I quite enjoyed this installment of Grey’s Anatomy, which is just a bit surprising because it was one of those funny episodes that pop up from time to time. One huge development notwithstanding (more on that later) most of what transpired here wasn’t major at all in terms of plot. Yet this was not a “filler” episode but was, instead, extremely revealing in regards to character. As a result evenness and complexity permeated the proceedings and I found myself feeling very satisfied on the whole.

As “The End is the Beginning is the End” opened, viewers discovered that a month has elapsed since our last outing. Meredith is safely through the first trimester of her pregnancy. Derek is rehabilitating his hand. Cristina and Owen are divorced yet happily together. Richard is mourning Adele. Jackson’s still sleeping with Stephanie. Alex and Jo are friends. Arizona no longer uses her cane. And Bailey is back from her honeymoon.

A Fresh Start

In an odd turn of events, divorce may just be the best thing that even happened to Cristina and Owen. They are together and really, really happy. Be still my heart. This episode was filled with adorable, loving, funny moments and their banter is sexier than ever.  My favorite parts, however, ran more deeply than that. At last Cristina and Owen are communicating openly and honestly. Better still, they are clearly in each other’s corner.  I loved it when Cristina faced off with Derek and rightly came to Owen’s defense. Best of all was when Cristina wanted Owen to be at the celebratory dinner because his presence would make it better. My inference is that this couple has remembered at long last that their being together makes everything better and that when they are apart, nothing is quite right.

Moving On

Richard is paralyzed by guilt. Meredith is overcome with fear. Derek is filled with resentment. All three make progress by episode’s end as they grapple with blame and bravery and acceptance. Richard knows he can not undo his choices but takes baby steps to grieve his wife’s passing, while placing Catherine Avery firmly in the Friend Zone for now.  Meredith finally allows herself to be happy about her pregnancy and shares the news with Callie, Arizona, and BFF Cristina (who had already figured it out, of course). Derek acknowledges that Owen really isn’t to blame for the plane crash and offers an apology, forgiveness and a return to normalcy. It was all very poignant and rather lovely.

Unexpected Developments

Of course, it wouldn’t be Grey’s Anatomy without some twists, right?  Bailey’s honeymoon was revealed to be an absolute debacle. Alex and Jo (of whom I still am not a fan but managed not to loathe, so that’s progress of a sort) are platonic buddies…at least for now. Jackson is still sleeping with Stephanie despite clearly having deep and lingering feelings for April, who is obviously devastated by the whole mess.

Speaking of which, what a mess this lawsuit storyline has turned out to be. Ay yi yi!  Apparently the case was settled in record time because the doctors requested something called a summary judgment and, low and behold, they won! $15 million. Each. There’s much relief (and stunned disbelief) all around. Callie insists on going out to celebrate which seemed sort of inappropriate and icky until she revealed that her intention was to remember the dead (RIP, Mark and Lexie) and to honor the survivors (of which Alex wished he were one…foreshadowing much?). And so everything seemed great except that, again, this is Grey’s Anatomy so I knew the other shoe had to drop at some point.

The Loophole and The Fallout

And just like that, there it was. Owen turned down Derek’s invitation to join the gang for dinner (awww…Bromance resuscitated!) and returned to his meeting with the hospital’s lawyers. Turns out that the insurance company had found a way to get out of paying the claim (there could only be two Attendings on the plane and when Robbins took over for Karev that made three) so now Seattle Grace Mercy West has to pony up $90 million. And since it can’t do that, the hospital is now bankrupt. I hate it when that happens.

Is this the end for SGMW? Will the hospital somehow come up with the money? How will the survivors respond to this news? And, in the name of all that is right and good, can we please find someone other than Owen to blame for this fiasco? Since this is a television show set in a hospital, I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that there are more twists yet to come. Share your theories in the comments!

The next all-new episode of Grey’s Anatomy, “Walking on a Dream” airs next Thursday, January 24 on ABC.

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(Image courtesy of ABC)

Janalen Samson

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV