After seven long episodes of watching Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) practice medicine through FaceTime and in between minutes spent picking up trash, it was finally time for Grey’s Anatomy (Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on CTV) to reveal her fate. And that meant a visit from past patients, letters of recommendation from her colleagues, and the return of Derek’s (Patrick Dempsey) ghost. Meredith may have gotten her medical licence back, but in the process, she destroyed relationships around her. She’s lucky she’s a good surgeon.
For fans who have been devouring Grey’s since Season 1, Thursday night was the culmination of 16 seasons of TV viewing. Meredith’s record was examined in detail by the Medical Review Board to determine whether she was fit to continue practicing medicine, which meant fans got to walk down memory lane. There was Denny and his LVAD wire, Megan Hunt and her missing stomach, Adele Weber’s botched Alzheimer trial and more examples of Meredith bending the rules to save her patients.
— Greys Anatomy (@GreysABC) November 15, 2019
Thursday’s episode—number 350!—also revealed that it was Schmidt (Jake Borelli) who turned Meredith in to Miranda (Chandra Wilson). Schmidt thought he was pointing out an error, not realizing that his boss was committing insurance fraud. This has now led to Schmidt being shunned by the other residents, thus completing his transition into George O’Malley, 2.0. Let’s hope Meredith’s first order of business on her return to Grey Sloan is to publicly forgive Schmidt for his honest mistake. She’s already literally taken his blood; she doesn’t need his friends as well.
In an effort to show the Medical Review Board just how important Meredith Grey is to medicine (the Harper Avery/Catherine Fox Award apparently isn’t proof enough), Meredith’s lawyer employed the Miracle on 34th Street defence, with dozens of Meredith’s former patients filing into the court room to support the doctor who saved their lives. Alex (Justin Chambers) also read letters from patients and colleagues who praised Meredith. She is the real Santa Claus!
One of the most touching moments of the display wasn’t from a patient, but from Meredith’s person, Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh), who wrote a letter calling Meredith “the sun.” That sound is millions of Grey’s Anatomy fans around the world sobbing in unison. This episode is definitely going to take some dancing out.
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There was also the return of Derek’s ghost, with one of the panelists on the Medical Review Board the same doctor who failed to order a CT Scan for Derek after his accident, thus signing his death certificate (metaphorically and literally). This season has featured several moments of Meredith exhibiting face-palm decision-making skills, but it was difficult to fault her for going off on the doctor. That speech was a long time coming, although it’s tough to not feel bad for the guy considering Meredith screaming at him was the last thing he heard before having a seizure and then dying on the operating table from a massive brain tumor, one that Derek probably could have removed. You’re dark, Grey’s Anatomy, but we can’t quit you.
Although Meredith’s licence was eventually reinstated and Miranda gave Meredith her job back, it wasn’t without cost. Richard and Miranda finally had the showdown that’s been brewing all season, with Miranda revealing her pain over Richard protecting Meredith and Richard saying he was hurt that Miranda didn’t protect any of them. Meredith and Andrew’s relationship is also likely over after Meredith admitted that things between them would end if she lost her medical licence. After seeing Meredith speak so passionately about Derek, it became clear to Andrew that she would never feel that way about him. Maybe it’s just clear to the writers that this relationship has never felt like a match.