Grey’s Anatomy season 15 episode 7 was yet another reminder that sometimes, even away from the city of Seattle, when it rains, it pours.
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For Catherine Avery, we learned that the character is dealing with a very-aggressive form of cancer, one that could devastate and change the entire course of her life … if she lets it conquer her. Catherine is not so easily conquered. This is a woman with determination like the world has never seen. She rebuilt the Harper Avery Foundation into something fantastic and beyond that, continues to be a medical force and a pioneer. She was boss enough to fly down Meredith and Koracick in order to give her the VIP treatment. It was at that point they started to piece together precisely what was going on with her and exactly what her future would entail. There’s a long battle coming for her and it’s probably not going to be an easy one. There’s no guarantee she even survives, but for now, it feels like some of these characters are striking a hopeful tone.
Yet, Catherine’s not being altogether open about it — not to Richard, and certainly not to Jackson. She didn’t even call her son at the end of the episode when she picked up the phone to call Richard. She realizes that her strength is her biggest … well, strength. She refuses to be taken for anything other than the force that she is and vulnerability is not a part of her deck. Yet, she better figure that out because she’s going to need those shoulders to lean on when things get overwhelming. The biggest problem she faces is that Richard is dealing with these same things, and yet, he’s keeping his secrets guarded even closer than she is.
For weeks now it’s been clear that Webber is on a downward spiral and the end of the episode tonight only made it worse. This is a man who started the episode in a bad place, still reeling from the loss of a friend. Then, he ended up losing yet another one tonight in one of the hospital’s high-ranking nurses, a force of nature willing to give her life to give birth to the baby she spent tens of thousands to have. Did Webber wait too long to bring her to the OR, and did he let his feelings get in the way? That’s probably what he held onto the most as his guilt and his suffering overtook him more and more. We saw how many nurses were around that OR — more than we’ve seen arguably on this show all season combined — they cared about this woman. He holds the weight of this on his shoulders just like he holds the pain of his sobriety and everything he’s been through to date.
When he smashed up that bar with the baseball bat at the episode’s end, what we got was more than just a powerhouse performance from James Pickens Jr.; it was a seismic shift in this character’s journey. Typically, Richard is a tough but kindhearted soul; now, he is a man who called Meredith in secret to tell her that he needed her help after being arrested. Richard’s not going to get away from this anytime soon, though you could clearly understand the source of his anger after arriving at the bar, making it clear he was about to break his sobriety, and have the bartender really not care at all about what was going on. He picked his poison, to use the bartender’s words; the poison this time around was violence.
Are Maggie and Jackson done?
At present, it does feel as though this is something that might be happening. Jaggie’s relationship already hit some major bumps in the road courtesy of him taking off and going on his impromptu God trip without much in the way of an advanced warning. Then, he came back trying to win her over with lavish gifts, but not with what really mattered. Now, she’s learning that he has been emotionally connecting with other women largely because she isn’t letting him connect with her — or so is the explanation. We do understand to an extent where Jackson is coming from, given that it can be frustrating to find yourself emotionally shut out of your own relationship. Yet, there’s then a major difference between seeking counsel from a friend and then also getting “miss you ♥” texts from somebody. For a guy who’s been married before and is far more experienced in relationships than Maggie is, he’s gotta know that there’s a big “this is not cool” sign hovering above that.
He needs to apologize more for that than he has, and Maggie does need to learn how to open herself more to him… provided that she wants to. Jackson did drop some emotional bombs on her, most notably that he has struggled with the notion that he suddenly believes in God after he and April couldn’t work things out. That was, for many years, the biggest problem in their relationship.
As of right now, these two are at the biggest bump in their relationship that they’ve been in since it was official. It’s the sort of bump that they’re going to need to work hard to get over and it’s not clear that the commitment to the work is going to be there. There could be potential for this couple, but we’ve certainly been way more confident with other Grey’s Anatomy couples than we are with this one at the moment.
Was this a great episode in terms of performances? Absolutely, given that Pickens, Debbie Allen, Jesse Williams, and Kelly McCreary all were fantastic here — and that’s without even mentioning the great scene where Koracick told Meredith why Catherine mattered so much to him — she was an incredible friend and someone who helped him through a really dark time in his life after losing a son. There were meaningful relationships and difficult distances spread throughout this episode, which also was absent with many important characters whether it be Owen, Amelia, Jo, Miranda, and more. What we saw, though, was an important series of moments and some value check-ins with people we have not seen for some time in the limelight.
The only frustration, at least for us, is Jackson still not understanding that “miss you” + a heart emoji isn’t really all that appropriate when in a relationship.
What did you think about Grey’s Anatomy season 15 episode 7 overall? Be sure to share in the attached comments. (Photo: ABC.)