Spoilers ahead for the Grey’s Anatomy Season 17 finale. Between multiple weddings, an adoption, two proposals, and Meredith’s return to the O.R., the Grey’s Anatomy Season 17 finale covered a lot of ground, to say the least. The June 3 episode began with Meredith scattering flower petals on a beach (but not that beach), with an onscreen graphic noting the timeline had skipped ahead to April 2021. We didn’t stay there long, however, as the action immediately jumped back eight months, leaving fans anxious to know how Meredith’s beach would once again come into play.
Picking back up in August 2020, Jo was still wallowing in being rejected from adopting orphaned baby Luna. Her self-pity was short lived, however, as the resilient surgeon jumped out of bed and decided to fight for Luna. It didn’t hurt that she remembered she owns shares of Grey Sloan that she intended to sell to pay for an ace adoption lawyer. (The buyer of Jo’s shares? Recently departed Tom Koracick, who made a brief FaceTime cameo — much to Bailey’s chagrin.)
Before ultimately getting approved for adoption, Jo also got an assist from Link, who agreed to foster Luna (on paper, at least), to buy Jo time to work her magic. Following her success at becoming a mother, Jo truly left Alex behind, and moved into Jackson’s luxurious apartment. Bonus: Jesse Williams mad a cameo, also via FaceTime, in the episode. Actor Camilla Luddington, who plays Jo, was just as overjoyed as fans about her character finally getting a happy outcome.
Meanwhile, Meredith returned to Grey Sloan — not as a patient — and took a very different approach to heading up the intern program than Richard, ultimately (hilariously) stealing Bailey’s joy by nixing traditional grand rounds and rousing speeches. After taking an interest in a COVID patient named Gerlie who’d collapsed in the Grey Sloan parking lot despite having recovered from the disease, Meredith found herself also struggling with lingering long-term COVID effects. By the episode’s end, however, she successfully performed a double lung transplant on Gerlie, so it’s safe to say Dr. Grey is fully back in action. (Oh, and she even got a text from Cristina about performing the same procedure, though that’s as close as fans got to Yang making a comeback this season.)
As for the reason Meredith was back on the beach, she’d put her feet on sand that is real for Maggie and Winton’s wedding — though not the backyard ceremony that had been previewed ahead of the finale. As had also already been teased, Maggie’s father and Winston’s Nana objected to the marriage. Their reason? “This is broke,” Mr. Pierce said, noting he had a savings account for his daughter’s wedding, which Amelia couldn’t even attend because she was on call. It was all love though, so Magston decided to postpone the wedding until they could have a more elaborate ceremony with more than ten guests. When the couple finally jumped the broom (in the April 2021 scene), it was a much grander occasion — and fans even got to see how grown up Meredith and Derek’s kids are now.
In other marital news, Link planned on proposing to Amelia on Christmas morning, but lo and behold, Owen stole his thunder, popping the question to Teddy in a yard filled with synthetic snow. Grey’s fans were miffed both by Owen thwarting Link’s romantic gesture, and the fact that he and Teddy are fully back together, yet again, in the first place.
Not to worry, Link got his chance, though most fans may wish he hadn’t. With the help of Zola, Bailey, and Ellis — and with four rings, no less — he got down on one knee during Maggie and Winston’s beach reception. As had become abundantly clear throughout the episode, they were not on the same page in terms of marriage and more babies, and Amelia needed little more than a look to absolutely break Link’s heart — and the rest of the Grey’s fandom’s along with it.
Although a dejected Link ended up at Jo’s door looking for a place to crash, Grey’s otherwise ended Season 17 on a hopeful note: with the fully vaccinated Grey Sloan staff dancing it out at Maggie and Winston’s wedding, and, soon afterward, happily applauding Meredith’s triumphant return to surgery. And thus begins the long wait for Season 18 to premiere this fall.