Why did that need to happen? What was the point of that? Why is Grey's Anatomy trying to break Meredith?!
We already called for an end to her suffering earlier today, but now we've actually seen the episode, and now we see that her attack was just as senseless as we feared it would be. It was also just as emotionally effective as we knew it would be, because this is Grey's Anatomy, and this what they do.
Let's break it down: Mer was alone, treating a patient who didn't seem dangerous. He got out of his bed, confused and disoriented, and when Meredith tried to get him to lay back down, he started punching. We didn't see most of the attack, but we did see the aftermath.
That aftermath involved Meredith laying on the floor, unable to move, whimpering and moaning and just basically destroyed as the other doctors finally found her. We were all "this is the worst!" and then it turns out we were wrong.
For the next few minutes, we watched like 12 of Mer's closest friends and coworkers try to assess her injuries while she just continued to whimper and occasionally scream. She had a dislocated elbow and multiple blows to the head, and she needed a chest tube, and Alex was crying, and it was too much. TOO MUCH.
"BUT WHY?" we cried. "WHAT DID ANYONE DO TO DESERVE THIS?!"
We didn't stop wondering that through one horrible, heart-pounding sequence in which Meredith watched the flurry of activity around her. She couldn't hear it, you see. There was an injury to her ears. So we just had to watch through her eyes for a few weeks while she looked worse and worse, and then started to look better.
For that entire scene, there was no dialogue. Seven minutes of just Meredith watching while some horrible not-quite-music pounded in our ears, actually physically paining us.
Then, Alex arrived and laid down next to his friend on the bed, and she started cry-laughing, and he started talking, and we could hear him! And she could hear him! We've never been so thankful for Alex Karev, and that's saying something.
Meredith had to have her jaw wired shut, and only had hearing fully return in one ear, and was stuck in her hospital room for weeks, but she was on the mend. We thought the worst was over, aaand then Alex brought Meredith's kids to visit.
Poor kids already lost their dad, and now their mom can't even speak to them, and they were not having it. They had no interest in hugging her, and that sent her into a panic attack, because everything just needed to get a little sadder for some unknowable reason.
Continuing on that same trend, we definitely needed a speech from Webber about how Meredith needs to forgive Amelia for not being her dead husband Derek, and to forgive Derek for being that dead husband. Then, Meredith watched April and Jackson argue about their divorce, right before she went and met the man who attacked her.
When she could finally speak again, it was Meredith's turn to give a speech, and she gave it to Alex. She told him to go be with Jo, because she clearly loves him, and he can have more than one person, and Meredith has "her own damn village."
It was just a lot for an hour. It wasn't quite as much as that one whirlwind of an episode in which Derek died, but it was still a roller coaster we very much wanted to get off of.
Here's the thing, though: that was truly horrible and we hated it, but at the same time, it was so good. Denzel Washington directed one hell of an episode, and there will undoubtedly be Emmy discussions surrounding everything from the directing to Ellen Pompeo acting mainly through hitting things, and really pulling it off.
We still don't know why it happened, but if it had to happen, then this was the way to do it. Tears achieved, Grey's Anatomy. Gross, messy, embarrassing, desk-at-work tears achieved.
Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on ABC.