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

Talking with a patient's family is a crash course in grace under pressure. One clumsy word, one careless gesture can cause irreparable harm. Ideally, you're dealing with a healthy family where the main focus is on the well-being of their loved one but that is not often the case. But a surgeon is required, above all, to tell the truth. And the truth is messy. Grace under pressure. One clumsy word, one careless gesture can cause irreparable harm. So focus on facts. What happened? What was the problem and what did you do? Don't make it personal. Answers questions directly. This is not your loss. This is not your pain. Never make it about you. And if there's no silver lining, don't make one up. Your job isn't to make the bad news sound better. Even though you're in pain too, even though you don't feel like a doctor, you're just another person, alone, falling into the dark.

Papa Don't Preach is the seventh episode of the sixteenth season and the 349th overall episode of Grey's Anatomy.

Short Summary[]

Catherine is back in town and has no idea what's been going on between Jackson and Maggie, while her relationship with Richard has become distant. Owen and Amelia treat a woman who fell in the basement and quickly realize that there is more to the story and Maggie is shocked to learn about some of Richard's relatives who are seeking help.

Full Summary[]

Owen goes to say goodbye to Allison. He wants to take a picture of her, but has no space on his phone. Teddy tells him to delete some stuff, but he says he just needs a bigger phone. They kiss and he walks inside.

Meredith sees Amelia with a stuffed elephant and asks her about it. Amelia says it's Leo's and she needs to take it to Owen or Leo will freak out, but Meredith says they have three of those and that one is Ellis's. Amelia admits that Owen doesn't know she's pregnant and she just wants to tell him. She waffles on whether or not to tell him, so Meredith just leaves because she can't be late. Amelia then leaves, too.

Maggie sees Catherine and asks how she feels being back. Catherine says it feels good and asks Maggie how things are at the hospital with the restructuring. Maggie hesitates when talking about Tom, but Catherine understands. She knows he and Jackson got into a big fight. When she continues to talk about Jackson, Maggie realizes she doesn't know they're not together anymore.

Gemma sees Richard leaving and stops him. She's surprised he wasn't even going to acknowledge her presence. She apologizes for what she did and says she'd like to make it up to him over coffee, but he declines.

Jackson is giving orders to a nurse when Maggie comes up and says they need to talk. He tries to brush her off, but she stays and tells him about his mother. Neither of them have said anything to their parents. They start to bicker until Maggie notices a nearby woman who shares a shocking resemblance to her. Maggie approaches and hears that they're looking for Richard. When the woman sees her, she immediately hugs Maggie. She then introduces herself. She's Sabrina Webber, Richard's niece. The man is her father, Chris, Richard's brother.

Maggie is driving Sabrina and Chris to Pac-North as Sabrina talks about a hamster she got on Craigslist. She then probes Maggie for details about the firing, but Maggie just says it was a bureaucratic matter. Maggie is weirded out by how much Sabrina knows about her and she knows nothing about them. Chris says it's because Richard's ashamed of them, but Sabi says it's not that. Sabi thinks it's so weird how much they look alike. She leans over to take a picture with Maggie, who agrees it's weird.

Amelia tries to give Owen the elephant, but he knows it's not Leo's. Then she blurts out that she and Link are having a baby. Owen is shocked. Amelia continues that she wants Leo in the baby's life. Just then, paramedics bring in Cassidy Gardner, who fell down the stairs. Her son called 911. Cassidy tells her son, Henry, that she'll be okay. Amelia agrees to sit with him while they take care of Cassidy.

Richard is happily surprised to see Chris and Sabi. It's been five years since they last saw him. He offers them a tour, but Sabi says she's kind of worn out. She also needs Richard to look at something. She shows him a picture, which he shows too Maggie. It's a very large cardiac tumor and it's hers.

Maggie examines Sabrina, who hasn't had many symptoms. Her scans were three weeks old and she says she waited because she took some time to process the news. Maggie explains the tumor to her and says they need new imaging. Sabrina realizes waiting was dumb.

Henry tells Amelia about coming home to find his mom on the floor in the basement. Amelia says his mom has great doctors taking care of her and offers him the elephant to hold.

Sabrina and Maggie talk while she waits for her scan. Maggie tells her about Jackson and Vic. Maggie gives Sabi her phone to get her number. They find out how much they have in common. Richard then comes and says it's time for her scan. After they're gone, Maggie gets a text from Sabi. It's the picture she took.

Sabrina says the machine smells new and wonders if she's the first person to use it. Richard says it's close. Richard and Maggie talk while they wait for Sabi to get her scan. Maggie says it's weird because she's never had a relative who looked like her before and Sabrina's been out there her entire life having different experiences. She wonders if they've ever been in the same city at the same time before. Richard explains his family's conflict. They believe he thinks he's better than them and he wanted to protect Maggie from that. The scan comes up and they are shocked by how much it has grown and infiltrated.

Owen does an ultrasound on Cassidy and asks her about what was happening before she fell. Owen asks Cecil what he sees on the scan. He thinks it's excess fluid, but it's actually a heartbeat. Owen asks if she knew she was pregnant. She's upset that she's still pregnant. It didn't work. She tells Owen she can't have another baby.

Owen goes to Amelia and tells her that Cassidy's fall wasn't an accident. She was trying to terminate a pregnancy by throwing herself down the stairs. Owen says she's not talking much, so Amelia offers to try. He says she can. Owen says he can get someone else if she's not up for it, but she just asks why she wouldn't be. She tells Owen she doesn't need a fainting couch.

Maggie shows Sabi her new scans. They tell her it's very serious and she needs surgery today. Maggie says she can operate. Sabi has reservations because they're family, but Maggie says she's the best. Chris gets upset because Maggie's not listening to what Sabi wants. Richard says he can get an on-call cardio surgeon to do it.

Richard asks Maggie to do a consult with the new surgeon. She's upset that Richard didn't back her up, but agrees to do the consult.

Amelia tells Cassidy she has no sign of concussion. Cassidy's worried about Henry, but Amelia says a nurse showed him the snack drawer, so he's happy. Owen says she'll need surgery to remove her spleen. She says she doesn't have insurance, but Amelia says emergency departments don't turn people away, so she'll get her surgery, but surgery will put the fetus at risk, so Amelia asks her if she wants to continue the pregnancy. Cassidy explains that she can't afford another child. Owen asks if she threw herself down the stairs, which she says she didn't. She tried to go to a clinic with financial assistance, but something always fell through, so she made up a tea she found online, but it made her dizzy, which is why she fell down the stairs. She would never do anything to try to hurt herself, something that could hurt Henry. Amelia says she's okay and Henry's okay and if she wants an abortion, Owen can get someone to do it while she's in surgery, after her abdominal bleeding is under control. Owen interjects that he'd rather deal with the abdominal bleeding in surgery and then the pregnancy later.

Outside the room, Owen says Amelia overstepped. He doesn't order abortions. She says he would have if the fetus hadn't survived, but it did. Amelia tries to make her case, but Owen shuts her down and dismisses her.

Meredith sees Maggie outside Pac-North. Meredith's there to have coffee with Alex. Maggie explains the situation with Sabi and shows Meredith the tumor. Amelia comes out and sees them. She says she told Owen about the baby and he got weird. Meredith says it's understandable, but Amelia's not so sure it is. He's with Teddy now and he seemed angry with Amelia over it. Amelia tries to explain their family situation. Maggie gets a page that Sabi's crashing and leaves. Once she's gone, Meredith explains to Amelia who Sabi is. Amelia leaves, too, saying she won't let Owen take his anger at her out on a patient. Meredith watches her go and says everyone's got a patient and she wants a patient.

Maggie comes in and starts to work on Sabi. Her surgery is now emergent. Richard admits that he doesn't want the sub to operate and wants Maggie instead. Richard stands up to Chris and says Maggie should do the surgery and he okays it.

Maggie comes into the OR and introduces herself to the OR staff. Alex tells them to be on their best behavior so Maggie will come run cardio for them, which Maggie says won't happen. Maggie starts the surgery.

Richard apologizes to Chris and says Sabi's in great hands, but Chris isn't reassured. Chris leaves to go call the family. Gemma comes in and sits down next to Richard. He doesn't want to talk to her, but she insists. He talks through his conflict with his family. His brother blamed his alcoholism on his ambition. Gemma puts a reassuring hand on Richard's should just as Catherine comes in and sees them. Richard introduces her to Gemma, who quickly excuses herself and leaves. Richard wasn't sure Catherine would come, but she says of course she came. It's family. Chris comes back and says Vanessa is starting a prayer chain.

Maggie is operating on Sabi. She's putting her on bypass.

Catherine and Chris talk about the family. Richard shares stories of Sabi and her cousins when they were kids. Things get somber when Chris brings up Adele, so he leaves to get a drink. Once he's gone, Richard tries to talk about the thing with Gemma, but Catherine says it'll wait until later. Richard persists and explains how Gemma got a job there. Catherine takes his talking about it as an admission of guilt. When Chris comes back, she leaves to get some fresh air.

Cassidy talks to her son and promises to take him to the zoo. Once a nurse takes him out of the room, Amelia and an OB nurse give her the first medication to obtain an abortion. She explains what will happen so Cassidy is prepared and Cassidy takes the medication. She expresses her thanks to them as Owen comes in for a post-op exam.

Gemma asks Catherine if there's any news. Sabi's still in surgery, so Gemma says she'll say another prayer. Catherine talks to Gemma about being an accountant and says they're always looking for good people to look after their money at the foundation. It probably pays better than the hospital. She tells Gemma to get her resume to Richard. Catherine says they have openings all over the country, but sadly none in Seattle. Catherine says good night and goes back inside.

Maggie is still working, but Sabi starts coding. She's clotting and shouldn't be. Maggie realizes she's heparin-resistant. They have to replace the bypass machine with a new one. Maggie gives orders and continues her work.

Owen says Amelia crossed a line, but Amelia says Cassidy needed help and Owen wouldn't give it. Amelia asks why he refused to help her get an abortion. Their argument continues into the stairwell. Owen is angry because Amelia said she didn't want babies, but is having a baby with Link. Amelia says she has to go and leaves.

Owen apologizes and Amelia apologizes too, for springing it on Owen at his work. Amelia explains what when she said she didn't want kids, he meant it, but then with what they went through with Betty and Leo, she changed her mind. And it wasn't planned with Link. They talk about how the baby will fit into their family dynamic. Owen leaves to go talk to Cassidy and apologize to her and Amelia leaves as well.

Chris paces and asks Richard if it's normal for it to take so long. Richard explains that he knows a bit of what Chris is feeling. He offers Chris some coffee and a comforting hand.

Maggie is still working on Sabrina. Alex comes in and asks about how she's doing. He realizes it's been too long. Sabrina is brain dead and Maggie needs to let her go. Maggie steps back and Alex calls time of death.

Maggie and Alex are walking when Maggie gets a text from Richard asking her to tell him the minute she's out. She sees the picture of her and Sabi also in her messages. She starts to panic because they didn't even want her to do the surgery. He takes her into a closet and tells her to let it out and then pull herself back together so she can tell the family. Maggie sobs.

Alex and Maggie go out to Chris, Richard, and Catherine. Maggie explains what happened and that Sabi died. Chris starts to break down and yells at Maggie for operating when Sabi didn't want her to. Catherine asks if Sabi's cleaned up so they can see her. Then she leads Richard out to start calling the rest of the family.


Main Cast[]

Guest Stars[]


Medical Notes[]

Cassidy Gardner[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Abdominal bleeding
    • Pregnancy
  • Treatment:
    • Splenectomy
    • Medication abortion

Cassidy came into the ER after falling down a flight of stairs. Owen immediately ordered chest and pelvic x-rays. She had free fluid in her abdomen and ultrasound revealed she was also pregnant. They initially believed she had tried to abort by throwing herself down the stairs, but she admitted that she'd used an herb to try to induce abortion, but it made her dizzy, which is why she fell down the stairs. Owen took her in to remove her spleen, which was the source of her abdominal bleeding. After her surgery, she obtained a medication abortion and was told to follow up with an OB/GYN.

Sabrina Webber[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Biatrial myxoma
  • Treatment:
    • Surgical resection

Sabrina came to Seattle to seek treatment for her recently-diagnosed biatrial myxoma. She showed the picture to Maggie, who said it was very large. She ordered new scans, which showed it had grown significantly in just the three weeks since her last set. Maggie wanted to operate immediately, though Sabrina was nervous about having Maggie operate on her. They waited for a replacement surgeon, but when Sabrina coded, Chris agreed to let Maggie operate. In surgery, Maggie put Sabrina on bypass, but as she worked, Sabrina started clotting and the clots blocked the bypass machine. They got a replacement machine, but she continued to clot due to a heparin resistance and Maggie was unable to save her. She was pronounced dead at 18:58.


Song Performer Scene
"Life in the City" The Lumineers
  • Owen tries to take a picture of Allison, but he has no space.
  • He says goodbye to Teddy.
  • Amelia and Meredith talk about her telling Owen she's pregnant.
  • Maggie sees Catherine.
"Commentator" Roo Panes
  • Owen and Amelia talk about what's coming.
  • Owen goes to apologize to his patient.
  • Chris paces and Richard tries to reassure him.
  • Maggie tries frantically to save Sabrina.
  • Alex convinces her to let Sabrina go and calls time of death.
"Too Much" Jeffrey Amor
  • Maggie tells Chris that Sabrina died.
  • Chris is angry at Maggie for operating.
  • Catherine takes Richard to see Sabrina and call the family.

Notes and Trivia[]


Grey's Anatomy 16x07 Promo "Papa Don't Preach" (HD) Season 16 Episode 7 Promo

  • This episode's title originated from the song Papa Don't Preach, originally sung by Madonna.
  • This episode scored 6.16 million viewers.
  • Crystal McCreary and Kelly McCreary, who play cousins in this episode, are sisters in real life.
  • This is the last episode to feature Alex Karev in Pac-North's green scrubs.


Episode Stills[]

Behind the Scenes[]


Sabi: It's so good to see you, Uncle Richard! Oh, my gosh. We missed you at Christmas. And Thanksgiving. And Easter and birthdays and family reunions.
Richard: I know. It's been a tough year.
Chris: Has it been a tough five years?

Maggie: I've never had a relative who looked like me before. And she's just been out there practically my entire life, just having different experiences. I wonder if we've ever been in the same town at the same time before today. I was in Dayton once. I had a long layover. I went to the mall. Has it really been five years since you saw each other?
Richard: Sabi's not like the others. My brother and sister always resented me for leaving, resented my success. Accused me of putting on airs and acting like I was better. Adele always had a way of smoothing things over. I should've tried harder after she died.
Maggie: And they didn't know about me until the podcast.
Richard: When I called to tell them, they said some vicious things, and I think I just wanted to protect you from that. But it's nice to see the two of you get along so well.

Maggie: They granted me privileges, so we're good to go.
Sabi: But we're family. And we're basically twins. I mean, what if you see me lying on that operating table, and you freak out because it's you on the table?
Maggie: That is not a thing I do. And I'm the best.
Sabi: Then get second best.
Richard: Sabi, she won't even be able to see your face. It's covered during surgery.
Sabi: Okay, that is really creepy. Do people know that?
Chris: Isn't there a law against operating on family?
Maggie: It isn't a law. It's a guideline. And since we've only known each other about two hours, I'm not really sure how it applies here.
Chris: Apple doesn't fall too far from the tree.
Maggie: Excuse me?
Chris: You're steamrolling her, thinking you know what's best. You're not even listening to her concerns.
Maggie: I'm listening. They're just not valid.
Sabi: Not valid?
Maggie: We look alike, we have some things in common, but we're we're not family. Not in the way that matters. I am the best cardiothoracic surgeon in the Northwest. I run my department. I innovate. You want me in that room.

Maggie: So you're just gonna agree with them because of some bad history with your brother?
Richard: No, that's not what I meant. Look, they're your family, too. I know you just met and it may not feel that way, but they look, one day, it could. And God forbid something goes wrong in the OR...
Maggie: ...and I'll always be the love child who killed your favorite niece?
Richard: Oh, come on, now. You'll never get a chance to know them.
Maggie: And I never would've known they existed if they hadn't come here. Richard, your niece came here for help as a doctor. It's too bad you can't do her the favor of thinking like one.

Amelia: I told Owen about the baby.
Maggie: Oh, that's why you're here. I thought you were defecting.
Amelia: I told him about the baby, and he got weird.
Meredith: That's understandable.
Amelia: Is it? I mean, he's with Teddy, and he's happy. And just now, he just seemed like he was angry with me for being pregnant. But he's gotta get with the program. This kid is gonna be Leo's little brother or sister. So he and Teddy are gonna be aunt and uncle, I guess?
Maggie: Does Leo call Teddy "Mom"?
Amelia: No, no, he calls her "Weddy" because he's working on his T's. Oh, I get the question. I'm Auntie Amelia. Betty's more like big sister. So Teddy's stepmom, I guess?

Alex: Okay, folks, best behavior. If we impress Pierce, she just might come and run cardio for us.
Maggie: You know that's never gonna happen, right?
Alex: You'd be surprised how many times it's worked.

Richard: Maggie's operating on my niece right now. She came out here for the first time in years. Her father, too. For my help.
Gemma: I thought they wanted nothing to do with Maggie.
Richard: My brother and sister, yes, but Sabi, she's not like them. She's welcoming and forgiving and kind and I turned my back on her.
Gemma: Family's complicated.
Richard: I know. I keep saying that. But I feel like it's just an excuse now.
Gemma: You made a sincere attempt at amends. If the other person doesn't want to hear it, that's not on you.
Richard: They aren't wrong. I did think I was better. Or at least knew better. You know, I never understood why they were so content staying in their small, little world. You know what Chris said to me when I told him I was an alcoholic? "That's what you get." Like ambition was to blame. Like everything would've been fine if I hadn't gotten a big head and left home.

Richard: I wasn't sure you'd come.
Catherine: Of course I came. It's family.

Amelia: Owen, did you really want to force that poor mom to bring another human being onto the planet against her will, or did you refuse her an abortion because I wanted to help her have one?
Owen: You don't get to come to my place of work and order me around, okay?
Amelia: I didn't order you around. I ordered her an OB who ordered her some pills! And you're angry with me for reasons I can't quite ascertain. So you said no to her because I said yes.
Owen: I said no to her because 'cause sometimes people change their minds, and she was traumatized by a fall.
Amelia: A fall that she took accidentally after intentionally trying to abort the fetus. You think that the trauma would change her mind? Is this about me?! Is this because I'm pregnant? So you think that women who say that they don't want babies are gonna just wake up one day and change their minds?
Owen: Amelia, that's absurd.
Amelia: I agree. She was clear. She knew what she wanted. She was not gonna change her mind. And for the record, I did not change my mind, either. I just got pregnant, and I exercised my freedom of choice to not have an abortion.
Owen: That's right. So you didn't want to have kids, but now you're with somebody else, and you do. You're perfectly happy now that you're having a baby with another man!
Amelia: You and I broke up twice. Once when we got divorced and then...
Owen: Yeah. Yeah, we got divorced. You remember why we got divorced? You remember the pain that you put me through when you told me that you didn't want to ever have kids? That you didn't want to ever be a mother? That pain, that truth, Amelia, it ended our marriage. And now you're telling me that it's not because you didn't want to have kids, you just... You didn't want to have them with me.

Amelia: It's my turn to apologize. I should have thought this through. I should not have ambushed you at your place of employment. I should've known that this was gonna be a bigger conversation, and I'm sorry. When I told you that I didn't want kids, I didn't. I didn't when we started seeing each other and you had Leo. I didn't when Betty showed up. If I'm honest, I didn't even know for sure when I found out I was pregnant. But something changed. What we went through with Leo and Betty is a big part of that. I wasn't ready before. I am now. And I have you to thank for that. Like it or not, we're family now.
Owen: I like it. I always liked it. So, okay, how are we gonna do this whole family thing? 'Cause there's a lot of us. There's me, Teddy, you, Link, Leo, Allison, and... You got a name yet?
Amelia: We literally have nothing. And I don't know how this works. I mean, there should be a book Like, "What to Expect When You're Expecting, But You Already Sort of Have an Adopted Kid with Your Ex, Who Just Had a Baby with His Soul Mate."
Owen: Sounds like a bestseller.

Maggie: Alex, I can't do this. I can't. I can't. They didn't want me to operate. They told me not to, and I pushed them. I bullied them. I told them I was the best.
Alex: You are.
Maggie: Alex, I can't, I can't tell them.
Alex: Come on. You lost your patient. You tried to do all the right things, but you lost your patient. And you're blaming yourself, and I can't make you not feel that. But you have to tell them. So just stand here, get it all out of your system, and then pull yourself back together again. Get it out.

See Also[]

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