Meredith Grey‘s character in the hit medical drama ‘Grey’s Anatomy‘ is extremely traumatized with a dark past. Most of its credit goes to Meredith’s parents. While her father abandons the family when she’s quite young, her mother blames her for practically that goes wrong. Later, the mother gets diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, making the situation worse.
While Meredith naturally holds a lot of anger against her father for abandoning her, she does meet him later on the show. The man is full of resentment after he comes back. But as the show progresses, she realizes he has more to disappoint her. Here’s everything you need to know about Meredith Grey’s father on the show ‘Grey’s Anatomy‘.
Meredith’s Father Thatcher Grey Abandoned Her When She Was Five
Thatcher Grey, the father of Meredith Grey is an extremely flawed character on the show ‘Grey’s Anatomy‘. His relationship with Meredith Grey plays an important role in shaping her character arc. While she spends her entire life hating the man, she gradually finds it difficult to keep hating him after he comes back into her life.
Thatcher Grey’s entire character is marked by the flawed ways he handles his relationships. The man gets married to Ellis Grey, with whom he has a daughter, Meredith. But his marriage crumbles Meredith is just five. The narrative further gets darker as her mother Ellis goes on to have an extramarital affair.
Thatcher soon abandons the family, leaving his 5-year-old daughter with a lot of unanswered questions. Meredith spends most of her life despising him, which is perhaps also where her abandonment and attachment issues stem from.
Thatcher, meanwhile, finds love again with Susan Grey. With his second wife, he shares two daughters, Lexie and Molly. Even after he meets his first daughter Meredith after two decades of abandonment, he keeps his second family hidden from her. Meredith accidentally finds out about it, further worsening her issues.
The emotional twists in Thatcher’s life unfold as Meredith confronts him after he comes back to her almost 20 years later. In one particular visit, she questions why he left and why he didn’t fight harder for her mother. Meredith doesn’t get the answers of her questions, as Thatcher tells her about the bad marriage they had. Meredith leaves, seeking no connection with him.
Thatcher resurfaces when one of his daughters Molly faces a medical crisis at Seattle Grace Hospital. This is when Meredith accidentally finds out that Thatcher as another family. When the truth comes out in from of the whole family, Thatcher’s second wife Susan encourages the father-daughter duo to bond. The complexities of their familial relationships become more prominent during this time.
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Thatcher’s Character Gets More Layered After Reconciling With Meredith
The show has further featured some family dinners, Susan’s health struggles, and Meredith’s growing resentment that highlight the intricacies of the relationship Meredith shares with her father. Susan plays a crucial role in their reconciliation. When Susan faces a severe health issue, Thatcher and Meredith find an unexpected bond, speculating that Susan orchestrated it to bring them together.
Unfortunately, Susan succumbs to complications in surgery. In the grief that follows, Thatcher’s pain manifests in a violent outburst towards Meredith, wherein he blames her for Susan’s death. The heartbreaking episode is perhaps the tipping point of Meredith’s love for her father in spite of the problems they share.
Thatcher’s life takes a dark turn after Susan’s death as he battles alcoholism. The once-loving father turns into a casualty of addiction, with mood swings and erratic behavior. His journey through rehabilitation and reconciliation with his daughters adds another layer of intricacy to his character.
Some other important narratives that shape his character include liver disease, a successful transplant that Meredith herself gets involved in, and a Christmas reunion. Yet, the shadows of his past continue to linger.
The final chapters of his life are marked by a diagnosis of Acute Myeloid Leukemia, leading to hospice care. In a reunion with Meredith, Thatcher shares regrets and stories. The final breath comes as he recounts his life and mistakes, offering heartfelt apologies to his daughter by his side.
‘Grey’s Anatomy‘ is not short of complex characters. But Thatcher Grey’s story is not just his own — it also makes a severe impact on Meredith’s character. Above it all, he shows how a flawed human being can love and be loved.
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