Wow, that was one of the most intense hours in a bit.
If Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 18 showed anything, it's that the strongest installments are because of the balance between medical cases and personal drama.
For a while, it felt as if the medical aspect of this series was a backdrop for relationship woes and other such things. It was a noticeable shift with this installment, and if it already wasn't an improvement on many of the previous episodes, they dusted off the old end credits too.
When is the last time we heard that fun Grey's diddly? It's been forever. For an hour that felt like it was a throwback to Grey's of yesteryear, the end credits was icing on the cake.
At the center of the chaos was Meredith, of course, as she tried to pull off her first pro-bono surgery day without a hitch. It's GSM, so no way that was going to happen.
Everything was off from ill-prepared OR rooms to DeLuca throwing off the entire schedule, and those waiting for their free surgeries were starting to get antsy.
But when Tom got on Meredith's case about getting it together, he reassured her that if it costs them some overtime, so be it. He has the money to spare since Griffin wrote them that hefty check.
Patron Saint of "Do as I say, not as I do lest I judge you" Meredith Grey deduced in half the time it took me to roll my eyes that Tom made a deal with the devil, my bad, I mean a billionaire. Same difference, right? To Meredith Grey? Yeah.
Twenty-five surgeries in 12 hours, it's bound to be a hitch or two.Tom
Meredith's condescending tone when she called Tom "dirty" for his actions was rich, oops, "funny" coming from her. Oh, to have the audacity of Meredith Grey.
She was on a mission trying to get everything under control, and it occasionally came out with snarky comments to her patient's daughter. The "I haven't either, in response to the daughter's concerns about her mother not eating in 24 hours was both funny and also bitchy as hell.
It's too bad we didn't see her get to her original patient; maybe it's something they'll pick up later. But there wasn't a shortage of surgeries.
Link and Levi got to perform a surgery on a patient, but it mostly served as a means to bring the two of them together so Levi could learn what it looks like when you have a real man.
Teddy: I paged Koracick.
Amelia: Do people really prefer him over me because that concerns me on so many levels.
Sadly, the underdeveloped Nico, with such vastly different characterizations every other time we see him to the point of it seeming like maybe he's the one with a personality disorder, well, they've settled on him being trash.
It has been the most consistent characterization of them all. If Mer was on one with her snarky humor, Helm was on fire. She was spewing zingers as if her life depended on it. Telling Levi that his boyfriend, as the kiddies say "ain't shit" was Cristina Yang levels of badassery.
Unlike the only man who'll never let you down, Link, Nico wasn't giving up his dream job for the likes of Levi. Honestly, Levi should've figured that out ages ago. Nico has always been about his career path.
Nico's non-reaction to Levi getting upset and asserting himself said it all. If he doesn't pull a Jackson and haul Levi's bags to the hospital as he politely kicks him out, it would be a surprise.
Watching my friend fawn over a man who doesn't treat him as an equal because the sex is good? No thanks.Helm
Fortunately, Levi is adorable, and Jo is lonely. The dorky vagrant -- with his metaphorical stick & handkerchief rucksack over his shoulder -- will shack up with his former one-night disaster, Jo.
You know what? It works. It also has that old-school Grey's vibe again.
And Jackson's little C-list storyline of trying to find someone to go to a basketball game with him did, too. Once again, since I didn't get to Station 19 yet, was it some connection with that?
It's unfavorable that poor Jackson hasn't had a decent storyline in ages, and he's stuck wandering the halls of GSM and Station 19 looking pretty, but at least it was funny this time around.
Jackson: How about you, you like hoops?
Jo: Yeah, and not being invited to things as an afterthought.
Maggie: Why don't you just go alone. Oh yeah, that's right. You can't do alone.
The double-whammy rejection by Richard and Jo was hilarious, but then Maggie KO'd him with that line about his inability to be alone, and yeah, the dialogue during this hour was on the ball.
And hey, Richard was humdrum, and lamenting that he quit or something but was still hanging around. And Catherine served up those divorce papers and was gracious enough to let him keep HIS house.
Maggie connected to two men, and when is the last time Richard had a hangout buddy? Arizona, right? He's so much fun when he gets to hang out with someone.
Also, something else tossed in was Maggie's wrongful death suit is over. Her uncle took the settlement.
Speaking of settled, Amelia and Link are back to being the best couple there. They were in a state of bliss spooning each other and talking about not giving up their dreams.
Link chose to turn down a job that would have him traveling because of her and their baby, and it made you wonder why she had insecurity about him not choosing her in the first place?
Yup, their time apart was pointless as hell. But it did make things awkward when she cheerfully announced in the break room that the baby was Link's.
Teddy felt like a fool, but only for a split second since she also thought she was going to spend a day being pissy that about the situation and deflecting blame.
Teddy: It's not Owen's baby.
Teddy: Tom, this doesn't change the way I feel about you.
Accountability, where art thou? Not near Teddy.
She didn't know how to handle things when she went to speak to Tom, and she likes him. She has feelings for Tom, but she's an engaged woman.
Teddy doesn't think about how horrible she treats Tom, and when he gave his little speech about how much he loves her, and he went against his morals, it hurt.
They're both wrong as hell for what they did to Owen, and Tom was a big enough man to acknowledge that, as much as he can't stand Owen, "Agent Orange" doesn't deserve that.
I may not care for agent orange, but I've been the husband whose wife sleeps with another man, and I can't be that guy. I love you, so I make this easy for you. Go home.Tom
But it sucks knowing that Tom carries a torch for Teddy, and she knows it. He decided to do something she couldn't bring herself to, and he stopped their sweaty sessions.
Teddy couldn't even end her affair on her own. And then she considered telling Owen the truth, but she chickened out again. Teddy couldn't do that either.
Man, what happened to Teddy? She's a steaming hot mess in her personal life these days, but damn if she doesn't get to you when she works on her cases.
Apparently, Kyle was a veteran from a case that carried over from Station 19 Season 3 Episode 8. Teddy's ability to connect with veterans is one of her best qualities, and he wasn't an exception.
I just feel like if I can't make this work, what was it all for?Ashley
She was determined to help him at any cost, and she treated him like a person rather than a criminal. His seizures were what caused him to behave the way he did, and there's a chance he will feel more like himself with surgery.
The possibility that he could be a fragment of the person he was before had him hopeful -- his girlfriend Ashley too. It was subtle, but they dug a bit into what it's like for loved ones of veterans.
She didn't know how to be there for him, but she kept trying no matter how much he pushed her away. It was a nice case, and hopefully, we'll get an update on it too.
But it also was a reminder that Casey's PTSD was triggered some time ago, and we haven't seen him since. It seemed as though it would be a bigger storyline, but I guess not.
Brody: She's such a legend.
Helm: This isn't about her, Brody. Stop it.
Maybe it's because of them focusing their energy on DeLuca's dwindling mental health. Yeah, it still feels like they pulled this storyline out of nowhere, but holy hell, it was the best of the hour.
While there are mixed feelings about this storyline, Giacomo Gianniotti's incredible performance isn't up for debate. He completely stole the hour with his breakdown in the waiting room, it was something that surely induced chills.
As someone who watches a lot of medical shows (and reviews them too), it always feels like Déjà vu when they have similar cases or storylines.
On The Resident Season 3 Episode 17, they had a storyline about human trafficking, but it ended on a much happier note than this one.
DeLuca: She fits the profile.
Olivia: Profile for what?
It was beyond frustrating when DeLuca was trying to get others to listen to him, and no one would. The new nurse Olivia was dismissive of him from the start.
He had to assert his authority for every move. He reached out to Bailey, and she didn't listen to him. She breezed past the case and was too focused on DeLuca's mental health to take him seriously.
If she didn't believe he was ready to be back at work, then maybe she should've put him on leave.
Even before we knew it for sure, the likelihood that DeLuca was correct about Opal and Cindy was high. They did present the signs of a trafficking victim and handler.
Security, arrest this woman for child trafficking.DeLuca
Opal took over answering all of the questions and wouldn't let Cindy speak. Cindy didn't know how to answer questions without looking to Opal as if scared she'd say the wrong thing. She's young, but she had a UTI.
The more time he spent with them, the more likely he was correct, but no one would listen to him. And that's where the arc took a poignant turn.
More so when you consider Bailey is a mentally-ill woman who couldn't see past DeLuca's battle with a disorder. She knows what it's like when someone looks at and dismisses you because of your mental illness.
It's probably something that she'll ponder later. But by now, everyone was so focused on his mental decline that they weren't taking him seriously.
DeLuca: I'm not your business anymore, Meredith. I don't work for you. I don't love you.
Mer: But I love you. I love you.
He grew more agitated as the day went on, and his fast-talking wasn't doing him any favors. He was speaking a mile a minute, and anyone looking at him could tell he was troubled.
By the time he called the code violet, you knew it wouldn't bode well for him. The public display was heartbreaking. A lot of this has been so public and deprived him of dignity.
He had a meltdown in front of his colleagues and others, and they treated him like he was a basketcase. They followed the protocol, but it was for him, not Opal.
When they circled around him, it was enough to break your heart. DeLuca standing on the chair and shouting at everyone was such a gutwrenching scene, and again, Giacomo Gianniotti put forth such a raw, visceral, emotionally wrought performance it brought tears to your eyes.
I can see it now, the twistedness.Cormack
As someone who has witnessed a loved one have a breakdown like that, Gianniottie captured it well.
Stefania Spampinato owned the heck out of the single scene. The heartbreak and worry as she watched her brother fall apart made you want to reach through the screen and hug her.
It was her worse fear, and it was what she was trying to avoid all of this time, but she wasn't able to stop it. She was in such anguish.
It's aggravating that she doesn't get more to do. Her moments with her brother are far more appealing than the time she spends hopping from one bed to another. She's underutilized, and they could've spent more time building up this storyline with her and DeLuca.
Both actors would've knocked it out of the park, and it would've been far more provocative than half the storylines in its stead.
And it would have been preferable if it was between the siblings instead of used as 'ship/romantic fodder for DeLuca and Meredith.
Their stairwell scene where Mer blurted that she loves him was annoying. It wasn't insensitive, per se, but it would be more compelling if Caterina occupied this storyline with DeLuca instead.
It was as bothersome as the million and a half times they had to remind us that Meredith is "THE BEST." What is with all of this Meredith worshipping this season? It's overkill.
Brody: She's such a legend.
Helm: This isn't about her, Brody. Stop it.
DeLuca was right about Opal and Cindy, but everyone else is correct about him too. Around the time he walked through subzero temps without gloves, it was evident something more was going on.
His final scene of speeding down an empty highway on a motorcycle at 100 mph was nervewracking.
Over to you, Grey's Fanatics. Did you believe in DeLuca? Should Teddy tell Owen the truth? Hit the comments.
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Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.