Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 1 Review: Nothing Left to Cling to

at .

Oh boy, the relationships are all over the place this season. 

Aside from the harrowing, emotional, and metaphorically heavy case of Mari and Jai, Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 1 was spent on many of the characters and their relationships in the aftermath of Grey's Anatomy Season 15 Episode 25.

And it's something. What it is, is yet to be determined.

Unlawful Mom - Tall  - Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 1

The first two things that stood out were how they planned to deliver on the weekly crossover with Station 19. Anyone familiar with NBC's Chicago franchise knows how that plays out, but Vic's presence during the hour confirmed it.

Another thing that stood out was the fan service and how it felt like the show was giving direct responses to the fandom comments and sentiments about a plethora of issues.

It was amusing and annoying, somewhat tipping toward the latter.

The Rebellious Duo  - Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 1

Meredith did what she promised to do. She consulted a lawyer so she could get her handsome boy toy boyfriend out of jail for something she did.

Bless her heart; she was stunned by her own privilege. She didn't have to turn herself in and go to jail. She didn't face prison time, and she'd get off with a little community service. No big deal!

So I just go home?!


Meredith was prepared to do time, spoke to the kids about the aunts taking over, and planned her arc in the Grey's rendition of Orange Is the New Black.

Related: New Amsterdam Seaon 2 Episode 1 Review: Your Turn

If the hour didn't have anything else, it had its funny moments and lines. The judge unamused by Meredith's attorney waxing on about how Meredith is a pillar of the community and offering her a tiny violin to play betwixt her fingers was a MOOD.

Behind the Looking Glass - Grey's Anatomy Season 15 Episode 25

He also asked the questions raised by fans when Meredith chose insurance fraud over charity.

The reasoning was weak. It ranged from there not being enough time to it not being a long-term solution. Also, the father wouldn't have wanted charity, and it's a reflection of a broken system, and she shouldn't have to do any of this.

Basically, "because."

Mer's lawyer: Dr. Grey's bleeding heart got the better of her. But she is an award-winning surgeon. She saves lives every day --
Judge: Did you bring an actual violin, counselor? 

It never gets old how Meredith begs people to hold her accountable, and others bend over backward to let her get off as easy as possible. That's not sarcasm or anything.

Related: New Amsterdam: [Spoiler's] Death and Hard Truths!

For most of the hour, her repercussions were more amusing than anything else. The scene with Susie the school mom was was funny. She's unfazed by the school gossip calling her a criminal, or her kids parading around in her reflector vest.

Unlawful Mom - Tall  - Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 1

It was all chill until the end when she was relaxing in bed with newly domesticated DeLuca, and she got the medical board call. She didn't go to prison, but she will be facing the board to determine if they should revoke her medical license.

We know they won't, but the laughs are over for now.

The show may be attempting to wade into the injustices of the healthcare system, but, notably, Meredith was doing community service alongside a woman who keyed her boyfriend's car.

And the person who I trained, the person who I mentored, fired me without a word of apology or regret, and my own wife said nothing to defend me. Not one word. I know I have my part in this, but I do not see myself forgiving anyone but myself anytime soon.


Oddly enough, the more appealing angle from this insurance fraud fallout is the effect it has on Richard and Alex. Loyalty to Meredith cost them their jobs. It's affected Richard's relationship with Catherine too.

Webber Unemployed - Tall - Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 1

Alex had other things to preoccupy his time, so it almost felt like the unemployment didn't sink in as much for him. However, Richard is going stir-crazy, and he's bitter.

His anger at Bailey and Catherine at the top of the hour was entertaining, but it's also not fair. He made a choice, and he had to face the repercussions because of it. How many times can this hospital let things slide?

Richard: I applied with a job last week with Pacific Northwest General. Did they call you? I put you down as one of my references.
Alex: I don't know.
Richard: You don't know?
Alex: I don't answer the phone if I don't recognize the number.
Richard: You don't check your messages? I hate your generation. I hate any generation other than my own.
Alex: Same.

The poor guy has been making house calls from an app. Did you know doctors made housecalls anymore? Of course, there's an app for that!

For some reason, he's a magnet for yipping fluffy white dogs too. The house call position is bad enough, but when he applied for chief at a low-tier hospital, the woman implied he was too old to turn the hospital around.

Related: The Resident Season 3 Episode 1 Review: From the Ashes

Hell no Richard isn't retiring anytime soon, lady! Richard going to Alex was for the best though. For one, their curmudgeon energy was unparalleled. Also, Alex spoke for everyone under 40 when he said he didn't answer his phone or check messages if he didn't recognize the number.

Where Do They Go From Here?  - Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 1

But, these are the two original characters who get shafted the most with storylines, so it's smart to pair them up together and give them something worthy.

They both have the talent and experience to turn Pacific Northwest around, and it'll keep them in their field while also putting them against an overcrowded GSM.

Related: Prodigal Son Series Premiere Review: Who Said Daddy Issues Aren't Fun?

Of all the storylines teased in this hour, this one is something of which I'm looking forward. Maybe they can hire the doctors who quit in protest of their firing.

Teddy: Tell me, how's work?
Bailey: I fired all of my favorite people, and my least favorite person has power over me. And my righteous anger is exhausting.

Who are these doctors who felt so passionately about Meredith, Alex, and Richard getting fired for breaking the law that they decided to quit too?

Meredith's sisters didn't even quit in protest.

Dutiful Aunties  - Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 1

DeLuca ran back to work too. Foolery is what that is.

Alex needed to get out of his funk anyway. He was looking rough and a bit like Wolfman Jack, so he needed this.

Of all the relationships happening on the series, Jolex is solid. It was in line with Jo to give Alex an "out" when she checked herself into a treatment facility. She knows his history with mentally ill or unstable women and how it affected him.

Jo: I hate that I did this to you.
Alex: Did what?
Jo: Became another name on your list of crazy women.

It had to be hard for her because of how much she loves him; it was her love that gave him space to decide if he was willing to stick by her. They needed to acknowledge it's not a one-time thing, and they did.

Unemployed Alex - Tall - Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 1

Jo will be battling depression and PTSD for the rest of her life, and for both of their sakes and mental health, Alex deserved time to make that choice for himself. He took the month, and Jo understood, and it was sweet how happy she was when he showed up to get her.

He reassured her further when he proposed again, and we can hope they'll get the proper paperwork, so they're legally married. As long as the series doesn't skim over this arc or leave it at that, it should be fine.

This reviewer stans Tom Koracick, and there was nothing more satisfying than when he called Teddy out on leaving him hanging and choosing Owen while taking care of Owen's kid and cooing at the new baby.

Teddy: Don't blame Owen. It's my fault. You are such a wonderful man ...
Tom: Oh, I know I am. I'm funny, and I'm smart, and I'm kind when I want to be. Generous with my money and my tongue in bed, so you will regret this decision. And when you do, I'll still be here because I'm in love with you, and I know this thing with Hunt is not going to last. And in the meantime, we are friends.

He wasn't having any of her attempts to soothe his ego; he's confident and knows he's a catch and broadcasted it running down all the qualities and skills she'll miss. The man said he was generous with his money and his tongue, and it was at that point when Tom stole the installment.

Teddy and Motherhood  - Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 1

He confessed his love, offered to be her friend, and he's waiting until Towen falls through, so he can reclaim his place by her side. Tom deserves better but damn, why do people hate this guy? He's awesome!

He also got a consolation prize of taking over Catherine's duties at the hospital. Tom had quite the glow-up. When will your fave ever?

As it stands, he's in some weird Brother-Husband situation with Owen and Teddy, much like Amelia is in an unusual Sister Wife situation with them. It's bizarre, but they love to stick Amelia in unorthodox families.

Happy Family - Tall  - Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 1

Teddy is struggling to adapt to motherhood, and for some reason, she thought it was a great idea to do this in a hotel room. My sympathies lie with the rest of the inhabitants who have to listen to her and the baby crying all the time.

Owen is a disaster at being supportive, but he put his house up for sale and moved into the penthouse of the hotel for Teddy. It's not how she expected their relationship to start, but it's whatever.

Related: Stumptown Season 1 Episode 1 Review: Forget It Dex It's Stumptown 

Amelia's relationship with Link is going well too. They're cute together, and the scene where Amelia and the guys were performing surgery on Jai, and she tried to explain to Link what she meant was fun and cute.

Smooches - Tall - Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 1

The guys are so chill when they're with each other, and any combination with Link is refreshing. Amelia wasn't explaining her position well. She likes Link and wants to keep dating him, but she doesn't want to move too fast.

She always moves too fast in her relationships and jumps all-in. Once he understood what she meant, they were fine. They're a great couple, and they seem to get each other. Also, they are total foodies, so that's a plus.

Related: Emergence Season 1 Episode 1 Review: A Compelling Mystery 

The second they started talking about threesomes, and how shockingly Amelia never had one before, it was evident her attraction to Carina was going to come into play.

Amelia, are you here for your pregnancy or asking for a menage a trois?


Oh, that's going to be a hot threesome. They're giving it to us, right?

Unfortunately, they threw us a curveball. Amelia was adorable flirting and trying to proposition Carina, but the only thing she was focusing on was Amelia being pregnant.

Aunt Amelia - Tall - Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 1

Aren't there enough g*ddamn babies on this show already? Didn't she have a pregnancy scare, already?

Thanks to wonky timelines and everyone's tendency to jump from one bed to another, there was a genuine fear this baby could be Owen's.

Dad at Last  - Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 1

Can you imagine? After years of not having any children, he would end up with three babies under the age of four at the same time.

It would further complicate the pentagon going on with Teddy, Tom, and Link. However, the storyline they could be heading for is Amelia choosing to not move too fast in a relationship with Link, but life has other plans.

Related: Absentia Season 3 is a Go at Amazon!

Rebuke it!

While we're on the topic of questionable choices, it's time to talk about Jaggie. What the hell is this?

Amelia: So you're still broken up? That's sticking?
Maggie: It's very, very sticking. I think I deserve better than someone who regularly abandons me for, you know, trees. So yeah; it's sticking.
Mer: You're OK, right?
Maggie: Oh yeah, we're fine. Our parents are married fo each other, so we're friends.
DeLuca: Or like siblings.
Maggie: We're definitely not like siblings.

People don't like this relationship, and it seemed like the show wanted to address it. The joke DeLuca made about them being siblings was one of those direct moments, and it was also odd considering he had a different position back in Grey's Anatomy Season 14.

Dutiful Aunties  - Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 1

Jackson didn't return to Maggie during the fog because of a couple who was in danger. The heroic save was a great scene, and this couple's relationship and everything they endured was moving.

It was used to reflect on Maggie and Jackson's relationship, but the solution to Jaggie is odd. For one, cliff couple beat the odds, so Jackson's metaphor didn't work. He assigned it to their relationship before the story was complete.

Maybe that's the point; their relationship and story are incomplete, which straddles the fence.

Jackson: There's something there that is broken beyond repair.
Maggie: In this metaphor am I the thing that's broken beyond repair? Am I the thing that should be thrown over a cliff now?
Jackson: No. No, not you, Maggie. Us.

Fans complained that their relationship came out of nowhere, but now their breakup also came out of nowhere, and Jackson's pursuit of Station 19's Vic is coming out of nowhere.

None of this makes sense.

All it's highlighting is how Jackson is a runner who can't properly resolve one relationship before he runs into another one. There's no growth there.

Troubled Jackson - Tall - Grey's Anatomy Season 15 Episode 25

Everyone loves to point out Maggie's flaws and criticize her, but right now, Jackson's flaws are glaring here. You shouldn't have to be a Maggie fan to point it out either.

He bailed on their relationship more than once while accusing her of doing the same. He never acknowledged his wrongdoing the day of the fog, and he only approached her to talk about it while she was on her way to surgery.

Related: Suits Series Finale Review: Out With a Whimper

The lack of communication between them was contrived. If this is the end of the relationship, fine, whatever, but how it happened was messy and poorly written.

Giving it to Him Straight - Grey's Anatomy Season 15 Episode 23

Jackson pursuing Vic doesn't make this abrupt transition any easier than it was when he bailed on Stephanie for April.

The series hamfisted in some dialogue about how Vic and Jackson are allowed to move on, but viewers don't have to respond the way they're told to here.

Vic: I am just getting out of a serious relationship.
Jackson: Me too
Vic: Did you love her?
Jackson: I did, yeah.
Vic: Me too. And he died.
Jackson: I'm really sorry to hear that.
Vic: Yeah, me too.
Jackson: So probably not the very best time for both of us to be dating someone new.
Vic: Yeah probably not. Because we're both supposed to be miserable for as long as possible.
Jackson: Well, when you put it like that.

Why would you wish Jackson on Vic after everything she endured with Ripley? Ripley's death happened in the final episodes of Station 19 Season 2, so fans of the series won't get to see Vic grieve fully before she's catapulted into a relationship with Jackson.

It doesn't make any sense.

Vicley Forever

I know I'm one of the few Jaggie-friendly reviewers and recappers, but I'm a Maggie fan first, and I also like Vic.

Sorry, but both women deserve better than Jackson right now, and he needs to go climb a mountain and find himself before he enters a relationship with anyone.

Related: Chicago Fire Season 8 Episode 1 Review: Sacred Ground 

It is too soon for Vic to be dating anyone, especially someone who may not have the emotional maturity to support her this soon after the death of her fiance.

Maggie: When did that happen?
Jackson: When did what happen?
Maggie: Please don't be intentionally obtuse.
Jackson: Vic and I are friends,Maggie. Come on.
Maggie: Friends with benefits?
Jackson: No, actually.
Maggie:No, or not yet? Her fiance was my patient.
Jackson: Yeah, I know.
Maggie: It's none of my business.
Jackson: I agree.
Maggie: Right. Because I don't like you, and you don't like me, and we're not friends, so it's none of my business.

Maggie shouldn't be in a relationship with someone who finds her inadequate and doesn't like her. No one deserves that.

The saddest part of all is the loss of their friendship. They were becoming friends when they started dating, but how can you remain friends with someone who says they don't like you and lacks consideration when it comes to your feelings and self-esteem?

Maggie is Annoyed - Tall - Grey's Anatomy Season 15 Episode 25

You can't.

Over to you Grey's Fanatics! Did you find the premiere underwhelming? What are your thoughts on the various relationships? Did Meredith get off too easy?

Related: Get Walter Presents via Prime Video Channels for Original, Exclusive, Hit Series from Around the World! : 

Do you want Richard and Alex to run a rival hospital? What do you think about this Jackson and Vic 'ship? Hit the comments!

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

Nothing Left to Cling to Review

Editor Rating: 3.2 / 5.0
  • 3.2 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (49 Votes)

Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is an insomniac who spends late nights and early mornings binge-watching way too many shows and binge-drinking way too much tea. Her eclectic taste makes her an unpredictable viewer with an appreciation for complex characters, diverse representation, dynamic duos, compelling stories, and guilty pleasures. You'll definitely find her obsessively live-tweeting, waxing poetic, and chatting up fellow Fanatics and readers. Follow her on Twitter.

Show Comments
Tags: ,

Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 1 Quotes

So I just go home?!


And the person who I trained, the person who I mentored, fired me without a word of apology or regret, and my own wife said nothing to defend me. Not one word. I know I have my part in this, but I do not see myself forgiving anyone but myself anytime soon.