Greetings, Grey’s Anatomy fans!  After a seemingly endless summer hiatus our favorite TV obsession returned with a season opening double whammy, “Free Falling” and “She’s Gone”, destined to keep us chattering for days.  I had decidedly mixed feelings on these opening episodes and I imagine many of you did as well, so let’s get to it.

The Big Three

Anytime the remaining original interns interact with each other, good things happen, even when the actual things that happen to them are bad things.  Case in point:  I may not always love the Twisted Sisters, but Meredith and Cristina remain, for better or worse, the show’s centerpiece.

It’s not fair, really, because it some ways Derek and Owen don’t stand a chance. In Shonda Rhimes’ world, Meredith and Cristina will remain first and foremost each others person to the exclusion of all others, even their husbands. Sometimes this annoys the heck out of me and other times I find it heartwarming, often in the same episode. In the former category, I resented that Meredith gave Owen a talking to, yet again, accusing him of not loving Cristina. Please. Cristina, while having every right to not want a child, is not Ellis Grey. And spouses need to actually consult each other before making major life decisions. In the latter scenario, however, it’s really lovely how Cristina (and eventually Alex) fights tooth and nail to help Meredith keep her baby. The three of them are like siblings at this point. They make decisions that have unexpected consequences. They fight and then forgive. And when they come together, it’s still something magical, because they do have each others backs and because, at the end of the day, they’re family.

Meredith and Derek

What a fine mess this has turned out to be.  After a few seasons of domestic bliss (which, frankly, was a little boring…just sayin’) the walls have come crashing down for Grey’s Anatomy iconic couple.  Everything in Meredith’s life has gone to hell in a hand basket:  her career, her marriage, and her quest to be a mother.  By the episode’s end she’s got her job back (more on that later) but Derek and Zola remain big question marks.  Talk about a rough patch.  As in all situations of this magnitude, there’s more than enough blame to go around, yes?  Meredith needs to get a clue and realize that in spite of her intentions she messed up big time.  Derek needs to stop being such an unforgiving jerk.  Can they get through this?

Cristina and Owen

As the episode opens, Cristina still hasn’t been able to go through with having an abortion, despite not having changed her mind.  In the end she does go through with it but with an unexpected turn of events:  Owen agrees to support her decision and accompanies her to the appointment.  This was the surprise of the episode for me and I’m not sure yet if I buy it (of course, I also don’t buy that Cristina Yang would get accidentally pregnant twice, but I digress).  And this is not the place to express my personal views on abortion in general or even in these particular circumstances.  What I will say is that I think it’s interesting that what Cristina seems to crave is Owen’s acceptance of her choice and, by extension, her.  In the stairwell when he agrees to go with her, she completely breaks down, overwhelmed, I think, with relief that he is in her corner no matter what.  This is truly not where I thought this story was going and now I’m interested to see how it plays out over the course of the season.  Will Cristina regret this choice or remain steadfast in her decision?  Will she and Owen be able to forget and move on as if this chapter in their relationship never happened or will there be fallout?  Will they immerse themselves in their careers?  Will they be together in the end?  

The Rest of the Gang

In other news, Alex Karev remains the most fascinating character on the show, repulsing us one minute and redeeming himself the next.  I love Mentor Arizona and am baffled by Teddy 2.0 (although she and Henry are cute).  I hope that Arizona, Callie, and Mark have a little down time, because they dominated the second half of season seven.  I hope Lexie stays with Jackson.  There.  I said it.  I hope Mark teaching Jackson and April being a total failure as Chief Resident are short-term stories.  I hope GA’s trademark humor and quirky moments are abundantly present this season.  Finally, I love Bailey and The Chief.  Their relationship is one of the show’s best, but Richard!  Did you really just do that?  That’s gonna shake thing up in a big way.  Actions.  Consequences.  Free fall.  Whoa.

The next all-new episode of Grey’s Anatomy, “Take the Lead” airs Thursday, September 29 on ABC.

(Image courtesy of ABC)

Janalen Samson

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV