So, let’s all pause and collectively breathe a sigh of relief. After two weeks of stunt episodes that didn’t work very well at all, tonight’s installment of Grey’s Anatomy was pretty much business as usual. Thank goodness. I don’t think I could have endured another “very special episode” that I would “never forget.” Fortunately, “Time Stops” featured most of the hallmarks of a solid hour of GA: surgeons, patients, convoluted relationships and even a little humor thrown in for good measure.

Baby Chicks and Ducks!!!

It’s the beginning of a new year and that can only mean one thing: a new crop of interns. Richard gave the same speech to the newbies that he’s been giving for years…verbatim. I loved how footage from the GA pilot (Baby Meredith! Baby Cristina! Baby Alex! Baby George!) was inter cut with the scenes of  the new kids. Even better? All of the veteran surgeons mouthing Weber’s speech word for word as they marveled at how young the newcomers looked.

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Stephanie, who tried to channel her Inner Bailey without much success, was put in charge of a group of the interns. Predictably, their first day became memorable calamitous when a tunnel collapsed, which caused a massive accident involving twenty vehicles. Although most patients were D.O.A. at the hospital, a few managed to survive, at least for the time being. They mostly become “patient anvils” for the surgeons as their cases once again mirrored their personal lives.

Patient #1: Scott

Scott arrived at Grey Sloan in terrible shape and without much of a chance. Luckily for him, Badass Trauma God, Owen Hunt, had recently returned from another stint in the military. Hunt was feeling bold and daring, so he advocated for a risky procedure that would basically place the patient in stasis and allow the docs to operate. The operation was a success but its real purpose was to showcase conflict between Richard/Catherine and Owen/Jackson. 

Richard/Catherine were supposed to be married on this very afternoon, but differences in opinion on this case put that in jeopardy. At least Catherine had the presence of mind to send the catered meal to the hospital for the staff to enjoy. As for the Hunt/Avery tussle? Owen is feeling restless and in a rut. Tired of playing it safe and adhering to the rules, he’s returning to his renegade roots and stepping down as Chief of Surgery voluntarily. Then there’s Jackson. He doesn’t recognize April anymore and I suspect he puts a fair share of the blame for that on April’s mentor, Owen, who encouraged her to go overseas for a year. In fairness, though, I’m kind of digging this darker, grittier April. 

Patient #2: Joan

Forty weeks pregnant, Joan arrived with a major spinal injury. That put Callie and Arizona on the case, along with Stephanie and her mostly doe-eyed interns (the other was a pale imitation of early Cristina Yang: ambitious and hyper-focused on the medicine rather than the patient but without the biting wit or mad skills). The interns nearly killed Joan by loosening her spinal collar (do NOT loosen the collar!!!). Joan ended up regaining the feeling in her legs and giving birth in an elevator, but her purpose was to introduce us to Mysterious Handsome Doctor who strolled in having witnessed the accident and turned out to be a new staff member at the hospital. The twist? After being uber-competent for most of the episode, Dr. Andrew DeLuca turned out to be an intern! What the what? 

Patient #3: Keith

Keith is Joan’s fiance and he was trapped in a car so mangled that it resembled a crumpled soda can. Maggie, April, Amelia and Meredith were dispatched to the scene, because that’s just what Amelia and Meredith needed, to be reminded of how awful it can be when someone is in a horrific car wreck. Keith’s purpose was two-fold. 

First, when Meredith made the call that nothing more could be done, it led Amelia to go after Mer with a vengence about how Derek’s death was handled. I’m not the world’s biggest Meredith fan, but I felt sorry for her. The way Amelia lit into her was brutal. Sure, Amelia lost her brother, but Meredith lost her husband and the father of her children. I found the total disregard for that to be completely off-putting. I know I’m supposed to feel badly for Amelia (who is still haunted by Derek’s death and convinced she could have saved him, given the chance). Yet Amelia is so self-absorbed about it all (everything is all about Amelia all the time) that I’m on Team Meredith for this one. 

Secondly, Keith brought out the super hero in April. After spending the whole episode being a total downer about pretty much every patient, April took a page out of Owen’s book and was spectacularly innovative. The team had decided that Keith wouldn’t survive being extracted from the care because he was too far from the hospital. So April had the entire car (with Keith still inside it) towed to the hospital. You GO, Kepner!


*Richard is recommending that Bailey be made the new Chief of Surgery. She wants the job.

*Maggie received a mysterious phone call which upset her.

*Jo expressed interest in doing a tour in the military. Alex isn’t interested. Is Jolex in jeopardy?

*Meredith is selling The Dream House and asked Alex if she and the kids could move in with him. I really, really hope the writers aren’t going there with Mer and Alex. Their sibling-like, platonic relationship has been so refreshing. I don’t want that ruined. If Jolex is over, then I want Malex!!!

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“Were we ever that young?” – Meredith, commenting on the new interns

“They look so well-rested.” – Ben, shaking his head in amazement

* Jackson as Catherine’s “maid of honor”, Bailey as Richard’s “best man”

* Jo’s new haircut (Love it!)

“You can’t just say ‘suspended animation’ like it’s a real thing!”- Jackson

“It’s called Emergency Preservation and Resuscitation.” – Owen

“There are patients here that had chunks of cement fall on them during their morning commute but, please, have some brie.” – Miranda Bailey, scolding a new intern

“How many sliders do you think I could eat in two minutes?” – Arizona, partaking of the wedding feast

“I couldn’t breathe.” – Meredith, on why she ran away for over a year

“I didn’t get to tell him goodbye. Because of you.” – Amelia to Meredith

“I have finally found my place and it’s at this hospital, doing this job with these people. I’ve put roots down here. I’ve never put down roots anywhere.” – Alex Karev

“I came back but I’m not home.” – Meredith Grey

The season finale of Grey’s Anatomy airs next Thursday on ABC.

(image courtesy of ABC)

Janalen Samson

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV