Your body contains approximately 35 trillion cells, and every one of them is constantly being pulled down to Earth by gravity. When you're lying down, gravitational forces spread between the thorax, abdomen, and legs. Stand up too fast and blood rushes downward, away from the brain. It causes dizziness or even fainting. It's a minor miracle our cells get anything done at all. Because the human body has to perform even the simplest of tasks under unimaginable pressure. You would think weightlessness is a good thing, but it's not. Because people weren't meant to float. Without gravity, we lose blood volume, bone density, muscle. Without it, we're untethered. So when you feel yourself being pulled towards something, it's not necessarily a bad thing. It may keep you centered. It may keep you safe.

Life on Mars? is the seventeenth episode of the sixteenth season and the 359th overall episode of Grey's Anatomy.

Short Summary[edit | edit source]

A wealthy inventor arrives at Grey Sloan and asks Koracick for help, while Meredith struggles to save a woman with diabetes who has been rationing her insulin. Jo and Link fight to save a young man who fell onto train tracks, and Jackson and Vic's relationship hits a snag.

Full Summary[edit | edit source]

Jo and Link wait for the train and see a couple nearby making out. Jo is irritated by them, but Link says he once made out through a tornado. He went to get gum afterward and the 7-Eleven was gone. Jo's also not amused because the guy has a guitar. Link reminds her that he plays guitar. Jo asks if the couple doesn't know that all love sucks eventually. There's no love songs about when your husband leaves you and you move in with your best friend. Link is glad to have her and think about something other than Amelia, who is back at work.

Amelia asks Meredith questions about Alex and Jo and Meredith says she doesn't want to talk about it. Meredith asks how things are between her and Link and Amelia says she doesn't want him in her life if he can't love her no matter who the father is. They pass Andrew in the hall and Amelia surmises that Meredith also doesn't want to talk about that.

Owen shows Teddy an email from his mom with venue suggestions. Teddy suggests just hiring a wedding planner, but Owen doesn't want to. They get on the elevator and Tom is there. Tom tells them about the VIP patient coming in, Griffin Ford, whose rocket exploded at a gas station. Owen gets another message from his mom with two more venues and forwards it to Teddy, saying it may help her figure out what she wants.

Maggie asks Teddy if she has a minute to talk about a patient and Teddy agrees. When Maggie goes to get his chart, Teddy accuses Tom of acting weird by being nice to Owen. Teddy is afraid Owen will find out something's happening. Tom wants it to keep happening and wants to discuss what it means. Teddy says that it doesn't mean anything. She acted impulsively because she's afraid of something that might not even be true. Their conversation is interrupted when Maggie returns with the chart. Maggie knows something has happened with Teddy, but is surprised that she slept with Tom. Teddy tries to talk more about the patient, but Maggie says she'll cover it.

Vic swoops in to pay for Jackson's coffee. She apologizes to him for moving in without telling him. He says she can crash at his place while she's looking for an apartment, but she should have asked first. She says she found a place to stay: Dean's. Jackson's unsettled by that. Vic leaves to go see Rigo and give Eva coffee.

Richard is arguing with some movers who are bringing in furniture for his office, the furniture from Pac-North. He doesn't want it and told the movers to take it back. Bailey's surprised by that. Richard leaves to teach a skills lab and the mover asks Bailey what they should do.

Levi tells Meredith about Noelle Webb, who fell off a ladder while painting a house. Noelle says she thinks the fumes just got to her. She says she needs her phone, but it's still at the site. She tells Meredith she's a type-1 diabetic, but takes care of herself. She is more worried about her Giggle Days rating decreasing from this. She uses the app to get small jobs for extra money. Meredith sees free fluid in her abdomen and tells Levi to admit her. Noelle asks again for her phone, so Meredith tells him to check with the paramedics about the phone.

A nurse takes a selfie with Griffin Ford. Tom comes up to him and learns that Griffin has faced a lot of bad press since the rocket accident. Tom tells him that Rigo is at the hospital recovering and was eager to thank Griffin for covering his medical expenses. Griffin and Tom go into a room, where Griffin explains how bad this has been for him in the press. He thinks something is medically wrong with him that caused him to make mistakes and wants Tom to find out what before the bad press wipes out all the good he's done.

Link and Jo talk about Amelia as they prepare for an incoming trauma. Link says Amelia can find him if she wants to talk to him. The ambulance opens to reveal Brad Spencer, who has burns on three of his limbs after jumping onto a train track and getting electrocuted. His girlfriend, Paula corrects that he didn't jump. He fell because they were kissing. They thought the train was still behind them. Jo realizes they're the couple that was making out. They take Brad inside as Paula watches.

As Link exams Brad, Amelia comes in and he explains the case to her. He doesn't have a pulse in either wrist or his left foot. They have to do fasciotomies to relieve the pressure in his limbs. Amelia calls for him to have a CT, but they have to do the fasciotomies first. They notice Paula watching and close the blinds before cutting.

Andrew is having a session with Cynthia Cole, a psychiatrist. He doesn't think he needs to be there, but he can't operate until she signs off on it. He says if he had behaved differently, the patients would be dead. It wasn't mania. Cynthia asks if he believes he's having manic episodes and lists some, including agitation, inflated confidence, rambling, and increased sex drive. He denies everything and says he's had a stressful couple weeks.

Noelle learns that she got a bad review from the people who hired her for not finishing the job. Levi says she could have it removed it she contacts customer service, but Noelle says it's not that easy. Meredith comes in and is surprised that Noelle hasn't had a CT and isn't in a room, but Levi says there's an issue with admissions, but he shows Meredith Noelle's lab results. Meredith looks at them and asks if she's been taking her insulin. Noelle admits that she's been rationing her insulin because she just moved her parents into assisted living and it's expensive. She's been trying to make ends meet with the jobs, but there isn't always enough left over for her. Meredith says that's probably why she fell. Levi tells Meredith she's being paged by Tom, who needs her for something. He says it's an emergency, so Meredith leaves Levi to check on the status of her getting a CT and a room.

Tom meets Meredith at the elevator and she questions why the floor is empty. he leads her to Griffin. She's upset that he's got the whole floor to himself while the ER is overflowing. She's even more shocked to find him playing with his dog in a room.

Owen follows Teddy, who walks away from him without speaking. He asks her what's up and she tells him Amelia's baby might be his. Or it might not. Owen remembers Jo asking him about it. Owen isn't convinced and Teddy tells him it's real. She wonders what it means for them if he has a baby with Amelia and he doesn't answer. She leaves, upset.

Meredith is examining Griffin and they talk about her article, exposing the problems with health care. He encourages her to ruffle feathers. Meredith doesn't believe he's sincere since he has an entire hospital floor to himself. Then she gets a page that Noelle is in CT, so she excuses herself and hands him off to Jackson, saying it's his mom, so it's his mess.

Link and Amelia explain to Paula what they've done for Brad and what he still needs. His guitar probably saved his life. Paula says he just disappeared between one second and the next. They just graduated and Brad is doing an internship at a nearby studio, but she won a Rhodes Scholarship, so they're facing separation. She was on her way to the airport and he said they should go to England together and it felt like everything was solved.

Meredith arrives at CT and tells Owen that there's a guy with a whole floor to himself while Noelle is rationing her insulin to stay alive. Her CT shows a large retroperitoneal bleed. She needs surgery and tells Levi to book an OR and push any billionaires who try to stop him out of the way. Owen asks Meredith if she's talked to Amelia, but before she can answer, Noelle starts coding in the CT. They prepare to intubate her.

Bailey leads Richard into his office, which is filled with all his furniture from before, arranged just the way he had it before. Richard is angry with her for assuming what he wanted. He says he just wants an empty room. She says she'll call building services and have them move it. Richard says he'll do it himself and starts throwing things to the floor as Bailey leaves.

Vic finds Jackson, who explains he's been babysitting a billionaire. Jackson says to enjoy her day off and he'll see her later. She notices he's still mad and asks him about it. He leads her into a room and tells her he's uneasy about her living with Dean because of the history there with Maggie. She's also helping raise Dean's child, when she hasn't met his child. She says he hasn't asked her to and he tells her it's because they're not there yet. She's not sure where they are. He tries to avoid the discussion and return to work, but she's not happy and leaves.

Brad is having surgery. Link and Amelia work on his arms while Amelia works on his brain. Jo and Link are jaded, but Amelia thinks it's romantic. Amelia finishes her work and leaves.

Andrew tells Bailey he fixed the ER overflow and wants to treat some patients. She says he can't, even though he says he's being seeing a counselor. With Richard handing off his entire service, Andrew thought he could help. That's news to Bailey, who walks off, telling Andrew he can't treat patients.

Noelle has gone into DIC and has lot of lot of blood. Meredith rants about her condition being avoidable if she'd been able to afford enough insulin.

Teddy tells Maggie that she told Owen, not about Tom, but about Amelia's baby. Teddy says she told because Link deserves answers and she deserves answers. Teddy is judgmental of how Amelia's handling it, believing she's toying with people's emotions. Maggie reminds Teddy that she cheated on her fiancé with a man who is in love with her and that she herself took a long time to tell Owen she was pregnant. Teddy apologizes to Maggie.

Jackson tells Griffin that aside from a few minor things, there's nothing wrong with him. He says Griffin is just blaming the conditions for a bad outcome when it's just human error. After Jackson is gone, Griffin suggests that maybe Tom made an error. He's read about rare conditions, things most doctors would miss. The world is falling apart and he can't help that if he's in jail. He reminds Tom of the good he could do with Griffin's resources. If he gets caught, he can claim human error. He asks Tom to take another look at the scans, in case he missed something.

Noelle's body is covered as Meredith and Owen leave the OR. Meredith sees Tom and warns him her patient just died. He asks her what she'd do with Griffin Ford's money if she had it. She makes some suggestions for things that help people. Tom then asks how she decides which rules to break. She says she just goes with her guy and hopes she's improving the world.

Link updates Paula, saying Brad will have a long recovery with more surgeries. Paula says she called his family and they're on their way. Paula thinks about England. Jo steps in and tells Paula whoever takes care of him needs to be prepared to spend a lot of time in hospitals for a while. Paula says she can't do that, that she can't stay. She doesn't know what it means that he would leave his dream for her while she wouldn't do the same for him. She goes into his room to sit by his bed. With her gone, Link and Jo discuss how quickly things just fizzled out for Paula and Brad. Like Jo said, all love sucks eventually. Jo says she was wrong. She'd been trying to hate Alex, but nothing works. Every time she gets in her car, she sees a bag he put in her side pocket for her gum wrappers and tissues. She felt loved that he did that. And now he's put her in the trash. She's mad and she's hurt, but he's the reason she'll get back up again and rise. She'll make him a fool for having left her because of how well he loved her. She's changed because of him and now she feels worthy of love. That's hers to keep. She tells him not to blow things with Amelia. Amelia gave him a choice, which is more than Jo got.

Bailey finds Richard sitting alone in his empty office. She confronts him about handing over his service. He says the slightest things set him off anymore. He apologizes to Bailey for how he treated her. He tells her he's stepping back from surgery. Bailey tells him it's the wrong choice, but he says his mind is made up. He wants her support in his next adventure. The office reminds him of another time, another him, and clutters his mind. He wants to look ahead. His hand starts shaking and he holds it to stop it. Bailey says the hospital needs him. He wants to step away that way, at the top of his game.

Tom goes to see Griffin and tells him he has an aneurysm. It could influence his judgment. It could resolve on its own, but he may need surgery down the road. They'll know when they see the size of the check. They shake on the deal.

Vic pictured her day going so differently. Jackson says it doesn't feel right and he's been through that before. He says he's past the time in his life when he can just jump in and out of things. He wants to take time to get to know each other better, be friends for a while. She says she has friends and leaves.

Meredith and Bailey have both had hard days. Meredith says Alex would make her laugh on hard days like this. Bailey remembers her first day of residency, hearing Richard give that speech. She dreamed of being the last resident standing, of being the surgeon she's become, of winning. Then people started dropping off until she and Callie were the last ones left. Then Callie left. At some point, it stops feeling like victory and just feels lonely. Meredith isn't sure she can do it without Alex or if she even wants to. Bailey then says Richard is stepping down from surgery. She doesn't want to talk about it.

Teddy tells Tom he deserves better than what she did. She apologizes to him. She explains to him what she's feeling. She says Tom makes her feel good and like she's in control. She hates hurting him because he's a good guy. He says he's really not a good guy, but she thinks he is. He goes over to her and they start kissing.

Andrew brings Jo a drink and propositions her for sex. She throws the drink in his face and tells him to get some help before it's too late.

Teddy comes home to find Owen has made dinner. He tells her she didn't do anything wrong and he was just shocked. He says she's not a replacement for anyone and anything she tells him, his answer will be that he loves her and they'll figure it out. That's his answer always.

Link paces outside Meredith's house. Amelia sees him and opens the door. He tells her he was going to write her a song, but he can't do that as fast as he needed to come there and tell her he doesn't want to live without her. She reminds him of what he said and he says he loves her and wants her. He doesn't care if the baby is his or not. He doesn't want to feel sad or lonely anymore. He's in love and that's what matters to him. Amelia asks him if he really wants to do this, even if the baby isn't his. he says he does. She kisses him and says she needed to hear that because she got the results and he is Link's. But he still has to write her the song.

Cast[edit | edit source]

Main Cast[edit | edit source]

Guest Stars[edit | edit source]

Co-Starring[edit | edit source]

Medical Notes[edit | edit source]

Mr. Paxton[edit | edit source]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Arrhythmia
  • Treatment:
    • Pacemaker

Maggie asked Teddy to check out a patient's pacemaker. She agreed, but Maggie later said she would handle it herself.

Noelle Webb[edit | edit source]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Diabetes
    • Retroperitoneal bleed
    • Shattered kidney
  • Treatment:
    • Exploratory laparotomy

Noelle, 43, came into the ER with abdominal pain and dizziness after falling from a ladder. She said she got woozy before she fell. She told Meredith she was diabetic, but took care of herself. Meredith did an ultrasound, which showed free fluid in her abdomen, so she ordered a CT and labs. The labs showed her blood sugar was very high, so she admitted to rationing it to help make ends meet. A CT showed a large retroperitoneal bleed and a shattered kidney. She coded shortly after her CT and was rushed into surgery, where they worked to repair the damage. Unfortunately, they were unable to save her and she died in the OR.

Brad Spencer[edit | edit source]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Third-degree burns
    • Compartment syndrome
    • Epidural bleed
  • Treatment:
    • Fasciotomy
    • Surgery

Brad, 22, came into the hospital unresponsive after falling onto train tracks and getting electrocuted. He had severe burns on both arms and his left leg. He had compartment syndrome in all three of those limbs, so they did fasciotomies in the ER to relieve the pressure and restore blood flow. A CT showed an epidural bleed, so he was taken into surgery to work on his limbs and evacuate the bleed. Amelia easily evacuated the bleed while Link and Jo worked on dressing his arms. His girlfriend was told he need additional surgery for his burns and it would be a long recovery, but he was out of immediate danger.

Andrew DeLuca[edit | edit source]

  • Diagnosis:
  • Treatment:
    • Talk therapy

Andrew had his first session with the hospital's psychiatrist. He decided to stand while they talked and expressed his dissatisfaction with being forced to see her. He said that he saved his patients' lives and it was just passion for the work, not mania. She asked if he was showing any signs of mania and listed some. He denied any of that and just said he'd had a stressful few weeks.

Griffin Ford[edit | edit source]

  • Diagnosis:
  • Treatment:

Griffin came into the hospital to get tests to determine if something was wrong with him that caused him to make the mistake that led to the rocket explosion. Meredith and then Jackson ran multiple tests, but found nothing significant in them. Despite this, Tom looked again under pressure for him and lied, telling him he has an aneurysm.

Music[edit | edit source]

Song Performer Scene
"Float On" Lindsey Ray
  • Jo and Link talk and Jo is irritated by some people making out.
  • Meredith and Amelia talk about Alex. Meredith says she doesn't want to talk about it.
"Stars Fade Out" Young Summer (feat. Bodytalkr)
  • Jo tells Link not to let Amelia get away.
  • Bailey confronts Richard in his office.
  • He apologizes to her and says he's stepping away from surgery.
"Save Me" Rhye
  • Tom and Griffin shake hands.
  • Vic talks to Jackson about what she expected.
  • He asks to back up and she says it's over.
  • Bailey and Meredith commiserate.
  • Bailey tells Meredith about Richard's decision.
  • Teddy goes to see Tom.
"London" Night Riots
  • Andrew brings Jo a drink and propositions her.
  • She throws her drink in his face and tells him to get help.
"Now and Forever" Swansi
  • Owen tells Teddy he loves her and they'll figure everything out.
  • Link paces outside the door with his guitar.
  • Amelia sees him and opens the door.
  • He tells her he doesn't want to live without her.
  • Amelia kisses him and then says the baby is his.

Notes and Trivia[edit | edit source]


Grey's Anatomy 16x17 Promo "Life on Mars?" (HD) Season 16 Episode 17 Promo

  • This episode's title originated from the song Life on Mars?, originally sung by David Bowie.
  • This episode scored 6.27 million viewers.
  • Justin Chambers is removed from the opening credits, marking the first episode in the show's history where he is not credited.
  • Amelia Shepherd reappears after a two episode absence, the result of Caterina Scorsone having her baby.
  • Promotional photos show a scene with Owen and Amelia talking in the parking lot, but that scene appears to be cut from the episode.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Episode Stills[edit | edit source]

Behind the Scenes[edit | edit source]

Quotes[edit | edit source]

Owen (to Teddy): You didn't do anything wrong, okay? All you did was tell me the truth. I was shocked, and I froze. But for our future, Teddy, I need you to know you are not a replacement for anyone. And if you need to tell me anything, my answer will be I love you. I love you, and we're gonna figure it out. And that's my answer now. That's my answer tomorrow. That's my answer always. And I'm sorry.

Link (to Amelia): You're the only person that makes me feel all the things that I thought I was too smart or too damaged to feel. You make me want to write love songs in the rain! You make me want to be a parent. And I don't... I don't give a crap whose baby it is. I don't want to feel this sad and this lonely, not if I don't have to. I fell in love with you, Amelia, and I fell in love with this baby, and that is what matters to me.

See Also[edit | edit source]

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

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