Meredith took the job.
However, she negotiated her own terms. Grey's Anatomy Season 18 Episode 2 also saw her first date with Nick, the return of the Surgical Olympics, and much more.
Join Paul Dailly, Meghan Frey, Joshua Johnson, and Jasmin Pettie as they discuss the hour.
Did the Surgical Olympics with the residents make the hour feel like Old Grey's again? Would you like to see more focus on these mostly unknown residents?
Meaghan: YES, and I loved every minute of it! I definitely feel like the writers sat down and reviewed the past 17 seasons this summer and discussed what worked and what didn't.
I would love to get to see more focus on these residents. Some of what made the first few seasons so great was watching the OG residents learn, fail, succeed, and then fail some more. That said, if this were to end up being the last season, I'd rather not see too much focus on them and instead focus on the established cast.
Joshua: I wouldn't necessarily say it felt like Old Grey's again, but I did enjoy it.
I would absolutely love to see more focus on the residents. The last class of residents we got to see interact with each other were Jo, Stephanie, Ross, Leah, and Heather, and it kept the series young. Even when it was whittled down to Jo and Steph, we still got to see them push each other, strive to be great surgeons, and interact with each other.
What I especially liked about the Surgical Olympics was the idea that the residents are better together, which was a breath of fresh air. The two classes of residents that we've seen in the past were always in competition, so in a post-Covid season, I thought it was cool to see what happens when the residents rely on and learn from each other.
Even if we didn't see more of the unknown residents, I absolutely want to see more of Schmitt and Helm together. I'm going to end up sounding like a broken record, but make Jaicy Elliott a series regular, you cowards!
Jasmin: It did for me! I like the competition aspect, seeing Richard in his element, and the attendings standing around eating snacks and judging the competitions. It felt like the old days.
I would like to see more of a focus on the unknown residents. We know quite a bit about Levi but very little about Helm, Chee, Perez, or the other residents. I'd like to learn more about them and how they function as a class like we saw with the original interns and some of the classes after them, as Joshua mentioned.
Paul: It was fun and did remind me of the better years of the show, but the series has a knack for starting storylines and not finishing them. It seems the writers are more concerned with easter eggs than giving well-rounded storylines. I would like more of this, but I won't hold my breath.
How much are you enjoying Jo in the pink scrubs? Does this field suit her better?
Meaghan: This has been the first time I've been able to tolerate Jo in a long time, so, yeah, whatever they're doing with her character right now is working. I can't wait to see her and Addison work together! They can bond over being ghosted by Alex Karev.
Joshua: I'm cautiously optimistic. I've grown to love Jo ever since Season 14 (sorry, Meaghan!), and I'm tired of having to see her go through heartbreak after heartbreak, crisis after crisis. I would love to see her stop crying and really thrive on something intrinsic within herself.
This is the first major plot Jo has ever had that didn't revolve around a romantic relationship, and I think that's more than necessary. That said, we haven't seen much of Jo in OB yet, so the jury is still out.
Jasmin: I did actually, which surprised me! I thought her storyline was hilarious in this episode. I laughed out loud at the strawberry and the crystal situation and the follow-up with Bailey, Richard, Levi, and Helm.
I think I enjoy Jo much more in comedic situations than serious ones. I don't know if this field suits her better, but I did enjoy her storyline this week. I agree with Joshua, and I, too, am tired of seeing her go through heartbreak after heartbreak, and I'm interested to see her in a non-romantic storyline.
Paul: It's a nice change of pace, for sure, but it's too early to tell. It does feel like a better fit for Jo, but I'm probably in the minority in that she's one of my favorite characters. Time will tell whether this is a good direction.
Did you appreciate Winston getting a medical-focused storyline outside of his relationship with Maggie? What were your thoughts on the case and his struggle to advocate for Rashida to Kraus?
Meaghan: I'm a huge fan of Winston, so I'm happy he is getting his own storylines outside of his relationship with Maggie. His case was very relevant, and I was glad to see it play out on screen.
There are such huge healthcare disparities for POC, and this was a great example of how sometimes they are literally built into the system. There will never be change in healthcare until more light is shed on these issues for the public. Shows like Grey's taking these issues on is a small, but good, start.
Joshua: Something I appreciate about Grey's is how they always touch on the topic of disparity in medical care based on immutable demographics like age, race, gender, etc., and even made it a plot point for Jackson to pursue.
I hope that this plot of Winston's continues; I feel like making plots like these a one-off shows us the disparity and that the characters are passionate about changing it, but we see very little of them fighting for that change.
I know that the plots are meant to highlight and inspire real people to make change, but it makes me wonder if that does a disservice somehow.
All that aside, I thought it was great to see a side of Winston that wasn't tied to Maggie and see where and how he was willing to break rules.
Jasmin: I agree with Meaghan and Joshua on this one. Thus far, Winston has just been Maggie's partner, and they've dealt with his experiences as a black man, but that's it.
I liked that he got his own storyline in this episode, that it was medically focused, and that they highlighted an important issue. I like that we saw him advocate for his patient and that he brought in Bailey and had Ortiz work with him as his resident.
As other people have called out, there have been a few storylines on Grey's lately where white doctors were the saviors when it came to issues that affect people of color, and while it's not something I noticed at first, once people brought it to my attention I totally saw where they were coming from.
People of color don't need white people to be their saviors and storylines that focus on such issues should be told by people of color from their own perspective.
I'm glad Winston advocated for Rashida because as Bailey says, it's not just this one patient it's everyone like her. We've all met a Dr. Kraus at some point in our lives. Someone who insists on following the protocol or the rules even though it makes no sense or was built to exclude or harm certain people because they just can't see the bigger picture.
I'm glad Winston stood up for Rashida, and I'd like to see more medically-focused storylines for him.
Paul: One thing that bugs me is when the show ups people to series regular and fails to give them the screentime to match that promotion.
Winston is a very good character, and it was nice to see him in the field, away from the relationship. The storyline was also very good, shedding light on the disparity in medical care. Hopefully, this was not a one-time thing, and Winston gets more time to shine.
Did you sense any possible romantic chemistry between Megan and Hayes and Amelia and Bartley? What are your thoughts on these potential pairings if they come to fruition?
Meaghan: I can for sure see it with Megan and Hayes, and I'm not mad about it. Both of them are amazing characters who were criminally underused, so maybe this will finally be what their characters need to elevate them to the level they deserve.
I get more friendship vibes between Amelia and Bartley, but that might be wishful thinking because of Amelink. I am in love with their banter, though.
Joshua: The second I saw Megan and Hayes together, I thought "Well, of course, this is going to happen." I think they'd be well paired, and it would make sense for Megan to stick around Seattle if Riggs isn't in the picture anymore and Grey Sloan is still hurting for surgeons.
As for Amelia and Bartley...I don't know? I'm hoping the introduction of Bartley wasn't just for this one episode, though. I enjoyed seeing non-binary representation without it being an issue.
As Bartley was introduced, it was just clear that they were non-binary, and their correct pronouns were used. I like that sort of normalization that tends to work well in the Shondaland Universe.
Jasmin: I did not sense any chemistry between Megan and Hayes, and the thought of that potential pairing boils my blood. I've waited two seasons for Meredith and Hayes to get together, and I'm super pissed off about how they are handling this.
Pairing Hayes with a reoccurring character who's doing a guest spot would be a huge disservice to both Hayes as a character and Richard Flood as an actor. He's so great, and it would be such a waste.
It also wouldn't make much sense seeing as Meredith saved Megan's life, helped get Farouk into the country safely, and gave up Riggs so that the two of them could be happy.
For her to turn around and steal Meredith's man is super sleazy and dishonorable, and that's not who Megan is at all. We know people at this hospital like to talk, so Megan's going to find out eventually, which would leave that entire storyline in a weird place.
I did feel some chemistry between Amelia and Bartley, and I would like to see Amelia's bisexuality explored more. On the other hand, I really love Amelia and Link together, and I'm really not digging the Minnesota storyline so far, so I'm conflicted.
Paul: You never know with this show, but nothing about either of these meetings made me think there would be any romantic pairings on the back of them.
Meredith negotiated her terms and took the Parkinson project. React!
Meaghan: I am thrilled that she is moving forward with the project but was rolling my eyes at the terms. She mentioned wanting stability for her kids, yet the schedule for a surgeon is unstable as it gets.
Then you add in her going to Minnesota one day a week? Committing to the project full time would have been way more stable.
Also, didn't he just get through saying he didn't have time or money to move the lab to Seattle, and then she tells him she is going to set up a satellite lab so she can work in Seattle the majority of the time? What money is she doing it with, and how long is that going to take?
Joshua: I'm not surprised. There'd be no reason to introduce a character played by Peter Gallagher and have it end so quickly. This is one of those plots where I just shrug and say, "I guess" and then hope that it plays out well.
Jasmin: I saw that one coming too. Meredith Grey leaving Seattle for a project after deciding to stay multiple times after that place nearly killed her? No way.
I'm excited to see her and Amelia work together on something professional as it's been a while since we saw that.
That said, I'm a bit confused about Meredith's agreement to fly to Minnesota once a week. Doesn't she hate flying? She was in a plane crash for God's sake. She's too afraid to fly to Switzerland or anywhere else to see her dearest friends, but she's fine to fly to Minnesota for this project once a week?
Paul: Yeah, it had to happen, but I believe Mer will make a rash decision about her future, possibly on the winter finale. The decision will probably involve her moving to Minnesota on a more permanent basis. She was adamant about the terms being good for her, and I'm happy this storyline is continuing.
How did you feel about Mer and Nick's first date?
Meaghan: I am all aboard this ship and don't see myself getting off any time soon. I full-on swoon every time Nick is on screen. Their date reminded me so much of something Derek would do, which made me love it even more.
Joshua: I love that he didn't take her to someplace fancy for their first date; it seemed like a very "Nick" sort of thing to do (not that we know much of him, but that the date would tell Mer more about himself than a fancy dinner somewhere). I still think that their chemistry is better than anybody else Mer has dated since Derek.
Jasmin: I hated every single second of it. The entire thing was stupid and made no sense. I think we were supposed to see Nick leaving Meredith a note as cute, but I just thought the whole thing was childish and dumb.
And then Meredith arrives all dressed up, and he tells her to change? Why didn't he tell her to dress casually that morning? Or in the note? And then his big idea of a date is beers on a blanket in the woods? No.
I'm in my late twenties, and if a guy pulled that crap on me? We'd be done. I would have gone back to my hotel room. I would have told him to call me an Uber or take me home. I'm a classy lady, and to quote Shania Twain, "that don't impress me much."
I have no idea why Meredith would waste her time on this guy whose life is so empty he has nothing better to do than hang around her hotel room and try to get a date with her when she has Hayes, who's such a fantastic stand-up guy back in Seattle.
Paul: I like them as a couple, but the date felt bizarre. The chemistry is there, but Nick talks to Meredith like he's known her forever, and when you consider they've met like four times, well, it's a bit difficult to believe.
What was your favorite moment from the episode, and is there anything else you'd like to address?
Meaghan: As I said, I'm an absolute sucker for Nick, so Nick and Mer's date was a highlight for me. I also adored him slipping a note under her hotel room door to ask her out. It was so sweet!
Joshua: I most appreciated the Surgical Olympics because it seemed like the first true bit of levity we've had since Grey's Anatomy Season 16. I also appreciated the moment between Hayes and Owen, when Owen was upset about his patient leaving.
I was waiting for Owen to pull his weird self-righteous alpha male stuff he tends to do to other surgeons when they do something that he thinks is wrong or bad. It was lovely to see it turn into a moment about Owen being a parent and Hayes helping him understand that.
I think that Owen and Hayes could be really good friends, and if Hayes does start dating Megan, it'll be interesting to see if the two characters get to interact more.
I also enjoyed the direction in this episode. Kevin McKidd has developed a style of direction that has become easy to recognize. He’s a fan of interesting camera pans, and wonderfully angled shots and those played beautifully in this episode.
Jasmin: My favorite moment was when Jo pulled out that strawberry and the patient said, "yep, that tracks!" That cracked me up! That whole storyline made me laugh!
I really loved the storyline with Leo and the Elsa costume. I think they handled that really well, and I was surprised to see Owen be so understanding and supportive.
I liked seeing Hayes interact with the other doctors and that they're addressing the burnout and high level of medical professionals leaving the field and the problems that's creating. I liked this episode a lot better than the premiere, and I'm excited about Addison's return next week!
Paul: I really wasn't that fond of the episode. The series is trying to recapture its former glory, and it's picking the right characters to focus on, but some of the plots don't feel as tight as they were in the past. I did like the promo at the end for Addison's return. That will be fun!
Do you agree with our round table? Disagree? Sound off below!
Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays on ABC.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.