Meredith Grey's (Ellen Pompeo) lawyer worked really hard to keep her client out of prison on Grey's Anatomy — but she ended up there anyway.
The lawyer originally set Meredith up with community service hours after Meredith committed insurance fraud. But Meredith totally didn't respect the seriousness of that job, and she was always ducking out for various emergencies. Some of her excuses were legitimate (at one point her daughter had neurosurgery), but it ultimately didn't matter. The judge decided Meredith needed to go to jail to serve out her missed community service hours. Depending on how much of the time her supervisor actually reported her missing, that could be a lot of hours. However, Meredith seems to think she may get out of jail in time to trick-or-treat on Halloween with her kids.
The synopsis for the next episode, airing Oct. 31, says, "Meredith fears she won’t make it home in time for trick-or-treating with her kids." She's also shown in the preview talking to the guard about how she still needs a costume. "You can go as sad mom," he told her, clearly not caring about her circumstances. The Oct. 31 episode is the Halloween episode, so if Meredith does make it home in time for trick-or-treating, she would only have been in jail for one episode. However, her journey could stretch on longer than that, because she missed a lot of time at her trash pick-up job.
For weeks now, Meredith has basically come and gone from the worksite as she pleased. She took her supervisor Robin (Cleo King) to get a potentially cancerous mass checked out at the hospital, and she also started operating a free clinic at her job site. She even FaceTimed into a surgery while she should have been picking up trash. Her heart hasn't really been in her community service, to say the least. Still, that was all seemingly overlooked until Meredith decided she needed to leave early to go talk to Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) about the hit job article Meredith wrote about Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital.
"I have an emergency, and I really need to go," Meredith pleaded with her supervisor Lisa (Lisa Rothschiller). "Grey, I know all about you and your emergencies," Lisa replied, clearly uninterested in Mer's latest excuse not to do her clean up duty. She told Meredith that she had five hours of her shift left, and if she didn't stay for them, Lisa would alert the judge about "all [of Meredith's] extracurriculars." Well, Meredith left anyway, and then she missed the court hearing to discuss the issue when her daughter needed emergency surgery.
The judge was not thrilled and called Meredith,\ "The girl who cried medical emergency." Instead of letting Mer make up her hours at the cleaning site, the judge remanded Meredith to serve her missed hours in jail. That may not just be the five hours she missed last week if the supervisor told the judge about all of Meredith's missed time over the past few episodes. At the same time, she hasn't missed, like, months of time. At most, she's missed a few days total. Fans will likely see Meredith released from jail within the next couple of episodes. It is worth noting that she isn't mentioned at all in the Nov. 7 episode synopsis, nor is she in any of the press site photos for that episode. She could still be in jail and absent from that episode even after Halloween passes. Beyond that, expect Mer to return in short time once she makes up her missed community service hours.
After that, it will just have to be decided by the medical board whether or not she gets to keep her license and ever return to work. That's probably the last thing on Meredith's mind as she serves out her jail sentence, though. It seems like the next week or two is going to be extra rough for her — and things were already not going great. Poor Meredith can't catch a break, but maybe this will teach her to play by the rules a little more in the future... at least when it comes to matters of the court.