Why is the world filled with so much hatred and evil? There should be no place for it, but sadly, it’s just all around.
They touched on that during Grey’s Anatomy Season 18 Episode 18, which was timely, particularly in covering a heinous, bigoted attack against a patient during AAPI Heritage Month.
And with a gold star class of successful Asian-American medical professionals, we both celebrated their achievements while also recognizing their reality as minorities in a country that treats them as “others” and brutally attacks sweet, older ladies for simply existing.
For a penultimate finale installment, the hour was relatively dry. And the classic dinner party at Mer’s house didn’t go anything like Maggie planned, which wasn’t surprising, but it also lacked some of the excitement and action of previous instances that were at least memorable.
In hindsight, was there anything of significance or game-changing that happened at this dinner party?
Winston: I don’t remember getting a welcome dinner party.
Maggie: You arrived during a pandemic.
It’s classic Grey’s Anatomy that Meredith didn’t even show up because of her working case, and it’s still noticeable that Pompeo barely interacts with the larger cast anymore.
But for the party to revolve around everyone getting to know Nick, he tended to blend into the woodwork or operated as the primary host instead of the guest of honor.
It does speak to how chill Nick is that he can fit in with this group of individuals who are or are extensions of Meredith’s family.
He had a couple of shining moments, namely with Maggie and Amelia.
With Maggie, we could fill in the blanks more about his tumultuous relationship with his sister. No matter what she did and how troubled she was, he’d always swoop in because she’s family.
He spoke genuinely, capturing what it’s like when you have a toxic relationship with a sibling, and Maggie let that sink in for her. Ironically, Maggie was dead set on getting to know Nick and confirming that he was bad news, but she felt the opposite.
But by applying some of what Nick was sharing with her to the Winston and Wendell situation, it’s like she overstepped again. She’s having the worst time navigating the brothers’ relationship, and it’s foreign to her, so she falls short each time.
Winston thought he was sending his brother away, but Wendell still brought an overabundance of drama. When he showed up at “family dinner,” you could sense that he had ulterior motives.
But when he shared that the people he owes money to are super bad individuals who know where he is, it’s a wonder Winston didn’t strangle him right then and there.
Wendell is genuinely awful, and it’s disturbing that he was willing to put everyone in the house at risk over his foolishness. And he did all of that, pressuring Winston for money as if all would be over if only he had ten grand.
It wasn’t even a surprise when we learned that Wendell swindled another ten grand from Maggie. He played them both and took off like a true conman. It’s awful, and hopefully, we’re done with this arc. Neither Winston nor Maggie deserves this.
Simon and Kristin don’t deserve this impending tragedy, and it’s stressful as we’re waiting for this sweet man to pass away and not meet his child.
But there were some interesting parallels as we watched this lovely couple sitting in chemo with Catherine and Richard.
When Kristin started experiencing those Braxton Hicks contractions, there was this genuine fear that the baby was coming early. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case.
But the longer she was away from her husband, the more nervewracking it was that they were apart. It will be such a heartbreaking ordeal once this arc concludes.
Catherine kept giving the impression that she was only doing the chemotherapy because Richard wanted her to, which was worrisome. I’m glad they got to talk through that and didn’t let it fester and build into a bigger issue.
Link: So you’re saying my ex traded up?
Nick: It’s hard t say. I haven’t known you that long.
It was imperative that we know that Catherine is fighting this willingly and for herself as much as for Richard. It’s still one of those arcs where you don’t know where they’re going with it, but for now, things are as good as they can be for the two.
We can’t say the same for Amelia and Kai, but thankfully, they addressed the elephant in the room with this new pairing.
We were long overdue to delve into how Amelia loves kids, is a mother, and she’s family-oriented, and Kai is not. Nothing is wrong with either’s stance, but the last bubble that they’ve been in had to burst at some point as reality set in.
You could tell how out of place Kai seemed at the party, not because of Link or even interacting with the other characters; they were great on that front.
Kai: Your family and friends seem like good people.
Amelia: They are. You’ll see when you get to know them.
But once Amelia steps foot into Mer’s house, she’s such a mom and an aunt, and there are a zillion kids around, and Amelia comes across like she was singlehandedly managing a daycare.
She steps into that role effortlessly since she and Link spent a year taking care of Mer’s children and theirs. Kai was out of place because they’re not used to being around kids frequently, and it’s not of interest to them.
And a part of them probably thought that Amelia would happily immerse them into her world of family and children without even thinking about the discomfort. She practically tasked Kai with entertaining them no sooner than they walked in the door.
Kai’s talk with Owen didn’t help matters. However, I respect that they asserted themself so well during that swingset scene. They’ve been open and honest about where they stand on kids and their lack of interest in them. Kai is super work-oriented and loves it.
I want her life to be full of love and joy. My only ask of you is to want that too.
It doesn’t mesh well with a woman who balances work and home life and is super immersed in her family. And when Amelia talks about Scout, you can tell that her child is her world. She spent most of the party with Scout.
But one could also appreciate the acknowledgment of how Amelia can be. She may not have done so intentionally, but she would be the person who held out and assumed that Kai would change their mind somewhere along the way or “adapt.” But that’s not the case.
It doesn’t leave much room for these two to go any further in their relationship, and that realization seems to break Amelia’s heart. But it’s better that it happened now than down the road. After all, wouldn’t that be a sad rehash of how things were for here with Owen and Link?
Maybe it’s time for Amelia to reflect on how she’s drawn to relationships where she and her partner want different things.
Her conversation with Nick was a definite highlight. She spoke about how much she related to Mer the first time she left, and she wants and hopes that her sister can have what she can’t seem to right now. It was a great moment of self-realization and reflection while also giving her blessing and showing her love for Meredith.
The absolute crushing case of the hour was that of Alice, a victim of a hate crime. Those are hitting a bit too close to home these days, and the sheer anger and hurt on everyone’s faces were heartbreaking.
The frustration with this storyline is that they basically pulled every Asian-American character on this series out of the abyss for this storyline when they haven’t done anything with them all season (or for some, in years).
Lin has barely been shown all season, but she was there as the plastic surgeon on the case because this woman was beaten so brutally her face was unrecognizable.
Nico: It was a hate crime, wasn’t it?
Mer: It appears that way. We can get another —
Nico: No, no, I’m already here.
Nico is non-existent 90% of the time and has been on this series for years but has yet to develop as a character beyond some extension of Levi. However, he got more than two lines for the very special plot about Anti-Asian hate.
And they even reached into the archives to show Tseng, the intern who has probably had six lines ever. Of course, Bokhee is always there, and they allowed her to speak in one of the storyline’s most powerful moments, as she hasn’t done that more than three times in the 18 years she’s been on this series.
However, while written well and chill-inducing and enraging, the arc wouldn’t have felt so performative and like tokenism, if they actually utilized or showed any of these characters at any other point in the series.
Representation is more than just touching on a timely arc in a single installment. What about the representation throughout the rest of the season?
We are American. Your faces are American.
It sucks that the most significant presence these characters have had pertained to a storyline about someone’s hatred for Asian-Americans for simply existing. It’s just as important to see them in other capacities, too, not solely the tragic and most heinous ones, hence the criticism of tokenism.
Nevertheless, the case was undeniably moving. Lin and Nico discussing how they tried to “look more American,” which always translated to “more white,” was depressing and upsetting.
Bokhee’s reminder that they are American, and their faces are American because America is beautifully, wonderfully diverse regardless of what small-minded, hateful people think was a great moment. It was already a gut punch when she looked at Mer with that haunted look in her eye.
Bokhee is forever a scene-stealer.
And thankfully, Alice survived despite a close call, and they got to report good news to the waiting room full of family who loved and adored her, with such a beautiful array of diverse faces.
But the whole case was undeniably triggering. What do you even do when subjected to such violence and hatred for simply existing?
It’s not the first time that Grey’s Anatomy has touched on the rising Anti-Asian sentiment and violence prevalent since COVID. In that sense, one can appreciate that they’re consistent in addressing this issue, even when they do it clumsily or bench those characters outside of that.
The arc meant that we saw something out of Nico for a change, as he was understandably greatly affected by it. His scene with Levi was heartwarming.
They’re a confusing pair that falls by the wayside, and you never know where they stand with each other because they give you whiplash. However, Levi was there for Nico during a time of need, and it was a beautiful thing.
Those small, beautiful moments that one clings to in cases like that. However bittersweet they are.
- Bailey and Baily fist-bumping each other was the cutest thing ever.
- Drunk Teddy is probably the best Teddy of all the Teddys. And somebody should’ve played boggle with that poor woman.
- Teddy and Link have such an underrated friendship, but she spoke nothing but facts when she told him he shouldn’t tell Jo about his feelings he doesn’t know how to describe yet.
- What will Maggie and Winston even do with themselves if Mer leaves and takes the kids? They basically raise them like they’re theirs.
- Bailey’s callback to Mer and Der making out in the car at the dinner party when she reminded a randy Owen and Teddy that they are parents now was hilarious.
- Nick and Bailey’s bonding was the absolute cutest.
- Owen has somehow become one of the coolest, most chill characters. Like, when did that even happen.
- Only on Grey’s Anatomy would Amelia have a dinner party with her ex-husband, ex-boyfriend and baby daddy, and her new bae and not bat an eye at how awkward that would be.
- Bokhee is EVERYTHING. That’s it. That’s all.
Over to you, Grey’s Fanatics.
How heartbreaking was the hate crime case? Was the dinner party anti-climactic? Is this the end of Kai and Amelia? Sound off below!
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Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.