HomeTelevisionGrey's Anatomy Round Table: Shedding Light on AAPI Hate Crimes,

Grey’s Anatomy Round Table: Shedding Light on AAPI Hate Crimes,

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Nick impressed the masses, and he and Mer exchanged “I love yous.”

On Grey’s Anatomy Season 18 Episode 18, a dinner party showcased some new conflict, and a timely case about Anti-Asian hate crimes brought so many emotions.

Join Joshua Johnson, Jasmin Pettie, and Meaghan Frey as they discuss everything.

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Were you shocked that Wendell swindled Winston and Maggie out of $20 grand?

Joshua: Yes and no. I just figured that Wendell had made some bad choices, needed help, and would bounce. I didn’t think he’d go as far as to swindle money out of Maggie as well.

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What’s most disappointing about this is that I really wanted Wendell to have gotten to the point where he was trying to change and just made bad decisions–I always want to see the best in people, so it sucks when I’m let down (yes, I know they’re characters on a TV show, but you get what I mean).

It’s especially frustrating because the show has made Winston an incredibly likable character, so it sucks to see him hurt. It doubly sucks to see Maggie get dragged into it.

I feel we’ll see Wendell again in the finale, but I’d be okay if he went far away and never returned.

Meaghan: After what we’ve come to learn about Wendell, not entirely; however, it did shock me that he would screw over Maggie like that. It’s not more justified, but it is at least more understandable when he is doing these things to his brother rather than to someone like Maggie, who has been nothing but kind to him.

Chemo Time  - Grey's Anatomy Season 18 Episode 18

I, like Joshua, wanted to give Wendell the benefit of the doubt time and time again. But this was the last straw for me. I do feel like it was more of a crime of opportunity versus his original, though.

Side note: was anyone else confused about how Wendell even knew about the party? Is he just lurking in the bushes outside of their house?

​Jasmin: Like Joshua and Meaghan, I was, and I wasn’t.

I wasn’t surprised that Winston gave him the money as we learned in this episode that he had had it out with his brother and that he was now living in a hotel on Winston’s dime, which Winston paid for to get him off their couch.

Gym Time  - Grey's Anatomy Season 18 Episode 13

I was shocked but not surprised to learn that he’d swindled Maggie out of money. As my fellow panelists, I was sad to find out that he did that to someone who has been nothing but kind to him and gave him the benefit of the doubt time and again.

However, as I said in previous roundtables, I knew Wendell was a slippery snake and a weasel from the start. I stopped giving him the benefit of the doubt as soon as we found out he lied about knowing people he could have easily met at his brother’s wedding had he gone.

Are you relieved that Catherine is sticking to chemotherapy and not just to appease Richard?

Joshua: This wasn’t originally a thought I had, and not necessarily the vibe I was getting from Catherine throughout the episode. I thought she just wanted Richard to stop being a doctor at her chemo session and start being her husband.

As someone who has had a family member go through chemo before going into hospice, I appreciate that the idea was introduced that sometimes the person going through chemo needs to know that it’s their choice to make and their choice to honor.

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Meaghan: As I mentioned during the last round table, I’m not the biggest Catherine fan. However, I don’t want to see her die either, so I’m glad she has chosen to fight. I couldn’t see Catherine making any other decision.

​Jasmin: I am as it’s her best chance of survival, and to just give up at this stage would be very out of character for Catherine.

Like Joshua, I thought she just wanted Richard to stop being a doctor at her chemo session and start being her husband. I didn’t get the impression she wanted to quit but rather that she needed a break from being doctored.

What was your favorite Nick interaction at the dinner party?

Joshua: The conversation between Nick and Amelia was by and far the best interaction at the party for me. She didn’t grill him, didn’t give him the 20 Questions treatment, or anything like that.

They had an open and honest conversation about themselves and Meredith, and Amelia put into plain words how she wanted her sister to be treated. It was a lovely scene (once again, Caterina Scorsone acted her ass off), and its simplicity was effective.

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Meaghan: Absolutely, the conversation with Nick and Amelia.

That’s the type of conversation you want your loved ones to have with your significant other. You don’t want them to feel like they are sitting through a job interview, which was how every other person treated him.

It carries even more weight given that it is Amelia. The relationship between Amelia and Meredith has been one of the best ones we’ve seen develop throughout the series, and seeing her kind of give Nick permission to fill the shoes her brother once did was bittersweet.

I also liked Nick presenting the reality to Link that Kai is a great person forcing Link to stop seeing Kai as the villain; too bad it was just a little bit too late.

Amelia and Scout  - Grey's Anatomy Season 18 Episode 18

​Jasmin: I don’t think I had a favorite. I’m not a Nick fan, and I never will be after the disrespect this show showed to Hayes by bringing him back when they did, and up to this episode, he’s done nothing but annoy me this season.

That said, I found him considerably less annoying in this episode, and I thought he gelled nicely with the rest of the cast, and it was nice to see him get to know Meredith’s family. In this episode, he seemed on board with being a part of her life, which was nice.

It was an interesting contrast to Kai, who realized throughout the party that they and Amelia wanted different things. While they love each other, Kai doesn’t want to have kids or be a parent, and since Amelia is both a Mom and a beloved Aunt to so many wonderful children, that’s not going to work out.

Do you think this is the last of Kaimelia? Discuss your thoughts on their arc during this installment?

Joshua: Correct me if I’m wrong, but hadn’t Kai said before that they weren’t interested in having children?

Regardless, I appreciated Kai’s honesty and vulnerability with Amelia to share what they did and didn’t want for their lives, especially with this plot airing in the current political climate where people with uteruses have to fight for control of their bodies. I think we’ll still see a bit off Kaimelia next week, but that will probably be the end of it.

Meaghan: You’re exactly right, Joshua. Kai made their feelings toward children very clear, so I wasn’t surprised at all when they freaked out seeing how maternal Amelia was.

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If you’re not a kid person and face a horde of children, it will put you on overload.

Even though I have really enjoyed Kaimelia, this was such a mature civil breakup that made sense for the characters. If they had to end, I’d rather see them go out this way than how Amelink did.

​Jasmin: I agree with Joshua and Meaghan here. I think either this episode or the next one is the last we’ll probably see of Kai.

Hopefully means that the actor who plays Kai is moving on to other things. I agree that I would rather they end this way than how Amelia and Link did.

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To me, how it came it across was that Kai knew that Amelia was a Mom and loved her child, but they got to see the person Amelia was away from her family.

I think her time in Minnesota was like a vacation away from her hectic life in many ways. Knowing someone has a kid and seeing them with that child is very different.

Also, knowing someone is an aunt to many kids and actually seeing how close they really are in that Amelia is like a second or third parent to a whole gaggle of children is very different.

I think Kai just realized that the reality versus what they pictured Amelia’s family life was like in Seattle was very different, and they owed it to themselves to be honest with her.

What are your thoughts on the anti-Asian hate crime storyline and how they handled it?

Joshua: This plot was more impactful for me than the rest of the episode; I got emotional several times, starting with Nico, Dr. Lin, and the police officer taking in the personalization of the attack in the ER, and then again with BokHee.

Seeing BokHee gaze at Meredith through the glass of the scrub room while she worked with two other people who are Asian to care for a woman who was Asian hit me hard. Without saying a word, she said volumes.

When BokHee told Nico and Dr. Lin, “You are American; your faces are American,” I had to pause the show to cry. Something about hearing an older Asian immigrant (I assume) speaking in heavily accented English, telling two Asian-Americans that they are American…I don’t have intelligent words to explain why I felt the importance of that moment.

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When Meredith came in to talk to Alice, and assure her that she was safe and not alone, I understood that she wasn’t just talking to Alice; she was letting BokHee, Nico, and Dr. Lin know that she understood the situation, she understood what it meant to them, and that she’s an ally for them.

This was the moment that I thought was the most sophisticated of the storyline; any other show would have taken that moment to make the main character the White Savior; instead, it was handled delicately and with grace, and they kept the focus on Alice and the people who look like her.

To preface this next part, I want to emphasize that I am a white male, and I understand that this particular thought comes from a white person’s perspective and carries a fair amount of ignorance behind it. I would love to hear what people of color–specifically, people who are Asian–have to say about this.

While I love that Grey’s has Lynn Chen in their roster so that there is more Asian representation on television and was excited to see what she’d add to the show, I realized that we’ve barely seen her all season.

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I wondered, is it a disservice to the actress to bring her back for this episode because she’s Asian? I thought of Grey’s Anatomy Season 4 Episode 10 when Bailey took Cristina off of Hahn’s service to help her treat the patient with the swastika on his chest, and Cristina resented Bailey for using her for her race.

I understand that the situations are different–in Season 4, it was to antagonize a white nationalist, and in this episode, it was to spread awareness of AAPI violence. I would love to hear non-white perspectives on this so that I can better understand.

Meaghan: I agree with everything Joshua said. This storyline was so powerful. I actually wish that the “Meet Nick” party wasn’t happening at the same time because it deserved the full focus of the episode.

I can’t recall if BokHee has ever had a line of dialogue — if she has, it has been few and far between — so having her deliver the line Joshua referenced felt even more impactful.

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I’ve always loved BokHee being a constant presence on the series, especially because Kathy C. An is an OR nurse in real life.

I loved that she was able to bring an older perspective to the situation and provide Dr. Lin and Nico comfort as they faced the difficult task of handling Alice’s care while dealing with their own feelings on violence against the AAPI community.

Grey’s Anatomy doesn’t always get storylines right these days, but when they do, and we get episodes like this, it reminds me why I always had such a deep appreciation for the series.

​Jasmin: I also felt that the case was very impactful. The scenes in the OR and with the patient’s family made me cry. Joshua and Meaghan articulately why so beautifully with their comments. I couldn’t say it any better.

I also think Joshua made an excellent point about Asian representation on screen this season, and I loved how simple and impactful BokHee’s words to Nico and Lin were.

Levi and Mer  - Grey's Anatomy Season 18 Episode 18

Like Meaghan, I, too, thought about the actress who plays BokHee and how her real-life experience must have impacted her in those scenes.

That said, I wish they would balance things out more often these days. It feels like every single case they cover recently is a ‘very special episode’ where they cover a very heinous and horrible injustice or crime.

It’s important to spotlight these issues for sure. I just wish they would balance the tough cases out more like they did in the early days of Grey’s.

For me, it’s become very draining and is taking away from my appreciation and enjoyment of the show. But I also recognize that as someone with a lot of privilege, a lot of these cases deal with issues I’ll never have to personally experience, and I don’t want to take away from the harsh reality I know other people are facing every day.

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I more want to highlight the change in the writing style of the last few seasons and how I wish narratively, there was more balance between light and dark.

What was your favorite part of the episode?

Joshua: The moments with Alice in the operating room. They were simple, effective, and honest. This was a story that needed to be seen.

Meaghan: Alice’s storyline. It was so powerful and handled with the care that it deserved.

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I also couldn’t help but adore the callbacks to Grey’s Anatomy Season 1. The whole episode reminded me of Izzie’s party turned rager she threw for her boyfriend but ended up blowing it off to be there to see her patient’s care through.

We even got Bailey walking in on an indecent moment in a car! This season of Grey’s Anatomy has done nostalgia so well.

​Jasmin: I too loved the callbacks with Bailey and Meredith missing the party to care for her patient and other such moments throughout the episode.

Since Joshua and Meaghan have already talked about Alice’s case, I’ll say that another great moment for me was the scene between Amelia and Kai. The acting was great, and I thought it was a very mature way to handle things.

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What are you looking forward to or hoping to see in the milestone season finale?

Joshua: I’m excited to see what, if any, shout-outs to the past they’ll incorporate, but mostly I’m excited to see April again, and I really hope she gets the chance to run the pit.

Meaghan: I’m just here for the nostalgia of the finale. I’m trying not to get my hopes up, but I can’t help but think that they have some surprises up their sleeve for us.

Even if they don’t, I’m very excited to see Jackson and April’s return and to get an update on their relationship.

Japril Hugs Again  - Grey's Anatomy Season 17 Episode 14

Also, they are listing Taylor Swift on the IMDB page for part 1 of the finale, and if you follow me on social media, you know that alone would have me hyped up.

​Jasmin: I would also like to see more callbacks and shout-outs to the past, and I think April and Jackson coming back will be interesting for sure.

I didn’t know about the possible Taylor Swift appearance, and I’m a big Swiftie too, so that’s also very exciting! Whether it’s Taylor herself or her music, her inclusion will always make me happy.

Over to you, Grey’s Fanatics. Sound off below with your thoughts!

The two-part season finale of Grey’s Anatomy airs tonight at 8/7c on ABC.

Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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