Grey’s Anatomy kicked off its 12th season with Bailey competing to be named the new Chief as Grey Sloane Memorial worked to save two teenage girls in “Sledgehammer.”

Grey’s Anatomy 12×01 Recap:

It’s been one year since Derek Shepherd’s death and three months since the events of the Season 11 finale. Meredith (Ellen Pompeo), Maggie (Kelly McCreary) and Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) are all living together in MerDer’s dream house, and Meredith and Amelia are beginning to get on each other’s nerves, with Maggie caught in the middle. At work, Meredith and Amelia struggle to work together after Meredith drunkenly gave Amelia the go ahead to break down a wall in their living room, and was horrified when she woke up to the sound of Amelia taking a hammer to said wall.

But, there’s little time for family squabbles when two teenage girls, Jess and Aliyah, are brought in after they tried to commit suicide by standing in front of a train. Both sustained critical injuries, but Jess is alert when she arrives at the hospital and is able to tell Callie (Sara Ramirez) about why she and Leah were out on the train tracks before her surgery. Aliyah and Jess are in love, but Jess’ parents don’t approve, and her mother had been planning on sending her to a conversion camp that would “turn” her straight. Instead of going to the camp, Jess and Aliyah decided to step in front of a train so that they could be together in death forever. When Jess’ parents arrive at the hospital, Callie confronts them about their plans, pointing out that those camps are “tantamount to child abuse.” Unfortunately, Jess’ mom isn’t in the mood to be lectured, and she sends Callie back into the OR.

During the surgery, Callie, Maggie and Karev (Justin Chambers) talk about how Jess’ mom is a bully, and it’s revealed that both Callie and Karev were bullies back in their day. Maggie, on the other hand, got bullied. Kids called her “little maggot” and made fun of her lisp — once they locked her in the janitor’s closet and left her there for the police to find the next morning. When Callie gets out of surgery, she calls Child Protective Services, but when Jess’ mom gets wind of it, she pounces. Instead of yelling at Callie, Jess’ mother zeroes in on Maggie, yelling in her face until Maggie snaps and punches her in the face!

Maggie later apologizes, but Jess’ mom swears she is going to sue Maggie and the hospital. That is, until her husband decides to stand up and shut her down. After chatting with Aliyah’s father, Jess’ dad appears to have some newfound courage. “This stops now or I am gone and I will take Jess with me… I don’t care if she’s gay. I care if she’s loved. I care if she’s happy, and that’s what you should care about. What is wrong with you that you don’t?” he screams.

Meanwhile, Bailey (Chandra Wilson) is intimidated by her competition for Chief. So much so that she almost ditches her presentation and forfeits the position. In the end, she’s able to deliver her speech, impressing Webber (James Pickens Jr.) and his wife, Catherine (Debbie Allen), and securing her spot as Chief.

In the romance department: things are heating up between Amelia and Owen, but Jackson (Jesse Williams) and April (Sarah Drew) are struggling. The two are still married, but clearly haven’t been speaking during April’s time away. When she gets home from her time abroad, Jackson is sleeping at the hospital, and he informs April that she should spend one last night in their apartment. She deserves one night in a real bed, after all.

Finally, Maggie forces Amelia and Meredith to talk out their issues — the three of them end up taking the sledgehammer to the living room wall together — and Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) finds a hot new intern to rent a room in her house.

Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8pm on ABC.

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