Bailey (Chandra Wilson) is right: when I am on my deathbed, I am going to wish I'd spent more time writing and lament all the ideas that never went from my head to the page (and the errors uncorrected). If that's how the doctors at Grey Sloane Memorial feel about surgeries, I get it.
First of all: young Bailey is adorable and should be added to the cast of Stranger Things, stat. Second, she's in another hospital, called Seattle Presbyterian, and thinks she's having a heart attack. That never ends well for the doctors, the last time this happened it was McDreamy (Patrick Dempsey) and he died. GET OUT BAILEY! Finally, the sexism she experiences from this cardio chief is real, but his point about her extreme stress levels after the hacking last week are valid. Just the same, I'd trust Bailey's ability to diagnose herself, and she does outrank this dude so what is with the condescending attitude?
The things Bailey is talking about in this episode are true. Male doctors frequently discount the symptoms detailed by female patients. Heart attacks manifest differently in women (and not enough research has been done on it because the male experience is considered "normal"). And doctors are prejudiced against people with mental illness. If watching their conversation infuriated you, imagine that being the quality of care you have to deal with in your real life. This b.s. is why women get misdiagnosed and not diagnosed at all. It's why they learn to live with chronic pain, thinking it is normal. And yes, these things are even worse when the patient is a woman of colour. The patriarchy is real in medicine.
Bailey calls in backup from Maggie (Kelly McCreary) and Webber (James Pickens Jr.) apparently just figures it out on his own. They lie their way into the hospital to find her helping save the patient in the bed next to her, Morgan (Amy Landecker, who you recognise her from Transparent). This episode is trying to give me a heart attack. Of course Maggie finds signs of blockage, and of course, the sexist doctor doesn't extend privileges to her to treat Bailey.
So many flashbacks to Bailey moments past! We (along with Bailey) learn in a flashback that she had a sister named Danielle who died at two months old from SIDS. We see her go to college, deal with her relationship with her mother, wearing high waters. She calls herself Mandy! We see George (T. R. Knight), Callie (Sara Ramirez), even McDreamy come back as the sexist doctor mangles her treatment some more. And just before she goes under Maggie's knife, she finally lets them call Ben to tell him what's going on. Those are epic levels of being pissed about this whole firefighter thing. After Webber points out to Ben that how he feels while Bailey is in surgery is how she'll feel every day that she's married to a first responder, he calls his boss and quits. When he tells Bailey he did that, she makes him get his job back for his happiness as long as he builds her a treehouse.
While Bailey calls her mom to tell her about this (her mom is still alive!), Kesha's "Praying" plays and that feels like a disconnect. But the good news is we didn't lose Bailey guys; we just finally got her backstory.
This season is going through it to highlight women's issues and, honestly, it's a massive improvement from the typical medical procedural trick of teaching us about an obscure disease or the soap opera trope of throwing at many things into an episode to see what keeps your attention. It's a smart and relevant direction for the show's storylines to grow in. Long live the Grey's Anatomy matriarchy.
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