Throughout the years we’ve witnessed dozens of disasters take place within the walls of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. But nothing turned out stomachs quite like Meredith’s (Ellen Pompeo) attack in the Season 12 winter premiere of “Grey’s Anatomy.”
The chilling ABC installment, titled "The Sound of Silence," began with Meredith explaining how statistically men are more prone to answer a question when asked than women are. In fact, when a woman does speak up, her male counterpart often interrupts her. That’s because scientifically the female voice is proven to be more difficult for a male brain to register.
“What does this mean?” Meredith narrates. “It means, in this world where men are bigger, stronger, faster... if you’re not ready to fight, the silence will kill you.”
And it nearly does …
In episode 9, the doctors begin their day sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic. But instead of groveling, they decide to lend a hand after hearing the sound of sirens racing toward what they can only assume is an accident.
“Major pile up,” Maggie (Kelly McCreary) explains as she, Meredith and Alex (Justin Chambers) pour out of the back of an ambulance.
Meredith is tasked with taking care of a sweet man name Lou who has a pretty nasty cut on his head. Due to the head trauma, Mer asks Ben (Jason George) to call neurology. However, when Ben delivers the message to Amelia (Caterina Scorsone), the surgeon — who is currently feuding with her sister-in-law — opts to help another resident first.
This leaves Meredith completely alone with her patient who recently suffered a lengthy seizure. While filling out paper work, Lou rises from his bed. Our heart begins to pound as we watch Meredith guide the disorderly patient back to his bed. But he grabs her and throws the tiny surgeon around the room like a rag doll.
Several minutes go by until Penny (Samantha Sloyan) finds Meredith paralyzed and groaning on the floor. She’s laying next to Lou, who is seizing.
“We need help in here — now!” Penny screams thus beginning a frantic fight to save Meredith’s life.
Despite Meredith having Seattle’s best and brightest doctors caring for her, viewers can’t help but feel scared. The Grey Sloan surgeons crack open Meredith’s jaw to insert a breathing tube. It’s ghastly and Alex completely unravels at the sight of his “person” screaming in agonizing pain.
— Greys Anatomy (@GreysABC) February 12, 2016
That’s when neurology finally makes its way to the room.
“We’re here. What…” Amelia says before seeing that it’s her sister-in-law being tended to. Unable to help, she slinks into the corner watching with wide, terrified eyes.
Unlike Amelia, Maggie’s quick to the draw and begins slicing into Meredith when Richard (James Pickens, Jr.) tells her that it’s unethical for her to be on the case considering she’s Mer’s half sister.
“Everybody in this damn room is [Meredith’s] family,” Alex barks back before figuring out that Meredith is completely deaf.
Viewers are then giving a front row seat from Meredith’s silent perspective — and we have to admit, it was extremely terrifying. For the next few scenes, viewers watch Meredith, whose face is swollen like a grape, get cared for by her fellow surgeons in utter silence. She’s angry and frustrated and in pain so she cries, which is when Alex runs to comfort his friend. He hands her a tissue and tells his “person” to blow her nose. She obliges.
“You can hear me?” he shouts in excitement. Meredith confirms with a nod and a laugh. Although Mer can hear, she’s still unable to talk due to her fractured jaw, which Jackson (Jesse Williams) wired shut. And according to Arizona (Jessica Capshaw), that’s left the doc looking a little bit scary. That’s why Arizona warns Mer to keep her mouth closed as much as possible when her children come to visit.
— Greys Anatomy (@GreysABC) February 12, 2016
But when the trio finally arrives to see their mom, they’re terrified at the sight of her. As Alex and Arizona escort the kids out of Meredith’s room she has a panic attack. She’s scratching at her throat for air, unable to take a breath. That’s when Penny decides to snip the wires in her mouth so that Meredith can open her jaw for the first time.
Jackson is fuming at the sight of his work coming undone. But Penny boldly backs her decision, proving to Meredith that she did learn from her mistakes the night Derek (Patrick Dempsey) died and that she does have a voice.
“She is my patient. I know what I am doing,” Penny tells Jackson. “You can rewire her jaw tomorrow morning but she needed air so I got her some damn air.”
But that wasn’t the only confrontation of the episode. In the next scene, Meredith and Amelia finally have their long overdue talk. Amelia reveals that she felt like a rat outside Meredith’s room, picking up scraps of intel regarding her sister-in-law's health.
“I’ve been out there thinking about how to make amends,” she begins. “As if that would matter to you.”
But it does. And when Meredith is finally able to speak again she tells Amelia, who Richard revealed felt responsible for Mer’s attack, that she’s just not ready to forgive her. Amelia understands and feels the same way, after all, they did say some pretty hurtful things to one another in the Season 12 winter finale.
However, there is someone Meredith is ready to make amends with — Lou. After several requests, Meredith finally decides to meet her patient-turned-attacker.
“I didn’t know what I was doing. What I did to you… I didn’t know — I would never,” he says getting all choked up. “I would never hurt a woman. I just want you to know that I’m sorry. Truly sorry.”
Thanks to Richard’s heart-to-heart with Meredith, she’s able to forgive Lou, which also allows her to begin the healing process, too.
Other Major Moments:
- After Alex takes Meredith home, she tells him that she doesn’t need him to solely take care of her. She has a whole family at Grey Sloan rallying for her, which means he can be with Jo (Camilla Luddington). While she was bedridden, Mer reveals she saw Jo tuck Alex in as he slept by her side, which is when she knew that Jo truly loved Alex. “I need you to hear me when I say this. I know I’ve needed you a lot lately but I know that Jo loves you. Post-it on the wall loves you. Don’t ignore that,” she says.
- Stephanie (Jerrika Hinton) gave Mer the scoop on Owen (Kevin McKidd) and Amelia, revealing that the two aren’t exactly on speaking terms.
- Things aren't looking too good for Jackson and April (Sarah Drew) either. During the Season 12 winter premiere, fans watched the twosome share some unsavory words in the hallway. “You served me papers just like that? No warning?” April questions him, leaving us to believe Jackson decided to go through with the divorce.
“Grey’s Anatomy” airs Thursday nights at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.