In the aftermath of last week’s crossovers between “Grey’s Anatomy” and the upcoming spinoff “Station 19,” as well as “How to Get Away with Murder” and “Scandal,” the doctors and lawyers of these respective series were left in varying states of disarray.
On “Grey’s,” the recent competition was put on hold by the arrival of a pair of trauma patients who brought doctor-turned-firefighter Ben (Jason George) back to Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital. The episode was clearly more about the crossover than the plot, with the exception of a potential solution for Alex (Justin Chambers) and Amelia’s (Caterina Scorsone) young patient. As it turns out, the off-screen “Grey’s” drama is was much more heated, as it was announced that Jessica Capshaw and Sarah Drew, who play Arizona and April respectively, will be leaving the show at the end of this season.
Meanwhile, on “How to Get Away with Murder,” Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) of “Scandal” helped Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) convince the Supreme Court that her class-action suit for racial discrimination in the American criminal justice system is warranted. We don’t know yet whether she’s won, but we do know that Simon (Behzad Dabu) — the only witness to Team Keating’s attempt to hack into Caplan & Gold’s secret files for information on Jorge Castillo (Esai Morales) — has awoken from his coma. We also know that Laurel’s mother, Sandrine Castillo (Lolita Davidovich), met with Wes (Alfred Enoch) shortly before his death, which means she lied to Laurel.
This week, the doctors are back on their games — both surgically and sexually. There’s re-arising chemistry between exes Amelia and Owen (Kevin McKidd). Maggie’s (Kelly McCreary) started hooking up with one of her Tinder dates — despite the romantic tensions that have been building between her and Jackson (Jesse Williams) for the whole season. Meredith, however, is perfectly satisfied with her back massager.
In the pediatric wing of the hospital, Alex and Amelia’s patient Kimmie (Nayah Damasen) is struggling with daily nausea, and medication hardly works for her. She asks Alex to get her some medicinal cannabis. He’s not totally on board at first, but once she demonstrates to him that she knows the exact strain that can help with her symptoms and tells him that it was her grandmother’s idea, he approaches Chief Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) for approval.
Down the hall in the emergency room, April (Sarah Drew) and Richard (James Pickens Jr.) are treating several injured rugby players when a rogue ball hits April in the back, causing her to accidentally cut her patient’s ear off. To make matters worse, DeLuca (Giacomo Gianniotti) then slips on the ear and concusses himself.
This incident compromises April’s credibility with the patients and her fellow doctors, so she’s sent home for the day. When Owen confronts her, she says that the problem is that “someone didn’t follow the rules, and someone else is getting punished for it” — indicating that the problem may extend beyond an ear.
Later, things get even worse when the doctors learn that the temporary earless patient’s father is a malpractice attorney.
The good news is that Jackson can reattach the patient’s ear. He calls Maggie for assistance, given that the patient has a heart defect, so that she can monitor the patient’s heart during surgery. The patient teases Maggie privately for the obvious chemistry between her and Jackson, which peaks during a game night at Maggie’s. That night, both Maggie and Jackson bring their latest beaus, and April shows up a little tipsy after her rough day at work.
Meredith is still working to get in contact with the doctor whose research she needs access to for her competitive liver research. When Jo (Camilla Luddington) learns that the doctor has actually died, Meredith has to contact his daughter for approval. It seems like a good thing at first, then, that the daughter was best friends with Meredith’s late mother. The problem is that the family friend doesn’t see any evidence that Meredith’s project will work.
Meredith takes a big risk: To show her friend that her project will work, she explains her entire method. The friend leaves Meredith with an empty promise that she’ll grant Meredith the research she needs in the morning.
Not a moment later, Meredith learns from Richard that her mother was never actually friends with this woman, but sworn enemies.
Later that day, Kimmie’s grandmother “fires” Alex as Kimmie’s doctor for trying to give her medicinal cannabis treatment — Kimmie lied to Alex about her grandmother’s approval.
By the middle of the episode, several of the doctors have made problematic mistakes: Alex with Kimmie, Meredith with the research and April with the ear — all while an angry malpractice lawyer roams the hospital.
To make matters worse, Arizona’s started looking into statistics of maternal deaths during childbirth and has found that the hospital’s mortality rate for cesarean sections has risen in recent years. She dismisses the data at first, but she later approaches the dangerous doctor to confront her.
On the bright side, Jackson was able to successfully reattach the patient’s ear without complications. Her dad is pretty convinced that he wants to sue the hospital, but his daughter convinces him to let it go — she wants Maggie to help her with her heart condition.
After giving Kimmie’s grandmother some space, Alex approaches her empathetically to explain that he understands she’s concerned about causing an early addiction in Kimmie. He reassures her that the medicinal cannabis he’d prescribe her won’t get her high, but it will ease her symptoms.
Back at Maggie’s awkward game night, April is very strictly enforcing the rules of Pictionary and charades. It seems that April’s existential crisis, rather than the sexual tension between Jackson and Maggie, is about to come to a head.
After a minor tirade from April, there’s a knock at the door: Maggie’s date is married, unbeknownst to her, and his wife has arrived to collect him. Everyone leaves, knowing Maggie may need some space; she’s silently distraught.
Nearly all the conflicts — save for the legality of Meredith’s project — are resolved all too easily for the doctors this week. Payoff comes in the form of countless hookups and phrasings of “I love you” — the most exciting of which comes at the episode’s end.
Just when it seems like the Maggie-Jackson plot is over, he comes back knocking at her door while she’s home alone. He’s broken it off with the girl he brought over earlier. He confesses his feelings for Maggie. The payoff we’ve been waiting this whole season for finally comes in the form of the episode’s hottest kiss (and there were lots of kisses this week).
‘How to Get Away with Murder’
Last week was rather momentous on “HTGAWM,” as we saw Annalise’s class-action suit finally reach the Supreme Court. This week’s episode is much more focused on the character’s more personal conflicts — namely the fact that Laurel’s mother tried to pay Wes to stay away from Laurel.
The episode begins with an eight-month flashback to the day before Wes’s death — that’s right, Alfred Enoch is back.
Wes gets a call from Laurel’s mother asking him to meet her without Laurel knowing. He agrees to meet, only to let her know that he’s not OK with going behind Laurel’s back — but she pushes him into a corner. She knows his real name (Christophe) and his father’s real identity. Effectively, she blackmails him. Luckily, he records their conversation, which will serve in the present to prove his loyalty to Laurel.
Even after she proves her knowledge of his secrets, he tries to leave. She grabs his arm and says she’ll pay him to stop seeing Laurel. When he rejects her $100,000 check, she tries to convince him that Laurel will only hurt him — she tried and failed to “fix” Dominic and Frank, too.
The rest of the episode bounces back and forth between before Wes’ murder and the present.
Back in the present, Laurel has just learned all of this from Frank (Charlie Weber) and Bonnie (Liza Weil), who want her to tell Annalise. Laurel wants to keep it all hush-hush until the class-action suit is decided and they know what’s happening with Simon.
With Frank by her side, Laurel invites her mother to her apartment. Laurel plays back the recording for Sandrine to hear then accuses her of hurting Wes and Sandrine tries to convince her that she would never harm anyone Laurel loved.
Meanwhile, Annalise calls Team Keating to her office, and Laurel is nowhere to be found. Oliver (Conrad Ricamora) and Connor (Jack Falahee) take the opportunity to announce their official engagement, but the celebratory mood changes when Annalise informs her students that Simon is awake. Soon after, Oliver gets a call from the hospital: Simon wants to see him.
After a quick pep talk from Annalise, Oliver goes straight to the hospital, where he finds the same investigator he spoke to on the night Simon accidentally shot himself.
Simon speaks in short, choppy sentences, but so far he doesn’t seem to remember much from that night. All he asks Oliver is, “Did I come out to you?” The team breaths a collective sigh of relief — one that can’t last long.
Annalise brings on Nate to help; he’ll keep them updated via a detective friend he has on Simon’s case.
Back with Team Keating, Connor confronts Michaela (Aja Naomi King) about her affair with Marcus Walker (Cornelius Smith Jr.) of “Scandal.” She’s conflicted because she’s unsure whether she has feelings for Marcus, but she knows she cares for Asher (Matt McGorry). What she saw in Marcus was his ability to see her without the baggage that Team Keating has been through together — for a moment, she had a clean slate, and she’s not sure whether she wants to keep it or keep Asher.
Their conversation is interrupted when Michaela is called in for questioning regarding Simon.
The detective knows that Michaela and Simon were competitive, even hostile with each other. Michaela talks herself out of the detective’s confession tactic and returns to inform her friends that Simon seems to be remembering more as time passes.
Suggestions are thrown around the group: Michaela says that Oliver should marry Simon so that they have power over him, Asher volunteers to take the fall on Michaela’s behalf. Annalise agrees that the only way out of the situation is to control Simon. They plan to use Simon’s trust in Oliver to clear their names.
For too long, Oliver’s character has been neglected in favor of the core Keating team — Connor, Michaela, Asher, Laurel and Wes — but this season, that’s no longer the case. Oliver finally has the chance to shine, and he’s equally as brilliant as the rest of the core cast.
Oliver returns to the hospital to try and coerce Simon into hiring Annalise as his lawyer, but Simon already has a lawyer: Michaela’s former mentor at Caplan & Gold, Tegan Price (Amirah Vann). The two women confront each other at the hospital, and it seems like Annalise hits a nerve when she accuses Tegan of working for Jorge Castillo, rather than Simon. Regardless, the team is clearly in trouble — though they have an advantage with Simon’s feelings for Oliver.
Since she’s already in the hospital, Annalise goes to check on Isaac, who was hospitalized for an overdose last week while Annalise was in Washington. They each admit responsibility for the other’s pain — as well as their mutual feelings for each other — before agreeing not to see each other again.
In another flashback, we see Wes back at his apartment after meeting Sandrine. He tears up the check just before Laurel shows up on his doorstep with dinner. She notices he’s distracted, but thinks it’s because he thought she may have cheated on him with Frank — she has no idea her mother reached out to him.
When we return to the present, Laurel asks Frank why Wes wouldn’t have told her about her mother, to which he replies that she’d been lying to him about their one-time affair.
Laurel decides it’s time to tell Annalise, despite the issues with Simon and the class-action already occupying her. Her concern that Sandrine had Wes killed is mounting, worsened by the fact that she still doesn’t have custody of her son. She reels at the thought that her mother would have told Wes that she was trying to fix him.
While she’s alone, Michaela shows up needing advice about her affair with Marcus. It’s been a bit since the two women have had a solo scene together, but their friendship is both supportive and real — and therefore impactful to watch.
Michaela leaves to talk to Asher. She wants to be honest with him about what happened, but it’s too late — he’s already put the pieces together. He’s angry and heartbroken.
Just as Annalise leaves Isaac for the (supposed) last time, she gets a call from Nate. Simon’s memory is returning to him; he remembers that both Michaela and Laurel were at Caplan & Gold with him the night he shot himself.
Annalise immediately calls Laurel to warn her and then meets the rest of the team. She quiets Asher’s yelling at Michaela to inform the students that Oliver has to go back to Simon’s side and convince him not to rat them out.
Michaela joins Oliver at the hospital to distract Tegan so that he can talk to Simon. When he does, Simon reveals that he remembers the team trying to frame him. Oliver puts Simon on the phone with Annalise, who convinces him that he doesn’t have a chance to emerge unscathed. She uses his immigration status to convince him to help them; if he helps them gather evidence against Antares, she believes the government will grant him a visa via “whistleblower status.”
By the time Tegan returns to Simon, he’s decided not to give a statement to the detectives. He fires Tegan, indicating that he’s agreed to Annalise’s plan.
All this goes down before anyone notices Laurel’s not around. That’s because she’s at D.A. Denver’s (Benito Martinez) office, negotiating with him for information about Wes’ murder.
Afterwards, Laurel goes to meet with her mother alone and accuses Sandrine of killing Wes once and for all.
Laurel has proof that Sandrine and Wes spoke only hours before his death. He called Sandrine to warn her that he was going to the police to turn himself in.
Flashbacks reveal that Laurel’s accustation is likely correct — her parents, Jorge and Sandrine, worked together to kill Wes.
Frank and Annalise try desperately to call Laurel, but there’s no answer — and in the meantime, they miss a call from Bonnie, who has learned that Denver has the missing hard drive containing all the incriminating information on Antares. Before they can call her back, however, Nate calls Annalise to inform her that there’s been a car crash that may have killed Bonnie.
Sophie-Marie Prime covers television. Contact her at [email protected].