By Joe Dyton
Last night, we were treated to what looks to be the last new episode of “Grey’s” in 2009. Seven weeks seems like a long time to go without a new episode, but I won’t complain too much since we did get nine weeks in a row of new shows.
As for last night’s show, it looks like this season of “Grey’s” is going to be feast of famine. I’ve applauded the show for weeks now for writing tighter episodes with fewer storylines. Then last night, the show is all over the place again. While I thought it was good, I just felt there was too much going on, especially with three holidays crammed into 60 minutes. I wasn’t a big fan of so much time being shoehorned into one episode; I understand they wanted to get everything in before the hiatus, but if that were the case, this probably should have been a two-hour episode. Several of the storylines were meaty enough to stretch last night’s show another hour.
One of those storylines that could have used some expansion was Mark finding out he had a daughter. This might have been one of the biggest reveals in the show’s history and I don’t feel enough attention was paid to it. Every time one of Mark and Sloan’s (this won’t get confusing at all) scenes came up, it felt like an after thought. Heck, this story could have been a whole episode and that would have suited me just fine. Anyway, I liked this plot twist a lot especially since Lexie isn’t much older than Sloan. The only reason I’m not more upset about the lack of time this storyline received was because it doesn’t look like it’s a one-and-done plot. With Sloan pregnant and having nowhere else to go, it looks like she’ll be bunking with Mark and Lexie for awhile. Good times.
While Mark getting a visit from the stork was underplayed, I thought the Cristina/Owen/Teddy triangle got the right amount of time. It’s a stroke of genius to give Cristina a mentor who has history with her current boyfriend. One of my favorite scenes was when Teddy and Owen finally just put everything out on the table and it concluded with Owen saying he loved Cristina. It was nice to see a character on this show not cave in for a change. I also thought when Cristina confronted Owen about any possible feelings he had for Teddy was good too. I’d say his answer was pretty convincing, no?
Oh, the poor Chief. I disliked him for a better part of last season and going in to this year, and now I just feel sorry for him. It’s funny, for the first few years of the show, I felt Richard was more of a background character, and now that he’s been brought to the forefront, he’s gone from a statistics-obsessed number cruncher to an alcoholic. When this story arc plays out, the writers owe him some happiness. I did enjoy this storyline though; I liked his scenes with Meredith. It was great to see him offer her mentoring, even if it’s more or less an attempt to keep her quiet about his recent fall off the wagon. I am curious to see how much further the Chief is going to fall with his alcoholism, because that’s what it is, not “selected depression,” or whatever he tried to mask it as. It will make for interesting TV the rest of the season. I can’t help but wonder why Joe keeps serving him though; he obviously has a problem and Joe cares about the Chief enough to have paged Meredith. Why not just cut him off after one “club soda”? That’s what baffled me the most. I will say that James Pickens Jr. played a good drunk though. The scene where he was wobbling near the jukebox was funny and depressing all at the same time.
So, Mark’s storyline was the most intriguing, Cristina and Owen’s was the most satisfying and the Chief and Meredith’s had the most potential. But for my money, the strongest as far as writing and performances go was the stuff with Bailey and her dad. I couldn’t believe she didn’t tell her folks she was divorced. My heart broke for Bailey when her dad told her he was ashamed of her for putting her career ahead of keeping her family together. I can’t imagine too many pains worse than having your parent tell you they aren’t proud of you. And the scene of the night had to be Bailey’s “My child is happy and healthy” speech. Not only was it terrific, but it lead to some comically awkward moments for everyone else at the dinner table. This storyline also lead to the most underrated part of the show, the look on Mr. Bailey’s face when Callie told him she was dating women. Classic. And I think I remember reading we’ll get to meet Mrs. Bailey, somewhere down the road, but I have to confirm that. If Mr. Bailey is that tough, I can’t wait to see what Mrs. Bailey is like. I was just happy to see they were able to part on good terms.
As for the medical stuff, I liked the girl who was surviving without heart case (shades of the Wizard of Oz?). I was a little surprised Teddy was willing to take her outside so she could enjoy the snow, but nothing these doctors do should faze me anymore, right? I was glad she was able to get a heart, although it stunk that it came at the expense of someone else. Like Teddy told Cristina, this isn’t a celebration. Talk about a sobering moment. I thought that was interesting because on this show, we usually only see the happy side when they’re able to land an organ for a patient. I guess it’s easy to forget sometimes that someone else had to die for that organ to become available. Maybe we should change Teddy’s name from Dr. Altman to Dr. Killjoy.
The other medical case delivered my favorite moment of the show, when Derek, Mark and Arizona offered to pay for the equipment needed to successfully perform their chronic bleeder’s surgery. It also led to one of the best exchanges of the show: Mark: I have a daughter I might have to put through college. Arizona: Have you met her? It’s amazing how this show can keep things light in the most dire situations. OK a few random thoughts, and
I’m hibernating until January…
*Am I the only one who yelped repeatedly when Lexie cut off part of her finger? That was awful. They could easily had her stop cutting and said, “Ouch” and we would have known what happened. Ugh. One of the best parts about “Grey’s” is it forces me to eat dinner early on Thursday nights.
*To satisfy our “Grey’s” cravings during the winter hiatus, a series of webisodes called “Seattle Grace: On Call.” Here’s a link containing more info: http://www.tvguide.com/News/Greys-Anatomy-Debuts-1012347.aspx
*Lines of the Night”…
-“There could be a gaggle of Sloans.”
-“(Ellis) escalated my drinking too.”
-“When you started dating women, how long did you keep that from your family?”
-“That’s my problem, I’m nobody’s (w)itch.”
-“New Year’s Eve is a organ-palooza.”
-“Love me some Hunt.”
-“Mark, your kids are bickering.”
-“Don’t play the race card with me.”
Well, that’s all I’ve got for this week. I hope you all enjoyed the show. Enjoy the hiatus, have a great day 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 email@example.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http://twitter.com/dyton99.