Penny. Pretty Penny. She’s all anyone can think about at Grey Sloan Memorial. Callie is feeling broken hearted and confused, Meredith wants to rise above, and Amelia is furious. Should be a fun first day, no?
Penny knows the deck is stacked against her when she steps into the hospital that first day. Of course, the first familiar face she runs into is Callie, who tries to be kind but Penny cuts her off. She doesn’t need Callie to pretend for her sake, though it’s pretty obvious that Callie isn’t pretending.
Penny gets another dose of reality when she finds out she’s on Meredith’s service that day. Bailey tries to intercept Meredith beforehand, offering to let Richard sub in for her, or even Bailey herself, but Meredith declines. She’s going to rip this bandaid off even if it takes all the scab with it.
Penny reports for duty, looking like she might puke, but Meredith puts her to work right away so theres not much time for awkwardness—well, at least for them. Their first patient is a pastor who fell down the stairs after he accidentally sent a sex tape to his entire congregation. He wins—his day is going to be the worst.
While the pastor is freaking, Meredith pulls Penny and Deluca aside for their assessment of the patient. Penny misses a step and Meredith comes down on her hard. They take the pastor to get a CT, and when Amelia catches sight of Penny, all the air goes out of the room. Penny tries to make a joke but it’s awful and awkward, and Meredith sends her away. Amelia can’t believe that Penny is on Mer’s service, but Mer tells her they should both be taking the high road. Alas, that road is bumpy and full of potholes and roadblocks.
Penny and Deluca join Meredith in the OR to do a little surgery on the pastor. Poor Deluca can’t get a word in edgewise because Meredith is dialed in on Penny. Meredith tells Penny to guide her through the surgery, and name every step along the way.
Penny thinks she’s doing a bang up job in the surgery, until Richard comes in to check on her and Meredith tells him she missed a step and would have killed the patient. Oof. Penny is all like, “Duh, I would have done that if I was doing the surgery,” but Meredith doesn’t care. She was to give detailed instructions and she missed an important step. In one respect, Mer is being super hard on Penny because she can be. In another, Penny needs to step it up. Even though she might think she’s a capable doctor, she has to prove herself all over again here.
Penny walks past Callie in the hall and Callie stops to ask her what’s wrong. Penny is at her wits end. She’s doubting herself left and right under Meredith’s watch. Callie offers to talk to Meredith for her, but Penny says no. She’ll figure it out on her own.
Richard confronts Meredith about the way she’s been treating Penny. He doesn’t like it one bit. Richard thinks Mer is hazing her, and he admits that he looked into her records. That means he knew about Derek, which sends Meredith off.