As any viewer knows, dramatic tension is the bread and butter of this show and it seemed to be the same for the team of surgeons as the gossip treadmill got rolling. Many speculated out loud about what had caused the enmity between Owen and Nathan and most of it was played as the humorous calm before the proverbial Grey's storm.
Bailey's chiefly update about the medical emergency of the week - firefighters injured while taming a wildfire - gave us a chance to line up the beginning of Owen's story for the hour. While Bailey briefed the team, Amelia checked in on Owen and got nothing more than a curt 'I'm fine,' while Meredith efficiently shut down Alex's continued speculation.
Meredith was frosty with Nathan as he arrived for the cardio consult on her first patient of the day. Meredith repeatedly told Penny to page Maggie while Nathan kept working. Of course, the drama ramped up as their patient just happened to be Owen's mom's firefighter boyfriend, who we met in a previous episode. This situation further fanned the drama by putting Meredith, staunch Owen defender, and Nathan, whom she'd already dubbed 'a maniac,' in the operating room together.
Naturally enough, as Nathan and Meredith continued to bicker as their patient was wheeled into his post-op room, we saw Owen's mother appear at the end of the hall intent on visiting her boyfriend. The hug into which she enveloped Nathan made it clear that at least one member of the Hunt family was glad to see Nathan and, of course, the plot got even more complicated.
After Owen continued to rebuff Amelia's attempts to reach out to him, we saw Meredith take things into her own hands as she approached Owen's mother for a friendly conversation. What resulted from Meredith's decision was an emotional, knockdown, drag-out, fight between her and Amelia that's been building since Penny joined the surgical service and they were reminded of their remaining wounds regarding Derek's death.
In the ensuing verbal combat we saw their very different approaches to life - Meredith maintained Owen's privacy as he hadn't yet chosen to share the specifics of his reaction to Nathan's presence with Amelia, while Amelia pulled no punches in making it clear she felt slighted by Meredith's decision. Meredith calmly and clearly stated her willingness to support Owen stemmed from a promise she'd made to Cristina, a decision Amelia alternately mocked and derided. Meredith restated her intent to support Owen as Amelia spiraled into drawing Meredith's approach to work and also her relationship with Derek into her side of the argument.
Verbal sparring soon gave way to physical sparring as Owen reacted poorly to Nathan saying he'd seen Owen's mother. There was more to that story by the end of the hour as we saw Meredith ask Owen about his sister - the sister she presumably found out about in her conversation with Owen's mother.
Elsewhere in the hospital; Alex and Jo were at cross purposes about their behavior in their relationship; Arizona and Richard's friendship remained amusing; Jackson and April gained no ground in knowing where they each stood in their marriage; Callie continued to be frustrated with Penny working exclusively on Meredith's service which she channeled into quizzing Jackson on his intent toward his marriage; Maggie and Andrew realized they can't fight their feelings; Penny and Stephanie continued to bond; Richard coached Bailey through her first major medical crisis as chief of surgery; Jo and Stephanie seemed to be friends again, and Amelia let Nathan buy her a drink.