Did you enjoy an hour that focused on the sister trio?
They slowed things down for Grey’s Anatomy Season 18 Episode 12, focusing on Mer and Amelia’s relationships in Minnesota with Nick and Kai. Meanwhile, a fever-ridden Maggie had dreams about Ellis after finding a letter.
And you guys, Kate Burton is such a masterclass, and she and Kelly McCreary were superb.
On the one hand, the tone of Maggie’s storyline contrasted with all the sexy, romantic times that Amelia and Mer had in Minnesota. However, not only was there an undercurrent of parenthood that connected all the storylines, but Maggie’s arc was long overdue.
It’s truly a wonder that it took this long for the series to delve into Maggie’s feelings about Ellis and learn more details about why Ellis gave her up. And on a show that loves to bring back ghosts from the past, it’s shocking that it took this long for Maggie to have a face-to-face with Ellis.
Please, look at me. Please, see me!
But it’s better late than never because those were the best scenes of the hour. Kate Burton is an icon, a legend, that woman performs like no other, bringing the gravitas you expect from those with extensive theater experience.
She’s always excellent when she comes in and plays this frustrating, flawed, inaccessible, complex woman. You knew we would be in for some intense rawness when she appeared. It’s hard to describe it.
Surprisingly, the letter sat there all that time, and no one found out or gave it to Maggie, but she opened up Pandora’s Box when she started reading, and it was no turning back. Sometimes you’ll never find the answers you’re looking for or what you want to hear.
And reading that letter combined with her flu-driven delirium took Maggie on a journey, reopening some old wounds. Maggie wanted Ellis to see and acknowledge her, and initially, she didn’t feel like Ellis did.
Ellis lamented the relationship she had with Richard. As a physical representation of that, Maggie felt that she was a mistake unworthy of her mother’s love or care. It was hard for her to process that Ellis kept Meredith, but she couldn’t bring herself to do the same with Maggie.
And Ellis’ harsh words were like a dozen tiny cuts. Nothing she said felt good. Maggie learned that Ellis chose Bill and Diane as Maggie’s parents, but she wanted no parts of updates on Maggie or anything else. It was a slap in the face to Maggie.
She felt like she was living in this woman’s shadow while Ellis wanted no parts of her. She felt like Ellis was ashamed of her and saw her as an inconvenience. And Ellis certainly didn’t mince words.
Ellis’s relationship with Richard sounds more complicated every moment we learn new details. Ironically, it felt like she was projecting the same things she claimed about Thatcher onto Richard.
Ellis also shared that she wanted to go into cardio and expressed regret that she didn’t follow that dream. And of all the things she said about Maggie, she regretted that Maggie and Mer didn’t know each other back then.
She eventually admitted how she wasn’t the best mother and knew that Mer could’ve used a sister.
Maggie wanted all of these answers and some explanation. It also seemed as if no matter what others, namely Mer, told her about how awful Ellis was, she still hoped that Ellis was a better woman — a better mother than she actually was.
But in the end, just when it felt as if Ellis’ truths were unbearable, and you wanted to reach through the screen and shield Maggie away from them, Ellis expressed that, unlike with Mer, she did right by Maggie. She knew that the best thing she ever did for Maggie was to give her up to loving parents.
And when you sit with that, you know that she’s right. Maggie grew up in a loving household with parents who adored her. Yes, she was a child genius, but something tells me that she still would’ve crumbled under the weight of Ellis’ expectations because they’re unrealistic and unattainable.
It was an incredible series of events, and my goodness, Kelly McCreary acted her ass off. Indeed, when they give her something of substance, she knocks it out of the park. She’s a dual-threat, too. She’s incredible with this type of rich drama, but she also has some fantastic comedic chops.
Not just anyone can go toe-to-toe with the likes of Kate Burton in a scene and keep up, but both women were fantastic. Frankly, if they devoted an entire installment to Maggie and this story arc, there wouldn’t have been complaints from here.
Maggie deserved some closure, and she found it when she burned that letter. I loved that her mother appeared instead to provide her some comfort when she needed it most, and it further showed how much of a gift Ellis gave her by giving her up.
Ellis: I do have one regret.
Maggie: Please, go.
Ellis: I do wish you and Meredith had met. She needed a sister.
And Winston was so great. He navigated the Uncle Winston role pretty well, but we know how he had to jump into that almost instantly. Taking care of Mer’s kids is a rite of passage. And he managed to support Maggie through all of this as well.
He’s such a perfect man. We got to know a little more about him while he spoke to Zola, and those, too, were some great scenes. Zola is such a smart girl. It was interesting to hear her mention that she thinks about her birth mother and is curious about her.
And it was heartbreaking to learn that she’s still worried about Mer and losing her after Mer’s COVID.
But it also made you think about how often Mer leaves the kids and what that must feel like for Zola. Sure, Mer is her hero, and that sentiment is sweet, but if she’s still traumatized after her mother spent months in ICU, then it’s not helping her any that Mer spends most of her time in Minnesota now.
One of the things Ellis mentioned to Maggie was that Mer is so much like her. And one of those similarities, and a common criticism, is with how she’s not a present mother. Mer isn’t like her mother by any means, but that’s something you can’t ignore.
It felt like the hour was nodding at that in a few ways since Amelia also had conversations about motherhood and what it means to her. It’s like they knew how annoying it was that both women often behave as if they don’t have kids and leave them with other people to deal with while pursuing other things.
It felt like we went months without Amelia spending any significant time with her son. It’s always beautiful how this series explores that women are so much more than motherhood, but when they drop the ball on the latter so much, it’s jarring.
Before Amelia went home to be with her kid, she spent the day with Kai.
Her nerd out at the lab was cute. Then she played coy and wondered if Kai wanted to spend time with her before her flight. And, of course, Kai took her up on that offer.
It’s the most intimate they’ve been yet, in more ways than one, and it felt as if they were on a show of their own. Amelia always gets these little asides that feel like scenes ripped from a rom-com movie. She and Link had those too.
Thanks to this hour, we got to delve into Kai in a way that we hadn’t before, and it certainly made them a more dynamic, well-rounded character. Their date at the gay bar was cute, and when Kai hopped on that stage with their guitar, Amelia was beyond smitten.
Kai can sing! Their performance was great, and who doesn’t love a good jam session. Apologies for making the constant comparisons, but Amelia sure has a type: pretty, great hair, sings, plays guitar, attentive, and sweet.
One of the observations about Kai and Amelia’s relationship that’s been hard to ignore is how similar it is to the early stages of Amelia and Link. Sometimes it feels like they’ve copied and pasted similar tones and beats. They had a few moments in the installment where the vibe felt like deja vu.
Nevertheless, the two of them have some serious chemistry, and that sex scene was steamy as hell! It was damn near X-rated. One thing Amelia is going to get is a hot AF sex scene!
As a sucker for a good height difference, they worked that angle so damn good. The direction was fantastic.
Their lovemaking was like catnip for the Kaimelia ‘shippers, and one can’t deny that it wasn’t fantastically filmed, intimate, and just incredibly sexy.
Amelia: I don’t think I know all of who I am.
Kai: Well, I’m excited to get to know all of who you are.
Amelia: I am, too.
And the follow-up scenes had this soft, quiet intimacy, too.
Amelia in Kai’s shirt, them behind her talking about their plant babies, was great. Amelia is lying there, admitting that she still doesn’t feel like she knows who she is, yet Kai calling her out on not viewing herself as extraordinary and looking forward to getting to know Amelia, too, was also a genuinely great character exchange.
They don’t have any actual conflict, and they ended things on a great note. But it does make you wonder if the long-distance and the kid angle will be something that affects this relationship they’re building together.
Kai stated that they don’t want kids. They would’ve happily convinced Amelia to stay there longer even though it meant Amelia would be away from Scout longer. It’s a reminder that Amelia has kept her life as a mother separate from the schoolgirl lightness of her relationship with Kai.
What will happen when those worlds collide, and things get serious? Amelia said that the part of her who misses her son and wants to be with him isn’t something she wants ever to go away. And Kai never gave her any response regarding that.
Will the reality of dating a mother interfere with what they have together? It’s something that makes you wonder.
Nick often has these issues too, but it’s even weirder since he’s a parent. He knows what it’s like to raise a child because of his years of looking after Charlotte.
He confessed his love for Meredith, so they’ve grown more serious regardless of how some may feel about this pairing. But until her life with Nick merges with the one with her children, it’ll always feel a bit off.
Like Kai, this was an excellent hour for them to explore and develop Nick further. And he’s hilarious. One of the best lines of the hour was that quip he made about “Silver becoming Bronze.”
Nick is such a dad. You could sympathize with this man and his genuine concern and fear for Charlotte. He doesn’t want her to be like his sister.
Nick’s fears about Charlotte dropping out of college and traveling around with that weirdo Silver were valid. It’s weird that they were making him out to be overprotective because of his concerns. And Meredith either laughed away the issues or gave him advice.
But it’s weird to hear Mer giving anyone advice on child-rearing.
Nick: When I’m falling in love, it scares me because I haven’t done it a lot in my life. I just don’t like to lose control.
Mer: When you’re falling in love?
Nevertheless, this other side to Nick added more layers to his character and fleshed him out more. I won’t lie and say it was exciting. I wasn’t invested in whatever was happening with his niece at all.
But I appreciated more background for him, leading to some solid scenes between him and Mer. It also fits seamlessly with that one theme regarding parenthood.
And what are we to make of both of them considering some career changes?!
Over to you, Grey’s Fanatics.
What are your thoughts on this one? Did you enjoy the Ellis return? Are you onboard with Amelia and Kai? Did you like learning more about Nick? Sound off below!
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Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.