Owen finds Amelia in his house in the morning. It’s her first day back to work since having her brain tumor removed, and she wanted to look at her old notes beforehand. There are still some of her boxes at Owen’s house. Owen asks if she thinks they made the wrong decision by splitting up. Amelia says no but that she wishes she thought it was the wrong decision. Owen agrees. Amelia reassures Owen that although her tumor affected her judgement for a decade, she knows her affection for him was real because she still has it. She asks if they can still be friends, since their divorce isn’t a regular divorce.
Maggie sees her sister, Meredith, on the cover of JSA (the Journal of Surgical Advancement). Amelia comments that Meredith is the surgical equivalent of a rockstar. Shifting the focus from herself, Meredith asks Amelia if she’s ready to return to work. Her first operation is a skull base schwannoma. Koracick reminds that he is the reason she can return to work, and he hands the department back over to her. He announces that he’s leaving, and Amelia reacts a little weirdly.
Bailey and Webber greet Meredith with excitement. Bailey says that doctors never get the cover of JSA. Meredith points out that Derek did, but they are no less impressed. They ask if she’s going to the new intern mixer tonight. She doesn’t seem to want to go, but they say she’d better be there. After they leave, Alex swings in. He brings up the magazine and then asks if she’ll put Jo on her service today and be nice to her. Since Jo had to remove her name from the article to stay safe from her husband, he just wants Jo treated extra nice. Jackson, annoyed that he can’t have his name on anything that might want to be nominated for a Harper Avery award, is glad to hear that Meredith at least hates the picture of her that is on the cover. Alex comments that Jackson is so rich, he could start making his own magazine and put himself on the cover. If he had that much money, Alex says he’d be on a big boat instead of being at work. Jackson says he thinks he needs to take a sick day, and then shows Alex a picture of the boat he just bought on his phone during this conversation. Alex decides that he’s too sick to work, too.
Meredith chipperly informs Jo that she’ll be on her service today, after the impressive job Jo did on the procedure that landed in the JSA. Their patient, Judge Jeffrey King, had stage 4-A colon cancer and is scheduled for a liver resection and diversion procedure, which Jo refers to as an ALPPS. Apparently it’s not only a first for Grey-Sloan, but it’s a first for the west coast. The judge’s ‘star resident,’ Robert Souza, is standing by his side.
Amelia reassures her patient, Harmony, that they remove brain tumors almost every week. Harmony and her husband comment that that’s a lot of brain tumors, and wonder if cell phones are to blame. Their children make a lot of noise while playing, and Harmony asks them to keep it down. Amelia says that children’s laughter is proven to have healing qualities. Harmony’s daughter asks if her mother will still be the same person after her brain surgery, and Amelia assures her that she will be.
Arizona and April swipe through Tinder. Arizona says that she hates dating, and that she had accidentally broken up with Carina by telling Carina that she needs more room in her house for Sofia. April says she is so ready to be dating anyone who does not work at Grey-Sloan. Maggie walks up. She has started a Tinder account but is gunshy about actually swiping left or right. Bailey walks by and reprimands the women for just standing around. April says it’s a slow day, and Bailey checks out Maggie’s phone. She goes through the men (“Too young. Way too young.”) and matches Maggie with a man she refers to as ‘Idris Elba.’
Leaving the hospital, Jackson and Alex run into Ben, who is leaving the hospital after working the night shift with DeLuca. Jackson invites the duo along. Just then, Owen walks by and Jackson tells him to come along too.
Amelia runs across the parking lot to stop Koracick from driving away. She asks him to stay to assist on her patient’s schwannoma. He thinks she’s just scared to go back to working alone, but she doesn’t give him much room to say no.
Bailey, Arizona, April and Maggie fight over the incoming patient arriving by ambulance. While trying to find whose specialty Danielle falls under, a man calls out to greet Bailey and April. Bailey groans and April informs us that Mr. Nelligan is a hypochondriac. He tells Bailey that he has a terrible headache and he sees himself to his usual bed. He lies in the bed next to Danielle, and Arizona asks Danielle if she’s pregnant, based on her symptoms. They continue questioning her so they can figure out how to help her, but Danielle is stubborn and in a lot of pain. She came from the prison and they ask her if she maybe had swallowed something as a way of smuggling it in. All of a sudden a gunshot goes off, injuring Danielle and Mr. Nelligan. Panic ensues and dies out. They realize that Danielle only has an exit wound, and Arizona asks if Danielle put a gun up her vagina. (‘Vaginal discharge,’ anyone?) They find out that it was her boyfriend’s idea, and she was trying to help him. After some scans, Webber walks in, asking where the weapon is that went off in the ER. The doctors gesture to a scan that shows it is inside of her pelvis.
Mr. Nelligan was shot in the femoral artery and Bailey hasn’t been able to stop the bleeding by using pressure. She asks Maggie to scrub in with her for surgery.
Our boys grab some fishing equipment and head over to Jackson’s enormous boat. They ask what the boat’s name is, and Alex laughs that Jackson bought a boat without knowing it’s name.
Meredith has Jo explain their upcoming procedure. Jo asks Meredith what she would do now if she were her. Way too smiley and sing-songy, Meredith says she would be proud of herself. Jo is weirded out by Meredith and then Webber comes in and informs Jo that she is in the running for chief resident. She asks if Alex or Ben put him up to this, and Webber reminds her that this is good news.
Koracick disagrees with the procedure Amelia is considering for Harmony. Amelia has started looking at her patient’s files as ‘what would I want if this were my tumor.’
The judge feels that the wording on his consent form is ‘really alarmist.’ Meredith says that they don’t have to do this procedure, and that his best prognosis is six to twelve months. Rob, the judge’s assistant, is concerned that they might be taking this risk as a ploy to publish another paper. They ask Meredith if she would sign this in his position. Legally, she says, she’s not allowed to say. Jo jumps in, however, and says she would sign it in a heartbeat. She wouldn’t want to spend the rest of her life wondering what would have happened if she had been brave enough to sign. Later on, Meredith follows up with the judge that this surgery is what he wants. She says it was unethical of her resident to pressure him into this. He assures her that he didn’t sign the consent form because Jo pressured him. Jo had reminded him of his wife, who died a few years. “If she had the chance to fight for her life, she would have done it. And if she were here, she would have made me sign.”
DeLuca catches up to the boys on the boat. They sent him out for food, and he brought back some very large fish to grill up. They had expected something more basic, like hamburgers, but DeLuca figured they’d have seafood while at sea. The boys had just finished a tie-knotting competition (Jackson won), and Jackson hands everyone a knife and says that the last person to finish filleting their fish has to go buy more beer.
In surgery, Jo asks Meredith why she hasn’t yelled at her for unethically advising their patient to do this surgery. Meredith says that it worked in their favor, and if Jo already knows it was wrong, there’s nothing to yell about.
Amelia pages Webber to his own office because she needs a ‘meeting,’ meaning an AA/NA meeting. She asks him if she remembers when he quit drinking and how he was worried about who he would be without the booze. She compares her brain tumor to that. She’s worried that her brain tumor made her who she was — that she was brave and fearless because of the tumor. She’s unsure if she can be a surgeon without it. Webber tells her to just take it one day at a time, like sobriety. One surgery at a time.
Bailey and Maggie operate on Mr. Nelligan’s gunshot wound, and Bailey talks about how he has spent his life trying to find things that would land him in the hospital, making his life harder than it has to be. Maggie asks if she also makes her life harder than it has to be — wanting the tough job and the impossible guy. Maggie gets a tinder notification, and she has someone check her phone. She matched with ‘David M,’ and she decides to ask him out for tonight.
April and Arizona work on Danielle. April says she’s lucky she didn’t do any damage to her bowel or anything when that gun went off. Arizona comments that Danielle is only 18, and goes on to think how her daughter Sofia will be a teenager soon.
Amelia and Koracick operate on Harmony and as Koracick reminds Amelia that she’s ready to fly solo, something in Harmony’s brain starts bleeding. Koracick comments that maybe Amelia wasn’t ready for this after all, but Amelia fixes the bleed on her own. After a few rude comments from both parties, Amelia removes the tumor, and Koracick says he knew she could do it.
Post-op, Jo asks Meredith to stop treating her as if she’s fragile. She thinks Meredith is being nice out of pity, since Jo removed her name from their paper so her husband wouldn’t find her. Jo says that that decision doesn’t make her a victim. Meredith remarks that what Jo has done makes her a survivor, not a victim. She admits that Alex asked her to be nice to Jo, but that she put her on her service because Jo is good and deserves it.
Ben checks out the double-chambered heart of his salmon, and Jackson says they’re not supposed to be doctors today. DeLuca says his father took him and his sister fishing when they were little. Alex says his dad left them in the car while he fished. Jackson says he didn’t have a sister until recently, but the boys question the logic of Maggie being his sister.
Arizona asks Danielle if she has any family she wants to contact post-op, but Danielle just wants to talk to her boyfriend. Arizona launches into a lecture about how dumb it was that she did this. Danielle finds comfort in knowing that she at least will now be going to prison with him, but, as everyone in the world, aside from Danielle, knows, that’s not how it works. Arizona says “if you can be brave enough to do this for your boyfriend, you can be brave enough say no to him,” and walks away.
Meredith tells Judge that his surgery was a success, though they still have follow-up surgeries planned. After Meredith leaves to get Rob, Judge detects that Jo is upset about something. He thinks it’s a problem with his surgery, but Jo hits him up for legal advice, as he specializes in domestic violence cases. He says that there are legal actions she can pursue, but there’s still the risk that he could physically confront her if she files for divorce.
Bailey tells Mr. Nelligan that he’ll have to come back next month for a checkup to make sure everything is okay in his gunshot recovery. Mr. Nelligan says that he will not be returning to Grey-Sloan. He had come in with a headache and is now leaving after being shot. Bailey feigns disappointment, and Maggie agrees that Seattle Presbyterian will probably take much better care of him.
Jackson tells the boys about his new apartment. DeLuca says that with Sofia coming home, he has to move out of Arizona’s apartment. With Amelia leaving, Owen says DeLuca can stay with him. Ben completely changes the subject by blurting out that he isn’t a ‘white coat’ guy and that he is a ‘run into the fire’ guy. They get a reminder of the intern mixer tonight, and everyone (except DeLuca) runs off, calling a cab to take them to the hospital because they’re all drunk.
Maggie sees her tinder date show up to meet her in the lobby of the hospital and she ducks under the desk to hide.
Webber asks Bailey where all of her surgeons are. She spots April, and then Jackson, Ben, Alex and Owen burst through the doors and try to act casual.
Amelia tells Harmony’s husband and kids that Harmony made it through the surgery and she’s going to be okay. She excuses herself to talk to Koracick. He says he had Knicks tickets for tonight that she made him miss. He said that he knew Amelia would be fine in that surgery, but he hoped she’d mess up so she wouldn’t still be better than him.
Owen and Carina meet at the mixer. He thinks she’s a new resident, but she tells him that she’s a visiting doctor. He apologizes for not already knowing this, and asks what her specialty is. He’s taken aback when she says ‘orgasms.’
Webber shows his phone to Bailey and asks where Meredith is so they can tell her of their good news. We switch over to Meredith, who is paged to the judge’s room. He’s flatlining and they need to open him back up. They lose him, and Meredith gives a heartfelt apology to Rob. His liver was still perfect, and the procedure didn’t kill him. It was due to a blood clot. Webber collects Meredith and brings her downstairs for the good news: she’s been nominated for a Harper Avery award. After her night, it’s hard to be happy over this.
Jackson asks Bailey to see her in her office. Once there, he says how he had been competing with the guys on the boat today, with the knots and filleting, and it was the best he’s felt in years. Being an Avery excludes him from competing for the Harper Avery. He says he wants to be in the game. He wants to give Miranda Bailey half of the money his grandfather left him (a quarter of a billion dollars) to start her own surgical research competition, like the Harper Avery. She asks if she’s supposed to let him win, but he just wants the opportunity to compete. Seems like unnecessary drama down the road, but Bailey agrees.
Koracick and Amelia sleep together, and Koracick asks ‘weren’t you married when I got here?’
DeLuca tells Arizona that he found a place to say. Her response (‘Thank God’) comes off ruder than anticipated, and she says she’s just been overwhelmed. She asks who he’s going to live with, and then sees DeLuca’s new roommate, Owen, making out with her ex, Carina.
Jo tells Alex that she’s in the running for chief resident, and that she doesn’t want to wonder what her life would be if she were a little bit braver. She’s decided to stop hiding and file for divorce.
The new residents walk through the halls of Grey-Sloan, excited for this new journey. They run into DeLuca, who is surprised to see one of the new residents, Samantha. We don’t know how they know each other, but it’s implied that there’s some history there. One of the background interns remarks, “They’re both so pretty. I wonder what’s going to happen next.”
Bailey finds Meredith drinking wine and looking through files. She hands some over to Bailey and says they are going to save these six liver patients (who don’t qualify for transplants) using the ALPPS procedure.
Tune in tonight for Grey’s 300th episode!