[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 15, Episode 17 of Grey's Anatomy, "And Dream of Sheep."]
That whole “baby in a bag” idea from last week’s Grey’s Anatomy? Boy, does that storyline get all dark and twisty this week! Here’s everything that went down in Season 15 Episode 17, a.ka. March 14’s “And Dream of Sheep.”
The patient of the week is Lizzie, a pregnant woman injured in a car crash. Teddy (Kim Raver) pages Owen (Kevin McKidd), and as they wait for Lizzie to arrive via ambulance, Owen says he’s been struggling to adjust to single fatherhood after Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) broke up with him. Teddy seemingly saves the day by embolizing Lizzie’s artery and redirecting the blood flow to the fetus.
Mostly because of Ellen Pompeo's two year-deal with ABC Studios.
Still, she’s so concerned about the case that she sticks around the hospital, even getting Owen to rub her feet. And it’s a good thing she waited — her embolism eventually fails. But by the time she and Carina get to Lizzie’s room, DeLuca’s dad, Vincenzo (Lorenzo Caccialanza), is already selling Lizzie on his innovation: the external gestational sac a.k.a. the baby bag.
And that brings up quite the “quag,” as Bailey (Chandra Wilson) calls it. Vincenzo and DeLuca (Giacomo Gianniotti) are proceeding full steam ahead on the baby bag research, testing the technology on lambs. But the poor little lambs are dying, and for that reason and a thousand more, the technology is nowhere near ready to test on humans. DeLuca is cautiously optimistic about Vincenzo’s dogged belief in the idea, Carina (Stefania Spampinato) still thinks their father is bipolar, Bailey is worried about the legal ramifications of human trials, Alex (Justin Chambers) doesn’t want to punish anyone for their mental illness, and and Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) is just trying to be a supportive maybe-girlfriend to DeLuca after previously casting doubts about Vincenzo.
And all that tension boils over when Vincenzo talks to Lizzie. Lizzie begs Alex to give the baby bag a try for the sake of her unborn child, but Alex refuses, and the baby eventually dies. Teddy breaks down in Owen’s arms, just as her boyfriend, Koracick (Greg Germann), returns to the hospital.
Vincenzo flies into a rage, accusing the Grey Sloan docs of being too cowardly to try out the experimental tech with the chance of saving the baby’s life. (“Cretini!” he exclaims, which certainly sounds like an Italian insult.) DeLuca finally realizes that his dad is being as manic as he was in Italy when his malpractice killed four patients. He tells his dad that the baby’s death is tragic, yes, “but it’s merciful compared to watching it die in a bag at the hands of some scientist who doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing. Are you too sick to see that?”
Elsewhere, Amelia — rocking a fresh, shorter haircut — bumps into Lincoln (Chris Carmack) at an alternative pain relief conference, and you’ll recall that they exchanged serious vibes earlier this season. She awkwardly dodges his flirtations in favor of an acupuncture demonstration. “No, I think I’d rather get poked… with needles,” she says, realizing her unintended innuendo seconds too late. “Never mind. I’m going to keep avoiding you. Have a nice time.”
They run into each other again at a “energy meridians” demonstration. Amelia is skeptical, but she lies down and listens to sound of a gong anyway. All those sound vibrations and energy meridians make her feel admittedly loopy, but not loopy enough to invite Link into her hotel room later that evening. She also turns him down the next morning when he invites her to have coffee in his room.
The writers on the record-breaking medical drama can't hit a home run every time, 'Grey's' at its worst is still better than many shows at their best.
Later that day, though, she attends Link’s lecture, during which he describes a pivotal case in which he prescribed opioids to a teen athlete on the mend from a knee reconstruction — only to find out later that the kid, Jason, died in a car crash while he was under the influence. To the shock of his lecture attendees, he says he’d prescribe opioids again if he did it all over. Amelia, a recovering addict, ups and leaves the room.
That evening, he comes to Amelia’s room and explains that he wouldn’t prescribe the opioids blindly and he would make sure Jason titrated off the opioids. He quit medicine for a year after Jason’s death, it turns out, but now he’s determined to fix the system so opioid prescriptions wouldn’t lead to dependencies. And he wants Amelia’s help doing that. Just as he’s about to call himself Batman and her Robin, he comes to his senses and calls the two of them “Batman and Batman.” He asks her to dinner, but she starts kissing and undressing him. “This isn’t going anywhere,” she asserts. “This is just… alternative pain relief.”
Back at the hospital, Jackson (Jesse Williams) is leading a skills workshop in which the residents use scalpels to flay the skin off tilapia filets. But Jackson not teaching them scalpel skills. He’s using fish skin to heal burns, following the lead of doctors in Brazil… even if people at the hospital are calling him “ruler of Atlantis.” Richard (James Pickens Jr.) is flummoxed, and not just by the stench. “Lambs in a bag, fish skin on people, what’s next here?” he asks.
Bailey meets Helen Karev (Lindsay Wagner) in the hospital cafeteria and introduces herself as Alex’s former chief resident. Helen is glad to meet her… but also ready to go home. Her time in Seattle has been enlightening and also exhausting. Bailey understands, but when she conveys Helen’s message to Alex, he thinks that — between wanting to send Helen home and wanting to pump the brakes on Vincenzo’s research — she has some sort of axe to grind against people with mental illness. “I’m not prejudiced, you jackass!” she yells. “I am a person with mental illness!” Anyway, Alex finally sees the light and asks her to take back the Chief of Surgery job for two days while he takes his mom back to Iowa.
Meanwhile, Maggie has an interview with Good Morning Seattle, a local news program that seems less interested in her medical breakthroughs than in her status as Ellis Grey and Richard’s love child. So she makes it clear that she has two loving adoptive parents and that Richard is a “bonus” father. Earlier in the day, a nervous Jo (Camilla Luddington) asked her to read Jo’s DNA test results to her. The results are that Jo won the genetic lottery… and that she’s “mostly British.” (Get it? ‘Cause Luddington really is British.)
These currently airing shows have made a habit of picking the right tunes.
The test also reveals the name of her probable first cousin, and Parker (Alex Blue Davis) volunteers to do some sleuthing but not to find out who her mother was. Later, though, she thinks that Maggie’s interview is a “sign” that she should follow that lead, even though Jackson has been down that road and wouldn’t recommend it. (Remember when he found his deadbeat dad in Montana?) Nevertheless, Jo goes to Parker to ask him to track down her mom after all. He turns his laptop around, though, to show he’s two steps ahead of her. Her mom is Vicki Rudin of Pittsburgh.
Next up, a happy homecoming? A fraught family reunion? We’ll find out in a week — see you then, Grey’s fans!
Grey’s Anatomy, Thursdays, 8/7c, ABC