'Grey's Anatomy' Tackled Human Trafficking and Systemic Racism in the Midseason Finale

Gina Vaynshteyn - Author

Feb. 23 2021, Updated 11:04 a.m. ET

Station 19
Source: ABC

Spoiler alert: If you haven't watched the recent episode of Grey's Anatomy, you've been warned!

Tonight's midseason finale of Grey's Anatomy was a Grey's/Station 19 crossover episode which was extremely intense. While Meredith was seemingly getting better, she relapsed. It wasn't... exactly a happy episode. In fact, fans are still reeling from several plotlines, which include human trafficking and systemic racism and police brutality. It's a lot to unpack.

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First: 'Grey's Anatomy' and human trafficking.

If you've been keeping up with Station 19, then you're familiar with one of the most evil characters to exist on cable TV: Bob, a man who kidnapped two Black teen girls who ignited his basement and were rescued by the Station 19 crew. Bob and the child trafficking victims were brought to Grey Sloan's for treatment. Bob tried to convince everyone that the girls had broken into his house and set it one fire, but nobody bought it. "You're the devil's barbecue, so get used to the smell of burning flesh," Hunt said, before Bob passes out. And then we see Opal, a sex trafficker who snuck her way in.

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But there is a lot more to the human trafficking plotline, which really only comes together if you watch both Station 19 and Grey's. During Station 19, the team hears a woman near Maya's home crying for help even though they're not on duty. The Black woman is yelling that her daughter and daughter's friend are being held hostage in a white man's house who won't let the woman come in because the teens were "harassing" him. The woman found the location her daughter was located through her daughter's Fitbit.

Source: ABC
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The police arrive, but they're not there to help the woman, they're treating her as though she's the one causing the trouble. The off-duty team get to the scene has fast as possible to see what they can do. And that's when they smell the fire — the girls have lit a fire in the basement in order to get somebody's attention. This made it so Dean and Sullivan go inside the house and rescue the girls, who are imprisoned inside the room.

The girls admitted they did set fire to the basement in order to get out, so Sullivan and Dean then get arrested along with the teen's mother for "assaulting" a police officer. Luckily, Jackson bail the mom out when later they learn what happened in the Grey's Anatomy episode, but it's traumatizing to watch play out nonetheless. 

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Source: ABC

Barrett Doss, who plays Vic, stated, "Obviously Sullivan and Dean are dealing with the immediate trauma of this experience of a violent arrest and the other characters are witnessing it, in addition, of course to the actual call which [involved] sexual violence and the abduction of young Black women. It wasn't just any scene. It was already a charged, emotional call to be on. We don't just have to fight against the elements or the fire or the actual danger of the situation— were are also fighting against the people who are supposed to be helping us," per E!.

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Another pivotal moment: Koracick sneaks into Meredith's room and told her, "I just wanted to see for myself that it's possible to beat this thing. I just wanted to be in a room where nobody's dying...'cause everybody's dying." Meanwhile, Ameila tells Maggie she could have let Bob the teen kidnapper die, but she didn't (due to like, ethical reasons as a doctor). 

Maggie said the real problem was that "the monsters that got us here...the many reasons that Black girls are more vulnerable in the first place and rarely seen as victims." She went on, saying "Now, there's a plague that is killing Black people at a rate that should make everyone outraged. If COVID were killing white people at the rate that it is killing Black people, you better believe that everyone would be wearing masks because it would be the damn law." 

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Everyone, please take a second to applaud this. While it's been a hell of season (and just this episode alone nearly broke us), we still don't know what we'll do without Grey's until March. 

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