Grey’s Anatomy Season 8, Episode 21 Recap: The Gang Goes to the Boards, April & Jackson Have Sex (!)
Feeling that familiar pre-test anxiety? The sweaty palms, the lightheadedness, the occasional panic attacks, the jitters from over-caffeination? We do too, because it's time for our Grey's Anatomy residents' boards in Season 8, Episode 21: “Moment of Truth” — which take place at a San Francisco hotel — and they're really making us nervous. Seriously, not a one of them's got their act together. Cristina (Sandra Oh) is still flip-flopping over whether to leave Owen, April (Sarah Drew) is crying because her whole hometown church congregation is praying for her success, Jackson (Jesse Williams) is startled because his own mom is on premises as an examiner, Alex (Justin Chambers) is worried about Morgan's premie baby Tommy, and Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) is puking her guts out after picking up Zola's stomach flu.
Meredith has to hole up in her hotel room and try to ride out the digestive storm, so to speak. Cristina puts on her best viral-outbreak garb and brings her fluids and an IV. All of a sudden, she tells Mer that Owen (Kevin McKidd) slept with somebody else. (Finally!) Mer declares that Cristina deserves better. Cristina isn't so sure, saying that if the situation were reversed (as well it could be), she'd want Owen to stay with her — but she finally decides that she wants to leave him. Mer and Cristina then talk about how the two of them are probably going to different cities. Finally, Meredith gussies up a bit and the two head down to the test area and are called in by their respective examiners.
Alex is no sooner at the hotel than he heads back to the hospital to be with Morgan and Tommy ... even though Morgan just totally frosted him. (So Alex is absent when Morgan wants him there and then present when she doesn't? Sounds like a few exes of ours.) Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) operates on Tommy again but discovers that nearly all of Tommy's bowel is necrotic. They have to convince Morgan that they did all they could for Tommy — and that Morgan did all she could for Tommy. Alex takes Tommy off life support and they wait for him to expire. Yes, yes, sad, sad. But Alex, man up and become emotionally detached again — you're missing your boards!
Jackson and April realize they're the only two left of sound mind and body as they eat in the hotel bar the night before the boards. But then this jerk from another hospital comes up and attributes April's job offers to her being a woman, and Jackson punches the guy. Then the guy punches Jackson. Then April punches the guy ... and keeps punching! OMG! All of a sudden, Richard (James Pickens Jr.) shows up and breaks up the fight. (Turns out, he's also an examiner.) After the brawl, April is on an adrenaline high and starts making out with Jackson. Double OMG! They have sex, which means that April's no longer a virgin. Triple OMG! And things are awkward, like, the very second that they finish. Not an OMG at all. The next morning, as they wait for their boards, April breaks down, saying that Jesus hates her for having sex. So now April is self-loathing, and Jackson is perplexed, and it's boards time. Great.
Meanwhile, Richard and Catherine Avery flirt over dinner in San Fran and have sex. (We saw that coming, no? And we actually feel pretty okay with Richard moving on.) At the hospital, Mark (Eric Dane) tells Lexie (Chyler Leigh) that she and Jackson are a good fit, even though it's clear to the rest of us that she's still pining over Mark. And Bailey (Chandra Wilson) and Callie (Sara Ramirez) try to inspire a ceasefire between Owen and Teddy (Kim Raver), and when that fails, Bailey yells at Teddy, telling her that Owen is simply playing the part of the villain that she assigned to him.
Okay, okay, but what happened with the boards?! We won't find out until next week. Ugh. If you need us, we'll be in that hotel bar, calming our nerves.
Catch a new episode of Grey’s Anatomy on Thursday, May 3 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
Dan is a contributing writer at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @SixFourDan.