Welcome back, everyone. For a quick refresher, when we last left our intrepid Grey's Anatomy doctors, Jackson (Jesse Williams) was lost in the fog coming back from a camping trip and Maggie (Kelly McCreary) had just set out to look for him, right after they agreed they don't really like each other that much. Jo (Camilla Luddington) finally sought help for her depression after learning the truth about her birth parents. Teddy (Kim Raver) and Owen (Kevin McKidd) welcomed baby Allison. Bailey (Chandra Wilson) fired Alex (Justin Chambers), Chief Webber (James Pickens Jr.) and Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) for the parts they played in the insurance fraud and the cover-up; and Meredith decided to turn herself in to get DeLuca (Giacomo Gianniotti) out of jail after he took the fall for her. Let's jump right back into the fire, yeah?
Despite her big dramatic goodbye with her kids — that was super funny when Meredith seemed slightly disappointed about not going directly to jail — Meredith gets community service in lieu of a prison sentence. So she now picks up trash by the side of the road. It's really not that bad because she still has her kids and she still has DeLuca... until she finds out at episode's end that the medical board is going to try to revoke her license.
Her cohorts, Alex and Webber, are in similar situations of not having much to do after losing their jobs. Webber tries being an on-call doctor for an app, while Alex spends a lot of time helping Jo during her inpatient treatment. But in the end, Alex takes the chief of surgery job at Pacific Northwest General Hospital and hires Webber to come with him. Weirdly, Katherine (Debbie Allen) is livid that Webber "betrayed" her by standing with Meredith and now is "humiliating" her by going to another hospital, but this feels a little bit like manufactured drama. Webber's actions, while not the best choices, were totally understandable — and now he needs a job! Back off, Katherine.
Speaking of Alex, he and Jo make good strides while she's in treatment and when she gets out, he re-proposes to her so they can officially get married once and for all. The nice part about a time-jumping episode is that we can skip over Jo's treatment in one episode. Not that her storyline isn't important and very well done, but this is a neat and tidy way to move it along a bit.
What is less neat and tidy is the whole Owen-Teddy-Tom (Greg Germann) thing. Owen and Teddy seem pretty happy together; he's working hard to do right by her by getting them a new house and she's coping with the struggles of motherhood. But right after Allison was born, Tom made a great speech to her about how she's making a big mistake and he'll be waiting for her when she realizes it because he's in love with her. In the meantime, he says they can be friends. It's a pretty baller move and I'd be lying if I said I'm not still #TeamTom.
Tom's other big bombshell is that he's now in charge of Katherine's foundation hospitals, which means technically he's Bailey's new boss. That move doesn't amount to much here in the premiere, but you can bet it will rear its ugly head soon because Bailey is fit to be tied when she finds out.
On the case of the week front, it turns out that when Jackson wandered off from the car in the middle of the fog, he came across two hikers, one of whom had fallen and had been dangling on his climbing rope for hours, only kept alive by the fact that his wife was holding onto his rope for dear life, literally. She held the rope even as a rock ripped into her arm so hard that it was almost severed. Now that is love.
But their case becomes a bit of a metaphor for Maggie and Jackson's relationship because it appears for a while that the wife clung to the rope in vain because the husband later stroked out at the hospital. Jackson says maybe they were trying to cling to something that they should have let go of.
However, when Amelia remembers a case from her Private Practice days that resembles the husband's vegetative state, the doctors are able to revive him. What does that mean for Jackson and Maggie? Well, they're over and Jackson starts a flirtation with Victoria (Barrett Doss) of Station 19, but it can't ever be that simple with Grey's Anatomy. It’s already slightly complicated because Victoria’s dead fiancee was Maggie’s patient.
And finally, speaking of Amelia — the big bombshell of the episode is that she's pregnant. Whoa. Surely it's Link's (Chris Carmack) baby, right? What's the timeline here? Could it be Owen's? That would be... yikes. Of course, that would be just the thing to drive Teddy away from him and back to Tom, but that also seems like thrusting a lot of small children upon Owen, in terms of storylines. It will be much more enjoyable if the baby is Link's.
Odds and Ends
The Jackson-fog-hiker storyline was pretty interesting because when the finale was written and filmed, Jesse Williams hadn't agreed to return to the show yet. So imagine if he hadn't re-upped for two more years? It seems pretty likely Jackson would have died on that mountain.
Bailey: "For what it's worth, I hated maternity leave too. And I'm an excellent mother."
They don’t get much screen time, but we do see enough of Schmitt (Jake Borelli) and Nico (Alex Landi) to know that they are still going strong after Schmitt came out to his mom by introducing Nico to her as his boyfriend. Hopefully, there are good times in store for these two lovebirds. They are so adorable together.