Grey’s Anatomy – Season 17 Episode 1 Recap & Review

Grey’s Pandemic

Episode 1 of Grey’s Anatomy Season 17 starts with Meredith on a beach talking about disaster ethics. We then cut to April 2020 in the middle of the pandemic as everyone claps for the medical staff.

Webber is back at work and reassures Miranda that he is better now and not experiencing any symptoms. She fills him in on the situation and reveals that DeLuca is not a resident anymore.

While waiting to get her temperature taken, Maggie calls her boyfriend, Winston. Jackson happens to hear the two of them talk and teases her about it. We then see a flashback of Vic coming into his apartment and panicking when she sees him with his daughter, breaking up in the process.

As we return to Miranda, she talks Webber through all the changes they had to implement in the hospital following the pandemic as they now only accept Covid patients and no one else. They walk to the east wing where a very stressed and distraught Meredith tells them she just lost her fourth patient of the day.

In another flashback, Bailey asks DeLuca to come with her as one of his patients, Erin, is back. She tells him he was right as she was being trafficked. Carina is not happy that Miranda asked for him but he agrees to go anyway. He takes Erin to get some tests done where she recalls what happened to her over the last two years.

Bailey then decides to find her parents and, with the help of Meredith and her sister, she later organizes an intervention for DeLuca as they believe he needs help for his mental health. He rejects them though as he wants to be a surgeon and breaks down in tears.

Owen and Jackson tend to a trauma brought by station 19; a burn victim who broke lockdown to go to a party. As Jo joins them, Jackson has a flashback of the two kissing.

Some time ago, Jo came to see Jackson to ask him for a one night stand after breaking up with Karev. After she explains her reason why to him, he agrees and tells her to meet at his place.

Jo later arrives at his apartment but things are immediately awkward when she sees that he has set up the place for a romantic date. As they kiss, Jo starts crying so Jackson stops and comforts her.

The parents of the burn victim arrive and are distressed when they’re not allowed to come in. Bailey then goes looking for the patient for an update but Owen is not able to find him.

While looking at the safety protocols, Webber finds the burn victim’s mother looking for her son. He asks what she’s doing there unaccompanied so she explains how worried she is and how much she loves her son. Webber understands and decides to help her. He brings her to her son and lets her see him despite Jackson’s protests.

Meredith arranges for a patient’s family member to come say goodbye to their parent. Frustrated and at the end of her tether, she cries and trashes the supply room. Thankfully, DeLuca arrives to check up on her and she vents to him about all the lives she lost. He reassures her on his current condition but she acts quite cold with him.

Later on, Bailey berates Webber for not reading the safety protocol. Webber defends himself and shows her his new idea to disinfect the nurses masks. Bailey is thankful but worried about him being there as he is vulnerable and should be home. He insists though as he wants to be there and tells her the place couldn’t ask for a better chief.

Jo arrives in the burn victim’s room and clears the air with Jackson, apologizing for how she acted. Jackson tells her she doesn’t need to as he understands after what she has been through.

In the made-up waiting room, Bailey does a round while Schmitt speaks to Nico. He asks if he is doing ok because he is struggling after having told 100 people that their close-ones passed away. Nico doesn’t say much though and walks away.

The episode ends with a fight breaking out between two fathers in the waiting room. Unfortunately in the scuffle, Bailey hurts her leg.

The Episode Review

As it was to be expected, Grey’s Anatomy returns with a new episode concentrating on the Covid pandemic. While this current topic felt very much on the nose in This Is Us, Grey’s Anatomy does a pretty good job of integrating it into the story.

Webber’s return to the hospital was used as a way to keep us updated on what has been happening at Grey Sloan. There have been a lot of changes of course and I must admit that some of the scenes shown were quite eye-opening, especially Meredith struggling to keep her patients alive.

We also got the usual flashbacks to get us caught up on what has been happening to our characters. It is here that the writing suffers the same fate as last season as we get some very questionable scenes. The worst one has got to be Jo begging Jackson for sex and I really couldn’t help but cringe watching it.

Thankfully, DeLuca’s arc is still quite interesting and tackled very well while the interactions between Webber and Bailey are still some of the best moments of the series.

The first episode of this new season is a bit of mixed bag; while it tackles some important issues quite well, it still lacks decent writing for many of its characters.

It will be interesting to see what will happen in the next few episodes but for now, Grey’s Anatomy returns with a good enough first chapter.

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