There’s a major shake-up happening at Grey Sloan Memorial, and it’s been a long time coming. The personal drama of the hospital’s doctors has reached such a fever pitch that attention to detail inside the operating rooms has slipped. Of course, veteran surgeons like Meredith (Ellen Pompeo), Arizona (Sarah Capshaw), Bailey (Chandra Wilson), Maggie (Kelly McCreary), Hunt (Kevin McKidd), and Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) continue to do groundbreaking work, they’ve all dropped the ball when it comes to truly taking residents under their wing.
In this exclusive sneak peek of Thursday night’s (Nov. 10) episode, “The Room Where it Happens,” it appears that Dr. Eliza Minnick (Marika Dominczyk) has officially come on board as the head director of the residency program — and Dr. Richard Webber’s (James Pickens Jr.) demotion has been made permanent.
Murphy’s (Tessa Ferrar) prodigal return proved to Catherine Avery (Debbie Allen) yet again that their residence program needs to hit the refresh button. Weak residents thriving in other programs is unacceptable. Grey Sloan has all the makings to be a top-tier hospital, a place that sets the bar for all other teaching programs, and Mrs. Avery is willing to do whatever it takes to reach that level of success…
Even though she gave a highly unlikable first impression, bringing Eliza on board was a huge get for the hospital, even if it came at the price of giving Webber the bump. The most tenured surgeon had a difficult time transitioning from Chief to head of the residency program when Bailey first took over, so he's understandably going to struggle withdrawing to an even lower attending position. And as seen in this clip, Webber's used to giving orders, not taking them...
"We close and let the body heal," Grey instructs her fellow attendings and senior resident, Edwards (Jerrika Hinton), disregarding the option of ordering in a transplant -- and Webber instinctively goes into teaching mode to get his way. Combating Grey's plan of action, he asks Edwards to verbally describe emergency traumatic liver transplant, furthering the tension in an already life or death situation.
"He's not your patient. It's still my call," Grey says. And when Webber continues to plead his opposition, Grey loses her temper and shuts him down. "You have the the chief of general surgery in here, Dr. Webber," she says. "And I outrank you."
It's a reversal of the teacher and student roles that would normally be a moment of pride for Webber. But this current scenario is quite different. He was probably thinking that even though he was stripped of his name title, he'd at least be treated with same esteem and tempered respect from those that are supposed to have his back no matter what. Grey, whom he's always looked after as if she were his own daughter, now appears to be Team Eliza. Or perhaps, Meredith was merely frustrated with everyone in her O.R. questioning her final decision, and took it out on the one person she knows will forgive her, Webber.
It can't go ignored that this entire situation stems from a power move made by Webber's own wife. The man who's already struggling to stay updated with modern medical studies, who's been making the sincere effort to keep from being the old dog who can't learn new tricks, looks utterly defeated. He feels emasculated on both a personal and professional level -- and even though he's been through worse and survived, we still hope it doesn't mean Webber's time on "Grey's" is nearing its end.
"Grey's Anatomy" airs on Thursday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.