‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 13 Recap: Episode 20 ‘In the Air Tonight’

Meredith and Riggs are on a plane, as it hits turbulence and people need medical attention on this week’s Grey’s Anatomy Season 13. Just how do they manage the flight through “In the Air Tonight?”

I definitely wouldn’t want to be on a plane that Meredith Grey is on. I know she’s a fictional character, but she has to be one of the unluckiest characters in the world! As she acknowledges in the episode this week, people die around her. All she’s doing is waiting for Death to sweep her up and take her away.

But that is not a way to live.

This week, memories of the Grey’s Anatomy Season 8 plane crash flood back, along with memories of Derek and those who have left or she’s lost. While all this happens, she has to deal with a severe medical emergency on the plane, as the captain cannot land.

It all starts off relatively normal. It’s a packed plane with a very upset toddler. Like many other mothers of young children, Meredith is totally understanding about this toddler crying out on the plane. And like every other mother, the mom is frantically trying to keep the little boy quiet. Cue a very obnoxious man who doesn’t quite understand that the mother is struggling to keep her child calm and quiet. It’s not surprising considering the amount of people on this plane.

After calling the guy out on his actions, Meredith finds out that the parents have been separated due to a last minute booking. They have a deal with switch later, but Meredith offers to switch seats with the dad. Of course, the family are extremely grateful and Meredith is more than happy to reunite that family. What she doesn’t realize is that the father was sitting two seats away from Nathan Riggs.

Riggs uses this chance to talk to her, over a poor woman sat between them. Of course, she can’t help but get involved, and who can blame her? There’s a lot of explaining to do!

Deciding to get as far away from Riggs as possible, Meredith goes to the toilet only for Riggs to join her. The scene is from the second sneak peek released the day of the Grey’s Anatomy Season 13 episode, where there has been some miscommunication and mixed signals. Well, Meredith decides to give into the feelings that she does have.

Back in their seats, the girl in the middle decided to move over to allow the two to talk. I’ve never known people on a flight be so nonchalant about moving for others! But anyway, the plane hits turbulence and Riggs and Meredith finally share their fear of flying because they’ve both been in a plane crash before. It’s the second sneak peek from this week, as Riggs makes it clear that his incident wasn’t nearly as traumatic as Meredith’s.

Their bonding moment is cut short with another pocket of turbulence and screams from people around them. The air masks drop, people fly up into the air, and there is a lot of crying. It doesn’t take long for Meredith to assess the situation. The guy she met coming back from the bathroom is on the floor and unconscious, a flight attendant is on the floor cradling her arm, and there is another guy on the floor behind them.

Going into doctor mode, Meredith and Riggs go off to deal with the injured passengers, and Meredith is sure that Max (the conscious guy) has a brain bleed. Why is it that they jump to the most serious problems and are instantly right?

Well, to make matters worse for Max, he’s on blood thinner medication, which means that the brain bleed isn’t going to get any better. They need to land the plane, but that’s not possible. They have a storm above them and one below them and it isn’t safe to land. The captain is not going to put the lives of 257 people in danger for one guy. It’s harsh but it’s a reasonable call from the pilot.

It’s up to the two doctors, a paeds dentist, a flight attendant with a broken wrist, and the girl that was sitting next to Meredith and Riggs to help Max. Meredith needs to use a syringe to drain off the blood before it gets to catastrophic levels.

While that happens, the guy who was obnoxious earlier has a medical emergency that leaves him unable to breathe. Riggs attends to him, asking for Viagra to help with the problem and yes there is a man on the plane with tablets and his wife is more than happy to share. Seriously, I want so many helpful people on my next flight!

Despite the turbulent plane, Meredith is able to use the needle from the syringe and a straw to drain off the brain bleed, while the pilot is able to land the plane. It’s a tense 40 minutes but turns out all well.

At the very end, Riggs still wants to be with Meredith. She may be cursed. Her little sister may have died (and now Riggs understands why Meredith is so protective of Maggie) and her husband may be gone, but Meredith is still here. Riggs wants her to let go of her husband—the fear of moving on. It’s time for her to live her life. If anyone understands that, Riggs does. He has been through something similar losing his fiancée Megan Hunt.

In all honestly, if Meredith wants to live then she does need to let go. Nobody is saying that she has to forget Derek, but she needs to allow herself to move on slightly. Derek is gone but she is still very much alive and deserves to focus on that life. Whether that’s with Riggs or not, I’m not sure, but she does need to allow herself to live.

Meredith decides that Riggs is the one to move on with for now. Will that change in the next episode of Grey’s Anatomy Season 13?

This actually worked out to be one of the most exciting and interesting episodes of Grey’s Anatomy this season, and it only had two main characters. All the rest were one-off characters, who were much less irritating than they could have been. Of course, the inclusion of flashbacks is always good–especially for Derek fans out there. I’m not a MerDer fan, but I appreciate that it was their love story for a long time and the flashbacks were necessary and used well.

There’s no Grey’s Anatomy Season 13 next week. Season 13 returns a week later at 8pm on ABC.


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