Everybody who keeps saying that ABC ought to pull the plug on Grey’s Anatomy can go ahead and take all the seats. The resurgent drama’s Season 19 finale made a beyond-compelling case for the series’ long and healthy future with a double header that included enough relationship upheaval to fill a dozen episodes as well as twists that left three lives hanging by a thread. And if you read on, we’ll go over all the details.
‘I WISH I WOULD’VE TAKEN THE GIRLS ON ONE LAST RIDE’ | As “Wedding Bell Blues” began, Teddy, whose toothache would become a major plot point in two hours’ time, appointed Winston head of cardio. Simone made tracks to Grey Sloan to see Lucas — but not to say, “Yes, the entire audience is right, I’m being an idiot marrying Trey, whom no one likes.” She had promised Toby that she’d be there for her mastectomy and now couldn’t be, what with the wedding and all. Would Lucas look after her for Simone? “I’d do anything for you,” he replied. (Credit where it’s due: Niko Terho has that puppy-dog expression down pat.) In other developments, Jo and Sam’s flirtation continued to irk Link, and Blue helped prove that a single mom hadn’t given her 8-year-old Fentanyl.
Max — whose presence at the hospital might qualify as an actual painkiller, she’s such a delight — further bonded with Blue. “I can see why Jules is falling for you,” she remarked. But soon, as has been a lingering fear since Juliet Mills started her scene-stealing guest-starring run, Max coded. Rather than respect her DNR order, Blue acted fast and kept her alive… but in a way that she absolutely would not have wanted. En route to Simone’s wedding, Mika thanked Helm for standing up for her to Teddy. Now able to sleep eight hours a night, Yasuda felt like a superhero who’d had Kryptonite taken out of her shoe. “Can I kiss you at this red light?” she asked. “Totally,” Taryn replied. (Love for Helm… at last!)
‘THIS IS NOT HOW I’M SUPPOSED TO DIE!’ | Getting ready to tie the knot, Simone told Jules that red robins had been her mom’s favorite bird, and she’d seen one on her first date with Trey — a sure sign, Griffith thought, that her mom would want her to marry her fiancé. Cue a red robin fatally crashing into the window. And Simone’s wedding dress ripping. And Grandma coming in, speaking to Simone as if she was her late mom. “Denise” didn’t have to marry Keith if she really wanted Dwayne, Grandma said. After spotting the ill-fated robin on her way down the aisle, Simone asked her father if her mom had been engaged to someone else before him. (Yup.) Before you could say, “I don’t,” she’d left the ceremony, hightailed it to Grey Sloan and made love with Lucas in an on-call room.
Flying to Boston, Richard, Catherine, Bailey, Winston, Nick and Amelia experienced turbulence even before they took off. Winston went so far as to switch seats to get away from Amelia, who instead of bug him pushed Nick to give Meredith another chance. “You really enjoy interfering in other people’s relationships,” Ndugu observed. When actual turbulence hit, Richard reached for Catherine’s martini and would’ve drunk, had Bailey not swatted the glass from his hand. Once the plane had landed safely, Nick split from the group to pay Meredith a house call. To his — and our! — surprise, the door of her mammoth home was opened by Gilles Marini, who suggested that “it’s probably best if you text” rather than just show up. Snap!
‘THAT EXPLAINS WHY THE DOCTOR WHO SAVED MY LIFE NOW LOOKS LIKE HE WANTS TO KILL ME’ | “Happily Ever After?” began with Jules tearing into Blue for ignoring Max’s wishes. Since Millin is her roommate’s medical proxy, thanks to Kwan, “I might have to decide to unplug my favorite person in the world.” When Max awakened, intubated and terrified, Jules and Blue calmed her with promises to play Tom Jones. It looked like the patient was going to make it, but with Grey’s Anatomy, you can never be too sure, especially with guest stars. Jules’ feeling for Blue, as complicated as they already were, had become even trickier to navigate. “Now I don’t just get to hate you, I have to love you, too,” she said. “You saved my favorite person.”
At the same time, Sam deduced that Link’s more and more open hostility toward him stemmed from love for Jo. Pfft, no, she replied. In that case, as soon as Sam was sprung from his hospital bed, he was going to sweep her off her feet, he said. (Don’t count on it, buddy.) Next thing we knew, Lucas was checking on Sam, and, in a matter of seconds, he went from “I feel funny” to code blue. Where was his primary doctor? Outside, arguing with Jo about their relationship. “I’m so completely in love with you,” he finally declared. “How do you not see that?!?” He’d almost said it 100 times. And whether he’d ever managed to spit it out, “I love you, and I’m gonna love you forever.” Jo’s response? “You unbelievable dummy. I love you, too.”
‘MAINTAIN THE RESPECT YOU HAVE BUILT FOR YOURSELF’ | In Boston, Meredith summoned Nick as well as the rest of her Grey Sloan family to her lab. She had a radical new theory about curing Alzheimer’s. It might be correct, but in the years that it would take to prove it, Mer would be seen as crazy, Richard warned. She could destroy her whole career. Plus, Amelia noted, “What you are hypothesizing insults Derek’s work.” During a moment alone with Mer, Nick was cold. He didn’t mention Gilles Marini Michael and didn’t want to bother with small talk. Impractical but understandable.
At Grey Sloan, Trey was ambulanced in after crashing into a tree. While being treated, he surmised that Lucas was the reason he’d been jilted and slugged him. “I didn’t leave you for another man, I left because I’m not the person I was,” Simone tried to explain. Also, you always came off like a jerk, Trey. (That was me there, not Simone, obv.) Back in Boston, Maggie recruited Winston to zip her dress before the Catherine Fox Awards, and soon, both of them had ditched their clothes and hit the sheets. At the ceremony, Mer couldn’t keep her lips zipped about her Alzheimer’s theory; she blurted it out to Catherine’s table full of moneybags.
‘I CAN’T BELIEVE I UGLY-CRIED IN FRONT OF THE MOST ACCOMPLISHED SURGEONS IN THE WORLD’ | Just as Bailey was being passed over as presenter in favor of Meredith, Ben showed up. But Miranda wasn’t being dissed, it turned out. The Catherine Fox Award was going to someone who wasn’t even a nominee, Grey explained. For her tireless work in training the next generation of doctors to provide reproductive care in these impossible times, Bailey was being given the prize! After the ceremony, Maggie and Winston pondered divorce and… seemed not to really come to any conclusions. (Maybe next season, when someone new catches his eye?)
After Amelia invited Richard to a meeting, he stayed behind in the ballroom… and was served a vodka tonic. Meredith slipped a note under Nick’s hotel-room door. When he opened it, they finally talked. She’d been tired and scared and overwhelmed when she’d pretended not to hear his “I love you.” She was still all of those things… but she missed him. Um, and what about Michael? He’s Zola’s tutor, and he’s gay, Mer laughed. In that case, Nick said, he wanted a life full of “love and mess and pain and you.” With that, there was smiling, laughing, kissing…
In the season’s final moments, Teddy was just about to perform life-saving surgery on Sam when she collapsed without so much as a pulse. (Must’ve been some toothache!) Since when it rains in Seattle, it pours, Sam also went code blue. If the residents were going to save him, they had to act
fast immediately — they couldn’t wait for an attending. (Do they ever wait anymore?) As Lucas and Simone began to tag-team the procedure, Owen arrived and started trying to shock Teddy back into consciousness. Hell of a way to wrap a season, no?
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This story originally appeared on TVLine