Shonda Rhimes took “Grey’s Anatomy” fans on an emotional journey during episode 20 as the creator of the hit ABC series forced characters and viewers to revisit one of the show’s darkest moments: a plane crash. That’s right, another aircraft came crashing out of the sky in “One Flight Down” -- and it nearly resulted in the death of a Grey Sloan Memorial employee! Well, sort of.
After Dr. Weber (James Pickens, Jr.) “survived” his close encounter with the falling airplane, he rushed to Grey Sloan to prep the hospital and his team for the arrival of the victims. But Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) must have missed the emergency memo. Instead of slipping into her surgical gown, the doctor was trying to get a hold of her missing husband (Patrick Dempsey).
In episode 19 it was revealed that Derek never showed up for his meeting in Washington, D.C. And of course, that made Mer nervous. Her anxiety worsened when she learned that a crash had occurred, which is when terrible memories began flooding her head of the time she and Derek were a no-show to a conference because their plane had fallen out of the sky and crashed into the woods. The accident resulted in the death of Mer’s half sister, Lexie (Chyler Leigh), and Mark (Eric Dane).
After experiencing some heartbreaking PTSD (we couldn't have been the only one's tearing up as Meredith recounted the Season 8 accident, right?), Mer searched the hospital high and low for Arizona (Jessica Capshaw), another survivor of the previous plane crash.
“We’re OK,” she attempted to comfort her friend who was hiding in the supplies closet. “We’re OK.”
But despite the duo claiming to be emotionally stable, Alex (Justin Chambers) wasn’t convinced. He shadowed Arizona throughout episode 20, making sure she had someone to catch her if she broke down.
While Karev kept tabs on Arizona, Bailey (Chandra Wilson) had her eyes on Meredith, who appeared to be distracted during surgery. “Do you need to go?” Bailey asked, understanding that Meredith’s skills were being tested due to her PTSD. That’s when Meredith explained her concerns over Derek’s disappearance.
“If at 5 p.m. you haven’t heard from him, then you can panic,” Bailey said, adding that Mer wasn’t allowed to freak out a minute before the clock struck five. Derek’s wife agreed.
As Mer attempted to get through surgery without having a meltdown, Maggie (Kelly McCreary) learned the horrific truth about what happened to Mer’s other half-sister. Maggie had no idea that Meredith was involved in a plane crash not to mention that Lexie was killed as a result of it.
“Meredith’s sister?” Maggie asked stunned, piecing together that the crash is how Arizona lost her leg.
Maggie then had a sweet moment with her sister after Ellis’ (Kate Burton) daughters saved the life of the pilot who was involved in the crash. Following their surgery, Maggie caught Mer starring at her phone.
“You’re freaking out now though, aren’t you?” Maggie questioned after Mer filled her in on her 5 o'clock-plan. Instead of promising Meredith everything would be OK or giving her false hope, Maggie empathized with her sibling and urged her to go home.
Episode 20 was chock-full of flashbacks -- some from the Season 8 crash and others from MerDer’s last moments together before he disappeared. In the flashbacks, audiences witnessed just how far the couple has come in their relationship. But according to Derek, he wants “more.”
“Another baby?” Meredith asked with a giggle.
“I’m completely serious,” Derek shot back in the flirtatious scene.
As Meredith and Derek’s romance thrived (you know, before he disappeared), Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) and Owen’s (Kevin McKidd) crumbled. Amelia was originally the one to diffuse their heated fling, but it was ultimately Owen who extinguished any chance they had as a couple.
“I won’t survive another plane crash, Amelia,” Owen said after revealing he still felt guilt for the Season 8 crash. “And that’s all we are.”
Although their breakup had us clutching our hearts, we nearly went into cardiac arrest when episode 20 concluded in flashing lights. Just as 5 o’clock came around, Meredith spotted red and blue lights from a police car flashing outside her window.
Other Major Moments From Episode 20 Of “Grey’s Anatomy”:
- Stephanie (Jerrika Hinton) was determined to have her happily ever after, even if that meant pushing a patient with memory loss to remember the feelings she had for one of the plane crash victims. “This story is about love,” she told Amelia and Owen who were bickering while she was trying to reunite the lovers. “I am the hero.”
- Alex revealed that he was the one who cut off Arizona’s leg. She had always thought Callie (Sara Ramirez) was the one who had performed the amputation. “All this time you let me hold it against you. Why?” she questioned, only to have Callie explain that even though she might not had made the cut, she still made the call to have the leg removed. Besides, she didn’t want Arizona to hate Alex. “I wanted you to have somebody,” she said to her ex-wife who responded with gratitude.
What did you think of episode 20 of “Grey’s Anatomy”? Sound off in the comments section below with your thoughts.