Let me be blunt, Grey's Anatomy
fans. It was another erratic episode. On the heels of two weak offerings, "Map of You" was all over the place in terms of story. Fortunately, GA
scribe William Harper (one of my favorites) was able to serve as a grounding force. Where story sometimes came up short, characterization was a strong point. Still, overall, I found myself feeling unsatisfied yet again. Is it just me? Or does it suddenly seem like the show is treading water? Can the ship be righted? Or is this the beginning of the end?
Meredith and Cristina
Speaking of which, it turns out that last week's epic fight between the Twisted Sisters wasn't just a one-off. The pain of that encounter has clearly lingered, particularly for Meredith, who assumed that Cristina's questions about Mer's new research project would soon be followed by criticism. I honestly don't think that was Cristina's intention. If anything, she's guilty of not recognizing how much she wounded her friend by exposing the deepest fears Meredith has: that she can't be a good mother, a good wife, and a good surgeon. Worse, that she will be like her own mother, the formidable Ellis Grey, who gave mothers everywhere a bad name.
But Meredith can also give as good as she gets. In the line of the night, she skewered Cristina with this gem: "You don't have time for people who want things that you don't want." Ouch. Way to twist the knife. Especially when Cristina had just made herself vulnerable over the Owen/Emma situation. Was there truth in the statement? Probably. But as I said last week
, Cristina was right to take Meredith off that surgery and Meredith clearly can't see that. What's interesting here is that when these two fight, they fight
. Where is it all leading? I'm betting no place good.
Alex and His Dad
Alex Karev (and, by extention, his portrayer, Justin Chambers) is often underutilized on this show, so his story was a highlight, both well-written and well-acted. It didn't really matter that I figured out almost immediately where Alex was disappearing to night after night (he was hanging out at a bar to hear his long-lost father play guitar). Rather, what was important was the interaction between son and clueless father, who had zero idea that he was riffing with his kid. Of course, just as Alex was starting to warm up to the guy, the twist came and...boom! Just like that, Alex was punching his old man again. Seemed just like old times. And dare I suggest it? In that moment I think I saw recognition in Papa's eyes at last. Is there hope for this relationship?
Redux, Part 1
One of my major beefs with GA
at the moment is that so much seems redundant. For example, let's take this Owen/Emma/Cristina situation. Owen is trying to get over Cristina. He takes up with Emma, a doctor from Seattle Presbyterian. On paper she should be perfect for him. He's really trying to make it work. But she's not his true love, Cristina, so it probably won't work out in the end.
Now let's substitute a few names from season seven. Mark is trying to get over Lexie. He takes up with Julia, a doctor from Seattle Presbyterian. See where I'm going with this? On paper she should have been perfect for him. He really tried to make it work. But she wasn't his true love, Lexie, so it didn't work out in the end. Come on, writers. You can do better than that. Must we spend Sandra Oh's final season
on this stuff? Really? I get that Cristina and Owen still have a multitude of issues to work through (don't even get me started on the subtext of why Owen didn't mention his history with Cristina to Emma) but ten seconds of screen time? Frustrating! Even if they're not together
together, it's criminal not to give this pair something meaningful to do.
Redux, Part 2
One of the biggest problems of this episode can be summed up in this phrase: too much of the interns. Alright, technically they are now "second years". Whatever. But they should not be the focus of this show! I feel like the stage is being set for GA to go on for years and years after the original cast leaves (see ER as exhibit A) but here's the problem. We don't care about these people! Jackson wasn't even in this episode. We barely saw April or Owen or Arizona or Bailey! Yet there was plenty of Jo (who, in a wild twist, isn't my least-favorite anymore), Shane, Stephanie, and Leah. Memo to the writers. No matter how hard you try, these kids aren't Meredith, Cristina, Alex, Izzie, and George. There. I said it.
Mysteries and Miscellaneous Thoughts
1. While it's been really great to see Cristina grow into a more mature surgeon and teacher, I am going to be majorly ticked if we spend the precious few episodes we have left to watch Cristina Yang with her being completely on the outs with Owen and Meredith. Uncool.
2. When is Shane's role in Heather's death going to come out? Enough of the clandestine guilt already.
3. Richard Webber even made me like Jo Wilson. It's a miracle. I bow to the master.
4. Leah has now taken over the role of my most-hated intern/second year and she just may be the most annoying character ever on this show, which is saying something (remember Sadie?). Also, this thing she's got going on with Arizona is weird and creepy and inappropriate. Ewwwwww! Related Aside: Calzona fans, I feel for you.
5. Clearly the brain-mapping story will be on-going for Derek and Callie. Cool. And bonus points to Derek for being willing to shift his professional role to research and step things up at home so that Meredith can make the most of what is apparently an all-important second year as an attending.
So what did you think? Have the last episodes left you as frustrated as I? Or am I out in left field? Sound off in the comments and vote in our poll.
The next all-new Halloween episode of Grey's Anatomy, "Thriller", will air October 31 on ABC.
(image courtesy of ABC)