Grey's Anatomy (S14E15) "Old Scars, Future Hearts"

As the title suggests, love was the theme on Grey’s Anatomy, with heartbreak – both metaphorical and physical – and happiness being shown for patients and surgeons alike.
We begin the episode in Meredith’s (Ellen Pompeo) house, where both Maggie (Kelly McCreary) and Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) are experiencing somewhat of an upturn in the romance department following the events of the previous episode. After Maggie and Jackson (Jesse Williams) finally kissed in the previous episode, Maggie can’t concentrate on anything she is doing, mixing up words and buttering dishcloths instead of toast. Meanwhile, Amelia walks through the door having been up all night enjoying ‘excellent ex-sex’ with former husband Owen (Kevin McKidd). Meredith though has been exploring the breakdown of a different kind of relationship – that of her mother and Marie Cerone (Rachel Ticotin). Reading through her mother’s journals, it is apparent that Cerone was to her mother what Christina was to Meredith before she left, which makes their falling out all the more puzzling.
Another relationship (if we can call it that) explored this week is the predictable one-night stand between April (Sarah Drew) and Tom Koracick (Greg Germann). Given the path April has been on in recent episodes and the type of character we have seen Koracick be in his short time on the show so far, we imagine this to be a classic one night stand situation, and it does initially look that way, until Koracick tries to unpick how the April he met when he first came to Grey-Sloan and Amelia trusted with her power of attorney has become the April who gets drunk every night and goes on one night stands. After reeling through the reasons people normally change so drastically in this way, he figures out that, in April’s case, it is a crisis of faith, which leads to a surprisingly emotional conversation between the two of them. “He’s not dead”, April says talking about God, “I just hate him so much I wish he was”. Koracick then tells April he can relate: he was brought up a Catholic himself, and then reveals the shocking and devastating reason that he “got in a fight with God”. Koracick had a ten-year-old son who died in a freak baseball-related accident at school, leaving April, and I’m sure many a viewer in stunned silence.

maggiejackson - Grey's Anatomy (S14E15) "Old Scars, Future Hearts"
Maggie (Kelly McCreary) and Jackson (Jesse Williams) dealt with the aftermath of their kiss

Whilst there was happiness in store for Maggie and Amelia this week, there was both literal and metaphorical heartache in store for this week’s patient, young Charlie Patterson (Caleb Pierce), who has a heart ventricle full of scar tissue. Maggie is excitedly looking at this ‘Dor procedure’ as her ‘Michelangelo moment’, but is left disappointed that she is not going to be able to perform it when a transplant comes in at the last minute, changing the procedure to a simple transplant. When told about this, however, Charlie shocks the surgeons, his mother, and his boyfriend by turning down the heart, saying that as his current scarred heart fell in love with Henry (Alan Chow) and the new heart might not feel the same way. Whilst Alex (Justin Chambers) tried to explain that love has nothing to do with the heart and everything to do with brain chemicals, he doesn’t listen, and Henry asks everyone else to leave and promptly breaks up with Charlie. Charlie, his scarred heart now broken, wants it removed right there and then, and he is quickly wheeled into surgery. During surgery, however, there are complications (well it wouldn’t be Grey’s without complications!) and Maggie is forced to leave Charlie open overnight in the ICU. A devastated Henry says he only broke up with him so he would take the heart, and now that may be the last thing he said to him. Fortunately, there is a happy ending in store for this couple, as Maggie is able to finish the surgery the next day, with the help of Jackson.
We were also shown old heartbreak for three characters this week through the use of flashbacks. We were shown the first loves of Maggie, Alex and Jo (Camilla Luddington), and how these relationships ultimately ended. With Maggie, her first love was a fellow aspiring doctor in medical school, who she was working on a cadaver (which she named Leonard) with. Her crush somehow ended up with Maggie stealing the cadaver’s heart so that she could give Leonard a funeral. Maggie pulled out a cringe-inducing poem and read it at the funeral, proclaiming her love for him. Unfortunately for Maggie, this poem was not well interpreted, and soon she earned the nickname ‘Zombie’ and everyone thought that she was into cadavers. Oh, and Steve turned out to be gay anyway. Jo’s life in her car was also shown on screen for the first time, and we see that her first love was incredibly enamoured with her, not caring that she lived in her car, paying for her car/home not to be towed, bringing her to meet his parents and inviting her to live with him in college. In fact, it was Jo who ended up breaking his heart, fleeing the state rather than pick him up to move to college together. Finally, we take a glimpse into Alex’s past. Whilst we’ve heard many tales about Alex’s family and upbringing before, seeing it in reality is very different, and almost harrowing viewing. We see the full extent of Alex’s mother’s mental illness and just how much time and effort Alex had to spend looking after her. Alex’s first heartbreak was related to this, with him overhearing his then-girlfriend (who looks remarkably like what I would expect a teenage Izzie to look like) laughing and telling everyone at a party how crazy Alex’s mother was.
This focus on Alex and Jo’s past was running concurrently with a defining moment in their present-day relationship, though whether it was to be a positive or negative time for them remained to be seen until the episode’s final moments. At the beginning of the episode, Alex sees that Jo is applying for fellowships across the country, and is understandably upset that she is considering moving away from him. Jo points out that Alex applied for many of the same places and says that she is free to go anywhere she wants now without the fear of Paul finding her, which doesn’t go down well with Alex who replies that he didn’t realise Paul was the only one keeping her in Seattle. Alex remains silent all day and spends the night at Meredith’s, who takes Jo’s side, saying that he can’t take her career ambitions personally. With the future of their relationship still in doubt, the final moments of the episode see Alex walking into their apartment with candles lit and Jo waiting for him. No sooner has Jo begun a pre-prepared speech does Alex seizes the opportunity and stop her while he frantically rifles through his drawers looking for the engagement ring he offered to her previously. With Jo complaining that she hadn’t finished her speech yet, Alex isn’t listening, leaving Jo to suddenly reveal she is already wearing it. She gets down on one knee and proposes. Looks like we will have a Jolex wedding coming up – though it is Grey’s Anatomy so anything could happen!
Grey’s Anatomy returns next Thursday, March 22nd at 8/7c on ABC