Tonight, Grey’s Anatomy season 15 episode 21 delivered the Amelia Shepherd spotlight we didn’t know we needed. As it turns out, she probably feels the same way. It’s the closest to Derek we’ve felt since his time on the show concluded.
But, this episode really isn’t about Derek’s memory. It’s instead about the person who Amelia is now and also her trying to better be grateful and understand what’s good in her life. It began with her and Link being assigned a difficult surgery in New York, which accidentally led to them being on a collision course with her sisters Nancy and Kathleen. Amelia intentionally kept her distance from the two and because of this, neither had any idea that her marriage to Owen was up in smoke. That’s why when she saw Nancy, she insisted that Link was Owen and that her life was very much different from what it was. Little did she know that when she accepted Nancy’s dinner invitation that Kathleen would be there … or that her mother would show up. Carolyn met Owen when she visited Derek in Seattle, so the moment she turned up, the ruse was effectively over.
Why was this so terrible? A lot of it is because Amelia’s sisters have a habit of being nasty and chock full of snide comments and eyerolls. Amelia was the black sheep of the family, the one who was unpredictable and would do things no one else would approve of. She’s the sister the other sisters use to feel better about themselves. They mock her and they ridicule her, but with Link-as-Owen, they could see that she had her life together and was with a giving, sweet guy who truly loved her. Maybe love is a strong word, but Link proved even after the secret was out that he did actually care about her. He was nice enough to sit there and endure much of the fire they threw at Amelia and even stand up for her after the fact.
So how did Amelia respond to him, and to everything, after the disastrous dinner? By undermining Link, proclaiming that he knew too much about her disaster life, and referring to him effectively as a boy-toy who she just wanted to fool around with and wasn’t really on the hunt for anything serious with. After she saw Link continue to stand by her during her surgery, she realized once again that this thinking was wrong. Her sisters may want her to push the world away but Link’s not someone to shove under a bus. He’s someone to care for because he cares about her. Despite her messy family, he’s there. We love Omelia and have for some time, but there’s no questioning at this point that Link is a good guy. He may be a tad eccentric (eating pizza in the morning? Seriously?), but he’s not someone who has a hardened view of the world. Because he almost died as a kid, he’s almost liberated to go along with every ebb and flow. This is something that Amelia needs, at least for now, and we’ll see how long it lasts.
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Closure with Carolyn
Before she and Link departed New York, Amelia did have a chance to have a more down to earth conversation with her mother, one in which Carolyn made it clear how much she cared, but also why it was hard for her sometimes around Amelia because she was a lot like her father. They got on better terms, and maybe Amelia realized that she can talk to her about marital woes or her brain tumor. Not everything within this family is anger and judgment, even if it feels that way.
Tonight, Grey’s Anatomy delivered yet another fantastic Caterina Scorsone performance, but let’s not diminish Chris Carmack here, either! Link’s really established himself as a part of this show as of late and the two elevated this episode into a great story about family, self-worth, and recognizing the good things around you. It’s another reminder of why we love this show when it gets personal.
For a preview of what’s next on Grey’s Anatomy…
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