When I sat down to watch Grey's Anatomy
, I was under the impression that no math would be required. Imagine my surprise when complex diagrams were necessary to make sense of the multitude of storylines in this episode. Unlike last week's "All You Need Is Love," which deftly probed matters of the heart while skillfully giving every member of the ensemble something meaningful to do, "Have You Seen Me Lately?" felt overstuffed yet underbaked. There was too much going on but not in a satisfying way. I found myself feeling underwhelmed and vaguely annoyed at the widely varying quality of the show from week to week. Once again, GA
was all over the place.Owen and Cristina
Where to begin? Things are bad. They are very, very bad. Owen and Cristina, having tentatively called a truce last week, are in couples' therapy. On the upside, the therapy sessions brought out the best in Kevin McKidd and Sandra Oh, who proved once again that they are some of the best actors on this or any other TV show. On the downside, the therapy sessions proved, as some of my GA
-lovin' pals noted, that you can have brilliant acting with really poor writing. Owen was written particularly badly, lacking the nuance that I've come to expect from this character.
My sense is that the writer was trying to do right by Cristina, who's been written pretty erratically all season, and in so doing, overcompensated. This couple's problems are real and neither of them is completely right nor completely wrong. Things are not black and white and neither character is clueless. Thankfully, McKidd and Oh manage to convey the love these two desperately feel for each other, even in the worst of times. But, really, writers. You're going to have to do better than that.
Derek, Lexie, and Amelia
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In yet another Grey's Anatomy/Private Practice
Crossover Event (they're really called that, by the way... I don't make this stuff up!) Derek's little sis, Amelia, returned to Seattle Grace. The setup was that Amelia wanted Derek to help her save the life of a woman with a horrible brain tumor, but the subtext was all about the tangled personal history of the neurosurgeons Shepherd. To sum up, Derek and Amelia found a way to work together and save the patient (but not until the very end of Private Practice
...yawn). Which should have been more moving, I guess, but kind of wasn't. The patient and her son? Gut-wretching. But Derek and Amelia? Not so much. At least Lexie has some good lines. Random Aside: Why can't Charlotte King relocate permanently to Seattle? She rocks.Alex, Arizona, and Morgan (not Megan)
Speaking of which, I rarely like Arizona more than when she's in mentor mode and she is a rockin' mentor to Karev. Having said that, I feel like Alex's lessons were a bit heavy-handed as he realized he needed to focus more on people and less on his upcoming Boards. I really, really love Alex as a character but I feel like he's adrift in the GA
world and has been pretty much since Katharine Heigl left the show. There are flashes of greatness, as when Alex finds his calling in pediatrics, but also a lot of wandering. Justin Chambers is one of the show's strongest players and deserves a decent storyline, which might actually be coming since the Morgan and her premature baby thing is clearly just beginning.Meredith, Callie, and Richard
Speaking of the Boards, Richard went all Yoda again in this episode, trying to convince Callie to take Meredith under her wing. As was referenced several years ago when the kids were studying for their Intern Exam, Callie has a legendary study system that makes her the guru of all such examinations. The scenes between Richard and Callie were actually pretty funny in an unsettling Jedi-master kind of way. And it turns out that Meredith rose to the occasion with the hand-in-the-meat-grinder guy (GROSS!), thereby earning the right to be taught by Callie. I'm willing to see where this leads but, on balance, I'd like to see Meredith mentored by Bailey. The Callie/Meredith vibe is just so strange, given their complicated past.Bailey, Sloan, and Avery
Finally we arrive at Bailey. Five subplots later. REALLY? I am exhausted keeping it all straight. Anyway, Bailey has a patient whom she's been working with for years. She saved the woman's life, but there were some drawbacks (like balloon-like arms which were apparently very painful in addition to being useless). Sloan and Avery were approached to do a surgery that would help this. Bailey, being Bailey, overstepped (with the best of intentions) to the point that Sloan let Avery (still a resident) banish Bailey (an attending and, well, she's Bailey!) from the OR. So Miranda got a lesson in learning to relinquish control and respect boundaries. Sloan stepped up and embraced his mentor role even more fully and Avery got a spine and showed glimpses of being more than just a pretty face. Having said that, what was the point? Which could also be said of most of this episode.
The next all-new episode of Grey's Anatomy
, "If Only You Were Lonely," airs next Thursday, February 23 on ABC.