Ring of Fire (season finale)
Original Air Date: May 18, 2017
Karen Belgrad – Social Media Editor
Plane crash! Storms! George hit by a bus! Viewers all know that the best Grey’s Anatomy season finales have at least one doctor in life-threatening peril. Of course, after the deaths of George, Mark, Lexie, Derek (not technically a season finale), and Brooks, we also know all too well that no character is truly safe.
So with Stephanie Edwards, the prize resident, in mortal danger. The question was of course, who lives, who dies (,who tells your story… couldn’t resist a nice Hamilton reference).
Lest we forgot during the fire crisis of 2017, there was also the issue of Megan casting a pallor over Owen, Amelia, Nathan, and even Meredith’s head. Amelia puts aside the pouting demeanor she’s had virtually all year to be there for Owen. She keeps him on track to be there when Megan arrives at the VA hospital from Germany. As they arrive at the hospital, Owen’s fugue state from last week continues, but Amelia by his side helps him to the helipad as Megan, and her red hair, are brought out. Megan’s physical and emotional state remain to be seen.
After being distracted by the fireball and searching for Erin, Meredith finds her way to Nathan who was still operating despite the mandatory evacuation (just like Derek during the “bomb in a body” of season two). Meredith helps him finish the surgery and gets him into an ambulance with an oxygen mask. After checking to make sure he can breathe, Meredith breaks the news about Megan being found. Nathan hyperventilates, overwhelmed, but by morning makes a joyful break to drive to see her. Nathan apologizes to Meredith (reminiscent of Derek apologizing to Meredith when Addison arrived at the end of season one), but Meredith implores him to go and the two share a joyous hug, but there’s a crestfallen look on her face that shows her feelings haven’t just been set aside.
Now, on to the big event, Stephanie survived last week’s explosion. Despite some initial burns, Stephanie puts her entire focus on getting Erin to safety. First by applying a tunicate to Erin’s impaled leg, then by dousing herself in water to literally carry the girl through a wall of fire. They make their way to a stairwell, with going towards the roof as the only option as fire swells below. But once a burnt and pained Stephanie carries Erin up the stairs, she finds the rooftop door is locked and she doesn’t have her keycard. Apparently in case of fire, the rooftop door remains locked? Just as Stephanie appears defeated, she miraculously spies her keycard a few floors down. While imploring Erin to be brave, Stephanie goes back to get the card.
Again, miraculously, Stephanie makes it back up the stairs. As they get on the roof, Erin loses consciousness from either smoke inhalation or blood loss. Stephanie screams for help. Simultaneously, everyone realizes that Minnick never told the firefighters that Stephanie was missing because she was focused on helping patients. Ben volunteers that he saw Stephanie with the fried-to-a-crisp rapist and they track her path. As they follow her path, they finally find her on the roof. Despite her own injures, Stephanie refuses to leaves Erin’s side until she is stable. Once that happens, Stephanie’s adrenaline wears off and she passes out.
Recovering in the burn unit, Stephanie makes an impassioned speech to Richard. She spent her entire life in hospitals, and now wants to breathe non-sterile, fresh air. She has spent her life saving others, but now it’s time to live her own life. She’s extremely grateful to Richard for helping her find her own path from her past… and she quits. Farewell Dr. Edwards and congrats on not dying on your way out the door.
-Minnick’s unwillingness to divert from her love of protocol finally pushes Bailey too far. Minnick tries to defend her failure to advise emergency responders by blaming Richard for allowing Stephanie to return to work… and Bailey, excuse me, CHIEF Bailey isn’t having it. While Arizona may want sexy time, Minnick doesn’t have time as she has to pack up since she was just fired.
-After Jackson once again runs into a burning building (ok, last time was a bus), both April and Maggie rail at him for risking his life (again). Maggie thinks she went too far and apologized to April. April nonchalantly says that Jackson likes Maggie and she thinks Maggie likes him too. And that Maggie should tell him. Does this mean #Japril is gone forever?
-Alex has a brief sighting, just long enough to tell Meredith that nothing happened with Jo’s husband. Will this be explored in a bit more depth when Camilla Luddington returns from maternity leave?
And that’s it for season 13! See you back here in the fall! You’ve got my TwoCents, share your TwoCents, comments, and feedback below!