Grey's Anatomy Universe Wiki
Grey's Anatomy Universe Wiki

When we give test results to patients, we often say "normal." We look and analyze numbers within ranges, highs and lows. If the patient falls within the range, we're not worried. But it's imperfect, because if history has shown us anything, one person's normal is another's complete chaos. No one likes being an outlier. Patients constantly ask, "Have you seen this before? How common is it? Is this normal?" For so long, we've been conditioned to think if we aren't normal, it's a bad thing. Maybe it's time to rethink what the rules of normal are. Maybe it's time to rethink everything.

I'm Still Standing is the sixteenth episode of the seventeenth season and the 379th overall episode of Grey's Anatomy.

Short Summary[]

Levi gets accepted into the vaccine trial. Meanwhile, Amelia and Owen treat a car crash patient, and Hayes and Jo are met with Luna's legal guardian.

Full Summary[]

Week One

At home, Amelia serves Meredith a sandwich and reminds her to stay hydrated and active. Meredith tells her to go to work since she has taken over Tom's service. At least Amelia can be of use to the world.

Taryn is making crepes at the loft. She hands Jo her keys covered in batter. Jo comments the loft was not intended for three people. Levi is lucky that Taryn is a good cook. Levi receives word that he was accepted into the vaccine trial. Jo is hopeful that this means the pandemic will end sometime.

Richard watches with a smile as Maggie and Winston do some wedding planning in the attendings' lounge. Richard questions how they are going to do it with the world shut down. Maggie tells him not to hate on the vision phase. She wonders if there exists a place with a waterfall by the ocean.

Owen is glad that Amelia is on call rather than Tom. She informs him Tom quit to join Jackson, which Owen respects. The rig brings in Skyler Nichols, who has a depressed skull fracture following an MVC. Amelia takes her straight to CT. Skyler says they need to call her father.

Jo arrives in the NICU, having heard that Luna spit up after every meal. Carmen Delgado, the assigned legal guardian to Luna, arrives moments later and forces Jo to step aside to make room by the incubator. She heard Luna may have gastroesopagheal reflux. Cormac says she lacks a gag reflex from having been intubated for so long. He wants to rule out necrotizing enterocolitis and a swallow study if necessary. Carmen asks him to keep her updated and she rushes off to County.

Taryn presents Gwendolyn Yates, 51, who's experiencing heart failure due to cardiac amyloidosis. They are inserting an IVC filter to prevent clots from her leg from going into her lungs. They are keeping her in the ICU for supportive care while they look for a heart donor. Gwen is shocked. She has no one to support her but her dog Jupiter, who ran off last night during the storm.

Owen joins Amelia in the scrub room to have her videochat with Skyler's father, who is out in the visitors' tent with Sara Ortiz. Amelia explains they need to perform a decompression to relieve the pressure on the brain. Mr. Nichols begs Amelia to save his little girl, amping up the pressure on Amelia.

Levi is waiting for the vaccine trial doctor. He spots Nico across the hall and hides. He starts practicing his speech. He has been avoiding Nico. Mason Post walks in. He oversees the West Coast trials of the vaccine. Levi introduces himself. He feels nauseous and alone. Mason asks if he feels sick, because they can't administer the vaccine if he does. Levi does not. Mason assures him a lot of volunteers feel anxious. Mason says he'll be with him every step of the way. He then administers the vaccine. A small crowd has gathered outside to cheer him on.

Week Two

Meredith and Ellis are throwing a ball around in the yard. Ellis throws the ball at Bailey when she walks out of the house. Ellis runs inside for her online class. A tired Meredith sits down and asks Bailey to talk about anything. There is no replacement for Jackson, Joey got an A for biology, and Ben's tumor needs to further treatment. Meredith didn't know about the tumor. Bailey couldn't bring himself to talk about it until now.

Maggie checks in on Gwen and picks up on some awkward silence. Moments later, Winston walks in to answer Taryn's page. Gwen made her page Winston because she wanted to meet the man Maggie is marrying. Gwen loves weddings. The couple is still working on the date. Gwen asks to see pictures, if she makes it that long.

Mason finishes examining Levi, who feels fine aside from his usual nausea. Mason suggests he have some matzo ball soup before the next check-in. Last time, Levi told him that settles his stomach. Mason remembers the things that interest him. Levi recommends Marty's Deli. Mason says it's not the soup that interests him. Levi is flustered. Mason says he'll see him next week.

Levi walks out of the room and finds Nico waiting for him in the hallway. Levi tells him he's doing fine. He's not experiencing any side effects. Nico asks if they broke up. Levi walked away when he asked him to move in and he has been avoiding him ever since. Levi doesn't know if he wants to see other people. Nico says he only wants him and tells Levi to come find him when he figures it all out.

With Jo by his side, Cormac tells Carmen that Luna is only suffering from mild reflux, so they'll try thicker formulas. Carmen repeatedly receives a call. The foster placement for her kid in County fell through so she has to leave. It is nice that she doesn't have to worry about Luna because of Cormac and Jo looking out for her. Jo is offended that she barely has time for Luna, but Cormac says Carmen is a social worker, not a parent.

Owen joins Amelia in Skyler's room. They closed her skull two days ago. Her ICP is down and the scans show no anoxic brain injury but she still hasn't woken up. Amelia dreads having to call her father but Owen says the father is outside.

Amelia finds Mr. Nichols in the tent and tells him Skyler's status hasn't changed. They may need to do a trach and insert a PEG, which will give them long-term airway control and allow them to administer nutrients. Mr. Nichols deduces they don't expect Skyler to wake up soon. He missed a lot of Skyler's life because he was too busy climbing the career ladder. Skyler moved back in when the pandemic started. He finally had a chance to get to know his daughter. He'll consent to the trach and asks Amelia to make sure she's not in any pain.

Week Three

Jo runs into Link in the ambulance bay. He's yawning because he was called in at 3 AM. Jo receives a text about the social worker needing more paperwork for Luna. She thinks Luna deserves more. Link knows Jo wants to adopt her. Jo admits it has crossed her mind, which is crazy because she never pictured herself doing this alone. She really loves Luna. Link knows having a kid is a great feeling. She can stop wondering if she can do it because it looks like she's already doing it.

Winston finds Maggie and suggests they travel to New Zealand, where COVID is pretty much wiped out. Maggie points out his grandmother will have to sit on a plane for 20 hours with a mask. Winston knows it's not perfect yet but they are smart people who can solve this puzzle. Maggie suggests they wait until things open up a little bit more. Winston thought she was all in. She is but she wants it all to feel right rather than a compromise. Winston is disappointed to hear her say that. Maggie is paged. There is a heart donor for Gwen.

Owen finds Amelia doing a fMRI on Skyler. It's supposed to be her day off. Skyler's EEG showed her brain activity slowing down. Amelia has started serial MRI's to see if she can detect any patterns. She might even add ultrasonic thalamic stimulation. Owen cautiously says some patients just don't wake up. As a mother, she can't give up on this young woman.

Mason asks Levi how he's doing but Levi doesn't want to say. Mason admits he's a flirt but he's a big boy. Levi says it's not that. He has a rash on the back of his neck and having Mason check it out feels a little intimate. Mason jokes that there are millions of lives at joke. Levi then consents.

Maggie, Richard, and Taryn are performing the heart transplant. Taryn loves Gwen, who's like a mother.

Amelia and Link pant after having sex at his place. It's so quiet there. She can hear herself think. She's thinking about functional MRI's and popcorn. He was thinking about what if he just knocked her up. He loves being a dad and he thinks he wants more children eventually. Amelia is flustered. Link climbs out of bed to go make them popcorn.

Week Four

Bailey drops by Meredith's place to drop off a suture kit so she can get her dexterity back. Meredith is reading up on the long-lasting effects of COVID. While there is little data, whatever is available is terrifying. Bailey says the data can't do the work for her. She tries to get Meredith up so they can take a walk but Meredith isn't feeling it. She can't operate if she can't stand on her feet. Picking up her kids feels like running a marathon. Everybody means well but she doesn't want people hovering over. She just wants her life back.

Skyler's fMRI still shows no activity. Amelia receives a video call from Link, who didn't hear her leave. He shows her Scout so she can say good morning. Link says they were having a little jam session, which Scout loves. As he starts playing the guitar again, Amelia notices that Skyler has brain activity whenever there is music.

Maggie tells Gwen that she is doing very well. If she keeps it up like this, she'll be home in no time. Gwen says she woke up with a worsening headache and she's seeing double. Taryn fears it could be a stroke but Richard says it could also just be a headache. They'll get a neuro consult.

Amelia paged Owen to the MRI suite. She shows him how different parts light up when she either plays music or asks Skyler to imagine her bedroom at home. Amelia asks her yes-or-no questions, which she can answer by thinking about either music or her bedroom. The activity reveals that Skyler can correctly answer questions.

Jo finds Cormac running a code on Luna, who probably aspirated. He intubates Luna while Jo panics. Her rhythm normalizes. Jo then says she wants to be Luna's mom.

Week Five

Amelia briefs Richard and Maggie about Gwen. Her repeat neuro exams, CT, and MRI have been normal. She can't explain the headache. Amelia then leaves to go make Mr. Nichols very happy. Maggie hates that they have run out of tests. Richard finds it suspicious that Gwen doesn't seem to mind.

Taryn is with Gwen. She met a hot girl named Taryn and refused to go on a date because she couldn't make out with someone with the same name. Maggie and Richard walk in and say her scans couldn't reveal any abnormalities. Richard brings up a rare complication with transplant patients called acute borderline cerebral dysplasia, which confuses Taryn. Richard says there is a simple test. Patients with this condition have trouble with the strength in their left arm. He holds up Gwen's arms and her left one falls onto the bed immediately when he lets go. Maggie then says it's actually right-sided weakness, causing Gwen to struggle with which arm she should hold up. She knows she has been caught. She's not ready to leave. She has friends here who tell them about her lives. She's not very good with people nor interesting. Her late husband was. She doesn't even have her dog to go home to. She apologizes for having wasted their time.

Jo is sitting with Luna, whose X-ray still shows aspiration pneumonia. They'll keep her on antibiotics. Jo says they should call Carmen but Cormac thinks it can wait. A parent or legal guardian is mad at him at least once a day. Jo hopes Luna lives long enough for her paperwork to go through. Jo sat with Luna the entire night so she wouldn't be alone.

Maggie and Richard exit Gwen's room. Maggie walks up to Winston at the nurses' station and reveals that Gwen was faking her headaches. It was a big waste of time to look for a solution. Winston understands that that is pretty frustrating. Maggie clarifies that she does want to get married. She just wants it to feel right. Winston heard that loud and clear. He has to leave for a surgery. Clearly, this can wait.

Amelia enters the MRI suite with Mr. Nichols, where Owen and Sara are waiting. She and Sara explain how he can communicate with Skyler. The doctors gave him privacy to communicate with his daughter.

Week Six

Mason runs into Levi outside the hospital as he locks his bike. Mason is glad to see him without a mask for once. He also notices that Levi got a haircut. He invites Levi to his place tonight. He'll text Levi his address and hopes to see him there.

Cormac and Jo tell Carmen that Luna keeps aspirating. They want to perform a Nissen fundoplication to help stop the reflux. Carmen has taken care of children who have had that procedure before and she disagrees. She believes that they have Luna's best interest at heart but she is as close to a legal parent as Luna's ever gonna get until she is adopted. She's sorry that Jo's application was denied. It was a nice idea. She leaves. Jo shortly tells Cormac she failed her background check.

Bailey visits Meredith again in her yard. Meredith thinks Jackson and Tom had the right idea. Bailey fears she is losing another surgeon. Meredith clarifies she was talking about learning and growing. She has spent the last few weeks fighting to get back to normal, but the current normal entails sexism, racism, inequality, and substandard care. Bailey came with an idea. She wants Meredith to take over the residency program. Richard has too many jobs and one day, he'll want to step back and they need a plan in place. Bailey needs someone who thinks like her. She wants Meredith to put together a team that reflects their world and take over all the classes, shape them, and sandblast the bias right out of the whole curriculum. Meredith agrees.

Maggie and Taryn are walking out Gwen. Taryn has given her her number. She can call any time. Gwen is delighted to find Richard waiting for her outside with Jupiter. They called all shelters they could find. Gwen thanks them. Taryn walks with her. Maggie feels even better about this reunion than about the transplant. Richard feels the same.

Levi gathers himself before knocking on a door. Nico opens the door. Levi admits he panicked because he loves Nico and used to Nico not feeling it back. Nico says he always felt it back but he just couldn't say it. Levi changed him. Nico shows him the candles he lit inside his apartment. He thinks about Levi all day. Nico has been worrying about him ever since he entered the trial. He wants to take care of Levi and comfort him. He never wants to be without him. He's in love with him. He has been lighting these candles every night, hoping for Levi to come over. Levi is moved by his romantic gesture and kisses him. Nico picks him up and closes the door.

Owen compliments Amelia on her work with Skyler. It's always good to see Amelia in her element. Amelia feels like she hasn't been in her element for a while. She blurts out she doesn't want any more kids. Link wants more. He was so excited about the thought of it. Owen knows the feeling. Amelia always thought she wanted more kids. She loves Link and Scout but she's not sure if she can love more than that without losing herself. She has been so involved with Skyler. She can't wrap her head around bringing another kid into this messy world. Owen says he loved having a sister and he loves his kids, but having more is not just twice the work, it's exponential. It won't work unless they both want it. Owen offers to come to a meeting with her but they are virtual now. Owen advises her to be honest with Link. He goes home to Teddy.

Jo comes home and finds Taryn flipping through the channels. Jo climbs straight into bed. Taryn asks if she's okay. Jo snaps that she can't talk while living there. Jo then quietly starts sobbing.

Amelia is sitting on the swing set on Meredith's porch. Link texts her asking if she is coming home soon. She claims she is stuck at work.

Maggie is waiting for Winston in the parking lot. She tells him none of his ideas are perfect. She finally figured out what has been bothering her. Perfect is not an option because her mother won't be there. The feeling that something was wrong never had anything to do with him. She wishes her mother could have met him. Winston misses his own mother, too. She taught him how to dance. Maggie suggests they take the engagement ring that her mother gave her and turn it into her wedding band. Also, she doesn't want to wait. They'll get her father and his grandmother out here as soon as they can and just do the wedding with family. They can have a big party when it's safe again. Winston is good with that idea. Maggie is relieved. She then turns to a parked car. Her father and Winston's grandmother get out. They have to quarantine for 10 days before they can hug, but Winston is delighted that Maggie did this.


Main Cast[]

Guest Stars[]


Medical Notes[]

Skyler Nichols[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Depressed skull fracture
    • Intracranial bleed
  • Treatment:
    • Craniectomy
    • Tracheostomy

Skyler, 25, was in a car accident. She had a depressed skull fracture and episodes of bradycardia on the way to the hospital. Amelia suspected intracranial bleed, so she ordered a CT. The CT confirmed the bleed, so Amelia did a craniectomy. When the swelling went down, Amelia replaced the removed piece of her skull. Two days after that, she was still not awake. Scans showed no reason why she wouldn't wake up. Her father consented to the placement of a tracheostomy. A few weeks after her accident, an EEG showed her brain function was slowing down. A later scan showed her brain reacting to music being played, giving Amelia an idea. She was able to ask Skyler yes/no questions and get her answer by having her think of music for yes and her childhood bedroom for now, and watching which area of her brain lit up.

Luna Ashton[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Gastroesophageal reflux
    • Aspiration pneumonia
  • Treatment:
    • Antibiotics

Luna spat up after every tube feeding, leading Cormac to suspect gastroesophageal reflux. He wanted to run more labs and do a swallow study before cementing the diagnosis. Her court-appointed legal guardian asked Cormac to keep her updated. When the results showed that it was just reflux, he said she'd be seated upright for feedings and would be given smaller amounts more frequently. During a later feeding, she aspirated formula and had to be resuscitated due to cardiac arrest. She developed aspiration pneumonia, so she had to be intubated. Her condition worsened and she was unable to be extubated a week later. Cormac wanted to do a Nissen fundoplication, but Carmen refused to consent to the surgery.

Gwendolyn Yates[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Cardiac amyloidosis
    • Congestive heart failure
  • Treatment:
    • IVC filter
    • Heart transplant

Gwen, 51, had a history of cardiac amyloidosis and presented with worsening shortness of breath and leg edema. Maggie told her her protein deposits had caused congestive heart failure. She was also developing clots, requiring an IVC filter. She was told she'd have to remain in the ICU until a heart transplant came through. A few weeks later, Gwen had her heart transplant. Once her new heart was in, the edema resolved and her condition improved. She told the doctors she had woken up with a headache that was worsening, so they paged neuro. A week of exams and scans were all normal, though her headaches persisted. Gwen later admitted to faking the headaches because she didn't want to go home.

Levi Schmitt[]

  • Diagnosis:
  • Treatment:

Levi was accepted into a COVID-19 vaccine trial. During one of the weekly check-ups, Levi had him examine a rash on the back of his neck.


Song Performer Scene
"Hurt By You" Donna Missal
  • Taryn mixes batter as Jo chafes at her presence.
  • Levi gets notified that he got into the vaccine trial.
  • Maggie and Winston plan their wedding.
"Flower Duet"
  • Amelia plays music and watches its effect on Skyler's brain.
"Dim" SYML
  • Gwendolyn explains why she wants to stay at the hospital.
  • Cormac updates Jo on Luna.
  • Maggie and Winston talk about Gwen and their wedding.
"Heads and Tails" Banners
  • Meredith accepts her new job.
  • Taryn discharges Gwen and she's reunited with her dog.
  • Levi goes to Nico's place and they talk about their relationship.
"I Want More" Kaleo
  • Owen leaves Amelia in the on-call room.
  • Jo come home and climbs into bed to cry after snapping at Taryn.
  • Amelia sits on the porch and pretends to be stuck at work when Link texts.
  • Maggie and Winston talk about their wedding. They decide not to wait.
  • Maggie surprises Winston with her dad and his grandma, in town for their wedding.

Notes and Trivia[]

  • This episode's title originated from the song I'm Still Standing, originally sung by Elton John.
  • This episode scored 4.33 million viewers.
  • The episode spans six weeks. The last episode took place on on June 21, 2020, which means this episode ends somewhere around mid-August 2020.


Episode Stills[]


See Also[]

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