It was another emotional hour of Grey's Anatomy that reminded us that this longtime, groundbreaking series still has a lot left in the tank.
Everyone was outstanding on Grey's Anatomy Season 15 Episode 11, would you agree?
Join TV Fanatics Rachelle Lewis, Stacy Glanzman, and Jasmine Blu as they discuss the hour.
On a scale of 1-10, how emotional was this episode?
Rachelle: I give it a 9. Catherine's surgery and Meredith visiting Thatcher were both super emotional.
Stacy: I'll say 7. It was emotional, but not on the level of some of the bigger deaths we've experienced. While I definitely felt for Jackson, Richard, and Meredith, I don't actually have an emotional attachment to either Thatcher or Catherine.
I'm glad Catherine lived for Richard's sake, and I'm glad Meredith got closure, but I wasn't exactly sad Thatcher died.
Jasmine: I'll agree with Rachelle and say 9. There are many ways something is emotional, not just death. Thatcher's death was sad but poignant, dare I say tragically beautiful, which is sometimes refreshing from the gutwrenching pain of losing a beloved character.
I loved the sense of family and community with Richard, Bailey, Maggie, and Mer. I loved Tom's self-doubt and love for Catherine, also his neverending emotion when it comes to his son. I loved Jackson's utter anguish, and Meredith and Amelia's incredible growth and maturity. So, in that sense, it was emotional to me.
Catherine lives, but she'll have cancer for the rest of her life. React!
Rachelle: I was thrilled they did not kill Catherine. As I said last week, I think it would have been unfair to Richard to have her die. I like that they didn’t make her 100% cancer free, it seems more realistic.
Plus, I feel like it opens up a number of new storyline possibilities for many characters as they deal with Catherine’s cancer and where to go from here. Not only will it affect Jackson and Richard but other staff at Grey Sloan Memorial.
Stacy: I agree that this was the best route to take. Richard couldn't have handled her death, and complete recovery would have been unrealistic. This opens up new storylines going forward and is something that can be revisited. Also, I loved that they used Richard's magic pen!
Jasmine: I agree. It surprised me to find out later on that Catherine's storyline was based on real events. I loved this resolution because it was the most realistic after all the other tumors and cancer scares, but it was better than losing Catherine knowing how it would affect Jackson and Richard.
Whose performance struck you the most during the hour?
Rachelle: Jackson crying to Maggie. Bailey sitting with Richard as complications in Catherine’s surgery kept coming. Meredith and Thatcher tugged at the heartstrings.
Stacy: Meredith and Thatcher. Every scene with them was powerful, and they really gave it their all. You could see the conflict Meredith was feeling with all of her pent up resentment but could also see her softening as their conversation went on. They both played it beautifully.
Jasmine: It's difficult to choose because everyone was phenomenal.
Jackson's breakdown nearly destroyed me. Everything about Meredith and Thatcher was beautiful, and Pompeo and Perry were sublime.
I cannot gush enough about Greg Germann, like, Tom is the most underrated character, and his fear of screwing up, or hurting his friend, or losing this woman who means so much to him was palpable, and his final scene talking to his dead son was lovely. Then, freaking Amelia made me so proud when she spoke during her meeting.
I operated on a freaking legend spine today, and it was terrifying, exhilarating and imperfect. Mostly terrifying because she's not just a legend, but she matters so much to so many people that I love. Most of my life I have been chasing the kind of high that I feel right now. I gave a surgeon back her hands today. I gave a husband his wife, a son his mother. And I am so incredibly grateful to be sober, to be present enough to have felt every terrifying, exhilarating, imperfect moment.Amelia
What are your thoughts on Meredith visiting her father, getting closure, and being with him when he died?
Rachelle: I couldn’t stop crying in those final scenes. I thought their entire visit was powerful. Meredith needed the closure with her father, even though she would never admit it to anyone, even herself. I think she also needed to hear that he didn’t regret marrying Ellis and having her despite all the problems they had.
Meredith being there when Thatcher died, I think was imperative to her letting go of all the years of hate and anger. She was able to let go finally, which became more evident as she gave her kids the presents from him.
Stacy: I agree that Meredith needed that closure, but it also bothered me to learn that Thatcher made an effort to be a part of her life again without Meredith knowing about it. I understood his reasoning for not wanting to approach Meredith at Derek's funeral, but he could have afterward, or the next day even.
It felt like he was trying to earn credit on his death bed when if he had made her aware of the effort he was making, they could have potentially had more time repairing their relationship. Lexie's death should have brought them closer.
Jasmine: I agree with Rachelle. I was so indifferent to this storyline when it was brought up. I didn't expect to be so moved by the entire ordeal. It wasn't until Meredith and Thatcher started talking that I realized how much she needed that closure -- they both did. It was powerful.
Did it surprise you that Tom and Amelia were initially having a difficult time working on Catherine?
Rachelle: Nope, not at all. It was a difficult case. It would have been ridiculous if it were too easy. Also, those two are both very opinionated and when things go wrong, they each want to fix it their own way.
They had to truly work together, and neither one of them are good at having a copilot so to speak. Both of them are generally the one in the driver’s seat with a brilliant idea. Even though they both wanted to save Catherine, they had to learn to work together.
Stacy: No, it would have surprised me if they didn't. It wasn't supposed to be an easy fix, and it's more realistic that they ran into complications. They're both brilliant doctors, and part of the fun of watching them operate is seeing how they handle unexpected complications in the OR.
Jasmine: I wasn't, but you know what's weird? I thought Jo would be in the surgery with them since she came up with a solution.
I love Tom and Amelia working together. You can tell that they've had years of practice working together, and it pulled at my heartstrings knowing that Tom is one of the people who taught Amelia everything that she knows, and there they were working on this woman who taught Tom so much. The circle of mentors and mentees got to me.
What was your favorite moment or quote from the episode?
Rachelle: My favorite was when Meredith learned Richard and Thatcher had been communicating because it was pivotal for her character. I think it was the beginning of her seeing him in a different light, realizing you can’t hold on to past mistakes forever.
If those two men could move forward, then she should too. If Thatcher had not told her that, I am not sure she would have been there when he died or learned he didn’t regret having her or marrying Ellis.
Stacy: For me, it had to be Jackson turning on the music and starting a dance party before Catherine's surgery. That was a very endearing moment, and I think it helped ease the tension everyone was feeling.
I also appreciated that Thatcher mentioned Molly because honestly, it felt like the writers had completely forgotten she existed.
Jasmine: I'll admit, I forgot about Molly.
I loved the dance party, too (it was like Debbie Allen broke character to enjoy dancing), and Jackson and Catherine's promise to sneak into Harriet's first surgery.
I also loved Meredith talking about her kids because you could tell how much she loves them. I also adored when Tom said he couldn't lose anyone else.
Over to you Grey's Fanatics! What did you think of the hour? Do you agree with us? Hit the comments.
Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays on ABC.
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Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.