Grey's Anatomy has seen its fair share of drama and grief this season, but this week's episode was one that offered hope and new beginnings. In season 17, episode 15— titled "Tradition,"— Ellen Pompeo's "Meredith" is finally out of her coma, but her return to the world of the living comes as Jesse Williams' "Jackson" goes on a farewell tour around Grey Sloan Memorial.
"Meredith's" recovery brings optimism to Grey Sloan Memorial
"Meredith" is shown taking her pulmonary function test at the start of the episode, which reveals that her lungs are functioning 50% better than expected. Since she has spent much of the season battling coronavirus on and off, her recovery is welcome news! "Bailey" mentions that "DeLuca" took good care of her, and "Webber" says they have to tell her about what happened to him.
"Owen" and "Teddy" talk about "Meredith" going home. "I actually feel hope," "Teddy" says to him. The two then share a heated moment, which starts out with a kiss and then escalates into a full-on steamy hookup! Elsewhere in the hospital, "Amelia" rejoices about the idea of "Meredith" coming home, before she quickly panics at the current state of her house.
"Jackson" tells his fellow doctors that he's leaving
"Jackson" tells "Bailey" that he is resigning and taking off for Boston in the morning, mentioning how important the work he’s going to do as the head of the foundation is. While "Bailey" feels like she's been left in the dark, "Webber" tells "Bailey" that his departure "wasn’t my news to share."
"Jackson" tells them that while he went to go see his dad, he ultimately learned "the kind of surgeon, the kind of person, the kind of father" he wants to be from his stepfather. And in transitioning into his new role as head of the foundation, "Jackson" has now become both "Webber" and "Bailey's" boss!
"Jackson" also shares the news of his move with "Jo," who comments on her own career change during the pandemic— this episode marking her debut as an OBGYN, donning pink scrubs for the first time—and hookup with the departing doctor. "Good luck saving the world," she tells "Jackson".
"Meredith" also talks to "Jackson," mentioning how they're the only two left from her residency class, and saying she’s impressed with what he's doing. She also mentions her "clap-out" celebration— which was supposed to be a surprise as she leaves the hospital— and how she was fortunate enough to have great health care. "Meredith" then tells "Jackson" to "give ‘em hell" and then hugs a pillow.
Grey's Anatomy reflects on the emotional impact of lockdown
"Webber" and "Bailey" come and talk to "Meredith," revealing the truth about "DeLuca" having died. "Meredith" is sad but not surprised, saying that "DeLuca’s" okay because he’s with his mother. While Webber and Bailey look confused by this, we know that "Meredith" saw the two reunite on the beach.
"Meredith" finally gets her "clap-out" celebration— as is the tradition when a patient who has recovered from COVID-19 leaves the hospital. However, when the doors open, everyone is surprised to see that there's no one in the wheelchair. Instead, "Meredith" has already left the hospital with "Jackson," who pushes her around in the wheelchair before driving her home.
Outside, "Schmidt" has a heart to heart with "Helm," telling her that he froze when his boyfriend "Nico" asked him to move in. He comments on how quarantine has affected everyone, making them less themselves. Then in a surprise move, "Schmidt" asks "Helm" to move in with him so they can be alone— but together. She breaks down crying, and the two share a sweet moment.
"Meredith" returns home as "Jackson" leaves town
"Meredith" walks in the front door and her daughters run over to see her, as "Amelia" smiles. "Meredith" then thanks her for taking care of the house, excited to finally be reunited with her family. They even have signs and donuts to celebrate her return— but "Meredith" returned before they could have them ready for her!
"Koracick" shows up in the parking lot to talk to "Jackson," explaining that he wants to be an ally and help out "Jackson" in Boston however he can. "Just let me help," he says, and "Jackson" obliges, telling "Koracick" to meet him Monday at 6 AM.
The episode's final moments see "Jackson" looking into the hospital, where he watches a young Black man starting his medical career. A flashback through "Jackson's" time at Grey Sloan Memorial over the years is then shown before "Jackson" drives away, heading off to his brand-new start in Boston. With just two episodes left this season, we can't wait to find out what Grey's Anatomy has in store for viewers!