This week’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy got even more serious, if you can believe it. Amidst a season of COVID-19 hardships, the Grey’s team chose to shine a light on police brutality and Black Lives Matter protests that started this summer following the murder of George Floyd.

A movement of protests in Seattle prompt Richard Webber to join the crowds. Cormac Hayes comes into the hospital early on with a head wound after marching with his two sons. He decides then that his sons are not allowed to go back to the protests because it is too dangerous.

A woman names Nell arrives at the hospital with a tear gas canister protruding from her neck Richard shares that she was marching peacefully with him before things turned violent.

Richard and Jackson Avery rush Nell to surgery where Jackson reveals that he has never actually been to a protest. He says he has always donated money, signed petitions, boycotted people and business, but has always come up with an excuse to not actually go and march. Richard tells him that he tries not to judge other people for how they choose to fight.

Nell’s surgery is successful and Richard, Jackson and Cormac all gather around her bedside to hear stories about past protests she has been to. Richard shares some of his stories as well before Nell reveals that her mother brought her to the March on Washington in 1963 when she was a young girl.

This interaction inspires Cormac to reconsider his rules and allow his boys to attend the protests. It also prompts Jackson to ask his mom, Catherine Avery, why they never went to protests. She fires back saying that she fought her own battles within the hospital making it possible for him to be there.

Winston Ndugu, Maggie Pierce’s new fiancé, is traveling back to Seattle after packing up his life in Boston. Maggie calls him to ask him to stay put for the time being because of all the chaos in the world. Winston insists that he can make it home, but gets pulled over by two cops while on the phone with Maggie.

The cops question Winston and force him to hang up on Maggie. For the rest of the day Maggie frantically calls Winston’s cell phone, panicking the longer she goes without hearing from him. A kid who got hut in the chest by a rubber bullet comes into the emergency room, pulling Maggie’s attention away from her fiancé. She tells Ortiz, the intern to keep calling him until he picks up.

Richard steps in a promises Maggie that if they can’t reach him, he will go out and look for Winston himself. Once Maggie comes out of surgery with the kid a second time, she is able to get ahold of Winston, who promises her he is okay.

She quickly realizes he is not and she tells him she will stay on the phone with him as long as he needs. When Winston finally returns home, the two hold each other for a long time.

Of course, Grey-Sloan Memorial couldn’t escape another dramatic COVID-19 case. Miranda Bailey received a patient who didn’t believe in the pandemic, claiming that the government pays hospitals to make people sick on purpose.

Bailey pleads with the man to take his positive COVID-19 test seriously and let her treat him, but he refuses, claiming it’s just his asthma. She ends up being right and they find the man unresponsive outside the hospital. He later dies from a blood clot.

From Meredith’s side of things, she is still unresponsive and hanging out in a hyperbaric chamber. While she’s in there, another COVID-19 patient’s stomach bursts open and his guts fall out. Levi Schmidt has to channel his inner Meredith Grey and and operate on the patient, saving him.

Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays on ABC at 9/8c.

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