“Readiness is All” – Grey’s Anatomy

Screen Shot 2013-05-15 at 2.23.15 PMPretty standard fare from this week’s Grey’s, but sufficient to tee us up for a tension-filled and possibly fatal finale. The big stories of the week remained Bailey, Karev and Wilson, and Owen and Ethan. There were no real surprises in any of these, with the exception of the revelation that it was Wilson who almost beat Jason to death, not Karev. Richard got Bailey back into surgery. Owen finally admitted that he wanted to adopt Ethan so, predictably, Yang fixed Ethan’s dad.

The will-she-won’t-she cheating arc came to a head by episode’s end, with Arizona and Lauren wrapped in a steamy embrace in an on-call room. The big surprise of the episode came in the form of Matthew’s flash-mob proposal to Kepner, which she accepted. As the episode closes, each of our characters (with the exception of Alex and Wilson who have finally realized how they feel about each other and are at Alex’s house) is confined to the hospital, with a storm raging outside. The generator is on the fritz. Meredith has gone into labor.

Predictions for the finale: Continue reading

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“Do You Believe in Magic” – Grey’s Anatomy

Screen Shot 2013-05-04 at 7.12.10 PMOverall, we didn’t love this week’s Grey’s. It wasn’t bad. Not exactly. It just felt exactly like every single episode we’ve watched in the last five months. Which is why this review starts with almost exactly the same sentiment as last week’s. We’ve seen all of this before. Jackson and April? Old news. Owen and Ethan? Old news. Case inspires doctor to solve something in their personal life? Old news.

There were a scant few aspects of “Do You Believe in Magic” that rose above the usual to pique our interest. First among these was the episode’s arguable core – Bailey. Throughout the episode, she remained holed up in her lab, ignoring everyone. They all thought she was pissed at them. We saw through that. She was clearly afraid to go back into surgery in case she hurt anyone else. But it took the arrival of husband Ben to get her to admit that, even to herself. This was an interesting side of Bailey for us to get a glimpse of. We’ve seen plenty of her neuroses – most notably, this year, in relation to her wedding – but have never seen her lose confidence about surgery. That was something new.

We also got introduced to a potential affair for Arizona. We can scarcely believe we’re writing those words. She’s always seemed so clean cut and innocent and pure. Like a less annoying Kepner. But the vibes are definitely there. Visiting doctor Lauren Boswell (Hilarie Burton, One Tree HillWhite Collar) is turning the flirting way up. She knows that Arizona is married and she doesn’t care. Arizona seems more than flattered by the attention and, with Continue reading

“Can’t Fight This Feeling” – Grey’s Anatomy

A strange offering from Grey’s, this. Enjoyable, certainly. Funny in places, sure. Drama filled? You betcha! But it was also a little disappointing. This episode was being promoted as “a mother’s worst nightmare”, with a healthy dose of lives on line, near misses, and parental solidarity. And, to a certain extent, we got that. But, confusingly, it felt like that wasn’t even the focus of the episode. It felt pushed aside in favor of some extra Kepner and Avery time. And it was missing that emotional core (the one that leaves you sobbing by the episode’s final scene) that makes Grey’s so successful.

From a more pragmatic point of view, we have to wonder about the wisdom of promoting this arc, and highlighting it as a real life story. We imagine the doctors watching the show are shuddering at the thought of the influx of mothers who will now start arriving in ERs with a list of internet-sourced maladies that their children are afflicted with, and refuse to leave because “that mother on Grey’s Anatomy was right, so I must be right, too”.

We may sound overly critical here, but the episode wasn’t a complete wash. Sarah Chalke (Scrubs) as the mother with a ‘feeling’, Casey, was fantastic. Her range here made us realize how criminally underused she was on shows like Scrubs and How I Met Your Mother. This left us hoping that casting directors everywhere sit up and take notice. We’d love to see more of her on our screens.

Aside from her storyline Continue reading

“Idle Hands” – Grey’s Anatomy

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I really enjoyed this week’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy. It was just what I needed to lighten the mood after a week of stress and misery. It completely embraced the silly side of the show that’s been missing in recent weeks. It was more childlike (in a good way), more fun. It didn’t skimp on meaty storylines – Bailey petitioning the doctors for funding; Cristina’s resentment of people who see her now as a board member, not a doctor; Arizona finally allowing Callie to see her stump; the school teacher (Annette O’Toole, Smallville) dying of cancer; or Meredith’s fears that something will be, has to be, wrong with the baby – but it didn’t make them the focus, either. It wasn’t afraid to make pranks and marbles the point, and it was far better for it. It left us feeling immensely positive about life, about everything. Bailey got her genome lab, Cristina got her research, Alex got to torture Wilson’s new boyfriend, and Meredith and Derek’s baby (a boy!) is perfect. It’s nice to watch something uplifting, for a change. – K

Quoteworthy: “I’m Derek Shepherd. Today is a good day to save lives. … I’ll channel you in my own voice.” – Dr Shane, to Derek

“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

“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