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In 1967, surgeons in South Africa performed the first successful heart transplant. The following year, there were 100 heart transplants worldwide. The problem was the patients kept dying. So the following year, transplants fell to 18. Kinda seems like people were a little too eager to celebrate. Surgeons are reluctant to celebrate. Even in succes, we obsess over what could have been better. And don't get me wrong, that self reflection is important. We only get better when we admit our shortcomings, acknowledge our limits. But there are so many moments along the way to celebrate. Some of those moments are bigger than others, and you really don't wanna miss those moments. Because believe me when I say, the bad times are gonna find you all on their own.

We Didn't Start the Fire is the fifteenth episode of the fifteenth season and the 332nd overall episode of Grey's Anatomy.

Short SummaryEdit

When Jackson throws a party to celebrate Catherine’s surgery and those who worked to save her, literally nothing goes as planned. Meanwhile, Helen pays Alex and Jo a surprise visit.

Full SummaryEdit

A group of people are standing on the street outside Jackson's building with firefighters buzzing around them. Catherine reminds Richard she told him she didn't want to have a party.

Five hours earlier

Jackson, Maggie, and caterers are getting his penthouse ready for a party. They're fully stocked on egg rolls per Catherine's request. Jackson is having trouble getting a candle to stand up straight. Maggie advises him to pour some wax into the holder. Maggie comments the place looks amazing. Jackson says his mother had quite a few stipulations: only the doctors who saved her life and a few friends, no Foundation people or photographers. He then sees her outfit. He kisses her and takes her upstairs, not noticing how the candle shifts in its holder.

Catherine is glad to see that Bailey is still at the hospital. She offers Bailey a ride in her limo so they can have some drinks before Catherine has to pretend to like the party. Bailey has been warned Catherine might try to ditch the party, but Bailey can't resist the limo.

Meredith is in Alex's office and tells him that she and Andrew are dating, since most of their co-workers will see them together at the party. Alex is not sure whether to explain hospital rules or laugh at her. They point out each other's track record of dating subordinates. Alex tells her to report her relationship to HR. As a friend, he's happy for her. Taryn comes in to say that Mrs. Karev wants to see Alex. He tells her to tell her to meet him at the party.

Taryn reports back to Helen Karev that Alex will see her at the party. Taryn walks off as a confused Helen stays in the waiting area with her bag.

Betty has packed her bag. Betty's not sure how she can go back to a normal teenager life after all she's been through. Amelia tells her she can do it. The drugs failed to ruin her life and Amelia will continue to be there for her.

Leo is crying in the living room. Carol wants to stay another night, but John doesn't want to get stuck in morning traffic. Their arguing upsets Leo. Babies is a lot more work than they remember. Amelia and Betty come in and the Dickinsons leave with Leo after thanking Amelia and Owen. Amelia closes the door behind them. Betty didn't say goodbye. Amelia goes to get ready for the party since she can't be in the house tonight.

Richard and Alex are the first to arrive at the party. Alex brings up an article Kimberly Thompson wrote about Maggie. He texts it to everyone. It's titled "How Bravery and Self-Advocacy Saved My Life." Maggie hates it. She starts reading while Alex starts eating apetizers. Alex is surprised to see the luxurious penthouse since Jackson lost everything. Jackson explains how it went down, but Alex is too excited to see a ping-pong table.

Meredith and Andrew get off the elevator. They have Meredith's house all to themselves tonight, so they won't be staying long. He gives her a quick kiss before she rings the bell.

Jo is arranging some things for her patients before leaving. She then sees Helen knitting in the waiting area. Jo didn't know they were coming. Helen says Alex told her to meet him at the party. Jo is confused but offers her a ride. Helen gladly accepts.

Jo tries to reach Alex from the car, but he's not picking up. Jo asks Helen how she got to Seattle. She took two busses and a train since she thought flying would be too overwhelming. Helen talks about how the Lewis and Clark expedition inspired her to take the journey.

Owen and Amelia arrive at the party and run into Tom and Teddy making out in the hallway. Tom jokes that Teddy is so happy she can't keep her hands off him. Teddy says Tom surprised her with a surprise trip to Palm Springs before the baby arrives. Tom promises she's in good hands. They ring the bell and Jackson lets the four of them in. Tom takes Teddy's coat and goes to get her a drink while a grumpy Owen just walks away from Amelia.

While Alex is playing ping-pong, Meredith finishes talking to Ellis on the phone. Andrew gets her another drink. Amelia comes up and upon hearing that the kids are out of the house, she says she might come home because she and Owen are only bickering now. With Betty and Leo gone, they're stuck in this sinkhole of sadness. She's not sure she and Owen are even a thing anymore. Meredith gets sucked into her drama and gestures at Andrew to stay away.

Maggie grows increasingly frustrated with the article. It barely mentions Maggie and it's all about the bravery and humility it took Kiki to beg Maggie to do the pioneering surgery. Richard enters the kitchen to get more egg rolls. He found the article really moving. Maggie says it's like Kiki healed herself with the magical power of narcissism. She needs more wine. Jackson asks Richard if he's seen Catherine.

Bailey tells Catherine she could get used to this. Catherine asks what's stopping her. She has the money from the trail-blazer. Bailey says she has spent some of it. She paid off her car, this year's property taxes, and she and Ben replaced the garage door. Catherine says that's just taking care of business. They need to talk about doing things for yourself.

Tom brings Teddy another drink. He knows she hates this party. He likes it since it's in his honor, but it's a gauntlet of awkwardness for her. Baby-daddy really isn't happy about their trip. Owen is staring at them angrily from the bar. Teddy says he's going through a hard time with Leo gone. Tom offers to feign diarrhea so they can go, but she declines the offer.

Jackson goes to open the door. It's Jo and Helen. Jo asks him to grab Alex for her. She then tells Helen she's going to update an intern on a patient, but actually looks up symptoms of a psychotic break. Alex comes out into the hallway. He asks what's wrong. Helen says nothing. Alex has no idea what she's doing here. Helen says the other doctor told her to meet him here, but she didn't get the doctor's name. Alex asks his mother to give him and Jo a sec. Privately, Jo tells Alex how she found Helen. She thinks the other doctor might be in Helen's head. Alex asks Jo how his mother seemed. Jo thinks she was talking a lot. Alex decides to take his mother back to their place, but they find that Helen has disappeared from the hallway.

Alex finds Jackson and asks him how many ways there are out of her or any specific hiding places. Jackson says only the front door or the fire exit upstairs.

While Alex looks around the place for his mother, Owen joins Amelia outside on the deck. She'd love a drink. He thinks she's saying he shouldn't be drinking and says he's at a party. Amelia says that's not what he meant. She just wishes she could drink because she's sad, too. Owen asks if he did something to her. He didn't know they were fighting, which he can't believe they are doing on the night they said goodbye to Betty and Leo. Amelia says Betty didn't say goodbye. Amelia just wants to talk. Owen peeks at Teddy and Tom inside and asks where they start. She brings up "piss poor life choices" or how he refuses to accept addiction as a disease. He hates how she throws things from months ago in his face. She hates that she hasn't checked on her in all of this. When he's in pain, he goes silent and acts as if he's all alone in it, but he's not. The bickering continues. He asks if they're talking or if she's trying to win. She says it's hard to talk when he's staring at Teddy the entire time. She walks off.

Maggie walks up to the bar. Teddy brings up the article. She liked it, too. Maggie has submitted a piece of the Journal of Cardiothoracic Advancement where she actually outlines the procedure. Maggie says it's just the boring version of Kiki's story, so it'll probably never get published, because but who needs science when there's pluckiness and spunk? Maggie leaves with her wine and Jo comes to check if Helen's around somewhere.

Amelia runs into Meredith, who's about to leave. She claims Ellis is scared. Amelia offers to go pick her up, but Meredith says this is a party in her honor. She says Owen still has feelings for Teddy. Meredith says Teddy was always going to be in Owen's life, regardless of the baby. It's always been that way. Amelia has to make peace with that. Amelia says it's not a love triangle. It's a circle that keeps going around and around. She's definitely staying at Meredith's tonight.

Helen is talking to Andrew about Meriwether Lewis's supposed bipolar disorder. Andrew asks how she knows Catherine, but Helen has no idea who he's talking about. Alex and Jo then finally find Helen. Helen tells them she's doing well. Jo gives them a minute. Helen shows Alex a bunch of scarves she knitted. He picks the green one, which used to be his favorite color as a kid. He picks the blue one for Jo.

Andrew finds Meredith upstairs. Bokhee tells her husband Jae that Andrew loves Meredith and they leave. Meredith tells Andrew that Amelia's in a state, so she's on duty tonight. Andrew takes her into the guest room and starts kissing her. He accidentally turns on the fire place. He tries to burn this image into his brain forever, but she tells him nothing is happening here with all of their co-workers downstairs. He'll settle for a long kiss.

Bailey tells Catherine she's saving her money because she doesn't know how long the Trail Blazer will be successful. Catherine says that's how money works. It comes and goes and you need to enjoy it a little before it disappears. Catherine asks her what the one thing is that she hasn't let herself get. Bailey says the C7500 TurboMix in red. You could make an entire Christmas dinner with it and it cleans itself. Catherine tells her to buy the damn thing. It costs $799. Catherine says that price is nothing compared to the joy it'll bring her. Bailey thinks they should be arriving soon, but Catherine is not planning on going to the party.

Jackson lights the fire under a chafing dish. Owen comes up to tell Jackson he's heading out. He can't stand to be in the same room with Koracick. Jackson agrees he's a creep for taking advantage of April during her vulnerable time. Richard says he's been after Catherine. Jackson says he did save Catherine's life, though.

The limo has pulled over. Bailey is trying to convince Catherine to go to her party. Catherine says it's for Amelia and Tom. Catherine is grateful to them, but walking into that party means being congratulated. People will pretend like it's all over for her now, but she's not cancer-free. Her tumor could get bigger. She has to live in dread from one scan to the next. She doesn't feel like celebrating never being out of the woods. Bailey calls her a hypocrite. She says Catherine is afraid of spending joy, like Bailey is with money. The dread is scary, but it's the life she's got now. Bailey no longer trusts her heart. They could die tomorrow. But just right now, they are alive and people love them. That's cause to celebrate.

Owen finds Amelia and tells her was looking at Tom earlier, not Teddy. He's like a dog marking its territory. Amelia says Tom is always available, like he was for her after the tumor. Amelia thinks it shouldn't matter if Owen's not interested in Teddy. Owen doesn't want him in his daughter's life. It's not about Teddy. He wonders how many times he has to choose Amelia before she stops feeling insecure. Amelia points out Teddy is pregnant with his baby right now, so she has the right to think his lingering feelings may flare up once he sees Teddy with his baby in her arms. Maybe that's insecurity, maybe it's wisdom. It's what she believes and she can't find a way out of it. And she's starting to think she shouldn't try. She needs to step out of the circle. It's an impossible situation. He's in it no matter what, but she's not. So she's removing herself from it.

Alex is trying to reach his mother's physician. Jo thinks he won't hear from them until tomorrow. Jo makes Alex sit down with him. Helen seems okay and they'll find out tomorrow what's going on. He hates that a visit might be a sign that she's about to split from reality. He learned to recognize the signs, but now that she's doing fine, he doesn't know what it looks like. He really wants to trust that she's fine. Alex watches his mother knit inside. He realizes she shouldn't have needles. Helen grabs another ball of wool from her bag and lays one aside, dangerously close to a candle.

Andrew and Meredith are kissing. She thinks they should stop because she might just change her mind about not doing anything. Andrew gets a call. It's Carina, so he declines. They continue making out until Richard comes in looking for the restroom. Meredith can only bring herself to say that Alex knows. Richard leaves them to it.

Back downstairs, Meredith takes over putting egg rolls on an oven tray from a caterer. She admits she's getting flustered. Richard caught them kissing at a work party. She feels like everybody's staring at her. They just have to act normal.

Maggie overhears Richard talking about the Kiki situation. Maggie takes him aside and asks him to stop talking about that article. Maggie thinks it was her story to tell, to doctors in a way that mattered, and Kiki stole it. Even thousands of miles away, Kiki is still managing to make her feel small and insignificant. She's so pissed she wants to burn something down. Richard talks about how he was bullied as the only black resident in his class. He found it's not good to be pissed if you don't use it. Maggie could use a little flair of promotion. If someone takes your story, you take it back and tell it louder. "Start that fire, Maggie Pierce," he tells her.

Alex sits down with Helen. He says her visit threw him. It means a lot to him and Jo. Helen says she smells melting tennis shoes. Helen starts panicking. She thinks everybody should get out. Alex says there is no fire, but Helen insists that there is.

Owen approaches Teddy and asks what happens if she goes into labor while she's out of town. He wouldn't be there. She says flights are only three hours. She's taking this trip. Owen asks Teddy if she wants that dirtbag around their daughter. She defends Tom as he returns with food for her. Owen would like to continue their private talk, but Tom is not leaving.

Catherine and Bailey finally arrive at the party. Jackson calls everyone's attention to the guest of honor while Owen and Tom keep bickering and Helen insists on getting everyone out. Jackson asks Alex to stay until after the toast. The room applauds for Catherine while Owen's shouting draws everyone's attention. He yells at Tom for preying on a pregnant woman. Tom doesn't want to keep his public waiting, but Owen blocks his path. He tells Tom he won't be around his daughter. He's not a father. Tom then punches Owen in the face. Teddy then blocks Owen from punching Tom again. Tom goes to put his million-dollar hand in an ice bucket and tells Jackson he can proceed. As he wants to begin speeching, Helen points at the kitchen, which is filled with smoke. Everyone rushes out. Alex is delighted that the fire is real.

All the guests are out on the street. Catherine reminds Richard she didn't want a party. Ben announces that the building is cleared for re-entry except for the penthouse level. The fumes are still pretty bad up there. It should air out for a few days. Ben then tells Jackson they found plastic in the oven, which classically leads to a lot of smoke but no real fire. Jackson wonders who put plastic in the oven. Meredith stays quiet.

Alex comes up and introduces his mother to Meredith. Helen knows that Meredith is Alex's best friend. Meredith confirms, and he's hers. Alex says the smoke is messing with his eyes and takes his mother and Jo to go home. Meredith receives a text from Amelia. She's not staying over, but Meredith suggests they go to Andrew's place just in case she changes her mind again.

Catherine tells Jackson she didn't mean to be ungrateful, but it is hard for her. Jackson says it was hard for everyone. It was hell. She's not the only one who gets to have feelings. They are joined by Maggie and Richard. Catherine suggests they use the limo to go somewhere and celebrate. Jackson agrees to that.

Bailey tells Ben about the blender she deserves. Ben offers her a ride home on the aid car.

Richard, Catherine, Jackson, and Maggie are enjoying burgers and fries in the back of the limo. Maggie has decided to tell her own story. Catherine has decided that they will celebrate every scan like this. They cheer to that.

Amelia is waiting for Owen at his house. The Dickinsons brought Leo back. Carol asks if they can talk.

Carol and John say it felt too crazy to give up their grandchild, but they'll have their hands full with Britney. And they have seen the way Owen and Amelia are with Leo. They are so grateful to them for bringing Britney back to them. Britney always talks about Owen and Amelia as Leo's parents and she's right.

Amelia approaches Betty and asks if she's sure that this is what she wants. Betty says yes. She wants to be a kid who makes mistakes. She can't do that when she has Leo. Betty thanks Amelia for everything. The Dickinsons, this time including Betty, then say goodbye. They will keep in touch.

Helen is settled on the couch at the Karevs' loft. Alex climbs into bed with Jo and they stare at Helen, still not convinced that she's fine.

Meredith and Andrew arrive at his place. A car arrives. Carina gets out and they start arguing in Italian. Then someone else gets out of the car: Vincenzo DeLuca, their father. Carina tried to warn him. Vincenzo hugs his son and introduces him to Meredith. Meanwhile, her voice over warns about bad times ahead.

CastEdit

  • Meredith Grey
  • Alex Karev
  • Miranda Bailey
  • Richard Webber
  • Owen Hunt
  • Jackson Avery
  • Amelia Shepherd
  • Jo Karev
  • Maggie Pierce
  • Andrew DeLuca
  • Teddy Altman
  • Catherine Fox
  • Ben Warren
  • Tom Koracick
  • Helen Karev
  • John Dickinson
  • Carina DeLuca
  • Betty Nelson
  • Vincenzo DeLuca
  • Taryn Helm
  • Carol Dickinson
  • Bokhee

Main CastEdit

Guest StarsEdit

Co-StarringEdit

Medical NotesEdit

There are no patients treated on screen in this episode. Jo Karev only mentions a pending MRI for Mr. Evans in ICU 4.

MusicEdit

Song Performer Scene
"Need (Ooh Lala)" The Phantoms
  • The party guests are out on the street in front of Jackson's apartment with firefighters buzzing around them.
  • Flashback to Jackson and Maggie getting the penthouse ready for the party. They sneak away to have sex.
"Got It In You (Acoustic)" Banners
  • Bailey convinces Catherine that being alive is worth celebrating.
  • Owen and Amelia continue their fight. She decides to remove herself from the situation.
  • Alex tries to reach Helen's doctor. He and Jo watch her closely.
"Steady Now" Nilu
  • Owen and Amelia get Leo back. Carol and John have realized that Owen and Amelia's are Leo's parents.
  • Betty tells Amelia she wants to be a kid and then leaves with her parents.
  • Helen gets settled on the couch as Jo and Alex watch her.

Notes and TriviaEdit

Grey's Anatomy 15x15 Promo "We Didn’t Start the Fire" (HD) Season 15 Episode 15 Promo

Grey's Anatomy 15x15 Promo "We Didn’t Start the Fire" (HD) Season 15 Episode 15 Promo

  • This episode's title originated from the song We Didn't Start the Fire, originally sung by Billy Joel.
  • This episode scored 6.99 million viewers.
  • This episode makes Grey’s Anatomy the longest-running American primetime medical drama, officially surpassing E.R., which ran for 331 episodes.
  • This episode contains no medical cases on screen, although Jo mentions some patients of hers.

GalleryEdit

Episode StillsEdit

Behind the ScenesEdit

QuotesEdit

See AlsoEdit

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

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