Finally, Meredith is awake!
It took a lifetime to get to this point of her waking up for good and us bidding the beach goodbye.
And by the end of Grey's Anatomy Season 17 Episode 13, Meredith got some closure with Derek, woke up at the request of her precious eldest daughter, and everyone celebrated.
It was an hour that seemed to recognize more than the others the general fatigue and malaise that came with everything going on. While it's about multiple installments too damn late, it was refreshing to hear that even the characters were sick and tired of [insert gesticulates wildly motion].
And for once, it seemed everyone was on the same page when it came to Meredith. When they were communicating, that is. The lack of communication and everyone in different worlds was on full display with the Zola confusion.
It probably should've been obvious that Mer was waking up by the end of this installment since McDreamy would close out the beach scenes, and all of her family suddenly remembered to be worried about her to the point of showing up at her room again.
It took the recovery of one of their favorite nurses and the shocking death of Owen's patient, whom they thought was on the mend, to kick everyone into overdrive again.
Can we take another moment to talk about how impressive Kevin McKidd is? The season as a whole has been all over the place, but damn that man has given incredible performances.
His anger over losing someone he thought had recovered was palpable and yet paled in comparison to how he damn near broke down on the phone informing the woman's family of her death.
Mer: I don't want to leave the kids.
Derek: I don't want you to leave the kids.
He also had some great scenes with Teddy, serving as her support while she figured out what was wrong with Mer and checking in on her mental health.
Owen and Teddy's friendship is far superior to their romantic attempt. Now that they've gotten past that hurdle, it's showcased Owen at his absolute best. It's a similar growth that Amelia had, and it's something worth appreciating.
Teddy is throwing herself into work, but she's still not100%, and it's good that others are taking note of that. Owen knew that if she went forward with the surgery for Mer and the deity that is Meredith Grey didn't wake up, then it would ruin Teddy beyond repair.
At least Owen and Teddy both were cognizant of that. Their moment in the hospital sleep chamber was a good one. Teddy was willing to hurl herself back into those same disturbing habits kissing and maybe initiating sex with Owen to avoid her feelings.
Now that he's aware of the extent of her issues and behavior, Owen nipped it in the bud and gave her some tough love about feeling her emotions instead of running from or trying to bury them.
Owen is a good friend right now, and the role suits him well.
Meanwhile, Teddy and Winston made a good team, even if I did need the reminder of what Winston's specialty actually was. He was invested in Meredith waking up, too, since she's his sister-in-law, and he'd like to get to her know better when she's awake.
Winston is a genuinely sweet guy, but it's still weird when they try to incorporate him into anything outside of Maggie because of how out of place he feels. When he, too, jumped into the amazing Meredith Grey worship, eyes were rolling.
But he'll get the credit for coming up with the idea of bringing Zola to the hospital to see Mer in hopes of waking her up. The combined efforts of Winston and Zola in all of her Black Girl magic were what Mer needed to return to the land of the living.
Zola is such a force, and anytime they focus on this child, it's golden. If possible, she deserves more screentime.
We'll cast aside how Mer got some special treatment with a visitor because Zola gearing up to go into the room was a great scene, and once she got there, well, Aniela Gumbs acted her bum off and stole every second of screentime she inhabited.
Zola had enough, and you can't blame the child. Zola's dealing with a pandemic, quarantine, a houseful of kids and adults who act like children, and the list goes on.
It was time for her to slap some sense into Meredith.
And Meredith needed it. For the Merder fans, of course, the beach scenes were lovely. They were in wedding attire at one point.
Derek spoke about what it was like when he died, and he acknowledged that the hardest part of it was knowing that the doctors didn't know what the hell they were doing. We all thought that, and it's nice to have the confirmation that it did drive him insane.
He appreciated that Meredith permitted him to let go, and they had so many special moments together.
Derek: It's not time yet.
Mer: There's no pain here.
Derek: You wanna know a secret? I even miss the pain. You have to go.
Mer: I'm so tired.
Derek: It's not your time yet. Our kids need you. You have to go.
It was daunting when Meredith got closer to him, and she wanted desperately to kiss and hold him tight, but she was also aware of the rules that she set for herself.
It's still disturbing that Mer was ready to give up on her children, though. She even went as far as to suggest that they'd be fine without her and that her death could make them stronger. WHAT?!
On the romantic side of things, the Merder scenes were probably great, but outside of that, it never stopped being unsavory that Derek damn near had to beg Meredith to return to their children.
Why does a single mother of a brood of children require so much convincing to fight -- to live for her kids?
Mer is awake now, and the hospital will probably throw her a party or erect a shrine in her name or something, and at this point, I'm so grateful this chapter of the storyline is closing that I don't even care.
Speaking of not caring, is there any investment in Jo's storyline with switching specialties? The second we found out that she signed a contract, then it should've been the end of it.
The pandemic has indeed changed all of us, and it has led to people making some changes in their life. No one is begrudging Jo her new passion, but Bailey was right about the damn timing.
She needs surgeons right now. She has surgeons dropping like flies or leaving, and shockingly, despite the million people who got into General Surgery, only bedridden Mer is left.
Although, wasn't Richard a general surgeon?
Jo's timing feels off when they're in the middle of a pandemic, and the hospital is understaffed. Bailey should've stuck to her guns, but she allowed the sentiments of her patient, Erica, the peanut brittle lady, to rub off on her.
The lesson about rest and how resting isn't laziness was a great message, but I don't know how it was supposed to relate to Jo unless it was about the following your dreams portion of things.
Jo and Levi continue to be amusing, and Levi escaping Nico by running home for movie night was funny.
Jo: Is the sex still good?
Levi: Yeah, it's amazing.
Levi has grown so much as a character. He's this confident, funny, more grounded character and doctor. He feels more seasoned, and he's lost some of the bumbling, awkward edges.
And when it comes to his relationship with Nico, it seems that he's in the driver's seat these days, too.
The problem with Nico remains that they don't give him any development whatsoever. We have no idea what he's like on his own.
We don't know anything about any of Nico's other relationships or bonds outside of Levi, and most of that is offscreen these days.
We don't have any foundation to work with regarding his personality, to say one way or another that he had genuine intimacy issues or whatever else.
All we know is that he sends mixed signals, can be a jackass, he's pretty, and he's apparently decent in bed.
Now, instead of giving Levi a drawer, he asked Levi to move in, and there is nothing to understand his motivations, where this is coming from, or anything else. Hell, we haven't even been to his home to know what it's like or what they're like when Levi is over there.
As someone who arrived with Link, it's only more glaring than ever how Nico got shafted as a character. Link at least gets cases, formed other bonds, and he still thrives within his relationship with Amelia, so he shines outside of it.
Nico is just this one-dimensional character that only exists when he's in a scene with Levi, and that sucks.
But it seems like Levi knows what he wants, and he's not willing to jump into anything, and that's growth for him, so good for Levi.
On the subject of Link, he and Amelia duking it out over a patient had its funny moments, especially when they brought in an underused Tom.
Don't you miss the good old days when Amelia and Tom spent time together? He was her mentor, after all.
It seemed Tom's only point during this installment was to remind us how bleak COVID is and that it changes you. He didn't even keep up with what was happening with Meredith since he avoids the unit altogether.
It feels like Tom has some traumatic effects of his own. But I doubt the series will ever bother exploring them.
Amelia and Link have been itching to get back into the hospital and do things, so it was understandable why they got attached to this case. Amelia took it and ran with it, which was a bit annoying but so quintessentially Amelia.
But they're adorable. When it got real that Amelia was holding a guy's entire future in her hands and she was on the verge of panicking, Link was right there to cheer her on and support her.
They remain the ultimate couple goals on this series.
Teddy: I need this year to get better.
Bailey: Me too.
Over to you, Grey's Fanatics. Are you thrilled Mer is alive? Will you miss the beach and Derek? Hit the comments below!
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.