As you all watch 923 I sneak in with a review of 922. Watch out, I'm stirring the pot.
So, where was I when I left off? Oh yes. Unhappy with how season 9 was progressing. I’m still here by the way. Much to the irritation of the Jackson Avery or Jo Wilson lovers. I’ve been enjoying these late season episodes and as Spring arrives (in my part of the world anyway) so the countdown starts to season finale. In a few weeks time we face the prospect of a long hot (hopefully) Summer of hiatus and, as evidenced by the feverish output of the ABC press machine, more angsty trauma to keep up us engaged until September. Has Grey’s actually been renewed yet, cause Shonda sure does talk like it has.
Anyway. I last spoke to you all at the end of 916 where my patience had run thin on the ‘let’s drive the hospital into bankruptcy story’, and I’d pulled all my hair out in frustration at the ‘let’s shove a new girl down Alex’s throat without building a character first’ and was crying in despair at the ‘where’s Bailey gone?’ game. So I’m reporting back to you on how things have gone picking up at the delightful 922. We are breathlessly close to the season finale and the seeds of doom and drama are being planted right before us, the foreshadowing is more evident and the stories are accelerating. This is the part of the season I LOVE! I know many of you are stressing about Meredith’s baby. There’s gonna be drama. If you EVER imagined that there wouldn’t be then really you need to watch another show. Then there’s Cristina and Owen... and their new son Ethan. And pausing for one moment longer how much more angst and pain can the writers throw at Arizona and Callie. Back to 922.
There’s no sexy wake up to this episode, no Meredith and Derek or Cristina and Owen getting it on, it’s straight into chainsaw massacre, Lauren and Bailey!
Finally!!! (she says, shouting from the rooftops) Bailey has a story and it’s a humdinger. She’s killed multiple patients through infecting them with MRSA and she’s traumatised. This is OUR Bailey and I am traumatised for her. Her silence throughout most of the episode, her physical distance and focused overwhelming task added immensely to the sense of drama in her story. I liked the quiet destruction going on here though the bathroom intervention was cute but rather pointless. Derek’s plea of “this hospital does not work without you” would have worked better if they had spent more time on the impact of Bailey removing herself from surgery more and really showing us that the hospital doesn’t work. But. Herein lies the foreshadowing (well I think so anyway). This hospital will not function without Bailey and I feel that the crescendo of her infection story will be in her saving the hospital during the Perfect Storm. I also love that we are reminded of the character behind Richard. Flawed, but you always want him to win. The cherry on this particular sundae however was the reappearance of very lovely Ben, the intern now based in LA (who, by the way, would be significantly more interesting than the current crop of Grey Sloan interns). Hands up those of you who agree that his hugs look delicious! Perhaps the most interesting segway from this story was the symmetry it provided to the first half of the season: Arizona.
It wasn’t lost on me that it was Callie who tried the hardest to reach out to Bailey, she organized the intervention. The use of Callie to bridge the story of Bailey and Arizona was poetic and a little sad, because this arc is the one with the most potential for destruction in the season finale. Arizona makes a half hearted attempt to get through to Bailey but really she understands and in a poignant moment which will come back to bite us all on the backside in two episodes time, she reminds us that the silent treatment is a cry to be left alone. And there in lies the metaphor.
Did Callie get it? No. She spent the episode focused on everything but her wife. The meaning of which, if you read the spoilers will land with a vengeance.
Arizona and Lauren sitting in a tree. K.i.s.s.i.n.g. Too many syllables. But Hilarie Burton has had something to do with trees before. This is dangerous. All the spoilers tell us so, but the danger is not will they or won’t they do the dirty. They may or they may not. It’s almost irrelevant. The danger is that we will soon find out who Arizona really is. We might soon realize that the Arizona from Season 5 and early Season 6, the one who loves independence, who is free spirited, not burdened by responsibility or obligation may (will, in my opinion) be the Arizona that steps into Season 10. Solo. Apparently Arizona has some choices to make in the coming episodes. It’s gonna be bumpy kids way way way into Season 10. But, if you’re a fan of the whole show and not just this couple then as with Bailey, this story arc provides us with an opportunity for real character development as both these characters get their own stories, and the actors playing them get to show us their best. And so far this season both of them have done a great job.
Ladies and Gentlemen I introduce you to Ethan Hunt. It has a nice ring to it, don’t you think? Kind of Tom Cruise like. And oh the irony, because the will they won’t they aspect of Cristina and Owen – by this I mean, the will they or won’t they sit down and have a decent conversation about their future – seems to be a mission impossible. Owen will adopt Ethan OR Ethan will be the catalyst that breaks them up. Other scenarios seem redundant.
The episode itself was rather average. As usual for late season episode the writers are playing story catchup, trying to get as much content in as possible to prepare us for the end, but in this particular case it’s disjointed and not particularly well written. Some of the dialogue is tired and cliché’d – bigger fish to fry, you gotta get over that hairball – the entire dialogue given to Alex. Perhaps someone can point it out to me, but what relevance did Derek’s story with Mousey have except to solidify her as neuro, good at it but no passion. And to give something to Alex to do. He hasn’t had much this season. The medical stories are usually nicely linked to the theme of the episode but in this case it was lacking.
Meredith and Derek are somewhat merely lurking in the background in this episode. Yes they have story, but it's more of the same from previous episodes, reminding us of the happy drama-free family they are. But we did get THE PRINCESS CROWN DEREK! And this one last scene was all I needed to make my season.
April and Jackson are clearly dying to jump each other and their interaction over the patient in the OR was sweet and grown up. I must say this folks, I am warming to Jackson in these last couple of episodes. Perhaps it’s because they have really kept him low key, the writers have pushed him into the room with the grown ups and he needs to step up. And his speech to Stephanie was priceless. He’s a lost soul. He wants to be performing life changing facial surgery on babies, not running a hospital. Come Season 10 I think he will be back to being just a Fellow. Or maybe I just hate the Jo Wilson character more...speaking of...
Alex and Jo. I really really don’t care. And this worries me. The writers are still struggling to find a ‘suitable’ love interest for Alex AND build that character up. Compare Mousey, Ross, Leah with Jo and Stephanie. The first three are all about surgery. The other two are all about the love interest. In my opinion, this is a failure for season 9 and unfortunately I don’t see any satisfactory resolution coming up.
So all in all a fair episode as the calm before the storm settles and the music ROCKED.
I will be back with a review of 923 this weekend (which has just started) and there will likely be a S9 recap posted by a spoiler colleague this week too to prepare you for the big SF.