We open the latest chapter in the "Meredith Grey should have moved to a safe house years ago" saga in a literal traffic jam with Grey, her new platonic life partner Alex, and the sister she's not currently mad at, Maggie. Since the mid-season finale, Amelia has moved out of the Grey hotel, and Alex has moved in, meaning his proposal to Jo probably didn't go exactly as he would have liked. When they realize the traffic jam is the result of an accident, Mer gets excited for the possible life-saving opportunities. She and her carpool buddies run toward the sirens, because deciding to wait in the car and catch up on podcasts wouldn't make for exciting TV.
Mer & Co. bring in the crash victims, and before you know it Meredith is alone with a patient. Any Grey's fan knows from the terrifying promos this is going to become number one million on the list of bad things that happen to Meredith Grey. But Lou seems so nice! He and Meredith banter, and he talks about his kids. But then his seizure clears the room, and everyone scurries to get supplies, leaving him alone with Meredith in the kind of one-on-one situation that only happens at Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital when a patient is about to drop a truth bomb. Or, apparently, beat a doctor.
If there's anything this show is great at, it's gut-wrenching moments, and the way it handled this attack — in the form of a silent but visible body smack against the glass, followed by slightly rumpled blinds — is haunting. And then Mer is on the table in bad shape, being treated by all her besties. Karev totally tears up whenever Meredith yells in agony, crushing viewers' hearts everywhere, and a dead silence when she opens her eyes reveals the biggest hit she took during the attack — she can't hear.
In the aftermath, we see things from Meredith's perspective, taking in the smiles and inaudible encouragement of her friends as she perfects her "Meredith is unimpressed" face. She sees Webber throw a possibly intoxicated Amelia out of the room, and then Dr. Grey's being wheeled off to surgery. But after some more very, very hard-to-watch silence, Alex hops into her hospital bed, and she hears him make a joke about her tear- and snot-covered face. It's a moment that's really reminiscent of his mean speech being the first thing his then-wife Izzie remembers post brain surgery, which is probably a sign the Grey's writers are going to ship these two soon. I'm a big believer in the power of a strong platonic friendship holding a show together, but Alex has been so cute this episode, a relationship between the two seems like a not-so-bad option.
Some time passes, and in the saddest moment of the whole episode, Mer's daughter Zola, who is so big now, doesn't want to hug the wire-mouthed mumbler formally known as Mommy. Though Meredith puts on a brave face for the kids (which, in her current state looks like a horrifying grimace), when they leave she has a panic attack, and Penny cuts her jaw wires. Jackson tries to berate the usually timid doctor for this, but she stands up for herself in a pointed moment of girl power — and one that shows Mer the patient's POV when a doctor is using your case to work out some personal issues.
Then she's in a completely understandable funk following a visit from Amelia (who made Mer's attack all about herself), when Webber wheels his surrogate daughter outside while singing "My Girl," which is a highlight of the entire series.
After overhearing that Jackson served April divorce papers (noooo), Meredith meets with Lou, who brought his daughters, wife, and a plant, the unofficial "sorry I accidental caused you great bodily harm" present. She forgives Lou, giving him a silent hand squeeze and extended eye contact that clearly says, "I know you were in a fugue state after your seizure when you attacked me, and I don't hold it against you anymore." You can say a lot with a meaningful stare.
Mer can't quite forgive Amelia, however, though they do seem to come to the agreement that forgiveness could be possible down the road. And when she's finally back at home, reunited with her kids, she nudges Alex to see Jo. Next week on Grey's, will Meredith pretend that she's totally fine, even though she's the poster girl for traumatic injuries? Probably!