Addison was back!
Addison’s return was one of many highlights of Grey’s Anatomy Season 19 Episode 3, as we also learned more about Zola’s genius, the interns talked about sex, and much more.
Join Meaghan Frey, Joshua Johnson, and Jasmine Blu as they discuss it all.
How much did you enjoy Addison’s return? Do you like how passionate she is about this attack against women’s health and her field?
Meaghan: I always love seeing Kate Walsh back in the halls of Grey Sloan, and this was no exception. Addison was the perfect person to broach the subject of women’s rights.
We know that she has had an abortion in the past and has always taken a strong stance in favor of a woman’s right to choose. The fact that we know Addison’s history and stance on the issue allows the storyline to feel more organic and less preachy than other issues they have tackled in the past.
Joshua: Addison has always been one of my favorite characters (and, in my opinion, one of the most mature, though I can’t speak to anything that happened on Private Practice), so whenever she comes back, I enjoy it.
Something I’ve noticed with her returns recently is how much of a focus there is for her on medicine and saving lives. In her first three seasons, we saw her mostly focus on her relationships and finding a purpose–it’s marvelous to see her focus on medicine and how she can help as many lives as possible.
Jasmine: Addison is the absolute best, and I squeal every time we see her return. Kate Walsh is a goddess, and I love her with all I have.
I agree, Meaghan; she’s so genuine when she broaches these topics, so it doesn’t feel preachy at all, and I love her passion. It feels believable. I also agree about how lovely it is when so many of her storylines now are about medicine instead of getting bogged down by relationships.
On a scale of 1-10, how much did you love the interns’ sex talk?
Meaghan: 10! The storyline was so fun and allowed all of the interns to have their time to shine.
Seeing the interns be so awkward at first talking to the teenagers about sex was hilarious to watch, but we got the real gold once they got it. I could’ve watched a whole episode of just that.
The only criticism I would have is that I couldn’t figure out how Bailey thought their talk would go viral. The video they made at the end, yes, had the potential to, but just them talking about it? No chance.
Joshua: I’d give it an 8. Until the interns discovered their own way of giving the talk, the storyline plodded for me.
Interestingly, once Bailey and Jo were out of the equation, and the story focused on the interns–it started to shine. I think that’s a huge testament to how much centering the show around the new class of interns has already changed the show for the better.
Jasmine: Yes, Joshua! I completely agree. I was meh about it when it first started, but it gained speed once it focused on just the interns and they got into it.
I had so much fun when it was just them. Jules and Mika stole the presentation. It is incredible how much focusing on these newbies has breathed life into the show. I can never get enough of them.
Which case did you appreciate the most, the student with the cyst or the unapologetic depiction of a medical abortion?
Meaghan: The medical abortion storyline. Throughout television history, shows have shied away from depicting abortion. I remember watching Degrassi: The Next Generation as a preteen, and the US network airing it refused to air the episode in which Manny gets an abortion, so I had to pirate it.
Granted, we’ve made strides since then, but it remains a taboo subject for networks. I think the way they depicted it was great. Even when shows choose to show an abortion storyline, it is always delivered very heavily, almost emphasizing what a “controversial” subject it is.
By naturally working it into the storyline, I feel like it erases some of the stigma attached to it. Grey’s has taken such a heavy-handed approach to issues in recent seasons that it was nice to see them return to their roots.
Joshua: Something that has always been organic for Grey’s–by virtue of its staff and showrunners–is its view of how women are treated in our world.
This thread of feminism ties the series together, so stories like this always feel organic for me as opposed to other “very special episodes” that show up for 42 minutes and are never seen again.
What I appreciated about how the show handled our nation’s attack against reproductive health was how they presented multiple aspects of it. The sex talk focused on consent and female pleasure. The patient with the cyst focused on how little women are taught about their bodies, what kind of period pain is normal versus abnormal, and how women can’t know what they don’t know.
The pregnant patient who needed an abortion highlighted the overwhelming emotional complexity that pregnant teenagers might experience while also educating the character (and, in turn, the audience) on how safe and easy it is to take the morning-after pill.
That moment, in particular, reminded me of Season 15’s “Silent All These Years” when they showed a very frank depiction of the process of a rape kit.
As a result, while this episode wasn’t always as dynamic as the first two of the season, I thought this was a subtly powerful episode. I thought it was a comprehensive way of portraying multiple facets of the women’s health crisis in our country (and, by extension, the world) in a way that also recognized that it’s a marathon of a fight.
Long answer short: I can’t choose because, for me, they were all equally powerful and spoke to multiple facets of the same issue.
Jasmine: Well, goodness, Joshua. I feel like just taking a big old “cosign” onto all of that. I agree so very much with all of that.
I will say that the medical abortion felt the most timely and reactive to what’s happening.
But I appreciated the quietness of the cyst because of the prevalence of millions who don’t know as much about their bodies because they aren’t taught about them. I could even relate to the concept of not knowing what pain is normal or not– how pain is supposed to be some default.
What are your thoughts on the gifted Zola storyline?
Meaghan: I didn’t see that twist coming at all, but it makes so much sense. We’ve always known that Zola was incredibly gifted, but she also has always been shown in the context of world-class surgeons, so it just feels natural.
I never had thought that most kids her age would not be as gifted as her and how that could potentially impact her.
Meredith’s initial reaction to them doing the testing on her threw me off a bit. It wasn’t as if the testing was invasive; honestly, Zola probably didn’t even realize what they were doing. It made me wonder if it came from a place of guilt that she wasn’t the one to figure it out; she had missed it.
I wonder how this will end up being why Mer steps back now, though. Obviously, Zola will have to go to a different school that can challenge her more, but what does that mean for Mer?
If Mer won’t be around as much, does that mean they will be moving for Zola to go to that new school? Will Meredith Grey actually leave Seattle? If that’s the case, then this definitely confirms that this season is a soft launch of Ellen Pompeo’s exit.
If Mer isn’t living in Seattle, there isn’t a reason for her to be on the show other than an episode here or there. I guess the series’ fate really does lie in the hands of the interns.
Joshua: I loved this twist! I love that Zola’s anxiety is rooted in something even more complex than we could have imagined.
At the same time, it was difficult for me to watch because it almost felt like a mirror of my own life. The plot helped me realize that I was also gifted as a child (though nowhere near as gifted as Zola) and the kind of anxiety I experienced due to that being unnoticed and unchecked.
At the same time, it helped to have an answer, just like Nick said (even if my answer came thirty years after the fact).
As Meaghan said, they’re setting up Meredith’s absence this season to be related to this development, so it’ll be interesting to see how it’s incorporated.
Jasmine: I loved this arc so much. I’m thrilled to have something significant with Zola which suits her. I love the parallels it has to Maggie and how it impacts their entire family.
I love that her intellect goes beyond what we could’ve envisoned and how everyone reacted to it. And there were some relatable moments in it too.
I also loved that Mer wasn’t the one to discover it. Zola and Nick’s rapport is so fun and refreshing. He’s very good with relating to those younger than him, and it doesn’t feel forced. And Kai typically has difficulty relating to anyone, but their excitement over witnessing this gifted child made me smile.
I believe Mer felt terrible that she wasn’t the one to discover it, and it probably upset her because she knows how absent she can be with her kids and so forth. It feels like the perfect storyline to launch her into an arc that explains why she’s away, and I agree about the setup for a Pompeo exit.
Mer and Simone bonded over taking care of loved ones with Alzheimers. React!
Meaghan: It was nice to see how far Mer has come since the early days of Grey’s Anatomy. Yes, it’s different when you are dealing with your own loved one with Alzheimers, but the Mer that we saw in this episode was a stark contrast to the Mer that we saw in the early seasons of Grey’s dealing with Ellis.
Simone’s approach to her grandmother was very similar to how Mer used to approach Ellis — trying to force her to remember things she couldn’t instead of meeting her in her reality. I liked Mer learning from those mistakes and the experience she has gained as a doctor and helping Simone through that.
Joshua: Simone is increasingly my favorite intern, so this plot made me very emotional. And for all the reasons Meaghan said about Meredith–being able to use her own experience to maybe help Simone get there faster than Mer could.
Watching Simone then have to decide to act like her mother–a woman she never met, whose death was “caused” by Simone’s birth–hit hard. It also made me hope that, by learning how to live in her grandmother’s reality, Simone will get to learn more about her mother and grandmother.
Jasmine: Their scene together was easily my favorite part of the whole episode, and I loved so much about the episode. I loved how full-circle that moment was for Mer — we got to see her growth and how far she’s come, and it also felt like a passing of the baton moment from her to Simone.
I loved that Mer could speak so openly about her experience and impart the wisdom she gained over the years from it. It took Mer years to reach this point regarding her mother and Alzheimers. I got emotional with that scene.
How pleased were you with the Kaimelia reunion? Do you think Towen is back on track after some bickering and sexy time?
Meaghan: To be honest, I was wondering if they had broken up during the break, and we just hadn’t heard about it yet, so I was surprised when Kai showed up. I really enjoy Kaimelia’s chemistry, so I’m all for getting more of them.
I would like to think that Towen is back on track, if for no other reason than me needing them to be for my own sanity, but I doubt it.
I feel like Owen has a bad habit of letting sex be a bandaid for the issues in his relationships, and this issue between them seems too big for that. I stand by the fact that they need some couples therapy if they want to make their marriage work.
Joshua: The moment with Teddy’s leg and Owen touching the back of her knee was so hot that I actually grasped my pearls, but the sudden rush into sex was overwhelming.
I get that they probably needed to bang it out the way they did to get all of the frustration and anger out, but I think there would have been something more powerful in having a softer, more intimate coupling. It would have shown that their relationship could transcend these couples.
I did appreciate Teddy during the sex talk, though; she was calm, assured, confident, and a good teacher–all things we never get to see because the show likes to focus on Towen’s pitfalls instead of letting Teddy exist as a character outside of her romantic relationship with Owen.
I’m still torn on Kaimelia–I’m not always sold on ER Fightmaster as an actor. But I love Amelia, so I keep my heart and mind open to the storyline.
Jasmine: More often than not, I’m indifferent to Kaimelia and still hate the messy path to get to them. I still have doubts about their compatibility, and I, too, have a hard time being sold at times. However, I was pleased to see their reunion. Amelia smiled brightly and seemed genuinely happy, and Kai was so suave. I love that for both of them.
The Towen scene was definitely hot, but I’m still struggling with whatever they’re doing with them. I don’t know how they entertain and aggravate me simultaneously, but they do. I think it’s because Raver and McKidd are so damn good, but the Towen stuff is so batshit!
Did you see that Jules and Blue hookup coming and what are your thoughts? Do you think there may be sparks between Simone and Lucas?
Meaghan: I didn’t see Jules and Blue coming at all. I’m trying not to read too much into it right now. For all we know, it’s just two attractive people blowing off some steam.
Simone and Lucas, on the other hand, those two are going somewhere. There’s a tiny part of me that’s bummed that we won’t get the Lucas and Levi pairing that I had dreamed of, but Simone and Lucas have a very sweet chemistry that I’m excited to watch bloom into something more.
Joshua: I didn’t, and I felt like it came a bit out of the left field. I’m not mad at it, but it didn’t seem like the moment came out of anything they experienced throughout the episode.
I enjoyed the spark between Simone and Lucas, though. While I think a relationship between them could be interesting, it could be more interesting if they became each other’s person, considering that their friendship is now rooted in keeping each other’s secret.
Jasmine: I didn’t expect that hookup between Blue and Jules. I think the casual teasing she was doing was supposed to mean something, and maybe that moment when she realized he was packing.
But it did seem like it came out of nowhere. I wasn’t mad at it, though. Both of them are incredibly hot. Blue hooking up somehow amuses me, and I appreciate how confident, self-assured, and sexually liberated Jules seems to be.
Simone and Lucas are my heart. I’ve felt something between them since the beginning, and they keep giving me little kernels to justify my interest in this potential pairing. They’re always around or near each other, seem the most comfortable with one another, and now they’re holding each other’s secrets.
I’ll take Simone and Lucas whatever way I get them, whether they become one another’s person, or it’s a love story in the making. Give me any of it. Give me all of it!
What was your favorite moment from the hour? If anything, do you have any other thoughts or observations?
Meaghan: When Jules, Blue, and Mika finally hit their sweet spot with the kids, they started imparting the real wisdom they were interested in hearing. Everything about those scenes was a blast to watch!
Joshua: We don’t talk enough about Bailey’s mental health journey if I’m being honest. Bailey navigated her anxiety and OCD in healthy, mature ways in the past two weeks. Seeing her come back on her own terms with clear and set boundaries filled me with so much warmth.
This woman who has been working toward chief of surgery since season three realized that what she wanted was not something that could serve her. Balancing out her wants and her needs, stepping back from something that she worked her entire career toward…that’s so much growth from a character who seemed like she always had everything on lock.
She’s Bailey! She knows everything!…except for herself. Seeing Bailey discover how to be in a relationship with herself and with her mind–seeing her realize that she absolutely does need to balance her career with her personal life to maintain her sanity is inspiring, and I wish that it wouldn’t get overlooked.
Jasmine: I’ll forever be in my feelings about Meredith and Simone’s conversation. I thought it was very well done, and impressed with how they’ve written Mer this season.
Over to you, Grey’s Fanatics. Do you agree with us? Do you disagree? Sound off below!
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.