Welcome back, Seattle Grace! I'm sure the simple fact that this was a new episode of Grey's Anatomy after all that time in the great, barren strike wilderness influenced my opinion of this episode, but it was nice good to see everyone back — with their new haircuts, new relationships, and new facial hair statuses.
That said, I think the episode suffered a lot just by being the first one back. Not only did the writers have to fill in the gaps of what happened over the past six weeks, but they also had to move us — quickly! — into the stories for the rest of the season. There was a lot of setup, and a lot of reminders of things that happened before, but not a whole lot of resolution. For my thoughts, just read more.
Let's start with Meredith, because for once, it seems like she's trying. Rather than whining endlessly about her problems, she's started to see a therapist — though doesn’t it just figure that she can talk everyone’s ear off except in therapy? At least it’s a step. And while I think her curiosity about the guy who touched the bear cub was self-interested at first (she wanted the points for solving a medical mystery, and she wanted to know if there was something keeping the guy from being able to love properly), it led to some actual medicine, with Meredith finding a way to save lives.
Of course, that puts her directly in the path of Derek, who's wrapped up in his thing with Rose. The thing is, the Rose story just reeks of filler at this point. We haven't spent enough time with her to care about her; their relationship, after six weeks, still seems like mostly flirting in the hallways. I do wonder, though, if that story would have looked different had the strike not interfered.
The rest of the characters also seemed off in filler-ville, a bit, as their plots seemed constructed to remind us of stuff from earlier this season. Alex: He's a fighter, an underdog — and we still don't why he's so damaged. George complains a lot. Cristina wants to be Hahn, and Hahn thinks Cristina is a bug to be swatted. Izzie can't trust her instincts anymore, to the tune of more than $100,000 in unnecessary medical tests. Got it. Now, let's move on.
Some other thoughts:
- Would two interns really only be able to afford a place as squalid as George and Lexie's apartment? I did like seeing Lexie's nesting instinct, though I don't think I'd eat fruit from a bedpan.
- Despite the weakness of Izzie's overall plotline, she did get some of the best lines of the night: "I don't need guys, I don't need sex, 'cause this competition is my orgasm." I wonder if her possible lupus diagnosis was a House shout-out?
- Speaking of Izzie — remember back when we saw her being a competent doctor working with Hahn and arranging the surgical rooms to be comfortable for her patients? Why can't everyone, including Izzie, just see that she's good at that kind of stuff?
- I wonder if the whole contest will have any ramifications down the line, now that Meredith has the sparkle pager.
- I’m a little surprised the Chief let Bailey keep Baby Tuck with her. She can’t watch over him like that forever, right?
- Still loving the renewed McSteamy/McDreamy bromance.
What worked for you about this return to Seattle Grace — and what did you think was missing? And is anyone as excited as I am to see Addison return and utterly kick ass?
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