Link is professionally back in business, but he’s competing for Jo’s affections with their new patient.
And Grey’s Anatomy Season 19 Episode 17 also delivered a self-realization for Lucas, the potential for Helm’s return, the department heads coming up with something to address the intern wage gap, and more.
Join former TV Fanatic Meaghan Frey, Grey’s Fanatic Joshua Johnson, and Jasmine Blu as they discuss it all.
Were you Team Link or Team Owen regarding taking risks for Sam’s surgery?
Joshua: I was Team Link the entire time. Owen brought Link on as a consultant; if he disagreed with Link’s surgical plan, he could have gotten a different ortho surgeon.
Whether or not Link was playing it safe because of Tank’s death or because it was the smart thing to do, it was his decision to make, not Owen’s.
I appreciated that Link didn’t let it slide either, with his comment at the end of the episode about having problems with Owen should Owen do something like that again. Owen is usually the doctor who takes the highest moral ground, so it was kind of nice to see him get smacked down a bit by someone who is not Teddy.
Meaghan: Team Link. I understand where Owen came from, but this was Link’s surgery. It was complicated and risky; he was the one who needed to be confident about it. But Link is obviously letting the bad outcome with Tank shake his confidence and impact his decision-making, so it’s probably a good thing that Owen pushed him.
Jasmine: Ironically, I know it’s common in the Grey’s fandom to hate on Owen a lot, and that’s never been my jam. But oh my goodness, he angered me during this installment!
He overstepped, even if he thought Link needed the kick in the pants after the Tank situation. He disregarded Link in front of the patient, which did nothing to instill confidence but put too much pressure on Link to do the impossible without issue. And he made the situation about himself. I was so annoyed with Owen!
So, yeah, obviously, Team Link.
Did they overdo the whole thing with Link still facing backlash over losing Tank?
Joshua: I’ve actually been wondering if we would ever come back around to this plotline. Tank’s death felt like it would be a much bigger catalyst than what it became, and this is the first time Link has operated on screen since then.
I figured it was bound to come back, both in terms of having a patient that doubted Link’s abilities, as well as Link having his own issues surrounding the case. Ultimately, it was well done and a learning lesson for Griffin: the patients who stay with you can help make you a better doctor if you let them.
Meaghan: Coming from Simone, yes. It would make sense coming from the public because they might not understand the details surrounding what happened, just that he died. Simone knows better. She knows that Link didn’t make a mistake and that Tank died from a known post-op complication.
Jasmine: As far as revisiting the plot point they introduced, I understand why they needed to bring it up again for continuity and consistency. But it already felt like a stretch that people would still be holding onto the tragic death of a Seahawks PROSPECT when so many other things have gone through the news circuit in the months since then.
But even worse, it’s been bugging me that practically every other doctor has made it seem like Link killed this man or made some major medical error to the point of openly expressing things like lacking faith in his abilities or being wary of working on his service.
They’re doctors who know better, and that’s been bugging me.
How do you feel about the Link/Jo/Sam love triangle vibes?
Joshua: It feels so utterly contrived that I don’t know how to respond.
Sam being into Jo just because she walked into the room felt weird at best; based on his reaction, I thought she was someone he knew! Once he hit on her, I could only groan and beg no.
I like the slow burn toward a relationship that’s happening with Link and Jo, and of all the things that could cause a problem, the last thing I want is for it to be another man. Again.
Meaghan: I’m so torn on this. The Bold Type is one of my favorite shows of all time, so I love Sam’s Page, but I’m finally aboard the JoLink ship; this is terrible timing. Sam will most likely be the catalyst for Link to finally admit his feelings for Jo rather than continue to find excuses to hold off.
Jasmine: I like Sam Page, and I’ll refrain from snarky comments about how he just had to have Jo the second she walked into the room. But I enjoyed his swagger and confidence level spitting game like that.
I like him. I know he won’t get the girl, but he’s a fun distraction to prompt Link to make his move or whatever. I’m barely invested in this ship, so I’m just along for the ride.
What are your thoughts on how the heads responded to Teddy’s intern concerns? Is an emergency grant a realistic solution?
Joshua: First, I thought the emergency grant was a realistic solution for an immediate problem but only a bandaid for a larger issue. If the interns don’t make a livable wage, that needs to be changed, period. How could someone be expected to be on top of their game if they’re constantly worried about money?
I appreciate that they found a solution for Yasuda, but there must be a long-term solution. Something as simple as providing a livable wage for their interns would make the Grey Sloan Memorial program more attractive to other interns.
As far as how the heads responded, it still felt tone-deaf, which surprised me. I hope the conversation hasn’t stopped here because the issue with the GSM intern program isn’t just how little it pays; it’s also how inappropriately those in positions of power treat and talk to the residents and interns.
Institutional change is hard enough without people who came up in that institution defending it by saying, “This is how it’s done; if I can do it, you can do it.”
I was eager to see how this storyline would play out after Helm talked to Teddy, and I must admit I’m disappointed.
Meaghan: I found them all extremely frustrating for most of the episode. The mentality of “I suffered, so you should have to suffer” is awful. We are supposed to want a better future for those who come after us.
I’m glad Teddy held her ground and got everyone on board with finding a way to assist those in need. It may not be a realistic long-term solution, but it’s a good first step in the right direction.
Jasmine: I agree entirely with you guys. As the hour went on, you could see as they were sharing their stories, there was a slow recognition that what THEY even went through wasn’t okay, but I was genuinely surprised by some of their reactions to this, particularly Amelia and Nick.
That exact mindset stalls progress because we can acknowledge how the world is constantly evolving but still have people proclaiming how things should be and how they remain in the process.
We should want better for those who come after us. I don’t understand the alternative viewpoint on this, especially when we’re all currently benefitting somehow because of the fights and battles of those before us.
I mean, we’re all in some disenfranchised group or another on this round table, so I know we all get that on some level. I was genuinely frustrated that the department heads didn’t and expected better from them. They’re all parents and parental figures too!
I was glad Teddy stuck her ground, and I believe the grant for Mika is a realistic solution to a short-term problem, but I hope that they continue to do the work to resolve this on a more significant level; otherwise, why did they fight so hard to get their residency program back?
Will Helm finally return to GSM? Do you want her to?
Joshua: I want to say yes because I love Jaicy Elliot, and I thought Helm was a great surgeon, and having her back around will only push Schmidt to be better.
On the other hand, I appreciate Helm’s protective of her new lifestyle thus far. That being said, it makes me wonder why Helm would choose to work at Joe’s, of all places, if not to stay close to Grey Sloan. Long story short: I’m torn!
Meaghan: If you had asked me two seasons ago if I would want to see Helm return to GSM once she left, I would have laughed in your face. But Helm has come so far.
Her intern class was robbed of a real chance at succeeding. With all the positive changes they have made and continue to make to the program, she deserves to see this through — if it’s what she still wants. I hope she will take the leap and return, but I’m happy to have her as our resident bartender if she doesn’t.
Jasmine: I’m with you, Meaghan. Helm was such an underused and misused character for years, and it’s wild that she’s no longer in the hospital. It feels like they’re managing to write for her better with even less screen time and this totally different environment. She actually feels like a character rather than an archetype.
I haven’t seen where she desires to return to the hospital or practice medicine. But if she’s been longing for that, and we haven’t seen it, she should return. And she’d finally be in a position to thrive.
I don’t NEED Helm back at the hospital, but I also don’t need her gone from the series altogether and support her in doing whatever is best for her.
How concerned are you for Maxine? Should Jules be upset with Blue, or is her anger rooted in jealousy too?
Joshua: This particular plot has me the most perplexed, and I’m not sure what I think about it yet. On the one hand, Jules has a vein of jealousy regarding Blue flirting with that nurse.
On the other hand, I wonder if Jules is feeling deja vu about medical school, where she had feelings for a boy who didn’t care about her, which significantly impacted her life. While Jules’ feelings for Blue did not cause Maxine’s sepsis, I could see her drawing similar parallels and lashing out at Blue.
Meaghan: Maxine is such a spitfire. I’d hate to see her go out like this; I think she will pull through. Jules is upset and concerned about Maxine, so she uses Blue as a punching bag, but it’s not his fault.
Something I loathe about Grey’s Anatomy, at times, is the unrealistic portrayal of the dynamics of the medical field. Blue would never be expected to do a one-to-one in the E.R. to monitor a patient with a UTI. If anything, a nurse would be doing most of the monitoring, but even then, Maxine’s was not severe enough when she entered the E.R. to need constant monitoring. If she did, she would be moved to the ICU.
Jasmine: The pretty boys were definitely taking some serious hits in this episode for things that weren’t necessarily their fault or warranted the reactions they got.
I love that astute observation, Joshua, about her feelings for Blue reminding her of med school and her essentially lashing out at him because she feared she missed Maxine’s sepsis for behaving similarly as she did in med school.
And I’m glad you provided that clarification, Meaghan, because it didn’t feel right that Blue caught all this flack for something he didn’t have that much control over and wasn’t even within his job description, especially in a busy E.R.
What were your thoughts on how the series covered Lucas realizing he has ADHD? Was there anything about how Nick handled the situation that you would’ve changed?
Joshua: I wasn’t fond of how Nick spoke to Lucas about adjusting his meds. Regardless of the situation, that’s not something you should snap at anybody.
I appreciate that the show is exploring why Lucas hasn’t thrived as a surgeon yet and is starting to give him peace of mind about being the black sheep of his family. Sometimes it just helps to have an answer and to know that it’s not just because of who you are.
Meaghan: Nick’s reaction was out of line. As someone who has ADHD himself, he should’ve understood that wasn’t the proper response to the situation, especially when he didn’t even know for sure that Lucas had ADHD. Can Meredith please make things right with him so we can go back other the old Nick?
I hope this isn’t a storyline that is quickly forgotten and that we actually get to see Lucas go through the diagnosis and treatment process.
Jasmine: On the one hand, I loved that real recognizes real, and Nick was flat-out coming at Lucas as someone who also has ADHD. But I wasn’t fond of him casually snapping at him about calibrating his meds.
It was presumptuous, unprofessional, and rude even if he had known outright through Lucas that Lucas had ADHD. You don’t get to talk about how someone addresses their condition and what’s best for them.
So, it was even WORSE that he said all of that based on his personal assumption and assessment that Lucas had ADHD without knowing for sure.
That aside, I am very much enjoying that through this intern class, they’re exploring various things, issues, and unexplored developments that arise with an entire class of misfits who aren’t the traditional top-of-their-class sort.
Showcasing doctors navigating disorders that aren’t cloaked as assets and strengths for the field is very important. It’s a more grounded and realistic portrayal and approach, the most common route and reality of neurodivergence.
I’ve been with people when they finally got that diagnosis that put their entire lives into perspective as ground adults and what it meant for them to finally have an answer to a question they didn’t know to ask. I loved things finally clicking for Lucas, and I find them touching on this from the angle they have compelling.
What was your favorite moment, storyline, etc., from the hour?
Joshua: Amelia’s Apology Tour, for sure. Seeing her take accountability for her actions reminded me how much Amelia has grown. I also appreciated that Winston didn’t accept her apology immediately. She said some really disgusting things to him, which would have been too pat if he had.
Meaghan: I agree with Joshua. It is happy to have the Amelia we know and love back after spending some time with her evil twin.
Jasmine: Evil twin! Or is it Brain Tumor Amelia residuals? I also loved that Winston did not accept her apology easily.
I loved Link checking Owen multiple times instead of just taking the disrespect. I also loved the final conversation between Nick and Lucas.
Over to you, Grey’s Fanatics! Do you agree with our round table? Do you disagree? Hit the comments below.
Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays on ABC.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is an insomniac who spends late nights and early mornings binge-watching way too many shows and binge-drinking way too much tea. Her eclectic taste makes her an unpredictable viewer with an appreciation for complex characters, diverse representation, dynamic duos, compelling stories, and guilty pleasures. You’ll definitely find her obsessively live-tweeting, waxing poetic, and chatting up fellow Fanatics and readers. Follow her on Twitter.