By Joe Dyton (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Last night’s midseason finale? Now, that was an episode of “Grey’s”! After a few weeks of watchable, but unsubstantial episodes, we finally got something we could sink or teeth into yesterday. There was tension, high stakes, decent comic relief; these are the things that make “Grey’s”, “Grey’s”. I still wrestle with is it worth it to sit through uneventful episodes to get a big payoff like last night. I still think I’d rather have some excitement every week and a strong payoff episode rather than go through nothing going on for episodes at a time and one or two big POW! episodes a season. I understand every episode can’t be like last night’s; if you keep the pedal to metal full-time, you’ll burn out the engine. I’m just looking for a few more speed bursts. Anyway, this isn’t about the season so far, it’s about last night’s show, so let’s get to it.
I have to applaud the “Grey’s” writers’ room; they got me to care about Henry’s well-being. Just last week, I said I had a hard time emotionally investing him because he was married to a third-string character. That changed when Cristina was put in charge of Henry’s surgery. Now, we were getting somewhere. Cristina tasked with saving her mentor’s husband’s life? That’s good drama. Although, I felt Henry’s fate was sealed when Teddy passed up on Richard’s decades’ worth of OR experience in favor of a fifth-year resident just because Cristina knew how to do a more state-of-the-art procedure. After that decision was made in the elevator, I wrote in my notebook that Henry was finished. I know hindsight is always 20/20, but I don’t think keeping Henry’s identity secret was the best way to go. Her cavalier, just another patient attitude might have made her a little sloppy. From all we’ve seen from Cristina, the pressure of operating on Teddy’s husband wouldn’t have gotten to her. She operated on her best friend’s husband at gunpoint for crying out loud. It doesn’t seem like Henry had much of a chance anyway, and by not telling her it set up the great, but painful scene where Owen broke the news to her who it was. Putting that scene behind the glass and out of earshot was a good idea, and well-executed. A small part of me wishes we could have heard the conversation though. In seven-plus seasons, how many times have we seen Cristina lose it like that? Off the top of my head, I can only think of two times; when she lost her and Burke’s baby and when she begged Meredith to take of her wedding dress after Burke disappeared. Again, it was a small part of me that wished that; I think they made the right call.
I thought losing Henry on the table was painful enough, but then they go ahead and make us sit through Teddy talking to Owen as if he made it through the surgery fine. I felt so bad for Owen as he was battling through his Chiefly duties and his friendship with Teddy about whether to tell her not. You could see the wheels turning in his head. Richard was right; that news couldn’t be delivered as she was trying to save a patient’s heart. It just stunk that he had to lie to his friend. He probably would have been better off avoiding her OR all together. For the first time in a while, I can’t wait to see what happens next on this show. Will Teddy blame Cristina? How will she react when she finds out Owen lied to her? The rest of the episode could have been bad, and I would have been OK with that because the writers found a way for me to care about a Teddy storyline.
Speaking of the rest of the episode, I was actually kind of surprised that the McDreamy’s aren’t going to get Zola. At least it doesn’t look that way. Until they get an official word, I’m not writing that off just yet. It’ll make for a more interesting story in terms of Meredith and Derek’s relationship if they don’t get her though. Will Mer blame Derek like he thinks she will? On the flip side if they do get Zola, I’m sure the writers can get plenty of mileage out of Derek and Meredith being parents, so it’s a win-win there. I liked the domino effect that Jackson and Callie’s mess-up started, even if leaving equipment in a patient was already done on “Nip/Tuck”. If that doesn’t happen, then Teddy’s not in surgery and she’s probably watching Henry’s surgery and all the backlash from the dishonesty wouldn’t occur. And of course, there was Alex and Meredith trying to get a newborn back to the bigger, better-equipped Seattle Grace Mercy West. You’d think hospital ambulances’ engines would be checked so often, they would never break down like that, but what are you going to do? We have to let some things slide for the sake of entertainment, right? Anyway, they were just lucky the thing didn’t blow up when they got hit like the driver said they might. My goodness, that was an eerie ending with the passengers from the other car just lying in the road, but what a way to end the last episode of 2011.
OK a few more thoughts and I’m finished…
*I enjoyed watching Mark and then Arizona try to sell Derek on him and Meredith co-parenting Sophia (I guess they’d be parents four and five, so would it be quint-parenting?). That was nice comic relief to a somewhat heavy episode.
*Between what happened to Callie last season and the passengers that hit Alex and Meredith last night, is “Grey’s” the best “always buckle up” PSA ever?
*I was shocked when I saw this was “Grey’s” midseason finale. It aired on November 10!!! Couldn’t they have had one more episode next week before Thanksgiving? No new episodes in December? That just seems early to me.
Line of the Night: “She’s a baby, not a timeshare in Cabo.”
-“I have Alzheimer’s in my family history, what’s your excuse?”
-“I think we should get another surgeon.”
-“I’m not her valet.”
-“I knew what J-Lo wore to the coffee house. That’s what I was doing.”
-“She’ll never forgive any of us.”
Well, that’s all that I have. I hope you enjoyed the show as much as I did. That’s a wrap for “Grey’s” in 2011. We’ll reconvene about this show next year. Have a wonderful weekend!