So here's the thing: every episode can't be a barn burner. Unlike the mid-season premiere
or even last week's offering
, tonight's Grey's Anatomy
wasn't particularly action-packed. In fact, not too much actually happened. But sometimes we're due for a solid, if not exceptional, episode which serves to transition the narrative and/or advance the characters in more subtle ways. "Throwing It All Away" was that kind of episode. Calzona-centric with some Crowen on-the-side, it laid the foundation for story lines yet to come.
Although all of the advance press led me to believe that this episode would be All About Arizona, it actually was more about Calzona, both as individuals and as a couple. Arizona was having a difficult day. The sticky prosthetic caused by Sofia's juice spill seemed like a walk in the park after Stephanie mowed AZ down with a gurney, breaking the doc's leg. She was forced to rely on her spare as she handled two wildly different cases. Due to Alex's suspension (for giving the board "the finger" over the non-fraternization policy), Dr. Robbins took point on a young boy's surgery. She also consulted for one of Callie's cases and got into yet another dispute with her wife over a difference of opinion regarding treatment. Callie wanted to save the girl's legs while Arizona favored double amputation.
Meanwhile, Callie was having a pretty crappy day herself. Although she finally agreed with Arizona about the amputation case, Callie took issue with Arizona disagreeing with her in front of the patient. I have to say, I agree on that one. Hash it out in private. Unity in front of the patient is important. In addition, Callie found out that Derek would no longer be able to do their research project with her. Does this make things worse? Derek still gets to do the research, but it's proprietary and linked to his new Presidential Brain Mapping Project. That went over well.
And the cherry on top of the sundae? Leah's HR complaint wasn't filed against Arizona, but against Callie for going all bananas in the OR after finding out about the Arizona/Leah affair. But enough with the food metaphors. By day's end, just as things were looking mighty bleak, Arizona finally admitted that she had spent a good deal of time post-plane crash just trying to figure out who she was again. She admitted that she had been focused almost entirely on herself but she now realized that she didn't need much to be happy. She didn't need two legs. She just needed Callie and Sofia. Cue rollerskating. And...scene.
Picket Fence, Dozen Kids, Fresh Baked Goods
After finding out from Meredith that Owen and Emma had broken up, Dr. Yang went straight to her ex and demanded to know what the deal was. Why had Owen thrown away a relationship that would have offered him everything he wanted? Was is because of Crowen's encounter in the trailer?
Owen replied that he knew exactly what their time together had been. And why did Cristina care anyway? Owen offered to spill if Cristina would, too! Not liking the turn the conversation was taking (hah!) Cristina beat a hasty retreat for the time being, but by day's end, Crowen met again as they were leaving the hospital. Cristina told Owen she just wants him to be happy. Owen countered that she wants him "squared away" so she can finally stop thinking about him and feeling guilty about not being the one to give him the things he wants. Both scenes were a sort of weird and flirty friendship hybrid, yet they somehow worked. The deep history and abiding love between these two can't help but reveal themselves. What is coming next?
Do You Still Have Dreams About It?
It's quite rare for there to be a scene between Cristina and Arizona that's not medical in nature, so I was surprised by this unexpected gem in which both women discussed the lingering affects of the plane crash a few seasons back. I found it to be refreshing that the show actively acknowledged the trauma of that magnitude never truly goes away. There are simply varying degrees to which it affects one's day-to-day life. I also liked the underlying message that survivors of the same trauma will always be linked in some way. And that the victims lost (RIP Lexie and Mark) will not be forgotten. Kudos to Sandra Oh and Jessica Capshaw for their quietly compelling, pitch perfect work. Well done.
Everything But The Kitchen Sink
And then there was everything else. Highlights:
*In a move that makes so much sense I was shocked: co-workers can make their non-fraternization woes go away by signing a Love Contract in which both parties affirm that their relationship is consensual.
*The abandoned baby found in the dumpster was dubbed Oscar by the staff, which I found two parts adorable, two parts inappropriate, and one part kinda creepy.
*Stephanie finally let Jackson have it over dumping her so unceremoniously for April. In related news, we found out second-hand that Matthew quit his job as a paramedic.
*Richard reminded Cristina nicely but firmly that, to her, he will always be The Chief.
*April spent the day dealing with a guy who wanted his kidney back (long story). I enjoyed seeing April working in her speciality area of Trauma being mentored by Owen.
*Finally, how about that preview? Will Jackson and April be able to withstand the tornado that is Mama Avery? And will Callie actually bring a lawsuit against Derek? Yikes!
The next all-new episode of Grey's Anatomy, "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place" airs next Thursday, March 20 on ABC.
(image courtesy of ABC)