If Grey's Anatomy fans didn't like Eliza Minnick before tonight, they probably hate her now.
The brash doctor (played by Marika Dominczyk) brought in to overhaul Grey-Sloan Memorial's teaching program went full throttle with her plans by placing particular surgeries in the unprepared hands of attendings, leaving the residents to simply observe and guide. Because this is Shondaland, the results were calamitous, resulting in Edwards (Jerrika Hinton) accidentally killing one of Arizona's (Jessica Capshaw) pediatric patients when she misses the fact that the kid's bleeding internally. Making matters even worse, when a distraught Edwards looked to her budding mentor for guidance, Eliza just abandoned her in the hallway to go have a meltdown of her own.
In short, it was not her finest moment.
But it just might be the thing needed to change her aloof and abrasive ways, Dominczyk told E! News. "It was such a big event for her to reflect on herself and think about, you know, maybe her approach isn't the best," she admitted. "And I think it makes her take a moment to reflect on who she is, what she really wants, the good that she wants to do and how to do that without making things bad. It knocks her down. It definitely knocks her down a lot of pegs and she has to build herself up again and push through it and, in a way, still be confident and not let it ruin her. Because it's such a huge thing that happened that she didn't foreshadow. She didn't see it coming at all."
Another thing she didn't see coming? Just how much her failure to react properly would push Edwards—one of Minnick's biggest supporters among the attendings up until that moment—back into Webber's (James Pickens Jr.) arms (literally) as she was looking for guidance.
"I think that after Eliza deals with how it makes her feel as a doctor and how it affects her, so she can get over that huge hurdle, then she can look around at the damage that it's caused around. And I think that she—it's not like she was building momentum in a good way, anyway," Dominczyk added. "It's kind of like maybe starting from ground zero and doing it over, but maybe with kinder hands, maybe gentler. Being more socially aware of how she comes off when she does stuff like that, you know? I think that initially when she blows off Edwards, it doesn't have anything to do with Edwards, which is the main mistake, right? She's supposed to be the teacher and help, but she's so consumed with what happened that she can't even see. She can't even see it yet. I think it hits her when Richard gives her that look. It crushes her because she looks up to Richard and she respects him so much and she wants to be accepted, but still hold her ground and come off as strong. So, it's a balancing act."
So, could a kinder, gentler Minnick be just the thing to stop this civil war before it consumes the hospital? It couldn't hurt, Dominczyk admitted, but don't expect a miracle. "I would say that it makes people take a long hard look at what they're doing and the repercussions of certain actions," she said about how Grey-Sloan moves forward from here. "To slow down a bit and try to do what's best for everybody and not just best for one person. Because at the end of the day, they all want the same thing. They all want the hospital to be the best hospital it could be, and they all want all the attendings to learn everything the proper way and be good doctors. So, it might bring everything together, but not like a 'Kumbaya, we all love Minnick now.' That definitely, unfortunately, doesn't happen—not overnight. But it's a step in the right direction."
Despite the disaster of a day, Minnick did find herself in the arms of a sympathetic Arizona out in the parking lot, who reinforces the notion that Eliza could make things easier on herself with everyone if only she'd try. Is romance on the horizon for these two? And how will the other docs respond to Arizona's flirting with the enemy? I think they are drawn to each other and they are cautious, for the right reasons, with how much they let people know because I don't think they know themselves where this is going or what's going to happen," Dominczyk teased. "You're just going to have to watch and see this cautious circling. They're only human, so people do slip up sometimes."
This being Grey's Anatomy, expect the slip up sooner rather than later.
Where do you stand on Minnick after her big screw-up? Let us know in the comments below.
Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on ABC.