Grey's Anatomy Recap: Who's On The Table?

Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
Tonight's episode unfolds in one O.R. with a single patient. So to make things interesting, figments of the doctors' imaginations are brought in. As Meredith and Owen cut into the patient, the docs discuss how horribly sleep-deprived they are. As the man is basically bleeding out on the table Weber wants to "play a game," and the other docs are super not interested.

Ignoring them, Richard decides to make up a back story for the patient, who is an anonymous John Doe, so they'll care about him. It's super weird. Richard names the patient Gail (because in this game of make believe the actual gender of the patient doesn't matter) and makes her a loving mother of three who plays the cello. It quickly becomes apparent Gail might be his mother. Weber wants to list the patient for a liver transplant, but after a heated argument, Meredith angrily tells him, "I outrank you," which is the doctor version of "You're not my father!" Which is also something Grey could yell at Richard. The entire O.R. gets really awkward.

When Richard wants Owen to turn the patient into someone, Dr. Hunt flashes back to working with his sister overseas. Now I really hope she miraculously comes back, because she seems fun, giving stoic Owen a hard time. But when flashback sis starts talking about Owen's current life, he answers her out loud, surprising the other surgeons. This poor person on the table has exhausted, now hallucinating doctors. Despite Meredith's insistence that it's a waste, Owen removes the liver and has Edwards put in a call for a donor.

Not to be left out of the flashback party, Edwards starts talking to a younger version of herself, who gives her the courage to speak up about the patient's rare blood disease. They move on her diagnosis, and when they find out John Doe's name is really Carl, and that he has two kids, Meredith starts to have her own flashbacks — to the night Derek died. She thinks back to when she told her kids their dad was never coming home. Zola asking "Can't you fix him?" is definitely going down as one of the top ten saddest Grey's moments, and there's a lot of competition.

After Richard reveals Gail was his mother, who died of pancreatic cancer when he was 10, Grey gets inspired for a bold move — repair part of the liver they removed and transplant that section back into the patient.

And it works! Meredith apologizes for yelling at Weber (which is nice, because they're friends, but she was right) and they leave the O.R. with a sense of accomplishment.

Next week, is Alex going to end up in jail?