Meredith Grey’s Return to The Beach in Grey’s Anatomy “Breathe”

Grey’s Anatomy “Breathe” Spoilers Ahead

Meredith Grey at the beach in Grey's Anatomy "Breathe"
Source: ABC

Understanding the Beach.

It hasn’t been an enticing week of television if we’re being frank, Sunday’s return of Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist left us confused. Black-ish gave us a few sweet moments in Junior’s relationship and The Falcon and The Winter Soldier still hasn’t found its footing. But with Grey’s Anatomy continuing to bring back fan favorites, we knew “Breathe” be worthy of discussion.

The first couple of episodes in Season 17 were showing how Grey-Sloan Memorial is handling the pandemic. It showed the overworked and understaffed doctors, the running out of PPE, ordering the wrong items of PPE, how scared people were to leave their homes. Of course, this did not leave Grey-Sloan untouched. Meredith Grey contracting a severe case of Covid-19 is the main storyline for season 17. And thus, the episode of title Grey’s Anatomy “Breathe.”

When Meredith first gets hospitalized, we see her visit “the beach.” The first person to visit is Derek, obviously. The thing about the beach is that at first we did not understand what it was. Was it a waiting period? Was it Mer actually dying? Is it her asking for help when she can’t do anything? Who knows. All we knew was that people who had died, and even some people who were next to in the hospital, could visit her on the beach.

In episode 10 we are first visited Lexie Grey, Meredith’s sister. It was probably the most anticipated visitor Grey’s Anatomy fans were waiting for. This is when we learn that there are no “rules” to the beach. If you are at the beach you can do anything you want. While Lexie and Mer are talking, we hear a familiar male voice coming up from behind Meredith. It’s Mark Sloan. We had no idea Mark would also be visiting the beach as well! Mark visiting was such a wonderful surprise. I am so glad that they did not show Mark’s cameo in the preview for the episode.

Mark talking about how he visits often and wishes people would listen to him is so telling of his character on the show. When Mark mentioned how he yelled at Callie and Arizona during their breakup was so, so important and something I needed as a fan of the show. He loved CalZona just like so many others. He was their biggest cheerleader and knowing he was frustrated in the breakup is exactly what I needed to hear after all these years.

On this beach, Mark and Lexie are still endgame. And honestly? Thank goodness. After everything the writers have put us through, I could not handle Mark and Lexie NOT being together, even in death. There was a level of comfort I personally felt when Lexie looked at Mark with those “I love you” eyes. Then at the end of the scene in Grey’s Anatomy’s “Breathe” playing blissfully in the water. They truly are one of, if not the best relationships on Grey’s Anatomy in all 17 seasons.

In the midst of Lexie and Mark returning, we also have a Cristina Yang character crumb, if you will. We see Owen Hunt texting Cristina about Meredith’s current condition. I am hoping that because Owen was texting Cristina it is a hint that she may actually return to the show to check up on Mer. Will Cristina return in the form of going to the beach? I’m hoping not because I really want to see Yang back in action working on the floor.

Another hint to Yang possibly making a comeback was when they took Meredith off the ventilator. Not only was this an exciting standalone moment in the season thus far, it also shows that she may not actually die of Covid-19. A special thank you to the writers for making sure that the team of doctors/Meredith’s friends did a dance party once they took the ventilator out. What a great way to remind and possibly hint at a Cristina Yang return.

That text exchange and all these beach scenes have me missing the old cast so much. The more scenes we get, the more I am reminded of how much the old cast was, and still is, the heart and soul of Grey’s Anatomy. For a while there I was frustrated watching episode after episode because it all felt just thrown at us with no flow or any good character development. But so far season 17 has really become the comeback for so many fans including myself. I was one that followed along but could not tell you what happened. Meanwhile, at this beach, I’m reminded why I loved this show in the first place.

Now streaming on ABC: What are your thoughts on Grey’s Anatomy’s “Breathe?”

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