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