While watching Thursday night’s Grey’s Anatomy episode, “I Walk The Line,” you may have felt like a certain newcomer felt a little familiar. Maybe it was her recognizable curly hair? Maybe you thought a nice strapping gentleman would arrive to spin her around to the tune of “The Time of My Life” at any moment? Well, that’s because Dirty Dancing star Jennifer Grey graced Grey’s Anatomy with her presence.
As the trailer for next week’s “I Want A New Drug” confirms, 1980s icon Grey isn’t leaving Grey’s anytime soon. Things are only going to get more dire for the guest star’s character, Carol Dickinson.
As we we learn in “Walk The Line,” Grey, who signed on for a mysterious “multi-episode” arc, is playing the actual mom of “Betty Nelson,” whose real name is Britney Dickinson. Over the last few weeks of Grey’s, fans have learned a series of bombshells about single teen mom Betty, the troubled girl Owen Hunt (episode director Kevin McKidd) and Amelia Shepherd (Caterina Scorsone) have been feen fostering since last season. In last week’s “Winner Takes It All,” Betty revealed her real name, the fact she had given Owen and Amelia a fake number for her parents — so they had been calling her friend who was posing as the “Nelsons” for months — and her actual parents had no idea where she was or that she had been pregnant. That means Betty’s real-life parents knew nothing about Leo, Betty’s baby whom Owen has taken as his own son.
All of that drama brings us to “Walk The Line,” when Betty’s parents show up at Grey Sloan looking for their daughter. Apparently, Betty called them from rehab to beg them to come see her. Then, she disappeared. With the “Nelsons” in Seattle, we learn Betty-Britney’s final secret: her last name is Dickinson. Owen and Amelia truly didn’t know the person living in their home.
Although the Dickinsons entrance into Grey’s Anatomy is wholly upsetting, Jennifer Grey still has one of the best scenes of the episode when she recalls the dark period of her daughter’s initial descent into drug abuse. “She started using drugs, and she just became I didn’t know anymore. She would be standing right in front of me, but not there,” she says near tears. Amelia attempts to make Carol feel better by explaining she is an addict like Betty-Britney, and she is now sober, thriving, and a successful surgeon. Unfortunately, Carol tells her husband John (Kyle Secor) about Amelia’s past, which only infuriates Mr. Dickinson more.
So the Dickinsons end the episode storming out of Grey Sloan. However, the trailer for upcoming episode “New Drug” proves both sets of Betty-Britney’s parents will be brought back together to deal with her latest overdose. As Station 19’s Ben Warren (Jason George) explains in the teaser, “there’s a bad batch of something” felling drug users in a local park. Betty-Britney is one of them, which explains where she went after escaping her rehab center. Her case is so bad that Dr. Link (Chris Carmack) labels it — over all the other mass overdoses — as an “emergency.” Dr. Teddy (Kim Raver) tells Maggie (Kelly McCreary), “Amelia may never see that little girl open her eyes again.”
The weeping woman standing on the sidelines of all this medical chaos is Jennifer Grey's Carol, who has to watch her unconscious child get wheeled around a hospital and plied with life-saving equipment. Clearly, much of “New Drug” will be dedicated to Carol’s powerless, terrified experience as a mom waiting to see if her daughter ever wakes up.
Yet, even if Betty-Britney does survive, the Dickinsons' story in Grey’s Anatomy will likely not end there. After all, there are questions about where Betty-Brittany will go next and what will happen with her infant son Leo. Carol and John are very vocal about their desire to have their grandson, while Owen seems prepared to fight them for custody of his “son.” No matter how this battle goes, these kinds of obstacles aren’t solved in 42 minutes of television, especially not on Grey’s Anatomy. Considering the mysterious number of episodes Grey signed up for, she could be popping up for the rest of season 15.
So get ready to see a lot more of Grey on Grey’s. While this story might only get sadder, at least the play on names will gives fans everywhere the time of their lives.