The episode opened sweetly and rapidly turned bittersweet as we saw all of the surgeons we love enjoying a social moment at Owen and Amelia's wedding reception. Of course, we were in the dramatic soup too. Meredith was caught between a charming Nathan who both lamented that in his experience, happiness doesn't last - while they watched Owen and Amelia dance at the reception - but then reminded Meredith that it made sense to take advantage of it while it was available. Meredith deflected his flirting while Maggie, whom we found out also has feelings for Nathan, did some flirting of her own as she pulled him onto the dance floor. Soon this swoony socializing was interrupted by a phone call from a frightened Jo who told Meredith of Andrew's injuries and his inevitable treatment at Grey Sloan Memorial.
This news shocked the doctors but also mobilized some of them into action. As Ben, Jackson, and Bailey began to treat Andrew's injuries, the question everyone asked was 'what happened?' Alex deflected as he tried to assist in Andrew's treatment while also clearly uncertain how things had gone so terribly wrong. Meanwhile Meredith and Richard followed up on the phone call that set this episode in motion. While Richard comforted a still drunk and weepy Jo, Meredith took in the jumbled scene and left for the hospital to find Alex, the closest thing she has to a brother.
When she finally found him, Meredith tried to shock Alex back to reality while also taking in his attempts to reach out to her for support. Alex's fear clearly spoke to Meredith's protective urges as she agreed to check Andrew's scans as she could tell Alex wasn't yet ready to tell Bailey or the police what had happened. Next came further challenges as Maggie wanted to know the details of Andrew's experiences and how he ended up in the hospital. Meredith skated that answer by simply saying she didn't know, a not quite truthful or untruthful answer at that point as the details had yet to emerge.
We were given small bits of light throughout the episode as we were reminded a wedding for Owen and Amelia had just occurred and that April and Jackson now had a baby daughter - named Harriet Kepner-Avery, thank you very much. Ben asked about paging Owen given his specialty in trauma medicine and Andrew's critical state. Miranda cautioned him that calling a surgeon back to work on their wedding night was probably not the best idea. Instead, Bailey suggested Ben step in as she'd decided he could again operate after his suspension. We also saw April trying to diplomatically deal with Catherine, her overbearing mother-in-law, as she probed for information and connection to April and Jackson's daughter.
The tension continued to ratchet up among the new Grey's love triangle - Meredith, Nathan, and Maggie. Meredith was the repository for both Maggie's worry about Andrew and her yearning for Nathan, while Nathan - oblivious to Maggie's feelings - kept reaching out to Meredith. And, of course, her concern for Alex overshadowed everything as the weight of the trouble he was in continued to weigh on Meredith too. The waters kept getting muddier as Jo finally found Alex and attempted to explain herself. Instead of letting her talk - a bad habit Alex has developed in recent episodes - he talked over her with his misinterpretation of Andrew's presence in their home with a drunken Jo.
The theme of how did we get here, and how does the past inform the present, and wherever the future might take us continued, as we saw Jackson operate on Andrew and commiserate with Maggie about how relationships may end but feelings don't. A conversation between Ben and Meredith swiftly followed in which Ben said he understood making a split second decision and having to deal with the horrible results in a coded conversation in which he said he knew Alex had injured Andrew without naming any names. The swirling vortex of past, present, and future continued in a Grey's game of telephone as Jo told her side of the story to Stephanie, who told it to Meredith, who then told it to Alex before admonishing him to do the right thing and confess his actions to Bailey.
Some parts of the episode saw sweet resolution. It was left to Richard to be the stand-up guy who has been through hell and knows you don't fix it by running away to talk Jo out of leaving her residency. Catherine and April finally found a sort of detente with the intervention of Jackson's presence in the room after Andrew's surgery. These scenes were only the prelude to the more challenging conclusions found in this episode. Jo and Alex's attempts to talk to Andrew went about as predictably badly as you could imagine they would, while Meredith shut down her heart to a maybe beginning with Nathan and then told him so just after telling Bailey that Alex was responsible for Andrew's injuries. The shock we felt as viewers slowly reverberated through the hospital as we and our Seattle surgeons discovered that Alex had turned himself in.
And thus was set in motion the emotional traumas these surgeons will be twisting and wading through for at least the next few episodes, if not the rest of the season: can Alex come back from his actions and the resulting charge of aggravated assault; can Alex and Jo's relationship be saved; can Meredith and Maggie maintain their sisterly bond while they both have feelings for Nathan; can Ben and Bailey maintain their church and state approach to living and working together; how will April and Jackson parent their daughter Harriet; will Stephanie get a storyline of her own again; how will Owen and Amelia step into their life together; will we see more of Richard's mentorship (please let the answer be yes); what will Arizona's arc be once Jessica Capshaw returns from maternity leave; and will Meredith and Alex continue to believe being grown ups is all it's cracked up to be?