Halloween at Grey Sloan Memorial is always a good time.
We learned some more background about Simone on Grey’s Anatomy Season 19 Episode 4 while Teddy and Owen’s relationship continues to nosedive.
Join Joshua Johnson, Meaghan Frey, and Jasmine Blu as they discuss the hour.
Where did this rank as far as your favorite Grey’s Halloween episodes?
Joshua: The only other Grey’s Halloween episode that comes to mind for me is from Grey’s Anatomy Season 10, interestingly with the new set of interns (Jo, Steph, Leah, Shane), and while I have a soft spot in my heart for seasons 9 and 10, this episode felt more authentic than that one.
Meaghan: My favorite Halloween episode has to be Grey’s Anatomy Season 4 Episode 5. So much drama was packed into one episode, not to mention the adorable trick-or-treating for ears. It doesn’t get more Grey’s Anatomy than that episode for me.
However, this also felt like a classic Grey’s Halloween episode, so it definitely will go down being up there in my rankings.
Jasmine: I thought it was a decent episode, but we’ve had more exciting Halloween episodes in the past. I expected a bit more.
Link is head over heels for Jo, but Teddy had some tough advice discouraging it. What’s your reaction to both?
Joshua: All talk about Teddy in the next answer because I only have so much energy.
Regarding Link, we all know that I belong to the camp of “Just let Jo and Link be friends; why do we always have to pair everyone off?” but let me tell you when Jo and Link had their final scene after Teddy gave her advice, the sexual tension was so palpable that I actually said, “Oh my God, kiss her!” out loud.
It was so clear that both of them wanted that to happen (as, apparently, I now do). That said, I appreciate a slow burn, so I think I would enjoy them getting together if the romantic side of their relationship developed more slowly.
Meaghan: Teddy needs to worry about her own relationship and leave everyone else alone. I genuinely thought the Link and Jo ship was dead, so I was completely caught off guard when Link confessed his feelings for Jo to Teddy, but it wasn’t a bad surprise.
I’ve gone back and forth on Jo and Link so many times, but Link feels so much like his old self again this season, and Jo is infinitely more likable when she is around Link, so I guess you could say I’m ready for it.
I’m not sure if I want this to be a slow burn or if I’d rather them jump into it at this point. Technically, this storyline started last season with Jo’s feelings, so this might be slow enough for me.
Jasmine: The Teddy shade is so real right now. No, she’s not able to talk to anyone about their relationship.
However, I did understand where she was coming from, and I thought we were done with the romantic JoLink teases. It caught me off guard when Link admitted he had feelings for her. I’m not overly invested in that, but I don’t hate it, either.
Given their conversations with other people and their scenes together, do you think Owen and Teddy are headed toward divorce? Should they be?
Joshua: I didn’t think everything would be magically fixed by this episode after their physical coupling last week, but I expected some progress.
What’s most frustrating is that this plotline is really dragging the episodes down–we’ve been dealing with Owen and Teddy’s “will they, won’t they, do they like each other this week or no?” for 13 seasons now, and it’s so tiring. It feels like both characters are so miserable that absolutely nothing will make them happy.
I’m of two minds when it comes to this: something I’ve always thought Grey’s has done well is putting their characters into therapy, and we’ve seen this work well with both Owen and Teddy separately (to be honest, Owen’s forays into therapy in Grey’s Anatomy Season 15 is some of Kevin McKidd’s best work, and anything that requires Teddy to turn an eye inward gives Kim Raver great material to work with).
I think that if they went into couples therapy the way they went into therapy together–with open hearts and intending to work on the problem and find healing–that it could be interesting. They do have a love story that spans decades; it would be a shame to give up on it completely.
On the other hand, their love story spans two decades; no matter what they’ve done about it, they always fight.
At what point do they say, “Even though I’m madly in love with you and have always been, maybe we just don’t work as a couple.”
And that’s okay, too! That’s also healthy growth, which the show hasn’t explored since George and Izzie in Grey’s Anatomy Season 4. I think there’s validity in the show exploring what happens when a relationship that both parties have wanted for years doesn’t work.
Regardless, the constant fighting and bickering aren’t entertaining. Right now, it’s an unnecessary storyline that drags down every episode.
Meaghan: Teddy and Owen are bringing down this entire season. This season has been such a return to form for Grey’s Anatomy, and then you have Teddy and Owen ruining all of that.
These two need to get therapy or call it quits. It’s exhausting to continue watching them bicker and complain to others rather than do something about it. If this had been the first time — hell, even the fifth time — I could give them a pass, but this has been what their entire relationship has looked like.
I think it’s time for the writers to make Owen take some alone time and work on himself because since the moment he was introduced, he has been in one messy dysfunctional relationship after another.
Teddy was supposed to be the reason his other relationships didn’t work. Instead, Teddy and Owen are just more of the same.
Jasmine: I understand the frustration with the redundancy of this Owen and Teddy saga. They probably need couples therapy, but weren’t they consulting a therapist at some point? I don’t know what they’re trying to do with these two. It’s such an odd choice, and it detracts from everything else.
Is Levi at risk of burnout again? Will Webber’s solutions help more and should Helm return?
Joshua: I think Levi isn’t just at risk of burning out; he’s filled with so many complicated emotions that he isn’t sure how to process them. Besides losing his patient, he also lost his residency program; lost friends from the program; and is watching the new program be treated like it’s precious and breakable while all the scut gets dropped onto him.
At every turn, Schmitt is being left behind, and I think it’s that anger that’s most starting to bubble over.
I would love it if Helm would return; I enjoyed the competitive relationship between her and Schmitt. It reminds me a lot of Meredith and Cristina and how they constantly pushed each other to be better because of their competitive natures.
I love that Helm looked Webber in the eye and stated her worth. She never said she wouldn’t come back, just that the hospital would have to make it worth it to her. I love seeing people–especially women–knowing and owning their worth in uncomplicated, forthright ways.
Helm returning would certainly eliminate some of Levi’s potential burnout risk, but I also think Webber’s solution will help. If the residency program is to return at Grey Sloan, all attendings need to step up and do more work. It’s that simple.
It’s completely unrealistic to pile on that much responsibility to one person simply because of the hierarchy of the hospital. Webber also made a good point that the interns are getting a completely new program while Schmidt is stuck in the old program and is still suffering for it.
It’s almost like the only thought about changing the program was, “How do we make their internship better?” but no one thought about what happens when the interns become residents.
Meaghan: Levi Schmitt deserves better. Levi was completely and utterly failed by the old program, brought back into it as the program went down in flames, and then instead of setting him up for success in his new role, he was abandoned.
Let’s be clear, Meredith completely dropped the ball. If you think about it, what did Meredith actually do to improve the program before it restarted? Nick, who was not originally supposed to be in charge of the program, is responsible for all of the improvements that have been made.
Meredith should have hired new senior residents before restarting the program. Also, isn’t it the RESIDENCY program, meaning that Schmitt should be under the program’s umbrella? I’m sure if Nick were tasked with how to help the situation with Schmitt, he would figure it out in a heartbeat.
I’m all for Helm returning, especially this new self-assured version of Helm. Lord knows that Schmitt could use the help before he goes off the deep end again.
However, I also enjoy them exploring the idea that people change their minds about their careers. The pandemic has caused a massive migration of people out of healthcare careers, which we saw during the pandemic storyline but not with any of the actual characters.
I know Helm’s leave from medicine wasn’t voluntary, but it could have made her realize that she didn’t want to devote her entire life to a job where she was overworked and underappreciated, but instead that she wanted to enjoy it. She could be the new Jo!
Jasmine: I can’t add much more to this than you already have covered. They let him down big time. He’s fallen through the cracks and still isn’t getting the help he needs.
It’s particularly concerning since he’s coming off the pandemic and a breakdown. They threw him back into the deep end and ran him ragged. He should be under the umbrella of the program for the interns, but he’s just there.
I also like Helm and how comfortable and confident she is as a bartender. I appreciate that she’s done with medicine and is firm about that. It feels very realistic, especially coming off the pandemic.
What do you make of Lucas being very bright but hiding behind the others and sharing his win with them?
Joshua: I hadn’t put much thought into this yet. At face value, I saw the situation as too many cooks in the kitchen and Lucas hanging back and observing to avoid making things worse.
But now, it seems like we’ll see one-by-one why the interns didn’t make it at their old programs or were bottom of the barrel, so it’ll be interesting to see if this moment is tied into the reason Lucas is at Grey Sloan. I feel he’s very talented as a surgeon, but there’s some mental block that keeps him from tapping into it.
That said, it looks like Lucas’s “one for all” attitude started to bond the interns as a family.
Meredith already told Simone that they’d need to rely on each other through the bad times, but Lucas also showed that you can rely on each other in the good times and that perhaps they’ll succeed better as a unit than as lone wolves.
I hope that Lucas becomes the heart of the interns and that he needs the confidence boost from his peers (and probably his attendings) to shine.
Meaghan: Lucas taking a step back and asking why they all couldn’t get the prize made me fall in love with his character. Even as close as the original intern class was, everything was always so competitive between them. Lucas is setting the example that they can all thrive together.
I do get the feeling that Lucas doesn’t want to be the one to shine, but I’m not sure if it is because of his family or something else. We saw it with Jackson, where he let himself take on the role of just the pretty boy before everyone knew he was an Avery. Maybe Lucas is doing the same?
I do like Joshua’s thought that there could be more behind it that ties back into why he couldn’t get into another program. Did he possibly make a mistake during med school that shook his confidence? Either way, I can’t wait to find out more about him.
Jasmine: I love Lucas with my whole heart. I do feel like there are two things at play with this. On the one hand, it feels very true to form for this generation, and I like that contrast from the intern groups before.
But it feels like he’s the guy who second-guesses himself a lot or doesn’t want too much attention on himself, negative or positive. It’s like he’s hiding, and I agree it has something to do with how he ended up in this program. I love that this batch of interns is becoming closer and leaning on each other, and I can’t wait to see more of it.
What were your thoughts on the reason behind Simone ending up at GSM and her conversation with Maggie and later the others about her breakdown in that video?
Joshua: I thought it was heartbreaking. I knew right away that the footage was Griffith, but I put the footage out of my head until it was brought back up.
I appreciate that this is a running theme in Grey’s world. We’ve seen it with Webber; we’ve seen it with Bailey; we’ve seen it with Edwards. It sucks that it has to be a common theme; it sucks that in 2022, people of color still experience these micro- and macroaggressions, especially in a career that is supposed to be as altruistic as medicine.
What I liked about the conversation is that it eased the pressure off of Simone to hide that part of her life. Why should she hide the fact that she had such a reaction due to being overworked and directly oppressed?
I appreciate that she “came clean” to the rest of the interns. It gave them something to bond over, plus it was something they could all relate to in some way or another (especially Lucas, Blue, and Yasuda being people of color, but even Jules with being a woman).
I think sharing the truth with the interns and having it understood was a major moment of healing for Simone and another way in which the group bonded together.
Meaghan: My heart shattered for Simone as she told Maggie. You could see how much the pain of what happened still impacts her today, not only from what was done to her but from letting those who committed such horrible injustices against her push her to the point that she would act out of character.
It just made me want to reach through the TV and hug her. Opening up not only to Maggie but to the interns was a huge first step for Simone to take back control of her life. I hope that Simone opening up will allow the other interns to share their reasons for finding themselves at Grey Sloan.
Jasmine: It was something that hit me so hard because I could relate to it so much. Instantly, it just clicked, and I felt for her.
It was my favorite aspect of the episode. I love that she could freely speak about it with Maggie without their power dynamic at play; it was just two Black women who know the microaggressions they face in their field and how it tears away at you bit by bit. As I described it, it’s a slow death by 1000 cuts.
I also agree that it helped Simone connect with the others and grow closer to them, and once it was out there, they got it, and that was the end. And yeah, I imagine each of them understands to some degree, the uphill battle.
Discuss Zola’s panic attack, her two different issues getting conflated, and the hints that Mer will move them elsewhere to help.
Joshua: I’m honestly surprised there hasn’t been any discussion about Zola seeing a therapist. While her anxiety may be exacerbated by being incredibly gifted, changing schools isn’t going to address the fear and worry she has about Meredith and Maggie developing Alzheimer’s.
I’m honestly surprised Zola isn’t already in therapy for several reasons: being adopted, losing Lexie, losing Derek, being relocated for a year, watching her pregnant mother bleed out in the kitchen, the pandemic, and her mom almost dying of COVID…this kid needs to talk to someone!
It’s a little disappointing that this hasn’t been discussed yet, especially considering (as I’ve already mentioned) how Meredith herself benefited from therapy. Hopefully, whatever school Meredith helps Zola find also comes with an excellent counselor.
Meaghan: I completely agree with everything Joshua said.
Obviously, Zola being gifted is playing a role in her anxiety, but there is a lot more to it than that. Zola has dealt with so much in her young life and needs someone to work through all of that trauma with her. Otherwise, a change of schools isn’t going to matter.
Jasmine: Zola is long overdue for some therapy. I don’t understand why she hasn’t seen one over the years, anyway. She’s dealt with way too much. She’s lost multiple people, her mother was in a coma for months due to COVID, and the list continues.
I know what they’re trying to do, but oddly, they’re conflating Zola’s anxiety with her being gifted and not factoring in all aspects of that. All that change wouldn’t be ideal for Zola’s anxiety, but going to a new school isn’t the solution for her intrusive thoughts about Alzheimer’s taking her mother and aunt away from her.
What was your favorite part of the episode? Is there anything else you’d like to address?
Joshua: I loved seeing Bailey enjoying a more relaxed position and seeing her thrive as a surgeon and as a mother. I don’t watch Station 19, so I don’t know if something is going on between Bailey and Ben, but the moment Ben dropped Prue off seemed fraught with some tension, so I wonder how that will play out.
I also think they’re laying the groundwork for Webber to consider retiring. Until this episode, his only function has been to walk around and react to things in disbelief with a classic Webber one-liner. I think with Nick taking over the residency program, Webber is starting to feel like maybe he doesn’t have a place at Grey Sloan anymore.
Re: Winston and Maggie, one thing I love about Winston is that he takes the time to understand his feelings before he talks to Maggie about them and tries to talk to her calmly and rationally.
I agree that his working under his wife is probably a bad idea, and I think his branching out is smart. Hopefully, Maggie doesn’t do that Maggie thing she does and takes it the wrong way.
Finally, now that this new concept of focusing on the interns is starting to settle, I think I’d like to see the casts and storylines intermingle a bit more.
Occasionally, this format feels like two different shows are happening. While both of those shows are interesting, I think the success of this sort of “reboot” lies in how well everything is integrated into one cohesive show.
Meaghan: Lucas standing up for the rest of the interns and insisting they all get the surgery has to be my favorite moment of the episode. Between that and Simone opening up to them, they’ve started to move toward becoming a close cohesive group.
I do see what Joshua is saying about figuring out how to integrate the interns’ storyline with the old cast storylines. At the same time, this season is reminding me of Grey’s Anatomy Season 1, so it works for me.
It ends up feeling separate because the interns are new characters, but it is like how the focus was the interns in Season 1, and then the attendings also had their side stories. It’s just different because we already know the attendings and are used to the focus being on them.
Jasmine: I loved that Simone and Maggie moment. I loved everything with Simone. And yeah, I do not hate that things are separated because it makes sense. As the season progresses, things will overlap more, and I can guess that once Mer steps back, it’ll become more cohesive.
Do you disagree with us? Do you agree? Sound off below!
Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays on ABC.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.