I’m happy to report that after a sub-par outing last week, tonight’s installment of Grey’s Anatomy was a return to form. Solidly entertaining, with an extra dose of character development for good measure, “Could We Start Again, Please?” found our favorite surgeons in need of second chances, do-overs and fresh starts as they made (with varying degrees of success) important life choices.

You Never Get Away From It

First up was Dr. Amelia Shepherd, newly transplanted to Grey’s from it’s now-canceled spin-off, Private Practice. I stopped watching PP long before Amelia turned up on that show and, thus, I was only vaguely familiar with her tragic back story. I imagine many GA viewers were in the same boat, but we got a crash course in the life and times of Amelia Shepherd when a fellow recovering addict (and daughter of Amelia’s patients) had a full blown melt down in the ER and (apparently forgetting the 12-Step notion of ‘anonymous’) recited a litany of Amelia’s transgressions for all to hear. Narcotics addict? Check. Dead boyfriend in her bed? Check. The woman left out the part about Amelia’s dead baby, but that’s probably because she didn’t know about that. Thank heaven for small favors. 

Amelia was, understandably, devastated that her most personal secrets had been revealed in such an awful way. She found support in both Richard and Meredith, but Derek, by what he didn’t say as much as what he did, pretty much threw her under the bus. Amelia’s disappointment in the face of that betrayal was palpable as she struggled to pick up the pieces of her shattered life.

Please Make Up Your Mind

Meanwhile, Dr. Herman (whose first name is Nicole!) was pressuring Arizona to come to a decision. Accept her tutelage within a cone of silence about her condition or go tattling to Chief Hunt and lose the chance to gain Herman’s knowledge before she dies. AZ wasn’t having it. She wanted more info. Herman wasn’t giving any. Finally, after Herman went AWOL, Robbins had to stand on her own two feet and handle a crisis with a mom and her unborn baby. Long story short, baby lived but mother died (should have seen that one coming when Graham boasted about having done a million C-sections). Herman defended Robbins to the distraught husband/father, saying she did all she could. Robbins decided she wanted to learn everything possible from Herman. Interesting that in an episode revolving around fresh starts, I finally felt something for Dr. Herman as Geena Davis seemed to settle into her character.

The Return of Dr. Bailey 

In other news, Jo was scheduled to perform her first solo surgery. Things got off to a rocky start. While psyching herself up for the procedure, she boasted to Stephanie that she was a ‘badass’ surgeon who wasn’t afraid of ‘little bitty Bailey,’ who would be supervising her. Of course Bailey overheard the insult. Jo did the surgery but then was afraid she’d messed up. Bailey knew she hadn’t but let her stew for awhile anyway. In the end, Miranda was the teacher we know her to be. I confess I’d almost forgotten how Bailey can be when she’s at the top of her game. This is the woman who taught our original Interns with a fierceness and a competence that was a wonder to behold. Writers, please don’t let her go away again.

2015 People’s Choice Awards: Grey’sOUATBonesSupernatural, and TVD Lead TV Nominations >>>

At the End of the Day

As the episode neared its close, a trio of important scenes set the stage for next week’s fall finale. Japril shared a sweet moment that I fear foreshadows something awful to come regarding their baby. Meredith, who genuinely felt bad about the dinner party fiasco, invited Maggie to get together…at Alex’s house where they reminisced (along with Alex and Callie) about Ellis, George (!) and all the others who had lived at Casa Grey over the years. It was a throwback kind of scene and really rather lovely, topped off by Arizona showing up as the latest boarder, much to Jo’s dismay.

Finally, Derek (who had seen the error of his ways and gone to bat for Amelia in front of the hospital board earlier in the episode) apologized to ‘Amy’ in person for being selfish and letting her down. She nodded understandingly, but this isn’t a wound that’s going to heal anytime soon. Derek hurt her badly and she’s not giving him a pass. He confided to her that he doesn’t know himself anymore. Doesn’t know why he did what he did. He’s trying to make good decisions and screwing them all up. He’s miserable all the time. Again, Amelia gets it. He’s experiencing what addicts call Rock Bottom. Yikes.

The next all-new episode of Grey’s Anatomy, “Risk” airs November 20 on ABC.

Keep up with Grey’s and all of your favorite shows. Download our free Buddy TV app.

(image courtesy of ABC)

Janalen Samson

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV