[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 15, Episode 12 of Grey's Anatomy, "Girlfriend in a Coma."]
It’s the most wonderful time of the year all over again!
Grey’s Anatomy Season 15 Episode 12 — February 7’s “Girlfriend in a Coma” — takes us back to the holiday season, which is very jarring for all of us still paying off our yuletide expenditures. The episode starts with Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) waxing philosophical in her narration about time being a flat circle a construct, which is basically the writers’ way of letting you know we’re in for some time jumps in this episode. No, we’re not skipping over a whole year like we did after Derek’s death, but we do go from Christmas Eve to Valentine’s Day in the course of the hour.
Mostly because of Ellen Pompeo's two year-deal with ABC Studios.
We’ll start with the most touching and devastating storyline, which is that of Natasha (Siena Goines), the bride-to-be who fell from a collapsing hotel balcony, and Garrett (DeJuan Johnson), her devoted fiancée. When we last saw these two, the docs had put Natasha into a medically-induced coma after performing a splenectomy. In this episode, she finally wakes up after weeks in the coma. Meredith and Garrett are both by her side on New Year’s Eve, and Natasha tells Mer she heard Garrett talking to her about the DeLuca-Mer-Link love triangle during her coma. Garrett, meanwhile, realizes they missed the Times Square ball drop on TV, so he rewinds the footage on the laptop they’re watching. “Kiss the one who turns back time for you,” Natasha tells Mer. (Swoon!)
Natasha’s upswing is short-lived, though. She develops pneumonia and then throws a pulmonary embolism. Garrett feels hopeless, thinking that they’re taking one step forward and two steps back with her treatment. He tells the docs that if she dies, he dies. Mer consoles him, speaking from experience when she says that life goes on and that he has to take care of himself, too.
Finally, Natasha asks to be taken off the ventilator, so it seems like she and Garrett will never get their planetarium wedding. But she thanks her surgeons anyway. “We may not have had our wedding under the stars,” she says, “but you gave us the rest of our lives together.”
After Mer unplugs Natasha from the machines, Jo (Camilla Luddington) and Alex (Justin Chambers) dim the lights and get all the doctors to pull up photos and videos of outer space on their cell phones and tablets. Owen (Kevin McKidd) looks very proud to have found what looks like that starfield screensaver from 1990s-era Microsoft Windows. The docs bring in a marriage officiant, and Mer even reads Natasha’s vows aloud. Natasha struggles to talk, but Garrett tells her, “Don’t. Don’t. I know.” This is, like, Denny-Izzie sad, so let’s move on to other drama before we start openly weeping.
Who could she be playing?
In other news, Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) goes to a rehab center to visit Betty (Peyton Kennedy), who tells her that she loves drugs more than she loves being a mother. Yikes. And it gets worse. When Amelia comes back with Owen in tow, Betty tells them that she’s at the truth-telling portion of her 12 steps, and the truth is her name isn’t Betty. It’s Britney. (Yes, she spells her name like Britney Spears does. The closed captioning tells us so.) And not only has she been lying about her name, but the “father” she Owen and Amelia have been calling is actually a friend of hers; her real parents have no idea where she is. Owen and Amelia want to call them, but Betty is worried her parents will want to take Leo away. (And she’s right, as a promo for next week’s episode shows. On the plus side, Brit Brit’s mom is played by Dirty Dancing’s Jennifer Grey.)
Also, Owen and Teddy (Kim Raver) find out via sonogram that their baby is a girl. It’s a sweet moment, but Owen is still committed to his relationship with Amelia, more or less. In the midst of the Betty-Britney confusion, he makes a low-blow comment about addition and lying being “poor life choices,” which, if you ask us, is a pretty poor life choice in itself. He brings Amelia a bouquet of roses on Valentine’s Day to apologize, but then they find out that Teddy is dating Koracick (Greg Germann) when he shows up to whisk her away on a date, and Amelia catches Owen looking a little too jealous.
These currently airing shows have made a habit of picking the right tunes.
Koracick actually has serious game, by the way. Not only does he get a smooch from Teddy on New Year’s Eve, but on Valentine’s Day, he woos her by taking him to his favorite nail salon. “You are so…” Teddy says, at a loss for words. He replies: “I know I am ‘so.’ Not as ‘so’ as you.”
Less lucky on V-Day, however, is Link (Chris Carmack). Mer asks him out on a date, yes, but only because she was feeling petty because DeLuca (Giacomo Gianniotti) was being bitter about her standing him up at the Karevs’ New Year’s Eve party. But on Valentine’s Day, Link heads to the restaurant for the hot date… and Mer stands him up, too. Instead, she heads to the hospital rooftop with DeLuca, where they toast to Natasha and Garrett’s holy matrimony and then kiss. It’s all very romantic — or, at least, we’re trying to think so.
Let’s turn the clock back to December for a moment: Ben (Jason George) drops off Tuck’s presents with Bailey (Chandra Wilson), after which she realizes that all she wants for Christmas is him. She invites him to move back in, but she’s saying all the wrong things: that she’s lonely and that she needs her fence mended. It’s about as un-romantic a gesture as they come. And Ben tells her that she broke his heart when she asked him for a marriage sabbatical. Nevertheless, Ben knows Bailey’s love for him is true, so he comes around and fixes her fence anyway. He even starts construction on that treehouse he promised her so that she could have a refuge from her anxiety. He promises to work on it every morning after he moves back in. Romance restored!
And at the Fox-Webber household, Catherine (Debbie Allen) is getting impatient with her physical therapy. She just wants to feel like herself again, and she’s frustrated that her recovery time isn’t as extraordinary as everything else she does. It’s all very hard for Jackson (Jesse Williams) to watch, and the stress is taking a physical toll on him, and Maggie (Kelly McCreary) sympathizes. She too had to sit idly by during her mother’s medical treatment, and she had very dark days: She even had a fleeting thought of ending her own life.
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Happily, though, Catherine grows more optimistic. She even tells Richard to get her to the bedroom — oh là là! Quoth Richard: “She’s back, baby!” She’s back indeed!
Grey’s Anatomy, Thursdays, 8/7c, ABC