I imagine that viewers will have mixed feelings about this week's Grey's Anatomy. It didn't have the emotional resonance of last week's "How Insensitive". Instead, "Shiny Happy People" did exactly what it was supposed to do: lay the foundation for the "game-changing" season finale. It was the ultimate penultimate episode because it set everything in motion and, thus, was a necessary step in getting to the end of the season.
The episode opened with Derek's cocktail party. I use the term "party" loosely, of course, because even Meredith lamented how at her parties people were usually dancing on tables with the music blaring. This was not that type of party. It was more like a Meet the Chief sort of work function, but I liked it because it's nice to see our doctors outside of the hospital once in awhile and, frankly, because there's very little not to like about Owen and Cristina making out in the kitchen, but I digress. There was so much going on here: Meredith freaking out over Owen and Cristina moving in together; Callie and Arizona awkwardly avoiding each other; Alex and Lexie trying to figure out what they had going on with each other; and Reed making a play for Mark (!) which leads to a pretty funny scene later on with Teddy. As for Bailey? Miranda wasn't even at the party because she was busy getting some lovin' from Ben. By the end of the episode, however, no one was in a partying sort of mood. Here's where things stand at this point.
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Alex and Lexie have complicated reasons for being together. He's making the conscious choice to be with someone nice and normal and emotionally healthy. She's insisting that she's finally over Mark and presses Alex to define their relationship. They decide that they're a couple. Whatever. They both seem happy about it and I admit that I find that charming because I think they're quite a good match. However, trouble is looming because Mark just told Lexie that he's still in love with her and wants to marry her. Whoa. What's Little Grey to do? Someone's heart is going to get broken either way.
Medical aside: Alex Karev is turning into one heck of a doctor. I love him in pediatrics. I love that he is always advocating for his patients. I love that he isn't afraid to go toe-to-toe with parents in the best interests of the child. Who would have thought that the man formerly known as Evil Spawn would turn out to be a pretty great guy?
Just when it seemed that the situation with Cristina, Owen and Teddy couldn't get any more complicated it does, because Meredith has decided that she needs to protect Cristina. First, let me just say that I get that. Meredith and Cristina are the Twisted Sisters and BFFs and each other's "person". I understand that and I respect that, but having said that, I loved it when Cristina told Meredith "I need for there to be a me and Owen". Meredith needs to understand that just as now there is a Meredith and Derek there is also a Cristina and Owen. Each woman has now found her true love and wants to build a life with him. Each woman now has two "people" in her life.
The stand-out scene for me was in the stairwell. Prompted by Meredith, Owen came clean with Cristina and, to his credit, he was as honest as possible saying, "I don't know how I feel about Teddy but I do know how I feel about YOU." I'm glad the issue of Teddy triggering Owen's PTSD has finally been brought up because I believe that's the root of his "feelings" for Teddy. As he said himself, Teddy is all mixed up with the war and the army and violence and death and even his relationship with his ex-fiancee, Beth. Speaking of Teddy, were you as shocked as I was to hear her pager go off, exposing her eavesdropping? Bet she got an earful. And the looks on Owen and Cristina's faces? Again I say .... Whoa.
I am firmly of the opinion that Owen loves Cristina deeply and has been dealing with all of this the best he can. Has he made mistakes? Of course he has. We all do. But this whole thing with Teddy and reconciling his Before and his After has been messing with his head. He's trying to do the best he can in a very difficult situation. My hope is that Cristina will realize, as Owen clearly did, that they are the parallel to Henry and Betty. They are the true soul mates who share a "once in a lifetime" love. They are the ones who would never get over each other if they broke up. They took a step back in this episode, but I'm hoping they'll work things out in the season finale. They deserve it.
Callie and Arizona
It really is heart-breaking to see them apart and clearly missing each other and longing for each other. But as Callie so wisely said to Mark, her issues are still issues and so she and Arizona are stuck. That elevator kiss was something, though, wasn't it? What is it with elevators at Seattle Grace? I don't know. Despite everything, I still have hope for these two.
Miranda and Ben
If you're like me, you were cheering went something finally went Miranda's way. And by "something" I mean her new relationship with Dr. HottieMcCutiePie, Ben Warren. Imagine our horror and chagrin, then, when he seemed to be shameless flirting with another woman just hours after romancing Miranda. Bailey gave him the cold shoulder but Ben finally convinced her that what she saw was simply work-related flirting: he flirts with the colleague-from-hell (!) and she doesn't schedule surgeries for him on Tuesday morning because that's when he plays golf. Whew! That was a close one. Miranda can get on my nerves sometimes but the woman's been through a lot and, so help me, she deserves a little happiness. Memo to Ben: Do not mess this up or you will be answering to me.
Wrapping Thing Up
So that's about it, folks. Everything is pretty much a jumbled mess which is just how Shonda (Rhimes, GA creator) likes it. I've been fearing that next week's season finale has been over-hyped but if the preview is any indication, it will be quite an evening. I'll be back next week with a review of "Sanctuary" and "Death and All His Friends" airing Thursday, May 20 on ABC.