What’s that saying? Ignorance is bliss. How I wish I had been completely in the dark for “Dark Was the Night”, the mid-season finale of Grey’s Anatomy. Maybe it was all the hype. Maybe it was the sneak peeks. Maybe it was that I knew from the start that Henry would die. Maybe it was the fact that I could not, for the life of me, identify the Big Cliffhanger. Regardless, my lingering feelings after watching this episode are a cocktail of depression, disappointment and a vague sense of having been let down. I know it was well written, well directed, and well acted. And yet it felt strangely empty to me. Where to begin?

RIP Henry Burton

Why, Shonda? Why? Why did you have to go there (again) and kill Henry? Yes, I knew in my head that Henry was doomed from the moment we met him in that elevator. The man was in ridiculously ill health. Yes, it made for Big Drama for him to die in Cristina’s OR as she was unaware of his identity. Not buying that turn, but whatever. Yes, I totally called it in last week’s column. But still, you really killed him? He was so sweet, so adorable, so funny. He did the impossible and made Teddy tolerable, dare I say even likeable. And then you killed him. I am so mad at you. It’s like Denny all over again or Dylan the Bomb Guy. Have you learned nothing in eight seasons? You regret killing Denny. You regret killing Dylan. And you’re going to regret killing Henry, because now Teddy is pretty much useless again. There. I said it. Goodbye, sweet prince. You might as well have been wearing a red shirt. Sigh.

Best Quotes from the Episode

The Downside of Being the Boss

Oh, Owen. What are you doing? First you agree to have Cristina operate on Henry without her knowing it was Henry (what was up with THAT?) and then you lied to Teddy and let her think her husband was still alive. I totally get why you lied to Teddy, Owen. That patient with the screw in her chest would have been toast otherwise, but things are going to be bad when Teddy finds out the truth…very, very bad. Speaking of bad, how awful it was to see you struggle, Owen. You had to be the Chief, even when it meant lying by omission to your wife. I still think she deserved to know the truth, however. Her devastation when the truth came out (even though Henry’s death wasn’t her fault, thank goodness) was heartbreaking and, again, there are going to be major repercussions for that call. Major.  

I’m hoping a big one with be the Big Talk that needs to happen between Cristina and Owen post-abortion. We’ve gone seven episodes now and the deed is hanging over them like an ominous cloud. They’re trying to pretend it didn’t happen, but it did. Contrary what most people think (and you defended her, Owen, you did) Cristina is neither a robot nor a machine. She can be cavalier and clinical and all-about-the-cutting, but she was undone tonight and I think that’s going to stir up all kinds of fears and feelings about love and loss. Yes, the die has been cast for the two of them to finally have it out as they face the music and each other. In the meantime, I’ll watch that silent masterpiece of a scene over and over again.

Baby Love

What is there to say? Unless there’s another twist in this story, it’s looking like Meredith and Derek aren’t getting Zola back. Take that, I say to the fans who thought that the adoption was going far too smoothly. Happy now? Meredith and Derek have been through so much that I actually wouldn’t have minded if the adoption had been unrealistically smooth for them, but, no worries, on that front. Zola’s gone, Derek’s realizing he’s been a bit of a jerk and Meredith is so distraught that she doesn’t want another baby.  

Then there’s the second baby of the night. Did I mention that Meredith and Alex are trapped in the middle of a raging storm with a desperately sick newborn? Advised to get the heck out of the rig, they were both too honorable to leave the baby to die. Then came the crash. Their scenes were well-done and I love their friendship, but can’t either of these two ever catch a break? They deserve something good, Shonda!  They do!

Random Musings and Parting Thoughts

Richard rocked again. He is my absolute favorite character this season, hands down. It wasn’t an episode for much humor, but I did kind of love how Mark tried to make Derek’s burden a little bit lighter by offering to work him and Meredith “into the rotation” with Sofia. Now, don’t be offended, folks. He wasn’t serious. He was just trying to help his friend. Likewise, I’m not offended by Alex’s crack that Cristina gets pregnant at the drop of a hat. I didn’t take it as any sort of commentary on the abortion. He’s only speaking the truth and now so shall I.

That was the last new episode of GA in 2011. No joke. So tuck in for a long hiatus over the holiday and ponder these lingering questions. Will Meredith and Derek get their baby?  Will Meredith and Alex make it back to Seattle in one piece? Will Cristina and Owen finally talk?  And what will Teddy’s reaction be when she finds out her beloved Henry is dead?

All-new episodes Grey’s Anatomy return in January 2012 on ABC.

Photo AlbumGrey’s Anatomy – 8.09 – “Dark Was the Night”

Janalen Samson

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV