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#teddy altman

it’s three days later and i still have thoughts about teddy’s new backstory.


i love the reveal. i love it. it made me yell at my screen and i was grinning like an idiot because it’s not like ‘we been knew omg’ (even tho, teddy and cristina… we been knew), but because it showed we can still learn new things about these characters, ten years in, and still get excited about them. s16 has been mind-boggling terrible, and this is the singular, best thing they actually managed to do this year. i’m stoked about it.

(i don’t think for a second this was planned for teddy from the very beginning, but i do find it impressive that they managed to write it in without having to retcon her, or contraddict any of the existing canon, kudos to the writers)

so, again, i love this storyline, but there’s one thing i can’t wrap my head around.

…why did it have to be allison?

there has always been this thing in grey’s anatomy, that you need people in your life. that having a boyfriend, a romantic partner, isn’t always enough, that it’s good to have people around you that are just as important. this is not my wild speculation, me projecting what i want to see etc, it’s the actual driving theme of the entire show.

there’s cristina and meredith, of course. but there’s also mark and callie. mark and arizona, which got cut off to soon but was there. owen and cristina, who fought so hard to make romantic and platonic love coincide that it broke them. same goes for japril. alex and meredith. alex and arizona. bailey and richard.

it’s the entire point of the show: your friends, your people, matter just as much as your partner does.

i know i’m the same bitch who’s been yelling ‘mer and alex should have fallen in love!!!’ for the past six months, but hear me out.

i didn’t need a reason that explains why teddy loved her so much. i didn’t need a reason for teddy wearing a reminder of her (the surgical cap) every day, or for her to name her daughter after allison.

it’s because teddy loved her. she was her best friend, and she loved her. that’s that. she didn’t need to be in love with her. the fact that she misses her friend and still loves her and thinks about her after all these years is valid. her love is valid, it’s not less-than just because it wasn’t romantic.

if they wanted to have teddy be bi, they could have done it a million other ways. they could have introduced literally any other character. they were already inventing the character of claire to further the cheating arc! teddy could have had an affair with claire instead of allison, idk! or another random woman, who cares!! why did it have to be allison!!

there isn’t a thing that does not piss me off about the alex farewell episode, but the thing that makes me mad THE MOST is him telling mer ‘you never needed anyone, you were always your own person’.

.…. what the fuck, krista?? have you been watching your own show?? that you’ve been producing?? for the better part of two decades??

and i feel like this is the same! the writers are telling us they don’t believe in that anymore. they don’t believe that your friends can be so important that they’ll shape your life forever, that it’s fine if they leave you because you don’t need them, that there is no way someone can be important to you if you’re not in love with them. we are slowly moving away from what the core theme of this show has always been, what the show is known for, and we are taking it apart one little piece at a time. i don’t like that.

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Since Teddy was introduced in season 6 of Grey’s Anatomy, I’ve been constantly shipping her with several (female) characters, most notably Amelia.

Now it’s revealed that Teddy‘s CANONICALLY BI.

I mean, I know it’s far-fetched, what with both Amelia and Teddy having babies with Link and Owen respectively. But one can hope. (I never liked Owen tbh, probably one of my least favourite characters on the show)

Fanfic writers, bring it on! (I did start a fic for these two a while back. Perhaps it’s time to revisit that with the new information we have.) Regardless, I was really happy about this reveal!

As a side note, who better to play Allison than Sherri, huh?

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… to be more enthusiastically grateful that “Grey’s Anatomy” has been heavy-handedly (an Ani DiFranco classic in the background of a 2001 flashback ≠ suble) making almost all of their female leads fall on the queer scale lately for some reason. It’d just be a lot easier if it didn’t seem like they want us to believe that they got our hopes up with the handling of the only two queer male lead-and-reoccurring characters’ relationship that they ever had in their 16 seasons.

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I loved this episode! I was really excited for it based on the promo information I saw and I was not disappointed! This episode is a partial standalone that focuses on a small handful of characters while also showing us what the other characters are doing and providing more background and insight on a select few. Standalone episodes are not my favourite, but I really liked this one. Let me set the scene. Richard, Maggie, Teddy, and Cormac are in Los Angeles for the LA Surgical Innovation Conference. Richard is excited because he’s there to present his PATH Pen to the world. Maggie is there to support him and loves these things so she’s pumped. Teddy is excited to have some kid free time to herself and Cormac does not want to be there at all.

We see Richard arrive at the Conference and meet up with Maggie. He calls her Meredith by mistake which is the first sign of trouble. He blames it on the long flight and tells her he’s rewritten his speech at least 20 times. Maggie tells him that she’s happy to be there and support him and that Meredith says she’s sorry she couldn’t be there as planned because her sitter got the flu last minute. I liked that they addressed why Meredith couldn’t be there. That really bothered me about the dinner party episode. The premise was that both Maggie and Jackson thought the dinner was for Catherine and Richard’s anniversary when in reality it was to tell them they were getting a divorce yet the fact that Meredith wasn’t invited or present was never addressed. Which to Maggie should have been the first clue that something was up, but it wasn’t addressed at all which made no sense because Meredith is the main character.

This episode went from zero to sixty real fast! Following this exchange we see Catherine appear at Richard’s hotel room and they make up. He spends most of the episode in his hotel room with Catherine writing and rewriting his speech and have a jolly good time doing it. I knew right away from how quickly they made up that something was wrong, but I couldn’t tell what it was. The reveal about Richard was the most shocking to me by far. My best friend, who I watch with, picked up on it way faster than I did. Next we see Teddy and Maggie meet up at something called Heart Valve Happy Hour. They’re talking about why they like these kinds of things when Maggie notices a guy named Winston from across the room. It turns out Winston was one of her residents at Tufts University when she lived in Boston. He’s very handsome and it turns out he had a crush on her but never did anything about it because she was his boss and he was resident.

He planned to ask her out when he became an Attending, but then Maggie moved to Seattle right before that happened so he never got the chance. It turns out the attraction is mutual and major sexy times ensue! Get it girl! After all of the BS that Jackson put Maggie through these last couple of seasons I am here for it! Get yours girl! Maggie deserves a hot hookup with a hot guy who’s into her and doesn’t try to change her and boy does she get it. They sleep together and then spend the remainder of the Conference having one long date where they talk by the pool and bond over having both lost their mothers in the last 2 - 3 years as they share their favourite movies and ideas of a perfect day. It’s super adorable and totally cute.

Everything is going great until Winston suggests that one of them move to either Seattle or Boston to be with the other. That was sudden! Maggie thinks so too. She tells Winston she likes him, but she needs time to weigh and measure and think. Winston says that’s fine and to take all the time she needs, but he doesn’t think he’ll feel any differently in the future. He’s into her and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to make it work. My first thought when Winston said that was, “Well they definitely haven’t talked about the sister house! ‘Cause there’s no way Maggie is leaving her sisters, nieces, or nephew for a former resident of hers she reconnected with at a Conference. Maggie’s not leaving her crew for that. Uh ah.”

I like that Winston within one episode is already 100 times better for Maggie than Jackson ever was. Jackson was always trying to change her and make her into something she’s not. Maggie deserves someone who loves her for who she is and doesn’t want or expect her to change. Winston is one of those characters that I think could go either way. Either this is a one time thing and this will be the last we see of him or he’ll pop up again later on as a recurring character after he moves to Seattle. Honestly, Winston really grew on me this episode and I’d love to see him again. Maggie deserves to have some fun with a hot guy that’s into her and likes her for who she is!

And Maggie’s not the only one who bumps into someone from her past. While sitting at the hotel bar Teddy bumps into Claire who it turns out is an old friend and former roommate of hers who also knew Teddy’s best friend Allison. And plot twist it’s surprise bisexuality that you never saw coming! Yes it turns out after six non-consecutive seasons of being on this show and never once showing the slightest bit of interest in women Teddy Altman is bisexual. I was shocked. This show never ceases to amaze me. We find out that Allison, Teddy, and Claire were roommates back in New York and that Claire and Teddy worked together. Claire and Allison were a couple, but we find out through a flashback that at the time of Allison’s death she and Teddy were having an affair behind Claire’s back. Claire tells Teddy that she suspected something was going on at the time but didn’t know for sure until she requested Allison’s phone records. It turns out Teddy was the last person she tried to call as the Twin Towers collapsed around her. Not her parents, not Claire, but Teddy. This news leaves Teddy gutted and utterly devastated.

Here’s something interesting that I caught on re-watch. In the flashback to 2001 after Claire leaves for work Allison says she’s disappointed to hear Teddy has to work tomorrow because she wanted to invite her to breakfast at Windows on the World. I didn’t recognize the name so I looked it up. Windows on the World was a fancy restaurant that was part of the North Tower of the original World Trade Center complex. It’s a small detail but I thought it was a nice touch. I also thought there was something heartbreaking about Allison inviting Teddy to have breakfast with her at a restaurant that was part of the complex she worked at that would eventually become site of her death.

Towards the end of the episode Teddy sees Claire sitting by herself in a quiet corner of one of the halls and decides to try and make amends. They both apologize and Teddy tells her about meeting Owen and how he saved her from a grief so big that it almost killed her and that for years she felt guilty for loving him half as much as she loved Allison and because he was with someone else and because she wasn’t capable of letting someone love her fully. She realizes now that Allison loved both of them: Teddy and Claire. At the time, Teddy didn’t believe it because she thought you couldn’t love more than one person at a time, but she does now. She tells Claire how very sorry she is for the betrayal. Claire says she could never stay mad at anybody for loving Allison and they hug it out.

Kudos to Claire for being such a good sport and being so amazing! I don’t know if I would take what Teddy had to say that well. While the fact that there was more to Allison’s story and Teddy’s relationship to her was always implied I never saw this coming. I think if maybe they had dropped some hints now and again it might have been less shocking. They’ve dropped hints and made comments over the years about Amelia being bisexual, but never Teddy so I thought that was odd. I got the impression that they might have been trying to imply that what happened with Allison was so traumatic that Teddy stop dating women after that point, but it felt like they could have explained or explored that a little better.

Also they never established if Allison was the first woman Teddy dated. If that’s the case it’s possible that Teddy fell in love with Allison only and apart from that has only ever dated men which does happen. I hope we get some clarification on this in future episodes and they explore this more. There’s something else I want to point out about this storyline which is the stereotype of bisexuality and being unfaithful. As a straight person I didn’t pick up on this at all, but my best friend whose queer did. We watched the show together and afterwards she pointed out that more than one of the queer characters on Grey’s Anatomy seem to fall under the stereotype or misconception that bisexual people are more prone to cheating which in reality simply isn’t true.

As she pointed that we’ve seen other examples of this with Arizona and Callie. Arizona was a lesbian who cheated on her partner and was blatantly bi-phobic and had a real problem with Callie being bisexual. Callie was a bisexual woman who got cheated on by all of her partners gay and straight. As Grey’s is known for being progressive about a lot of stuff, including LGBTQ representation, I don’t think this is intentional, but I do think they could be more sensitive to it. Especially because there are still so many myths and misconceptions about the LGBTQ+ community out there and not everyone has someone in their life who is a part of that community.

I was surprised that Maggie and Teddy were so happy to see each at this Conference and were hugging it out like old friends. Last time we saw them together Maggie made it clear that she wanted nothing to do with Teddy’s drama and could she please stop confiding in her? Maggie and Teddy aren’t the only ones who receive a blast from the past this week! My new favourite character Dr. Cormac Hayes does as well. Cormac hasn’t been to a medical conference in a while and being there brings back memories for him of when he met his late wife Abigail. Lucky for us the audience gets to experience these moments as flashbacks which are by turns both hilarious and heartbreaking.

Hayes arrives at the Conference with his two teenage sons in tow. He flashes back to when he was younger and first saw his wife across a crowded room. He was a young doctor attending the same medical conference at the same hotel and she was handing out pens in the hotel lobby. Later on we see Teddy and Cormac having a drink at that Heart Valve Happy Hour event which apparently has free booze. Teddy comments that he doesn’t seem happy to be there. Cormac says he’s not and doesn’t really want to be, but Bailey asked him to come and represent Peds and he’s the new guy and it felt more like an instruction than a request so he came.

He tells her he brought his boys with him so that they could see their aunt who lives in LA. A sales rep comes over to talk to them. Cormac dislikes him instantly and we soon see why. We then see a flashback of Abigail approaching Cormac at a hotel bar. She’s handing out pens. He asks if she knows how they work and if she’s aware that the company she’s working for makes erectile dysfunction medication. It’s a great comedic moment and you get to see why they fell for each other. Abigail tells him she didn’t know that and that it’s no wonder none of the guys there will take the pens. She admits that she knows nothing about the company and she’s only there because her friend told her they would pay them $500 each to go hand out some pens at a Conference. She says that while that might not mean much to a big fancy doctor like him to a starving artist like her that’s rent money which is why she took the job.

She tells Cormac about her work and says that she’s a mixed-media artist. She tries explaining it to him but it’s clear that he doesn’t get it which she comments on. He says that all of the words make sense just not in that order. She says she has to get back to handing out pens. Cormac doesn’t want her to go so he takes all of them saying he uses a lot of pens. He offers to buy her a drink which she accepts. Years later we see Cormac, Abigail, and their boys in a hospital room. She’s sick with cancer and is anxious because she’s about to have a hysterectomy. Cormac sits next to her and does his best to calm her down. He reminds her that it’s a routine procedure and that the surgeon he found for her is great. Abigail is afraid that she’ll die. Cormac laughs because it seems impossible. To try and cheer up he makes a joke about how if she dies he and the boys will move on. He says it’ll be a tough couple of days, but then everything will be fine because as a surgeon and a sexy widowed father of two women will be lining up to go out with him and bringing him casseroles. He won’t have to work for it at all. They both laugh.

Time moves forward. We see that Abigail’s condition has worsened and things aren’t looking good. They’re on their second clinical trial and she’s now wearing a head wrap because she’s lost all of her hair to chemotherapy. The boys do their best to try and cheer her up. She asks them to go find her a ginger ale. They leave and it soon becomes clear why she wanted to speak to Cormac alone. She knows she’s dying and there’s a good chance that this trial won’t work which means he’ll be on his own soon. Cormac doesn’t want to believe that and tells her to stop talking like that because he can’t bear the thought of losing her.

He cries and tries to get her to stop, but she persists so he listens. She gives this gut wrenching speech about how he has to make sure the boys know it’s okay to cry and feel everything and fall apart and be a mess. She doesn’t want them to bottle it all up and have their grief eat away at them. That it’s okay for him to fall apart too and that he needs to let the boys see that. She makes him promise to let the boys see her sister. She says she’s crazy, but she’s not a bad person and she loves them. This line cracked me up! She tells him that if he has trouble with the boys he should call his mother because Cormac is proof that the woman knows what she’s doing. Cormac cries at this and does his best to hold it together. She tells him it’s okay if Austin quits piano. She told him he’ll get better if he keeps practicing, but she’s pretty sure it’s hopeless. She also tells him to keep an eye on Liam’s temper because he gets that from her and they’ve both seen the trouble that can cause. And one last thing, Cormac has her permission to fall in love again. She says he deserves to be happy. He says he doesn’t want that at all.

Abigail says she knows that which is why he needs to hear her say it. She doesn’t want him to feel guilty or beat himself up about it. She repeats his own words back to him from before she had her hysterectomy and reminds him that since women will be lining up he won’t have to work for it. In the scene that follows we find out that Abigail has died and we see Cormac and the boys in the process of cleaning out her hospital room. Austin sits down on the bed crying. He doesn’t want to leave. Cormac goes and sits with him and says they can stay as long as he likes. Liam says the whole thing is stupid and you can tell he’s trying to be strong and hold it in. But in honouring Abigail’s wishes Cormac motions for Liam to come and sit beside him. He does and begins crying in Cormac’s arms. He comforts them and holds them while they grieve the loss of their mother and fall apart.

As soon as Cormac said that line about being a sexy widower I knew they were going to bring it back. It was too good not to. It also gives me hope for Meredith and Cormac’s budding romance. To me it’s the only thing that makes sense. Cristina sent Cormac as a gift to Meredith, multiple people in Mer’s life have commented on the sparks between them and how great they’d be together, and she’s the only one we’ve seen Cormac spend quality time with or show a romantic interest in. To me there was no point in including that line if they’re not meant to end up together. We saw across multiple seasons how Derek felt about Meredith and he was adamant that if something ever happened to him that she should move on and find love again.

He brought it up multiple times while he was alive and it’s a big part of why he encouraged her to connect with her sisters and his and why he pushed her to open up to the possibility of having kids. And once those kids were there he wanted them and Meredith to be surrounded by as much love as possible. He was adamant that if something ever happened to him he didn’t want Meredith to be alone and she’s not. These flashbacks with Cormac and Abigail and the boys provide us with similar information. We get to see how they fell in love and how he supported when she was sick. We get to see the love they had for each other and how much they love their sons.

We also get to see that both Abigail and Derek wanted similar things for the loves of their lives and their children in the event of their passing. They wanted them to find love and be happy because they deserve it. There are so many parallels here between Meredith and Cormac’s stories it’s mindboggling. To me this is the perfect set up for Cormac to finally pluck up the courage and ask Meredith out. He’s obviously wanted to for a while now, but I think he’s been reluctant up till now because he’s been grieving and wasn’t sure if he was ready or if she was. Then with the whole DeLuca situation he’s likely been wondering if it’s the right time or if it’s too soon. I think going to the Conference and reflecting on the time he spent with his wife will make him realize that it’s time to move on. Because at this point he’s done everything else that Abigail asked of him before she died. He let his boys know it’s okay to cry and fall apart and feel everything. He let them see him be weak and miss her and be a mess. He’s taken the boys to see their Aunt like he promised.

Although we don’t get confirmation on this he presumably keeps in touch with his mother. No word yet on whether Austin quit piano but it’s safe to assume that he did. He’s doing his best to keep an eye on Liam’s temper and make sure that he looks after Austin. But the one thing Cormac hasn’t done is let himself fall in love again until now. As Abigail said Cormac deserves to be happy and he shouldn’t feel guilty or beat himself up for moving on. I think spending time reflecting on that will help him see that it’s time to move on and move forward and that Meredith is a wonderful person who has the potential to be an amazing partner if he’s willing to take the risk and go for it.

When they first introduced Cormac as a character I had hoped that we’d get to see Meredith ask him out as we’ve never really seen that before. She’s usually the one who gets asked and we’ve never really seen her take an interest in someone of her own volition. All of her past romantic partners have all been people who either pursued her relentlessly even when she told them repeatedly to stop (which still bugs me) or people her friends pushed her into dating that she wasn’t really into. While I’d love to see her ask Cormac out on a date I think with everything that’s been going on with DeLuca she’d be reluctant to. DeLuca has had several very public meltdowns at this point. Most of which Cormac was present for. On top of that her best friend, Cormac’s co-chief, just up and left and the man whose been like a father to her since she was three is gravely ill.

Cormac knows all of that because he was either there at the time or heard about it after the fact. Meredith asking Cormac out with everything that’s going on could be seen by some as insensitive or too soon or inappropriate and I think Meredith is sensitive to that. People have been talking crap about her since Addison showed up in Season 1. She knows that which is why I think Cormac is going to have to be the one to ask her out. I have a feeling he’s been waiting for the right time, but as we all know with Meredith’s life there’s never a right time. Her life is always chaotic and there’s always something going wrong. I hope that with what he’s witnessed recently and the memories the Conference brought back Cormac can see that now and decides to go for it.

Back in the present, we find out why Cormac hates the sales rep so much. Cormac knows all about the firm’s devices because their most popular model is used for minimally invasive hysterectomies. It turns out the device has little spinning claws that chop up fibroids, but the problem is that what looks like fibroids can in fact be cancer in which case the device spreads countless cancer cells to metastasize everywhere. Was anyone else horrified listening to Cormac describe that thing? It sounds terrifying and according to Cormac it’s just as deadly and awful as it sounds.

Yes it turns out the device this clueless sales rep is peddling is the device that killed Cormac’s wife Abigail. While explaining this Cormac takes the ice out the drink the rep gave him in order to illustrate his point. At that point I knew something was wrong and I think the rep should have too. Cormac was clearly agitated and the rep failed to pick up on that big time. That man should have read the room, apologized, and left. Instead he kept prattling on to Cormac and put his foot directly in his mouth by telling him that less than 1% of benign fibroids turn into uterine sarcomas.

Cormac says his wife Abigail was one of those 1%. That device took the mother of his boys and the firm is paying to suppress the proof that it kills people. He passes on the drink. The sales rep finally gets the memo and hightails it out of there. Cormac apologizes to Teddy for his outburst and leaves. And that’s what I like about Cormac. He gets loud and takes a stand when it matters, but he’s also quick to apologize for this behaviour. Not because he’s out of line but because he knows that behaving like that can be upsetting to other people and he knows that’s no fun to be around.

The big reveal about Richard comes towards the end of the episode shortly before Richard goes on stage to give his presentation. We see Richard in his hotel room, but as he looks back at Catherine she disappears. It turns out that she was never there to begin with. Richard’s been hallucinating all day and judging by his comment at the beginning his memory’s going as well. Which means it’s not just his hand and the problem is worse than we thought. Right at the end of the episode is when all of these worlds collide. We see Maggie wish Richard luck before his talk. Before heading into the lecture room herself she talks to Winston who talks about moving to Seattle or Boston to be together. Maggie, Cormac, and Teddy sit in the audience together and wait for the talk to begin. Back in Seattle we see Catherine pacing as Jackson sets up the live feed so they can see Richard’s presentation. It begins and Catherine says he looks handsome. Bailey joins them.

We see Meredith at her house sitting down on the couch with a bowl of popcorn. Zola gets the livestream going and Meredith asks how she knows how to do that. To which she replies, “Mom, Everyone knows how to do this.” Haha she cracks me up! Richard takes the stage and his talk begins and that’s when everything goes awry. He says he’s not going to talk about his PATH Pen anymore because this morning, with his brilliant wife’s help, he has found a way to cure cancer. It quickly becomes clear that something is wrong as Richard starts talking about curing cancer and flipping through slides with hand drawn pictures of hearts and lungs and an atomic explosion. Maggie turns to Cormac and tells him that something is wrong and to help her get a gurney and get him off the stage.

Back in Seattle, Catherine tells Jackson she thinks he’s drunk. Zola is confused too and asks her Mom what Uncle Richard is talking about. Meredith says she doesn’t know and realizing that something is wrong asks her to get her phone for her. Back at the Conference Maggie tries desperately to get Richard to leave the stage with her. He says he’s fine and tries to continue. And that’s when things go from bad to worse because he looks at Maggie, his own daughter, and asks who she is. Cormac tries to help guide him off the stage and in response Richard becomes uncharacteristically aggressive and pushes him telling him to get his hands off him. Maggie and Cormac forcibly remove him from the stage against his protests. Maggie tells them to cut the feed which they do and yells for someone to call 911.

As the episode ends, we see Maggie walking with the paramedics who are wheeling Richard out of the hotel on a gurney. Richard is confused and asks what’s going on. As they leave they walk past Winston on their way out. This scene absolutely gutted me! It was so hard to watch! Also where does Catherine get off saying he’s drunk? That man has been sober for years. He’s not cheating on her and all of their problems are in her head goddamnit. My heart broke for Maggie as she realized something was terribly wrong. My heart broke again for Meredith as she sat at home and realized the same thing but was unable to help from so far away.

Until next time!

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