Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 11 Review: A Hard Pill to Swallow

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Vaping is bad for your health.

If you do it, please stop. Of all the cases during Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 11, the biggest lesson can be learned from that one.

We're not going to acknowledge the catfish incident; that's pure stupidity, and if you're attempting such foolish things, no one can help you.

A New Mystery  - Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 11

The vaping case was something both McWidow and Meredith could work on together, and they continue to get along swimmingly, for the most part.

It's the typical rapport where Meredith makes assumptions about Cormac, and then she's surprised when the handsome Irishman has more depth than she imagined.

For his part, he doesn't go out of his way to prove anything to her or anyone else. McWidow is a pretty chill guy. He almost reminds you of Link.

Getting to Know McWidow - Tall  - Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 11

He's also sweet as hell. Did you SEE when he reached down and tied Amelia's shoe for her? Are we not supposed to swoon a little bit?

He has the dashing good looks, the sexy Irish lilt, and he tells dad jokes. If you were inclined to have reservations about the man, he's doing a damn good job at making you rethink those reservations.

Every year on what would be there birthdays, I light a candle. They took little pieces of our hearts, and those pieces will never be replaced. So maybe light a candle.


He gives us bits and pieces about his life, but he remains a mystery, a roguish enigma. He's there being handsome, awesome, and good at his job.

He handled the case with the vaping teen well, and he has a way with the patients and their parents. He knows how to add the personal touch of experiences with his children.

Working with Cormac  - Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 11

And his comments about the nightmarish Dr. Yang he worked with while in Switzerland were funny.

Even though he gets along well with Meredith, and the nature of his arrival and Cristina's motivations for sending him are unclear, it doesn't seem like he's a romantic rival for Merluca.

So, does this mean Meredith is going to be in another non-love-triangle, or does the series have other plans for Mr. Tall, Irish, and Handsome?

They challenge each other professionally, and maybe that's why Meredith was badgering Cristina about what kind of gift McWidow is supposed to be.

Vaping Nigthmare - Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 11

But the sparks and heat don't feel distinctly sexual or potentially romantic.

And Mer was right back to whispering in Italian how much she misses DeLuca, and she's right by his side by the hour's end, ready to help him figure out how to save Susan.

The text messages between Meredith and Cristina are such a nice touch. It makes up for not having the real thing, and they're more meaningful than ever.

Sick Mom - Tall  - Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 11

Fresh off of Suits, Sarah Rafferty has checked into GSM as a widowed mother of two who never recovered from her appendectomy.

It was the case worthy of investment, and evidently, the series was only introducing what should be a short arc exploring this mysterious ailment.

Abby: They're going to figure this out. Are you going to figure this out?
Bailey: You guys have been through so much already. And yes, we're going to figure this out.

Suzanne is a medical mystery, but it's the type of case Bailey probably needs to be on right now. After taking a few days off to mourn and process her miscarriage, she's thrown herself headfirst into Suzanne's case.

If it doesn't end well, it'll be a sad affair, and it will break Bailey, but if she and DeLuca can hit the war room and find a way to save this woman, it'll be the type of win she needs.

DeLuca and Bailey Team Up - Tall  - Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 11

Bailey has always been the type who needs to bury herself in work to get through her pain, and this is no different.

She is dealing with her grief in another way. Again, it's mindboggling how the others, even when they find out personal things about him, always assume the worst of Tom. He always comes through in the end.

Every year on what would be there birthdays, I light a candle. They took little pieces of our hearts, and those pieces will never be replaced. So maybe light a candle.


For most of the hour, he was behaving like an ass to Bailey, prattling on about her taking time off and not informing him. And Bailey in no way owed him an explanation, nor did she need to disclose her miscarriage.

It was almost like he was poking and prodding at her for his amusement, but the second she shared her experience, he barely batted an eye.

Tomcat - Grey's Anatomy Season 15 Episode 7

When Tom opens up about his past or experiences, it both explains why he is the type of person that he is, and it shows how incredibly strong and resilient he is.

Tom has experienced such tremendous loss, and he's still standing. Even if you don't like him, you have to respect that. He's also open enough about his experiences to share them with those who he feels could benefit.

It's his way of letting them know he understands, and they're not alone. Now, on the one hand, it could probably get annoying that Tom has a tragic backstory that conveniently fits every occasion from his faith to the loss of his son, and so forth.

Unique Bond - tall - Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 11

But on the other hand, it leads to moving moments like Tom admitting he and his ex-wife also dealt with multiple miscarriages and loss.

He could offer his empathy and a method Bailey could find of use while she grieved. And Tom doesn't push any further than that, and he doesn't allow those admissions to affect or change the course of a relationship and how he communicates with people after.

He's always empathetic, but he never pities anyone.

Bailey  Mourns - tall  - Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 11

Bailey lit her candle and thought about the child she lost while sitting in the chapel, and you wanted to console her. But the case will be where she directs all of her emotions and feelings.

She, DeLuca, Meredith, and whomever else jumping onboard to figure out what the hell is happening to Suzanne before she dies and leaves her sweet but terrified children as orphans, was the best of the hour.

The show does well when they have multi-episode medical cases, and a veteran like Sarah Rafferty anchoring this arc has already exceeded expectations. It's off to a promising start.

Mystery Case - Tall  - Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 11

Whether or not Teddy and Owen's engagement and familial life are off to the best start depends on where you fall with this relationship.

The two of them had to face the joys of parenthood when Teddy thought she lost the familiar heirloom engagement ring he gave her.

Teddy is not a ring girl. If I'm not mistaken, it was an issue for her the last time she had a ring. It doesn't suit her at all, and that's OK, but wearing a priceless heirloom every day when you're a trauma surgeon is probably less than ideal.

Empathetic Teddy - Tall - Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 10

It turned out this new baby Leo, who looks nothing like that old one, swallowed the ring. See? Parenthood is fun.

They found a cute solution while they waited for baby Leo to poop out the fancy family ring. Teddy would add charms of her and Owen's initials to the necklace she wore bearing Alison and Leo's initials. So, ALTO. Cute, right?

Maggie: What is this?
Richard: It's called food. Let's see how it feels to actually eat something.

It was also adorable how Richard took time off of work so he could get Maggie out of her funk. For some reason, her sisters had other stuff going on or whatever, so Richard was the one who went to drag Maggie out of her hidey-hole of despair.

It's always endearing when the show plays with the Maggie/Richard familial relationship. He knows when to step in and play the father-figure role.

Depressed Maggie  - Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 11

Maggie wanted punishment. She thought she deserved to suffer for what happened to Sabi, and she was looking for Richard to be the person to do it.

She thought Richard would hate her as Sabi's father did, and she took everything upon her shoulders.

Sabi is dead because I didn't ask. I told her I was the best. I told her I was brilliant, and I couldn't even be clear in my OR.


She wanted all the pain and ire, and she felt she was responsible for Sabi's death.

She ran through all the ways she could have done things differently, and she regretted her arrogance over the surgery and her behavior.

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

The prodigy part of Maggie rears its head at the different times in the series. Maggie is used to being the best at what she does, and as a result, she doesn't know how to fail.

She can't handle or process it when she does. What happened to Sabi isn't unlike what other doctors have experienced before, and Richard had to remind her of that.

Richard: They're human and imperfect, just like you.
Maggie: Nobody has ever had to tell me that before.

She's not perfect, and she can't quit.

She needed someone to get through to her, and Richard quietly doing things like cooking and chastising her until she ate was heartwarming.

Maggie is Hurting - Tall  - Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 11

The pancake story was too precious for words.

The family feels carried over to Amelia and Link. Amelia broke the news to him, and it was a lot for him to take in, but he pretended he was fine.

Link is such a good guy. He has this habit of being too easygoing and accommodating to his detriment, though.

Amelia told him the baby might not be his, and he took it in stride. He wanted to be the guy who could carry on and say it didn't matter and didn't mean anything.

Proud Dad, Or Not?  - Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 10

He went the whole day acting like he was OK, but Jo called him out. Their friendship is one of the highlights of the season. They have great chemistry, and it feels real.

We didn't know the extent of their relationship, but even though Link is fairly new to the scene, their friendship feels lived in and believable.

Jo told him right. It's not OK for him to be dealing with this, and it's possible for him to love Amelia and be upset about everything too.

A Dilemma to Ponder - Tall  - Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 10

It's OK for him to be angry and hurt.

Amelia wanted to act as if nothing had to change, but it's dishonest. Link deserved to know if the baby was his or not; he can't pretend like it won't change things for him when it could.

And he's right; telling Owen and the Teddy is the morally right thing to do. Yeah, Link is not just a good guy, he's the best one.

Jo: So, you're no freaking out?
Link: What? No. No. It's not like it changes anything.

Everyone needs to know the truth. Fine, Link. The truth must come out, dammit.

New Parents? - Tall  - Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 2

Please, let this baby be his. And for the love of all that is holy, let this be the biggest spat between Amelink for the rest of the season.

They're one of the most mature and stable pairings on the show. And the conversation they had at the end of the hour showed how mature they are in their relationship.

It's refreshing.

Over to you, Grey's Fanatics.

What is your impression of McWidow? Are you invested in the Suzanne medical mystery?

Did you like the way Amelink handled the baby daddy issue? Hit the comments below.

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

And we sure would appreciate a follow of our new Twitter account as we work to rebuild our audience!


A Hard Pill to Swallow Review

Editor Rating: 3.9 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.1 / 5.0 (61 Votes)

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

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Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 11 Quotes

Richard: Maggie, your family, and you're hurting, and you're hiding because you lost Sabi. You've lost Sabi before.
Maggie: Not like this.

Jo: So, you're no freaking out?
Link: What? No. No. It's not like it changes anything.