inappropriate for Meredith to operate on Megan. Amelia, standing nearby, interrupts, saying that it’s not Teddy’s place to criticize Meredith for this. Teddy lashes back that she shouldn’t even have to be the advocate for Megan and Owen. She questions why Amelia hasn’t been around her own husband. Teddy just thinks that Megan deserves to know the entire history.
Looking at Beau’s scans, Amelia asks DeLuca if he paged Jackson. Amelia has been working non-stop on trying to make a plan on how to remove Beau’s tumor without sacrificing his jaw, and DeLuca asks if she’s slept. She’s had too much on her mind with everything that is going on. Jackson walks in and brings up a case of a woman he worked on years ago. After all of his work trying to preserve her jaw, she was still left without a bottom jaw.
April and Alex confront Webber about the ‘bottom of the barrel’ med students he’s parading around the hospital. Webber points out that neither of them were the greatest students ever. Alex got into this program with an essay on testicular cancer that he lied about having, and April failed her boards exam and got fired twice already. Webber takes credit for their successes, saying he raised them. Bailey saunters over to give Webber a high five for putting April and Alex in their place, but Webber switches his hostility in her direction, saying Eliza’s interns are unteachable and not meant to be doctors.
Teddy continues her Confrontation Tour, stopping to talk to Riggs. Riggs claims that any relationship and feelings he had for Meredith ended as soon as her found out Megan was still alive. He thinks since Megan has already been through so much, he shouldn’t add any more possible pain. Maggie, overhearing from the bathroom, steps out and tells Riggs that she knows how much it sucks to find out about him and Meredith too late. He wanted to protect her, but she didn’t need that, and she doesn’t think Megan needs it either.
Meredith tells Alex about Teddy’s confrontation, and how Meredith is probably wrong if Amelia is on her side, because Amelia is ‘kind of crazy.’ Meredith takes the lesson in honesty and applies it to Alex’s situation with Jo, saying that Alex needs to tell Jo that he tracked down her husband.
Before leaving work, Maggie admits to Jackson that she was avoiding him earlier. He noticed she was being a little odd, but sometimes Maggie just is odd. Hating when the truth is hidden from her, she tells Jackson that April had mentioned that she notices that Maggie and Jackson are into each other. She didn’t know how to handle that observation, so she’s been acting weirdly. Maggie tries to brush it off like NBD, leaving Jackson alone to try to process how he feels about the situation.
Riggs heads to Megan’s room to tell Megan the truth about his relationship with Meredith, but Meredith beat him to it. Megan asks him to wait in the hall, and then asks Meredith if she is in love with him. Meredith says she had one big love in her life, and that was with Derek. Megan, still set on getting back to her son, notes that Riggs has excellent taste in women. Being wheeled off to the OR, Megan high-fives Riggs, Owen, and Teddy, and tells them to stop worrying. “Grey is a bigger man than either of you.”
Amelia explains to Beau and his father how she expects to resect Beau’s tumor.
Meredith, Bailey and Webber scrub in for Megan’s surgery. Mer admits that she’s more nervous than she thought she would be. Webber says nerves aren’t a bad thing — it’s just showing that she cares. The surgery starts off with a full gallery of observers, but as the hours tick by, most of the people leave, with Riggs glued to his seat.
Arizona heads over to the bar and meets a sexy Italian woman. Arizona asks why people ‘ghost’ on each other, and the stranger notes that internet has made us ‘unsensitive.’
DeLuca tries to talk to Jo, but Jo wrongly assumes he wants to talk about his feelings for her and cuts him off by saying that she knows she can’t be with Alex, but she can’t be with him either. DeLuca leaves out of awkwardness, and intern-who-lost-his-glasses takes his place, wanting to buy her a drink. She tells him that he should get contacts, and he says he already put an order in for them. She opens up about missing Stephanie, and how Steph would have been so impressed at how Jo handled that surgery. She also says that Stephanie would remind her that it’s a terrible idea to do the one thing she wants to do. (Cue side glance at Alex.)
Owen and Teddy wait anxiously for Megan’s surgery to be over. She finally asks Owen where his wife is, but suddenly Riggs appears, announcing that Meredith was successful in her surgery and that she’s getting ready to close Megan up.
DeLuca comes home to the apartment he shares with Arizona and finds Arizona getting hot and heavy on the couch with what appears to be his sister. The two speak very fast, fluent Italian back and forth at each other while Arizona remains on the couch, confused.
Speaking of hot and heavy, intern guy loses his glasses yet again, but this time on Jo’s face while the two are in bed.
Megan’s surgeons stand around the table, not touching anything. Riggs uses the intercom to ask for an update, and Meredith says that there isn’t enough tissue for them to close up Megan’s abdomen now that they’ve fixed all of her issues.
So close, yet so far away. Yikes. Catch Grey’s Anatomy Thursdays at 8 on ABC!