“Grey’s Anatomy” fans have had to say goodbye to their share fair of characters throughout Season 11 from fan favorites to beloved one-episode patients. And due to all the heartbreaking deaths that have ruined our Thursday nights time and time again, it looks like Shonda Rhimes, creator of the hit ABC series, has decided to bulk up her dwindling cast.
In episode 24, “Time Stops,” viewers said “hello” to Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital’s newest surgical residents.
“This is your starting line. This is your arena. How you play -- that’s up to you,” Dr. Weber (James Pickens Jr.) gave his iconic speech to the wide-eyed “chicks and ducks” who were eager to hold a scalpel.
The attendings curiously watched from above as the newcomers began their first day. But according to the doctors, they weren’t too impressed with the scrub-donning newbies. However, Stephanie (Jerrika Hinton) managed to find the silver lining with the residents' debut: Could one of these new comers be a potential romantic suitor?
Stephanie asked Dr. Weber to set her up with a good-looking group of residents to shadow her and coincidentally, her wish was granted!
“I did not hook you up,” Dr. Weber quipped after Stephanie learned she had a hottie in her crew.
But “Time Stops” wasn’t solely focused on the newcomers (although they played a large role in the installment). Episode 24 centered on a catastrophic event, one which resulted in a shockingly high death toll. According to the episode, a tunnel had collapsed, crushing 20 cars with rubble and resulting in too many fatalities to count on one hand.
There were so many injuries that Dr. Weber (who was preparing for his wedding the next day) had decided to send a team consisting of Amelia (Caterina Scorsone), April (Sarah Drew), Maggie (Kelly McCreary) and Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) to the site.
Bailey (Chandra Wilson), who was revealed to be Dr. Weber’s Best Man, thought that the Chief was giving special treatment to Mer, who had taken a year off of surgery due to the devastating death of Derek (Patrick Dempsey). But Dr. Weber wasn’t in a debating sort of mood. Not only did he approve Meredith to slip back into her scrubs but he also gave Owen (Kevin McKidd) the OK to use a risky technique (one only tested on pigs) to operate on a young boy who was injured in the infrastructure disaster.
Catherine (Debbie Allen) disapproved Owen’s life-threatening procedure that would hibernate the patient than (hopefully) bring him back to life. (It did.) However, Dr. Weber decided not to side with his soon-to-be-wife, which resulted in a huge argument between the two and possibly turned their postponed wedding (they hit pause on reciting their nuptials due to the accident) into a canceled one.
Things weren’t only getting tense at Grey Sloan. The air was filled with worry when the four surgeons arrived to the scene of the accident. Once they stepped out of the ambulance they witnessed a sea of injured patients and officials scurrying to save those with the faintest pulse. That’s when a handsome firefighter revealed the real reason they were asked to come to the scene of the accident.
According to the rescuer, a man named Keith was crushed by debris when the tunnel buckled. Although they were able to remove his passenger (the wife of his soon-to-be-born-child) from the automobile, they weren’t successful in trying to save him from the totaled car.
“Oh my God. He’s in there?” Maggie asked in shock after seeing the damaged vehicle. “He’s alive?”
“Barely,” the firefighter replied. The man was impaled in two places.
“He’s a black tag guys. We can’t do anything else to him,” April said after the four looked over Keith’s injuries. April insisted that her fellow surgeons go back to work and she would do her best to treat the bloody victim. They obliged.
On their way back to the hospital Mer said she agreed with April’s call to return to Grey Sloan.
“He didn’t have a chance. It was the right call," she said.
That comment irritated Amelia who correlated that statement with Meredith choosing to take her brother off of life support.
“How could you unplug him without letting me know?” she asked Meredith, adding that she wasn’t able to say goodbye to her brother “because of you.”
Meredith was devastated and quickly ran to her "person" to be consoled.
“Since I’ve been back I can’t get things going again,” she said to Alex (Justin Chambers). The doctor explained that since Derek’s death, she hasn’t been able to feel at home. That’s when she asked if she and the children could move in with Alex. Of course he agreed.
The episode concluded with April rolling up to the hospital with Keith -- still inside the crushed vehicle. The heroic doctor said she agreed with Meredith’s comment that the only way he could survive is if he was closer to the hospital. So, she had the vehicle towed straight to the front doors of Grey Sloan.
“Let’s give him a chance,” she said.
Other Major Moments From Episode 24 of “Grey’s Anatomy”:
Intern Gone Rogue
Keith’s pregnant girlfriend (Heather Matarazzo) was rushed to the hospital after the firefighters removed her from the wreckage. She arrived to Grey Sloan with a (handsome) doctor named Andrew by her side. The hot surgeon was then asked to lend a hand during the tragic day but ultimately fell flat when an intern allowed the pregnant victim to move her strained neck.
Stephanie asked Andrew to help her stop the paralysis that was about to begin but he quickly revealed he didn’t have the skills to assist her.
"I’m just an intern,” he admitted, adding that today was supposed to be his first day at Grey Sloan but was late, which is how he witnessed the tunnel collapsing.
Jackson (Jesse Williams) felt as though April had “changed” after she returned from her training with Owen.
“It’s weird. Were not on the same page anymore,” he confessed to Owen. But the red haired doctor wasn’t surprised. He explained that the world “shifts” when one comes back home from overseas. “Give her time. That’s all you can do.”
Dr. Weber offered Bailey the position of Chief in episode 24 of “Grey’s Anatomy.” However, we suspect another Bailey/Karev board debacle. Will Bailey be going head-to-head with another attending for the position?
What did you think of “Time Stops”? Sound off in the comments section below and don’t forget to tune in to “Grey’s Anatomy” on Thursdays at 8 p.m. EDT on ABC.