I had such good intentions last week to get this review out, then I fell ill and wanted the world to end for a few days. But here it is, just in time.
Once upon a time Grey’s Anatomy used to be all about sex and scalpels; full of spicy surgeries and on call room liaisons. Where the Sloan method was trademarked and Bailey was a prude. Then it got serious; couples got complicated, started unconventional, creative families, residents took exams, became real doctors. Surgeries became secondary to the plot and clothes remained in tact, no ripped off scrub pants in sight. Though Bailey remained kind of a prude. And then season 9 happened. And as if Shonda has slipped the writers oysters and jungle juice, the sex and scalpels are back. Big time. Though it turns out Bailey’s no longer a prude.
I want to believe that the writers room wasn’t filled with creatives giggling like school boys at “who can write the best hot smutty scene” or “who can make the best ‘balls’ gag” but I can’t help feeling that it was when the time came to write 904. Shonda allowed them to let rip with their characters’ frustrated libidos and return Grey’s Anatomy to it’s horny home. Every one’s doing it. Well not quite everyone. But let’s be honest the only ones not doing it so far are in the tiny minority; they being the legless couple and Dr McGrumpy. Other than that Seattle Grace Mercy West, as well as Cristina, over there in the snow, are humping and pumping all over the place.
And I enjoyed it. Kind of. I love that Grey’s is keeping the faith with dark comedy layered over tragedy. But 904 “I Saw Her Standing There” was just a bit too much innuendo and smut for me. When the comedy and sexual suggestion drown out the story then the levee’s been breached. And there is some heavy story going on, if you can find it. In the end I enjoyed the sexy times but tired easily of the constant ‘balls’ gags.
Arizona and Callie are damaged through more than a missing leg. This is my favourite story arc at the moment. In sharp contrast to the happy fluffy peds surgeon of season 8 we continue to witness a stellar understated performance from Jessica Capshaw as the thoroughly scarred and angry wife.
I am relieved to see Arizona’s own heart has softened slightly towards Callie, thanks to some wise words from her peds protégée. At last, finally, before I lost all faith in the guy Karev uttered his most mature sentence to another adult – “you know Callie’s trying too”. My faith and hope in Alex is restored. To me, this was a milestone because it wasn’t the serious Alex who advocates for his kiddie patients nor was it the sullen sarcasm of his usual spats with adults. It was the Alex who was the only comfort to her during the musical crash, who calmly and reasonably, using adult words offered much needed lonely support. And here he is doing it again. We know why Arizona is angry as much as we know that when we hurt the most we punish the ones we love the most, knowing they will be there the next day. It does remain to be seen if Callie will be there the next day (though it does look hopeful) but I hope they continue this story at this pace, not moving too quickly and slowly bringing us along too.
|Alex doing good at at last|
We’ve seen very little of Owen this season so far. He’s moping around like a lost puppy , struggling to understand how his life has become what it is. And it takes a lovely moment with Callie in the bar for us to understand it. I conceded to a friend this week that whilst I am not a friend of Owen I do think that Sara Ramirez and Kevin McKidd have excellent on screen chemistry. I’d almost rather Callie struck up a friendship with him over Derek. Callie would be a great help to getting Owen back to a likeable character. (Hey Shonda! You reading this?)
|Yes Owen, I'll sort you out.|
Our baby doctors are now the mummy and daddy doctors and oh my goodness Meredith rocks at it! She’s the main man in that house in the woods. No longer is Derek the mega star of the Shepherd bedroom (even with the size of that pay check), that accolade now belongs to Meredith and her rare and dangerous tumours. She’s worried that Derek will morph into the bear in the woods – you remember the one, scared the bejesus out of Alex and Izzie. She doesn’t need to. He’s now seemingly content with, easy hours, doting fatherhood and spending time in their abnormally large bed. Ooohhh errrrr how things have changed.
Over in the cold fringes of Minnesota it seems Cristina is enjoying her own down time with her ‘slightly reptilian slightly chatty’ boss on the sofa and ‘ancient guy’ bff in the bar. And in a moment when great writing and great acting mesh together we see a parallel story to Margaret Campbell. Do you remember? The old ‘past it’ doctor played by Faye Dunnaway some years ago. This relationship with Dr Thomas is the karma to Campbell. Finally we see the brilliant young, yet cold, surgeon demonstrate the compassionate doctor that she is, as she tries hard to find her way and her surgical wings in the hospital politics. I’d like to think that Teddy would be very proud from her military hospital in the sky. Wait she didn’t die did she? Forgot. Still, she’s very proud.
|You're a bit older than Meredith, but you'll do...|
The giant ball(s) of this episode showed themselves in the form of some poor sod who’s left (or right, I don’t know) scrotum swollen to the size of a balloon. If you missed the episode boys, I do not exaggerate, catch-up with caution. Of course the metaphor that the writers were trying to elaborate on was not lost on me. Showing giant balls was the real theme for almost all, whether it was Arizona standing up, Meredith taking on her rare tumour, Owen moving out, Derek realizing he’s done as a surgeon or Jackson fronting up to Richard the message was delivered by the poor scrotum guy and his ‘would be’ girlfriend. JFDI.
The most brilliant ‘scrotum’ scene took place at the expense of Alex and Jackson, who were brought in to witness the size of the ‘man’s parts’ that April would later have her hands on. Perhaps this was the other beauty of the episode – a moment when April could turn the tables on these young pups and stick the knife in a little. But after this it all got a little silly.
We were treated to “The further adventures of Catherine and Richard” loaded with innuendo where Catherine is rather sadly trying to get April laid having suddenly felt somewhat coy at the sight of large balls herself. The writing became unstuck here as the Catherine of Season 8, you remember - penis transplant Catherine - would not have balked at all at this balloon surgery in the way she did and would also probably have guessed that April has that post coital glow. And the Richard of this episode became a rather sad version of himself in that ‘high school’ moment. And then, to cap it all off I cringed behind the sofa when Avery went all “hurt my mom and I’ll cut you” on him. Okay, he didn’t go that far but really...?
|...so many captions for this...none of them clean enough...|
The balls story was rescued by the lovely Bailey whose one liners and blunt talking whilst trolling for surgeries provided the more usual Grey’s humour. I preferred this to the Benny Hill show.
|Everyone's humping around Grey, and my Ben is no where to be seen...|
In all, the series continues to be doing great things during season 9. Whilst this one was a bit OTT for me it provided light relief and, I must say, a lovely new doctor.
|David Moore - hubba hubba|
Innuendo leads to great one liners...
“...and we’re done here” Jackson
“white wine” “which kind” “the big kind”
“oh for petes sake it’s just a little testicle, somebody just get up in there”
“...a little reptilian, a little chatty...”
Worst line to ever come out of the mouth of Richard Webber
“you don’t want a piece of this, not today”