Lexi and Mark are the dead people who have come to help Meredith decide if she wants to stay "here." Lexi looks exactly like she did almost 10 seasons ago. I hope whatever magical elixir takes is sold on Amazon. As for Mark, other than a confusing white goatee, McSteamy is just as I remember him. Hot.
Back in the real world, Grey Sloan Memorial is facing an unfathomable reality. There are only four ventilators left in the hospital and exactly zero hope for any more to arrive. Richard freaks out when Lincoln has to vent a kid who suffered complications during a rather disgusting-looking broken leg scenario. He just assumed the vents would go to COVID patients.
Like the mother/daughter duo. Marcella, the mom, is struggling to breathe. Schmidt is doing everything he can NOT to put her on a ventilator. Veronica, the daughter, started with mild symptoms at home but was quickly rushed to the hospital once her breathing became labored.
Maggie rushes between the two cases, desperate to save them both. Marcella takes a turn for the worst, and Maggie is forced to ask Veronica if her mother would want to be kept alive on a machine. Meanwhile, Jackson reminds Maggie that Marcella instructed them to do whatever they could to save Veronica.
After Veronica tries to get out of bed to say goodbye to her mother, she crashes. The team is forced to intubate. Veronica gets the last ventilator in the hospital. Maggie rushes to tell Schmidt the news and is shocked to see that he is doing the same to Marcella. Only there's no ventilator for him. He stands there, dumbfounded, pumping air into Marcella's lungs with the bag. There has to be a ventilator coming, right?
Maggie trudges out of the hospital to get some fresh air and plops down beside Winston. She urges him to quit with her, and he smiles, offering to check in on her patients. He shares his earbuds with her, and Maggie's face displays that "I have an idea" look.
The next thing we know, we see Marcella and Veronica in the same room, sharing a ventilator. Jackson explains in great medical detail how this is possible, and I believe him. Thanks to Maggie's genius brain, she's just doubled the vents at the hospital. The team celebrates with an impromptu dance-off. Richard wins by a long shot.
| CREDIT: RICHARD CARTWRIGHT/ABC
Cut to McSteamy, Lexi, and Meredith lounging in a meadow full of flowers. On a beach. Let's not pull too hard at that string since we technically are in a dream. Lexi and Mark remind Meredith of the pain, grief, and loss she's experienced in her life. Lexi tells her sister that the depth of her grief is directly related to the depth of her love. She should embrace it.
While McSteamy gets grass stains on his winter white pants, Dr. McIrish's sister-in-law gets him to admit that he has his eye on a certain general surgeon. Irene, who has been in town taking care of Cormac's kids, has a massive kidney stone. Cormac has no problem calling in Catherine Fox to pulverize the blockage between Irene's kidney and bladder.
Before surgery, Irene asks to meet the surgeon who makes Cormac "smile like that." Cormac's head drops as he explains that Meredith is on a breathing tube in the ICU. Irene doesn't say anything because the idea of someone Cormac cares about lying unconscious in a hospital is too much to bear. It brings back memories of his wife for both of them.
The good news is that Catherine slam dunks the surgery. The bad news is that when she pulls out her medical tool, the tube connecting Irene's kidney and bladder comes with it. Jo informs Cormac that there has been a complication. She calmly listens as Cormac begs her to save Irene. He can't tell his boys that they've lost their aunt, too.
Jo heads back into the OR, only to find Irene's kidney bobbing up and down in a steel bowl. She calls out to Catherine, "You took her kidney?" Catherine barks her response, "I'm going to put it back." I think it was the first time I've laughed watching in 10 episodes. Fortunately, Irene makes a full recovery, and all is well.
On the other side of the hospital, Owen and Richard decide that Meredith's vitals are strong enough to extubate. We see Lexi and Mark encouraging Meredith one last time not to waste a single minute of her life. In real-time, Meredith begins breathing on her own.
Which sparks another dance-off. Jackson easily owns this round, thanks to his precise execution of the cabbage patch. But the real winner is Winston, who pops open his earbud box with a diamond ring on the inside. He asks Maggie to marry him in front of a bunch of rando medical people who are lurking outside of the hospital, and she says yes.
Here's hoping Meredith finally opens her eyes so she can attend the wedding.
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