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

When I was a kid, I would wake up every morning in the winter and immediately open the curtains to see if it was snowing. And it usually was. It was Boston. Schools would close. People would hunker down, light candles, and eat everything in the refrigerator. Everyone loves a snow day. Except for one person. My mother. She always said the same thing: "Meredith, surgeons don't get snow days." She was right. We don't. Right after a storm, I would run outside. Whether it was the air or the fresh blanket of snow, it always felt magical or new. But as beautiful as it is, the snow starts to melt. And you're suddenly standing in dirty slush, frozen and unable to feel anything at all. But after enough time, even that disappears. The ground thaws, days get longer, and though you could never imagine it, you start to feel again. It surprises me every time.

Snowblind is the fifteenth episode of the sixteenth season and the 357th overall episode of Grey's Anatomy.

Short Summary[]

Meredith and Carina question DeLuca's uncharacteristic behavior when he volunteers to perform a life-threatening task during a blizzard. Meanwhile, Bailey tries to help Joey with his future, while Richard trains a new intern at the hospital.

Full Summary[]

As a blizzard rages outside, Levi searches the hospital for someone.

In the ER, Owen snaps at a kid for triggering the door to open.

Jackson fights with Vic over the phone. When he's hung up, Owen tells him there are several patients with frostbite.

Meredith texts Alex asking where he is, as she knows he's not in Iowa.

Cormac yells at someone over the phone. When he hangs up, he tells Meredith he has a liver for a six year old patient, but they can't get it there because of the blizzard. Andrew overhears and says he'll go personally to get the liver. Cormac gives him the paperwork and says he'll cover whatever service he's on. Cormac goes to tell his patient's parents.

Meredith follows Andrew down the hall, telling him it's a bad idea for him to go out into the blizzard, as it's so cold people are freezing to death. He says he's used to the cold. She tries again to stop him, but he asks if she's going to say he sounds like his dad again and leaves.

Bailey helps Joey study for the GED. Taryn comes in to tell her more nurses can't come in, the ER is over capacity, and Andrew left to go get a liver. Bailey tells Joey to keep studying and goes to take care of the situation.

Maggie comes into the lounge and gives report on a patient to Teddy, who gestures for her to be quiet because Link is on the couch. Link gets up anyway, and tells Maggie about Amelia until Maggie indicates to him that Teddy is also in the room. As Link leaves, Tom comes in and makes a quip about Link's rundown appearance. Maggie laughs and then leaves. Teddy's surprised to learn that Amelia's on leave and asks Tom about it. He doesn't know anything beyond that the baby is fine and he needed to cover Amelia's service. Tom lies down on the couch.

The residents struggle in the skills lab. Tess Desmond sees Richard practicing nearby and asks him why he's practicing when he's done so many. He says he's experienced because he practices. She says she doesn't understand the residents not taking their jobs seriously after everything it took them to get there. He invites her to practice her laparoscopic skills with him.

Jo comes in and finds out that Levi lost her patient again. Jo tells him to go find her. As he leaves, she mutters that he should also try to find her husband.

Bailey is upset with Andrew leaving and doing something so dangerous. Cormac tries to defend him, but Carina is worried. She wants someone to go after him. Meredith asks if Ben could send a rig out to look for him, but Bailey says Ben was amputating a foot last time they spoke, in a grounded rig himself. Just then, Link says he discharged Joey, but Bailey balks because they're in the middle of a blizzard. There was no medical reason to keep him any longer. Bailey asks them to keep her updated. Carina says she'll call him every 15 minutes. Then Elisa's mother comes out and says something's wrong. He and Meredith enter Elisa's room and see that she's hemorrhaging.

Richard takes the residents to round on Ava Gutierrez. She says she called her neighbor, Stevie, to check that her house still has heat. It does, so she's not worried about her cats, though she's worried about the strays. Taryn chimes in that freezing to death isn't supposed to be bad. People who were resuscitated said it was peaceful. Tess then says that the shelters are open 24 hours a day and they're accepting any animals, even horses. There's plenty of food there.

Bailey goes to see Joey, whom she knows declined to speak to his social worker about his options. He's eighteen now. He doesn't want to take the chance of getting crappy foster parents. She says he might get a great family who can help him get a high school diploma and apply for college, find a career he loves. He doesn't think that's going to happen for him. He's just going to get a job. She takes him to go check out jobs around the hospital.

Levi is still searching for Ms. Anderson when he runs into Nico. Nico hasn't seen her, but suggests they find an on-call room once Levi does. Levi's concerned because they aren't talking since he found out Nico's not out to his parents. Jo finds Levi and is angry with him for not finding the patient.

Teddy tells Jackson about another frostbite patient. She then talks to Owen about the kids, who are with his mother. They are interrupted by a woman yelling. Kendra is dragging in her pregnant wife, who is non-responsive. Kendra says she hit her wife with her car.

As the doctors treat Lesley, Kendra explains that Lesley was having back pain and Kendra had been snowed in at work. Lesley wanted to go to the hospital, but Kendra told her not to. She finally got in her car and was almost home when she hit something. She thought she'd been on the road, but she was on the sidewalk and hit Lesley.

Tess goes over the steps of the surgery with Richard as they scrub in. He tells her he's going to let her do it, to her astonishment. Tess asks if he's ever wanted something, but there were so many obstacles, it seemed like it would never happened, so you just lived with it.

As they walk through the halls, Bailey tells Joey all the jobs of the people they pass. Levi then passes them and admits he lost a patient. Bailey says if the story doesn't have a happy ending, neither will his career. He leaves to go find her.

Cormac and Meredith are putting in a shunt in the hopes it'll stop the bleeding. Cormac asks her about the story that led to her being fired. She explains about Gabriella Rivera. Meredith is surprised to see cirrhosis in such a young child. Cormac explains the condition she has, which also killed her older sister. It was first diagnosed at her autopsy. Nurse James then tells them that Andrew just left them with the donor organ. That's all the information he has. Meredith figures out that Alex was the older daughter's doctor. Meredith remembers the girl. She loved comic books. He did a whole thing on the Peds floor for her and was devastated when she died. Cormac says Cristina talked about Alex a lot. Meredith asks what Cristina said about her and Cormac says he can't remember Cristina mentioning her at all.

Tess is preparing to make the first cut when Levi comes into the scrub room and when he sees her, he tells her to stop. Tess is his patient, Tess Anderson. Tess tosses away the scalpel and tries to explain herself. She was just planning to stay in the skills lab, but then he told her to be confident. She takes off running and Levi chases her.

Bailey introduces Joey to Maggie. Maggie goes off on a tangent about her demotion and Bailey reminds her that she quit and was re-hired. Teddy then comes to get her for Lesley. Bailey pulls Joey over so she can check on Lesley, who is receiving CPR. Bailey pulls Joey away as they continue to work. The fetal heart rate is dropping, so Teddy prepares for a c-section as Bailey explains to Kendra what's happening. Owen suggests doing a thoracotomy at the same time so they can save Lesley and the baby. Joey and Bailey lead Kendra away.

Tess says they don't have to have her watched the whole time. Levi is sent to check on a psych evaluation for her and Jo asks if there's anyone they can call for her. She says there's no one who would come out in a blizzard. She explains that the first time you get sick, everyone's there for you. Not as much the second time and the third. This is her fourth type of cancer in eight years. She was inspired by the doctors in high school and decided to become one. She was in medical school when she was diagnosed the third time. Recovery took a year and drained her college fund. Now she's a barista. While she was sick, everyone else kept living. They got to live their dreams while she sat there. Then it snowed so much almost no one was at the hospital. Everything looked new. And she wondered what if she got to live her dream just for one day. It was an upgrade. Taryn comes in then and Richard says he needs her to scrub in. She tries to ask about Tess, but he tells her it doesn't concern her.

In the ER, Owen starts the c-section. Then Maggie starts the thoracotomy.

Andrew's still not there with the liver. It's been over an hour since he got it. Meredith starts asking Cormac questions to fill the time. He says he went to Switzerland after his wife died because it was the farthest place he could think of. Meredith laughs because she did the exact same thing. She ran to San Diego. They talk about Derek's death and his wife's death. It took years before she died. He says everyone's told him it gets easier and Meredith tells him it does and it doesn't. The firsts are tough. He says the first time Liam Hayes got a stomach bug, he nearly had to be committed. First anniversary, first birthdays. Meredith says first kiss, but Cormac hasn't had that one yet. Andrew then comes in with the liver and frostbitten fingers. He lies and claims he wore gloves. Meredith calls for Jackson to be paged while they start the transplant.

Andrew says everyone is over exaggerating as he's pushed into a room to get his hands treated. He and Carina argue. He wants to go treat patients, but Jackson says if he doesn't let him treat the frostbite, he'll end up losing one or both of his hands and his future as a surgeon.

Teddy, Maggie, and Owen are working on Lesley. She has a cardiac tamponade. Owen delivers her baby, who is not breathing. He starts compressions.

Bailey comforts Kendra, who is still upset. Bailey says she'll go check on Lesley and leaves Kendra with Joey.

Cormac tells Elisa's parents the bleeding was stopped with the shunt and the transplant was successful. Her condition is improving. She's going to be okay. Luke asks if they can thank the doctor who went out in the snow to get the liver. Meredith says he's warming up.

Owen is working on the baby and Maggie and Teddy on Lesley as Bailey comes in. She's there for an update. They are able to detect a rhythm and prepare to take Lesley to the OR just as Hunt gets a pulse on the baby. Bailey sees that Joey followed her. He's impressed that the doctors brought both of them back.

Teddy walks out of the ER into the ambulance bay and takes some deep breaths out in the snow. Tom warns her to be careful because of what happened to Andrew. He's brought her cocoa and asks if she's okay. She says she's trying to quiet her mind. She's had a fear for a few months and she's worried it's coming true. She's worried Owen's the father of Amelia's baby. But she can't shake the fear. She can't trust that things will work out because she's afraid he'll always be in love with Amelia. Tom says Owen is clearly in love with Teddy. He'd be the first to tell her otherwise if it weren't true. Teddy says he's a good man. Tom knows people don't like him. He's been trying to get in with people, but they won't let him. Teddy says she doesn't dislike him. Tom then goes over to a pile of snow and makes a snowball, which he throws at her. Teddy throws snow back at him.

Jo says psych said Tess wasn't a flight risk, so her surgery was moved to tomorrow.

Richard does into the room and tells Tess that Ms. Gutierrez is okay and asked for her after her surgery. He told her that she was with another patient. Richard says his dream was to be a surgeon, too, and she doesn't want to get into a contest about obstacles with him. His dream was harder for him than for others, but he stuck with it and made it come true. If she can survive four cancers, she can do this. He then reveals to her that he's developing a tremor in his hand. He doesn't know why. Any treatment wouldn't allow him to continue being a surgeon. It's the greatest job on the planet and if he thought there was anything that would let him operate again, he'd move heaven and earth to make it happen. He takes off his stethoscope and gives it to her, saying he doesn't need it anymore and he really hopes she does.

Jackson puts cream on Andrew's hand, which he says will help with the pain. It doesn't hurt now, but it will and there's a very good chance Jackson will have to debride in the OR. The next twelve hours are critical. He leaves as Meredith and Carina enter the room. Meredith tells him that Elisa lived. He knows that's because of him and if she'd had it her way, Elisa would be dead. Carina says they were just worried about him. It's just like when their dad started showing signs. Andrew says it's not like that. Then he tells Meredith to leave the room.

Joey watches Kendra and Lesley's daughter in the NICU. Bailey tells him Lesley made it and she's in the ICU. Things like that definitely don't usually happen. It might be the coolest thing Joey's ever seen. Bailey suggests that Joey come home with her. She has an extra room and extra food and love and wants him to stay and finish high school and fill out college applications and come back for Thanksgiving dinners once he's at school. She doesn't need money. She has a son who loves to play video games and a husband who will understand eventually. Joey agrees and they hug.

Kendra thanks Teddy and Maggie. Then she tells Lesley she's seen their daughter and she's so her.

Teddy explains what she's been thinking regarding Owen and Amelia and asks Maggie if she's crazy, if she's seeing things that aren't there. Maggie says she's not crazy.

Jackson sees Vic, who has just dropped off the guy with the amputated foot. She also tells him that JJ gave birth at the station. He apologizes to Vic for the fight. She apologizes as well. They make plans to meet up later.

Nico finds Levi in an on call room and immediately starts kissing him. Levi stops him and says he wants a relationship, not just sex. Nico gets angry and says he can't just talk about his feelings and if Levi can't handle that, they should end things. Levi stops him and says he accepts Nico and they start kissing again.

Owen texts Teddy inviting her to go sledding as he leaves the hospital.

There's a knock on Tom's door. He's upset with the person knocking so aggressively and says he's coming. He opens the door to find Teddy. She leans in and kisses him. He leans in and closes the door.

Ben comes home with dinner and is surprised to see Joey in the living room playing video game tennis with Tuck and wearing his clothes. Bailey says they should talk.

Jo sits alone with a glass of wine. She hears movement at the door and goes to open it. She's saddened to see Link, who had brought donuts. She was hopeful for a minute that it was Alex. She really believes Alex has left her. She called his mom. He wasn't there. He'd never been there. Jo starts to cry and gasp for breath. Link goes over and hugs her.

Meredith walks out of the hospital followed by Cormac. She asks where he's going. He's off to hug his boys, and spoil them rotten because they're alive. She's going to do the same. She walks away and he asks who Andrew is to her. She says he was one of her firsts, the first man she said "I love you" to after Derek. It was good. Cormac's been lonely and he's never met someone like him, widowed young. It's nice and it helps to have a friend. Meredith says it helps her, too. She starts to walk again and he says that Cristina mentioned a twisted sister and suspects that's Meredith. Meredith just shrugs and walks away.


Main Cast[]

Guest Stars[]


Medical Notes[]

Frostbite Patients[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Frostbite
  • Treatment:

The patients in beds 2, 3, 6, 7, and 9 in the ER had frostbite. Another patient with frostbite came in later.

Elisa Tang[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Alpha-1-Antitrypsin deficiency
    • Cirrhosis
  • Treatment:
    • FFP
    • Blood transfusion
    • Shunt
    • Liver transplant

Elisa, 6, was in liver failure. She was very close to death when a liver became available for her. While Andrew was retrieving the liver, she started hemorrhaging. They intubated and transfused blood before taking her to the OR to place a shunt in the hopes it would stop the bleeding. The shunt worked and then the liver transplant went forward. It was successful and her numbers started improving after surgery.

Tess Anderson[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Adrenocortical carcinoma
  • Treatment:

Tess was in the hospital to have surgery for her adrenocortical carcinoma. She had survived three prior bouts with three different cancers.

Ava Gutierrez[]

  • Diagnosis:
  • Treatment:
    • Laparoscopic cholecystectomy

Ava was in the hospital to have a laparoscopic cholecystectomy. She went to have surgery, but it was abruptly stopped at the onset. After a pause, the surgery went forward as planned and Ava was stable afterward.


  • Diagnosis:
    • Pregnancy
    • Crush injuries
    • Liver laceration
    • Punctured heart
    • Cardiac tamponade
  • Treatment:
    • C-section
    • Thoracotomy

Lesley was 32 weeks pregnant when she was hit by a car while walking to the hospital to get treatment for some back pain and possible contractions. The fetal heart rate was strong in the ER, but she later went into PEA. They believed her rib had punctured her heart. Owen started to do a c-section while Maggie also did a thoracotomy in the hopes of saving them both. The surgery worked and once she was stable enough, she was moved to the OR, where her surgeries were completed, and then to the ICU, where she remained stable.

Andrew DeLuca[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Frostbite
  • Treatment:
    • Re-warming
    • Warming blanket

Andrew returned to the hospital with severe frostbite in his fingers. Jackson had Blake set up a re-warming basin with 100° saline. Jackson warned Andrew that if he didn't allow Jackson to treat him, he'd lose one or both of his hands. Jackson later told Andrew there was a significant chance he would need surgical debridement for his hands.

Lesley and Kendra's Baby[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Prematurity
  • Treatment:
    • Intubation

The baby was born at 32 weeks by emergency c-section after one of her mothers was hit by a car. She wasn't breathing at birth, so she was intubated and Owen did chest compressions until he was able to detect a pulse. Then she was moved to the NICU, where she was stable.


Song Performer Scene
"Cold Cold Cold" Cage the Elephant
  • Levi searches the hospital.
  • Jackson fights with Vic over the phone.
  • Owen sends him to treat patients.
  • Meredith texts Alex.
  • Cormac yells at the phone.
  • Andrew volunteers to go get the liver.
  • Meredith tries to stop him.
"Break Free" FVR DRMS
  • The doctors talk to Tess, who talks about how she ended up where she is.
"Only Son of the Falling Snow" Bear's Den
  • Tom denies doing anything, but then starts a snowball fight with Teddy.
  • Jo and Richard talk about Tess.
  • Richard talks to Tess and encourages her.
  • Richard shows her the tremor in his hand and gives her his stethoscope.
"How It Goes" Claire Guerreso
  • Levi says he accepts Nico and they start kissing.
  • Owen texts Teddy as he leaves the hospital.
  • Tom answers his hotel room door and finds Teddy, who kisses him.
  • Ben comes home and is surprised to see Joey there.
"Real Life" Imagine Dragons
  • Jo starts to sob and Link holds her.
  • Meredith stands out in the snow.
  • She and Cormac talk about their plans.
  • Cormac talks to Meredith about Andrew.
  • He says it's nice to know another young widow.
  • Cormac tells her what Cristina said about her.

Notes and Trivia[]


Grey's Anatomy 16x15 Promo "Snowblind" (HD) Season 16 Episode 15 Promo

  • This episode's title originated from the song Snowblind, originally sung by Black Sabbath.
  • This episode scored 6.00 million viewers.
  • This marks the directorial debut of Linda Klein, who has been an on-set medical advisor and producer since the start of the series and has also portrayed Nurse Linda in several episodes throughout the course of the series.


Episode Stills[]

Behind the Scenes[]


Jo- He left me.

Link- No, he didn’t.

Jo- I think he did. I think he woke up one day and felt the need to escape his life and me. I called his mom. He wasn’t there. He’d never been there. He left me. And now I can’t.. I can’t- I can’t breathe.

See Also[]

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