Where to begin? Anyway I slice it, "Take the Lead" was a bit of a hot mess. Despite some promising moments I found myself mightily irritated for a lot of this episode. Thankfully, there were also some highlights along the way. Here we go.Part One: Seriously? aka You've Got to be Kidding Me
1. Yes, this episode revolved around the fifth years stepping up and being the lead surgeons for the first time, but did the Attendings have to be so awful to them? Really? With the exception of Richard (I'll come back to him later), I was thoroughly unimpressed. Could Arizona, Teddy, and Derek have been any more unsupportive and undermining? And, for heavens sake, why could they not shut up? I swear they were on my last nerve. Speaking of which...
2. A little of April being a disaster of a Chief Resident is going a long way with me. She needs to get a spine pronto. As for the rest of the crew, it's time to man up and act like professionals. Silly shenanigans were amusing back when they were interns. Now? Not so much.
3. Miranda Bailey had every right to be both angry and flabbergasted that Chief Webber resigned. Having said that, it was completely out of character for her to go off on new chief, Owen Hunt, like that (on his first day, no less). Granted, she's highly opinionated and extremely demanding, but she's also fair. And nothing about her behavior in this episode was fair. Perhaps the intention was to be funny, but I found it to be ridiculous.
4. Classic Grey's Anatomy
strikes a balance between snarky, subversive humor while being grounded in drama. Instead, the tone of this episode was all over the place. There were moments that worked, but I didn't sense cohesion. In theory the parts were all there, but they didn't quite fit.Part Two: On the Other Hand aka When It Works, It Works
1. This episode was actually about the gang becoming surgeons and all of the baggage that entails. True, there were still romantic subplots in the MerDer and CO relationships but, for the most part, this was about medicine. Imagine that.
2. Regular readers of this column know that I feel strongly about The Big Three. When Meredith, Cristina, and Alex are the focus, all is right in the GA
world. Tonight the circle expanded a bit more. It's clear that the addition of April and Jackson was meant to enlarge the group following the loss of Izzie and George. And while the Interns 2.0 will never be our Originals, there is a nice dynamic building amongst the five of them. I look forward to seeing more of it (and it's a good bet we will since April's office is clearly the new hang-out zone).
3. Richard Webber. I hardly need to say more. He resigned for his own reasons. He's happy being part of the surgical team but without the greater responsibility of being the chief. He's looking forward to spending more time with his wife. He's tickled to have a place in the staff refrigerator and be "one of the gang". And he's a master teacher who knew enough to ask important questions before surgery and then keep quiet during the actual surgery. He let Alex do his job. He let Bailey mourn while setting her straight. In short, I heart him.
4. We made a little progress on the Twisted Sisters front. Meredith and Derek had it out in a major way. Derek called out Meredith on her reckless behavior. Meredith fired back that Derek needed to learn to trust her. And I was glad to hear someone finally call "Post It!", because that's what you do in a marriage when the going gets tough: you stay anyway.
Speaking of which, it doesn't get much tougher than Cristina and Owen aborting their child in the last episode. As a result their dynamic seemed very off to me, which I know was the point, but I'm talking WAY off. Meant-to-be-funny-but-so-wasn't off. Still, I kinda loved that last scene. Sometimes it takes something as mundane as getting food poisoning together to snap some sense back into you. At last they were able to stop dancing around the elephant in the room and (at least for the moment) be themselves with each other. This is far from over, but it's good to see how very deeply they still love each other.
5. Finally, when GA
brings the funny it really brings it. A number of the group scenes had that sparkle we've come to expect (we need the cafeteria, darn it!) and there were some very funny moments. The best of the night? When Cristina and Teddy, both having forgotten the sequence of events in a routine appendectomy, agreed to never speak of it again as the scrub nurse who saved them looked on with disdain.
So that's it, kids. You know what I think, so share your thoughts in the comments and vote in the poll. The next episode of Grey's Anatomy
, "What is it About Men?" airs Thursday, October 6 on ABC.