Tonight, Grey’s Anatomy season 15 episode 11 delivered an edge-of-your-seat episode, one that certainly made you worried about the future of several characters.
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In the end, it turns out that the promos going into “The Winner Takes It All” were an intentional misdirection — ABC wanted you to be so worry about Catherine Fox so that the actual death in the episode would come as a surprise. The person we lost in the episode was Thatcher Grey, Meredith’s father, in his first appearance on the show in years.
Meredith was instructed to pay her father a visit by Richard Webber, who told her that he was in bad shape. While it was the last conversation she will ever have with him, she earned a sense of closure from it as she realized that not everything with him was precisely what it seemed. It turned out that Thatcher was present at Derek’s funeral years ago, and that he came back to Seattle in order to be a little more present in her life. He tried calling her to no response and then realized that there may not be much that he could do other than just hang back. It was a harsh realization for him to come to, but it was also the product of his own actions. People who take a part of their child’s liver, only to then completely abandon them and take off for a “new life” elsewhere don’t tend to get a lot of redemption.
Yet, tonight Thatcher showed that he did care about Meredith on some level and tried to change near the end, and this was enough to bring her some element of peace. He gave her some gifts for her kids before he died, a measure of being a part of their lives in a way that he never physically was. In terms of performances, Jeff Perry and Ellen Pompeo were fantastic in their scenes together — seeing how Meredith copes with death is so fascinating at this point, given how many people she’s lost.
As for Catherine Fox…
The good news is that she made it through the surgery and has another chance at life. The bad news is that Koracick and Amelia weren’t able to completely remove the tumor and cure her. This is something that stuck with Tom and while everyone else was celebrating the success of the surgery, clearly he had lofty goals for it.
This is the part of the review where we remind you that Greg Germann is one of the best actors that Grey’s Anatomy has and we hope that he sticks around for a rather long time. He’s brilliant at what he does, but clearly he uses this brilliance as a mask. He never let anyone see him sweat, but after the surgery he admitted while speaking to his late son in the chapel that he didn’t think he could do it. That tragedy in his life seems to greatly inform who he is now, including why he has such thick walls that are hard to break down. He also needs that connection to his son still — he valued that chapel visit over going out with Teddy. We actually do like that relationship, if it becomes anything — we also love the interplay between Koracick and Amelia, including how they handle surgeries in entirely different ways.
In some ways, this was a simple episode in that there were really only two important storylines: Catherine in surgery and then Meredith and Thatcher. Yet, what made them so weighty is how they impacted so many different lives. We saw Jackson and Richard Webber struggle with some of what was happening with the operation. Meanwhile, we also ended up hearing the names of Lexie and Molly Grey in the Thatcher story, names that we haven’t heard on this show in forever.
“The Winner Takes It All” was a fantastic episode of Grey’s Anatomy, one that reminds us to take advantage of however much time you have and to hold the ones you love close.
What did you think about Grey’s Anatomy season 15 episode 11 overall? Be sure to share right now in the comments. (Photo: ABC.)