Grey’s Anatomy returned from its mini-hiatus with a strong outing, ably directed by Chandra Wilson (Miranda Bailey). In “Transplant Wasteland” our surgeons discovered that a hospital doesn’t run itself and that, to quote Spiderman’s Uncle Ben, “With great power comes great responsibility.” And there was a fresh start as we said goodbye to Seattle Grace Mercy West and hello to…more on that later.
Heavy is the Head That Wears the Crown
In the final moments of “This Is Why We Fight”, Jackson Avery discovered that the Harper Avery Foundation was willing to save SGMW from liquidation…with one condition. He was being appointed as their representative on the board of directors. To say he was shocked would be an understatement, but that’s only one facet of his emotions. Avery, who has worked so very hard to earn his professional stripes without the benefit of his famous name and family, now finds himself the head of the hospital that his mama bought for him. And he’s more than a little angry in addition to being in totally over his head.
The rest of the staff isn’t taking too kindly to the news either. They don’t consider the Boy King, Boss Man, and Plastics Fellow to be up to the task. They assume he is at best the foundation’s mouthpiece and at worst his mother’s puppet. They resent that their former peer (or in some cases, underling) is now their boss. Even Webber can’t hide his concern, telling Catherine that if Jackson fails at this job, it will follow him for his entire career. So what is our Pretty Eyes to do?
Faced with the rumor that he was going to be fired, Owen confronted first Jackson, then Derek about it head-on. When they confirmed that a change of leadership was being considered to boost morale, Hunt beat them to the punch and quit. He’s tired of being left out of the loop on major decisions and feeling like an idiot when no one tells him anything. More importantly, he feels terrible guilt about his own inadvertent role in the plane crash and assumes others feel the same. If that’s the case, he’s not sure how he can be an effective leader at the hospital anymore. Interestingly, however, it becomes very clear over the course of the episode that without Owen at the helm, the hospital dissolves into a chaotic mess. What to do?
The one person NOT asking that question is Cristina Yang. She knows exactly what to do. Support her guy. My Cristina-and-Owen-lovin’ heart was filled to overflowing as Cristina proved her devotion again and again. She went to him immediately when she found out he might be fired. She supported him emotionally in his distress. She threatened to walk if being part of the leadership team meant keeping secrets from him. And she told Derek off quietly but firmly, respectfully but rightly. The Cristina we’ve seen since her return from Minnesota is the Cristina I’ve been waiting to see for ages. And the icing on the cake? When Cristina called Owen, “sweetheart”. Be still my heart.
A Whole Lotta Transplants Goin’ On
In other news, we actually saw patients in this episode, most of whom had something to do with transplants of one kind or another. April had the awful task of helping a former colleague who was stricken with ALS end his life with dignity. Alex worked with a young teen who was getting a new kidney. Cristina dealt with feuding old men (don’t ask) over hearts and lungs. Meanwhile, Bailey admonished Avery to make some decisions about the procedures Bad, Evil Pegasus had put into practice and Alex dealt with the fact that Jo is now seeing an ob/gyn doc who wears pink scrubs. Whatever.
Drum Roll, Please
Back to Avery. In what I took as a positive sign, Jackson stepped up and acted like the man in charge. He sorted out the surgical board (which in Hunt’s absence had spun out of control). He asserted his authority respectfully yet firmly, saying that his opinions would be brought forth, not his mother’s and not the foundation’s. Exhibit A: He insisted that the Harper Avery Foundation would follow the lead of the hospital board, not vice versa. Exhibit B: He reinstated Owen Hunt as Chief of Surgery. Exhibit C: He proposed a name change to the hospital, a name that would reflect the history and tumult of its formation —Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. Nicely done, Dr. Avery. Nicely done.
Grey’s Anatomy returns next week with an all-new episode, “Idle Hands”, airing Thursday, March 21 on ABC.
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(Image courtesy of ABC)