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It’s been a heavy few episodes on Grey’s Anatomy (Thursdays at a new time of 7 p.m. ET on CTV). From Jo coming face to face with her abusive ex, to Jackson losing a young patient shot by police, to the hospital being held captive by cyber terrorists, to Miranda suffering a heart attack, we needed a bit of a breather. With this week’s new episode, Grey’s managed to include some of the lighter basics we’ve come to expect from the series (see: hooking up with co-workers) while still producing an episode full of important social messages.

This week’s focus was setting up future storylines that will likely carry on throughout the end of the season. With all the Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital doctors and residents present and accounted for (plus a bed-ridden Miranda, and minus firefighting Ben), it was almost surprising to be reminded of how much has happened this season. Remember when Owen and Carina hooked up? We kinda forgot.

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While the episode wasn’t totally void of filler moments, including Richard and Maggie’s totally unnecessary dance lessons (Maggie, stay on your date with hot Clive, the dance teacher can teach Richard three steps of the salsa), as well as Andrew and Sam’s trying-to-be-flirtatious chip eating contest, there were still some stand out moments.

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With the medical contest now in full swing, everyone is looking for medical breakthroughs that will score them a cool $5 million. Plus save lives, but you know, also money.

Meredith’s huge gaffe of presenting an idea without securing the patent feels like a throwback to when she violated Derek’s study to give Richard’s late wife Adele the trial medication. Considering she just won a Harper Avery, there’s a high likelihood the medical fandom has gone to her head. It’s too bad. Meredith was actually empathetic this episode, both with Richard’s dying friend and with Jo. Nice Meredith is also ego maniac Meredith. I guess being mean made her more diligent.

Continuing with the recent trend of stealthily commenting on wider social issues, Arizona is using the recent death of April’s ex-fiancé Matt’s wife Karen (still with us?) to study why the rate of mortality among new mothers in the US is the highest of all developed nations. Um, is someone actually studying this in the real world, because if not, let’s hope that Grey’s Anatomy is an inspiration. Also, we like seeing Arizona and Carina together. We need one somewhat baggage-free relationship on Grey’s to keep things even.

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As for rich, beautiful Jackson, he continues to have first world problems that include residents falling in love with him and too many good ideas for the medical contest. Grey’s has had a lot of impressive guest stars this season, but we were extra excited to see Candis Cayne appearing as Catherine Avery’s old friend who has an idea of how to make vaginal reconstructive surgery even better for trans women. At least, we’re pretty sure that’s the idea. It was a lot of medical jargon.

For anyone who suffered through the two seasons of I Am Cait, Cayne was the voice of reason that continually tried to explain to Caitlyn Jenner that the world is a much different place for trans people who are not famous millionaires. With Cayne’s appearance on this week’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy, along with the reveal that new resident Casey is a trans man, the dialogue around violence against trans people, their lack of acceptance in mainstream society, the overwhelmingly high rate of suicide for trans people, and the continued need for medical support in the trans community is continuing throughout the season. Hopefully this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Cayne. We would also love to see Catherine Avery make more vagina jokes around Jackson. That hasn’t gotten old yet.

 

Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays at a new time of 7 p.m. ET on CTV.