Richard is alive and well after a surprising diagnosis by Meredith and DeLuca.
Also, by the end of Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 21, Owen called off his wedding to Teddy when he overheard her having sex with Tom.
Join TV Fanatics Meaghan Frey and Paul Dailly, and Grey's Fanatics Berea Orange and LC for our final round table of the season.
Were you surprised by Richard's diagnosis? What was your favorite part of this arc?
LC: Yes, I was surprised because Richard going to Boston to have a hip surgery seems far fetched and thrown together. It made everything seem unbelievable. All this build-up, and then the diagnosis is anti-climatic.
I had so many questions. One being when did he have this surgery and the other and why Boston?
I'm not sure if I have a favorite part in his arc. All I can say is James Pickens Jr. was acting his behind off.
The reason I say I don't have a favorite part is that it was so hard to see Richard in this state. From the unraveling in Boston, and then Meredith finding him in the OR about to operate on himself. It was all too much.
Berea: Ummm, surprised for sure. On one hand, it seemed like it should’ve been something more dramatic. On another, it seems they were trying to come up with something that wouldn’t be a long-lasting life-threatening disease that would result in us losing him.
But this seems to have come out of nowhere to me -- the last minute decision to make the story work. I like to think of myself as somewhat of a Grey’s expert, usually able to direct you to a specific season and episode if you ask a question. But they got me on this one. Never once have we heard of Richard having a hip replacement.
We haven’t seen him in any physical therapy. We haven’t even heard anyone mention it. And why would it have been done in Boston of all places?
Or it would’ve made more sense if it happened five years ago back during Grey's Anatomy Season 11 when Meredith disappeared for a year.
But I think this was a retcon to trip up the viewers. So yes, I was surprised because it didn’t match the show’s timeline. My only favorite part of this would be James Pickens’s acting.
Meaghan: Yes! I was highly convinced I had gotten it right. Time for me to go back to school! But no, really, I actually was aggravated over the whole thing.
As happy that I am that Richard is going to be okay in the long term, I feel like this was a major cop-out.
As LC and Berea mentioned, we had no idea this man had a hip replacement in Boston, which on most shows would feel normal, but on Grey's, there is no way we wouldn't have known about it if it took place over the course of the show's timeline.
You also can't tell me that he would choose to get his surgery done in Boston instead of at Grey Sloan when he does everything at Grey Sloan. It just all feels conveniently thrown in so that he could have a random diagnosis that only DeLuca would figure out.
It all just feels like the writers didn't have big enough cajones to actually pull the trigger on one of their series regulars having a debilitating condition that isn't magically cured within a few episodes following the diagnosis.
Paul: I liked it. What happened to him made sense, and it really took me by surprise. This show loves to kill off characters, but we've been on a run of good luck in the deaths department.
Amelia and Link had a baby boy. React!
LC: Amelia has a baby, and I am happy. It's unfortunate that Link couldn't be by her side at that moment, especially after the whole Maury Povich drawn-out spectacle of "who is my daddy?" Nope.
Instead, because this is the season of messy and random PSA moments, they decided to bring Bailey in to assist with the birth. I am not going to begin to tell you how much I hated that.
I guess it was supposed to circle back to George, helping Bailey when she was delivering Tuck. But honestly, I didn't care for the scene because it screamed "mammy trope," and I didn't feel the good nostalgia at the moment. But YAY! Amelia and Link have a son.
Berea: Amelink has been the bright spot of this season for me. I’m so happy they overcame the baby daddy drama. I’m even happier that Amelia didn’t have to experience another traumatic pregnancy. I can’t wait to see more of this couple, and I just want them to stay happy.
Amelia: He's beautiful, isn't he?
Link: You both are.
Meaghan: I am so happy that the baby is OK. I actually disagree with LC; I LOVED the nostalgia.
As soon as Bailey climbed behind Amelia, I got emotional and thought back to when George helped Bailey through her labor. When it's subtle, Grey's Anatomy is at its best.
Paul: They're the best couple on the show, and they deserve all the happiness in the world. But this is Grey's, and nobody will be happy for too long.
DeLuca made a game-changing save and diagnosis and then hit his low. What's your reaction to how the series handled his manic depression, and where do you expect his storyline to go from here?
LC: It did nothing for me. I am not impressed. I'm extremely disappointed because a lot of parts seem disjointed. And it shouldn't take the entire season to get to the point.
They spent an awful lot of time integrating Station 19 people wandering around Grey Sloan. Then the idiotic insurance fraud storyline. I could go on, but I don't expect much cause they didn't give much to work with other than a man spiraling, and no one is actually doing anything, and he continues to work and be rewarded.
Berea: I’ve enjoyed the manic storyline. I wish the season wasn’t cut short, so we could see more of it. Deluca was still doing his job but also having a manic episode (kind of like a functioning alcoholic).
He actually did good work during this manic episode, but he’d lost credibility, so no one would believe him. I wish we’d seen him get help before now.
They made Stephanie seek counseling after her boyfriend died before returning to work. Deluca is in an actual manic state, and they just put him on suspension? I wish we got to see more of him attending therapy.
Meaghan: In theory, I love this storyline. It's great watching DeLuca spiral out of control because he's not managing his mental health issues well. The importance of good mental health care, which is grossly overlooked, is reinforced.
Unfortunately, it was executed poorly. I would love to say that it is because of the shortened season, but I'm just honestly not sure if they ever would have gotten to the place they needed to with the storyline to have it be effective, given the way they handled it up until now.
DeLuca: I can't, uh. I don't know what's going on?
Mer: Okay, okay. You wanna go home? We'll just go home.
It felt like they kept trying to focus on the fact that he can still be a good doctor even though he has Bipolar Disorder. That never was the question, though.
Of course, he is a good doctor. We have seen that for years. We needed to see his mental health be addressed instead of just him continuing to succeed and be praised even though he isn't fit to be practicing in his current state.
I'm sure it will be tied up with a neat little bow when it returns, and he'll get help offscreen.
Paul: I liked it. Others constantly undermined DeLuca-- even before his manic state kicked in; however, I feel like bad things are coming for DeLuca, and we should probably prepare for it.
Owen found out the truth about Teddy and Tom and canceled their wedding without telling her. What are all of your thoughts on this messy love triangle?
LC: HAAAAA! Listen! I knew he was going to find out about it this episode. It's been building up for quite some time. BUT HUN-TY when those moans came through the phone, and the whole OR heard Teddy getting the business, my whole life was delivered.
Owen going back to the same closet he was knocking boots with Teddy the episode before just to hear Teddy hitting that O with Tom up close and personal --HAAAAAAAA!! That's a five-star amazon rating right there.
I don't feel bad for that man. When the show returns, Owen is most definitely going to punch Tom. Reminiscent of the punch at Jackson's house on Grey's Anatomy Season 15 Episode 15. He's definitely going to be done with Teddy, and next season, we might see a messy custody battle.
Berea: I am in no way an Owen apologizer. He mistreated every woman he’s been with on this show (Beth, Cristina, Amelia, and Teddy). So when he found out Teddy was cheating, sorry, I couldn’t muster up enough sympathy.
I only felt 5% sorry for him. That is mostly due to Kevin’s acting when he was listening to the voicemail in the room alone. Also, Owen actually hearing them is just cruel.
But Teddy is sick in the head if she thinks she can tell Tom she loves him, sleep with him, and then think she can go marry Owen the same day. Who does that?!
I laughed at her getting dressed and finding out Owen canceled the wedding without telling her. It serves her right. I hope they are completely done after this.
Meaghan: Teddy deserved worse than she got. She should have called off the wedding weeks ago when she started sleeping with Tom, if for no other reason than to figure out what exactly she wants.
Owen was kind to just cancel the wedding without telling her, instead of putting her on blast to all her friends and relatives. This is Grey Sloan, so everyone will know the truth by tomorrow most likely, but at least for now, Owen handled it with grace.
I can't be with you. I can't. I am marrying Owen. This was goodbye.Teddy
Paul: Teddy is a serial cheater, and I would think she would want to make sure she didn't sex dial the man she was about to marry. It's only going to get messier. Will Own confront her? Will he let it slide? I need answers.
Did this work well as a finale? What would you grade the finale? What would you grade the season?
LC: Ehhhhh. Kind of, sort of. If it wasn't for the Tom, Teddy and Owen triangle, it would've been a bit dull.
The Grade for the finale: B. The grade for the season: C-
Grey's dropped a lot of balls this season by focusing too much on its spin-off show. Some storylines were introduced and quickly disappeared. Then you have a few that were stretched out and were pointless, so the impact they expected was either short-lived or barely made a ripple.
Berea: Surprisingly, this episode worked well for a finale. I would give it a solid B+. But I can count on one hand all of the episodes from this season I truly enjoyed. So this whole season gets a D for me.
They ruined or caused problems for every relationship. The storylines were disjointed, and as for the crossovers -- it seemed they sacrificed Grey’s to get Station 19 more viewers. It worked, though, because Station 19 has been good, and it’s been renewed already.
I gave up on him once. I'm never doing that again.Catherine
There were too many contrived storylines. Maggie and Jackson’s breakup came out of nowhere. He and Vic jumping into a relationship was doomed from the start. Richard holding a grudge against Catherine, but not Bailey who actually fired him was ridiculous.
Amelia getting mad that Link wanted to know if she was carrying his baby or not was stupid. Meredith’s insurance fraud storyline just made me dislike her. Deluca got arrogant all of a sudden after he and Meredith became a thing. There, unfortunately, was just so much I disliked about this season, and so much that didn’t make sense.
Right when it was starting to pick back up for me, the season ended early.
Meaghan: It ended up working out because we got a resolution to Amelia and Link having a baby and to Richard's mystery illness, and we got a nice cliff hanger with the Teddy-Owen-Tom drama. I actually can't figure out how else the season could've ended.
For a finale, I will give it a B; for the season, it is getting a C. The first half of the season, I was actually more on board with the show than I had been in a long time, but it felt like it all just fell apart during the second half of the season.
They need to stop making Grey's worse to make Station 19 happen. That is probably their biggest issue because my issues with the season didn't start until they switched the time slots and started giving it the One Chicago treatment.
Paul: I thought it worked well. It had all the twists you would expect! I would grade it an A-, but the whole season is a C, at best. There were so many annoying developments.
What storyline did you enjoy the most this season? What did you dislike the most?
LC: Maggie with Sabi. That episode had EVERYTHING from comedy to feels. We got a Maggie/Alex moment, and I am grateful. I hated two storylines equally: the insurance fraud and Jackson and Victoria Hughes. Talk about a forced pairing.
Berea: Although many people disliked it and thought it ruined his character, my favorite storyline was Alex running off to be with Izzie and their children. For over ten years, those frozen embryos haunted me. I was dying to know what happened to them.
I missed my chance to watch my own child grow into an adult, and I would give anything to have those years with Maggie.Richard
I did like Alex with Jo, but I’ve always wanted him to end up with Izzie and for them to have children. That was the perfect send-off for him in my eyes.
A close second was Sabi’s episode. It was nice seeing Maggie meet and vibe with her cousin, even for a short time. And I loved how Alex was there with Maggie after she lost Sabi.
I disliked Meredith's insurance fraud storyline the most. It's annoying how she's become the savior for everything lately. It was a crazy storyline because she could've done the surgery pro bono or asked the Catherine Fox foundation to cover it.
I hate how it caused a rift in Richard and Catherine’s marriage. Richard was behaving like an old fool holding a grudge against Catherine when he was wrong covering for Meredith (again). And Catherine buying Pac-North was unnecessary (although, I feel it was just a way to bring everyone back to Grey-Sloan). It was just silly.
Meaghan: My favorite storyline was Izzie and Alex. It's the storyline I was waiting for since Izzie left, and I'm so happy the writers ended Alex's character in that manner.
My least favorite was the insurance fraud storyline. Although it is a serious issue, it all felt too dramatic, but not in a good way.
Oh, I love them, Mer. With every inch of me, and every cell. And I get to be their dad.Alex
Paul: My favorite was Koracick's wife showing up and Teddy stepping in to help out. They were excellent scenes that proved the two characters depend on each other.
Do you have any additional thoughts about the episode, the season, or the characters?
LC: I hope Nico is gone for good. I really want them to bring Parker back. Can we trade Nico and Helm for Parker?
Unfortunately, we didn't see much development from Maggie this season. Nor was the trifecta together; they barely spoke.
Berea: Richard turning Catherine away after having a near-death experience was petty and stupid. He’s too old for that.
I was happy that Hayes asked Meredith out. I look forward to the series exploring that pair. To me, how Meredith was taking care of Deluca at the end felt more motherly.
Meaghan: I'm so happy that Levi got a bigger role this season. After seeing him in The Thing About Harry, I am a big fan of his. It feels like the actor became a lot more comfortable in his role this season, and it definitely made Levi more likable.
Paul: I'm starting to like Meredith with DeLuca, and I hope we aren't headed for a love triangle with Cormac. Give Cormac someone else to love!
What are your predictions for next season? What what you like to see?
LC: Jackson needs a centric episode. It's overdue, and they need to finally answer why he can't be alone.
Bill Pierce needs to make another appearance. Catherine and Richard will reunite. Hayes and Meredith will happen. Deluca will have a centric episode.
I feel like another baby and wedding is happening. Winston might come around, but it will be short-lived. Jaggie isn't done!
I hope Maggie moves out. I hope they stop with crossovers and show more surgeries and patients. I think Tom is going to have a tough year. The money he accepted is going to come back and bite him in the rear.
Berea: Well, last summer, I predicted Jackson and Maggie would make up, and Travis and Schmitt would be the inter show romance, so my predictions are no longer as good as they used to be.
However, I'd like to see Meredith and Hayes date, Jackson exploring his inability to be alone and maybe some counseling, and Richard growing up and letting his pride go to make up with his wife.
I'd also like to see Maggie moving out of the sisters' house and having her own happiness outside of them; Teddy and Owen ending for good, and Amelink having their happiness not be interrupted for foolishness.
Meaghan: My prediction for next season is that it is going to be Grey's Anatomy's last.
I hope that we get to see Mer and Hayes give it a go because I am a huge fan of this pairing. I would also like to get to see more of Jo and Levi and their antics as roommates. Levi makes Jo more tolerable for me, so that says a lot.
I would LOVE for them to give up on the crossovers. If we can also get some resolution to the Teddy, Owen, and Tom triangle, that would be fantastic.
Also, if I'm right about this being the last for Grey's, I really hope they can bring out as much nostalgia as possible and work in some of the old cast
Paul: I want some resolution for the love triangle, some more clarity on DeLuca, and for Levi to fully and finally dump Nico.
Over to you, Grey's Fanatics. Do you agree with our round table? Do you disagree?
Hit the blue button and sound off below.
If you need to catch up on the season, or you'd like to relive it, you can watch Grey's Anatomy online here via TV Fanatic.
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 X.