Spoilers ahead for the Season 15 finale of , called “Jump into the Fog.“
Another season of has come to an end, and the finale featured everything from Teddy giving birth and getting a love confession from Owen to a quadriplegic woman regaining sensation to a thick blanket of fog over Seattle causing all kinds of crises. Arguably the most game-changing twist, however, was actually a recreation of an iconic moment from way back in Season 2, and the consequences are very different from what they were back then.
In “Jump into the Fog,” Meredith confessed to being guilty of fraud, which led to Alex and Webber stepping up to confess as well in an attempt to save Meredith from the repercussions. It was so similar to the Season 2 scene when all five interns “confessed” to cutting Denny’s LVAD wire that Bailey even commented on it. As she said, they’re not interns anymore, and when none of them backed down from their claim of guilt, Bailey went ahead and fired them all.
In the “I cut the LVAD wire” scene, Meredith, Cristina, George, and Alex presented a united front to Webber to save Izzie from being cut from the surgical program for cutting Denny’s LVAD wire. As longtime fans remember, Denny died anyway in a truly heartbreaking twist.
Nobody died due to Meredith’s fraud or Alex and Webber trying to save her job by lumping themselves in with her, but the hospital lost three of its most talented and seasoned surgeons, and Bailey doesn’t intend to change her mind as of the end of the episode.
Given that the show is called and not or or , it’s probably safe to say that Meredith will be back in scrubs come Season 16, but we’ll have to wait and see.
Somewhat ironically, back in Season 2, Alex was the intern who wanted to give up Izzie, and Webber was the one throwing his weight around to get the truth out of the interns. Now, both men supported Meredith to try and save her job. Showrunner Krista Vernoff confirmed that the scene was designed as a callback to the LVAD confession and explained why the show delivered such a huge twist for Meredith, Alex, and Webber:
One of the things that hasn’t happened lately is Meredith Grey hasn’t faced consequences for the rules that she breaks. She is a bold rule breaker and we love her for it — and she always gets away with it. We felt we had laid the groundwork to shock the audience when this time, Meredith doesn’t get off so easy.
Meredith has blazed trails throughout the 15 seasons of so far, both personally and professionally. That has required her to cross lines and break rules, but never for any dastardly reason. The system hasn’t always allowed her to do what she needs to do to save lives, and that hasn’t always been enough to stop her. While that makes it easy for fans to root for her to succeed, it’s not 100% realistic that she tends to escape consequences. No more!
It does make sense that this is the time that caught up to Meredith. There was paperwork involved, and witnesses who participated. Fans haven’t loved the fraud twist when there were seemingly ways to help the family that weren’t actually illegal, but it does make sense that this is the time that somebody was nailed for the fraud. At first, Meredith wasn’t the one in trouble, as she was in the hyperbaric chamber when she found out that DeLuca confessed to the fraud to keep her out of trouble.
As the heroine of the series, of course Meredith wasn’t content to let DeLuca take the fall for her, especially considering she was finally ready to tell him she loved him. So, as the season ended, Meredith along with Webber and Alex had been fired, DeLuca was still in prison but likely to get out as soon as his name was cleared, and Meredith was ready to turn herself in.
She did lay out to Webber why she believes her reputation and lack of priors meant that she’d get off with minimal legal trouble. That said, Krista Vernoff went on in her chat with THR to explain that the consequences won’t go away in the blink of an eye. She said:
Indeed! It is consequential as the kids say. We were excited in the writer’s room about that. We couldn’t stop kind of laughing like, ‘Holy shit, what have we done?! What are we doing?!’ But when you get to 342 episodes — which is where we are — you have the right to take some bold swings, you have to take some bold swings if you want to keep the show fresh and exciting and you don’t want people to get ahead of you. You have to be bold. And I feel like we were really bold here and we’ll see how it all shakes out.
Well, when your show has been running for nearly 350 episodes, has already featured everything from bombs to shootouts to natural disasters, you have to go pretty far to deliver something shocking. Bailey immediately telling Meredith, Alex, and Webber that they were fired definitely caught me off guard.
There were no grand speeches about betrayal or why they did it or why she couldn’t keep them on at the hospital. Bailey wasn’t entertaining excuses. They were just fired. It was shocking AF, as the kids might say!
Unfortunately, we have months to wait before we find out what happens next, but the good news is that still has a long future ahead of it. ABC handed down a renewal for not one but more seasons, with three cast members getting bumped up to series regular status. There’s a lot to look forward to, and at least there are plenty of summer TV viewing options to pass the time until fall premiere season.