The mid-season premiere of Grey’s Anatomy did not disappoint, as fans are well-used to unbelievable horrors happening in Grey Sloan Memorial. Yet somehow Shonda Rhime’s writing and Ellen Pompeo’s acting always pulls through to bring on the heartache and the waterworks, and this time was no different.

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 12, Mid-Season Premiere Recap

This week’s episode was a focus on Meredith more than anybody else, and by now you’ve probably heard that in this week’s episode Meredith was brutally attacked by a patient. This is how it happened.

Lou, a patient, suffers a seizure Meredith and her team sedated him. Everyone else has left the room and the surgical chief is busy typing when Lou wakes up, clearly not in the right state of mind. Then, Lou stands up and as Meredith tries to get him to lie back down he throws her against the window and begins to beat her. Next shot: Meredith is on the floor.

Apart from Amelia (Caterina Scorsone), who freezes, her team is immediately in action to help her. Meredith has various injuries including fractured ribs, neck bruises, swelling, and a collapsed lung. They manage to stabilize her, but when they do she still can’t hear.

So the horror of the attack just gets worse, as we’re faced with the possibility of Meredith being deaf.

The rest of the episode progresses in silence. We are with Meredith in her point of view as we watch her review x-rays, rehabilitate, cry, and pump pain meds into herself.

Then Alex (Justin Chambers) comes in. Laying beside her he says, “You’ve got a lot of snot. I mean, you might have a serious condition.”

But then her crying turned to laughter and it seems that things were looking up: Meredith could hear again.

Miranda (Chandra Wilson) then explained to Meredith that Lou had a “severe epidural hematoma” and when he really regained consciousness, he had no memory of what he had done. His surgery was successful and he was sent home. Lou asked to see Meredith to apologize. Meredith wasn’t very open to that.

Even as things are objectively looking up, the sadness never ends. Alex brings Meredith’s children to see her but Zola, Meredith’s daughter, refuses to get close to her, too scared of her mother’s appearance. In the heartbreaking scene, Meredith begs her children to come hug her, but they refuse and the baby in her arms starts to cry.

Meredith’s next visitor is Richard, here to talk about Amelia.

First he explains how Amelia came to see Meredith the night of the attack, drunk and remorseful for not coming to help Meredith with Lou as Meredith had requested and then continues:

“Forgiveness is a powerful thing, Meredith. Not only to make the other person feel good, but to heal you. You need to forgive her Meredith. Forgive her for not being Derek. For being the wrong Shepard, just enough to remind you of what’s missing, but not enough to bring him back. That’s not her fault. You need to forgive her. You don’t have to like her. You don’t have to love her. But forgive her, okay? So you can forgive Blake for being in that room when a wrong decision cost you your husband, to forgive Derek for dying to soon, to forgive yourself for hating him for dying to soon. Let it go, Meredith, and forgive.”

After that heart-wrenching speech, Meredith’s next visitor is Lou. After introducing his wife and daughters, Lou apologized immediately.

“What I did to you, I didn’t know,” he said. “I would never. I would never hurt a woman. I just wanted you to know that I’m sorry, truly sorry.”

Meredith couldn’t talk because she was healing, so she took his hand as a gesture of forgiveness.

When Meredith is finally able to speak, Amelia cautiously comes to visit, handing Meredith her 30-day sobriety chip.

“I know I’m a mess who talks too much and feels too much, and drives you crazy, but that is the one way I know how to stay sober,” said Amelia, “And every time I try to suck it up and just be cold and normal, I end up drunk or on pills or at a funeral. Do you know what it felt like for me to walk into that trauma room and see you on the table and think, ‘Great, I did it again. Here comes another funeral’?”

Despite this heartfelt declaration Meredith replied, “I’m not ready to forgive yet.” She did, however, keep Amelia’s chip.

In the end, Meredith seems to be regaining her strength. And she tells Alex to go be with Jo.

“I know I’ve needed you a lot lately, but I also know and have known for a long time that Jo loves you,” said Meredith. “Don’t ignore that. You can have more than one person. I used to think you couldn’t, but now I know. I mean, it turns out I have a whole damn village.”

Alex took her advice.

So plot advancement was low, character progression in Meredith was high, and we sure cried a lot.

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