This week's episode of Grey's Anatomy culminated with Catherine finally sharing the angst tied to her cancer diagnosis with Jackson and Webber, and although her breakdown was cathartic, it was definitely the calm before the storm. It was only a matter of time before Catherine faced the truth about her health, and with her secret out in the open now, she's taking steps toward potential recuperation. Grey's Anatomy veterans know by now that trouble brews whenever one of the doctors faces his or her own medical issues, and Catherine's cancer is no exception. The Grey's Anatomy Season 15 Episode 11 promo suggests that Catherine could falter during surgery, but let's hold our breath before anticipating a heartbreaking funeral.
Failing to save a woman's uterus during a complicated surgery in Jan. 24's "Help, I'm Alive," Catherine (Debbie Allen) accepted that her own body was failing her. Afterwards, Jackson (Jesse Williams) and Webber (James Pickens Jr.) finally confronted her about telling Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) and Koracick (Greg Germann) about her tumor before she told them. The family conversation was initially terse, but the episode ended with the insistence that Catherine and her loved ones would fight her cancer with fury.
Now that her husband and son have voiced their upset with how Catherine handled her diagnosis, it's time for the family to begin this fiery fighting. The promo for Jan. 31's "The Winner Takes It All" shows Catherine feeling confident as she enters surgery, but an unexpected complication presents the doctors with the possibility of losing her. Webber is seen frantically watching the operation from above, while Jackson weeps alongside Maggie in the hallway. Are those tears more than just a red herring?
The episode appears to carry a theme of connecting with family when time is short, as ABC's synopsis reads:
Amelia and Koracick tackle a daunting surgery on Catherine while Richard and Jackson hope for the best. Meanwhile, Richard urges Meredith to visit her father, Thatcher (Jeff Perry), before his time is up.
When fans last heard about Meredith's dad, he was battling leukemia and only had a few weeks to live. Thanks to the slow progress of Teddy's pregnancy, we all know that the Grey's Anatomy timeline is a little wonky compared to real time, and Thatcher Grey's health seems to be another sign of the show's delayed reality. His condition was first revealed in a post-Halloween episode earlier this season, so he has either lasted longer than doctors expected or the folks at Grey Sloan Memorial are in a very convoluted time warp. With Jackson possibly on the brink of losing his mother, here's hoping that Meredith takes his struggle as a sign to reach out to Thatcher.
Fans have long speculated that the current Grey's Anatomy season could possibly kill off Webber, as the original character lacked intriguing storylines following his marriage to Catherine. But now, with Catherine seemingly in critical condition, does the show plan to make Webber's heartbreak a focal point in Season 15's second half? We'll have to wait and see what's ahead for this power couple after Catherine goes into surgery.
Season 15 of Grey's Anatomy continues on Thursday, Jan. 31 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.