Compared to previous episodes this season, “Something Against You” wasn’t quite as dramatic: There was some more Penny and Meredith drama (surprise!), some Jackson and April drama (surprise!), and some Owen and Nathan drama (less of a surprise!).
Penny and Meredith didn’t really make any progress in their rough relationship, though Callie and Penny did get into a bit of a tiff after Callie tried to stand up for her to Meredith. She was just trying to be a good girlfriend – and an advocate for Penny, who could definitely use as many advocates as possible at this point – but Penny blew up at her. It was kind of amusing, actually: Penny momentarily turned into a teenage girl, yelling, “You’re embarrassing me!” to Callie right in front of Meredith. And it worked. Callie moved on, and Penny was left to defend herself to Meredith.
The whole blow-up seemed to prove to Meredith that Penny is a real person and not just That Woman Who Killed Her Husband, something that should help Penny receive better – or at least fairer – treatment in the future.
On that note, race and racism comes up quite a bit. It all starts when the ladies tell Alex about how they’re treated differently because they’re women, and Maggie adds that she’s treated differently because she’s black. Amelia has a naive “No waaaay” reaction to it, foreshadowing later in the episode when she sides with Wilson over Edwards and, as a result, makes Edwards feel like this decision was based off her race.
Amelia goes to Maggie after this conversation to basically affirm that she’s not racist, and Maggie gives her a lesson on white privilege. Literally: “One piece of advice I can give you is if you feel uncomfortable having done it, check your white privilege,” Maggie tells Amelia. It seemed like she was going to say “say sorry,” but nope. “Check your white privilege.”
It’s admirable for Grey’s to address discrimination, but this whole conversation was too stilted to come off naturally or to be as effective as it wanted to be. Amelia bumbled about and seemed completely unaware of the fact that, oh, yeah, she might have said something racist, and Maggie’s monologue sounded more like a PSA (a good one, at that!) than a powerful moment in a TV drama. But Amelia did seem to learn something from that, and that’s what really matters, right?