“Grey’s Anatomy” recap (12.9): Speak

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Oh my dear GreysGays, how I have missed you these past few months. We need to talk about last night’s ridiculously good return episode of Grey’s Anatomy because I’m about to burst at the seems with feels about it.

Never has Greys been more focused on Meredith than it has been since McDreamy was killed. From Derek’s ashes, Meredith has been able to rise in a way that is bringing all kinds of new light to Meredith’s character. This episode is decidedly Mer focused; so much so that we actually see the world through her eyes.

We flash forward to Meredith teaching a class where her voiceover talks about the fact that women are far less likely to raise their voices in group settings. We often let men take the lead, either by giving it up altogether or allowing them to interrupt without correction. This is hella true and very upsetting. Raise your hands if you’ve ever backed down or been intimidated to speak up. This is also important because this episode has long stretches of silence when Meredith can’t speak out at all. Sometimes I think the voiceovers can be a little heavy-handed, but this one is very layered.

Meredith works on a patient named Lou, who was injured in a car pile up. He’s a sweet guy who talks about his kids before he has a massive seizure. Meredith is left alone with an unconscious Lou until he wakes up not unlike a zombie, totally disoriented and in a fugue state. When Meredith tries to get Lou to lay back down, he starts to attack her. She’s slammed into glass cabinets and tossed around like a rag doll. Unfortunately, because of the din of the noisy hospital, no one hears what’s happening in the moment. It’s not until Penny comes back in that Meredith finds the help she desperately needs.

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I want to take a moment to mention that Oscar-winning actor Denzel Washington directed this episode and imbued it with an intimate sense of character as well as a cinematic sense that we haven’t seen much of on Grey’s. I hope he comes back because this episode was transformative.

The docs all gather round, trying to help out their friend who is suffering greatly. Maggie runs to he sister’s side, and Alex wipes away tears on the sleeve of his shirt hoping Mer doesn’t see. Penny also never leaves Meredith’s side. One thing the docs don’t realize at first is that Meredith has been rendered deaf from the beating, and can’t hear what they are saying. They have to do to her, many of the things we see them do to patients, but Meredith’s pain is palpable. We feel it too. Her collapsed lung, her broken jaw, her silent ears—it’s almost too much to bear.

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She cries out in agony when they move her, but the worst is when Jackson has to pop her jaw open to intubate her.

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