Grey’s Anatomy celebrated an important milestone tonight. With “Puttin’ On The Ritz” the show has aired 200 episodes. You read that right. Two hundred episodes, putting the long-running drama in elite company that includes such legendary shows as The X-Files, MASH, NYPD Blue, and ER. It’s a remarkable achievement, particularly in this changing era of television viewing. Ten seasons in, GA is a cultural touchstone and still one of ABC’s top performers.

The episode itself, however, was only average in my opinion. While it was fun to see everyone dressed up (there was a gala being held to benefit the hospital), the overall result was sub par. Even seeing Owen, Derek, Alex and Jackson in tuxedos wasn’t enough to offset my sense of…meh.

It’s Party Time

Last week’s episode revealed that Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital was in dire financial straits yet again, this time due to the damage from the super storm and subsequent mud slides. Jackson decided to throw a snazzy benefit to entice wealthy donors to support the hospital and envisioned a posh, elegant affair. To paraphrase Owen, however, the definition of “conservative” was very much in question as the event turned out to be a Vegas/Circus hybrid with magicians, acrobats, fire wielders and even McDreamy showing off his juggling skills. Throw in Jackson’s promise to give ten percent of the take to the department that raised the most dough and we had ourselves a party. 

Awkwardness was in the air as the doctors dazzled the donors with their charm offensive. Callie, still overwhelmed by the meltdown of her relationship with Arizona, told everyone her wife was dead (!) and raked in the cash. Cristina flirted her way to a big donation check but shut down her amorous donor in trademark Yang style.

Meanwhile, she spent the evening sending conflicting messages to Owen. One minute she was pushing him to make good on their agreement to see other people. The next she was intervening when Owen was being chatted up by an attractive woman, who turned out to be a doctor of Maternal Fetal Medicine at rival hospital Seattle Presbyterian. By the end of the evening, Cristina had pivoted again and invited Owen to join her for drinks at Joe’s but when the pretty doctor showed up (Emma?) to pursue the handsome Chief, Dr. Yang beat a hasty retreat. Is she regretting her decision to let Owen go? You betcha.

Meanwhile, Back at the Hospital

While the cats were away, the interns played dress up (OK, I’m mixing my metaphors here, but you get the idea) and actually did a fair job of running the ER. Shane and Stephanie were sharks and rock stars respectively before Shane planted a big old smooch on Steph just as Jackson walked in. Of course he did. Ouch. But to the chagrin of Japril fans everywhere, Jackson and Stephanie made up by episode’s end. As for April, she and Arizona spent the evening in a supply closet getting drunk and bonding. Yep. It was a weird evening all around. 

Did I mention that a John Doe showed up in the ER and turned out to be Alex’s father? The one he hasn’t seen for twenty years. Out of the blue. OK, seriously, why do bad things happen to Alex whenever his life finally seems to be taking a turn for the better. Why? At least he has Jo to help him through it, but this isn’t going to be good.

Speaking of which, Richard is still in a snit about surviving nearly being electrocuted. Bailey tried all episode to get him to come around. Finally, a terminally ill guy named Gene seemed to knock some sense into Dr. Webber. And not a moment too soon. He’s lucky to be alive. Snap out of it!

Lastly, Derek and Meredith were feeling twitchy. For surgery! They apparently made an agreement that if Meredith was on maternity leave and couldn’t cut, then Derek would also take paternity leave and not be able to operate either. This twist requires a leap of logic because (in my experience, at least) in the real world parents would be likely to take their leave back-to-back rather than concurrently to extend the period of time in which one of them could be home with the kids, but I digress. It was fun to see them so geeked about surgery. And Meredith looked lovely. At least before Baby Bailey spit up all over her designer gown and she had to wear a sweatshirt instead. Bummer.

Oh! I almost forgot! About halfway through the gala, one of the acrobats plummeted to earth injuring both herself and the party planner. They were both rushed to GSMH and Jackson, in an inspired move, brought the potential donors to the OR gallery to see what the real work of the hospital looks like. Clever, Pretty Eyes. Very clever.

That’s a Wrap!

So that’s about it! As usual, we were left with more questions than answers. Will Owen and Cristina really be able to give each other up? Are Callie and Arizona over for good? Has Richard finally regained the will to live? What will happen with Alex and his deadbeat, long-lost dad? And, for heaven’s sake, why on earth is Leah on this show?

Next week’s all-new episode of Grey’s Anatomy, “I Bet It Stung”, airs Thursday, October 17 on ABC.

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(image courtesy of ABC)

Janalen Samson

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV