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Friday, October 29, 2010

Grey's Anatomy - These Arms of Mine review/recap

So far, Grey’s Anatomy has been pretty good this season. There has been nothing crazy, none of the couples are completely wrong (like Gizzie and Callie/George), and the humor seems to be creeping back. This episode changed the Grey’s Anatomy format to make it a little more like MTV’s True Life, and we mean that as a compliment. The episode was a finished documentary about the hospital and the doctors who survived last season’s shooting. Cristina still struggled with her new identity as a hero who can’t step into the O.R. Cristina admitted that being a hero has its price. We can tolerate this storyline, because Shonda Rhimes promised that when Cristina comes back, she will come roaring back. We await this triumphant return. We also saw the side-effects Jackson is experiencing after the shooting. He was in the operating room with Cristina and he also had some friends die, so he freaked out a little in this episode too. Teddy cursed, and it was funny. We like that she can be aggressive when it’s necessary.

In case #1: Derek, Owen, Mark (the Titans) and Callie did a double arm transplant. Callie is the one who saved the whole operation. It was nice to see Amanda Foreman (Felicity) back on TV as the wife of the donee. She and her TV husband had a funny, caring, easy-going dynamic that we enjoyed. It’s nice to see a couple of Grey’s patients who are actually nice and accommodating. We loved their reaction to finding out that there was a tattoo on one of the arms.

In case #2: Mary, played by Mandy Moore, came back to the hospital for a routine surgery done by Bailey. Mary and her husband had just finished travelling, because life is too short to have savings over a good time, right? After surgery, Mary planned to have children. Bailey and Mary embrace and resume their believably close doctor-patient relationship, and the surgery goes fine. However, Mary never woke up and had to be removed from life support from her crushed husband. This was surprising, ironic, and very sad. Good ending. It made the end of the Mary storyline memorably.

In case #3: The most adorable Alex case ever, of all time. Better, even, than him shirtlessly holding babies. Alex worked with Arizona on a pediatrics case involving a little girl named Lily who needed a new trachea. He told the documentary cameras that he would be happy to work in peds, but only because it’s the elite, not because he likes kids. As he describes his apathy for the kids, we see him singing to his young patient over the intercom while she is in an MRI machine where she can’t have her headphones. He went to her show-and-tell, gave her advice, slept on a cot in her room, and carefully watched the growing replacement trachea until it was ready. Sure, Alex, You don’t love kids. Sure. We complained before that Alex seems to be regressing and that he needs to grow up. This case and his interest in pediatrics is a pretty big step.

Arizona won a grant and an opportunity to work on kids in Africa. Arizona planned to go, which upset Callie, but Arizona had decided that it was an opportunity she couldn’t pass up. In the end, Callie decided to go with Arizona. Relax, they will be back. This is just a way to give actress Jessica Capshaw her maternity leave.

This is the first episode of Grey’s in a while that made this blogger tear up. Sweet, sad, interesting, and eventful. Our only beef was a lack of substantial Meredith time, although we did enjoy her supporting Cristina and trying to stick up for her. But we think our former main character needs a big story arc, stat. Just because she's grown up and married now doesn't mean her struggles and stories should be over. Also, Lexie acted like an idiot running through security. She didn’t foresee that it would inconvenience her fellow doctors? Sometimes smart people have no common sense.

Episode Grade: A-


  1. I absolutely hated the documentary-style editing. Grey's should not try to be something that it is not. Leave it to The Office and Modern Family. Also, the plot is really dragging. Thumbs down.

  2. See, the difference between this is that this was a finished documentary, and those other shows are "in the making." We always thought that Grey's was the type of show that could experiment and throw in crazy things, like last season's medical mystery hour, the flashback episodes, the bomb episodes, and the ferryboat arc. We think it's interesting when they throw in episodes like that, because you get to see all the characters from a different point of view. We loved this particular episode for Alex alone. We've been waiting a long time for him to get into pediatrics. It softens him.

  3. I didn't like the documentary style at first -- it felt a little too self-conscious in the beginning, and it highlighted just how silly the dialogue on this show can be. BUT, it grew on me after about 15 minutes. The Mandy Moore storyline was heartbreaking, and it worked well with the style of the episode that we (thankfully) didn't get a teary monologue from Bailey at the end. They hit the beats just right from start to finish, I think. That said, I'm happy for it to return to it's regular, soapy format next week.

    I also rejoiced at seeing Amanda Foreman in the episode! Megan was my favorite character on Felicity! I'm ashamed to admit that I watch Private Practice, and she played a PSYCHO last season, so it's nice to see her being awesome again.

  4. Amanda Foreman has such a nice presence and she can play many types of characters, from sweet to psycho.

    We agree about this show's dialogue and monologues. Ugh. Honestly, this blogger didn't pay much attention to the first 15 minutes, because nothing ever happens in the first 15 minutes of Grey's lately.

    You watch Private Practice?!! Bah hahahaha. You need to defend it to us. We don't even see the guilty pleasure appeal of that one.

  5. I'm under no delusions about the quality of the program. I didn't start watching it until about a year and a half ago when I heard that it was going to start getting a bit "dark", which it thankfully did when Violet got violently attacked by Amanda Foreman's character. I'm a sucker for characters getting hurt in some way and then having to deal with the psychological consequences over the course of several weeks (which is probably why I'm enjoying Grey's Anatomy so much this season). Yeah, the show is terrible, but they keep having ridiculous traumas that I must watch. In last week's episode, Kadee Strickland's character got raped! I have to know how she deals with it!

    I hide Private Practice in the same pool of shame where One Tree Hill lives.