Grey's Anatomy staged a big family reunion in its latest episode with a heartbreaking twist. The ABC medical drama introduced Richard Webber's niece and brother — staging a real-life reunion for star Maggie's Kelly McCreary — who arrived at the hospital in search of help with a surprising medical emergency. The episode also saw Catherine Fox return to Seattle, to find out what she has missed in her son and her husband's lives.
Spoilers ahead for Grey's Anatomy Season 16, Episode 7: "Papa Don't Preach"
Early in the episode Maggie (Kelly McCreary) runs into Catherine (Debbie Allen) at Grey Sloan Memorial, who admits she is happy to be operating again after her long exit. The conversation turned awkward as Maggie told Catherine how things have been going since Tom (Greg Germann) was hired to oversee the hospital, and inviting her and Jackson (Jesse Williams) to dinner.
Before Maggie could update her mother-in-law/stepmom about the status of her relationship, Catherine had already left her talking to herself.
At Pac North, Richard (James Pickens Jr.) ran into Gemma (Jasmine Guy) for the first time since their awkward breakfast meeting where she propositioned him. She was outraged at his instinct to ignore him, apologized for her past actions and begged to let her make it right.
She asks him for coffee, but Richard dismisses her saying it's not a good idea.
At Grey Sloan, Maggie rants to Jackson about nor breaking the news of their breakup when she is distracted by a woman asking for Richard. She approaches them and Sabrina (Kelly's real-life sister Crystal McCreary) reveals she is her cousin. The visit leads to Maggie driving the family members she hasn't met before to Pac North, and finding out some of the bad blood between their families.
Upon their arrival, Sabrina celebrates seeing her uncle for the first time in years. She starts to lose her breath and then shows him a photo of a massive tumor in her heart. As she is examined, Sabrina reveals she has barely had symptoms despite her serious condition.
Sabrina and Maggie bond over her relationship drama as they wait to get scans. Maggie later admits to Richard she is happy to meet a relative who looks like her. Richard revealed he is estranged from his family because they resented his success after he left his hometown. He admitted he did not share the news of meeting her with his family because he wanted to protect her from their negative feelings.
The scans show Sabrina's tumor has grown even more. Richard warns the tumor might kill her any second and Maggie volunteers to do the surgery. Sabrina does not agree to having family operate on her. The discussion leads to a tough conversation between them, which Richard breaks up by siding with his brother's concerns and benching Maggie.
Things take a turn when Sabrina starts to crash, with the emergency leading Richard to change his mind and let her operate.
After Richard has an awkward conversation with his brother and he walks away, Gemma arrives and sits with her friend. As she comforts him for his unfortunate family history, Catherine walks in and suspects something might be going on between them.
Richard maintains there is nothing going on with Gemma, but Catherine says he is defending himself too much. Outside, Catherine and Gemma run into each other. Catherine tries to poach her away from the hospital as a way to take her out of her husband's life. In surgery, a complication leads to a tense moment where Maggie has to tell the Pac North doctors what to do before Sabrina dies.
As they wait for the outcome of the surgery, Richard makes amends with his brother as they bond for their love for their respective daughters. Sadly, the surgery complication ends with Sabrina dying on the table. Alex (Justin Chambers) helps Maggie gather herself before breaking the sad news to her family.
Will we ever recover from this episode? Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.