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Secrets were revealed and new strategies were executed during Thursday's episode of Grey's Anatomy.
Now that Dr. Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) will be splitting her time between Grey Sloan Memorial and Minnesota — where she'll be working with neurosurgeon David Hamilton (Peter Gallagher) on Parkinson's research — Dr. Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.) officially returned as Residency Director. And on his first day, he debuted a new teaching method, "The Webber Method," where residents perform solo surgeries with the attendings rotating as supervisors.
Despite Dr. Miranda Bailey's (Chandra Wilson) hesitation, the method seemed to be a success at the end of the day.
"Bailey, 10 years from now we're going to be short tens of thousands of surgeons if we don't rethink what we're doing here," Richard said. "We're a teaching hospital and we have a moral imperative to make sure people don't die because there's no one to operate on them. That's what we owe these patients."
Meanwhile, Addison Montgomery (Kate Walsh) — who was previously married to the late Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) — continued to care for her patient who underwent the hospital's first surgical uterine transplant during last week's episode — and called in assistance from her former sister-in-law, neurosurgeon Amelia Shepherd (Caterina Scorsone).
While Addison wanted to keep all personal matters separate from work, she found herself unexpectedly opening up to Amelia.
"Tell me why you're not with Scout's dad," Addison asked, referring to Dr. Atticus Lincoln (Chris Carmack) — who proposed to Amelia last season.
"Everything about it was a disaster," said Amelia. "It got all gaslight-y and manipulative. He did it a Maggie's wedding using Mer's kids as props. I knew for months that I didn't want what he wanted. We had Scout and we had Mer's kids because she was in the hospital. So we were drowning in children and domesticity and every day I felt like I might die of it. I love all the kids but every day I felt like I might die of monotony and boredom and dirty diapers and dirty dishes and laundry and every day I thought about doing drugs."
"I was hanging by a thread and Link wasn't," she continued. "He was falling in love with domesticity. He was the world's most standup guy and he was proposing all the time despite me saying 'No.' He decided that he wanted more kids and I felt like I couldn't breathe. I judged myself for that like I think you're judging me right now."
"During the pandemic, I drank so much red wine, I seriously considered checking myself into rehab," Addison revealed. "I looked like a swollen tick. I lost it. I hated being stuck at home ... I began to truly hate my videogame-obsessed son and my husband."
"I went really dark, Amelia," she added. "I had dark, dark thoughts. I was daydreaming about going to sleep and never waking up — and that thought comforted me."
Struggling with the decision on whether or not to stay in Seattle to see her trial through, Addison looked to Amelia for advice.
"I need to not kill this patient," Addison said. "I need to not let her die. Helping her helped me. It excited me. A uterine transplant? The thought of creating something for her that didn't exist before her, it made me want to get out of bed every morning. I don't want to make a decision that's selfish. I need to prioritize her life over the study, and I need you to tell me if you think there's a chance that I'm not."
"Dr. Montgomery, your patient was so in love with her husband that she is having a baby with him even though he is dead," Amelia reassured Addison. "She's so in love with the idea of becoming a mother that she entered your study knowing that she was risking her life. You are not being selfish. You are doing every single thing you can to help her live her dream and that is an excellent reason to get out of bed in the morning."
Addison's patient eventually woke up and was informed that she was still in the trial and there was still work to be done.
As Amelia walked Addison to the elevators for her to head out (and thus wrap up Walsh's guest stint), she admitted she almost left her husband two months into lockdown — while she was "stone cold sober" — when an argument over Game of Thrones led her to driving away.
"I just got up off the couch, got in the car and drove, drove for about two hours before I stopped and even thought to ask myself what the hell I was doing," she said.
"Are you asking if I'm sure?" Amelia asked, referring to her decisions about Link. But Amelia is sure.
"I didn't leave when I was thinking about doing drugs, and I didn't leave when I was wondering if Link would ever really understand me," she explained. "I stayed through all of that because I thought, 'I must be crazy because who leaves a really good and decent guy?' But I don't feel crazy now. And I don't want to get high, I just don't want a ring. And I don't want to have any more babies. I didn't even leave him — he left me — but I hated the life that he loved. And so I think that the sanest and kindest thing I could possibly do is to let him go, no matter how much it sometimes aches."
"Look at you," Addison said with reverence as the elevator doors opened. She stepped in and just as the door closed, declared, "Look at you, Amelia Shepherd, all grown up."
And with a wink, Addison was gone. Though it's unclear if fans will see her again, there's always hope.
"Right now we're just doing a few episodes and we'll see what happens," Walsh said during a panel last week. "Nobody knows what the future holds — I think the last year or so is evidence of that — but for now this is what we've got planned, just to have Addison pop in."
During last week's episode, Addison made her return to Grey Sloan, her first time coming face-to-face with Meredith since Derek's death in season 11.
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"I thought coming back here to Seattle, to Grey Sloan, that'd he'd be here," Addison said, referring to Derek. "That'd I'd be able to feel that he was still here, in the city that he loved… but he isn't. And it's real. He's not here. I'm really sorry I'm doing this in front of you because you actually had to go through it."
"Addison, he is here," said Meredith. "And he's in his children, and they are very real. And I would love for you to come and meet them."
Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
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