By now, in recent years, Grey’s Anatomy has become a fan of those bottle episodes.
They tend to both add background information and flesh out a select couple of characters and be fraught with a plethora of feels, and Grey’s Anatomy Season 16 Episode 19 fit the bill.
The hour was character-centric, focusing on Richard, Maggie, Teddy, and Cormac and was limited to one location, a medical conference. It’s hard to describe what the installment entailed. It was an odd tonal whiplash that makes it difficult to discuss or even grade.
We’ll start with our newest addition to the series, Cormac Hayes. Of the four stories, his portion was sad, not by any means the most distressing, but it’s also because of there being distance there.
So far, we don’t know much about Hayes, so this was the time to gain insight into his character. The other arcs overshadowed his.
He brought his kids along with him to the conference, and their aunt was the one who was supposed to be watching them.
It turned out he met his wife at one of those conferences. Abigail, played by Elizabeth Grullón, was a fun, lively, beautiful woman, and their love story played out before our eyes.
She had a soft spot for the Irish surgeon with the terrible wig. Can we please talk about that hairpiece? It was tragic and made Richard Flood look like a Keebler Elf.
Mrs. Hayes: It is likely that you’re going to do this alone soon, so I need you to listen.
Hayes: No, I am not.
Mrs. Hayes: Make sure the boys know it’s okay to cry.
She had a hysterectomy after their kids were born, at 33. The medical device used for that procedure contributed to her cancer metastasizing and killing her.
Their final shared moment was sad as she gave him final words and advice on raising their kids.
For us to only have her for a short period, that scene was a tearjerker. You could believe their love and his pain as he lost the love of his life and had to be strong and raise their kids on his own.
Hayes’ ire when the med-tech was raving about his product, and bemoaning Catherine Fox and the foundation was intense.
Winston: I can’t say that I’ve done this.
Maggie: What’s this?
Winston: Falling this hard in one night.
Maggie: Me neither.
He went from barely concealed rage to Hayes unleashing his full fury on this man, but damn if it wasn’t a good scene for him. He’s a calm and collected type of person, so witnessing him this rattled and distraught was a change of pace.
It was the extent of his storyline for the hour, though. It didn’t have any conclusion or real point other than the insight, so it felt like an odd placement.
If a case he was working triggered his flashbacks, it would feel more cohesive and less aimless. The content itself wasn’t the issue, but the placement of it here was odd. But, I suppose they covered their bases with it going along with the title of the hour and theme.
That aside, I love the hell out of Hayes, and it’s nice that we learned more about him and met his beautiful wife and kids. He deserves nothing but happiness, dammit.
Teddy, hey. You always bump into people you know at these things, but never people you like.
Maggie’s portion of the hour was about finding love. She was unusually thrilled to see Teddy at the conference despite them not being close friends.
She skated past Richard seemingly preferring Meredith was there, but boy did that slip-up take a tragic turn later on.
And she reconnected with someone who was a resident at her previous job. Winston was handsome, sweet, and his smile was as bright as the actual sun.
He also had strong feelings for Maggie from the moment he met her, and they didn’t dissipate all these years later when he saw her again.
I’m going to be a little forward, OK? I have had a crush on you since my first year of residency.
The one thing Teddy did right was encouraged Maggie to go for it with Winston. Once upon a time, Maggie didn’t have reservations about one-night stands or anything of the sort, and she struggled with making commitments, but she’s been having a tough time in the romance department.
She deserved this time where someone saw and appreciated her, valued her for everything that she is. It was a clean slate with someone who liked her out of the gate, first and foremost.
They had chemistry, and their hookup was equal parts sweet and sexy. They spent the entire night talking, and it seems Amelia isn’t the only sister who gets the rom-com treatment.
Maggie’s aside was a mini-love story playing out before our eyes. They both fell for each other hard. He wanted her to come back to Boston, and then there was mention of him coming to Seattle.
It almost feels too good to be true. Even now, it’s a matter of “what’s the catch?” Maggie looked like her fairy tale came to an end when she met Winston’s eyes while following Richard’s gurney.
If Cormac’s portion had hints of Grey’s Anatomy Season 13 Episode 18, then Maggie’s had a similar vibe of Grey’s Anatomy Season 13 Episode 16 or Grey’s Anatomy Season 15 Episode 21, or hell, the hour Meredith spent talking to Nick Marsh.
It was simplistic, and Maggie got some moments of happiness this time around.
Mrs. Hayes: It’s OK for you to fall in love again. You have my permission.
Hayes: I don’t want that.
Mrs. Hayes: Which is why you need to hear me say that it’s OK.
Teddy had clarity, and we got some shocking details about her past that was years in the making.
The show is the best for bringing in Sherri Saum, who is a gem and treasure. She’s the best.
However, you could’ve knocked me over with a feather when we found out that she was the famous Allison that Teddy lost on 9/11.
But that wasn’t the kicker, no, the real jaw-dropping moment was discovering that Allison wasn’t only Teddy’s best friend, but the love of her life.
Allison: I can’t keep lying to her either. I love her, but I love you more.
Teddy: Don’t say that. OK, say that again.
The recent seasons have a ball implying or confirming (there has been the occasional speculation) that some characters are bisexual or Teddy Altman goes on the list.
It’s something about herself she didn’t share with anyone, not even Owen. She and Allison were in love with one another. They were so in love that Teddy was the last person Allison called as the towers were coming down.
On a lighter note, this means a quietly bisexual Teddy and bi-curious Amelia could’ve ditched Owen and been a couple this entire time?
In real life, that’s not how it works, but it sure as hell is on Grey’s Anatomy, so let us mourn the greatness of this ‘ship that never sailed.
She was the love of my life, and you were the love of hers. Take care, Teddy.
But we also discovered that Teddy is a serial cheater. She was having an affair with Allison behind her best friend’s back. They were all living together, and Claire didn’t have confirmation that something was going on until after Allison died.
Teddy has been messy in her relationships her entire life. It’s not the most flattering or endearing picture painted of her. Grey’s is good at allowing their women to be messy, flawed, imperfect people.
It’s one of the best things about the series, but it’s hard to make sense of many of the things happening with some of the characters anymore.
Teddy has been discombobulating since she returned to the series full-time again.
Allison was in love with the both of us. I thought no one could love more than one person at once. I thought love couldn’t be divided like that.
Claire confronted Teddy while drunk at the hotel bar, and it was a delicious moment rife with drama and spilled tea everywhere. It was nothing if not entertaining.
But then Teddy gave this mini-speech later about she didn’t understand before how you could be in love with more than one person until now.
Claire was shocked that Teddy was getting married and had a kid. It was surprising that Teddy named her baby after Allison, and the frustrating thing about Teddy was she was still trying to pretend it was only because of them being friends.
Had Claire not called Teddy out, she would’ve continued acting as if she didn’t spend a significant amount of time, up until Allison died, sleeping with her behind Claire’s back.
I can’t keep lying and sneaking around from Claire, she’s our best friend.
What do you do with that?
But after losing Allison, she went to Afghanistan. While mourning and grieving the woman she loved, she met and fell in love with Owen too. She understood what it was like to be in love with two people at once after that.
They presented it as some moment of enlightenment, and Claire claimed the past was done and over with, and they should let “bygones be bygones,” but that was too easy on their part.
Also, how does this apply to Owen and Tom now? Is she suggesting that she’s in love with both of them? Should she propose open-relationships to avoid all of this drama?
It’s all the lying and deception, that she’s always done and never learned from that’s troublesome.
It’s cool if she realized that it’s OK being in love with more than once person at once, but shouldn’t all parties be aware of this?
It’s also not fair that she holds things against Owen and demands to know all parts of him, but she has all of these secrets.
She had a baby with Owen and named her after the woman who was the love of her life. Shouldn’t he know that? Shouldn’t he have had a say in it?
Everything she has ever said and shared about Allison has taken on a whole new meaning. How could she be upset and insecure about Amelia, when she has Allison?
And is there something else there to unpack about her hiding who Allison was to her whenever she talks about her?
Teddy’s portion was shocking as heck and a lot to process, but you can’t say it wasn’t informative.
We had the tragic, the sweet, the surprising, and then Richard’s storyline came in like a sledgehammer.
It was startling that the Catherine Fox packed up her bags and came to see Richard at the conference to apologize to him and root him on.
Tonight, with my brilliant wife’s help, I figured out how to cure cancer.
It appeared as though they were back in a decent place, and they could work things out.
They were lovey-dovey and cute together, and she inspired him to pursue another study. He thought he had a cure for cancer.
Then they revealed that Catherine wasn’t real; he imagined her the whole time. She was back in Seattle, in a conference room, watching Richard give his lecture and fall apart.
It was unbearable to watch him share scribbles and random pictures while mumbling about nonsensical things. Not only were Teddy, Maggie, and Cormac there to see it live, but Mer and Zola were at home watching, and Catherine, Jackson, and Bailey were at work.
It was too much to bear. Richard has been moody, irritable, and depressed. He mentioned something about his hands shaking, and it gave off the impression that he could have Parkinson’s or something else.
He decided to step back from surgery, then quit. He’s been all over the place, and it’s all been happening in the background.
DeLuca just had a breakdown, Alex isn’t there anymore, and now something serious is wrong with Richard. I hate it here!
Richard has fallen by the wayside. They barely pay attention to him. They banished him to Pac-North, and then the others were busy and preoccupied, and rarely paid attention to what was happening in his life.
He has exhibited some signs here and there, but he flew under everyone’s radar. You tend to take him for granted, but you can bet your ass everyone is going to be coming together to figure out what’s wrong with Richard.
What on earth could it be? Maggie told everyone he was having a stroke. Catherine assumed he was drunk, and some of his symptoms seemed as if it was dementia.
Richard mistaking Maggie for Meredith at the top of the hour spoke volumes. Richard is the backbone of the series. Anything happening to him is disheartening.
On top of the weirdness of the hour, and the unusual emotional tone of it, we ended with this kick in the teeth, devastating Richard development.
So, it was a tough hour to dissect overall. But I would love to know how you guys felt about it.
Over to you, Grey’s Fanatics. Hit the comments below with all of your thoughts and reactions.
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Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.