Emotional Shonda-coaster, Week 12: ‘Grey’s,’ ‘Scandal,’ ‘How to Get Away With Murder’

Stephen is back! Briefly, and a little confusingly, but still!

The most emotional of coasters.

Many thanks to Drew for taking over last week while I was out of commission. I’ve returned from travels abroad just in time to soak in the shocking revelations from last night’s Shonda-coaster, the biggest one, of course, being:

Stephen is back! Briefly, and a little confusingly, but still! It is pretty funny to me that Cyrus recognized him from a blurry satellite image while everyone who started watching Scandal after its first season is going, “Who???” But I appreciated that surprise reveal. Who doesn’t like well-executed fan service every now and then? Those of us who have been fans of the show from the beginning have spent a few seasons wondering what exactly became of the adorable British commitment-phobe who used to work for OPA. What we now know isn’t much — he’s working in Russia, he maintains some sort of communication with Abby, he heard about Harrison’s death, and he’s still willing to save Liv, even if they haven’t seen each other in years, because she tends to have that effect on people. Even if long-time fans are still wondering about some unanswered questions, it was nice to see a familiar, friendly face during such a tense moment, and I’m hoping this cameo might mean a bigger return for him later in the season.

I was also surprised that Olivia would call Fitz out on the war the way she did, and I was thrilled to see her do that. I’m still perplexed as to why she seems to think that he’s particularly good at Presidenting, because he’s so obviously awful at it, but at least she was able to call out a new low for him when she saw it.

Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised by this week’s HTGAWM reveal — less an actual reveal than a big incriminating finger pointing in Rebecca’s direction — but I was. The case against Rebecca has been so obvious and unrelenting that there really hasn’t been a chance for a compelling secondary suspect to emerge (does anyone really think Sam killed Lila?), but I’ve assumed that meant that one would be coming in the eleventh hour. Instead, in the second-to-last episode of the season, we get a character introduction who exists solely to make Rebecca appear culpable, along with a creepy final shot of her tracking Wes’s location.

This revelation is probably less “shocking” than it is “disappointing.” It means that Rebecca’s a lot more flat than I wanted to give her credit. Sure, given that there is a whole two-hour episode left to go, there’s ample time to prove again that she’s not the killer. But we’ve already done that, so why retread the same ground for the umpteenth time? Unless the twist is that we’re supposed to think she’s innocent, beside the mountain of evidence to the contrary, and if so, that’s a really weak conclusion. I’m optimistic that things will turn around in the finale, but I don’t love this back-and-forth “did she or didn’t she” with Rebecca, and the fact that it’s still going this late in the season makes me nervous about how it will all wrap up.

The twist about Nate’s arrest was covered in last week’s recap, so I won’t spend too much time talking about that right now, but I was relieved that Michaela called out Annalise for framing a completely innocent black man for a white man’s murder. Considering that Annalise is slipping Nate notes and always has a plan up her sleeve, I think it’s reasonable to assume that he won’t actually be going down for this murder. But in a post-Ferguson era of television, it would’ve been irresponsible for Michaela to keep her mouth shut about that troubling decision, so I’m glad she had that moment.

The reveal of the week on Grey’s was Meredith’s cold feet about visiting Derek, but that didn’t interest or surprise me nearly as much as the fact that Arizona and Dr. Geena Davis are actually friends now! It’s hard to tell how much of Dr. Geena Davis’s change in attitude is due to the tumor growth, or her growing comfort with her impending mortality, or simply the fact that she likes knowing that other women like sex as much as she does. Though, in the world of Grey’s, are women who like sex a lot really that hard to come by? They seem to be all over the place. But it’s as good (or better, even) than anything else as a subject of bonding, so it’s nice to see that friendship and comfort developing. The toxicity was grating.

Next week: WHO KILLED LILA? We probably already know, but let’s see if I’m wrong about that.

Emotional Shonda-coaster, Week 12: ‘Grey’s,’ ‘Scandal,’ ‘How to Get Away With Murder’