Tonight’s winter finale is a battle of heart and mind on Grey’s Anatomy season 11, episode 8, “Risk.”
Before heading into a two-month hiatus, Grey’s Anatomy season 11, episode 8, “Risk,” brought in two cases that required the help of a few friends from Glee. The first, featuring Titus Makin Jr., concerns two veterans in a friendly competition to work their way up using the robotic legs in Callie and Owen’s research. The second is a girl, Lindsay Pearce, whose root canal results in a rapidly spreading infection that leads Derek to find a brain lesion during a CT.
The cases pit surgeons against each other, and test their trust and ability to separate their hearts from their minds. Meredith and Derek are both called in to consult on Holly’s infection and they instantly butt heads on which surgery is more pressing. Meredith is convinced that Derek is choosing to dig his heels in as part of his retaliation for the D.C. job and he believes she is being difficult on purpose. Pierce agrees with Meredith that the infection is the greater issue while Derek consults Richard for a second opinion.
Callie’s influence on the veterans participating rehabilitation program encourages a bit too much healthy competition. One of the test subjects gets up on the ramp and takes one step too far, slipping and cracking his head open. It takes a while for a prognosis, but his coma eventually leads to unresponsive behavior. Owen takes his rage out on Callie, explaining that to her a step may seem like a big deal with the prototype leg, but for them, defusing bombs and determining civilians from enemies before firing are what make them sweat. Rick, his best friend and partner in the program, decides to quit the study rather than proceed ahead of his friend.
Little baby Buddha sits quietly inside April’s stomach, but his adorable position causes more panic than smiles for Edwards. Taking the images to Arizona, she suggests triple checking their suspicions with Dr. Herman. But first, Arizona has some investigation on another matter to take care of. Calling in a favor for Dr. Amelia Shepherd, Arizona requests all of Dr. Herman’s records be transferred to Grey-Sloan Memorial. Amelia takes the files and passes them along, but first she requires to be let in the loop of what is actually going on with Herman.
Before Amelia takes up Herman’s files, she confronts Owen about her past. Regardless of the tale Derek spun for Owen, Amelia respects him enough to give him the whole truth and assure him that she is on the straight and narrow. Is it just us or do some sparks begin to fly in the exam room as Amelia and Owen offer each other their companionship?
Across the hospital it is do or die for Holly as her airway closes from the infection. On the table of the OR in a matter of minutes, the infection wins out over Derek’s brain surgery, but the all-seeing surgeon sits high above, watching their performance. Speaking with Richard, Derek tries to explain that although there is every reason to believe he has it out for Meredith, he truly did believe that operating on the brain first was the right move.
Richard and Meredith check their motives with their confidants; Richard turns to Bailey and Meredith to Alex. Bailey is somewhat occupied by her Kale rage and fitness bracelet to make idle chit chat about Pierce any longer, but leaves Richard with one bit of advice: Do not apologize. Alex talks Meredith through her decisions, assuring her that Derek did not distract her from providing her patient the best care.
Arizona and Callie, meanwhile, take a moment to just be with one another. They need each other’s assurance that not everything they touch will be ruined. Callie returns to Owen and tries to remove herself from the veteran program, but Owen is well versed in Army style pep talks and he gets not only Callie back on board, but convinces her to get Rick back on his feet and trying the robotic leg.
Dr. Herman’s personal life includes trying every ice cream flavor and getting up on Graham any chance she can. Arizona is less concerned with who she spends her time with than wanting to know what state she will be in as she gets closer to death. But Amelia has some news for Arizona and potentially Dr. Herman: She can get the tumor out.
Herman may be in the dark about Amelia’s breakthrough, but she is certain of one thing, April and Jackson’s baby will likely not live a few days past delivery.
The biggest twist in Meredith’s slow march to turning into her mother takes place in the final moments of the episode. The time outs are over, and Meredith and Derek are back at it, sparking a larger fight about trust over Zola’s coat. Whether it is a consult or a coat, the couple cannot get together on any decision since he turned down the job offer in D.C. Derek resents her for not having his back when he chose his family over a job and Meredith resents him for bringing down everyone into his black hole. Derek pulls out the job offer handed to him by the President’s assistant and calls in to accept with proper snark. In a flash of carousels, Ellis watching Richard walk away, and Cristina’s reassurance that Derek is not the sun, Meredith pushes Derek to the east coast.
Grey’s Anatomy will return with all new episodes on January 29, 2015!