The end of the season is upon us.
The penultimate hour had Meredith determining her future at GSM as she was on the mend, Jo getting denied a chance to adopt Luna, and relationship progress for Maggie and Winston and Levi and Nico on Grey's Anatomy Season 17 Episode 16.
Join Jasmin Pettie, Meaghan Frey, and Jasmine Blu as they discuss the hour.
Do you think Meredith is the perfect person to take over the residency program?
Jasmin: I do! I think she is really going to shine in this new role.
In the past, I thought she and Alex might wind up running the hospital with him as Chief of Surgery and her as Residency Director. While that won't happen because of Justin Chambers' exit, I think it will be great to see Meredith step up and take on the role.
As Bailey says, Richard has too many jobs right now, so having Meredith take this on while she recovers from COVID is a good idea.
Meaghan: Perfect? Eh, probably not. A great person to do it? Sure!
After all, if the way everyone talks about her is any indication, she must be God's gift to surgery, so they will be lucky to learn under her.
In all seriousness, though, the recent residents have seemed to benefit from her mentorship, so it is a good fit, especially if she doesn't feel up to surgery.
Although I feel like any job in the hospital requires A LOT of time on your feet, so not sure how much better it will actually be for her.
My one issue with the storyline was Bailey's reasoning. Preaching about how Mer could make the program more inclusive and reflecting the world we live in and how she could teach them to be doctors that make the world better.
Um, has Richard not been doing that? It feels like an insult to him for her to put it that way. Also, there hasn't really been any indication that Mer would bring anything to the table in that regard.
Aside from her insurance fraud storyline, she really hasn't done a ton to fight for change in the healthcare system. Hell, if Jesse Williams hadn't wanted to leave, this would have been a perfect narrative choice for Jackson.
Jasmine: I suppose since she's not up for anything else and they want her back at the hospital, it works.
But yeah, all of the reasoning was ludicrous to me.
Forgive my bluntness, but how exactly is the selectively "woke" white woman supposed to usher in some new era of inclusivity and diversity in the residency program? Why does it involve displacing Richard to do it, and what does it imply about how Richard (and Bailey recently) have done so far?
It truly did feel as if it was something Jackson would've done. Or Maggie since she's been at least speaking on some issues over time, and she had a blast working with the residents herself some time back. But all the young ones are obsessed with Meredith, so I guess it works.
Are you disappointed Jo's foster application got denied? Do you think she'll ever get Luna?
Jasmin: I am. I was surprised by that. She's clearly formed a bond with Luna. She was ready to have kids with Alex before his departure, and she was close to Val before her death.
I do think that she will eventually get custody of Luna. They've spent a bunch of time setting this up and dropping hints about this storyline, so it would feel hollow to have it end like this. It would also put Jo back in a dark place which she just got out of for the umpteenth time.
Meaghan: This has literally been the only time I've ever even remotely enjoyed a Jo storyline, so yes, I'm definitely bummed out.
It seems like McWidow is going to step in and help make it happen for her, though. As if I needed another reason to love that man.
It's kind of weird because if I didn't know the intention was for him to end up with Mer, then I definitely could see him ending up with Jo. She is pretty much the only person the man interacts with throughout the series.
Jasmine: I mean, if I'm brutally honest, I don't care. But as Jasmin said, they wouldn't devote this much time to this storyline if it would end in Jo in another doom and gloom state, so I guess it'll work out.
I've noticed that about Jo and Hayes too, Meaghan. It goes back to what we were saying about how criminally underused Flood is and the lack of relationship building with Meredith, given he's supposed to be her love interest.
He literally only interacts with Jo, which rather sucks for a plethora of reasons.
Did Winston overreact to Maggie's wedding plan reluctance? Do you think they're getting married too fast?
Jasmin: I think he did a bit, but I'm glad that they showed the two of them disagreeing and working through it.
Up until now, they've been portrayed as the perfect couple, so it was nice to see them disagree and work through something in this episode.
Do I think they are getting married too fast? Yes and no. They are jumping into things awfully fast, but on the other hand, they have known each other for several years.
In this pandemic, many couples are doing what they are doing right now. It's not unrealistic for them to be getting engaged and married within a short period of time.
Meaghan: OH MY GOD, YES! Look, I am not happy about how the writers have been portraying my men these past two weeks.
First, Link acted like a jerk about having to stay in Mer's house, which felt super out of character.
Now, this week, Winston majorly overreacts about Maggie not wanting to rush into their wedding. Did he forget they are in a middle of a pandemic?
Wouldn't it make more sense to hold off a bit longer? For him to immediately take it as a sign that Maggie wasn't sure about them getting married was so ridiculous.
There were plenty of other factors to consider, and I have no idea how his mind went so quickly to that one. They are absolutely getting married too quickly, but I'm going to let them have this one because they are sweet, and we need some tiny piece of joy to come out of this dark, depressing season.
Jasmine: I was so confused. He overreacted like nobody's business! I'm with you on how they've done the guys recently, Meaghan. My head was still spinning from Link, and then Winston started behaving brand new, and I wanted to speak to the manager.
I do think they're getting married too fast and all, and his freakout made me second guess my feelings about them as a pairing. But yeah, life is short, and that's something we've all learned during a pandemic. It's not out there that they want to jump all-in.
Does Amelia and Link's different stances on having more children feel like a rehashed storyline?
Jasmin: It depends what they do with it. Couples getting together and then realizing at a later point that they feel differently about having children or having more children, in this case, is a real thing that happens.
Amelia and Link started as casual sex partners, which progressed into something more serious when Amelia found out she was pregnant. They've become this beautiful family, and it turns out they are a great match, but because they didn't start out with marriage and kids in mind, there are bridges that they have to cross at some point.
I'm glad that Link is voicing his desire to have more kids down the road now so that they can talk about it. I totally get why Amelia doesn't want to, though.
After what happened with Christopher and Ryan and then Owen, Betty, and Leo and then with Meredith's kids, I get why Amelia doesn't want more children. It's a lot of work; she's been through a lot, and getting overwhelmed could impact her sobriety.
Link is a good guy and way more sensitive around this topic than Owen ever was.
Hopefully, they'll talk it out, Amelia will share her concerns, Link will understand, and he'll fulfill that need for more kids by spending more time with Leo or Meredith's kids.
Meaghan: This came out of the left-field for me. I don't see a world in which this hasn't come up before now. We have seen them have so much honest, open communication.
I swear to God, if this ends up splitting them up, I won't forgive the writers. The two of them are the highlight of the show. I think if Amelia explains her position, Link will be understanding.
Jasmine: It really did come out of the left field.
Link went from overwhelmed by too many children to abruptly deciding that he wants more in the blink of an eye. It gave me whiplash.
Even if it has a different outcome, I hate that this another repeat of the same story Amelia already had before, and I don't believe that they've never had this discussion before. I'd even go as far as to say that we've probably witnessed it ourselves.
Were you rooting for Levi to patch things up with Nico or start something new with the vaccine doc?
Jasmin: I'm Team Vaccine Doc all the way! He's great; he's a gem.
He's attractive, funny, smart, direct, and kind. He's everything Levi deserves in a partner after the nonsense Nico has put him through.
I was so freaking disappointed and pissed off when Levi knocked on the apartment door, and Nico answered instead of Vaccine Doc.
I liked Nico and Levi when they first got together, but after Nico revealed that he lied about being out to his parents, their relationship went downhill fast.
He's treated Levi like crap ever since, and his one-time apology doesn't fix that or do anything to address the way he's acted or fix his and Levi's relationship problems.
I hope Vaccine Doc returns next season, Levi winds up with him, and Nico goes off to work for the Mariners as he was supposed to originally.
Meaghan: I'm torn on this one. For 99.9% of the episode, I was Team Vacc Doc, and then Nico went and did that sweet grand romantic gesture, and I softened to him.
I mean, come on. He lit candles every single day just in the hopes that Levi would come by his apartment? He risked burning down his apartment on a daily basis. That is love.
I want to forgive Nico, but I have reservations. I'm hoping that if he commits to Levi now, he won't decide in a week or a month or a year that it is too much for him. He deserves better than that.
Jasmine: Oh, man. I'm leaning more towards Jasmin on this one.
I loved Levi and Nico when they introduced them. They were one of my favorite new couples. Over time, I grew disappointed with the trajectory of their relationship together and Nico's overall storyline and depiction.
It was always a huge disservice that they never developed Nico much outside of Levi, and his characterization changed whenever it suited the plot and Levi's development.
I grew disenchanted with the pair when Nico treated Levi like trash but never got any deeper explanation of why that was the case to round it out, make him sympathetic, give us something to work with for when this reunion happened.
I hoped the McVacc opened the door instead, so it was disappointing when it was Nico. He did look damn good in that shirt, though.
And LOL at Nico nearly burning down his apartment every day until Levi showed up. I was so concerned about all of those candles; I hope they blew them out before they carried on with their hot, sexytimes.
What are you hoping to see or most looking forward to in the finale?
Jasmin: Meredith and Hayes having scenes together and hopefully getting some movement on the world's slowest moving slow-burn storyline!
I swear to God, glaciers move faster! People have gotten engaged, broken up, gotten back together, and moved to Boston while Meredith was on that beach while Hayes worried about her from afar, so I'm excited for that.
I'm also excited for Maggie and Winston's wedding and to know why her Dad and his Grandmother are objecting. I hope to see Jo adopt Luna, and I'd love to see some father-daughter scenes with Richard and Meredith.
Meaghan: I just want to see people get some happy endings. Give Jo Luna, let Winston and Maggie having a boring happy wedding, and yes, as Jasmin said, give us some movement on the Mer and Hayes front, for God's sake!
The two had more action when she was in a COVID coma than when she was awake. Can we maybe get a kiss or at least some prolonged eye contact?
Jasmine: "Some prolonged eye contact." LOL! I mean, honestly, though!
They brought all that handsome McIrish goodness in, and we still haven't pulled the trigger on this pairing. If MerLuca origins were kissing at a wedding, then why not add that to the long list of things they're rehashing and calling back to, no?
I, too, would like some happiness since the season was so heavy and bleak.
Is there anything else you'd like to address?
Jasmin: Not really. I really liked this episode. My only real complaints are that Levi chose Nico the jerk over hot Vaccine Doc and that Meredith and Hayes didn't have any scenes together. But it looks like they'll have scenes in the finale, so I'm happy about that.
Meaghan: I wanted to like this episode. I genuinely did because it had really good bones. It just left me with the same feeling that I've had this whole season and that it was completely and utterly forgettable.
The fact that I have such little recollection of this season that I thought I recognized Gwen convinced myself she had been a patient on multiple episodes, then tried convincing Jasmine of the same.
It turned out I was mixing her up with a character from Station 19, but it just goes to show how weird this season has been for me personally.
I didn't love the time jumping during the episode. It took me most of the episode to even realize it was happening. That effect has been used too many times on the show before and in much more successful ways.
I'm also very tired of the telling versus showing issues with this season.
Instead of showing us Maggie breaking the good news to Gwen that she was getting a heart, which would have been a powerful scene, they just had a throwaway scene of Maggie finding out. There has been way too much of that kind of storytelling this season, and I'm not a fan of it whatsoever.
Jasmine: You didn't "try" to convince me, Meaghan. You successfully did. LOL!
But yeah, I agree with you wholeheartedly. I'm torn between grateful that the latest installments weren't incredibly depressing and yet underwhelmed by them. I feel like I've had a sense of Grey's fatigue after this season.
For the installment leading to the finale, it was a forgettable hour. But one of my biggest criticisms all seasons is the "tell, not show" method they've taken with everything. It's all clunky dialogue and monologues or throwaway lines instead of showing us things.
I didn't want to hear about statistics on how COVID disproportionately affected communities of color or the poor; I'd have preferred they devoted a storyline of significance to it. I didn't want to hear about the pitfalls of the healthcare system in this time of crisis -- I wanted to see it explored.
And yeah, the transitions for the time jumps were not smooth. It also took me a minute to realize time was going by, and they've done this too many times this season.
What was your favorite moment?
Jasmin: My favorite moment was when Amelia told Owen that Tom had moved to Boston to help Jackson with the changes he wanted to make, and Owen thought he was fired and said that he hated that there was one more thing he had to like and respect about the guy. I'm not an Owen fan in general, but that line cracked me up!
Meaghan: That scene devastated me, Jasmin, LOL! They wrote poor Tom off in about three minutes total of dialogue between the last episode and this one. It was a sucker punch for my Tom-loving heart.
My favorite scene has to go to Jo "realizing" she is Luna's mom. Lord help me when I'm giving a Jo scene my top honors, but that is what we have come to here. It was a beautifully done scene, and I definitely got a little choked up.
Can we please talk about the amount of time Jo spends in the NICU when she is an OB resident? They probably should have just had her switch to peds.
Jasmine: It was both a funny line because of McKidd's delivery and one of those things that made me grit my teeth because of that pesky throwaway line thing again.
Like, damn, they couldn't even give my guy a farewell? It's just "oh, yeah, Tom's gone," in a blink, and you miss it scene, I'll just be pouting about this in the corner with Meaghan.
Also, I'm cackling at the Jo shade beneath the compliment, Meaghan. I did have a similar thought about her spending a lot of time in the NICU.
My favorite scene was the reunion with Jupiter. So I don't know what that says about me when I gave the dog my highest honors.
Over to you, Grey's Fanatics. Do you agree with the round table? Do you disagree? Hit the comments below.
The season finale of Grey's Anatomy airs Thursday on ABC.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.