Three episodes into Grey’s Anatomy’s eleventh (!) season, let me just say this. Holy cow! If TV dramas in their second decade are supposed to be phoning it in, past their prime, blah blah blah, then someone forgot to send the peeps at GA the memo. With each passing week, this show keeps firing on all cylinders, reminding me why I fell in love with it so long ago. Grey’s is older now, of course. It’s no longer fresh and shiny and new. But that’s not a bad thing because it’s also wiser, more mature, and more deeply felt. There’s nuance and complexity that only came in fleeting glimpses in the early years. Because life takes its toll on us all. Sometimes we get the joy. Sometimes we get the pain and the scars.

She’s My Sister

The episode opens with yet another classic Meredith/Alex scene. As Jo jealously eavesdrops, Meredith tells a showering (yes, you read that right) Alex that the new head of cardio is her biological sister. After picking his jaw up off of the floor, Alex spends the day helping Mer investigate Pierce’s preposterous claim. Turns out that Ellis Grey was indeed pregnant when she fled (five-year-old Meredith in tow) to Boston. In fact, the evidence is so overwhelming that Meredith cannot deny the truth. Maggie is her sister.

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Happy…Without Me

Owen’s got a new project. He hopes to work with Callie to provide wounded veterans with prosthetic limbs. Things get off to a rocky start when one of the vets doesn’t seem to be a candidate. There’s a lot of yelling in the hallway. All is eventually well when Jackson “I’m More Than A Hall Monitor” Avery (who had a pretty nifty monologue) figures out a way to reroute the patient’s nerves. He eventually agrees to team with Torres and Hunt.

But the real revelation here was a breathtaking monologue by Kevin McKidd which exposed Owen’s own raw nerves. He knows he had to let Cristina go. Knows it was right. For her. But he’s been left behind in a scenario that’s neither right nor fair. He movingly recalls how Cristina “saved” him when he was a wounded warrior, ravaged by post traumatic stress disorder. He tells Callie (related aside: I love the Owen/Callie friendship) that the darkness that was within him is still there. Cristina just lit it up. She was his family. And now she’s gone, leaving him to wonder if his dreams have gone with her. Will he be a single guy forever? No wife? No kids? No family? Nothing meaningful to contribute? So this Veterans’ Project is a big win in a lot of ways. Because Owen needs something to be good.


Why Should I Believe A Word You Say To Me?

After a rather lovely conversation with Meredith in which they discuss how Ellis kept both of them in the dark about Maggie’s existence, Richard (who’d also had a great day with Maggie in the hospital) gathers up the courage to tell Dr. Pierce that he is her father. In a pretty clever bit of writing, viewers are led in the beginning to think that Maggie is delighted by this news, only to have the rug pulled out from under us. Maggie (jumping to all of the wrong conclusions) assumes that Richard knew about her all along, didn’t want her either, and considered her appearance in Seattle after all of these years to be a “nightmare”. Wrong, wrong, wrong. I suppose if everything were sunshine and unicorns this early in the game, there’d be no story. Still that “could’ve gone better.”

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In Other News…

–Meredith is angry that Derek turned down the D. C. job saying, “He forfeited, so we both lost.” She knows he’s going to regret and resent this decision. Which is clearly the case since…

–Derek keeps inserting himself into Amelia’s casework, even though she is now the Chief of Neurosurgery. Honestly, while part of me feels a little bit bad for the guy, most of me thinks he’s being an arrogant, petulant, whiny jerk. Not so McDreamy. And I don’t care what your hair looks like, Boy Shepherd. Stop doing Girl Shepherd’s job!

–In the latest round of Calzona angst, Arizona is drowning trying to be a Peds Attending and a Fetal Medicine Fellow. Callie has just taken on the Veterans’ Project. When AZ questions whether or not it’s even possible to do “anything and everything”, the truth hits Callie like a ton of bricks. “You don’t want a baby!” she tells her wife, tearfully. Well, duh! So much for surrogacy. Can this marriage be saved?

–Miranda got the board seat (what the what?), leaving Alex to storm off jobless and defeated.

Memorable Quotes

“Your junk is spectacular. Jo is a very lucky girl. Can we get back to me now?” – Meredith

“I miss Cristina Yang.” – Jo (speaking for us all)

Meredith: “The only thing you inherit in this family is Alzheimer’s”

Alex: “Whoa. (pause) Dark.”

Meredith: “Good one though!” *they clink glasses*

“You don’t get these guys’ hopes up and leave them with nothing!” – Owen

“Avery has a history of making wrong choices.” – Stephanie

Owen: “I owe you an apology…” (pause)

Callie: “Were you going to give me one or was this just a ‘heads up’?¬†

“She was my family.” – Owen¬†

The next all-new episode of Grey’s Anatomy, “Only Mama Knows” airs October 16 on ABC.

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(image courtesy of ABC)