The pieces are clicking into place.
Fans have been speculating about how Mer would exit the remainder of the season, and by the end of Grey’s Anatomy Season 19 Episode 4, we have a better idea of what that could look like.
As predicted, it concerns the new issues that Zola faces.
Zola’s own storyline is one of the best aspects of this season, and it feels right to have Mer pulling off the perfect work-life balance.
She and Nick had a lovely night planned, with Amelia watching the other kids and Zola having her first big outing and social event since her anxiety attacks began.
And things were going well enough for Mer and Nick, who have settled into something very relaxed and comfortable, which is genuinely refreshing.
Nick knows how to match Mer’s energy, and they work. More importantly, he also respects her as a mother and manages to get involved with her children too, which is all you can ask for in a man when you’re a single mother with a brood.
Why do they always think that they can fly?
The second Zola called Meredith crying into the phone and needing her; Nick didn’t hesitate. He was already prepared to pack things up and go to Zola.
If anything, he was subconsciously urging Mer to walk and talk at the same time so they could get a move on it, and I can’t think of anything you’d rather see in a significant other.
He indeed radiates the energy of a Girl Dad, and moments like that are when you’re reminded of how he raised his niece.
Zozo is having a rough time, and Mer is all-prepared to do whatever it takes to help her daughter. Their final scene was lovely.
Zola is a sweet girl, and as the eldest, she tends to radiate the classic Eldest Daughter energy of putting her needs aside or not wanting to make trouble.
But she needs her mother these days, and it’s beautiful to see that Mer has her. And she reminded her of that when she flat out told her that she would always come for Zola.
The minor issue here is that they have two separate issues that they keep conflating in ways that can seemingly come across as contradictory.
We now know that Zola is a gifted child, and they’ll understandably want all the best resources for her no matter where it takes them.
On that front, it would make sense to leave Seattle if they need to if it means getting Zola what she needs and deserves as a gifted child.
But on the flip side, Zola’s specific anxiety about Alzheimer’s is something else entirely. She’s terrified of Mer and Maggie developing it, which keeps her up at night.
As a result, the notion that she would have to potentially leave her support network, including one of the aunts she’s most worried about, would seem like it’d breed more anxiety, not relieve it.
And that’s the two-prong issue regarding Zola’s arc and how they could be diverging things.
But Mer is willing to do whatever she can, and the setup is there for Zola to require some help elsewhere. With Bailey back and in the best possible mind frame she’s been in for some time, it’s perfectly set up for Mer to depart for her child’s needs.
Mer’s unwavering support for Zola warms the heart. Zola’s suffering is heartbreaking.
The representation of it as this young Black child with such severe anxiety and other things is remarkable to see. It ironically dovetailed nicely with Simone’s storyline of the hour and her conversation with Maggie.
They’ve been back to addressing important topics in authentic, organic manners, and Simone and Maggie’s conversation was a prime example.
On the one hand, they’re teetering toward excessive with the amount of trauma dumping they’re doing with Simone. The poor girl has had a rough life, and it never lets up.
We learned how she landed herself in this program of interns comprised of misfit toys, and it was blatant injustice and systemic racism in the workplace.
Death by a million little microaggressions resulted in the poor girl having a breakdown in an on-call room, the video of which was getting blasted all over the web.
The “micro” in microaggressions can be misleading because some feel they’re so minor and small that they should be easy to brush off. In reality, because they’re so seemingly innocuous, they build — pile on top of one another, subjecting one to dismissive gaslighting until it’s too much.
If I take a break, things won’t get down and patients will die. And if I lose someone that I could’ve saved? Again, I don’t know if I could survive it.
Again, it’s death by a 1000 cuts.
Simone’s experience was a subtle way of addressing the insidious bigotry and other issues in the healthcare system, whether it’s what doctors of color like Simone have to deal with or the patients themselves.
She pointed out how part of the issue was that she had to constantly advocate on behalf of patients of color because of her peers or superior’s biases affecting their standard of care.
Diversity can make all the difference in the world when an intern like Simone could have this open conversation about her experience with a world-renowned attending like Maggie. It was a safe space for her to confide because it was something Maggie understood all too well, too.
And the healing of the situation came in how she could own up to her presence in that video, even to her peers who thought it was a joke in the opening moments, and there was support there.
The interns are slowly becoming a tight-knit crew, and it’s beautiful to see. And those vibes between Simone and Lucas are still going strong. When do you think they’ll do something about it? A girl cannot wait to see it happen.
Simone had her hands full with Maggie, but the other interns were participating in the trauma exercise with Winston and Owen, which was hilarious.
The whole hospital is a bunch of dorks. Did you see how excited everyone was about those cadavers?
Blue continues to deliver some of the best one-off lines that leave you clamoring for more from him. Does he have daddy issues, or was he pulling their leg again? He has a background that I cannot wait to see.
As big of a fan of Simone and Lucas as I am, I can’t wait to dig into the other interns more, and Blue is at the top of the list. Jules sounds like she comes from an interesting brood, too, and she gave Lexie vibes with her reaction to the cadaver stabbing.
And Mika is always a blast. But despite all their attempts, Lucas came through with the proper prognosis and helped them pass the challenge.
Interestingly, he was far too humble, timid, and unsure. On the one hand, it’s truly sweet that he recognized it as a group effort and wanted to share the win with the others. It’s a far cry from how competitive the OG interns used to be, which is cool and suits this batch’s generation.
But it’s evident he’s a better doctor than he gives himself credit for, and he needs to gain more confidence. He should work on it because it does no one any good if he hides behind the others.
Owen and Winston had fun with the challenge, and they got to bond. They both expressed the respective issues they were having with their marriages.
Winston’s frustration is understandable. He’s in this weird position where his wife is also his superior, so she has a say in every aspect of his life at home and work. And Maggie overworks him and doesn’t respect him the way she should at work.
The wrong way to heat water conversation was hilarious.
It’s wild that Teddy and Owen are playing up the seasoned married couple angle who advise others, though, because they’re a hot mess.
Sure, the sex is great, they have a beautiful family, and they’re comfortable with each other, but it doesn’t seem like either of them is happy, and every time they speak to or reference the other, it sounds like they’re on the path of divorce.
Owen talked to Winston about relationships getting to the point of resentment between partners, and nothing good comes from that.
And Teddy comically told Link to stick it in all the Tinder dates he needs to avoid doing it with his best friend. She regrets that she lost her best friend in Owen now that they’re married. What do you even say to that? Link looked gobsmacked.
Teddy and Link are an underrated friendship dynamic, and they were entertaining together while working that crazy case with the teens on LSD.
As bitter and blunt as Teddy was, I can’t say her advice wasn’t reasonable. At the moment, I’m not sure I’m ready for them to revisit the Link and Jo thing, and having to choose between Link in his “slutty” era or pining over Jo doesn’t feel like a fun choice.
He was very sweet with the teen, though. Initially, he couldn’t get over teens on LSD who nearly took out Jo and a pregnant lady.
Parenting is hard, and the world is changing. It took Link a moment to recognize that, especially as a new dad. But once he did, he extended everyone the same grace Bailey urged the fathers to do with each other.
Bailey is in her element, and she was so adorable. I’m glad she’s figured out her boundaries.
And thankfully, Webber is helping Levi to do the same. It’s been noticeable for a bit that the program got shut down because of the treatment of the residents.
They’ve done wonders trying to rebuild the intern program, and they’re considerate of the interns and making a great environment for them.
But in the interim, you see the pressure gets shifted to remaining residents like Levi and fledgling attendings like Winston. They’re constantly picking up the slack from the new guidelines for interns and the lack of residents.
Zola, I’ll pick you up anytime, from anywhere, always.
Levi is overworked and at maximum capacity. As someone who only just got out of a full-blown breakdown after some serious burnout, it’s insane that they put him in that position again.
And he needs to see regular therapy in addition to more breaks. Not only are others working him too much, but he won’t say no to it anyway because he’s trying to avoid a repeat of the Devon situation.
But if he keeps going at the rate, he’s been, that’ll inevitably happen anyway.
Fortunately, Webber recognized the flaw in what’s been happening, and he’s also invoking the attendings to pick up their slack. If they’re short on residents and trying to avoid the mistakes they made before with the interns, then Levi, Winston, and others shouldn’t be the only ones who pay the price.
I like the idea that the hard hierarchy is slowly replaced with a group-think, more balanced approach.
Over to you, Grey’s Fanatics. What did you think of the Halloween episode? What are your Zola predictions? Are Teddy and Owen headed toward divorce? Sound off below.
You can watch Grey’s Anatomy online here via TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.