Thank God it’s Thursday! After enduring a Shonda-less past few weeks, “Grey’s Anatomy” fans finally got their fill on the Rhimes-created drama when the second half of Season 11 aired its winter premiere on Thursday, Jan. 29.
The anticipated episode 9, “Where Do We Go From Here,” kicked off with Derek (Patrick Dempsey) packing his bags for Washington D.C. as Meredith’s (Ellen Pompeo) voice narrated the fight or flee feeling your body experiences when faced with trauma. And it looked like Derek was responding to the damage in his relationship by hitting the road.
As Derek prepared for his cross-country move, he reminisced about the promise he made to Meredith many moons ago about loving her even when he hated her. “No running,” the couple agreed in the flashback scene.
Following “Grey’s” blast from the past, episode 9 then revealed the drama of the day at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. Owen (Kevin McKidd) warned his staff that a mother and her two children were on their way to the hospital after the mom had attempted to drive her car off a bridge -- with her kids inside. The husband of the alleged suicidal mother then arrived to the hospital following the admittance of his family, in denial that his wife could have committed such a horrendous act.
And he wasn’t the only one feeling confused and betrayed in tonight’s installment. Dr. Herman (Geena Davis) learned that Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) had stolen her charts and given them to Amelia (Caterina Scoresone) to study.
“You have no right,” Dr. Herman reacted to the stolen charts even after Arizona divulged that Amelia might have found a way to cure her alleged “inoperable” brain tumor. “I can beat it. I will beat it,” Amelia attempted to reassure the doctor but Dr. Herman had already walked out.
The theme of fleeing seemed to play a large role in episode 9. When Jackson (Jesse Williams) revealed to April (Sarah Drew) that their unborn child was diagnosed with osteogenesis imperfecta, better known as brittle bone disease, she couldn't have escaped their conversation quick enough. April decided to cope with the pain by participating in something she did have control over: her surgeries. However, Jackson didn’t think his wife was emotionally well enough to slice and dice, which is when he begged Owen to yank April from the OR.
When Meredith questioned why Owen had ordered April to leave the surgery, he explained that she was going through “personal” issues. Meredith scoffed, revealing she too was enduring her own personal problems (i.e. Derek drama). Did that mean Owen was going to kick her out, too?
“Want to throw me out? I’ll get my nails done. Have a good cry,” she said only to have Stephanie (Jerrika Hinton) chime in that April’s “issues” involved her unborn son.
April left the OR upset. She then confronted her husband of why he felt the need to decide how she should handle the situation with their baby. “Two men decide what’s best for the little lady. That is not helping,” April stated. But Jackson claimed he only wanted what was best for her. He then begged April to open up and share her emotions. But the only feelings April expressed were to Stephanie when she revealed how angry she was with her.
April was furious that Stephanie neglected to tell her about her baby’s condition when she first spotted trouble. But Stephanie rebutted, explaining that she wanted to confirm the diagnosis first. “You of all people,” April stated, furious that her husband’s ex-girlfriend was the one to find her baby’s deformity.
There were a lot of emotions going around in episode 9, but one of those feelings were pure joy when Owen brought up Cristina (Sandra Oh). He asked Meredith if the two still talk but Meredith revealed that she had missed the past few phone calls with her bestie because she was ignoring her. Before Cristina left, she told Meredith that Derek was not the sun and Mer is finally starting to realize that Cristina’s is right – but she doesn’t want to admit it.
Dr. Herman was also having a hard time confronting her fears in tonight’s installment. She explained to Arizona that the reason she wasn’t interested in what Amelia had to say was because she's sick and tired of having hope only for it to be destroyed. “You tell Shepard to keep her hope to herself. Better yet tell her where to stick it,” Dr. Herman said. But it was Dr. Herman who Arizona ended up telling off. She declared that she thought Dr. Herman was wasting a rare opportunity that so many others wish they could have.
With that perspective, Dr. Herman decided to let Amelia into her head -- on one condition: The tumor would have to be close to being inoperable.
As the episode came to a conclusion, fans learned why April took the case of the mother attempting to kill herself and her children so close to heart. It was because while she was unable to have a healthy baby, this woman was attempting to destroy her own two healthy babies. But as it turned out, the mother wasn’t suicidal. Despite what everyone thought, Meredith knew that there must be a reason for her actions -- and she was right. A tumor in the pancreas was what altered the mother’s mind, causing her deadly break down.
April was inconsolable. How could God permit such a thing she wondered, breaking down in her husband’s arms. Thats' when she revealed that they were going to have a boy.
The Season 11 winter premiere concluded with Meredith giving Derek a call. Perhaps it was Mer’s heart-to-heart with her newly hired nanny that encouraged her to fix her relationship issues. Anyway, Meredith explained to Derek that she had no interest in ending their marriage due to a D.C. scuffle and Derek agreed. After offering to come home once more, Meredith promised that he didn’t need to return to Seattle for their marriage to work.
“We can do this,” she said.
“We can do this,” he agreed.
What did you think of the “Grey’s Anatomy” Season 11 winter premiere? Let us know in the comments section below. “Grey’s Anatomy” will return to ABC on Thursday, Feb. 5, at 8 p.m. EST.