Brace yourself, Grey's Anatomy fans, as we have now officially entered the period known as The Dreaded Holiday Hiatus. Even in the best-case scenario, there will be no new episodes for five loooooong weeks. Fortunately, the show closed the first part of the season with a bang in "Adrift and at Peace" in which many characters were adrift but at peace? Not so much.
I love these four characters and the actors who portray them. I'm also going on-record right now with the opinion that a big reason season 7 has been so strong is because this quartet has been front and center in many configurations and this episode was no exception. Instead of MerDer and CO, we got Cristina/Derek and Meredith/Owen. No, not like that. Those of you who are freaking out about possible infidelity and such need to stop. This temporary partner swap is in no way romantic. It's about friendship and healing and support through good times and bad.
Cristina Yang went fishing. That's a sentence I never thought I'd type, but she went fishing. Concerned about her being alone, Owen and Derek (love them) hatched a plan for Derek to take Cristina fishing to get away from it all. She approached it like she approaches every task before her: with research and precision and a quest for excellence. But by the end of the day Cristina Yang caught a fish and caught a break as, at long last, pent up anger and fear and constant whirling of her brain were released in a moment of cathartic euphoria and relief. To paraphrase Derek, always the best and truly something, Cristina is on her way back (although whether or not it's back to surgery is still in question), and we're left with an image of hope.
In the meantime, things are very tense at the hospital as Meredith is working with Owen. They've never really taken tea and their mutual wariness is peaking because of an escalating conflict regarding Cristina: Meredith thinks Owen isn't doing enough while Owen thinks Meredith is doing too much. Things come to a head in one of the best scenes of the season to date. Owen calls Meredith both reckless and fearless, "... and I don't mean that in a good way," and confronts her about her disregard for her own life and her choices in the OR on the fateful day of the shooting. I have a strong suspicion that Meredith, contrary to Cristina's claim a few episodes back, is far from fine.
Callie misses Arizona. So does Alex, but in an entirely different way. Mark misses Lexie. They are all ... wait for it ... adrift. And then things start happening. Alex briefly considers a professional alliance with Callie in orthopedics until he realizes that his heart belongs to pediatrics even if it means dealing with Dr. Stark. Mark (in a classic scene with Eli the Hot Male Nurse -- more on him later) plays his cards well and manages to go out with Lexie for a drink. Two drinks. Which leads to a kiss as Mexie fans rejoice. Then Arizona literally shows up on Callie's doorstep having given up Africa to come home to make amends. Which leads to the door being shut in Arizona's face as Calzona fans shout, "Noooooooooooo!" Ouch.
Teddy and Miranda both ended up with new men in their lives. Long story short, Teddy's going to marry a dying patient so he can get her health insurance. That would be the patient she's known for about six hours. Is this a Denny Duquette Redux? Is it an example of compassion or desperation or both? Is it insurance fraud? Whatever. I don't much care. Why is this character still around? At least Scott Foley is a cutie pie.
In contrast, I care very much that our beloved Miranda Bailey, still reeling from the loss of Charles and Mary and adrift in a world of fistulas, not only made a medical breakthrough but may also be making a personal one as well. Seems the aforementioned Hot Nurse Eli is darned good at his job. He helps her solve her fistula mystery and all he asks in return is for her to go out with him! Hmmm ... that's a tough one, Miranda. Capable, handsome nurse who cares about his patients wants to go out with you, a doctor he not only respects but considers both smart and "cute." Good thing you said yes.
Putting it Together
OK, kids, that's about it. There's a lot to ponder over the break, and I'll be around from time to time with pieces about topics we don't often have the time or word count to discuss in detail. Blessings and best wishes to you all in this holiday season. Grey's Anatomy returns in January 2011 on ABC.
(Image courtesy of ABC)