“Transplant Wasteland” – Grey’s Anatomy

       

This is a prime example of a case where the episode’s title is far more exciting than the episode itself. “Transplant Wasteland” sounds like an epic movie along the lines of Repo! The Genetic Opera but, y’know… not terrible. There’d be a bunch of explosions and a central love story between a dorky teen and a hot girl who’s being hunted for her liver. Michael Bay would probably direct it. That’s not this episode. This episode should probably just have been called “Teething Issues”. That way, we wouldn’t have gotten our hopes up.

It’s not that the episode is bad, per se. It’s just that it doesn’t live up to Grey’s usual standards. It all felt a little like an interim episode. One that they only needed to bridge the gap between one state of being and the next – which is appropriate, given the subject matter of the episode, but takes much of the enjoyment out of it.

The episode centered on Avery’s transition as head of the Board of Directors, everyone’s inability to run the hospital without Owen, who quit early on, Alex and Jo’s continuing sexual tension, and three simultaneous organ transplants. Though the plot should have kept us on the edge of our seat throughout, it was disappointingly predictable from the offset. Of course Avery would be a mess until he stood up to the Board and to his mother, winning over the Board in the process. Of course Owen would come back to the hospital. Of course Jo would start falling for Alex. Of course the organ transplants would go perfectly. It couldn’t have been any other way.

The one bright spark, ironically, was Kepner’s arc. As she dealt with the voluntary death of a friend and former co-worker, we got some of the touching and emotional fare Grey’s is so good at.

And a final touching moment came with (yet another) new name for the hospital, one that was all Avery: The Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. It has a nice to ring to it. – K

Quoteworthy: “I thought she might cut someone to get you that kidney.” – Meredith, to Alex, about Jo

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“Bad Blood” – Grey’s Anatomy

Do you ever feel like you just watched a whole episode of a show and have no idea how they made a full 42 minutes out of the material? Yeah. That’s how I feel after watching “Bad Blood”. The staff at SGMW had to deal with the uncertainty of not having a future. Bailey sucked up to the visiting lecturers to save her job, right up until Webber’s non-violent protest. Arizona and Torres argued over the best way to treat other people. The interns were all terrified about getting fired. The hospital had newly installed cameras that were intended to monitor patients. (They were manned by Bob. I like Bob.) Derek and April spent the episode trying to convince other departments to take funding cuts and make sacrifices so the hospital wouldn’t have to close the ER. Cahill assisted Owen on the final trauma surgery to come through SGMW. She closed the ER anyway, because she’s not trying to save the hospital. She’s making it pretty enough to sell. Guess we’re going to have a few months of uncertainty as we wait to see who’s going to buy it. Oh. Wait. Didn’t I already predict that the plane crash survivors would buy it? I’m standing by that. – K

Quoteworthy:

“There’s no talking to that girl. It’s dark in there. Really dark.”

“Karev!”

“I’m serious. That girl turned me into a suicide risk.”

– Karev, Callie

“Walking on a Dream” – Grey’s Anatomy

So much happened this week, and yet nothing did. I was able to achieve the unprecedented milestone of fitting all of my notes from a 42-minute-format show onto one page. What? But it still felt as though the episode was jam-packed with info. Aside from Arizona’s phantom-limb pain, maybe it focused a little more than usual on the medicine – albeit with a staff-centric slant. One case was designed to showcase Shane’s incompetence and to highlight that, although he’s a genius, he still has a lot to learn. The other was designed to test Derek’s newly-working hand. All of this was overshadowed by the presence of a former student of Webber’s, Alana Cahill (Constance Zimmer, House of CardsJoan of Arcadia), the hospital’s physician advisor, there to examine the hospital’s efficiency and see where they can save money. I thought the hospital was going to be declaring bankruptcy and closing its doors, so when did they decide that, actually, all they needed to do was tighten belts? Regardless, Cahill lets them know that, to stay open, they have to close their ER. No one’s exactly happy about it but, when Derek raises objections, Bailey smacks him down with a very pointed “some of us don’t have a few million to fall back on”. We have to agree with that – the plane crash survivors seemed to be oblivious, up to that point, to the fact that the hospital was in financial difficulties because of them. We’re also presented with the potential loss of Webber. There might be an interesting few weeks ahead. – K

Quoteworthy: “I just left a surgery because there’s pain in a part of me that no longer exists…” – Arizona 

“The End is the Beginning is the End” – Grey’s Anatomy

“The End is the Beginning is the End” saw the plane crash storyline come to an end… oh wait. It didn’t. Can it soon, please? It has now surpassed the shooting in terms of repercussions. And I know that a plane crash that nearly killed off all of the hospital’s best staff members is a big deal, but can we please move onto something new now? Yes, Grey’s does need a deep and recurring plot point every season – something to make us forget that nothing happens in the hospital except for call-room sex and partner swapping – but I think, at this point, it might have been okay just to have a simple resolution and move on to the next disaster. Could everyone not just have been happy with their $15 million each for a few weeks?

No. Apparently not. Because apparently the hospital’s insurance is refusing to pay due to a technicality, and Seattle Grace Mercy West is going to have to declare bankruptcy and close its doors to pay the settlements. So now we’re going to be subjected to a minimum of three weeks of everyone (with the possible exception of Callie, or maybe Derek) refusing to take the money and Owen refusing to not pay it. And then either someone else will buy the hospital, the ‘victims’ will use the money from the settlement to buy the hospital, or they’ll finally convince Owen they don’t want the money at all. Why couldn’t we just have done all of that in this episode?!

Other things that happened: Jo and Alex’s ‘friendship’ grew (they’ll be friends for, at most, another month before it turns into something more than plutonic); Meredith finally announced that she’s pregnant; Derek and Shane played ping-pong; Kepner regretted not marrying Jackson (he and Steph probably won’t last, though, so she has nothing to worry about); Jackson stepped out from under Sloan’s shadow; and Webber felt guilty for all of a week about cheating on Adele, then went back to Catherine.

In conclusion: please let the countdown begin to the end of this disaster, and the beginning of the next one! – K

Quoteworthy:

“Mo’ money, mo’ problems…”

“I should’ve been on that damn plane.” – Cristina, Alex

“Things We Said Today” – Grey’s Anatomy

This was a medical case (finally) that I cared about! But how could you not? I mean, who doesn’t love biker gangs and contravening expectations! When the gang leader didn’t kill the accountant who nearly killed them all, instead offering to let him join the club, it was actually quite sweet.

The rest of the episode unfolded in more or less predictable fashion. It was a nice break from the overly serious, though, as talk of the plane crash was basically shelved and the unconsciousness of Shepherd meant we didn’t have to deal with Meredith’s usual handwringing and his recent sulking. With the exception of Adele’s surgery, it was about as light-hearted as Grey’s gets – just what I needed.

As the wedding is put on indefinite hold while Bailey is in surgery with Adele, the couples peel away and we get a chance to see them all interacting. Torres and Arizona are getting back on track and are cuter and closer than ever. Jackson and Stephanie totally hook up. Shane completely misreads Kepner and completely embarrasses himself. But I’m on his side. I’m seeing sparks, too, and I don’t think it will be long before they’re an item. Cristina and Owen signed their divorce papers but have by no means broken up. Owen finally realized that they were perfect before their wedding, and that it was trying to put their relationship into a tidy little box that killed it. No marriage, no problem. I’m excited to see the next leg of that particular tumultuous love affair.

Hands down, though, my favorite new/potential couple of the week has to be Alex and Jo. As they compete over whose childhood was shittier and use “the number one weapon of the street child” to get free stuff, I couldn’t help but laugh along with them and hope, more than I ever did before, that these two end up together. Jo is everything that Izzy wasn’t, and might be just the person for Alex. Finally. I’ve always kind of rooted for him.

I also suddenly loved Bailey’s fiancée, Ben, as he reassured her, and us, that her ambition would never get in the way and that he would love her forever, even if he only gets to see her for five minutes every couple of months. He’s actually kind of adorable.

But this is Grey’s, and no amount of happiness and joy can get in the way of a real downer! As Bailey and Ben enjoy their first dance, Webber arrives at the wedding and tells Meredith that Adele has died. As the image of Bailey and Ben fades to one of Adele and Richard dancing, and as the music changes seamlessly from Ed Sheeran’s “Kiss Me” to “My Funny Valentine”, Grey’s has once again moved me to tears. Damn it. ­– K

Quoteworthy:

“Do you want me to put it back on?”

“Are you kidding?! Don’t ever put it back on!”

– Jackson, Stephanie

“Run, Baby, Run” – Grey’s Anatomy

        Image copyright ABC (2012)

Grey’s Anatomy’s Christmas cliffhanger revolves around Bailey making it to her wedding. Which is a little unusual, because you’d think they’d be giving a little of the attention to the fact that Webber’s Alzheimer-ridden wife, Adele, is coughing up blood and may not live through the hiatus. But, no. Shonda Rhimes seems to want us to focus entirely on Bailey ditching her wedding to that guy whose name I can never remember and genuinely don’t care about. … You can tell how invested I am in this match working out. Which is potentially why Rhimes is painting Bailey as the runaway bride. I can’t be the only person to lose complete interest in her relationship with that guy who moved away to LA. Out of sight, out of mind, and soon out of Bailey’s life? But I feel like when I watch the post-holiday episode they’ll sort it all out and will probably go through with the wedding.

The rest of the episode was fairly standard fare, with many fraught emotions and much rending of hair. Meredith is refusing to get excited about her pregnancy because she doesn’t believe she can carry to term. Derek’s sister, Lizzy, hates Meredith a little bit because Meredith never let them into her family. Then they’re friends. Aww. Derek has his hand surgery with all bad grace. Alex tries to mentor Wilson but ends up letting her put a hole in a kid’s stomach. She flips out and tells Arizona he had no business letting her near a surgery like that, so Alex hates her now. Which makes it super awkward that she’s his surprise date to Bailey’s misfire wedding. That happened because Kepner and Jackson think that if they don’t bring dates to the wedding they won’t be able to keep their hands off each other (*eye roll*). So Kepner tells Jackson to bring Stephanie (who’s Stephanie, you ask? Why she’s Grumpy Intern) and Jackson tells Kepner to bring Shane. I think Kepner’s about to go full cougar. Torres finally snaps at Arizona about her leg, which works, in a sense. And Yang discovers (and I don’t know how I didn’t put this together until last night) that Owen is only divorcing her because he blames himself for the crash and he wants her, and everyone else involved, to get the best compensation that they can. So she tells him that before he asked for the divorce she was going to ask if they could try again. All the smooches.

So, in many ways, a traditionally predictable Grey’s from start to finish. But I am interested in whether Adele survives. Luckily I don’t have long to wait to find out. – K

Quoteworthy: “There comes a point where you have to suck it up and stop whining and start living!” – Torres, to Arizona

“Love Turns You Upside Down” – Grey’s Anatomy

        Image copyright ABC (2012)

Continuing the trend of intern episodes being the best episodes (I’m still surprised to be saying that, but maybe what Grey’s really needed was new blood), this episode was enjoyable to the max! I even, for the first time in a couple of seasons, cared about the medicine. Even though I was misguided in that caring (I made assumptions about a case. I was wrong), for once I was invested, and that made all the difference.

The entire episode was focused on the interns. And I may have learned some new names! Maybe. Honestly I’m not sure about one of them. Is there a Mia? But until the next episode I won’t know if any of them have stuck. I now know that Mac is Brooks and Grumpy is Edwards. But whether I remember that with a week or so between viewings is, as yet, unclear. I haven’t been given a particularly good reason to learn either of them. I have to admit, it was close with Edwards. She seemed to have a heart and seemed slightly less mercenary than the one who may or may not be called Mia. But then she was exactly as mercenary and she faded into relative obscurity again. What I have learned this week, names aside, is that I actually like all of them. Most of them, anyway. Can’t warm to ‘Maybe Mia’.

While it may remain doubtful whether I learn the names of Mac, Grumpy and ‘Maybe Mia’, those of Jo Wilson and Shane Ross are becoming ever more firmly cemented in my mind thanks to this episode in which they both truly shone. He was fantastic, demonstrating excellent comic timing, generosity of spirit, positivity in the face of misery and gross enthusiasm. Not to mention that he appears to be a dab hand at medicine and is (very nearly) the only one who was successful at buttering up their attending. The other one to succeed was Wilson, of course, though I get the feeling that neither of them were trying (even more impressive, really). Wilson’s story – aside from the medicine, at which she, too, excels – centered on her discovering that she has a reputation as a Prissy Princess. She’s not. In a moment that ably showed off her acting chops, she told Alex exactly how little she’s a princess. Abandoned at a young age, bounced around foster homes, living in her car from the age of 16… A bleak picture, but it gives us a glimpse of the person Wilson is. We also see her forming a bond, almost definitely romantic in nature, with Alex. All reasons why I am content to call her by her actual name. Hopefully her comrades will earn that dubious honor soon! – K

Quoteworthy: “I’m here because I want to be. All I ever wanted to be was a surgeon and now Torres just chose me to scrub in on one of the coolest surgeries I will ever see because of you. You gave me 27 solo procedures yesterday. At least one of them saved a woman’s life. I’m grateful for this job and I’m grateful to you. I’m hardly slumming it.” – Shane, to Kepner. Aww!

PS Derek’s sister Lizzy has arrived in Seattle to donate a nerve for Derek’s hand surgery. A surgery on which Shane will be assisting because he’s an all ‘round stellar guy. 

People’s Choice Awards, 2013

           

The People’s Choice Awards 2013 took place in LA last night. And I have to say I felt like certain shows, certain actors, were completely robbed. And therein lies the problem with the People’s Choice Awards. Prizes are awarded not necessarily on merit but on the sheer voting power of supporters. Though I must concede that my outrage plays into that very same central tenet. The recipients of each award are, at the end of the day, the people’s choice and my sense of injustice on behalf of many of the losing parties stems from exactly what drove people to vote for the winners – personal preference. And yet it’s not quite that simple. The Awards are part opinion and part drive. That drive comes from the nominees themselves, often in the form of mawkish ‘Vote for me! Vote for me!’ tweets that show only a desire to win and to be able to boast of being the people’s choice. The victors are not crowned, necessarily, based on quality of performance or clever writing or overall watchability, but on how good they are at getting out the vote. This is underlined in music and film categories with The Hunger Games beating out the likes of The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises for Favorite Action Movie (despite boasting, arguably, far less action and far worse writing) and Katy Perry unfailingly winning every category she was nominated in. These victories don’t prove that the winners were the best at what they did, only that their fan bases were.

Bearing that in mind, here are the winners of the TV categories from this year’s awards:

Favorite Network TV Comedy: The Big Bang Theory

Favorite Cable TV Comedy: Awkward.

Favorite Premium Cable TV Show: True Blood

Favorite TV Crime Drama: Castle

Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Show: Supernatural

Favorite Comedic TV Actor: Chris Colfer

Favorite Comedic TV Actress: Lea Michele

Favorite Dramatic TV Actor: Nathan Fillion

Favorite Dramatic TV Actress: Ellen Pompeo

Favorite Daytime TV Host: The Ellen DeGeneres Show

Favorite Late Night Talk Show Host: Jimmy Fallon

Favorite New Talk Show Host: Steve Harvey

Favorite Competition TV Show: The X Factor

Favorite Celebrity Judge: Demi Lovato

Favorite TV Fan Following: SPNFamily (Supernatural)

Favorite New TV Comedy: The New Normal

Favorite New TV Drama: Beauty & The Beast

So some big surprises and some wins that we could have seen coming a mile off. Which do you think deserved their accolades and which categories do you feel passed over more deserving recipients? And, finally, we’ve never watched The New Normal or Beauty & The Beast… should we? – K

“I Was Made for Lovin’ You” – Grey’s Anatomy

      Image copyright ABC (2012)

Intern of the week: Shane Ross, the former Smash Williams. I have learned his name because we got a taste of what he can do. Unlike Cristina, I’m not swayed by medical ability. I’m swayed by humanity. The way he became so invested in the life of his patient (to the point where an unfavorable prognosis brought him to tears) made us realize that he’s not just ambitious and peppy. He’s got a heart and he’s not afraid to let that show. So welcome to the pack Dr Ross.

The rest of the episode wasn’t exactly thrilling. It was good in the same way every episode of Grey’s is good – it was watchable; it didn’t require much thought; it was emotional and it was funny.

Arizona is back at work. Everyone’s treating her as if they expect her to break. Then she falls over and everyone freaks out but she’s laughing because she’s finally come to terms with everything. Which is good. I hated cranky Arizona. Bailey is planning a Christmas wedding. Kepner thought she was pregnant. Avery proposed to her. Then she found out she wasn’t pregnant and decided she didn’t want to marry him anymore. She’s such a dick. Our plane crash survivors sued the hospital. The hospital is standing by Owen and offering full support because, as we find out later, he’s married to Cristina and they want the judge to throw it out of court for conflict of interest (if Owen is found to be neglectful or whatever, Cristina stands to make a fortune). Oh yeah. The crash was his fault, apparently. Derek and Torres are working on Derek’s hand. Cristina realizes she wants to be with Owen but, just as she’s about to tell him, he tells her he wants a divorce. Meredith’s hostile womb is pregnant.

A Grey baby! Bet you five bucks she calls it Lexie/Alex. – K

 

Quoteworthy: “You almost make me want to learn your name.” – Cristina to Angry Intern. Almost but not quite, Angry Intern

“Second Opinion” – Grey’s Anatomy

       

I feel really bad for those lawyers or damage assessors or whatever they are. The people who are dealing with the aftermath of the crash. They must really hate working at that fucking hospital. Every day, they almost get a resolution, and then someone comes in and has an emotional epiphany. They must just go home every night and sit gibbering in a corner, asking ‘why me’.

All in all, though, great episode! Stuff happened with the usual cast – Bailey got Arizona not only walking but out in public, Cristina met the new cardio chief (Jeff Russell, played by Dominic Hoffman, The Mentalist) and he gave her free rein, Alex bought Meredith’s house, Avery admitted he had feelings for Kepner, the gang was meeting with the lawyers/damage assessors/whatever and we found out that they’re recommending that the gang sue Owen and the hospital for damages – but the bits I enjoyed most (and I’m shocked at this myself) revolved around the interns. We got a taste of who they are. They interacted with the old guard and demonstrated their worth, FINALLY! I now know that tall, skinny girl is neurotic (and reminded me of my boy-obsessed self), Mac is socially awkward, Smash is super enthusiastic, and Wilson (who has earned the dubious honor of being the only one whose name I have learned and will remember) is tenacious, determined and sweet. She’s also most likely to be Karev’s new woman. She was staunchly anti-him until she saw him with her patient and then, suddenly, it was as though she saw him with new eyes. Plus, if you squint a little, she kinda looks like Izzy.

About time they found time for the new guys! I’m looking forward to seeing their involvement with the show growing, now. – K

 

Quoteworthy: “As many of you will wash out or be fired, I won’t waste time learning your names for at least a year.” – Cristina, to the interns


PS – Ahhhh! It’s Pelant! Somebody call Seeley Booth!