The Residency Program may be gone for good!
It was the cliffhanger of Grey’s Anatomy Season 18 Episode 14. Sadly, it dampened Bailey’s mood. The hour also introduced us to Winton’s brother, and Mer shared the possibility of a move with Zola.
Join Jasmin Pettie, Meaghan Frey, and Joshua Johnson as they discuss everything.
What are your thoughts on Maggie and Winston teaming up for that heart case?
Jasmin: I liked it! It was cool to see them get to work together on something more involved and long-term rather than shorter cases in the past where we only saw them interact briefly. They make a good team, and I enjoyed seeing them work together.
Meaghan: I really enjoyed it! They have this super quirky dynamic different from pretty much all of the other pairings on the show, so I usually love it anytime they are highlighted.
Their case was also really intriguing and got me emotionally invested right out of the gate. I couldn’t help but root for Fernanda to pull through.
I will say, though, I was super confused about why Maggie wasn’t doing the surgery in Boston. The big tension for this storyline all hinged on them traveling across the country in an RV when that easily could have been resolved. I mean, the Avery Foundation has a private jet that the physicians have used regularly.
Joshua: Like Meaghan, I definitely thought, “Why didn’t Maggie and Winston fly to Boston to do it?” Obviously, that would take out a fair amount of the drama, but it seems like an obvious question.
I really enjoy the relationship that the show is developing between Maggie and Winston. They’re open and honest with each other, give each other space to feel their feelings, don’t pull any punches with each other, and medically they complement each other very well.
I do think that ultimately the story didn’t lead to the huge resolution I was expecting, but I was rooting for Fernanda and her family, so I was happy that something major turned out well for them (for now: after 17 seasons, I don’t trust Grey’s).
What is your impression of Wendell? Did you enjoy learning more about Winston’s background?
Jasmin: He’s a total snake. A complete weasel. We all know the type. Suave, charming, and they talk a big game. They’ve got an answer for everything, and they always wind up making people like Winston look like the bad guy.
As Winston points out more than once, he would have been happy to help Wendell out if he had just asked instead of lying and going behind his back. He would have been glad to pay for him to come to the wedding.
He could have introduced him to people at the hospital. But instead, Wendell went behind his back and lied to everyone.
Then he had the audacity to try to blame Winston for his mistakes and bring up their alcoholic father as he was the good guy and Winston was the bad guy for not trusting or liking them after what they did when his mom got sick? Yeah, he’s a weasel for sure.
I enjoyed learning more about Winston’s background. Things they hinted at previously came into focus in this episode, and I liked that.
Meaghan: It is easy to assume that Wendell is up to no good, but I’m reserving judgment — for now.
Obviously, the easiest solution to the problem would have been him asking Winston before using him and his colleagues to get a job, but would Winston have helped him? It doesn’t seem like it.
The issues between them run deep and go back far. I’m hoping that he is here with good intentions for Winston’s sake, but I guess only time will tell.
Joshua: My kneejerk reaction was similar to Jasmin’s, and my end-of-the-episode answer was similar to Meaghan’s.
If Winston held the kind of animosity against his brother that he did, I can see why Wendell would think that Winston wouldn’t back him up for the job. Similarly, on Winston’s side, it seemed shady of Wendell to use Winston’s name to get the job without giving him the heads up.
Do you fear something may happen to Todd’s sister? How do you like Jo and Todd’s relationship?
Jasmin: I do. I felt like they were faking us out with the two patients in this episode. I thought for sure one of them was going to die, so when they both lived, my thought was that one of them may die in a later episode.
I hope Todd’s sister doesn’t die, though, because I LOVE him and Jo together! She has way better chemistry with Todd than with Link or anyone they’ve put her in a scene with since Alex. Jo and Todd are literally the only couple I’m at all invested in this season.
Meaghan: Oh yeah, for sure. Everything is going a little too well with this whole situation right now. Something is bound to go wrong.
As I said last week, I love Skylar Astin, so I’m fully on board with Jo and Todd, but I don’t see it lasting.
Unless they only introduced Skylar as a guest star to test the waters first, the plan doesn’t seem to be for him to stick around. He will be the crux, whether we like it or not, for Link and Jo to get together.
Joshua: I wasn’t particularly worried about Todd’s sister insofar as her outcome. I didn’t think the show would do anything to jeopardize the possibility of Jo and Todd being a thing yet.
However, I was surprised that after all the setup from the last episode–as well as Jo’s speech about how she was the most qualified person in the hospital to look out for the baby–that we didn’t see the outcome of the surgery and that she was just okay.
I assume we’ll see more of her if her health needs to be monitored as Todd says it needs to, but the medical plot seemed unfinished for this episode.
That said, I really enjoy seeing Jo be such a dork when it comes to dating, and I appreciate that she has a man treating her well.
Should the residency program be shut down? Who do you think reported them?
Jasmin: I’m not sure. Some of the choices they’ve made with the residency program have been pretty risky and seeing as a patient died unnecessarily, I completely understand why the program is under evaluation.
Do I think it should be shut down completely? I don’t know.
I believe putting the program under review is good. I don’t know if probation is an option for this kind of thing, but I think that’s the way to go if it is. Put them on probation and give Grey Sloan a year to get things back on track. I honestly have no idea who reported them.
Meaghan: I agree with Jasmin. It shouldn’t be shut down without giving them a chance to try to fix the problem.
Obviously, the problems are huge but shutting down such a renowned program without even a warning seems odd. I’m betting that they will be put on probation and not allowed to take on any new residents during that period, so they will be forced to fix the current residency class once and for all.
Honestly, given that 15 people reported them, wouldn’t that pretty much be the entire residency class? I can’t say I blame them. They went from not being taught to being thrown into the deep end, then being expected to fill in the gaps the physician shortage has caused.
I’m sure we will see Bailey take the program away from Richard and ask Meredith to step back to save it, making her feel obligated to stay at Grey Sloan.
Joshua: This was a plot I didn’t see coming, and I’m really grateful it did. One of the backbones of Grey’s Anatomy has been that Grey Sloan Memorial (nee Seattle Grace Mercy West, nee Seattle Grace) has been all about what an amazing teaching hospital it is and how competitive and worthwhile the residency program is.
Having the program get called into question is probably the freshest storyline they could come up with for season 18, and I’m excited to see the drama behind it.
If we’re being honest, the residency program is deeply flawed and has been since Izzie cut Denny’s LVAD wire. The program is damaged, and it needs to be fixed.
It seems like they’ll get the chance to try and correct the issues, but I imagine this plot will play out for a few episodes, if not through the end of the semester.
As far as who reported them, I absolutely think that Helm is one of the complainants, especially after what happened with Schmidt. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Perez had something to say about it, especially after his interaction with Link a couple of episodes ago.
The only quibble I have is that even though the accreditation specialist upbraided Owen for it, I liked watching him yell at the interns to get back to work.
It’s one thing to prevent the residents from watching the surgery if they had nothing else to do, but if Perez was supposed to be in the OR, why is he watching a different surgery?
I get the residents might be overworked, but something that’s been missing for them is the strong hand of discipline that Mer’s class had; even though Bailey is chief, they don’t have a “Bailey” to keep them in check.
Are you surprised by Zola’s reaction to potentially moving to Minnesota?
Jasmin: I was. Based on the promo for this week’s episode, I was expecting Zola to react negatively and be angry and upset at the thought of them moving to Minnesota and to have a bad reaction to Meredith dating Nick.
That being said, I think Zola was excited to spend some quality time with her mom for once and probably didn’t want to ruin the moment. I also think it’s likely that Zola has had to learn to roll with the punches after everything she’s been through and having lost her Dad and so many primary caregivers.
I thought she would have a significant attachment to Seattle like we, the audience, do, but I got a vibe from their conversation that since so many people that Zola loves and who took care of her have died or moved away, she doesn’t have the attachment to Seattle that perhaps she once did.
Meaghan: Absolutely not. Zola is more mature than half the adults on the show. She has dealt with so much pain, loss, and change in her life at such a young age; that girl can handle anything.
I also can’t help but feel like it has a little to do with not wanting to disappoint Meredith. With Meredith being gone so much, she must miss her mom’s love and affection. If she can appease her by moving to a place that will make her happy while also giving her more time to be her mom, she will do it.
Joshua: First, can we talk about how lovely it is to see Meredith and Zola have multiple scenes together in one episode, just the two of them?
They have such a special relationship, so it’s heartwarming to see them get to interact, especially with as preternaturally mature as Zola is (if I recall, she’s only about 11? 12? And she’s more level-headed than half of the adults on the show, as Meaghan said).
There’s not much to add that Meaghan and Jasmin haven’t said. Zola seems like she knows life happens and has learned how to roll with the punches.
What was your favorite moment of the hour?
Jasmin: I really loved Bailey finding her joy! I loved her scenes with Perez and Owen and telling the accreditation woman to go talk to Owen because she had surgery!
Of course, she wouldn’t have done that if she knew why the woman was there, but Bailey has been through so much that it was wonderful to find her joy in this episode.
Meaghan: I’ve gotta go with Maggie and Winston getting to deliver the news to Fernanda’s family that the surgery worked. They had been holding so much guilt from the “what ifs” that it definitely made me tear up a little when they got to breathe that sigh of relief.
Joshua: It was such a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it-moment, but when Maggie and Winston informed Fernanda’s family that her surgery went well, Winston and Fernanda’s brother had a prolonged hug and very specific eye contact.
From an acting perspective, it provided a greater context level; from a story perspective, the side plot with the brother mirrored Winston’s relationship with his own brother.
Very tiny, but one of those things that helped ice the cake.
Is there anything else you’d love to discuss?
Jasmin: This was the first episode this season that I truly enjoyed! Considering we are 14 episodes in, that is saying something.
I think I enjoyed it because Nick wasn’t there, Meredith’s storyline was actually interesting to me, there was a clear main case that I could follow, and the secondary cases and storylines were interesting and straightforward enough to keep my attention. My hope is that more episodes this season are like this one.
Meaghan: While I agree with Jasmin’s answer to the last question, that it was great to see Bailey just get to enjoy her job for a moment, I couldn’t help but wonder why she wouldn’t have at least asked the woman who she was.
She clearly looked like she meant business, and it was kind of irresponsible in her role as the chief, not at least to make sure it wasn’t something important before pawning it off on Owen.
Joshua: Loved seeing Bailey find Joy again.
Do you agree with us? Disagree? Sound off below!
Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays on ABC.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.