I don’t know about you, but I’m going to need to watch that again. In “Remember the Time,” Grey’s Anatomy flashed back, filling in the pieces and answering the questions left unanswered in last week’s “Going Going Gone”. The non-traditional narrative structure worked beautifully, helping the viewer piece together bit by bit what happened in the aftermath of the fateful plane crash. The result was not so much a puzzle as a mosaic or perhaps and impressionistic painting. All those dots … but when you step back … wow. A masterpiece unfolds before your eyes.
Before I get started in earnest, let me make three random comments. First, how much do I love Richard Webber? He has become the show’s anchor and touchstone, a rock in times of trouble. Love him. Second, Owen Hunt is totally rockin’ it out as The Chief 2.0, helping his colleagues and friends through hell on earth while also coping with his own personal hell. Finally, Lexie’s body was devoured by wild animals? Sadly realistic, I suppose, but still. Oh, Little Grey. I’m so sorry. Okay, moving on…
Meredith and Derek
I really liked the two-fold organization of the show. One by one we saw each survivor’s story and got snippets of information which, taken collectively, helped to form a comprehensive picture. As is customary, Meredith’s voiceover was the glue that held the show together and, indeed, we saw what happened to her and Derek first and second. I way struck by two things: how “Medusa” is anything but when it comes to the people she loves and how Derek is really stepping up in the wake of losing his hand and his best friend. He recognizes how, despite everything, how fortunate he and Meredith both are to be alive and he’s emerging as a hero as a result.
Cristina and Owen
What can I say? Sandra Oh continues to astound and in Kevin McKidd she has an acting partner of the highest caliber. Their scene in the bathroom was absolutely breathtaking and I’m struck by a few thoughts. Cristina may have backpedaled by the end of the episode by calling Meredith her “person” once again, but it was OWEN who calmed Cristina when she was like a wild animal. And it was OWEN to whom Cristina finally opened up and poured out her heart.
The horrors of her experience are consuming her to the point where she sees no way out except to run. Owen may be afraid he’ll never get Cristina back, but I beg to differ. This is far from over and HE is Cristina’s person. She recognized it at the end of last season and I predict she’ll realize it again. Despite everything these two are soul mates and my money is on them finding their way back to each other eventually. That doesn’t mean it will be either quick or easy. I suspect it will be neither.
I was gutted all over again by Mark Sloan returning from the dead. Well, not really, but you know what I mean. After breaking my heart last week by dying, this week we saw how things went to hell and lost him all over again. Eric Dane, so good for so long in the lighter comedic aspects of his character, knocked it out of the park as he portrayed Mark’s final days. Whether breaking up with Julia (nice touch there), bringing the Bromance with Jackson, or sharing poignant moments with Derek and Callie and Richard, Mark’s swansong was perfection. What a loss. Absolute devastation.
Arizona and Callie and Alex
I’ve complained for years that even when terrible things happen to Calzona it always seems to pass quickly (chickenpox, AZ goes to Africa but returns a few episodes later). Even Callie’s near-death after a catastrophic car accident was wrapped up neatly in a three-episode arc. But now, all bets are off. Callie promised that she would not let Arizona lose her leg. Never make sweeping promises, Callie! No good ever comes of it. To save Arizona’s life Callie had to break that promise and poor Alex was the one to actually cut his mentor’s leg off. After suffering Arizona’s wrath for picking Johns Hopkins and not being on the doomed flight (and handling that wrath with astounding grace, I might add), Alex Karev (guilty, devastated, why can’t anything go right for him — why?) had to cut off Arizona’s leg. This is very, very bad.
Wrapping Things Up
So let’s review. MerDer stayed in Seattle. She’s terrorizing interns. He may never operate again. Cristina fled to Minnesota but is failing to thrive there. How long until she returns to SGMW and to Owen? I can not face talking about Mark again, even to recap. Jackson and April are on the outs but she’s coming back from Ohio, so who knows? Arizona is mightily ticked off that Alex cut off her leg under Callie’s directive. Look out. Bailey is happy with Ben but has lost her professional mojo and Richard is our sure foundation. Whew! I think that about does it. Step back. Take in the whole picture. And exhale, because this is what exceptional story-telling looks like.
The next all-new episode of Grey’s Anatomy, “Love the One You’re With” airs in two weeks on Thursday, October 18th on ABC.
(Image courtesy of ABC)