Grey's Anatomy recap: Sudden Impact

A family car wreck -- and the sad circumstances around Henry's death -- devastate Seattle Grace
Ep. 10 | Aired Jan 5, 2012

FOREVER ALTERED Dr. Altman (Kim Raver) finally learned that her husband Henry (Scott Foley) died during surgery

Danny Feld/ABC

“Victims of a sudden impact are some of the hardest to treat.” Ever-faithful Grey’s Anatomy voice-over queen Meredith Grey told us that stark truth at the top of last night’s episode, “Suddenly,” the first new installment since way back in November. When I heard Ms. Grey utter the insanely obvious statement, I sort of wanted to punch her and scream back at her: No duh! Right? But with the way everything eventually went down, I realized that she was just trying to prepare we viewers for the tragedy of those sudden, deep impacts that were about to unfold over the next hour. And goodness knows, it was tragic.

But before we get into all the drama of last night, though, let’s quickly recap where we left the doctors of Seattle Grace -- mostly because it’s been so long since a fresh episode of Grey’s has graced our television screen. You can read my last recap to jog your memory, but in short, “Dark Was the Night” -- which aired Nov. 10 -- left two big, devastating cliffhangers: First, Henry had died on the OR table, with Cristina at the blade, yet no one could tell his wife Dr. Altman because she was busy working on another patient, who would probably die if the doctor was jolted by the truth. (Heck, Cristina didn’t even know she was operating on Henry until after he had passed.) And second, a car filled with a family had hit the ambulance that Meredith and Karev were traveling in to another hospital to treat an ailing infant. They were splayed across the highway when we last saw them.

“Suddenly” picked up just seconds later: Teddy in the OR with her heart patient, and Meredith and Karev assessing the damage on the road. At the top of the hour, it was all about trying to get the family from the car accident stabilized, which sent Seattle Grace into a tizzy and provided a very surgery-, coding-, and OR-heavy episode. The night’s first casualty happened before Meredith and Karev could even get back to the hospital, as the family’s grandma died at the scene after what looked like some massive bleeding to the neck. The other injuries were painful to look at, too: The father was suffering some sort of crushed pelvis situation; the mom was a mess; the younger sister had a shard of glass in her eye; and the brother’s legs were basically smashed under part of the car. The only somewhat healthy member of the family was the oldest child, daughter Lily, who seemed mostly not injured.

NEXT: Malignant hyperthermia, sickening eye surgery, and life support

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