TV Talk

The ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season everyone has been waiting for

Sami Geiger

More stories from Sami Geiger

The season every “Grey’s Anatomy” fanatic has been waiting for: the question on whether COVID-19 will be incorporated into this season was answered five minutes into the episode.

Season 17 episode one starts out the same way each episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” does: with a voice over from Meredith, head of general surgery.

In episode one, Meredith is on a beach talking about disaster ethics. The scene then cuts to April 2020, during the middle of the pandemic, where everyone is applauding medical workers.

Back at the hospital, Dr. Webber is back and ready to work. As a refresher, Webber had cobalt poisoning at the end of season 16, which left him weak and sick.

Dr. Bailey, chief of surgery, isn’t sure if Webber, general surgery attending, should be back to work so soon, especially in the middle of a pandemic. But, Webber assures Bailey that he is back and better than ever.

Bailey, being Bailey, makes sure that Webber wasn’t experiencing any more symptoms of cobalt poisoning. After clearing him to work, she fills him in on the situation at hand: COVID-19.

Bailey also reveals to Webber that Dr. Deluca, general surgery attending, isn’t a resident anymore. While it isn’t mentioned right away, Deluca is a general surgeon attending.

Lines are forming outside of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital to get temperatures done before going inside. Dr. Pierce, co-head of cardiothoracic surgery, is amongst one of the individuals waiting in line. While she is waiting, she calls her boyfriend, Winston, whom she met at a medical conference.

Dr. Avery, ENT and head of plastic surgery, overhears the conversation between Pierce and Winston, and to seem funny, he teases her about it. Pierce is portrayed in the show to be a lot like Dr. Yang, former cardiothoracic fellow and board member — someone who is in love with surgery before being in love with an individual.

Avery teases her because he doesn’t have much of a love life himself, after his girlfriend at the time, Vic, showed up at his apartment with nothing but a trench coat on.

Vic whips her coat open after Avery answers the door…with his daughter in his arms. Panicking, she covers herself, while also breaking up in the process — what a night for her.

We then return to Bailey, who is talking with Webber through all the changes that were made following the pandemic, now that they only accept COVID-19 patients and no one else. 

They make their way to the east wing where Meredith makes her first actual appearance in the episode. She is seemingly stressed out and distraught after losing her fourth patient of the day.

For those who avidly watched “Grey’s Anatomy,” Erin is back. For those who don’t know, Erin was a patient in season 16 who came into the clinic with her “aunt” complaining of abdominal pain. Deluca has suspicions that Erin is being trafficked by her “aunt” Opal. 

Bailey asks Deluca to go with Erin. Deluca’s suspicions about her being trafficked were right. Deluca’s sister – Carina – isn’t happy that Bailey allowed him to be on the case after seeing what happened the last time.

Deluca takes Erin to get tests done where she tells him everything that happened to her over the past two years of her life.

Dr. Hunt, head of trauma surgery, and Avery tend to a trauma brought in, a burn victim who broke isolation to go to a party. Dr. Wilson, general surgery attending, joins them on the case.

After Dr. Karev, former interim chief of surgery and head of pediatric surgery, left Wilson in season 16, Wilson wants to try and forget about him. This causes her to ask Avery to have a one-night stand.

Back to reality, the parents of the burn victims arrive and are stressed when they cannot be allowed in the hospital. While looking at the new safety protocols, Webber finds one of the burn victims’ parents looking for her son.

Webber obliges to let one of the burn victims’ mothers see her son, despite Avery’s protests.

Later on, Meredith arranges to have a patient’s family come say goodbye to their parents. Being burnt out, Meredith cries and trashes the supply room. Deluca shows up in time to help calm her down. She vents to him about all the lives she has lost. 

Webber finds a way to help disinfect nurses’ masks at mass. Bailey is thankful for the idea, but still worries about him being at the hospital. He reassures her that he wants to be there, and the hospital couldn’t ask for a better chief of surgery.

In the COVID-19-friendly waiting room, Bailey goes around while Dr. Schmitt, general surgery intern, speaks to Dr. Nico, orthopedic surgery fellow, about how he is doing throughout all that is going on. Nico doesn’t say much and walks away.

The episode ends with the fathers of the burn victims breaking out into a fight in the waiting room. In the midst of this, Bailey injures her leg after getting caught up between the father’s fighting.

Geiger can be reached at [email protected].