Grey's Anatomy Round Table: Hayes is Out, Amelink is a Mess, JoLink is a Go, and We're Salty!

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It's a spicy, or perhaps salty, round table, and we have a lot to discuss.

After a heart-stopping cliffhanger, Grey's Anatomy Season 18 Episode 9 was an hour that threw us some curveballs and mostly disappointed.

Join Meaghan Frey, Jasmin Pettie, Jasmine Blu, and Joshua Johnson as they talk about it all.

Grey's Anatomy Round Table 660px

Did you have any doubts that Owen would survive the crash? Did you find this arc anti-climactic?

Meaghan: There was a moment at the end of Grey's Anatomy Season 18 Episode 8 where I thought Owen might be dead, but once the preview showed the spring premiere would be about saving him, I knew there was no way he was.

It was incredibly anti-climactic. It's not as if I was rooting for Owen to die or for Farouk's heart to be unusable -- I was ready to swear off Grey's if the latter happened -- but it ended up feeling utterly pointless that there were no ramifications to the core cast because of the accident.

Oh, wait, no, there was one: FREAKING HAYES LEAVING! I'm never going to forgive Owen for driving that beautiful man to flee to Ireland.

Owen's Harrowing Ordeal  - Grey's Anatomy

Jasmin: I honestly thought that Owen would die in the crash and I'm honestly shocked and disappointed that he didn't. Owen has never been my favorite character, but more importantly, I think his death would have opened up a lot of interesting story possibilities and would have made more sense given the circumstances.

I found the arc anti-climactic. At the beginning of the episode, I felt dramatic tension, but that ebbed away into nothingness as the episode went on.

I agree with Meaghan. They hyped up the Mid-Season Premiere so much, and they had such a great setup, but then the follow-up was super anti-climactic, and there were no real ramifications from the accident apart from Hayes' decision.

If Hayes is indeed leaving, I'm going to be heartbroken. He's one of my favorite characters on the show.

Ethical Dilemma  - Grey's Anatomy Season 18 Episode 9

Jasmine: Yeah, I didn't want Owen to die, but the stakes felt real after that midseason finale. However, they removed all of them during Station 19 Season 5 Episode 9 and the premiere, so it felt like a letdown.

I thought the entire arc was anti-climactic once the series returned, and they squandered the momentum they built up during that midseason finale. The more time I spend thinking about this installment, the more disappointing I find it.

Joshua: I thought Owen was going to die too, and kind of wish he had. Like Jasmin and Meaghan said, his survival killed any dramatic tension that the finale set up. The arc was absolutely anticlimactic and ended up just kind of fizzling out.

What are your theories regarding the trouble Owen could face because of his assisted suicide actions?

Meaghan: I'm so confused about his whole storyline. Washington passed the Death With Dignity Act in 2008, which legalized physician-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients, so I'm a little bit confused on why this is even a storyline?

We even had the storyline with Teddy where she assisted her patient, so the show even recognizes that it is legal. The writers feel a bit reckless to portray it in a negative light like this.

I'm not sure how I see this ending because it really doesn't even make sense to me that they are doing it the way they are doing it.

Pink Hat - Grey's Anatomy Season 18 Episode 3

Jasmin: I, too, am confused. As a Canadian, I'm familiar with my own country's law that governs medically assisted dying. I'm not familiar with the laws in the United States apart from the fact that I know that they differ from state to state, so I didn't question what Owen said when I watched the episode.

But after reading Meaghan's response, I did some googling, and she's absolutely right, which makes me even more confused.

As Meaghan said, Grey's has already had a storyline in which both Teddy and Owen were involved concerning doctor-assisted dying, so bringing it up again in a way that doesn't even match the law doesn't make any sense.

I agree it is a bit reckless. It seems more about shock value, which is disrespectful to people who require access to medically assisted dying and their loved ones.

Helping Noah -tall - Grey's Anatomy Season 18 Episode 6

Jasmine: You two said it all. Unless there is some nuance to this storyline that we're missing (or they didn't do the best job at covering), I don't know why they approached this storyline in this manner when it's legal in the state (albeit while following proper protocols).

I can understand that it's a way of showing Owen evolving from his previous stance. However, the execution (pun not intended) of this is not great, and it's reminding me of Mer's insurance fraud storyline where she inexplicably chose that rather than simply performing a surgery pro-bono.

Joshua: From what I'm understanding, Owen didn't follow the proper protocol when he administered the meds to Noah, and the other soldiers he took the meds for don't live in states where physician-assisted suicide is legal.

I actually really enjoy this storyline, considering that Owen was adamantly against physician-assisted suicide, so it's nice not only to see character growth to do it, but then to take it the next step and do it illegally. It'll be interesting to see what ends up happening without Hayes there to tell Bailey what happened with it.

Hayes decided to resign, and Richard Flood is likely exiting the series. React.

Meaghan: I'm both livid and devastated. Cormac Hayes had more potential than 90% of the characters introduced. I tend to be a sucker for the pediatric surgeons on the series, and Hayes was no exception.

The problem was never Hayes or Flood's portrayal of him; the writers never let him live up to his potential with any good storylines. Cristina Yang would not be happy. They completely dropped the ball on him and Meredith, to the point that I was glad she chose Nick instead.

They could've had Jo go into pediatrics instead of OB and have Hayes be her mentor instead of Carina -- who is basically just a Station 19 character these days. He could have been a great friend for Owen because the man pretty much only has the women in his life.

Ethical Dilemma  - Grey's Anatomy Season 18 Episode 9

He and Megan would have been a fantastic pairing. I could go on and on. The fact is, the writers took him for granted, and I'm happy that Flood can move on and find a new series that will appreciate him. You'll be missed, McIrish.

Jasmin: I agree 100%! He definitely did. Richard Flood does such a fantastic job portraying Hayes, and they did so much build-up and back story for him in Grey's Anatomy Season 16 only to go nowhere with it for the last two seasons, which has been incredibly frustrating to watch.

Cristina would be pissed, and they completely dropped the ball on a fantastic relationship and storyline for no discernible reason. There are so many ways they could have gone.

Like Meaghan brought up, they could have had him mentor Jo; they could have done a blended family storyline with him and Meredith; they could have delved into his relationship with his sister-in-law more, the list goes on.

Taking A Rest - Tall  - Grey's Anatomy Season 17 Episode 2

If he is leaving, I will miss him tremendously, but like Meaghan, I hope if he is going, it's to move onto a series that will appreciate him and give him a storyline worthy of his time and talent.

Jasmine: I cannot believe we'll have to say goodbye to Hayes at the beginning of Irish-American History month. The disrespect!

I'm so annoyed by this because Hayes just had heaps of potential, and Flood was fantastic, but they just did absolutely nothing with him at all for no reason whatsoever.

It's nuts that we've waited two seasons for them to do something with the man, and once he finally started getting something that resembled a storyline, he's leaving. I'm annoyed by the lost potential more than anything else.

Coffee with Cormac - tall - Grey's Anatomy Season 18 Episode 3

Fine, he didn't end up with Mer and their ENTIRE romance or whatever it was supposed to be happened offscreen. I'm not even going to touch that, but WHY didn't they do literally anything else with him? It was such a disservice to Flood.

Literally, what was the point of even introducing him in the first place if this is what we got? It felt like a waste of time. It's something they've done with way too many characters over the years (like all the random residents and interns who just disappeared off the face of the earth). I hope Flood finds another cool project.

Joshua: I'm in the minority, wherein I don't care if Hayes stays or goes. They've done next to nothing with his character.

At first, he existed to be a romantic foil for Mer, and then the dating happened off-screen anyway.

While they were setting up the idea that Hayes might end up with Megan (which, I think that would've been a great storyline, considering the tension between Hayes and Owen with the physician's-assisted suicide, as well as giving Farouk siblings), there wasn't a narrative arc for Hayes, like...ever.

I appreciated his backstory with his wife, but nothing else ever happened, so I never developed any feelings toward him.

Hayes Shines  - Grey's Anatomy Season 18 Episode 6

Were you frustrated with the lack of concern or action taken in response to Levi's breakdown? Where do you think his arc is headed?

Meaghan: Everyone dropped the ball on poor Levi.

Between Richard and Bailey taking out their anger on him and ignoring the blatant flashing warning signs that he was in the midst of a mental breakdown to everyone leaving him unattended and letting him wander outside. I wouldn't have been shocked if he had just laid down in the middle of the road and waited for an ambulance to run him over.

This loss will make him a better surgeon, as it has done for many of our favorite doctors before him. It will be a long road to get there, though, and I think things will get worse before they get better.

On the Outs Again -tall  - Grey's Anatomy Season 18 Episode 9

Jasmin: Absolutely! They literally established through dialogue that they would take Levi home to get some rest, and then Nico found him outside sitting on the curb? What?

As Meaghan points out, an ambulance could have easily run over him. I agree that I think things will worsen before they get better, and I have to say that Jake Borelli did a fantastic job in this episode. Some A+ acting!

Jasmine: Jake Borelli's performance honestly was the saving grace of this episode as I continue to find things to pick apart. He was fabulous, even though the way they handled Levi made no sense.

Have they learned NOTHING after DeLuca's Bipolar episodes? Bailey literally has OCD/Anxiety and has experienced something similar. Helm is coming off a dark period. Jo was literally in in-patient care for herself.

Levi Steps Up - tall - Grey's Anatomy Season 18 Episode 4

They were just preaching about overworked medical staff experiencing burnout, and there's a freaking staff shortage across the board. Why did no one take his state seriously and send him to psych or something?!

Eighteen gosh damn years, and they still won't incorporate a freaking psychologist. Borelli killed it, though, and I anticipate a meaty storyline as he recovers from this and uses it to become a better doctor.

Joshua: Absolutely agree that Jake Borelli did an amazing job with this storyline, and I'm pissed that they just let Levi slump down on the ground outside the ER after all the setup to take care of him.

Boyfriend Blues - tall  - Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 14

I don't understand why Schmidt got zero support from the higher-ups for what happened, considering the kind of shenanigans our original five interns got into, especially considering the fact that he scrubbed out for so long that his hands started bleeding.

Where's the love? The support? The counseling? Thank God Jake Borelli is a marvelous actor and was able to carry the storyline by himself, but I"m still pissed that Schmidt was just left to deal.

Both Hamilton and Farouk survived. React.

Meaghan: As long as Farouk survived, that was all I cared about here. Hamilton was a complete afterthought to me.

Farouk is Well  - Grey's Anatomy Season 18 Episode 6

As much as I love Peter Gallagher, his death probably wouldn't have had huge impacts on the series. They already used the clinical trial to establish Kai and Amelia and Nick and Meredith, so I don't think those would have been impacted by it ending.

The only consequence would have been the end of the clinical trial -- even though I highly doubt they couldn't find another person who would be willing to participate -- is that Meredith wouldn't get to say she cured Parkinson's. Still, the writers would never let that happen.

Jasmin: I honestly thought that Owen would die and Farouk would live, so I was surprised and disappointed that they both lived. It felt very anti-climactic.

Dr. Hamilton's fate was likewise a complete afterthought for me. He was rude to Meredith in the Winter Finale, and I hate the Minnesota storyline, so I'm not invested in his journey at all. I love Peter Gallagher, too, but this storyline isn't doing anything for me.

Demanding and Difficult  - Grey's Anatomy Season 18 Episode 7

I'm also confused by how they plan on wrapping up the Parkinson's storyline because a cure doesn't currently exist in the real world. Killing off Dr. Hamilton would be a way to resolve that, but it doesn't look like they're going that route.

Jasmine: I'm glad Farouk survived, especially because of how much it would break Megan, and no one wants to see a child die. But overall, I was indifferent -- I, too, love Peter Gallagher, but I mentally check out during those parts of the storyline even though I'm reviewing it. Don't judge me.

Joshua: Meh? I figured they'd both survive; there wasn't much tension to think they wouldn't. I do appreciate that as a result, Meredith got to read Hamilton for filth, but both of these plots feel played out to me by now.

What are your opinions regarding the dissolution of Amelink, their blowout over Kai, and more?

Meaghan: I don't think I've ever been more disappointed in how this series handled a relationship. Amelink was THE couple. They were strong, committed, and built to last. The abrupt ending of the last season was enough to give anyone whiplash. Since then, it has only gotten worse.

Amelink Impasse -tall - Grey's Anatomy Season 18 Episode 1

I am not against Amelia and Kai ending up together; I just don't get why Link needed to get hurt in the process. Amelia left things so open-ended and confused them even further when she slept with him. It's no wonder that Link thought there was still a chance as long as he gave up on marriage.

Amelia should have sat him down and told him she moved on, and things were over between them before Kai ever got to Seattle. I'm also not a fan of Amelia accusing him of gaslighting. That term is so overutilized in the television space, and it is taking away the severity of the actual act of gaslighting.

Link told Amelia his perception of events, and Amelia told him hers. Neither was gaslighting the other, they just perceived the situation differently, and we're reacting to it based on those perceptions.

Please, writers rooms, remove the word from your vocabulary unless someone is actually being gaslit (i.e., someone purposefully doing things to make another person wonder about their reality to the point that they are questioning their sanity as a form of psychological abuse).

Laughing and Glowing  - Grey's Anatomy Season 18 Episode 8

Jasmin: Yeah, I was disappointed too. I think both Amelia and Link came off badly in that fight, and they took Link from the most loving and supportive guy to a complete jerk overnight. They also destroyed Amelia's growth and progress post-tumor with no explanation.

I loved Amelia and Link together, and I'm sad that they're over. I don't think I'll ever be into her and Kai. I agree with Meaghan that Amelia should have talked to Link and explained how she felt both while still together and when she decided to pursue things with Kai.

She acted like they had talked about all that during their fight, but we never actually saw that happen. I also agree about the gaslighting comments and how that was handled. Neither of them was gaslighting the other.

For them to throw that word around so casually is really disrespectful to the experiences of people who actually have been gaslit, characters like Jo, for example, and people in the real world.

Casual Dinner With Link  - Grey's Anatomy Season 18 Episode 7

Jasmine: Oh, we girlies are salty on the round table! I'm at a loss; you could try to break this sh*t down to me like I'm in kindergarten, and it still wouldn't make sense because this entire narrative is senseless.

I agree with all of the above. Amelink was one of the saving graces in years, and they were perfectly fine, but it's like they're allergic to letting a couple be normal and happy because they conflate that with "boring," so they torpedoed it for kicks.

As much as I liked the pairing, I wouldn't have cared if it ended as long as the narrative made sense, so that's the part I'm struggling with most here. I could vibe with pretty much anything if the series told the story correctly.

It's like out of the clear blue sky -- they plucked out Link's marriage obsession. Amelia went from being interested in marriage and another kid to vehemently opposed to it. Still, I guess we're acting like that never happened?

Suddenly, this couple, who is KNOWN for having mature, superior communication skills, went months miscommunicating.

Amelink Tension  - Grey's Anatomy Season 18 Episode 9

We never saw Amelia tell Link how unhappy she was, so it was a blindside. She told everyone but Link how she was feeling. Their "breakup" was weird because it never felt like one, just a break, and then they slept together again. Like, hell, I'm confused, too.

It's very much giving us that tumor Amelia phase. It's the same thing that happened with her and Owen; then, she threw herself into Link. Now Link is her new Owen, and Kai is her new Link.

Amelink doesn't have to be together, Kai is fine, and I see and understand the appeal of Kaimelia. I just would've appreciated an organic story rather than this "because plot" technique.

Their argument in the hallway was insane, and I resent whatever the hell this is they're doing to Link right now. It's downright character assassination. And yeah, the whole "gaslighting" thing had me shrieking like a banshee. Please disabuse yourselves of the usage of words of which you do not understand, I beg of thee.

Amelia and Kai  - Grey's Anatomy Season 18 Episode 5

Joshua: I'm torn on this. I think Link acted like a complete jerk about the whole situation, to the point of bringing his feelings into the OR. Amelia was right to call him out for that, and for the way he spoke to her.

To be honest, I'm a little over this storyline, too. I was the biggest Amelink shipper when it started, and while I understand Amelia's motivation for not wanting to get married, I just don't think the writers have given this plot the respect it deserves.

Like Meaghan and Jasmine said, where have the conversations been? All we've gotten from Amelia is "I don't want to get married, and we can sleep together right now but that hasn't changed my mind." Have them sit down! Have them talk! It's sloppy writing, and it's disappointing.

Super Aunt and Uncle  - Grey's Anatomy Season 17 Episode 10

Did you see the Jo and Link hookup coming? Are you shipping it or disappointed that they couldn't remain friends?

Meaghan: Oh yeah. That wasn't a shock at all. I'm on board.

While I hate that most TV series tend to make it impossible for men and women to be platonic friends, I'm willing to overlook it in this case. Link makes Jo infinitely more likable.

I do wish that they had waited until Link wasn't just rebounding from Amelia, though. I could see Link saying that he doesn't want to move forward being more than friends, and it messing up their relationship for a while. However, I think in the end, he will decide that he is on the same page as Jo, and they will give it a real try.

Link & Jo Laughing - tall - Grey's Anatomy Season 18 Episode 7

Jasmin: I did, but I thought it would be farther down the road.

I'm super not into it. I actually can't entirely agree with Meaghan on this one. That whole hookup scene made both characters seem super unlikeable and stupid. I lost all respect for both of them.

I also don't like that Link is clearly rebounding, and Jo is apparently so in love with him that she can't see it. It is going to end badly, in my opinion.

Jasmine: They refuse to give us the Jo and Jack Gibson crossover romance that would just make all the sense in the world, so whatever, I guess.

Beer, Takeout, & Sexual Tension -tall - Grey's Anatomy Season 18 Episode 7

It's annoying that there's limited space for platonic friendships, and ironically, I do enjoy theirs, and Link does make Jo more likable. The rebound angle isn't great either.

But yeah, at this rate, screw it, and each other. I don't have a dog in this race, and IDGAF.

Joshua: I did, and it's a terrible idea. I'm tired of the writers always trying to find romances for characters.

I want to see Jo be a badass in obstetrics and raise Luna on her own. I want her to live without needing a man for awhile. Relationships aren't the most interesting plotline to happen, especially on a show like Grey's Anatomy, especially with a backstory like Jo's.

Hot Mom and the Babes -tall - Grey's Anatomy Season 18 Episode 7

Let women exist in television without needing a romantic connection.

What was your favorite moment, storyline, character, etc., from the hour?

Meaghan: If it wasn't clear, I wasn't a fan of this episode BUT based on the performance alone, I will go with Levi's breakdown. Jake Borelli knocked that performance out of the park, and I can't wait to see him continue to flex his skills as this storyline progresses.

Getting to Know Levi's Mom  - Grey's Anatomy Season 18 Episode 6

Jasmin: I agree with Meaghan about Jake's performance! Very well down. I intensely disliked this episode overall, apart from Levi's storyline, which was interesting.

I did like the moment at the end where Maggie and Winston were talking, and she realized he believed in miracles, and she didn't know that about him even though they're married, and I really like Winston's response about how she took a leap of faith with him anyway.

Jasmine: Jake Borelli's performance was great. I also enjoyed Hayes' scene with Megan in the chapel. I adored his approach to telling her the news about everything but ensuring that she would contact her therapist after what she shared.

New Connections -tall  - Grey's Anatomy Season 18 Episode 5

Joshua: I loved Jake Borelli's performance as well, and while I don't necessarily love what's happening between Amelink, I thought that Caterina Scorsone acted the hell out of her takedown of Link.

I also appreciated that Hayes asked Megan about how she planned on taking care of herself, and held her to it in the moment. I'll miss that part of Hayes (should he actually leave); the part where he fiercely cares about people.

Are there any other thoughts you'd like to share?

Meaghan: I know that Link has been getting heat from the fans for his response to Kai being nonbinary, as fans think he was dismissing their gender identity or being prejudiced.

Heartbroken Link -tall  - Grey's Anatomy Season 18 Episode 9

I took it as Link saying that Kai's gender wasn't the point of him being upset. He would have been upset about Amelia kissing someone else regardless of whether they were a man, woman, or nonbinary individual.

I do hope this was the writers' intention because I'm not a fan of this "let's do a complete 180 on Link's character and make him out to be a horrible person" that they are pulling.

Jasmin: I think the thing that upset me the most about this episode was that they had such a great setup coming off the Winter Finale, and they totally blew it to the point that I don't think I'm going to enjoy the rest of this season or next season. I'm not into any of the couples.

I'm not into the storylines, apart from Levi's journey, and I'm just really disappointed.

Kai in Minnesota -tall  - Grey's Anatomy Season 18 Episode 7

I also agree with Meaghan that I don't like how Kai being non-binary was handled during Link and Amelia's fight. That was not the time for Amelia to bring that up, and it made Link look bigoted when previously there was no indication he was.

Jasmine: You're reading my mind, Meaghan. I was not a fan of the clunky dialogue and how there was even room for anyone to interpret Link's response as bigoted, and if it really is this case, I'm going to be disgusted and pissed off. It seemed like he was stating that regardless of who Amelia kissed, it still was hurtful to him.

It just felt like a forced piece of dialogue to emphasize that Kai is non-binary again and establish that Amelia is in a romantic relationship with them. I love the show having them on a representation front, but obviously, there's more to Kai. Still,

I'm getting increasingly frustrated with the tokenism or box-ticking of their diversity over the past few years, where they consistently reduce some of their characters to just their identity and do nothing else with them. We saw it with Parker, Sam, Chee, Quadri -- we see it with Helm, whose entire personality is loving Meredith.

From the Gallery -tall  - Grey's Anatomy Season 18 Episode 9

I also don't want Kai to be like Nico is with Levi, where they don't get to thrive outside of their definement of this relationship, but we'll see.

Overall, I think they lost the momentum they had going with this hour. I'm also struggling with Mer and Nick now. I loved when they first introduced him, but somehow it's not translating well now that he's here.

It's duller than I could've imagined; weirdly, he doesn't interact with anyone else, and I keep wondering why he enables Mer spending so much time away from her kids when she often uses them as a reason for things.

Joshua: The only thought I have to share is how disappointed I am with the mid-season premiere.

Shutting It All Down  - Grey's Anatomy Season 18 Episode 9

This whole season, there's just a little special spice that's missing. We started to get really good momentum by the mid-season finale, but they completely dropped it with the premier and now they have to start all over again.

Over to you, Grey's Fanatics. Sound of below!

Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays on ABC.

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 Twitter.

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