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When I was little, I once asked my mother, "How do you tell people such bad news?" "You tell them the truth," she said, "but you tell them the best version of the truth you can come up with." My mother also never told me I had a little sister, so grain of salt. My mother said, "Tell the truth. Just tell the best version of the truth you can." Because the truth is gonna come out sometime. And the one thing you can't do with the truth is hide from it. Because the truth is gonna come looking until it finds you.

Momma Knows Best is the fourth episode of the fifteenth season and the 321st overall episode of Grey's Anatomy.

Short SummaryEdit

Meredith turns heads when she shows up to work done up and ready for her blind date later that day, while Alex makes a questionable decision in order to save a patient. Meanwhile, the burden of knowing Teddy's secret keeps Maggie up at night, ultimately making her decide she has to tell someone.

Full SummaryEdit

At night, Meredith walks into the kitchen and finds Maggie sitting there. She's wondering if Owen and Amelia are falling in love or just having sex. While Meredith prepares milk for Ellis, she wonders why Maggie isn't thinking about Jackson. He sent her a picture of a tree. Maggie thinks Amelia should know if something's coming at her that'll ruin everything. Maggie insists Jackson will come back. Ellis appears in the doorway. Meredith tells Maggie stop worrying about Owen and Amelia and goes back to bed with Ellis.

Amelia and Betty are arguing in the living room. Owen asks them to keep it down for Leo. Amelia thinks Betty did drugs, but Betty denies it. She enters the bathroom and slams the door shut. Owen is not sure if shaming Betty about a slip is a good idea. Amelia can handle a slip, but she will not tolerate lying. Owen thinks it's time for bed. "Hag!" Betty yells from the bathroom, angering Amelia even more. Leo starts crying.

Jo is kissing Alex, but his mind is elsewhere. He thinks he was wrong in taking the job. Everyone keeps asking for stuff. Jo stops kissing him and says she's been thinking about getting an INUMAC MRI. Alex can't believe she's asking him for money while her hand is on his junk. She says it was already there. He gets out of bed and gets dressed. He leaves for work.

Link finds Alex and asks why the funding for his prosthetics is frozen. Alex says it's only temporarily. Link then spots Meredith, who's wearing makeup. He greets her as Taryn comes up. Taryn also goes silent upon seeing Meredith.

Carina tells Andrew she has to go home for some time because their father has a problem. She assures him he didn't die. They then come across Meredith. Andrew is also stunned by her looks. Meredith enters a patient room. Carina notices her brother's attraction to Meredith and mocks him.

Ben enters the ER with a victim of a small apartment fire. Owen orders to take the man straight to the burn unit. Ben offers to take the man himself.

Out in the ambulance bay, Dean Miller and Andy Herrera bring a 40 year old woman who was found unconscious at the scene. She collapsed on the street outside. As Natalie's taken inside, Andy wonders where Max is. He's Natalie's kid. Bailey finds him hiding in the ambulance and calmly starts talking to him. She reaches out to him to take him inside.

Amelia and Betty arrive in the lobby much to Owen's surprise. Amelia says she's grounded. She refers Betty to the waiting area and asks Levi for a 10-panel tox screen. Owen is surprised Betty agreed to a drug test, but Amelia says she doesn't know. Amelia leaves to get changed. Betty tells Owen that Amelia is so extra. He agrees.

In the lounge, Amelia asks Meredith if she would ground Zola if she got high. Meredith doesn't understand. Alex tells Meredith she looks weird. Maggie corrects him and says she looks pretty. She pieces together that Meredith has a date. Amelia is happy to hear that, although she's not excited to hear that it's a lunch date. Meredith has no idea what her date looks like, since Cece wants her clients to meet their dates without preconceived notions. Maggie and Amelia leave. Alex and Meredith place a bet on how long the date will last.

Maggie joins Bailey and Andrew in the trauma room. She defibrillates Natalie, who regains consciousness. Natalie asks about her son. She wants to see him because he likes to know what's going on, or he gets scared. Maggie understands. She studies Natalie's chest X-ray and decides they need a TEE. Natalie loses consciousness again just when Andy and Andrew come in with Max. They quickly take him away.

Meredith enters the restaurant. A man approaches her. She asks if he's John. He is. They sit down at the bar since their table isn't ready yet. He compliments her on her outfit.

Bailey finds Max in the waiting area. She tells him his dad is on his way. They are taking his mother up to the OR now. Andy says she will sit with Max until the social worker arrives. Dean doesn't like Andy putting them on babysitting duty. Andy says they have to get checked out by a doctor anyway per the new Captain's orders.

Alex and Dahlia are examining Julius, who was delivering food in the building. He asks them not to call his mother, who lives in Philly and will just worry. Also, he has a make-it-or-break-it chem test. Dahlia says he needs a chest X-ray. He is worried they'll cost extra, but Alex says he doesn't have to worry.

Evan arrives in the ER and hugs his son. Bailey and Maggie come up. Bailey starts asking him about his wife's health, but he has Max sit back down first. Maggie tells Evan they believe Natalie had a recent heart attack. The wall between the main chambers of her heart is ruptured, so they need to operate. Maggie sits down with Max and explains they are going to fix his mother's heart. She and Bailey then walk off. Dean suddenly isn't in a rush to leave anymore as Maggie caught his eye. He is happy to follow Captain's orders now. He sits down.

Bailey runs into Ben in the hallway. He tells her about the patient he brought in all the while hiding his left hand. She notices and asks him to show her. He has a burn. He tries to laugh it off, but she's not amused.

Dahlia and Alex check out Julius' film. He has a pulmonary bleb, which is air trapped in the lining of the lung. If it ruptures, his lung collapses and he could die.

In surgery, Bailey asks Maggie what Jackson is doing. She says it's like a spiritual sabbatical. Bailey says him just running off to do what he wants sounds more like spring break. Maggie then finds a big ventricular septal rupture. Natalie probably thought her heart attack was indigestion and her heart has been weakening ever since. Maggie plans on closing the defect, but it's a long shot. She can't tell Max that his mother is gone.

Meredith learns that John works on privacy software. She tells him about her job. John finds privacy important and fights to protect it.

Alex and Dahlia are showing Julius his scans, but he already knew about his bleb. He gets along fine. Alex says the smoke and bleb are causing his lungs to work too hard, so he wants to operate. Julius says his mom's insurance only covers emergency surgery and his bleb is a preexisting condition. His mom already works hard enough. Julius threatens to sue them if they tell his mother.

As they walk off, Alex says they can't operate on Julius without his consent or it'll be assault. He has Dahlia go prepare the discharge papers. Jo comes up to talk about last night. She doesn't have sex with him to get stuff from the Chief, she just wants orgasms. She then realizes Richard is standing behind her and leaves. Alex paged him.

Amelia joins Owen and Betty in the lobby. Schmitt comes running up with a urine sample. He thought they were testing him because of the cookie incident, but they clarify it's for Betty. Levi apologizes while Betty gets enraged. She leaves to go see Leo.

Andy wants to go and find another doctor to check them out, but Dean then spots Natalie's surgical team entering. Maggie tells Evan that the damage to Natalie's heart is severe. There is only a slim chance she will wake up again. Max comes up and Evan struggles to tell him. Maggie starts doing so, but Evan cuts her off and claims his mom will be alright.

John and Meredith discuss dating. He tells her about "the one thing," which is when the date is going great until your date says that one thing that makes you lose all interest. Meredith says that's why she doesn't date. John figures she's married to her work, which he thinks is a good thing. It takes a ton of dedication to get to where she is at her age. His ex-wife couldn't share him with his work. Meredith says her husband could, but then he died. Work's a forgiving partner, but it doesn't throw you up against the wall and kiss you. Meredith wants to call work and move some things around this afternoon. As she's working on her phone, John looks around and realizes he's on the wrong date. The woman he was supposed to meet up with is talking to a man at the bar. That's why he thought Meredith didn't look like her picture. John's a common name. John doesn't want to end this date and the woman looks like she's having a good time, presumably with Meredith's John.

Alex has asked for Richard's advice, but Richard won't do his job for him. Richard says being Chief is nothing but being backed into corners and finding creative ways to get out. Alex wants to quit, but Richard says you can't until you've tried to the best of your abilities. Otherwise, it's just failing.

Bailey is checking out Andy and Dean. Andy's not sure that the Chief examining them is the best use of resources. Andy shares that Dean was hoping for Dr. Pierce. Dean asks Bailey if Maggie's single, but Bailey tells him she's not his auntie. She clears them and then wonders if letting Ben damage his surgical hands was the best use of resources.

Meredith and John are texting their dates to let them know something's come up. The woman and man at the bar get the texts but don't seem to mind at all. As they continue to laugh and talk, John suggests it may be meant to be. Meredith and John decide to get out.

Owen and Amelia are watching Betty play with Leo in daycare. Amelia doesn't know how to discipline a teenager. Her mother just let her do what she wanted after her father died. Owen says his mother was the opposite. Amelia says Owen turned out okay and walks off.

Maggie finds Max hiding under the desk at the nurses' station. He asks if his mom's going to be okay. Maggie starts telling him that her mother has a big problem with her heart, but then Evan shows up. He tells Max he can't go running off. Maggie goes to speak with Evan privately. Evan explains Max likes to hide when he's scared. Maggie thinks Max gets that from him. Max needs to know what's coming. Evan prefers to cling to the slim chance. Evan tells Maggie he won't take that away from Max and leaves with him.

Alex returns to Julius, who tried to leave but couldn't finish putting on his pants. Alex helps him get back into bed. His pulse ox is just 88. Alex tells Julius the bleb could burst at any time, but Julius keeps bringing up the insurance. Alex pretends to do one final check before letting him leave AMA, but actually uses a scalpel to make a small cut. He pretends he has found a penetrating chest wound which might infiltrate the pleural space, so they have to take a look in surgery. It would be an emergency surgery, including anything they might find while they are in there. Alex asks Dahlia to book an OR. Dahlia says she has to report this. Alex says she just told the Chief.

Owen is surprised to see his mother enter the ER. He thinks something's wrong, but she's fine. She tells him she has a life and keeps on walking.

Andy wants to go now, but Dean wants to tell Maggie that they're leaving. He goes and introduce himself to her at the desk. He asks about Natalie. Maggie tells him it's not looking good, which makes his pivot into asking her out a bit awkward. Maggie starts laughing after his dinner invite. She says she had a fiancé named Dean once. Andrew interrupts; Natalie is coding again. Maggie rushes off. Andy tells Dean she's glad they waited.

Richard comes to yell at Alex for stabbing a patient. Alex says he got creative. Richard didn't mean assault. This may cost him his license. Alex says he's just kicking the job's ass before it kicks his.

Evelyn assures Amelia that she did the right thing with Betty. Amelia doesn't know what she is to Betty. Evelyn says she needs a mother. She tells Amelia she's building a boat. Children sail away from their parents inevitably, but it's the parents' job to build a boat strong enough so that when the children decide to come back, they can do so safely. The boat is your relationship. Evelyn asks Amelia if she's back together with Owen. Amelia doesn't know what they are. Evelyn has an opinion, as mothers always do, but she doesn't share it.

Maggie and Andrew go to see Evan in waiting room. They think it's time. Max asks for what, but Evan again keeps him out of the conversation. Maggie again advocates for Max, but Evan insists on protecting him from the pain. Andrew offers to take Max to go eat something, which Evan accepts. He and Maggie then go to see Natalie. Max is not hungry, so Andrew suggests they go see something cool.

Meredith and John are strolling while talking about travelling. He says that's the upside to being married to your work. He doesn't travel a lot, but he has the time and resources to do whatever he wants. There's no kids to worry about. Actually, the single moms are the most frustrating thing about dating. They are in such a need to speed things up. Kids make women desperate, he says. He then sees Meredith's face and realizes he said the one thing. She shares she has three kids. She doesn't feel like she's on some sort of clock, but she also doesn't feel like they are holding her back. She tells John to take care and walks off.

Max and Andrew are on the helipad. They sit down in the helicopter. Max can tell his mother is not okay, so he doesn't know why his father is lying. Andrew shares a story from his past. One day, his mother went to visit his sister in Italy and Andrew received a call from his sister, asking him to come asap since their mother was really sick. When he got there, his mother had died of a stroke. She actually died before his sister called him. She lied and he was mad, but his sister told him she couldn't have him find out without her being there to hug him. Max takes away from the story that his father is lying and that his mother is dying or may be dead already. Andrew just wanted to illustrate that the truth can be scary, but Max gets upset and runs off. He gets on the elevator before Andrew can reach him.

Meredith arrives at the hospital and runs into Andy, who compliments her looks. Amelia comes up to ask how her date went. Maggie joins them and tells them about Evan's preventing Max from saying goodbye. Maggie then asks Amelia if you should be allowed to break patient confidentiality if you see a disaster coming. Amelia and Andy side against her. Meredith says it went horribly. It was nice, but then he said the thing about kids and single mothers. Meredith doubts there will be a next time of her dating. Andy says it sounds like a great date. If he hadn't said the thing, it would have been dragged out for months. So, Meredith found out there are great men out there and she dodged a slow-moving bullet. Meredith thanks her for the insight.

Andrew runs into Carina while looking for Max. He asks about their father, but Carina tells him to just go look for the kid. He tells her she's a really good sister and runs off, not noticing Max coming out of his hiding place just behind his back and running off in the opposite direction.

In surgery, Alex removes the bleb. Richard wonders what he'll tell Julius' mother, or a medical ethics committee for that matter. Alex says he'll tell them about the time he stole a car. One night, his sister Amber spiked a fever, he was 12 and home alone, so he broke into the neighbors' house and took her to the hospital with their car. An ambulance was too expensive. Alex hopes he'll get a pass from Julius' mother so there will be no ethics committee.

In an empty trauma room, Betty asks Owen to drive her home, but he says Amelia will. Betty asks him how he deals with her. Owen says he doesn't lie to her and accepts her, as intense as she can be. She's just trying to help Betty, so if Betty lets her, she might stop going crazy. Amelia enters and Betty confesses she smoked some weed. It was just weed, but Amelia says there is nothing like "just weed" for addicts. It triggers cravings for more and she thinks Betty knows that after all those meeting. So, she's grounded for a month. An angry Betty tells Owen and Amelia that they are lame and leaves to go wait in the car.

Alex and Richard go to tell Julius that he now has two perfect lungs. Julius brings up the stabbing. His mom's going to go crazy happy. She's been saving for this forever. Julius wonders if Alex will get fired for this. He says he probably won't. With a smile on his face, he says he's the Chief. Richard rolls his eyes and leaves.

Alex catches up with Jo and apologizes for basically calling her a hooker. They walk past Link and as they wait for an elevator, Jo turns around and recognizes him. "Brooke?!" he says when she calls out his name. They hug and start talking. Alex has no idea what's going on.

Evan is sitting with Natalie and saying his goodbyes. Bailey joins Maggie outside the room. Maggie tells her the kid still doesn't know what's coming. Bailey asks her to keep her posted and leaves. Meredith comes up and Maggie says she should have told Max. Nobody deserves a surprise like that. She almost slips up about the surprise headed for Amelia. Meredith inquires about the surprise. Maggie then tells her about Teddy's pregnancy, breaking doctor-patient confidentiality. A worried Andrew comes to ask if either of them has seen Max, because he can't find him anywhere.

Outside the hospital, Max runs off into the city.

CastEdit

  • Meredith Grey
  • Alex Karev
  • Miranda Bailey
  • Richard Webber
  • Owen Hunt
  • Amelia Shepherd
  • Jo Karev
  • Maggie Pierce
  • Andrew DeLuca
  • Andy Herrera
  • Ben Warren
  • Atticus Lincoln
  • Evelyn Hunt
  • Dean Miller
  • Evan Forrester
  • Carina DeLuca
  • Levi Schmitt
  • Dahlia Qadri
  • Betty Nelson
  • Julius Guerra
  • John
  • Taryn Helm
  • Natalie Forrester
  • Max Forrester

Main CastEdit

Guest StarsEdit

Co-StarringEdit

Medical NotesEdit

Natalie ForresterEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Pulmonary edema
    • Pleural effusion
    • Ventricular septal rupture
  • Treatment:
    • Temporary LVAD

Natalie, 40, came into the ER after collapsing outside after evacuating her apartment building for a fire. She coded in the ER and they resuscitated, but then she coded again. They took her into surgery. They believed she'd had a recent heart attack, which seriously weakened her heart. In surgery, Maggie placed a temporary LVAD in order to take the pressure off her heart. After surgery, Maggie said there was only a slim chance Natalie would wake up again. She coded again in her room. They were able to bring her back, but they warned her husband that they believed it was time to say goodbye.

Julius GuerraEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Smoke inhalation
    • Pulmonary bleb
  • Treatment:
    • Continuous nebulation
    • Surgical extraction

Julius, 18, came into the ER after an apartment fire with smoke inhalation. He insisted that he was fine, but they ran an x-ray, which showed a bleb on his lung. He'd had it since he was a baby, but he declined to have it removed because his insurance didn't cover it and he couldn't afford it. He tried to leave against medical advice, but he had trouble breathing. Alex examined him and secretly cut him to make it look like he had a penetrating wound to his chest. They took him into surgery to remove his bleb. The surgery went well and he was told he'd be okay.

Andy and DeanEdit

  • Diagnosis:
  • Treatment:
    • Post-exposure exam

Andy and Dean got examined after a fire incident. She said they were both fine.

MusicEdit

Song Performer Scene
"Empty Vessels" Devotchka
  • Meredith finds Maggie in the kitchen. She's thinking about Owen and Amelia.
  • Amelia and Betty are fighting because Betty was high and is lying. Their fighting wakes Leo
  • Jo is upset because Alex is distracted during sex. She then mentions a new MRI machine she wants.
"High Hope" Patrick Droney
  • Evelyn leaves.
  • Maggie comes to tell Natalie's husband that it's time to say goodbye.
  • She tries to get him to tell Max that his mother is dying.
  • Andrew takes Max to get some food.
  • Meredith and John talk as they walk. He starts talking about single moms, upsetting Meredith.
  • She tells him it was fun and then leaves.
"Hold on to Me" Valerie Broussard
  • Alex tells Julius he'll be okay. Julius knows what happened.
  • Julius says his mom has been saving for the surgery for years.
  • Alex apologizes to Jo.
  • Jo is surprised to see Link, whom she knows and is happy to see.
  • Maggie and Bailey watch the Forresters.
  • Maggie tells Meredith that people deserve warnings about things coming.
  • Maggie confesses to Meredith that Teddy is pregnant.
  • Andrew comes by looking for Max.
  • Max runs away from the hospital.

Notes and TriviaEdit

Grey's Anatomy 15x04 Promo Momma Knows Best

Grey's Anatomy 15x04 Promo Momma Knows Best

  • This episode's title originated from the song Momma Knows Best, originally sung by Jessie J.
  • This episode scored 6.72 million viewers.
  • This episode is the first part of a crossover with the Station 19 episode Under the Surface.
  • While some effort has been taken to hide Justin Chambers' tattoos, they are vaguely visible on his arm when Alex grabs his clothes and leaves the loft.
  • Goof: Meredith tells John she traveled to Europe after medical school, but it was previously established that she went to Europe before medical school and came home and went to medical school when her mother got sick.

GalleryEdit

Episode StillsEdit

Behind the ScenesEdit

QuotesEdit

See AlsoEdit

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