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Friday, September 23, 2011

Grey's Anatomy - a tale of two (almost) mothers, "Free Fallin" and "She's Gone" (spoilers)

Ok, after nearly a day of sitting on this one, we are ready to share our mixed feelings about that Grey’s Anatomy premiere. It really bummed us out. Full disclosure for those of you who missed the last Grey’s Anatomy episode where we mentioned this: We would not make abortion illegal, had we the power. But we personally dislike it and would probably never get one ourselves. We can’t say for sure without sounding like douches, because we’ve never been in that position. But from where we stand, getting an abortion for convenience, especially when you are married and have a job, is a lame move. We're not into preaching personal beliefs, but since the show brought it up, it would be weird to ignore the issue. Maybe we’re wrong and the unborn aren't humans yet. But the chance that it might be makes us want to avoid that mistake at all costs.

So it was sad for us to see Cristina go through with it. The scene where she and Owen are with the doctor, about to have it done, was really hard for us to watch. These two have been through enough as a couple, and this was devastating, no matter what your political and personal beliefs. A huge part of us really wanted to see Cristina come around to being a mom. It was nice to see her hesitate out of love for her husband. Women all over the world are probably bemoaning this abortion. One of our friends who we watched it with exclaimed, “Are you ****ing kidding me?” when Cristina gave the doctor the go-ahead.

Before we defend Cristina’s (and the writers’) decision a little bit, let’s recount Cristina defending it to Meredith: “I wish I wanted a kid. I wish I wanted a kid so bad, because then this would be easy. I would be so happy. I’d have Owen and my life wouldn’t be a mess. But I don’t. I don’t want a kid. I don’t want to make jam. I don’t want to carpool. I really, really, really don’t want to be a mother. I want to be a surgeon, and please—get it. I need someone to get it, and I wish that someone was Owen. I wish that he would show up and get it, but that’s not going to happen. And you’re my person. I need you to be there at 6 o’clock tonight to hold my hand because I am scared, Mer, and sad, because my husband doesn’t get that, so I need you to.”

(Note: the blogger who hasn't watched this show since season 3 just teared up while editing this post. She still doesn't agree with it, but wow is that such a hard decision.)

The plot decision fit so well with who Cristina is and what the writers have been doing with Cristina and Owen as a couple. Their whole thing is that Burke didn’t get Cristina or love her for who she was. He tried to force things on her and when he realized that’s what he had been doing, he walked out on the wedding. Even though Owen and Cristina have had super big issues to deal with, Owen has been trying over and over to accept Cristina and succeed where Burke failed. This was Owen’s test, not Cristina’s. And with a little help from Meredith (who gave him a few of the many good lines of the night), he passed. This was a huge surprise for us. We didn't think that's where the storyline was going. We didn't know that the point of all this was for Owen to be in Cristina's corner no matter what.

Even if you are staunchly pro-life, you must admit that we are operating in the world of the show, where abortion is completely Cristina’s choice, there is no one around to question that (because the show is chock-full of “progressives”), the child not a technical life yet, and, apparently, it’s worse to be born unwanted than to have no life at all. In the world of Grey’s Anatomy, the choice made sense. Owen decided to just “put it behind them.” We hope it works for him. That wouldn’t realistic, but we still hope that. As viewers, we kind of want to put this whole thing behind us too and forget about it. For God’s sake, Cristina, get your tubes tied if you’re that freaking sure. This is the second unplanned pregnancy. Sheesh. Despite it all, we were touched when Owen “understood her” and Cristina burst into tears. She is (and has always been) our favorite character on this show.

Moving onto the couple that most people care more about: Derek and Meredith. Derek was very cold through most of the episode. We find it interesting when his righteousness turns into self-righteousness. There’s nothing more boring than a perfect character. We aren’t sure where they stand now. We assume they are still separated and Derek is still angry that Meredith ruined his trial. But he did defend her to the social worker, saying, ““If there’s a flaw,” he said of his wife, “it’s because she loves people so much she’ll do anything for them.” The Chief taking the fall was predictable. And welcome.

The sinkhole was ridonkulous, but very Grey’s. One of us visited Seattle last summer and was shocked when no disaster occurred. It’s a nice, quiet, pretty, safe city with no flaming ferryboats or mass shooters in sight. April is tried to bring the comic relief, but she was annoying instead, as usual. Alex Karev brought it better. We like Lexie with bangs. Overall, this episode was pretty good, but sometimes slow, and it was not one that we would watch again. This was a pretty mature episode. Gone are the days of Meredith's one-night stands. It's about hard marriages now. The writers were so intentional and careful with everything that happened through these storylines, and most of the dialogue was so good, that it's hard not to be impressed.

We rolled our eyes when Meredith “kidnapped” Zola. These people are doctors. How dumb can you be? It was good in that it led to a reconciliation between Meredith and Alex Karev. The double whammy of bumming us out came when they took Zola and Meredith’s voiceover said, “You think that true love is the only thing that can crush your heart, the thing that will take your life and light it up or destroy it. Then, you become a mother.” That’s a perfect line right there.

Episode Grade: B


  1. I liked the episode. I prob would have given it an A- or B+. I really didn't like the Christina having an abortion storyline. I know that by law she has every right, but in my eyes that's still killing a baby. For awhile I actually thought she may have changed her mind, but no. Derek really anoyed me this episode. If you truly love someone as much as he supposedly loves Meredith you will forgive. I am really pretty certain that Mer/Der will end up together, so maybe I'm just a little annoyed they are dragging it out. Also, Dr Bailey really kinda annoyed me in this episode. So self righteous! And I guess I'm not as perceptive as you b/c I totally didn't see the "Chief falling on his sword" storyline coming. I was pleasantly shocked. :) My heart also broke when Zola was taking away. :( Overall I think it was a very good start to what I hope is a great season!

  2. It only got a B for us, because we felt like the whole thing was too depressing. That's fine for a regular episode, but we were depressed by this for TWO HOURS. It's not just the baby drama either. The rest of the characters seemed bummed too.

    Mer/Der got a little boring when they were perfect. We are ok with the show giving them drama, because we think you are right that they will make up.

    This show has really gotten back to form. We think it's been really good for a while. It will do the occasional stupid thing, like ghost Denny, Gizzie, or the musical, but overall, it's quality.

  3. I agree about the quality of the show. I think the past couple seasons have been (for the most part) really stellar. It's funny, with Grey's it seems like when they are good they're really good (the shooting finale), but when they're bad they;re really bad (musical, Denny's return).

  4. Totally agree. It's like this show has a really stupid writer and a genius one, and they are constantly battling.

  5. Agree with you about Christina's abortion (and about abortion's legality, in general, btw). It was so sad to watch. The problems I had with her conclusion were the absolutes she couldn't see past. I get that she's career-driven, and that she is convinced she would be a terrible mother because she'd end up resenting the child, but she made it sound like she didn't have a choice about whether or not she would resent her child. There's always a choice. Hers is the position of entitlement that privileges the self above all else. Very real and human, but very sad.

    At same time, though, it really is something this character would do (she should get those tubes tied), and like you, I like that they remained consistent. I just don't think he writers/Shonda Rhimes had reason to go there. It felt like a pot-stirring move, but then again, this is a nighttime soap!

    What's Derek's problem? He needs to chill the heck out, and forgive Meredith already. What she did was bad, but not marriage-ending bad. Not gonna lie, I totally teared up when they took Zola away. Well played, show.

  6. Good point about the choice whether or not to resent her child. A lot of people don't think in those terms though. A lot of people think emotions rule and are uncontrollable.

  7. Ha. Thanks. It was harder than most, bc of mixed feelings.