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There are 100 billion neurons in the human brain making and re-making connections. Helping us with math. Remembering our keys, our dad's voice. Working hard all the time. So when the brain is faulty, it's a big re-wiring job and there's no margin for error. When you're going into surgery, you worry you won't wake up. But with brain surgery, you worry you will wake up but you won't be there when you do. The trouble with crossed wires is you don't know they happened until it's too late. So we have to be very careful with our connections. They take time, care, and attention. They take vigilance and single-mindedness. We reconnect everything we can as carefully as we can. And then we just have to pray to God that we got it right.

Ain't That a Kick in the Head is the fourth episode of the fourteenth season and the 297th overall episode of Grey's Anatomy.

Short Summary[]

Amelia confronts a difficult situation, while Meredith deals with the fallout from her conversation with Nathan. Maggie finds herself at an awkward family dinner, Jackson receives big news, and Richard and Bailey search for the stars of tomorrow.

Full Summary[]

In the bathroom of her hospital room, Amelia starts shaving off a part of her hair with Maggie and Meredith watching. Meredith asks if she's sure she doesn't want Meredith to call her mom, but Amelia says she doesn't get to come for this after skipping the wedding.

Bailey is woken up by the closing bedroom door. She looks up and is surprised to find that Ben's already gone.

Ben is exercising outside.

Almost everyone has gathered in Amelia's room. Tom explains his plan and assures the surgeons he's done many similar surgeries. Amelia should be able to return to work in a week. He leaves the room and Maggie comments on his arrogance. Amelia instructs Andrew to ask Tom a lot of questions and to use her early ambulation protocol after surgery. If she doesn't make it through, she wants Meredith to call her mother since she likes Meredith. She also tells Maggie to take her room since it's better, and Owen can tuck her away and move on with his life. April is in charge of deciding whether or not she can be unplugged, because they are not so close that she'll let emotion dictate her decision. She doesn't know if this is tumor or not, but in this moment, she loves them all tremendously.

In the OR, Amelia, Tom, and Andrew are doing the superhero pose. Amelia assures Tom that there are studies on this. Amelia waves at Maggie, Meredith, and Alex in the gallery and she's put under.

Bailey and Richard are on their way to the first intern interview. They know all their candidates have the grades, but they want to make sure they are also functioning human beings. They walk up to the conference room, where the guy is telling himself he's awesome. He starts reciting all arteries in alphabetical order. Bailey and Richard decide they've seen enough.

Owen's checking up on Megan. She has a minor fever. She says she understands Owen's marriage now that he's avoiding Amelia's surgery. Owen brings up what Nathan pulled on her. She says she turned down his proposal and dismissed him. He had every right and reason to walk away, even though a goodbye might have been nice.

In the chapel, April is praying to God not to make her unplug Amelia.

Tom is operating and singing along to The Beach Boys. Andrew tries to ask questions, but Tom ignores him.

Up in the gallery, Arizona and Carina talk about how masturbation found the tumor. Maggie thinks the song is inappropriate, but Meredith says Nathan leaving Megan is what's inappropriate. Alex never liked him. They are all alarmed when Tom stops singing. Meredith explains this is a crucial part because he has to cut the last vessel. Tom cuts it. It looked like it was feeding the meningioma but it was going straight through it to the brain. Meredith says he didn't have a choice. Tom removes the tumor. Meredith hopes it's fine, but it could also be very bad.

Amelia opens her eyes as the surgeons are discussing the surgery. They are 11 hours post-op. April is relieved. They ask her questions, but she can't answer. She realizes she can't talk yet. Tom says everyone's recovery time is different so they shouldn't panic. Amelia thinks she's gorked.

Post-op day 1

Andrew wakes up Meredith, who's sleeping in the chair next to Amelia's bed. As Meredith tells Amelia she's going to take a shower. Meredith thinks Amelia squeezed her hand. Amelia thinks they are talking too loudly as she wants to sleep. Meredith then notices she's breathing over the tube so they go to extubate her. Amelia wishes they'd stop talking.

Richard and Bailey are with their next interviewee. He knows he looks young, so he says he went high school at 12, college at 14, medical school at 16, and he lost his virginity at 18. He realizes they didn't need to know that last bit. Bailey smiles.

The next interviewee keeps checking his phone because his top choice is Mass Gen, but Grey Sloan is a solid number 2. However, he gets a message and then starts praising Grey Sloan. Richard and Bailey don't buy it.

Catherine and Jackson enter the hospital together. Richard walks up and asks about the service. Jackson says there were lots of people sniffing around for money and lots of stories about how nice Harper was, especially to women. Catherine says they'll do a family supper and talk about the real Harper Avery. As she and Richard walk off to get her changed, Tom recognizes her. She's surprised to see him. He compliments her looks. She introduces him to Richard and Jackson. Tom jokes he wants to make sure Jackson's not his. He tells Richard that Amelia is not yet verbally responsive, but it's early. He wants to catch up with Catherine sometime. Richard is jealous and wants details, but Catherine prefers to keep the mystery alive.

Jackson catches up with Maggie, Alex, and Meredith. Maggie thinks he came from a meeting to attract money for his department and mocks him. He tells her he comes from a funeral. She's embarrassed and walks off. Alex asks how much money Harper left Jackson, but Meredith says that's inappropriate. She paged Jackson. She's publishing Megan's surgery and it might be considered for a Harper Avery. Jackson understands he needs to take his name off the case. Although he's disappointed, he consents to have her do it.

Andrew is trying to do the early mobilization with Amelia, but she's resisting. In her head, she begs him to stop. Tom comes in and tries to stop him. Andrew says Amelia made him to do it. Tom says that was the tumor, but Andrew stresses that she does it with all her patients. Her recovery rate is higher than Tom's, she wanted him to say. Amelia realizes she can be an ass. Tom says it's on Andrew if her ICP increases. Andrew then gets Amelia to the chair as she screams in pain.

Meredith is checking on Megan, who really wants to leave. She says she it's just a fever, but Meredith says it's not just that. Her white cell count is elevated and there's some erythema. She needs to do three days of IV cefazolin. Megan sighs. She asks if Meredith's heard from Nathan. Meredith says no. Megan says she sent Nathan to Meredith. Meredith says she directed him back to Megan pretty firmly. Megan jokes they broke his brain.

Outside the room, Meredith updates Jo on Megan's case. Jo is worried that it'll affect the article and pretends it's about the medicine. Meredith assures her that she will put Jo's name on the article. Jo's happy until Meredith asks her to find photos of the two of them for the article.

Amelia is still in pain. Richard tells her the body can't heal if it's in so much pain. AA has no rules on pain medication as long as she follows doctor's orders. Amelia thinks opioids are her drugs of choice so she really can't. She begs Richard to stop and her eyes convey the message. He knew what she'd think but he had to ask. Amelia continues crying.

Post-op day 2

Arizona and April join Meredith, Alex, and Maggie as they are discussing Amelia. They joke around a bit. Meredith realizes the tumor made Amelia leave Los Angeles and Maggie wonders how they missed this. They all joke about having a tumor to blame their recent bad decisions on. Meredith's tumor, Nathan, calls her, but Meredith declines the call. She's done with him. April comes to his defense. They then get a message that Amelia's talking and they rush off.

They arrive in her room and are surprised to hear that Amelia's talking in French. Maggie translates and they give her the water she asked for. Meredith recalls all the Shepherd children went to French preschool. She's seen this before and assures the rest that it reverses, but it's progress. In French, Maggie asks Amelia if she can speak English. Amelia replies that she didn't even know she could speak French.

Richard and Bailey's next interviewee says she hates all her peers. Med school is filled with legacy kids who expect everything to come easy. She, however, had to work her ass off for everything she has. If that attitude is a problem, they shouldn't hire her.

Next up is a woman who finds her social media status very important. Her followers are really invested in her journey. She takes a quick snap of her with Richard and Bailey.

Bailey's on her way out and finds Ben sleeping on a gurney in the hallway.

Megan has had enough. She jumps out of bed and pulls out her IV despite Owen's objections. Meredith comes rushing in. Megan has found out that Farouk is in the hospital in Baghdad and her CO can't tell her what's going on. She tells Meredith to write her a prescription she can fill on her way to the airport. Meredith says she has infection so she can't leave. She confesses she once kidnapped her own daughter when she thought they were taking her away. She felt exactly like Megan does now, and all she did was make things worse. She asks Megan to take a moment and tells her she can't help her son if she's dead.

Arizona finds April laying on a bed in the ER. April has trouble going home when she doesn't have Harriet. Arizona remembers that. She says it's really hard at first, but then it becomes the new normal. It aches but you realize she's somewhere safe and that she's loved. And then there's some adult fun for the nights your kids are not with you. April doesn't want a new normal. Arizona lies down with her. April asks if she doesn't have hot Italian sex waiting for her. Arizona says she does.

Owen finds Meredith in Amelia's room. He asks if she thinks they are getting her back. As she declines another call from Nathan, she says she wishes she knew. Amelia asks them to keep it down in English. She doesn't remember speaking French. She does remember the tumor and the surgery. Meredith asks Owen to call Koracick. Amelia doesn't like him and tells them to call Derek instead. She sees Meredith's face and asks what.

Post-op day 3

Amelia's about to have a scan taken. She knows Derek's dead but she forgot. It came back the moment they told her. She starts panicking that she might never operate anymore. Tom asks her what the cause of her memory loss is. Amelia says it's retrograde amnesia. She lists a bunch of possible causes and says it's likely temporary. Tom asks her to repeat the last part. It's temporary and she doesn't have to be afraid. She's too good not to be a surgeon again. He then asks her to lie down so they can get the scans. Meredith gets another call from Riggs.

Meredith finally picks up and tells him to stop calling. If there wasn't anything to say before he left, there's definitely nothing to talk about now. Nathan then greets her formally and tells her he's putting her on speaker phone. He tells her he's at the embassy in Baghdad. He's calling about Farouk. The officials need some questions answered about his beta-thalassemia and the clinical trial she's running in order to secure Farouk's medical travel visa. Meredith plays along and quickly finds a tablet to research clinical trials. Meredith answers all the questions in favor of the disease.

Nathan lets Meredith know that he's alone now. He's been calling her for days and couldn't call someone else because he had to follow the rules for the embassy. This is his grand gesture for Megan. Meredith apologizes for not answering. She thought he ran. She asks him if this worked. He doesn't know. If he's back in Seattle by 3 o'clock tomorrow, it did. He asks her not to tell Megan until they're sure it's happening.

Bailey and Richard have trouble understanding the next interviewee. She almost whispers and doesn't speak up.

Next up is Levi Schmitt. He has found a way to make sure his glasses don't fall off anymore: a sports band. He tried contacts, but they required him to touch his eye balls with his finger so that didn't work for him.

Richard comes home to Catherine setting up dinner. He brought Maggie, but Catherine doesn't seem too thrilled. Jackson comes up with beverages. Catherine welcomes Maggie and asks Richard to help her out in the kitchen.

In the kitchen, Catherine says he could have called. Richard says he likes to keep a sense of mystery. She asks if they are talking about Tom now.

Maggie says it's a beautiful house. She's never been here because she thinks Richard is afraid of pushing the dad angle. Jackson says he's a good guy. She agrees, and so is Catherine. To break the awkward silence, Jackson offers her wine.

Catherine says there have been penises in her life that weren't attached to Richard. He shouldn't try to change the subject. Richard says he doesn't know what the subject is. Catherine says she wanted to talk to Jackson alone tonight.

Maggie and Jackson can hear them argue from the living room. Catherine says his grandfather just passed. Jackson offers Maggie more wine and apologizes for all this. Catherine says she needs to talk to Jackson about his inheritance, which is complicated. Richard wonders how. As Jackson goes to tell them to be quiet, Catherine loudly says they're talking about a quarter billion dollars. Richard and Catherine then appear in the living room with the food, asking who's hungry.

The dinner has started. Jackson asks why Harper couldn't have just given the money to the Foundation. Catherine says he left plenty to the Foundation, this is his gift to Jackson. Jackson says it's an economy, not a gift. Catherine says it's how he showed his love. Jackson doesn't want it. What he wants is a fair chance to win his award. But he's not complaining. Catherine says he should try not having a lot of money. Maggie says she went to college on a full ride at 15. She had no friends and cried all the time. She doesn't know what it's like to have Beyoncé money, but research shows that having too many choices is a leading cause of stress. With the money, Jackson can literally do anything he wants. He might not be complaining, but it's stressful. It's a good problem to have, though. She asks if there's more wine.

Post-op day 4

Tom is checking on Amelia. Her memory and motor skills are good. Her scans are pristine. Tom tells her she can go home and come back in a few days for a follow-up. He leaves. Maggie cheers, but Amelia wants to see her scans. She thinks something's missing. She repeats she wants her scans.

The next interviewee has an impressive past in the Army. He left for medical school after catching some shrapnel and witnessing the trauma surgeons save all those lives. Also, he loved watching M*A*S*H when he was young. He had a thing for Hawkeye Pierce. So did Bailey.

Up next is an interviewee who has read all about the fire and the resident. She thinks Stephanie is so fierce. She's really excited to see the changes they'll make when they rebuild. Bailey says they already did. The interviewee tries to save face by asking about the designer.

It's almost 3. Meredith is waiting for a call from Nathan as Jo finds her. She wants to be taken off the article because of her husband. Meredith says she didn't even think about that. Jo says that's not her job.

Ben has overheard and catches up with Jo. He asks why she'd take her name off. Because otherwise her psychopathic husband might find out her new identity and come kill her. He's shocked to see she's serious. Jo asks for a secret of his so she doesn't feel so horribly exposed. Ben says he's training for something that his wife won't like one bit if she finds out. He walks off without telling her what exactly it is.

Tom, Amelia, and Andrew are looking at Amelia's scans. Tom again says there's nothing physically wrong with her. He leaves and Amelia orders more tests. Andrew asks what they're looking for. Amelia will know it when she sees it.

Meredith's outside overlooking the water when she finally gets a message from Nathan, asking her to come to the at the airport ASAP. She runs off.

Meredith is confronted with a holdup at the airport. An immigration guard tells her her patient can't be released until the DA comes and checks it off. There's also some paperwork that needs to be filled out. Meredith says they don't have time for that. Since the patient seems alright to him, so they have time. Meredith asks if he knows what beta-thalassemia looks like. She doubts that, because the yellow in his eyes tells her that he needs to get his liver checked soon. Also, talking about paperwork, they are going to need a form to fill out for standing by while a child dies if he doesn't let her do her job. The guard then agrees to open the door. Nathan greets her with Farouk laying next to him.

The next interviewee is talking about how patient connection is just as important as surgical dexterity to her. Bailey says nobody ever bled out from rudeness. The interviewee then tries to correct herself.

The next interviewee's speech is cut short when her dog jumps onto the table. Bailey asks why the dog is here. The interviewee brought the dog for emotional support, but they can't legally ask her that question. The dog starts licking Richard's face.

Meredith appears in Megan's doorway and tells her not to make any sudden movements or jump out of bed. Nathan then appears and tells her he brought someone. He shows her Farouk. Megan cheers as Farouk runs up to her. They hug. Owen also hugs Riggs. Megan can't believe he's really here and introduces Farouk to his uncle Owen. Nathan and Meredith watch with a smile on their face. Meredith walks off.

Andrew enters Amelia's room. He thinks he knows what she's looking. He brought her tumor in a jar. He thinks she's waiting for the other shoe to drop. For years now, there was something wrong with her and Amelia was in constant danger, but she's safe now. That might feel to her like something's wrong. He thinks he overstepped, but she hugs him.

Jackson sees Maggie studying scans and enters the room. He apologizes for last night, but he really appreciated what he had to say. He appreciates her. She says she appreciates him, too. Catherine comes in and Maggie thanks her for last night. Catherine's happy she was there to talk some sense into Jackson. Catherine says Jackson is just like her. When her mother told her something, she ignored her, but when her sister told her something, she actually listened. She walks out as Jackson and Maggie let that sink in. Jackson quickly leaves.

Catherine and Richard are leaving the hospital. He tells her he dislikes the interns more the older he gets. Tom catches up with them and asks Catherine if she wants to grab a drink. Richard says they have plans. Tom says they're missing their chance as he won't be around for much longer, but Catherine suggests he come give some lectures. He seems to be up for that. He leaves and Catherine tells Richard that she likes what Tom does to Richard.

Owen enters Amelia's room. He tells her he stocked the fridge with her favorites and set the thermostat to boiling, as she likes that. Amelia says she figured he could take care of his sister while she lets her sisters take care of her. She doesn't know what comes next, but it's scary. She knows he was coming to end it when she told him about her tumor. He was right to do so, because she was awful to him. She says he married a tumor. She doesn't know who she is anymore so he doesn't need to do this now. He can be free. Owen says she's his wife in sickness and in health. He wants her to come home.

April's in the chapel with Harriet. She thanks God.

Bailey sees Ben setting his alarm and says rounds don't start that early. He says he wants to get in a run. She says he's been running a lot lately. He likes to keep in shape. He kisses her.

Arizona and Carina are kissing in bed naked when Arizona gets a text. She smiles. It's from Sofia. She wants to move home.

Alex notices that Jo is restless. She hates her husband. She hates that he still has power and that he's still taking things away from her. Alex holds her.

Meredith tells Megan that her temperature is down. Megan thanks Meredith as Nathan told her she helped him. Meredith says it was all him and asks where Nathan is. Megan says she can tell Nathan is in love with Meredith. She sees it in his eyes when he talks about her. Megan is really grateful to Meredith. Meredith says Megan has to believe her. She is not in this picture. Nathan did have a life while she was gone and it may have taken him some time to adjust, but he moved Heaven and Earth for her. He clearly loves her, and that's not a man you throw away.

Owen is driving Amelia home.


Main Cast[]

Guest Stars[]


Medical Notes[]

Amelia Shepherd[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Benign grade I meningioma
    • Retrograde amnesia
  • Treatment:
    • Tumor resection

Amelia had surgery to remove her tumor. Before her surgery, she had requested early ambulation and no opioids. She took a while to wake up after surgery and wasn't able to speak right away. Post-op day 1, she started breathing over the vent, so they extubated her. She was awake, so Andrew was able to get her up out of bed, but she wasn't able to talk. Day two, Amelia started speaking, but only in French. She was later able to speak English, but had gaps in her memory, though those were easily filled in. Koracick cleared her to go home, which she did after some reluctance.

Megan Hunt[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Cellulitis
  • Treatment:
    • Cefazolin

Megan had an infection that raised her temperature. Meredith examined her and said she'd need three days of IV cefazolin.


Song Performer Scene
"Got the Feeling" Juliet & The X's
  • Amelia shaves her head in preparation for her surgery.
  • Amelia tells Meredith not to call her mom.
  • Bailey wakes up alone.
  • Ben runs outside.
"Fun Fun Fun" The Beach Boys
  • April prays.
  • Koracick sings along as he works on Amelia. He tells Andrew to sing along or shut up.
  • Carina and Arizona watch and talk about how her tumor was diagnosed.
  • Maggie, Meredith, and Alex talk about Nathan.
  • Koracick stops singing along. Meredith explains what he's doing.
"Leave the Light On" Overcoats
  • Amelia says she'll know what she's looking for when she sees it.
  • Meredith sits at Kerry Park until she gets a text from Nathan.
  • Meredith argues with the agent about Farouk.
  • He lets her in to see Farouk and Nathan.
"Silence" Grace Carter
  • Owen tells Amelia she's his wife and asks her to come home.
  • April prays in the chapel with Harriet.
  • Ben tells Bailey he's getting up early to run.
  • Arizona gets a text from Sofia saying she wants to move home.
  • Alex asks Jo if she's okay. She says she hates that Paul still has power over her.
  • Meredith tells Megan her fever is down and that Farouk coming was all Nathan.
  • Megan knows that Nathan is in love with Meredith.
  • Meredith tells Megan that Nathan loves her and that's not a guy you throw away.
  • Owen takes Amelia home.

Notes and Trivia[]


Grey's Anatomy 14x04 "Ain't That a Kick in the Head" PROMO

  • This episode's title originated from the song Ain't That a Kick in the Head, originally sung by Dean Martin.
  • This episode scored 8.08 million viewers.
  • Filming took place from September 5 to September 15, 2017.
  • The scene where Meredith is waiting for a message from Nathan was filmed on location in Seattle.
  • Meredith asks Jackson to remove his name from her article so she's eligible for a Harper Avery Award, while last time this was brought up, it was said that no one from Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital would ever win the Award. However, as clarified by @GreysMedical, this affiliation issue was taken care of by Richard and Catherine. This was presumably done while they were working out agreements prior to getting married in You're My Home.[1]


Episode Stills[]

Behind the Scenes[]


Maggie: Oh, look at Dr. Fancypants! Trying to lure in that big facelift money?
Jackson: I was at a funeral.
Maggie: I am a terrible person. You look very somber.
Alex: How much money did he leave you?
Meredith: That's not an appropriate question.
Alex: Well, I just want to know exactly. I mean, do they just back up a truckload of silver spoons?
Jackson: It's a fleet of limos, not a truck.

Jackson: Just be grateful that your mother didn't start up a foundation.
Meredith: Yeah, that Alzheimer's really put a wrench in her charitable giving.

Megan: Have you heard from Nathan?
Meredith: No. Have you?
Megan: No. For what it's worth, I told him you were the real deal. I sent him to you.
Meredith: And I sent him to you. Pretty firmly.
Megan: I think we broke his brain.

April: I don't have Harriet tonight. I have trouble going home when I don't have Harriet.
Arizona: I remember that. It's really hard. At first.
April: At first?
Arizona: Yeah. Eventually you have a new normal. You know, eventually, you miss her on the nights that you don't have her, but you know that she's somewhere safe and loved, and the ache is just less. And then maybe some new grown-up fun comes into your life. And maybe there's some joy in that.
April: I don't want a new normal. Don't you have hot Italian sex waiting for you?
Arizona: I do.

Catherine: I've been on this planet for six decades. There have been penises in my life that are not attached to you.

Jackson: I'm not complaining. It's just... It's a lot!
Catherine: You think having a lot of money is tough? Try not having it some time.
Maggie: No, I get it. I mean, I went to college on a full ride when I was 15, which sounds awesome, but I had no friends and I cried all the time, and it was awful. I mean, I don't know what it's like to have Beyoncé money, but I do know that research shows that having too many choices is a leading cause of stress. And now Jackson can literally choose to do anything for the rest of his life. You could buy a vineyard and never work again. Or you could buy a hospital and work until the day you die. Even if you give it away, you have to decide who gets it and who doesn't. You could buy an island. Or you could buy two islands and make them fight each other. I mean, I get that you're not complaining, but it is a problem. It is stressful. Still, it's a good problem to have, right?

Tom: Do you know who the president is?
Amelia: I wish I didn't.
Tom: Very good.

Ben: Why would you take your name off that article?
Jo: Because if I didn't, my psychopathic husband might see my picture, learn my new name, and come kill me.
Ben: That's... Wait. Seriously? You're married?
Jo: And in hiding.

Dahlia: I think patient connection is just as important as surgical dexterity.
Bailey: Well, nobody ever bled out from rudeness.

Andrew: I think I figured out what you're looking for. It was this. This is what's missing. I think you've been waiting for the other shoe to drop, for something to go wrong. And I think it might be because, for years now, something was wrong. This thing was growing inside of you, and you were in constant danger. But now it's gone and you're safe.

Owen: Hey, so, I stocked the fridge with all your favorites. I set the thermostat to boiling, just how you like it. I want you to come home, Amelia.
Amelia: Yeah, I figured, you would take care of your sister, and my sisters would take care of me, and then...
Owen: And then what?
Amelia: And then I don't know. And it's scary. You were coming to end it, to leave me, when I told you that I was sick.
Owen: Listen. I was upset. But I didn't know...
Amelia: You were right. I was awful to you. You were right to want to leave.
Owen: You had a tumor.
Amelia: You married a tumor.
Owen: I married you.
Amelia: We don't know who that is anymore. I don't know who I am. So you don't have to do this now. You can be free.
Owen: Amelia. You're my wife, okay? In sickness and in health. Come home.

Alex: You okay?
Jo: I just hate him. I hate that he still has power. I hate that he's still taking things away from me.

Meredith: Megan, if you want to thank me, you'll believe me. I am not in this picture. Nathan did have a life while you were gone, and maybe it took him a minute to adjust. But look, he moved Heaven and Earth for you. He loves you. That's not a man you throw away.

See Also[]

A complete overview of this episode's crew can be found here.