Well, after a long wait this summer, “Grey’s Anatomy” finally waltzed its way back into our lives. Well, maybe waltzed isn’t the right word. It’s more like the show bulldozed its way back in, right?
As I was watching the opening scene, I couldn’t help but wish networks were able to keep contract negotiations with actors in-house. Knowing that Katherine Heigl would be back and T.R. Knight was let out of his contract killed any possible suspense about their fates. How much more punch would have Lexie’s, “That’s not George” line had if we all didn’t know that George was going to die three months ago? Of course it was George! When all the doctors were yelling at Meredith, it would have been a great spot for her to break the fourth wall, and say to the docs, “Of course it’s George, don’t you read Entertainment Weekly?” I know that couldn’t happen on a show like that, but it would have lightened the mood a bit.
As for the episode itself, I thought it was good. Very somber, but good. Honestly, it’s tough to criticize an episode like that, but if I had one complaint, it’s that there were a lot of other good storylines packed into the two hours that were overshadowed by George’s death. I can’t blame the writers for weaving other stories in there; two hours of just focusing on the loss of George would have been too much to take. Part of me wishes that they wrote in a bunch of “D”-level storylines that didn’t matter that much, rather than the impactful plots that kind of got lost in the shuffle.
Consider that besides George’s the death, the following happened last night…
a) the board of directors was looking to push out the Chief and name McDreamy his successor
b) Callie was denied her promotion to attending and quit to work at Mercy West
c) Lexie finally moved in with McSteamy
d) Izzie not only survived, but it looks like she’s OK, or as OK as she’s going to be
e) Owen and Cristina made a breakthrough in their relationship
f) Arizona had a “House”-like medical case that she couldn’t crack
g) It was announced that Seattle Grace and Mercy West are going to merge and some won’t be safe from the chopping block
Those are some pretty good plotlines, aren’t they? Some could have been their own episode. So, my only real complaint wasn’t even much of a complaint, it’s more of an “I wish the writers could have done this instead” kind of thing.
Overall, I thought the premiere was well done, and George’s death was handled as well as it could have been. I am looking forward to next week when it looks like “Grey’s” will be back to normal.
Here are few more thoughts about the show…
What I liked…
*McSteamy providing the comic relief. One of my favorite scenes occurred when he asked Lexie what the heck was the appeal with George. In an episode that was so sad, I was willing take chuckles anywhere I could take them. While we’re on the subject of comic relief, I also enjoyed Lexie’s reaction to Callie and Mark’s oh-so-close relationship. Lexie’s reaction to Callie’s shower pop-in was especially hilarious.
*Derek and Bailey’s elevator scene. I loved Derek returning Bailey’s favor by stopping the elevator so she could vent like she did for him in the “Into You Like a Train” episode in Season 2 when she knew he needed to cry it out.
*McDreamy and Meredith in full-on “honeymoon” mode. Well I guess what I really liked about it was the funny interruptions they kept encountering. Granted all of the “honeymooning” was Meredith’s coping method, but it was entertaining.
*Justin Chambers’ performance. He’s really stepped it up since last season. He was especially impressive near the end of the episode when he finally broke down and admitted to Izzie he’s afraid of just about everything. Alex’s transition has been one of the best character developments on the entire show.
*Arizona. In an episode like this, there needed to be someone who could keep it all together and who better than the character that knew George the least? I felt for her when she went to Bailey for help with her patient. It can’t be easy talking shop with someone who just watched someone close to them die. On a lighter note, I loved at the end of Callie’s breakdown when she said that Arizona kept bringing her doughnuts.
*The cast narration at the end of hour two. I thought that was a nice touch. I’ve always enjoyed the episodes when someone other than Meredith narrates the show, but having everyone chip in at the end of such an emotional show was a stroke of genius.
What I didn’t like…
*How things were handled with the Chief. It seemed like a bad time for the board to form a coup against Richard, wasn’t it? Kudos to Derek for being a friend and buying him as much time as possible
*The gals who left their travel mate high and dry at the hospital because they “had a concert to get to” and everything about that storyline. I just didn’t care for it, although I wish there were more throwaway storylines like this last night so the good ones weren’t overshadowed by George’s passing.
*I thought Amanda, the girl George saved, lurking around the hospital was just bizarre. It kind of reminded me of Izzie spending the entire day outside of Seattle Grace on the day she was going to try to get her job back after she cut Denny’s LVAD wire. The difference though was Amanda was hanging around for days and days (as we could tell from the trusty day counter that kept popping up between scenes). I was more than happy to see Izzie tell her to get up and get a life.
*How things just “happened” all of a sudden. I understand that time went by faster than normal last night because the days kept flashing by, but it was just bizarre how all of a sudden Bailey as an attending. It would have nice to see that promotion unfold. Same with Lexie saying she was going to be a resident tomorrow. Huh? Meredith and Co. were interns for three seasons! And let’s not forget Callie barking at the Chief to all of a sudden having an attending job at Mercy West. Did I nod off and miss her application and/or interview? I guess we can appreciate that we won’t have to waste time watching these things happen, but I still found it off-putting that such big career changes seemed to happen so fast.
OK a few random thoughts and I’m done…
*I wasn’t sure how to feel about the funeral laughs. I totally understood that sometimes a person can be so depressed that all they can do is laugh. But I wasn’t sure how to react; part of me wanted to laugh with them, but the other part of me was uncomfortable. I guess I was dreading someone walking in on them and telling them they were being inappropriate.
*I also liked the scene with Owen and George’s mom. He said a lot of good things about him. I was nervous that scene was going to go another way. I thought for a minute she was going to blame Owen for what happened to George.
*Speaking of Mrs. O’Malley, I can’t believe she put George’s organ donation decision into Callie’s hands. What a tough position to be in. I thought it was great that she went to Izzie for that
*I watched that “Flash Forward” show before “Grey’s”. I thought it was OK. My concern is the premise might be more intriguing than the actual show. It might have made a better movie than a weekly series. I’m willing to give it another shot though. On the flip side, I thought ABC’s “Modern Family” was very good. The jury’s still out on “Cougar Town” though.
* “Quote of the Night”: “If George O’Malley can jump in front of a bus, we can answer our (darn) pages.”
-“Yes I’m ordering you to be her friend because I’m sure as (heck) not doing it.”
-“Was (George), you know….hung?”
-“Why do cancer people have all the fun?” (So wrong, only Cristina could get away with delivering a line like that.)
-“He probably doesn’t want to end up with a cancer pop.”
-“I majored in freaking history.”
-“We’ll be sure to clean up the table top.”
-“I get the whole McDreamy thing now.”
-“George O’Malley died.”
Well, I think that’s a wrap. I hope you all enjoyed the show. Hopefully we’ll get some sunnier episodes down the road. Have a great Friday and wonderful weekend.
Joe Dyton is a marketing copywriter in Washington, DC. He is a former assistant editor for The Dealmakers real estate magazine in Hamilton, NJ and a former sports writer and copy editor for The Trentonian in Trenton, NJ. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Joe on Twitter at http://twitter.com/dyton99.