Grey's Anatomy Gave Billy Boyd A Moving Gun Control Story On Parkland Anniversary

Billy Boyd as Seamus in Grey's Anatomy Season 15 Episode 13

Spoiler alert: Spoilers ahead on Grey's Anatomy Season 15, Episode 13, "I Walk the Line."

Grey's Anatomy honored the one-year anniversary of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in a relatively subtle way. Relatively because it wasn't the main storyline of the February 14 episode, "I Walk the Line," but the plot followed a shooting during a parade.

The Lord of the Rings star Billy Boyd (Pippin) was part of a group of Scottish bagpipers who were playing in a parade when his son was shot. They rushed the boy to Grey Sloan for treatment.

During the episode, Billy Boyd's character, Seamus, mentioned a real-life shooting that happened in Scotland in 1996. During the Dunblane school massacre, 16 children and a teacher were killed before the shooter killed himself. It was the deadliest mass shooting in British history. As Seamus said on the show, after it happened, they issued new gun laws and it has yet to happen again.

Grey's Anatomy is no stranger to sending messages through storylines -- political, cultural, social, sometimes personal -- and this was its way of addressing mass shootings on the Parkland anniversary, without having a mass school shooting storyline. Plus, in this fictional case, the boy who was shot got to live. So it was hopeful more than tragic, and just one moving storyline of many.

The episode was directed by Kevin McKidd, who also plays Owen Hunt, and both he and Billy Boyd are Scottish. So it was a way to share their real-life history -- which maybe not all Grey's Anatomy fans knew about -- and tie it into the U.S. shooting that took place on February 14, 2018.

Billy Boyd may still be best known to many fans for his role as Pippin in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but Outlander fans recently saw him on screen as Neil Forbes, and he's been picking up other episode guest roles in the past few years.

Last night's episode of Grey's Anatomy was a big one on the famous guest star front. Jennifer Grey made her debut as Carol Dickinson, Betty/Brittany's mother. We know she will be back on Grey's as Betty's parents fight Owen for custody of Betty's son Leo. That is going to get ugly.

Margaret Avery, aka Shug Avery in The Color Purple, also had a guest role as patient Lucille. Her storyline with two men -- one her husband, one her best friend -- inspired Teddy Altman (Kim Raver) to tell Tom Koracick (Greg Germann) that Owen would always just be her best friend. Teddy and Koracick are now officially a thing.

Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) and Andrew DeLuca (Giacomo Gianniotti) are close to being a thing as well, whether just for now or forever. Joe Karev (Camilla Luddington) isn't happy with Mer blowing off her old friend Link (Chris Carmack), who is apparently the odd man out at this point. No love interest for him.

Grey's Anatomy Season 15 continues Thursday, February 21 with Episode 14, "I Want a New Drug," airing at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. Don't forget that Derek and Amelia's long lost sister is showing up soon. Here's what else is playing on TV during the 2019 midseason.

Gina Carbone

Gina grew up in Massachusetts and California in her own version of The Parent Trap. She went to three different middle schools, four high schools, and three universities -- including half a year in Perth, Western Australia. She currently lives in a small town in Maine, the kind Stephen King regularly sets terrible things in, so this may be the last you hear from her.