Grey’s Anatomy season 13 episode 23 is the work of many, but it is defined by one: Actor / director Kevin McKidd.
As Owen Hunt, he faced one of his greatest acting challenges through thirteen seasons of the show: Conveying the array of emotions associated with learning your sister is still alive. This is why the military visited him, and his heart was left in scrambles. You could see the pain in McKidd’s eyes, in every single quiver of his voice. He was starting to see in every moment ghosts of the past, and struggled with the concept of whether or not the news was real.
With that, he turned to his rock in Amelia, who came to be said rock once more after a tumultuous / rocky relationship in its own right. She called to verify that it was her, and she is now in transfer to the Grey Sloan.
The ramifications of this reveal are tremendous. A key part of Owen’s heart may open, and with that some old wounds. Meanwhile, Nathan Riggs now faces an odd, interesting crossroads between a woman he loved and a woman he loves.
The struggle for Stephanie Edwards
If Jerrika Hinton departs at the end of season 13, she will do so with a bang — and hopefully not go down in flames in the process. She found herself trapped and captured by a dangerous patient, one who was out to escape by any means necessary. He forced her down a flight of stairs, but due to a series of errors, she was forced to not only survive him, but also comfort a young child wandering the hospital looking for mischief. In order to properly care for her, she had to commit to being a hero.
The assailant ended up killing himself in his attempt to set off the hospital security systems. Yet, his body landed in a position where the entire hospital could go up in flames. There was an explosion, with Stephanie’s body falling back as the episode ended. This isn’t just a cliffhanger; this is a potential inferno.
Alex’s sliding doors
Alex tracked down Jo’s husband in the episode, and within his mind, multiple scenarios played out. He got him drunk and beat him up, he threatened him before a conference, and he tracked Jo down and murdered him. He had a chance to get revenge and blow up Jo’s life in the process. The editing and the movement through these stories put you in the moment, and made you think each time that the moments were happening.
Did Alex actually say anything to the man beyond an encounter at a taxi? It doesn’t seem like it. This is a testament to his growth as a character. The Alex of old would have thrown a grenade into the situation; the new Alex used restraint.
It all comes back to McKidd, who showed a deft touch in his direction, not forcing the issue but delivering a series of beautiful echoes to the characters’ emotion. This episode had multiple surprise reveals, enormous cliffhangers, and questions that have not fully been addressed.
As a whole, Grey’s Anatomy season 13 episode 23 ripped out your heart in the best possible way. Grade: A-.
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