Grey's Anatomy Season 15 Episode 21 Review: Good Shepherd

at .  Updated at .

Her name is Amelia Frances Shepherd; put some respect on it. 

Grey's Anatomy Season 15 Episode 21 was the highly-anticipated Amelia-centric hour --- Amelia the movie, and it was a delight (although, why do they keep using Meredith for the voiceovers for other character-centric episodes?).

It was a delight because Caterina Scorsone is a delight. She has shown off her stunning range with the arcs she was given this season, and she's easily a highlight of the season thus far.

Standing Up to her Sisters - Tall - Grey's Anatomy Season 15 Episode 21

"Good Shepherd" was teased to fans as a standalone hour with a romantic comedy feel to it, and that's what it was. Regardless of sentiments about Amelia's love life and which handsome guy she should be with, even though her romantic life was part of this hour, it was about her journey and her growth more than anything.

For fans of Amelia and fans of Private Practice, I imagine (I wasn't a regular viewer of the series back in the day and my memory is fuzzy) this is the Amelia they remember and love, and it was a reminder of how Scorsone could carry a show of her own.

Call mom sometime, kiddo. It's the kind thing to do.


My heart swelled with pride for this woman who has overcome so many obstacles in her life and miraculously has come through on the other side mostly due to her indomitable spirit and refusal to let life break her no matter how often it tries.

Amelia is the black sheep of the family and always has been, but as the dynamics of the family played out onscreen, it's evident Amelia is the strong Shepherd too -- the strongest of them all.

It's something she inherited from her late father, and it's heartbreaking she went however many years in her life not knowing how much she had in common with the man whom she idolized and who died in front of her eyes.

New Do - Tall - Grey's Anatomy

The hour was an ode to Amelia Shepherd, and while many may have had their reservations about a potentially light-hearted tone and approach, Amelia deserved this; she earned this.

We can bicker all day about Meredith's love life and how happy she deserves to be (and that's true), but Amelia is another character who has endured a hell of a lot and is deserving of happiness and an easier time of it.

After this installment, she may be at that point FINALLY.

Amelia: You don't have to bring up my every transgression.
Kathleen: We don't have that kind of time.

It's funny how no matter how smart, accomplished, strongwilled, and confident a person is, their family has a way of stripping of them of all of those traits and reducing them to their childhood insecurities and inadequacies.

Amelia was having a fantastic time dodging getting emotionally close to Link while rolling around in a bed and getting to learn more about him than she was willing to offer up herself. They were excited about being on a trip together again and their Jonah case.

It all came crashing down the second Amelia bumped into Nancy. It was a masterclass of rom-com goodness. Amelia stammered her way through introductions and corralled Link into her ruse with no notice. To his credit, Link jumped in like a pro, and it was the start of him being Team Amelia and #BoyfriendGoals.

Nancy Shepherd - Grey's Anatomy Season 15 Episode 21

Atticus Link is a real one, and there are few people at GSM deserving of him.

It was hilarious when Nancy conveniently overheard Amelink/Lepherd had time to spare after all, and she forced them into dinner at her home. Amelia was right; there was no way she was going to wiggle her way out of it, and as much of a stink Link was putting up at first, he wasn't going to leave her hanging.

Related: Grey's Anatomy Season 15 Episode 20 Review: The Whole Package

Link went into the dinner blind having not known much about Amelia (or Owen) in the months he has been at the hospital. The thing was, he has been trying to get to know Amelia all this time, but she wasn't giving him much to work with nor the opportunity to get to know her.

I don't know your life. I know Owen's.
Link; You can learn it.


One of the things that stood out was how many small details Amelia knew about Owen. Amelia was a woman who truly loved Owen, and if there were ever doubts about that, her moments of prepping Link to pretend to be Owen dispelled them.

It also made the Omelia situation more heartbreaking. Amelia knows every last detail about her ex-husband whom she loves, but as we've learned more recently, Owen doesn't know Amelia well at all. Although, he could break down every last detail of all things Teddy though.

The Shepherd Sisters - Tall - Grey's Anatomy Season 15 Episode 21

I couldn't help but empathize with Amelia the black sheep heading into the lion's den. She had the same dread I feel anytime I go to a family function with my extended family. Scorsone's facial expressions are utterly priceless. The way her eyes popped when she heard Kathleen's voice followed by her entrance was classic.

Related: New Amsterdam Season 1 Episode 17 Review: Sanctuary 

If we thought Nancy (Embeth Davidtz) was the snarky, shade-throwing sister, we discovered she has nothing on Kathleen. Amy Acker is the best, and I have never been so excited to see her and so pissed off at a character she was playing since the first season of The Gifted.

Kathleen is vicious, and she knows how to go for the jugular while smiling the entire time. Where Nancy is passive-aggressive, Kathleen is plain old aggressive.

Kathleen Shepherd - Tall - Grey's Anatomy Season 15 Episode 21

She had no qualms about using her profession as a psychiatrist to psycho-analyze everything everyone does, but it made her constant barrage of bitchy comments about Amelia all the worse. As a shrink, she should know better, but because Amelia is her sister, she doesn't do better, which is disheartening.

There was no end to the digs at Amelia, from the comments about not drinking wine due to her alcoholism to the reminders of how terrible Amelia is in her relationships and how she runs away from them. No transgression went unturned when Katheleen and Nancy spoke about Amelia at dinner, and they fed off of each other.

I'm sure he's great, but when I was in Seattle I met Owen Hunt and this isn't him.


It was worse when Carolyn joined their dinner and realized Link was not Owen. It's terrible that Carolyn barely made an effort to stop her other daughters from berating Amelia like that. It was more uncomfortable than ever since they knew at that point Link was not Owen.

They were comfortable talking about how "demented" it was that she brought her fake husband, and how IF she was still sober it couldn't be blamed on alcoholism or drugs, nor could it be blamed on the brain tumor of which they had just learned.

If Link were a lesser man, he would have been turned off by all of these things he had learned about Amelia, and it's something all the Shepherd women knew but didn't bother to care. Who exposes their loved one's dirty laundry to a virtual stranger like that?

Protective Boyfriend - Grey's Anatomy Season 15 Episode 21

Everything about the dinner scene was infuriating, and Amelia didn't deserve any of it. They all lived in the past when speaking about Amelia and couldn't see how much she has grown. They never chose to see it.

The photographs at Nancy's house spoke volumes. She had photos in all stages of everyone's lives, and some of Derek, Meredith, and the kids. The only photograph of Amelia was one when she was a teenager.

Amelia is a world-renown surgeon who has accomplished so much, and the only picture Nancy could be bothered to have up of her little sister was when Amelia was 14-years-old. What the hell?!

 Baby Amelia

It made the other Shepherd women taking potshots at Amelia for not communicating and being part of their lives ridiculous.

They didn't bother to show up at her wedding to Owen -- none of them showed up but were somehow dismayed that Amelia could've had a potentially life-threatening brain tumor and brain surgery and didn't share it with them.

They already showed they couldn't show up during what should've been her happiest time, so why would she want them there for a melancholic one?

Plus, they shamed Amelia for not speaking to their mother. The last time they were on the phone together Amelia was sobbing and pleading for her mom to show up to her wedding, and her mother refused.

Link: Listen, um, I'm new to all of this and I haven't known Amelia that long, but I wanted us to stay for dinner tonight so you could meet the woman I've been getting to know because she is not at all the woman you're describing.
Amelia: Link, you don't have to-
Link: She is a brilliant surgeon, the kind you fly across the country when you need the best. She just performed a surgery that very few people on the planet can do. She is a respected teacher and mentor. She cares about her patients and her colleagues. She's beautiful and funny, and kind, and strong. She's overcome a lot of adversity and sure she feels her emotions in a big way, but that makes her better than most people I know, not worse because she's authentic. She was an amazing mom to Betty, and still kind of is to Leo even though she doesn't have custody.

It's understandable why Amelia would want to keep up this ruse because having to acknowledge her marriage to Owen failed would mean she screwed up again, and she was tired of being the screwup.

Amelia asserting herself to her mom and sisters was one of the best moments, and I adored how Link spoke up for Amelia too. He didn't need to know everything she had gone through in her past to know how incredible she is in the present.

Link was nothing but supportive, and kind, and he's everything that Amelia needs and deserves. One of the best and telling exchanges between them was when she told Link that she and Owen never had a honeymoon since they wanted to go to two different places, and Link's response was why didn't you go to both?

Things Get Heated - Grey's Anatomy

Amelia lashed out a bit at Link in the car ride to the hotel, and he didn't deserve any of it, but it made sense. She was embarrassed and humiliated, and she felt exposed to a man whom she refused to open up to in the first place.

Link had every right to be frustrated, and he had reason to be concerned when Amelia offered to perform a risky surgery on Jonah to fix him permanently. It did sound like a rash decision she was making to prove something to her family and herself.

Link: You OK? I said we shouldn't go.
Amelia: I said we couldn't stay!
Link: Your sisters are terrorists, and I'm the problem?

We didn't spend a lot of time with Jonah and his brother Brady (All American's Michael Evans Behling), but it was easy to want things to work out for them. Jonah had plans for his future, and he didn't want to be a burden to his brother any longer.

My eyes got misty when surgery was a success, but Brady sat in the waiting room and didn't know what to do with his life now that his brother was OK. He happily gave up and sacrificed everything for Jonah after their parents died, but he didn't know any other role to take.

Amelia Takes a Risk  - Grey's Anatomy Season 15 Episode 21

His entire identity was as Jonah's brother. It was emotional to think about Jonah getting to live his life, but also Brady discovering who he was outside of his brother. Was Brady supposed to represent Derek and how he took responsibility for Amelia? I was under that impression.

Amelia was a rockstar, and fresh off of such an accomplishment, she was able to have an overdue conversation with her mother. The scene between Tyne Daly and Caterina Scorsone was exceptional. It was cathartic and moving for both women to speak about things they never discussed at length.

Carolyn spoke of Amelia with awe when she described Amelia's go-getter attitude as a child. Amelia was fearless and never afraid of falling or failing. She threw herself into everything until she accomplished her mission, and as her mother, it was terrifying for Carolyn.

Everytime you fell down, you got up and came back stronger, but it's not that you didn't care about falling but just you weren't afraid of it.


It also was painful after her husband died because of how Amelia and her father shared that trait. Amelia has always carried the death of her father with her. She was there when he was murdered; the pain of it never went away, and it was something she and Derek bonded over, but she lost Derek too.

She was also the baby, and she spent less time with her father. Taking that into consideration, Amelia had a tough time in their family. Carolyn cut everything that reminded her of her husband out of her life because of how painful it was, and Amelia was the most similar to him, so it included Amelia too.

Amelia and her Mom

Derek, as the only boy in their family, promised to take over the reins and be the man of the family and take Amelia under his wing, and Carolyn let him. Amelia may have lived with the rest of the Shepherds for all of her formative years, but metaphorically speaking, Derek was the only one who raised her.

He was a kid himself, so even if he did his best, what the hell did he know?

Related: New Amsterdam: Dissecting Sharpwin

Carolyn could assume responsibility for why Amelia had and has an issue with her relationships over the years because of her mother not being there emotionally to take care of her and teach her those things growing up.

After he died, it was hard to be around anything that reminded me of him, and Derek said he'd watch out for you, and he did his best, but he wasn't your mother. You deserved a mother, but he offered, and I let him, and it is my biggest regret.


The beauty of Carolyn's admission was that she took responsibility for her actions and knew she contributed to why Amelia became who she was and struggled so much (and continues to do so). As much we debate it, how we grew up -- how we were raised does contribute to who we are as adults.

However, as Carolyn said, if Amelia continues on her path and doesn't learn to work through her issues, it's no longer on Carolyn; it's on Amelia. It was solid advice, and it was something Amelia needed to hear for a long time.

Standing Up to her Sisters  - Grey's Anatomy Season 15 Episode 21

Fortunately, Amelia could speak to her mother from the experience of being a mother after the time she spent with Betty and Leo. She could acknowledge how hard it was for her mother raising her as a young, teen addict.

She knows now how painful, scary, and emotional it is. She could better understand what her mother was going through all those years when Amelia was taking drugs or making poor decisions. Amelia understood the love of a mother.

Initially, it felt like them reconciling and finding this peace together happened too easily and quickly. Amelia and her mother have a lot of history together and resolving their issues with quick chats and hugs aren't realistic, but for them, it's a start.

Carolyn: If you don't think you're worthy of love. If you don't think your love is valuable. You're wrong, and that's on me .... so put that on me and move forward.
Amelia: What if I can't?
Carolyn: Well, then that's on you.

Amelia could take what she gathered from her mother and use it to give Link the apology he deserved. She protected her heart and rarely let anyone in, and she has been doing it to him for a while. I think she's done it worse than ever because of his knack for finding her in her most vulnerable moments.

She goes into overdrive putting walls up for him because of how much of her he has seen already, and Link is someone who sees through her.

No offense to the Omelia 'shippers out there, but Link is a great guy, and Owen needs a lot of work. Owen doesn't see Amelia, and it's starting to seem as though he never has. He doesn't understand her addiction nor her triumphs and insecurities.

Polite Dinner Conversation - Tall - Grey's Anatomy Season 15 Episode 21

He doesn't acknowledge her growth and progression. Owen does many of the things Nancy and Kathleen do to Amelia, and there is nothing healthy about that. Amelia may have outgrown her relationship with Owen.

If you were on the fence about Amelia and Link, this hour should've put any reservations to bed. Am I the only one who thinks Link has developed real feelings for Amelia? It seems that way.

Link can see and appreciate Amelia for who she is now, and he doesn't hold her past against her and use it against her. He wasted no time jumping to her defense, maybe because of his feelings for her, but mostly because it was the right thing to do, and Link does what's right.

You are kind, and you were brave last night too, with my family and that surgery. You didn't have to do that with me. Either thing. You are surprising to me, and you deserve a lot better than the things that I said to you, and you are more than a human blue-light, though you are very, very good at blue-lighting. I'm sorry, and I'd like to make it up to you if you'll let me.


I don't think Owen would have done the same for Amelia if he were there. He either would've opted to mind his business, or he would've found himself agreeing with what her sisters and mother were saying or worse, jumping in.

Amelia and Owen always seem like they're battling each other, but so far, Link is someone who knows how to stand in Amelia's corner and join her in a battle against the world. More than anything, given her past, she needs someone who can be on her side.

She didn't have that too often; even her closest relationships didn't always involve people who were firmly on her side. Link also brings the lightheartedness and fun Amelia possesses herself but needs in her life.

Amelink and Doughnuts

The scene between them after she apologized and they crammed doughnuts in their mouths was the cutest scene of the hour. Their relationship is easy, fun, and angst-free, but they have their serious moments too, and Link knows how to support her but also not take any of her shit and call her out on it too.

Whether they become something more serious, or they remain close friends, Amelia and Link are a cute dynamic. It's great to see both of them happy, and their relationship is healthy and a breath of fresh air.

-Related: Get Hallmark Movies Now via Prime Video Channels for Stories with Heart, Captivating Movies & More! -

Of course, the hour wouldn't be complete without drawing parallels and reminding people of the importance of found family. Things may never work out between Amelia and her biological sisters, but it doesn't matter because Amelia does have sisters.

Nancy: They're sleeping together, right?
Kathleen: Obviously.

Amelia has Meredith and Maggie, and they were right there waiting for her and ready to hear about her trip and her surgery. Amelia has found her tribe, and it's enough to make a person emotional.

Amelia's real sisters are right there in Seattle, and when she collapsed into the chair and proceeded to tell them about her day, it was the perfect endcap on a beautiful Amelia-centric hour.

Long live the sisterhood!

Amelia Returns Home to Her Real Sisters

Amelia has hands down had the best maturity and growth during the season, and there couldn't have been a better time to shine the spotlight on that with "Good Shepherd." Scorsone knocked it out of the park, and Grey's proved once again how well they do with these special bottle episodes.

I'm off to bask in my Amelia feels, so I'm turning it over to you Grey's Fanatics. Did you enjoy Amelia the Movie? What did you think about Kathleen and Nancy?

Are you happy Amelia made up with her mother? Do you think the Amelink/ Lepherd could be something real? Hit the comments below!

You can watch Grey's Anatomy online here via TV Fanatic!

Good Shepherd Review

Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
  • 4.8 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (100 Votes)

Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

Show Comments
Tags: ,

Grey's Anatomy Season 15 Episode 21 Quotes

Call mom sometime, kiddo. It's the kind thing to do.


Nancy: Amy? Oh my God. Amy!
Amelia: Nancy.
Nancy: Nancy Shepherd. Amelia's sister. You must be Owen.
Amelia: Yes, this is my husband.
Link: Nice to meet you.