It’s Thanksgiving in Shondaland Seattle, and in Grey’s Anatomy Season 18, Episode 6—“Every Day Is a Holiday (With You)”—some docs are carving up turkey, some are carving out R&R, and some are carving in the operating room. “I cut on Thanksgiving, just not on turkey,” Richard (James Pickens Jr.) says.
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Grey’s Anatomy Season 18, Episode 6, “Every Day Is a Holiday (With You).”]
In Minnesota, Nick (Scott Speedman) is driving Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) to the airport for her flight back to Seattle. He’s planning on driving up to his cabin for the holiday, and he invites her along, but she demurs, saying she wants to get back to her kids. But it’s only once she’s out of the car and he’s pulling away that she gets an alert that her flight has been canceled due to inclement weather.
So Mer checks into a hotel and calls Amelia (Caterina Scorsone), who’s looking over Mer’s kids. Zola gets on the call and tells Mer not to worry about Thanksgiving, saying they really shouldn’t be celebrating such a pro-colonization holiday anyway.
Mer then calls Nick, keeping him company on his two-hour drive up to his cabin. But then there’s a knock on the door of her hotel room, and wouldn’t you know it, it’s Nick. He turned around to keep her company—in person. She’s delighted to see him. And she wants to clarify something he said on their phone call: that his niece and surgery were his priorities, past tense. “Right,” he replies, coming closer. “Priorities can change.”
And with that, he and Meredith start kissing, and their kissing turns to a full-blown sex scene, the likes of which we probably wouldn’t have seen if Grey’s still had its 8-o’-clock time slot!
Back in Seattle, Owen (Kevin McKidd), Teddy (Kim Raver), and Megan (Abigail Spencer) are shirking Thanksgiving with Evelyn Hunt, Owen and Megan’s mom, to spend the day with Farouk (Bardia Seiri), Megan’s son, who’s recuperating from his pericarditis operation. The group—minus Owen, who gets pulled away—joins Cormac (Richard Flood) for a game of Monopoly.
And in a one-on-one chat after Farouk falls asleep, Teddy admits to Megan that she’s avoiding Evelyn, because she’s not sure how Evelyn would react to Owen and Teddy’s son, Leo, wearing dresses and other gender-expansive garb. But Megan gives Teddy sage advice, saying, “He’s your son. You have to fight for him, despite the cost.”
Suddenly, Farouk goes into V-fib due to heart failure, and after Teddy can’t resuscitate him, Cormac demands that Farouk be put on an ECMO machine. And as a tearful Megan watches over her son, Teddy puts him on the list for a heart transplant.
As for Owen, he’s surprised to see his pulmonary-fibrosis patient, Noah (Johnny Rey Diaz), back in the hospital. Noah, one of the veterans who are suffering health impacts from burn-pit exposure, collapsed during his grocery-bagging job. Noah’s wife, Heather, and son, Danny, show up at the hospital, and Noah asks Owen to find some way to distract Danny. So Owen takes Danny to play video games, but Danny knows the score. He asks Owen if his Noah is going to die, adding that he just doesn’t want his dad to hurt anymore.
Later, once Noah has a chest tube inserted to re-inflate his collapsed lung, he asks Owen a similar question, wondering how much longer he’ll have to suffer, how much longer he’ll have to put his family through this ordeal, and how much longer he’ll ruin holidays. “Soon,” Owen says. “It’ll be over soon.”
Bailey (Chandra Wilson), meanwhile—who’s upset about losing Pru, orphaned daughter of recently-deceased Station 19 firefighter Dean, to Dean’s father—takes Heather to an empty patient room so that Heather can take her turn to fall apart. Bailey knows what it’s like to feel obligated to hold it together when all you want to do is scream and sob and punch something.
Meanwhile, Richard and Levi (Jake Borelli) look out over a relatively calm ER. In fact, it’s too calm for Thanksgiving. But then they hear screeching tires, and they run out to the ambulance bay in time to see a woman pull up in a minivan, jump out of the car, hand them a pecan pie, and vomit.
The woman is Ashley, who’s 31 weeks pregnant with her fifth child. Turns out, she has a perforated appendix and needs to undergo an open appendectomy and maybe even a hysterectomy. Before the operation, though, she asks Jo (Camilla Luddington) to at least tie her tubes if a hysterectomy isn’t necessary. She doesn’t want any more kids if pregnancies are going to be this traumatic.
Jo successfully delivers the baby, and sure enough, she has to perform a hysterectomy, too. As Ashley recovers, her husband asks Jo why Ashley didn’t mention not wanting more kids. “Our society doesn’t give women a lot of permission to talk about what they want, to talk about what they need, to ask for help,” Jo responds. “Maybe you don’t wait for her to ask for help. Maybe just… help.”
As for Levi, he’s surprised to see his mom show up with a Thanksgiving dinner for him and Nico (Alex Landi). Levi scrubs in on Ashley’s case, so it’s up to Nico to keep Levi’s mom company in the hospital cafeteria. And over Thanksgiving kugel, she needles him about marriage and children, even asking, “Do you have any genetic markers that we need to be aware of?”
After Levi’s mom takes her leave, Nico and Levi are joined in the cafeteria by Jo, Richard, and Bailey. The group of docs have their own low-key Thanksgiving celebration. “It’s important that we’re together,” Richard tells the group.
And back at Meredith’s house, Link (Chris Carmack) brings Scout over for time with Amelia, but she has Link stick around after she discovers that he has no Thanksgiving plans. Besides, it’ll give them a chance to work out their co-parenting kinks. “Might as well figure out how to do this now,” she says.
But their Thanksgiving prep is a disaster: Amelia never turned on the oven to cook the turkey. So they make Thanksgiving bagel bites instead. The kids seem fine with the alternative holiday dinner, so Amelia and Link breathe a sigh of relief… until Mer’s son, Bailey, asks them what sex is. Yikes!
We don’t see how Amelia and Link respond to that question, but we do get to see Link goofily dancing along with the kids after dinner, as an amused Amelia watches on. And once Amelia puts the kids down to bed, she compliments Link’s parenting skills. They start making out—and they keep making out even after Amelia tells Link that nothing has changed for her. Romantic reconciliation, perhaps? We’ll find out when Grey’s returns in three weeks’ time…
Grey’s Anatomy, Thursdays, 9/8c, ABC