‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Midseason Premiere Recap: Meredith Loses Her Hearing in Brutal Attack by a Patient

There's really no point in beating around the bush. On the midseason premiere of Grey's Anatomy season 12, Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) was attacked — brutally — in the hospital, and the situation only got more complicated from there.

How It Went Down

A patient named Lou suffered a seizure, but Meredith and her team were able to sedate him. After the (rather routine) incident, the surgical chief was busy typing when Lou regained consciousness … well, sort of. Out of nowhere, he stood from the bed and approached her. As she tried to get him to lie back down, he became increasingly aggressive, and after a few painful-sounding blows, Meredith was on the floor, and she wasn't getting up.

Her team quickly went to work to help her — well, everyone except Amelia (Caterina Scorsone), who seemed totally frozen. When all was said and done, Mer's injuries included dislocation of the left elbow, left knee swelling, fractures of the left rib, neck bruises and swelling, and a collapsed lung.

Once they stabilized her and she came to, she still couldn't hear.

Meredith Is Deaf … Maybe

The episode then proceeded from Meredith's perspective, in silence. Meredith watched as other doctors reviewed her scans and X-rays, and she eventually took a look at them herself. That's when she realized just how extensive her injuries were.

Bedridden, hurting and unable to hear, Meredith lay in her hospital bed, crying and pumping her pain medicine — until Alex (Justin Chambers) came in. In his own magical way, Alex crawled onto the bed beside her and told her, "You've got a lot of snot. I mean, you might have a serious condition." When her crying turned to laughing, he paused and asked, "You can hear me?"

She could — and the world made sense again.

With her hearing restored, Miranda (Chandra Wilson) broke the news to Meredith that Lou, the man who had done this to her, had suffered a "severe epidural hematoma," which caused a fugue state. He woke up with no memory of what he'd done, had surgery and was sent home. Miranda then mentioned that Lou had requested to see Meredith to apologize. Meredith didn't seem too receptive to that idea.

Meredith's Kids Are Scared of Her

Alex brought Meredith's children to see her in the hospital, but what should have been a joyous occasion quickly turned heartbreaking as her daughter, Zola, refused to get close to her because she was so frightened by her mom's appearance.

Despite Meredith begging them to come hug her, the youngsters refused — and when the baby in her arms started to cry, Alex decided it was best to end the reunion. Meredith looked completely gutted after that.

Meredith on Grey's Anatomy
Meredith on Grey's Anatomy ABC/Mitchell Haaseth

Amelia Apologizes

After their blowout argument before the midseason finale, Meredith and her sister-in-law had yet to make up — but Amelia was ready to try. She cautiously entered Meredith's hospital room, handed Mer her 30-day sobriety chip and poured out her heart.

"I've been out there figuring out how to try to make amends, as if that would matter to you," Amelia began. "I know I'm a mess who talks too much and feels too much, and it drives you crazy, but that is the one way I know how to stay sober, and every time I try to suck it up and just be cold and normal, I end up drunk or on pills or at a funeral. Do you know what it felt like for me to walk into that trauma room and see you on that table and think, 'Great, I did it again. Here comes another funeral'?"

Meredith replied, "I'm not ready to forgive you yet." But she did keep Amelia's chip.

Richard Lays Down the Law

Even though Meredith had just insisted she wasn't ready, Richard (James Pickens Jr.) decided it was time for her to try. He wheeled her outside for a chat and delivered (arguably) the most moving speech of the night (sorry, Mer).

"She came to see you the night after your attack. She was drunk," he said of Amelia. "She was upset because you'd called her for a consult that day — the day of the attack — and she had the choice between coming to you and going to another trauma, and she went to the other trauma because she was mad at you."

Grey's Anatomy
Grey's Anatomy ABC/Mitch Haaseth

He took a breath and continued, "Forgiveness is a powerful thing, Meredith. Not only to make the other person feel good, but to heal you. You need to forgive her, Meredith. Forgive her for not being Derek. For being the wrong Shepherd, just enough to remind you of what's missing, but not enough to bring him back. That's not her fault. You need to forgive her."

"You don't have to like her," he went on. "You don't have to love her. But forgive her, okay? So you can forgive Blake for being in that room when a wrong decision cost you your husband, to forgive Derek for dying too soon, to forgive yourself for hating him for dying too soon. Let it go, Meredith, and forgive."

Lou Tries to Resolve Things

Apparently, Richard's speech had some impact on Meredith because she allowed Lou to meet with her. After introducing his wife and daughters, he got right to it: "I wanted to — I didn't know what I was doing. What I did to you, I didn't know. I would never. I would never hurt a woman. I just want you to know that I'm sorry, truly sorry."

Meredith couldn't talk because she was still healing, so she grabbed his hand in a gesture of forgiveness.

Meredith Tells Alex to Go Get Jo

Back at home and somewhat revitalized, Meredith told Alex to go be with Jo (Camilla Luddington). "There's a lot of things that people don't say to each other that they should just say, so I need you to hear me when I say this. I know I've needed you a lot lately, but I also know and have known for a long time that Joe loves you," Meredith opined. "Don’t ignore that. You can have more than one person. I used to think you couldn't, but now I know. I mean, it turns out I have a whole damn village."

Alex took her advice and went to be with Jo.

Tell Us: Do you think Meredith will forgive Amelia?

Grey's Anatomy airs on ABC on Thursdays at 8 p.m. EST.

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