It’s been seven long days since that Grey’s Anatomy premiere cliffhanger, and what better time to clock in for a recapping shift than in the midst of Alex Karev’s downfall?
The reformed bad boy has spent years weaseling his way into the deepest vessels of our hearts. He made so much progress that it’s almost hard to believe he’s the same evil spawn who once wallpapered the locker room with Izzie’s lingerie ads, and yet… here he is, starting the episode getting ready for his day in court.
With his ride-or-die (and, as far as I’m concerned, inevitable one true love) Meredith Grey by his side, Karev heads into work, doing rounds and maintaining his last hours of normalcy before he faces his fate for the number he did on Andrew DeLuca’s face in a fit of rage over a misunderstanding involving Jo Wilson. Things get off to a heated start as the prosecutor informs the judge that he will be seeking charges of felony assault in the second degree against Alex as a bruised and bandaged DeLuca looks on. While his defense attorney tries unsuccessfully to fight the initial charge, Karev enters into a not-guilty plea.
Because Meredith hasn’t had enough to stomach before lunchtime, what with her last remaining old friend’s possible jail sentence, she begins her day at the hospital by listening to tales of Maggie’s sex dreams involving the half-sisters’ shared crush, Dr. Nathan Riggs. While Mer has managed to brush off Riggs’ advances, she still hasn’t told Maggie, whom she promised she would never lie to again, about the situation.
Speaking of drama, April Kepner is teaching a lesson in breakdowns from the comfort of her hospital bed. Karev comes by to inform Kepner and Jackson Avery that their new baby, Harriet, is healthy enough to head home. Unfortunately, much to Kepner’s despair, her kitchen knife-carved incision isn’t quite healed yet and instead keeps her at the hospital while Jackson checks the baby out. Between hours of sobs in person, on the phone, and over FaceTime, Kepner reiterates to Jackson that they are not married and he owes her nothing more than the promise to keep their baby alive and fed.
Meanwhile, a meal slightly more planned than one of formula and milk is brewing across the hospital, as Amelia Shepherd surprises Owen Hunt with plans for a dinner party at their home in an attempt to squash the tension between Hunt and Riggs.
The number of guests soon doubles from the originally planned three: Hunt interrupts Maggie’s how-to-ask-out-Riggs brainstorming meeting with Meredith over the operating table to recruit Meredith to be a buffer between himself and Riggs; Maggie volunteers herself in an attempt to get closer to Riggs; Amelia invites Jo, who is on her service for the day so she can stay far away from Alex; and Meredith, in turn, tells Alex he owes her one and has to come too so that she feels less weird in her Riggs-Maggie love triangle.
The event that doesn’t quite crack the season 12, Penny-starring Dinner Party From Hell Hall of Fame, but it’s hardly enjoyable. Highlights include Amelia finally letting go of her hopes for a Owen and Riggs friendship after the two spend an extended period sitting in silence together on a couch, Meredith telling Riggs that Maggie plans to ask him out and he needs to be nice but say no, a tense confrontation between Jo and Meredith over the day in court and whether Karev or DeLuca is the one who deserves sympathy, and a painfully awkward moment between Jo and Alex when the two run into each other outside of Amelia and Owen’s house.
NEXT: Alex faces the music and Maggie takes her shot