In response to the coronavirus pandemic, “Grey’s Anatomy” halted production on their season, before eventually cutting it short by four episodes. While it wasn’t the ending that was planned, the Season 16 finale of “Grey’s” was a satisfying one. Time and time again, the longest running medical drama in the history of television has proved its ability to pivot when something unexpected happens. After all, the production shutdown wasn’t the first hurdle “Grey’s” had to overcome this season; earlier, adjustments had to be made after Justin Chambers’ abrupt exit. It still remains unclear if the four unproduced episodes will roll over to the next season, but this makeshift finale had enough action and drama to hold us all over until the start of Season 17 — which has been rumored to be the final season.
For not actually being the originally planned season finale, “Grey’s” sure had some finale staples: a callback to an old “Grey’s” moment, a doctor who might die, another doctor going into labor, a voicemail of someone having sex with someone who wasn’t their fiance that plays on speakerphone during a surgery. Okay, well maybe not that one, but there is something oddly satisfying about watching someone get betrayed and humiliated in a public setting. What happened to Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd, “Star Wars Rebels”) and Teddy Altman (Kim Raver, “24”) was true soap opera craziness, and I love to see it.
Right as Webber was about to get checked out of the hospital, our beloved Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo, “Catch Me If You Can”) realizes that whatever is happening to him is destroying both his mind and his body. Meredith and Dr. Bailey (Chandra Wilson, “General Hospital”) are about to do a biopsy on Webber when off-the-rails Andrew DeLuca (Giacomo Gianniotti, “Backpackers”) comes storming into the O.R. He’s figured out what’s wrong with Webber — cobalt poisoning from a hip replacement — but instead of using his words, he throws all the surgical instruments on the floor to get Bailey and Meredith to listen to him.
Excuse me, sir? This man should not be allowed anywhere near the hospital, let alone an operating room. He’s clearly not okay. Thankfully, at the end of the episode, as Meredith leaves the hospital, she finds DeLuca sitting on the floor crying; he wants to understand why he’s been going manic. After he went to jail to help Meredith at the end of last season, now at the end of this season it appears Meredith is going to repay the favor. Had the season continued, one would assume that we would’ve gotten more insight into DeLuca’s bipolar-like symptoms and how he copes with whatever diagnosis is coming his way.
While Amelia (Caterina Scorsone, “Private Practice”) is giving birth to her child with Link (Chris Carmack, “Nashville”), Bailey takes Link to do the surgery on Webber. Amelia forces Bailey to stay with her, even though Bailey recently had a miscarriage. But being the queen that she is, Bailey hops on the bed and sits behind her the same way that George O’Malley did for her back in the second season. Everything goes smoothly and now Amelia is a mother.
This episode works as a finale because enough of our questions about some season-long storylines have been answered while new ones have been posed. It remains unclear if the new season will continue these character arcs or if some sort of “reset” must happen. Regardless, we anticipate we will get answers as to what’s happening with DeLuca, the fate of Owen and Teddy’s relationship, some sort of resolution to the constant fighting between Webber and his wife Catherine (Debbie Allen, “Grace and Frankie”) and perhaps the answer to the scariest question of all to ponder: will next season be the final season? Only time will tell.