|“||Most people believe that who they are today is pretty much who they will still be in the future. Our minds trick us into thinking our entire history, every choice, every change and chance, has led to this specific moment, what we call now.||”|
Richard preps to present his PATH pen at the LA Surgical Innovation Conference but becomes distracted by his issues with Catherine. Maggie and Teddy run into people from their past at the same conference, while Hayes relives moments from when he met his late wife.
Richard arrives at the Surgical Innovation Conference in Los Angeles. He meets up with Maggie there. He accidentally calls her Meredith but blames it on the flight. He's rewritten his talk at least 20 times. As they go to check in, Maggie notices he's chipper. He's eager to share his PathPen with the world.
Cormac arrives with his two boys. He flashes back to a previous time he was at the hotel for a conference, which is where he first saw his wife handing out pens in the lobby. As the boys walk off, Teddy comes up. She's heading to heart valve happy hour, which has free booze.
Richard is working on his speech in his room. There's a knock at the door. It's Catherine. He lets her in. He asks if she's here to buy the convention center. She came to offer an apology for her behavior. She thinks he wants to apologize, too. He admits Gemma tried to kiss him but he assures her he stopped her. He's sorry for not telling her. Catherine says they can fix this. He needs her to know she can't control everything in the world. She admits buying Pac-North was a bad move. They laugh about their expensive fight. They share a kiss and lie down on the bed.
Teddy meets up with Maggie at heart valve happy hour. Maggie is glad to have someone there she likes. Evelyn is babysitting Allison. Teddy is happy to be child-free for a while. Maggie admits she enjoys these things, likening it to the Olympic Village. Teddy thinks she means professional people by day screwing each other by night is fitting. Maggie didn't mean it like that. She then sees Winston Ndugu across the room. He was one of her residents at Tufts. Teddy thinks she should find out if he's single. Maggie's not one to have sex with strangers. Winston appears behind her. Teddy excuses herself. Winston has been coming here for three years but he's never seen her before. He admits he's had a crush on her ever since his first of residency. He bided his time but then she moved to Seattle right before he became an attending. He's glad to see she's not wearing a wedding ring. He'd like to buy her a drink.
Moments later, they are having sex in a room upstairs.
Afterward, they walk beside the hotel pool as he initiates a lightning round to get to know her better. She describes her perfect day off, which sounds like a romantic comedy. She says she's doing all the things she described by herself. She likes being alone, to a point. He then describes his perfect day, which includes waking up next to her. They kiss. She's done with lightning round and asks about his favorite person. It's his mother, who was fierce and protective. She died about two years ago from ovarian cancer. Maggie can relate to his experience. It's been three years for her. Maggie asks if he has med conference flings. He has hooked up before but he's never fallen this hard in one night. Neither has she.
Teddy and Cormac are having a drink. He dislikes the sales reps. Bailey asked him to represent peds and he didn't want to turn down the invitation as the new guy. Also, his boys get to meet their aunt, who lives here. Dane, a sales rep, joins them.
Cormac flashes back to his future wife approaching him at the bar. She's handing out pens for a company that produces ED meds. She didn't know that. As a starving artist, she just took the job for the money, which pays rent for her. She talks about her art. He takes all the pens from her so he can buy her a drink.
Years later, Cormac tells his wife it's only a couple more minutes. Their boys are playing games on the couch. She's anxious about her hysterectomy. She knows it's routine. The surgeon he found is great. She's afraid she'll die. He laughs and says he'll move on. It'll be a tough couple of days but then single women will court him. He won't have to work for it because as a widowed father of two and a surgeon, they'll be lining up for him.
Some more years later, things aren't looking good for Abigail. She has cancer and has entered her second clinical trial. Her boys try to cheer her up. She has them go find her a ginger ale. Once alone, she tells Cormac that it is likely he'll be doing this alone soon. He has to make sure the boys know it's okay to cry and feel everything. He can't let them lock the grief away and have it eat at them. He gets to fall apart, too. Also, he has to let the boys see his sister. She's crazy but not a bad person. And if he has trouble with the boys, he should call his mother. She knows what she's doing. Austin gets to quit piano. He should keep an eye on Liam's temper, which he gets from her. Finally, Cormac has her permission to fall in love again. He deserves to be happy. She reminds him he won't have to work for it.
A few days later, Abigail has passed away and Cormac and the boys are cleaning out the room. Austin sits down on the bed, not wanting to leave. Cormac sits with him. Liam tries to stay strong but Cormac gestures for him to come sit with them. He lets them cry in his arms.
Dane ordered drinks for Teddy and Cormac. He's courting them because they work for Catherine's flagship hospital. His firm is looking to partner with a hospital to expand R&D beyond their laboratories. Cormac knows all about the firm's devices, specifically the C-30 power morcellator. It's their most popular model used for minimally invasive hysterectomies. Its little spinning claws chop up fibroids but the problem is that what looks like fibroids can in fact be cancer, in which case the device spreads countless cancer cells to metastasize everywhere. Dane says less than 1% of benign fibroids turn into uterine sarcomas. Cormac says his wife was one of those 1%. That device took the mother of his boys and the firm is paying to suppress the proof that it kills people. Cormac passes on the drink. Dane leaves and Cormac apologizes to Teddy for his outburst.
Teddy is now sitting at the bar by herself. Claire walks up and recognizes her. Teddy is surprised to see her.
Teddy flashes back to 9/11. She's at a hospital watching a news report on the Towers collapsing. Claire joins her and breaks down as she watches the report. Teddy comforts her.
After a hug, Claire sits down with her at the bar. Claire can't believe they haven't run into each other at a convention before. Claire has a practice in North Carolina with her wife. After 9/11 and Allison's death, Claire had to leave NYC. Teddy understands. She says she enlisted. It's crazy when she thinks about it now. She thinks she did it because she wanted to support the soldiers who were trying to get the people that killed Allison. It made sense at the time. Claire understands. She misses Allison, as does Teddy.
Flashback. Claire, Teddy, and Allison are hanging out at their shared apartment. Allison saw a guy clipping his toenails on the subway. She has to go to bed for an early meeting. She can't do that on three hours of sleep like they do. She kisses Claire and asks her not to stay up too late. Claire then gets paged. She asks Teddy to look after her girlfriend and leaves. Once she's gone, Allison is disappointed to hear Teddy has to work tomorrow because she wanted to invite her for breakfast at Windows on the World. The meeting was a lie. She hugs Teddy, who gives in, and they share a kiss.
Teddy blurts out she had a baby. She shows pictures and says her daughter is named Allison. Claire comments it's an odd choice. Teddy wonders why it's odd to name your daughter after your best friend. Claire tells her to admit it after 20 years. Claire says when Allison told her she found a roommate for them, Claire was glad she was not a lesbian. Allison even made her promise she wouldn't like Teddy better than her since the two of them are doctors. Claire never expected for Allison and Teddy to get together.
While naked in bed, Allison asks Teddy to tell her again how they met. Teddy says Allison was riding her bike with fake birds in the basket. She almost hit Teddy, who was crossing the street while looking at a map. "Get those birds out of my way, Pollyanna!" she yelled. Teddy was stressed as a first-year attending. Allison hated her at first but she bought Teddy a bagel anyway. Teddy counts herself lucky that she did. They kiss some more. Teddy then says she can't keep doing this, the sneaking around and lying to Claire. Allison decides to tell her but Teddy points out their living situation complicates things. Allison can't keep to lying to her. She loves Claire but she loves Teddy more. They start making out again.
Teddy asks Claire for how long she knew. Claire had suspected it for months. Teddy says it tore her up. But not enough to stop, Claire adds. She requested Allison's phone records to try to find out how she spent her final minutes. It turns out she tried calling only Teddy at 8:57 AM. She tried to call Teddy as the Twin Towers were collapsing around her. That's how Claire found out that Teddy was the love of Allison's life. Claire leaves.
In bed, Winston brings up a piggyback transplant that Maggie let him scrub in on. He admits he was very nervous to be around her. She admits she was nervous around him, too, except in the OR, where she is a superhero. In regular life, she is a neurotic mess. He can't see that. She is surprised when her alarm goes off. They have been up all night. She finds out he'll be attending Richard's talk. It's weird that he'll meet her father on what amounts to be their first date. Everything about this has been weird but perfect. They make out some more.
Catherine wakes up to Richard kissing her. There's breakfast. She says it may be okay that they fight like cats and dogs. He says healthy cells never stop dividing until they are harmed in some way, unlike cancer cells. They keep growing even in less than ideal circumstances. The problem is that good cells stop growing. He gets to working on his speech some more. She tells him to hurry up.
Teddy meets with Maggie at the breakfast buffet. Maggie thinks she may smell like sex. She never knew it was possible to like someone so much that you know so little. Teddy sees Claire and goes after her.
They sit down in a quiet corner. Teddy owes her an apology. Claire apologizes. She had too many drinks last night and it's been 20 years. Teddy says it's not bygones. They both know it. She talks about meeting Owen, who saved her from a grief so big that she would have let it kill her. For years, she felt guilty for loving him half as much as she loved Allison and guilty because he was with someone else and because maybe she wasn't capable of letting someone love her fully. Allison loved them both. At the time, Teddy didn't believe it. She thought you can't love more than one person at a time, but she understands and believes it now. She is very sorry for the betrayal. Claire could never stay mad at anybody for loving Allison. They hug it out.
Richard tells Catherine he's cracked it. However, it turns out she was never there to begin with. He's been hallucinating. He starts reciting his speech and works in a joke per Catherine's advice.
Maggie wishes Richard good luck right before the presentation. Before heading into the lecture room herself, she walks up to Winston, who asks her come back to Boston with her. Or he can move to Seattle. He's been all about seizing the day after his mother's death. Maggie says she is a person who needs time and spreadsheets to make decisions. He will give her all the time she needs but he's sure he won't feel differently in a few hours or months.
Richard is introduced before his talk.
At the hospital, Catherine paces as Jackson is trying to set up a live feed. He tells her to sit down. He gets the stream going.
Zola gets the livestream going at home for Meredith.
Richard takes the stage. Bailey joins the group at the hospital watching him. Catherine comments he looks good as he starts his talk.
Oddly, Richard says he's not going to talk about his pen anymore, because this morning, with his brilliant wife's help, he has found a way to cure cancer.
The audience and everyone watching at home are confused he starts talking nonsense about cancer. Maggie tells Cormac something is wrong. Richard starts going through slides with hand-drawn pictures of hearts and lungs and an atomic explosion. He says cells need apologies.
Catherine thinks he's drunk. Zola is confused, too. Meredith has her fetch her phone.
Richard goes to his next slide, a drawn heart with Catherine's name written inside. The next slide is a circle. He starts talking about dividing it up in fours. Maggie gets up to get him off the stage as he keeps talking nonsense. Maggie interrupts his talk and tells him he's not feeling well. He claims he's fine and tries to keep going. He then asks Maggie who she is. He gets a little aggressive as Cormac tries to help. Maggie and Cormac forcibly remove him from the stage. Maggie asks someone to call 911.
Maggie is walking with the paramedics taking Richard out of the hotel on a gurney. He asks her what's going on. He then seems to realize that Catherine was never there. They walk past Winston.
- Ellen Pompeo as Dr. Meredith Grey
- Chandra Wilson as Dr. Miranda Bailey
- James Pickens, Jr. as Dr. Richard Webber
- Kevin McKidd as Dr. Owen Hunt (credit only)
- Jesse Williams as Dr. Jackson Avery
- Caterina Scorsone as Dr. Amelia Shepherd (credit only)
- Camilla Luddington as Dr. Jo (credit only)
- Kelly McCreary as Dr. Maggie Pierce
- Giacomo Gianniotti as Dr. Andrew DeLuca (credit only)
- Kim Raver as Dr. Teddy Altman
- Greg Germann as Dr. Tom Koracick (credit only)
- Jake Borelli as Dr. Levi Schmitt (credit only)
- Chris Carmack as Dr. Atticus Lincoln (credit only)
- Debbie Allen as Dr. Catherine Fox
- Richard Flood as Dr. Cormac Hayes
- Sherri Saum as Allison Robin Brown
- Rya Kihlstedt as Claire
- Elizabeth Grullón as Abigail Hayes
- Anthony Hill as Dr. Winston Ndugu
- Tyler Jacob Moore as Dane Pinetti
- Page Leong as Dr. Cynthia Cu
- Aniela Gumbs as Zola
- Nicolas Hedges as Liam Hayes
- Jayden Haynes-Starr as Austin Hayes
- Andriana Manfredi as Medical Product Rep
- Riley Looc as Young Liam
- Cairo Philip as Young Austin
- Uterine fibroids
- Metastatic cancer
Abigail, 33, had fibroids in her uterus. She ended up having a hysterectomy to treat the fibroids, but the doctor used a machine which used its tiny claws to break up the fibroids. Since one of the fibroids was actually a sarcoma, the machine caused it to spread throughout her abdomen, causing metastatic cancer. She started cancer treatment, including two clinical trials, but they were unsuccessful and she died.
- Maggie Pierce (cardiothoracic surgeon)
Richard was giving his presentation when Maggie noticed something was wrong with him, as he wasn't making any sense and had had hallucinations. When she went down to get him off the stage, he didn't recognize her. She was able to get him off the stage and to a hospital.
|"New Day"||Andrew Simple||
|"Glory (Acoustic)"||Maverick Sabre||
|"32 Flavors"||Ani DiFranco||
|"All I Need"||Aaron Wheeler, Jamye Tovey||
|"Where You Gonna Go"||Gregory Alan Isakov||
Notes and Trivia
- This episode's title originated from the song Love of My Life, originally sung by Queen.
- This episode scored 6.52 million viewers.
- The episode was shot in November 2019.
- The scenes at the hotel were shot at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles.
- The picture used to introduce Richard when he was presenting the PATH Pen was James Pickens, Jr. promotional picture for Season 16.
Behind the Scenes
A complete overview of this episode's crew can be found here.
|Grey's Anatomy Season 16|
|#01||"Nothing Left to Cling To"||#08||"My Shot"||#15||"Snowblind"|
|#02||"Back in the Saddle"||#09||"Let's All Go to the Bar"||#16||"Leave a Light On"|
|#03||"Reunited"||#10||"Help Me Through the Night"||#17||"Life on Mars?"|
|#04||"It's Raining Men"||#11||"A Hard Pill to Swallow"||#18||"Give a Little Bit"|
|#05||"Breathe Again"||#12||"The Last Supper"||#19||"Love of My Life"|
|#06||"Whistlin' Past the Graveyard"||#13||"Save the Last Dance for Me"||#20||"Sing It Again"|
|#07||"Papa Don't Preach"||#14||"A Diagnosis"||#21||"Put on a Happy Face"|
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