The first day on a new job can be tough. But they’re even tougher when you’re the newbie at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital -- not to mention, the surgeon who is said to be responsible for the death of the beloved surgeon Derek Shepard (Patrick Dempsey). In episode 6 of “Grey’s Anatomy,” Penny (Samantha Sloyan) begins her residency. But things go from awkward to downright cringe-worthy when she gets placed under Meredith’s (Ellen Pompeo) authority.
Bailey (Chandra Wilson) tells Meredith in the Season 12 installment that she doesn’t need to mentor Penny -- even though that’s typically the duty of the chief of general. Meredith, however, insists she has no problem taking the newcomer under her lab coat sleeve.
“I don’t want today to be awkward or uncomfortable,” Penny says to Meredith after learning of her placement. So, Mer tells her not to make it uncomfortable -- but their time together is anything but relaxed as Meredith abrasively teaches Penny "Surgery 101."
While Meredith is testing Penny, Amelia (Caterina Scoresone) walks in on the two, surprised to see them together.
“It’s not enough to have her in the same building, you have to have her in your service too?” Amelia asks. Mer responds that she’s trying to “rise above” what happened with Derek. “And so should you.” But Amelia has no interest in making amends with the woman who let her brother’s life slip through her surgical gloves.
— Greys Anatomy (@GreysABC) November 6, 2015
While Meredith tries to teach Penny the ins and outs of surgery (which goes horribly), April (Sarah Drew) introduces Jackson (Jesse William) to Nathan (Martin Henderson) -- the doctor she met while overseas. April reveals that she and Nathan became close to a boy from Jordan who lost his parents, his home and almost became a child soldier. However, he wasn’t taken due to the massive tumors growing on his hands, preventing him from holding a gun.
April brought Kamal (Elisha Henig) to Grey Sloan (regretting to tell Jackson the whole truth about his deformity) so that her husband would agree to help the boy.
“I didn’t lie,” April says after Jackson calls her out for being deceitful regarding the severity of the case.
“You bent the truth,” Jackson responds, “until it broke.”
Nathan interrupts Jackson’s reaction as though he’s not going to perform the surgery. But Nathan’s doubt in Jackson only inspires him to take on the case -- or at least, do a biopsy.
After the biopsy, Jackson breaks the news to April that he found pre-cancerous cells in the tumors growing on Kamal’s hands. He elaborates, explaining that the safest thing for Kamal would be to amputate both hands at the wrists.
“There’s nothing to be done,” he says. April argues that he’s not even trying. (She’s totally referencing their failed relationship, right?) “There’s nothing here to save,” Jackson reiterates.
Speaking of grim situations, Meredith and Penny are assigned an interesting case during episode 6 -- one that involves them caring for a pastor who had fallen down a flight of stairs -- but not before leaking his own sex tape to his entire congregation.
During his surgery, Meredith tasks Penny with instructing her every move. However, Penny fails to mention a crucial step during the surgery, resulting in the demise of the patient -- that is, if Mer actually listened to her.
Mer barks that if Penny was the one performing the surgery then the patient would have died.
After the surgery, Callie (Sara Ramirez) sees her girlfriend sulking in the hallway, which is when Penny reveals that Meredith has been riding her all day -- and rightfully so.
“She should be hard on me and I should be able to handle it,” Penny says, making us like her even more. “I will figure this out. It’s not your problem.”
But it becomes Callie’s issue when she overhears Mer and Amelia gabbing about Penny in the restroom.
“You were right -- she doesn’t belong here,” Mer says to her sister, revealing just how “dangerous” Penny is. “I tried to rise above because it’s the right thing to do. But she has made mistake after mistake.”
“You’re being a bully,” Callie argues. “That’s not teaching … that’s being mean and small.” (It’s about time someone put Meredith in her place!)
— Greys Anatomy (@GreysABC) November 6, 2015
It wasn’t until Meredith had a heart-to-heart with Richard (James Pickens Jr.) that she realized how petty she was being. Richard explains that when Meredith first arrived at the hospital, he didn’t want her there because she reminded him too much of her mother Ellis (Kate Burton), with whom he had an affair.
“I decided that wasn’t fair for you,” he notes. “I put aside my personal feelings and [rose] above. And I’m glad I did that … everyday.”
Mer says Derek would have told her to do that same thing, too. “He probably would have even liked her,” she adds before paging Penny, requesting for her to be on her team for the next week.
Richard had his own issues in episode 6. His friend came into the hospital after getting into a car crash with his daughter, one Richard believes was caused due to the un-treated arthritis in his friend’s foot. That speculation causes Richard’s friend to lash out, questioning what right he has on giving him parental advice. After all, Richard has no children … right?
Richard agrees that he has none -- in front of Maggie (Kelly McCreary) who is severely hurt by the admission. But Richard later owns up to having a daughter, one he’s proud to know, despite it being hard for him to admit that he had an affair.
The episode concludes with Jackson finding a way to forgo amputation and creating a pair of hands for the sweet child who has seen so much pain and trauma in his life.
“I’m sorry for lying,” April says after the successful surgery. “I knew you could do it.”
The two then embrace each other with a hug. And boy, we've never been so excited to see a hug on “Grey’s Anatomy” throughout all 12 seasons! Just when April is about to ask Jackson a question (perhaps out to dinner or to talk), Nathan interrupts, revealing he’s ready to grab the drink April promised him.
“Grey’s Anatomy” airs Thursday nights at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.