This weeks episode of Grey’s Anatomy was very much centred around Amelia Shepherd (Caterina Scorsone), which I was very happy about as I have been following Amelia’s story since her first appearance on ‘Private Practice’, and especially since I have felt disappointed by the majority of Amelia’s recent storylines as they have mainly revolved around her unhealthy on and off relationship with Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd). This is particularly seen this season with Amelia being part of the very frustrating and uninteresting love triangle between her, Owen and Teddy (Kim Raver). This episode however centred around a surgery that Amelia and Dr Link (Chris Carmack) had to travel to New York for, to treat a patient who suffered from progressive scoliosis.
Once Amelia arrived at the hospital in New York she found herself having a surprising and very awkward encounter with her sister Nancy (Embeth Davidtz), who made a very strong point of the fact the family never hear from Amelia. Amelia then introduces Nancy to Link, unwillingly posing as her husband Owen Hunt, which made it clear that she had not updated her family on her recent divorce (how awkward)! The scene carried on highlighting the family’s dysfunction when Nancy invited Amelia over later, to which Amelia quickly responded with a made up excuse to get her out of it. Just as Amelia believed she had luckily got out of the evening dinner, Nancy overhears her later talking to Link about how they have 24 hours to spare before their flight back to Seattle and happily invites her over (try and get out of this one Amelia)!
Amelia then had to face the difficult job of persuading Link to join her and Nancy in the evening and carry on pretending to be Owen, as she explained one night with Nancy would avoid months of family gossip and drama. She also stated that her family “already think I’m a train wreck” and dinner would be a chance to prove her family wrong and brag. Link finally agreed when Amelia promised that she would pay him back in “creative ways”.
When Amelia arrived at Nancy’s, she (and the rest of the audience) is surprised by the presence of the very much talked about over the 15 seasons of Grey’s but never actually seen until now, Kathleen Shepherd (Amy Acker). This is the same sister who Amelia just a few minutes before walking through the door called “the worst”. Amelia this episode was back to delivering her comedic one liners, which Caterina Scorsone always delivers so effortlessly, asking if the other sister Lizzie is hiding in the closet for the family reunion and “we can all compare lives and make sure yours are better”.
The dinner just got more painful to watch after Amelia’s mum (Tyne Daly) arrived and immediately noticed that the man with Amelia was not Owen, as she had met him previously whilst visiting Derek in Seattle (if you ask me Kathleen and Nancy should be grateful they never had to meet the real Owen). When Amelia finally had to admit that her and Owen where divorced, it was then revealed that the family made a bet – after not even attending her wedding – how long her marriage would last (BRUTAL). It just got worse for Amelia as her sisters made further digs, going over all the bad and impulsive things she has done over the years whilst she was struggling with her drug addiction, even I found it painful to sit through so I can’t even imagine how poor Amelia felt! She then angrily responded saying that she is no longer that messed up teenager anymore, and she is now one of the top surgeons in the country. Towards the end of the episode I couldn’t help but feel proud of Amelia, as she once again took on a very risky surgery and succeeded which permanently helps the patients deformity.
My favourite scene of the episode was the incredible touching and beautiful written and performed scene between Amelia and her Mum at the park bench. Amelia asked her mum if it’s possible she is unable to love (after Owen’s disgusting accusation last episode) and her Mum recalled when Amelia was younger and learning how to ride a bike, no matter how many times she fell she always got up. I couldn’t help but tear up, as that story reminded me why I feel so attached to Amelia’s character; after all the horrible and painful things she has had to experience over the years she has always got back up and come back stronger. Amelia’s mum said that this is what makes her the most like her father and, in my opinion, is what makes her such a great character. The tears were then rolling down my face when her mum informed Amelia that she was worthy of love, and that her love is valuable. Amelia’s mum also admitted that she should have been there for her more and if she is unable to love it’s partly her fault, Amelia admitted that looking after Betty was the most difficult thing she’s ever done and she wasn’t half as bad as Amelia growing up. They then ended the scene with a touching hug, which was then I could finally wipe my tears. The episode ended with Amelia coming home to Meredith and Maggie and telling them all about her eventful journey, which was a lovely finishing touch. It emphasised how whilst Amelia might not always be able to rely on her biological family, she has created her own family and support system around her to help her get through each day.
My final thoughts on the episode was that it was nice to see Amelia interact with her family and get a bigger insight to how she was the “black sheep” growing up. It was so nice to finally seeing Amelia interact with her mother in a scene so simple, but still so well written. However I have mixed feelings of how this episode highlighted Amelia and Link getting closer, even though I did gain a lot of respect for him when he stood up for Amelia in front of her family. Amelia just left a very draining relationship, and I’m not sure if it’s a good storyline direction for her to get into another relationship so soon, as it would be nice to see Amelia on her own for a bit. Whatever is next in Amelia’s journey, it was so relieving to see a lot of the old Amelia who I originally fell in love with this episode.