“Grey’s Anatomy” aired what is arguably the most emotionally intense episode of the season on Jan. 29 with “Where Do We Go From Here?” In the gripping winter finale return, Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) and Derek (Patrick Dempsey) are taking a big risk with their marriage, April (Sarah Drew) and Jackson (Jesse Williams) are dealing with heartbreak for their unborn son and Dr. Herman (Geena Davis) is shocked by Amelia’s (Caterina Scorsone) proposal to save her life.
All of these doctors have something in common: They are looking for hope when everything seems hopeless. And, their lives are in a state of physical and emotional upheaval. April and Jackson’s baby faces a potentially fatal disease. While Jackson stresses that they need to get informed to be prepared, April tells him she’s already researched Osteogenesis Imperfecta and she knows what they are up against. Having the information is in no way comforting, because they have no idea what to do next.
April and Jackson’s story is heartbreaking and Jesse Williams and Sarah Drew do an outstanding job conveying the hurt, shock, fear and confusion that two parents can feel when getting this kind of devastating news. Several Kleenexes are required when Jackson breaks down in front of Richard and then again, when April tearfully tells Jackson they’re having a boy. Sniff, sniff. There is just no easy answer in this situation and it’s so hard to watch them struggle to come to terms with it.
Jackson and April have endured many ups and downs. And, they came together despite different beliefs about faith. Their love evolved from friendship. For now, they need to rely on that love and draw on it for strength. There are no potentially good outcomes in their situation, only a best-case. It’s clear their parental love is unwavering and we want the best for them and their sweet, unborn baby.
It’s also sad watching Derek pack his things and leave. Meredith ordered him to go in a heated conversation and it’s obvious she may be regretting what she said. They both look at the framed post-it note and the flashbacks of their promises are so sweet. Both Meredith and April try to “work” their way through their pain, while Owen (Kevin McKidd) gets drawn into both of their situations. He orders April out of surgery per Jackson’s request and he tells Meredith he’s the one who told Cristina to leave. In some way, this may cause Meredith to rethink her actions and her perspective.
Thankfully, she reaches out to Derek at the end of the episode. He offers to come back (which is so sweet!) and she tells him, “Do what you have to do.” Then they try to reassure each other saying, “We can do this.” But, is this realistic? Can their marriage survive a bi-coastal relationship? What about their two children? They have an extremely busy, working mom and an absent dad. How is this going to affect the kids? The one saving grace is the fact that they smooth over the fight and they obviously still love each other.
However, Meredith and Derek are still taking a risk in living that far apart. Even couples who still live under the same roof can drift apart. How can they keep their love alive on two different coasts? It’ll be interesting to see how things play out from here.
Finally, the entire sequence between Arizona (Jessica Capshaw), Dr. Herman and Amelia is so riveting. Can we blame Dr. Herman for hesitating to let Amelia attempt the surgery? All previous attempts to eradicate her tumor have failed. Why should she believe this proposal will be any different? It’s ultimately so sad as she explains to Arizona why she doesn’t want to cling to hope again. At the same time, it’s wonderful that Arizona found a way to give her a chance.
“Grey’s Anatomy” creator Shonda Rhimes recently told TVLine, ““Arizona and Dr. Herman end up having a wonderful journey together in this back half of the season.” So, maybe things will work out for Dr. Herman and she will finally get the miracle she needs. There has to be some sunshine in the middle of all these storm clouds and hopefully, it will break through in more than one dark and desperate situation.
Rhimes and the wonderful “Grey’s Anatomy” writing team do a brilliant job of exposing the raw and vulnerable places inside the human heart through the engaging stories they tell. Enduring love and hope in the face of adversity remain recurring themes 11 seasons and counting on this show that still holds a strong place in loyal and dedicated viewers’ hearts. We’ll gladly continue to root for these beloved docs to find happiness and healing in the midst of these painful and traumatic experiences. What other choice could we possibly have?