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Friday, September 30, 2011

We Miss Zola and Lexie

Grey's Anatomy - "Take the Lead"

This episode focused on most of the residents flying solo in the ER, but it also focused on hope for both of our current icy couples. It started out a little slowly for us, but then the episode nailed it in the last couple of scenes and in the surgeries. What’s going on with Alex? Why isn’t he fighting for peds, the only place where he is able to act like a human?

Richard steps down as Chief to spend more time with Adele and names Owen as the new chief of surgery. Lots of people don’t like this and are amazed that it wasn’t Bailey. We think Bailey would have made a far more entertaining chief, but Owen is usually professional at work, and he’s older (we think), so he’ll be fine. Owen spends the episode at work trying to win Bailey over, but he strikes out every time, because she refuses to make things easy.

Owen and Cristina have not yet talked about the abortion. They are being polite and too friendly and are trying really hard. It’s awkward, but funny. We didn’t think that humor would be the perfect aftermath to that storyline, but it is and it’s working. Meredith convinces Cristina that she will have to discuss it with Owen. Owen and Cristina go home and get Chinese food. When they are finished, Owen looks teary and says, “You know, I’ve been feeling really terrible.”

Cristina is like, “Oh, we’re gonna talk about this. Ok. Let’s dive into it,” but then Owen runs to the bathroom. It turns out they both got food poisoning and spent time in the bathroom together. The awkwardness is gone and they are all lovey again. It was appropriate, yet funny, and probably the best way to handle this on the show. Thank God we didn’t have to watch them talk about it yet. That storyline was depressing, but, shockingly, it looks like Cristina and Owen are going to get through it.

According to Shonda Rhimes, she and the writers argued all summer over whether Cristina would have a baby. In the end, they felt that watching Cristina go through with it for many episodes, resent Owen, juggle her career, and raise a baby badly would be even more depressing than watching her have an abortion. We can actually see that. There are enough babies on this show that it would drag the show down to have yet another one. The parenthood theme is covered with Bailey, Meredith, and Callie.

Shonda also said, "I don’t think it’s about the agenda. I think it’s important [that] I try to do what’s right for the characters. In Private Practice, we had a character, Naomi, [who] was staunchly anti-choice, staunchly pro-life. Viciously so, in a lot of ways, in a way that I thought was really kind of beautiful and religious and different from the way I think at all. What I also thought was that her point of view is valid, has merits, and should be portrayed and portrayed strongly. I feel you have to portray all different sides of who people can be if you’re going to create a world." We can see that. Because of the nature of the character, it would have felt like more of a wussy move or agenda if Cristina had the baby.

But enough about that. We covered that last week. We just thought you guys might want to read the interesting bits of Shonda's take on the whole thing.
Teddy has Cristina going back to basic by doing an appendectomy, but Cristina has forgotten how. She quizzes her interns in the hope that they will re-teach her how to do it. Mid-surgery, both Cristina and Teddy forget a step. A nurse has to tell them what to do. Jackson almost did a cleft palate on a baby, but Arizona wanted the best job for her patient and scared Jackson into standing down so that Mark could do it. Alex acted like a jerk during this episode and found that he can’t do anything for his patient during his bowel surgery and closes him up.

Meredith, of course, triumphs in her surgery. It’s an aneurysm with Derek. Meredith disobeys Derek and it turns out to be a good call. Derek hollers and gets mad, but Meredith’s surgery ends with applause from the rest of the surgical team. You really do have to go with your gut.

Derek and Meredith turn out to be the couple to have a Big Talk. We really liked it. It was about time Derek made it clear to Meredith what his problems with her were. It kind of redeemed Derek for us, because he acknowledged that Meredith stood in front of a gun for him. Yeah, uh, remember that, buddy? What’s more trustworthy than that? Derek doesn’t trust Meredith at WORK, because that’s where people are professional and Meredith crosses the line. He said that he won’t leave her because of the Post-It and we appreciated the shout-out to commitment “even when he hates her.”

Derek is angry that Meredith suffered no consequences for ruining his trial. She hasn’t learned a lesson and she isn’t sorry. Meredith says that they shouldn’t work together anymore and that being off his service, even though she is a budding genius brain surgeon, will be her consequence. The two sleep in the same bed that night, but Derek was still scowling. This seems like a good compromise to us. Should husband and wife really work together all day anyway?

Episode grade: B

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