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I don't do reunions. High school, undergrad, med school. I don't need to make superficial conversation with a bunch of people I barely remember. If I wanna keep someone in my life, I keep them in my life. Or, maybe it's just that I don't know how to get rid of them. I don't do reunions, but I can see why people do. They can make you feel like you haven't felt in a long time. It's comfy. It's familiar. It's kind of like coming home. You see how people turned out, if they realized their hopes and dreams, or if they have lost their hopes and dreams. Or maybe you see that they have found what we all should find: brand new hopes and dreams.

Back Where You Belong is the fourteenth episode of the thirteenth season and the 283rd overall episode of Grey's Anatomy.

Short Summary[]

Alex returns to the hospital and discovers a lot has changed since he left. Meanwhile, Jo has to make a difficult decision on a case, and Arizona tries to distance herself from Eliza.

Full Summary[]

In the kitchen, Maggie is telling Alex to hurry up since she really has to leave in 5 minutes. It's his first day back. Meredith, meanwhile, is folding laundry. Amelia walks in as Maggie grabs her lunch. Alex notices Amelia yawning and tells her she doesn't get to act tired after stealing his bed. She reminds him he gave her his room, but he says he thought that was for one night. Now he has to sleep on the couch, which is where people who crash usually sleep. By his definition, Amelia is living here. Meredith says they can have her bed when she dies of boredom. She checked the by-laws and Bailey can actually suspend her. It's time to leave. Maggie says the band is back together again and they leave.

Eliza has gathered the residents and interns and shows them scans of a healthy and a sick kidney. Ben deduces they're going to do a kidney transplant. She asks who's ready to lead. A few people raise their hands. Stephanie says she's not ready. Eliza says that's the right answer. None of them are ready, but they are ready to do as much as they can under close supervision with the reminder to pass it on as soon as necessary. She assigns the kidney recovery to Ben with Isaac assisting and Webber supervising. Jo and Stephanie get to do the transplant with Karev. The recipient is a 16-year-old boy with chronic renal failure due to interstitial nephritis. He lost his last access site for dialysis, so today is the day. The donor is the boy's mother. Jo asks Stephanie if she's okay because the patient's a boy. Stephanie says she has no choice. Jo's also okay with working with Alex.

Richard welcomes Alex back, but Alex is not happy about only being allowed to do resident scut. They're outside Christopher's room. 

Inside the room, Cynthia asks the doctors how long her kidney will last in her son's body. It will last 15 years. She jokes she's happy to hear that since it means there's always a part of her with him, so she can be his conscious. Before they go, Cynthia asks them to tell her son it's mandatory to kiss his mother before the surgery. Stephanie does so. As the residents leave, Eliza tells Stephanie not to be afraid to really take the lead, be assertive. When they're gone, Alex and Richard enter the room to prep mother and son for surgery.

Andrew's updating a nurse in the ER. A dirty and confused woman walks in as Nathan comes up. The woman walks behind the desk while continuing to talk nonsense. She picks up the phone, but collapses seconds later.

Jo overhears a man asking a nurse about his son Chris, who's getting a new kidney today. Jo introduces herself as Chris's surgeon and Ken says he got held up in traffic. Jo says she'll take him to his son. He thanks her and follows her.

Back in the patient's room, Alex and Richard are done prepping Chris. Cynthia's not ready to leave her baby just yet, embarrassing Chris. Stephanie walks in to say they can go to the OR. Shortly after, Jo walks in with Ken. Cynthia and Chris are shocked. Ken says he just wanted to check on Chris. Cynthia asks how he knew where they were. Ken says Chris posted it online. Cynthia tells him to leave. Ken threateningly walks up to Cynthia. Jo wants to stop him, but he shakes her off. Ken tells Cynthia that Chris is his son, too, so he has the right to be here. Chris also tells his father to go. Richard and Alex take Ken out of the room while he continues to shout about his rights, leaving a frustrated Cynthia.

Eliza and Arizona are talking about a restaurant Arizona advised Eliza to go to. As soon as they see that Jackson's watching them, Arizona acts more professionally and pretends to be talking about a case. Eliza walks off and Jackson compliments Arizona on being able to be polite against Eliza. He can't do that. Arizona says she's the worst and leaves. April, who's also standing at the desk, tells Jackson that Eliza only took a job she was offered. He thinks she stole the job, something April is familiar with. Bailey comes over and tells April to run the kidney transplant case. Bailey was supposed to do that, but she's going to Camp David for a summit meeting.

Maggie joins Nathan and DeLuca in the trauma room with Jane Doe. The patient has a temp pacemaker and Nathan needs consent for a permanent one. Maggie gives him her approval and tries to talk to the patient, but it's all still nonsense. The patient starts to get worked up, so Maggie orders lorazepam to calm her down. Nathan asks for a psych consult and tells the patient that they're going to replace her old pacemaker.

Stephanie tells Cynthia that they need to get her BP down before the surgery. Alex comes back and says Ken's in the waiting room. He wants updates. Jo apologizes to Cynthia. She never mentioned she's divorced. Chris says they're not, but they should be. Cynthia says she left with Chris almost a year ago. Chris says they left because his father hit her. Cynthia says she didn't have a job and Chris was sick all the time, so she tried to make it work. However, they left the day he started to go after Chris. The fact that he shows up here pretending to care like a father enrages her. Chris says they'll be alright. Stephanie tells her to focus on why they're here. Cynthia says today was supposed to be a good day. Jo leaves the room.

In the lobby, Jo sees Ken in the waiting area. When Owen comes over to the nursing station, Jo tells him to make Ken leave. He derives from her face that it's serious and goes to do so, but Ken heavily objects.

Stephanie, Jo, and Alex are scrubbing in. Stephanie's done and announces she's doing the first cut. She enters the OR. Alex asks Jo if she's okay. She says she's fine and follows Stephanie into the OR.

Eliza checks in Richard's OR, where Ben is doing very well. Isaac enlarges the incision and then takes the kidney out in a bag. Eliza compliments their work. Richard points out they still advice and guidance. Eliza says he's clearly giving them that and compliments him as well. She leaves.

She enters the other OR and tells the surgeons that the kidney was removed. Jo steps out of the sterile field and says she'll go get the kidney. She leaves the room with Eliza.

Nathan, Maggie, and Andrew remove the old pacemaker, which is a little complicated because it's scarred into the tissue. Maggie wonders why they're not better at taking care of the unhoused. The surgeons brainstorm about how the patient could be identified, which is necessary if they want to hand her over to social services. Nathan then has the idea to have the company trace the serial number on the pacemaker.

Jo's picking up the kidney in the OR. Richard tells her Warren and Cross did great, so it should be an easy anastomose. As soon as she's gone, Cynthia becomes hypertensive. Richard asks for images of the right kidney and sees something behind the bowel. He swears.

Jo and Stephanie are ready for implantation when Richard barges in. He tells them to put the kidney back on ice. The mom's other kidney thrombosed and it's dead, meaning that kidney is the only good one they have.

Alex and Jo leave the OR. He tells her to call UNOS and inform them about the situation. Richard comes up and says Cynthia's in renal failure. Eliza and April come up as well and Richard updates them. Alex thinks that because Cynthia signed all the paperwork, the kid gets the kidney. Richard disagrees. April says this is a first. Since Bailey's gone, April's in charge.

Bailey rings the bell at Meredith's. When Meredith opens the door, Bailey tells her to invite her in for coffee. They're going to talk about the situation like smart women and figure this out. She enters the house.

Richard and Alex argue over the kidney. Alex points out that the mom can go on dialysis until there's another kidney, but April says she might not have signed on for that. Alex says she wanted to save her son, but Richard says she did that when she was perfectly healthy herself. April points out they need to decide soon, or the kidney will die.

Eliza's in the OR with Stephanie and asks her whom she thinks should get the kidney. Stephanie thinks the mother would give it to her son.

Eliza has the same question for Ben, who agrees that any parent would give it to their kid. Isaac says he'd want it for himself.

April says that if Chris gets the kidney, he ends up having to take care of his mother, or maybe he ends up an orphan. Alex says he wouldn't be an orphan because he has a father, albeit an abusive one.

Andrew, Nathan, and Maggie get off the elevator. Andrew got off the phone with the company and found out the patient is Claire Nolan. They walk up to the waiting room, where Claire's mother's waiting. She was called by the police, and her ex-husband's on his way, too. Maggie asks Claire if her daughter has a history of mental illness. Claire says no, but wonders why that matters. Maggie tells her to prepare herself, because it might be a shock. Gwen says it's been 12 years, so it's already a shock. Nathan tells Gwen she may have a hard time understanding her daughter. Gwen only now understands that her daughter's still alive.

Jo and intern Hannah are making calls in the lobby. While Jo's explaining the situation to UNOS, Ken appears behind her and asks if she's talking about his son. Jo reminds him he was told to leave. Ken asks what happened. Jo says he can't discuss the situation with him. He gets very close to her and tells her to answer him.

April makes a decision. She tells Richard to prep the mother for dialysis and Alex to start the anastomosis. Jo stops them and says they might have another option, but she's reluctant to tell them about the husband wanting to give up a kidney. She thinks they can't do that.

Bailey tells Meredith that people are embracing Minnick's method. Meredith understands that. Bailey says they can stop the insubordination, then. Meredith says it's not that. Bailey says it's not cooperation and says she made Meredith Head of General Surgery to be her right hand. She wants someone to lead with her, but follow when she leads. Meredith thinks she's leading the wrong way, but Bailey didn't want to hear her opinion. Bailey says she didn't give her an opinion, she only shut Minnick out. Meredith wonders how Bailey could just shove Richard aside. Bailey says she didn't want that, she wanted Minnick to add value. But then Minnick wouldn't work with him and Bailey had a choice to make. Bailey acknowledges that Richard built this place, but she has to keep building it. To do that, she asks herself so many times what Richard would do. Meredith wonders how Eliza won Bailey over so quickly. Bailey says when she saw this better way of teaching, and she decided that Richard would have embraced it. Bailey says she's the Chief now, not Richard. She's ready to lift the suspension if Meredith feels like she can come back. Meredith says she wants to, but she can't. Not until Richard is reinstated as Residency Director. Bailey leaves.

April, Richard, Alex, and Jo are outside the room where Ken's getting tested. If he's a match, April has decided that they're doing it. Jo's against it. Cynthia would never accept this. The others say that there's no other option. Eliza joins them and says that the patients are still stable. Jo says they all don't understand how Cynthia will feel when she wakes up and finds out that Ken controlled this. He decided to get into her life without her having any control. She thinks they have to find something new, but Richard says there's no time.

Gwen's outside Claire's room. She's not ready to go in yet. Gwen talks about the day she disappeared. Claire was in college and they found the door of her apartment wide open. It looked like an abduction. They had press conferences and searched the forest. It ended her marriage. Dr. Raj Sen comes out of Claire's room and says it looks like Claire suffers from schizophrenia. She disappeared when she was 20, which fits the age at which the disease starts manifesting. It probably got so bad that she left everything behind. Gwen has to sit down for a minute. She says they had a funeral. Claire has a gravestone.

Owen finds Jo sitting in the hallway. He's heard what's going on from April. Owen thought Ken had left, but now he's glad that Ken didn't. Owen's not excusing what he did, but maybe this is Ken becoming a better person. Alex comes up and Jo reads off his face that Ken's a match. He tells Jo that she can sit this one out, but she refuses.

Jo and Stephanie are scrubbing in. Stephanie notices how upset Jo is and tells her to let it go. Jo enters the OR and stops the anesthesiologist. Jo leans in and tells Ken he's not the hero here. This is the very least he can do. She thinks he's using this as an excuse to worm his way back into their lives. He swears he's not. He can't take back what he's done, but this he can do. He wants to do something good. Jo says that if that's the case, he has to do this anonymously and walk away afterwards so Chris and Cynthia never find out. Chris is then put under.

Eliza's talking to Arizona about the case. Arizona says that the option keeping everyone alive is the right one. Eliza notices that Richard's coming up and pretends to scold Arizona for being rude and obstructive. She whispers that this is so much fun and walks off. Richard tells Arizona that Eliza's a menace. She's too smug and overconfident. Arizona pretends to agree.

Maggie and Nathan arrive outside Claire's room with Tim, Claire's father. Tim's really excited, but Gwen says she might not know who they are. Nathan says it's unclear to what she'll respond from the real world. Tim thinks she will, because they are her parents. They enter the room and Maggie introduces herself to Claire, who keeps talking about snakes in her arm. Claire's parents then greet their daughter, who starts panicking. Maggie orders haldol. Nathan takes the parents out of the room to give Claire some space and assures them that Claire will be alright.

Stephanie's ready to do the anastomosis. Alex gives her the kidney and tells her he's here if she needs him.

Bailey sits down with Richard in the gallery. She tells him it looks like the residents pulled it off without a hitch. Richard says she missed some hitches. Bailey says she went to talk to Meredith, who's still not coming back. She reveals that Meredith chose Richard over her job.

Gwen and Tim are still outside Claire's room when Raj comes out. He tells them they'll stabilize Claire and then try some newer medications, which will hopefully stop the disorganized thoughts and help her communicate. Gwen asks if Claire will know them. Raj says they have to wait and see how Claire responds to the meds, because some people don't like them and decide to stop. He promises to give them all possible information about services. He says they can sit with Claire and wait, but they decide to wait outside.

Maggie and Nathan are walking away. Maggie says she doesn't get the parents. Schizophrenia's a hard disease, but it can be managed with meds. She would just be happy that her child's alive and she considers this a happy ending. Nathan says she clearly doesn't get it. Her parents gave up on her and got on with their lives, all the while their daughter was living on the streets in the rain, alone. The parents will never forgive themselves for that, and they shouldn't.

Richard shows up at Meredith's house. He talks about this day and says she should be at the hospital. Meredith gathers that Bailey spoke to him. He tells her not to waste another day for him. Meredith says she tried to, but she always hears her mother telling her that it's Richard. Richard says that's nice, but Ellis would never put him before her career. Meredith says she's supposed to do better than her mother. He tells her to go get her job and leaves. Meredith picks up her phone and calls Bailey.

April comes home as Jackson's watching a game. He ignores her. She tells him her transplant was a success. "You mean Minnick's transplant," he says. She says yes. She's never seen residents learn the way that they did today. It was inspiring.

Arizona's waiting for Eliza outside the hospital and tells her that this is not fun. She hates pretending not to like her and listening to the awful things people say about her. Arizona knows that Eliza's not awful. She's smart, funny, and she cares more about the students than she does herself. She makes her victories their victories. She's good for this place. Eliza tells her to stop so she can kiss her. They share a kiss.

Nathan and Maggie check on Claire. The pacemaker's working well. Gwen and Tim are waiting in the doorway. Claire keeps talking about snakes, but then sees her mother and greets her. Gwen comes closer. Tim asks if they can sit with her. She consents. Gwen takes her hand.

Jo, Stephanie, Ben, and Isaac are with Cynthia. She's delighted to hear that she and her son are both fine. Jo says Chris received a different kidney from an anonymous donor. It was a perfect match and Chris is responding really well. Cynthia can't believe that people can be so good. She thanks the doctors.

Nathan tells Maggie that Claire seems to be responding well. Maggie says they have him to thank for the pacemaker idea. Nathan says anyone could have thought of it. He's really moved to see Gwen and Tim reunited with their daughter. Maggie notices and asks if he wants to talk. He says he's fine. This is a happy ending. He walks off.

Owen catches up with Jo in the ambulance bay. He asks if she's okay. She breaks and shakes her head. He gives her a hug. She thanks him.

Meanwhile, Nathan sits alone on a bench outside the hospital.

Meredith's reading on her bed while Amelia's sleeping. Maggie comes in and lies down. She talks about Claire and how emotional Nathan was. She thinks it made him think about Megan. She's never seen Nathan like that. Meredith says that when Derek died, there was one day that she didn't know where he was. She pretended she was fine, but she was going crazy inside. She guesses it's like that every day for Nathan. Maggie says Meredith gets Nathan, but Meredith's not so sure.


Main Cast[]

Guest Stars[]


Medical Notes[]

Christopher Daniels[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Interstitial nephritis
    • Chronic renal failure
  • Treatment:
    • Kidney transplant

Christopher, 16, was in kidney failure and had used his last access site. His mother agreed to donate a kidney to him. However, just as they prepared to connect his mother's kidney to him, his mother's remaining kidney thrombosed and died, meaning she needed to keep the removed kidney. He instead received a kidney from his father.

Cynthia Daniels[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Renal vein stenosis
  • Treatment:
    • Kidney autotransplantation

Cynthia had surgery to donate her kidney to her son. After they removed her kidney and sent it to the next OR, they went to close her, but her remaining kidney thrombosed and died, meaning she needed to keep the one they'd just removed. They put the kidney back into her body and she was stable and awake afterward.

Claire Nolan[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Arrhythmia
    • Schizophrenia
  • Treatment:
    • Pacemaker
    • Haloperidol

Claire came into the ER, confused and dirty. She kept saying things that didn't make sense. She then collapsed on the floor. She needed a pacemaker to stabilize her heartbeat. Because of her disorientation, they called for a psych consult for after her surgery. In surgery, they replaced a very old pacemaker that was no longer working. They had difficulty removing the old pacemaker because it was so old. They then used the serial number to identify her. Raj Sen suspected that she had schizophrenia. When her parents came in, she reacted negatively, so they sedated her with haldol. Raj then examined her again and said he was giving her an increasing dose of haloperidol and once she was stable, there were newer medications they could try. Later, she recognized her parents and agreed to let them sit with her, though she was still confused.

Ken Daniels[]

  • Diagnosis:
  • Treatment:

Ken donated a kidney to his son.


Song Performer Scene
"My Kind of Crazy" Royal
  • Alex and Maggie talk about work as Meredith tries to match socks.
  • Meredith says she can pack a lunch for Maggie since she has time.
  • Amelia and Alex argue about if Amelia's living there.
  • Meredith complains about being bored.
"People Say" Seramic
  • Maggie asks if Gwen wants to go in to see her daughter.
  • Gwen talks about Claire's life.
  • Raj Sen comes out and says he suspects schizophrenia.
  • They ask again if Gwen wants to see her, but she goes to sit down.
  • Gwen says they had a funeral and everyone came.
  • Owen talks to Jo about Chris's father, saying maybe he's changed.
  • Jo tells Alex the dad's a match and he says she can sit it out.
  • She refuses.
"Don't Play Games" Aron Wright
  • Arizona and Eliza kiss.
  • Nathan and Maggie come in to change Claire's bandages.
  • Her parents come in the room and watch.
  • Claire says many things that don't make sense and then says hi to her mom.
  • She tells her parents they can sit with her.
"Sorry" Aquilo
  • Maggie asks Nathan if he wants to talk.
  • He says he's fine and tells her good night.
  • Owen stops Jo as she's leaving and asks if she's okay.
  • They hug.
  • Nathan sits alone.
  • Amelia sleeps on one side of Meredith's bed.
  • Maggie comes in and tells Meredith about Claire and Nathan. She thinks Claire brought up feelings about Megan.
  • Meredith said that for a day, she didn't know where Derek was, so she pretended everything was okay while inside, she was going crazy. For Nathan, every day is like that.

Notes and Trivia[]


Grey's Anatomy 13x14 Promo "Back Where You Belong" (HD) Season 13 Episode 14 Promo

  • This episode's title originated from the song Back Where You Belong, originally sung by 38 Special.
  • This episode scored 7.71 million viewers.
  • The table read for this episode took place on December 2, 2016.
  • Filming started on December 6, 2016.
  • This episode marks the first appearance of Dr. Raj Sen since the season four episode Haunt You Every Day.


Episode Stills[]

Behind the Scenes[]


Richard: Meredith, go back. Don't waste another day. Not for me.
Meredith: I want to. But every time I try, I keep hearing my mother's voice, saying "Meredith, it's Richard."
Richard: That's very nice. We both know that your mother would never put me before her career.
Meredith: True. But I'm supposed to do better than her. Isn't that the point? Be better? I can't be like her.
Richard: Go get your job.

Jo: You're not the hero here. You don't get to take this as a win. This is the least that you can do, the very least.
Ken: I'm doing the right thing.
Jo: I don't think so. I think you want an excuse to worm your way back into their lives.
Ken: I'm not. I swear. I can't take back the stuff I've done, but I can do this. I just want to do something good.
Jo: If you really want to do good, never tell them about this. Do it anonymously and walk away. They never have to know it was your kidney and they never have to see you again.

April: Where are you going? I thought you were running the show.
Bailey: Camp David for a summit meeting.
April: Wait, actual Camp David?
Jackson: Well, she's gone. Maybe you can steal her job, too.

April: My transplant was a success. Thanks for asking.
Jackson: You mean Minnick's transplant?
April: Yeah, Minnick's transplant. Never seen residents learn the way that they did today. It was inspiring.

Meredith: When Derek died, there was one day, just one day, where I didn't know where he was. I pretended everything was going to be okay, but inside, I was going crazy. I guess it's like that for Nathan every day.

Jo: You don't get how she will feel to wake up and find out that he controlled this, that he made a decision while she was asleep. He decided to get into her life. She had no say, no control, no choice, nothing. He can't do that. He can't.

Maggie: Schizophrenia's a difficult disease, but with treatment, it can be helped.
Nathan: What do you mean?
Maggie: Well, I just don't get it. I would just be happy she's alive. How is this not a happy ending?
Nathan: You're right. You don't get it.
Maggie: Oh, I want to.
Nathan: They gave up on her. They just buried an empty box in the ground and moved on, had lattes, saw movies. They just lived their lives, and all the while, their daughter was out there walking around in the rain, in pain and alone. And they will never forgive themselves for that. And they shouldn't.

Arizona: I don't like pretending not to like you, and I don't like listening to the awful things that people have to say about you...
Eliza: What do they say?
Arizona: ...because I know that you're not awful. And they should know. They should know that.
Eliza: Arizona.
Arizona: Because you're nice, and you're smart, and you're funny, and you care. You care about the students maybe even more than I do. And you have this brilliant way of making your victories their victories, and you're good for this place, and you're good for them, and they should know that.
Eliza: Arizona, stop.
Arizona: I just think it's not...
Eliza: I need you to stop so I can kiss you.

See Also[]

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