This week's "Grey's Anatomy" had a couple of great things going for it: a cohesive theme, a compelling case, and Diahann Carroll as Mama Burke. I thought it was leaps and bounds better than last week's season premiere, almost back to being old "Grey's" again. To hear more of my thoughts and add your own, just
Earlier this week, I was complaining about how "Private Practice" hasn't yet figured out how to make its cases and its doctors' lives fit together seamlessly. This episode of "Grey's" was a great example of how to do it, and really, it's one of the things the show does best. All of the patients were hurt when a meth lab in an apartment exploded; all of the doctors were dealing with what happens when their own addictions — to love, sex, work, whatever — stop being fun and start being hurtful.
Mama Burke was on the scene, and it was almost like she was there to tell the characters exactly what I would have wanted to tell them if I could leap through the TV screen. Meredith was at best inappropriate and at worst selfish when she she told the crowd at the wedding — and Derek — that it was "so over." George shouldn't be married just out of obligation. Derek shouldn't be settling for less love than he deserves. I thought Mama's point to Cristina was especially incisive: She's lost her teacher; will she still be as great a heart surgeon as she would have been if Burke were still there? Cristina didn't get married partly because she was afraid of losing her professional edge — but is it possible she's lost it anyway?
I believe that "Grey's" can only be as awesome as Bailey is in any given episode, and last night was no exception. The Nazi is back! She gave Callie a look that could kill when Callie told her she couldn't have a resident for the clinic; she guilt-tripped Meredith to get her way anyway; and she dressed down Alex for putting himself in danger by getting in the way of a drug dealer. Chandra Wilson is a joy to watch, and all of her powers were on display last night.
Some other thoughts:
- I'm getting the sense that Gizzie is going to fall apart as soon as the rest of the world knows about it. Callie obviously suspects the affair now, but she still can't deal with being told — especially not after the horrid start to her chief residency. And George, at least for now, is respecting her wishes and not saying a word. But how long can that keep up, really?
- Loved the scene with Cristina using her wedding gifts for professional gain. Poor Izzie, not being able to get her coveted mixer because she had nothing to offer.
- Meredith and Derek's relationship just seems silly now. "Sex and mockery"? Fitting in with the addiction theme, Derek clearly sees that he's going back to Meredith time and time again, even when he knows it's bad for him. But can he ever stop?
- Cristina's reaction to the explosion: "Excellent! ... Horrible. Horrible, horrible, sad."
- Meredith really, really doesn't want to know Lexie, does she? She's a reminder of all Meredith didn't have growing up, and that's obviously painful for her. Still, I'd be surprised if they aren't buddy-buddy by the end of the season.
Any other thoughts? Does "Grey's" have its groove back? Or are you tuned out for good?
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