Painful memories of lost loved ones came back to haunt members of the Grey’s Anatomy team on the Thursday, November 10, episode. While operating on a trauma patient, Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) had flashbacks of the day she lost Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey). Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.) had hallucinations of his deceased mother after naming the patient on the operating table after her. Stephanie Edwards (Jerrika Hinton) saw her former self appear and give her advice on being assertive, and Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd) relived painful memories of his dead sister. Grey’s brought the tears tonight, and we definitely needed a tissue (or a whole box). Watch our video recap above, and read on for more!
Webber relived his mother’s death
After a John Doe patient came in with a shredded liver, Webber decided to give the patient a name and backstory. His story line initially seemed metaphorical, but the character was revealed to be Webber’s mother who died from pancreatic cancer when he was 10 years old. Webber envisioned her playing the cello while he operated on the trauma patient. He explained to Meredith that his initial method for teaching was really a way for him to make the patient feel human to him, so he didn’t feel “numb.” The waterworks were in full force, and it made Us hope we have someone like Webber operating on Us, if he treats every patient like they’re his mother.
Owen mourns his sister
Once it was announced that the patient was a “John Doe,” Hunt immediately had flashbacks to all the nameless soldiers he operated on when he was in Iraq. This led to him having hallucinations of his deceased sister, who teased him about his personal troubles. She mentioned the whole choking incident with Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh) and poked fun that he should’ve married Meredith, so he would have had kids. His hallucination of her sauntered around the operating room, which distracted Hunt. “I miss you,” he said audibly to his hallucination. Megan replied, “Cut it out. You have to focus. You know what you have to do.” So sad.
Edwards speaks up
Edwards realized all the methods for fixing the patient weren’t working because he had a rare disease. Edwards suffered from sickle-cell anemia when she was a child, and a version of her younger self appeared in the room to encourage her to speak up to the other doctors. “If you want them to listen, like really listen, you got to be louder,” her childhood self said.
After taking the advice from her hallucination, Edwards dropped facts about the patient’s rare disease and how to treat it. The miniature, hallucination version of herself read facts to her from a medical book. When asked how she knew that information, she replied, “I read a lot,” on account of how bedridden she used to be. Way to speak up!
McDreamy returns — kind of
Once the patient’s identity was announced, and Meredith found out he had a wife and kids, all the memories of Derek’s death came rushing back to her. She had a flashback about telling Zola and Bailey that their father had died. “You should go in there and fix him,” Zola told her mom after Meredith admitted that her dad couldn’t be fixed. “I can’t fix him because no one can fix him because he’s dead.” If anyone wasn’t crying before this, they had to be sobbing by now.
Because of this, when the team almost lost the patient, Meredith wanted to make sure the family stayed informed about the surgical progress. She then made a “hail Mary” decision to fix the patient’s destroyed liver and put it back inside the body, which ultimately saved his life.
After everything was over and she was washing up, Meredith had a hallucination of McDreamy himself tying up his signature ferry scrub cap. The writers of Grey’s obviously wanted everyone to have a breakdown tonight, because we literally couldn’t handle it.
Tell Us: Did you cry when Meredith had a Derek hallucination?
Grey’s Anatomy airs on ABC Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET.
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