Did you ever wish you could have a do-over? A chance not only to do something better the second time around but with the benefit of hindsight and experience. That's the blessing the doctors at Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital received in "Disarm," yet another wonderful outing in Grey's Anatomy's triumphant seventh season.
The writers have been walking a tricky tightrope since this story arc began a full 13 episodes ago with the season 6 finale, "Sanctuary" and "Death and All His Friends." Yet "Disarm" shares many common traits with those excellent episodes. It was gripping, even harrowing, without being exploitative. It was both moving and compelling while managing to be neither cloying nor overwrought. Most importantly, it gave the entire ensemble the chance to shine while simultaneously moving the story along and developing the characters.
The Twisted Sisters and the Men Who Married Them
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I've commented often that the presence of Meredith, Derek, Cristina and Owen at the forefront of the show this season is a big reason for its resurgence. Once again, this quartet was at its best last night as both Meredith and Cristina made significant emotional progress in the aftermath of the shooting at the hospital. Meredith found herself completely empathetic with a "wife in the waiting room" and finally acknowledged, both to herself and to Derek, that she, too, was severely traumatized by what happened all those months ago. She demanded and received his attention and support.
In other news, Cristina returned to surgery in a major way after being on-the-scene of the college shooting, doing an emergency thoracotomy in the field and scrubbing in to assist for the surgery. She's back. My only concern in all of this is that, although Meredith and Cristina appeared to reconcile at episode's end, is that they never really talked about their problems. Is moving on in this way a sign that their friendship is truly back on track or have they merely swept some very important issues under the rug?
Owen Hunt had quite the day as well, both personally and professionally. I loved how supportive he was of Cristina every step of the way. He gently reminded her as she entered the hospital that her staying on this case would require going into an OR, but then backed right down when he saw that was what she truly wanted. He also checked on her despite the chaos in the hospital that day and made sure her comeback surgery wasn't interrupted, even when OR space was at a premium and it was revealed that her patient was the shooter. Oh! And did I mention that due to that lack of space he constructed a MASH unit on the premises and oversaw the trauma catastrophe like the pro he is, losing no patients in the process? I love him, and, random aside, the little morning scene between him and Cristina was the cutest thing ever.
The Rest of the Gang
Meanwhile, as the entire staff rallied in the face of this latest crisis, there was a lot happening. Mark and Lexie reconciled with Lexie even telling Mark that she loves him. Good for you, Mexie fans. I know you're ecstatic and you've earned this. Callie still won't give Arizona the time of day, telling her that while Arizona may have come back to the relationship, Callie has not. Mark my words, things are going to get worse before they get better on that front before those two crazy kids finally get back together.
Teddy was a good mentor under difficult circumstances. She supported Cristina completely while teaching Jackson what it means to be a professional even when you don't feel like it. Ditto Alex Karev who continues to rock it out in pediatrics. He literally body blocked an enraged Dr. Stark from amputating a patient's leg unnecessarily and gave Jackson his second lesson of the day in compassion for those who don't deserve it. It was great to see The Chief being The Chief in all of his Chief-ness (am I the only one digging his bromance with that cop?), and apparently even God knows better than to mess with Bailey. I wish we'd seen more April but according to the show's blog, there was a great scene of her commanding the MASH unit that had to be cut for time. Pity. There was enough time for Teddy and Henry. Whoops! Did I say that out loud? Moving on ...
The next all-new episode of Grey's Anatomy, "Start Me Up," airs next Thursday, Jan. 13 on ABC.
(Image courtesy of ABC)