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It’s not even particularly taking a stance on gun control so much as it is reminding people how important gun safety is, particularly where children are involved.
The stat shared in the post-episode PSA—that nine kids are shot every 24 hours—is deeply upsetting.
And honestly, on a more macro scale, reminding people about gun safety is probably more important than making a flawless episode of TV.
But as a piece of entertainment, “Trigger Happy” suffers a bit when it tries to insert its gun safety message. It turns out she owns a gun because having one made her feel safe back when she was living in her car as a teenager. I don’t want it.” Not only is Jo’s logic is flawed (why does owning a gun for protection in an incredibly dangerous situation imply she didn’t value her life?
But after seeing the horror of gun violence first hand (is this really the first time she’s worked on a gunshot patient? ), the bigger problem is that her transformation comes too easily in order to better drive home the episode’s message that owning a gun without taking the responsibility seriously is immature. The gun stuff works better when it’s used to explore character rather than make a social point.
) she tells Alex, “Back then I didn’t value my life all that much. I was a little confused by Maggie’s reactions throughout the episode—particularly her cruel interrogation of the babysitter—but I ultimately liked the reveal that Maggie has grown deeply attached to Meredith’s kids and this accident is a terrifying reminder of how easily kids can hurt themselves.
As an only child with (I guess) not much of an extended family, Maggie never had to deal with the idea of loving someone far more vulnerable than her.
In the end, Meredith admits there’s an element of parenting that’s so terrifying you just have to not think about it.
Their final scene is simultaneously sad, honest, and hopeful in a really lovely way.
While we don’t quite spend enough time with the mothers of the boys involved in the shooting for their characters to really land, Amelia gets a rare chance to shine as she cuts through the larger arguments about guns, safety, and parental responsibility to focus on Peter, the kid who accidentally shot his friend.
Hey, remember when the doctors of Seattle Grace-Mercy West lived through a terrifying shooting incident that left several of their friends dead and many more wounded? Okay, Alex briefly mentions that he was once shot in the chest, but for the most part this is an episode about the horrors of gun violence that almost entirely ignores the horrific massacre that took place in Grey’s iconic sixth season finale. If you think those traumatic events might come up as the doctors discuss gun control, you’d be writing a stronger episode than this one.
Meredith watched her husband get shot in front of her and then tried to convince the shooter to kill her instead of finishing him off. Even weirder, the story of an 8-year-old kid accidentally shooting his best friend and leaving him paralyzed shares equal screen time with a plot about the difficulties of… Grey’s mashes up heart-wrenching patient stories with lighter rom com stuff all the time, but the juxtaposition is especially jarring here because Grey’s wants “Trigger Happy” to be both a regular ole episode that touches on all the show’s ongoing plotlines and a “very special episode” that ends with a gun safety PSA.
That’s why we get a bizarre scene in which every single surgeon in the hospital gathers in the ambulance bay to watch the 8-year-old gunshot victim arrive while a melancholy pop song plays.