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Grey’s Anatomy: ‘Hotter than Hell’ Recap & Review

Thursday night on a new episode of Grey’s Anatomy, the iconic Addison Montgomery returns during a Seattle heatwave. There, she helps Richard teach the residents and does a groundbreaking uterine transplant. But after the hospital’s HVAC system stops working, Addison gets Meredith to help finish the surgery quickly. Side note: I only recently finished binge-watching all of Grey’s Anatomy but I was too excited about Addison’s return to not write about it.

Full Recap

Addison (played by Kate Walsh) and Meredith (played by Ellen Pompeo) doing a uterine transplant surgery together

After Grey Sloan’s new Head of Plastics, Dr. Lin, points out the residents’ lack of skills, Richard’s determined to prove they can be better. So he brings in Addison to help, who, in my opinion, has always been a great teacher. More than that, she brings in a patient of her own: Tovah Freedman. Apparently, Addison’s near the end of a clinical trial for uterine transplants and Tovah’s the last of her trial patients. After presenting, she chooses Schmitt to assist in the surgery. During surgery, Addison asks the residents questions as they’re all seated in the gallery. But when the AC and HVAC system goes out, Richard tells her they’ve gotta finish the surgery fast to decrease the chance of infection. So she tells him to get Meredith for help.

Meanwhile, Winston finds a donor kidney for his patient from last week’s episode. Plus, Dr. Lin, Dr. Bailey, and Dr. Hayes deal with incoming traumas. Which includes kids that went viral. The first involves a kid that burns his buttocks in a video gone wrong. and later, a girl that was in a jet skiing accident. But when the HVAC system goes down, Richard shuts down the ORs. However, Bailey and Hayes still choose to operate on the girl anyway. As for Winston’s patient, he gets Owen to help with the transplant. Plus, he calls Ben, who shows up with a truck that’s apparently equipped for surgery. And both surgeries seem to go just fine. So no drama there.

Addison and Meredith

Meredith (played by Ellen Pompeo) wearing her scrub cap with her head leaning against Addison's (played by Kate Walsh), who's no longer wearing her scrub cap, in the elevator

Once Meredith shows up, the surgery goes by faster as the two catch up. Addison’s a front runner for a Catherine Fox (formerly Harper Avery) award for this transplant. But Meredith’s Parkinsons’ research could beat her transplant. After a slight hiccup, the uterine transplant is a success and both surgeons walk past the other residents with their heads held high. With everyone gossiping about their past, Addison and Meredith both laugh the minute the elevator doors close. But soon after, Addison’s laughs turn to tears as she thinks of Derek. This hospital and Seattle were his home so Addison expected to feel his presence here. But she doesn’t, which makes his death feel that much more real. But Meredith reassures her; he is here. More importantly, he’s in their children, and she invites her to come to meet them.

Then, Addison reassures Meredith. At this point, Meredith hasn’t told Richard (or Bailey, for that matter) that she’s taken the job. But she has to because it means she won’t be able to help Richard with the residents. Addison tells her to fight for it if it’s something she really believes in. So she does. Later, Addison meets Meredith’s kids. But not before Addison and Amelia finally reunite. And it’s a nice callback to a Private Practice scene. And to say that their reunion scene made me so happy inside feels like an understatement. Weirdly, Addison doesn’t meet Ellis (Meredith and Derek’s youngest), but according to Meredith, she’s in a mood. And Meredith seems pretty proud to say she gets that from her. But when Addison meets the (other) kids, they know she’s a friend of their dad’s. She introduces herself but adds that Derek used to call her “Addie”.

Final Thoughts

Addison (played by Kate Walsh) meeting Jo (played by Camilla Luddington)

This episode alone might get me back to being excited about the new season of Grey’s Anatomy. I found the first two episodes back to be pretty slow, in all honesty. Before Addison leaves Seattle again for good, I want to see her interact more with Jo. They had a very short scene in this episode and while Jo’s clearly very excited, Addison just asks her to get her a coffee. It admittedly shows how far back Jo’s sent now that she’s gone into OB (rather than being an attending). But since Addison has a background in OB, I want to see them bond before she leaves. Furthermore, I want the writers to give the residents (other than Schmidt) more of a storyline. Helm really has just become an obsessive fan of Meredith’s. It may have been a nice comedic relief in the beginning, but now it’s just getting annoying.

I’m also still waiting to see when Maggie will come back. I know the actress is expecting and they explain her absence, but it’s still weird. If there were an episode for her to be back, it should’ve been this one to meet Addison. But bringing Addison feels like they’re literally reviving the show back to how good it used to be. Seeing Meredith and Addison reunite made the story come full circle. Derek died after Private Practice ended their six-season run so we never knew how Addison reacted. Plus, Derek’s funeral scene barely lasted 20 seconds so we have no idea if she was even there. But I’d expect that she was. Other than that, I’m excited to see next week’s episode but I’ll undoubtedly be sad to see Addison leave. So the writers will have to keep me interested some other way.

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