It has been a hell of a week for airplanes and the unfortunate souls on them. Grey's Anatomy Season 13 Episode 20 was the best installment of the season. Not only was it thrilling, but the entire hour was devoted to Meredith.
Chandra Wilson was at the helm, directing an unforgettable touching episode that paid homage to previous seasons, characters, and life-changing events. Meredith's growth was on display throughout the hour, and her relationship with Riggs finally hit its stride.
Join TV Fanatics Stacy Glanzman, Amanda Steinmetz, and Jasmine Blu as they discuss "In the Air Tonight."
Did you enjoy Meredith performing surgery on a plane? What did you think about Meredith working through her PTSD to get the job done?
Stacy: It's always fun getting to see the doctors improvise in the field, and watching Meredith perform brain surgery with a cocktail straw was pretty intense. It was very impressive that Meredith didn't freeze or clam up at all, but was able to think clearly and let her instincts take over considering the circumstances.
Amanda: I love it when the doctors have to get creative in emergency situations. I thought Meredith kept her cool despite thinking back to the horrific plane crash that killed Lexie and eventually Mark.
Jasmine: I love watching the creativity and ingenuity of doctors in the field. I also loved that Meredith freaked out, but still fought through to save her patient. I did not want to see anyone die on a plane, especially someone played by Queer Eye for The Straight Guy's Jai Rodriguez.
On a scale of 1-10 how gut-wrenching were those flashbacks?
Stacy: 9. The flashbacks were perfectly timed and executed for the biggest emotional impact. It was hard to see Lexie dying again and all of the happy times between Meredith and Derek. They were pretty heartbreaking.
Amanda: Lexie's death is one of the saddest moments in the series for me, so anytime there are flashbacks to that episode, it makes me emotional.
It's absolutely insane this woman has been through so much trauma, but that's exactly why she can keep calm under pressure.
Jasmine: 9. Same, Amanda! Lexie gets me every damn time. God, I miss her! Everything about those flashbacks was heartbreaking, but I agree with Stacy, they were perfectly timed for maximum effect.
Meredith told Riggs about the plane crash and Lexie. Thoughts?
Stacy: It was a little surprising that Riggs didn't know anything about the plane crash. I can see that he wouldn't know the specific details or about Lexie, but you would think it would have come up at some point, or that he would have asked Arizona how she lost her leg.
As for Meredith telling him about it, I think that was a big step for her. She doesn't talk about Lexie much and it means she's starting to let him in.
Amanda: I agree with Stacy. How could Riggs have not heard about the plane crash? Not only did a couple of doctors end up dead, but Arizona lost her leg, and Meredith and the others became owners of the hospital.
Riggs not knowing any of this seemed like a stretch. Other than that, I thought Meredith talking about it was a step in the right direction for letting her guard down.
Jasmine: I also found it odd that he had no idea about the plane crash. You work at this new place with all these people, and you're romantically interested in one of them; you didn't do a Google search or anything, Nathan?
I loved when Meredith told him about Lexie. I especially loved when she referred to Lexie as her "kid sister." She has been through so much s**t, and it was a great reminder of just how much she has overcome.
Was Riggs right to call Mer out on putting others ahead of herself and holding on to Derek? Did you find him too pushy?
Stacy: I think he pushed her just enough to be what she needed. She was afraid of letting Derek go and of getting close to someone new, and she needed that push to face her fear.
I don't think Riggs was trying to push her into something she didn't want. He was trying to help her realize that she doesn't have to be afraid to go after what she wants.
Amanda: I think he was completely in the right. Meredith clearly wants some sort of relationship with Riggs, and he can see that. Meredith is holding onto the past and it's preventing her from moving on and finding happiness again.
Jasmine: I think Riggs was right. It makes it slightly less pushy when we know that he has dealt with grief himself. However, grieving is a process that everyone handles differently, so even though he can relate, he still can't definitively say when she's ready for something and when she isn't.
I also cringed when he followed her to the bathroom. It was supposed to be hot, funny, or cute, but it rubbed me the wrong way.
What are your feelings on the standalone episode format and frequency of them this season? Which one is your favorite?
Stacy: This one was my favorite. If we're going to spend an episode on one or two characters, it should be Meredith or at least one of the originals. It's not something I want to become too frequent though, especially with characters like Alex getting so little screen time lately.
Amanda: I don't mind the stand alone episodes as long as they are done well. Thankfully this one was great.
Jasmine: My feelings are mixed. When they are done well, they can be great, but it still shouldn't be something that happens so much. On the other hand, the standalone episodes have actually been the strongest episodes of the season with this one being the best.
The promo shows Maggie figuring out the truth. How do you think Maggie will react when she finds out about Merthan?
Stacy: Personally, I hope she is mature about it. Meredith just needs to have a talk with her, explain how it came to be and why she didn't tell her sooner, and I think Maggie will understand. If it comes out any other way than Meredith telling her, it's going to blow up and I don't want to see that.
Amanda: Maggie finding out about Meredith and Riggs is longgggg overdue. I can't wait for this secret to get out. Maggie shouldn't overreact. She had a crush. That's it. Hopefully, this won't cause a rift in their sisterly relationship.
Jasmine: Maggie finding out the truth is long overdue. This storyline has bugged me so much because it felt so unnecessary. I think the only way this becomes a huge blow-up is if Maggie is stuck on the fact that Meredith continued to be dishonest after Maggie asked her not to be.
I'm expecting Maggie to forgive Meredith for her dishonesty and for her to be genuinely happy for Meredith. Maggie has always been for Meredith's happiness. She has so much other bigger stuff going on. I think it'll be a blip on the radar.
What was your favorite scene?
Stacy: All of it? Honestly, this was a fantastic episode. I loved the flashbacks, Meredith opening up about Lexie, and the end. It was all very well done.
Amanda: The entire sequence of Meredith using the straw to perform surgery was awesome!
Jasmine: Agreed. Hmm, for the sake of giving something different I'll say any moment the cute Pediatric Dentist reminded the others that he was capable of doing things despite being a dentist. I laughed every single time. He was my favorite, along with the elderly woman, and Ingrid.
Do you agree with our Round Table? Let us know below in the comments.
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Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.