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Grey's Anatomy - 10th Anniversary Series Review: "Live For the Moment"



In the season of 2004-05, there were three game-changing hits. The first was Lost which ended in 2010. Next, was Desperate Housewives which ended in 2012. The third show was Grey's Anatomy. It premiered on March 27, 2005 and was an instant success. The show might have been overshadowed by the other two shows in the beginning, but 10 years later there is only one still on the air and is still a hit with audiences. There's no doubt that Shonda Rhimes started something incredible when she put pen to paper and created this entertaining medical drama.

There was just something about this show that made it must-see TV. Fantastic writing, three-dimensional characters, captivating storylines - everything needed to separate this medical drama from all the others. It's evident in this show's longevity and continued dedicated fanbase that Grey's Anatomy still has the heart that started beating in its very first episode ten years ago today. It's a remarkable achievement and we have to commend this show for defying the odds. I personally still love the show but it's not quite the same as it used to be. Fortunately, I still look forward to watching the next new episode of the show.

So here is my 10-year anniversary review of the show. Much like my Desperate Housewives anniversary article, I will review each season that has aired, including the currently-airing eleventh season, along with the best episodes from each season. 11 seasons. 237 episodes. 10 years.


Season 1 (2005)

When it comes to first seasons of shows, they're usually a bit tricky. Most of the time, they're trying to find themselves while we, as audiences, try our best to keep interested because we either want the show to be great or we give up because the struggles of a rookie drama are just not worth our time. In the case of Grey's Anatomy, the first season could not have performed any better. For myself, there was so much to enjoy in the show's first nine episodes (though if you want to, you can count the first five of season two as they were originally part of season one).

Starting off with the characters, we end up having a truly stellar cast from the get-go. The main draw for Grey's Anatomy in its first season was the fantastic characterisation of the ensemble. This show introduced me to some of the best actors and actresses on television as I was not exactly familiar with a few beforehand. Then again, I was 12 when the show began and I was mainly watching Disney films or Harry Potter. Ellen Pompeo I found really charming as Meredith Grey and Sandra Oh as Cristina Yang was a revelation! I absolutely loved the interns, including Katherine Heigl as Izzie Stevens, T. R. Knight as George O'Malley and Justin Chambers as Alex Karev. It's actually bizarre looking back at the beginning and realising only two of five are still around as George is dead and both Izzie and Cristina took off.

The dynamic between the interns and the residents was another reason that had me watching as it was fun to see their interactions. Meredith's one-night-stand Derek Shepherd, played by Patrick Dempsey, turned out to be a surgeon and resident at Seattle Grace Hospital which was a very neat twist. It doesn't sound like much but it was so good to watch. I liked that Meredith was the child of a famed surgeon who everybody respects, but Meredith herself sees her as her mother, opening up a personal world of Meredith's where Ellis Grey is not the famed surgeon she once was. Another highlight of the first season was Izzie's character and how she was under scrutiny because she was a former model. Grey's works best when it can break stereotypes and show us that people are just people and it doesn't mean they have to be put in one box and can't be great. I relate to that so much so that's partly why I took a big liking to Izzie very early on.

The season ended with a wedge between Meredith and McDreamy when McDreamy's wife comes into the picture played by the wonderful Kate Walsh. Dun dun dun! The finale was a great episode but the episode I chose as the best for season one has to be the one and only pilot.

EPISODE SPOTLIGHT:

"A Hard Day's Night"
When a show premieres, it needs to start the best way it can, to build a world and allow viewers to escape within it so they'll want to tune in to the next episode. From the very start we are introduced to interesting characters within a very interesting environment. I loved that we got to experience the intern's first day at the hospital as it allowed us to see them as people first and foremost who are going to go on a huge journey to become the brilliant surgeons they're destined to be. The dialogue in this episode is also fantastic, a huge kudos to Shonda Rhimes for penning a fantastic premiere, and the acting was already great. I couldn't have wanted a better start to this show and I don't think I'd want it to begin any other way.


Season 2 (2005-06)

Perhaps the main aspect of the show's second season has to be the arrival of Addison Montgomery and how she shakes up the dynamic of MerDer. I wanted to hate Addison because I was rooting for Meredith and Derek but I just couldn't - Addison was a very grounded character who ended up being so likeable she got her own great show! And I loved Private Practice. Season two was much longer than season one and is still the longest season to date with a huge 27 episodes (just 22 if you separate the first 5 episodes). I don't think the season suffered for it either because the more episodes here meant there was more to love.

There was no sophomore slump here that maybe Desperate Housewives suffered from. Instead, writing was still on par with the first season and it kept reminding us why we fell in love with the show in the first place. In fact, I remember more of what happened in season two than I did in season one, mainly because there's more development and storylines for the characters to really get into. Two fantastic new characters are introduced in this season also - Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez, who is my favourite right now), and Mark Sloan a.k.a. McSteamy (Eric Dane).

The Cristina and Burke relationship that was kindled in the first season really ignites in the second. Before the downfall of that pairing at the end of season three, I was really into them being a couple. They kept having struggles, such as Cristina unsure about accepting his marriage proposal, and Burke's gunshot wound in "17 Seconds" that leads to his hand tremors. George also starts to get a girlfriend and Izzie and Alex begin a very heated relationship that begins with sex during the bomb episode. Miranda Bailey, whom I absolutely love even though she could be a major bitch (but that's a characteristic that drew me to her), also had her baby during the very same bomb episode which she was also trying to keep in because her husband was in surgery. "Can you get me a new vagina?"

The main thing I have to mention as I was so close to putting it in the episode spotlight, was "Losing My Religion". I haven't met a Grey's Anatomy fan who doesn't love that episode or the storyline that came to a climax during it. The Izzie and Denny storyline was a really interesting storyline and I found myself strangely liking it, even though Denny was a patient and older than Izzie. I found it oddly charming and by the end of it, I was really wanting it to happen. Everyone knows Denny meets his end in "Losing My Religion" but in the most heart-breaking way by how Izzie deals with it. She lies with him and cries and her friends surround her and they're dressed for prom and it's all so romantic. And "Chasing Cars" plays and I'm crying and Izzie's crying and I can't deal with anything for hours. You know you're a sucker for a show when you feel far too attached to these characters and their tragedies.

EPISODE SPOTLIGHT:

"It's the End of the World" / "As We Know It"
Ah, the bomb episode, also the Superbowl episode. I've included both parts here because they're both exciting and brilliant. The 'code black' news was riveting to watch unfold as people dealt with it in different ways, and we had Christina Ricci with her hand in a patient stopping an unstable, homemade bazooka from exploding. I felt so sorry for her, especially when the guy who was with her leaves her, but my jaw dropped the floor when Hannah (Christina's character) took her hand out and ran from the room, only to see Meredith has taken her place. I was genuinely scared for Meredith even though I knew she couldn't die, but it was still traumatising to watch. When the bomb does come out and the bomb expert takes it into the hallway and Meredith follows and then boom, it explodes, I was on the floor myself. They couldn't have went any more extravegant for the special Superbowl episode than this.


Season 3 (2006-07)

Season 3 of Grey's Anatomy kept the amazing momentum of the show going for another 25 episodes. It was during this season when I started to realise Grey's Anatomy was becoming one of my favourite shows of all-time and it totally deserves it. Everyone is back, everything is different but nothing has really changed. This is the last season with the entire original cast intact as Isaiah Washington (Preston Burke) bowed out in the season finale.

Izzie's situation with Denny continues in season three as she discovers he has left her a huge sum of money that she ends up investing in a free clinic - The Denny Duquette Memorial Clinic. I always remember her lying on the bathroom floor too as she is still stricken with grief. The Cristina and Preston storyline was also a roller coaster as Cristina helped him with his hand tremors - the extent of Cristina's brilliance really comes through in this season and I love how much she develops as a person. You would never think she would be the marriage-type but she really does commit herself to it in the end - only to have Preston leave her at the alter. I mean, come on! That was just nasty Preston! How dare you do that to Cristina.

I kinda liked the Callie and George relationship to begin with, it was pretty cute and they had that power play thing going on as Callie was a "boss" and George was just an intern but sometimes that didn't translate well in a comedic way. Only thing I didn't like was that George cheated on Callie with Izzie. I love both Callie and Izzie so for Izzie to do that, while I could sort of understand given the context of the situation, was still not a good move! It was also a big season for Meredith as she drowns (more about that in the episode spotlight) and goes to a sort of afterlife with a few dead familiar faces showing up.

Another big exit this season was Addison Montgomery as she gets to headline her own show, Private Practice. I really loved Addison and I enjoyed her on the show and I was sad to see her leave the hospital, even though I got to watch her on another show, but of course it's never the same. Her exit was a good one as we are introduced to the new characters. A little out of place in the scope of Grey's but I liked the backdoor pilot. Bright side? The incredible Chyler Leigh made her debut in the last two episodes of the season and would continue to appear in the next season.

EPISODE SPOTLIGHT:

"Drowning on Dry Land"
I was really tempted to watch this episode so I did just recently along with the episode before, "Walk On Water". It's the big ferry crash episode, which we were introduced to in the episode before. "Walk On Water" ended with Meredith being knocked into the water by a thrashing patient so we open this episode with a beautiful but haunting shot of Meredith under the water. The depth of hers and Cristina's friendship is shown here as Cristina keeps asking where Meredith is which I love. Meredith finally being found by Derek who carries her out was a great moment, especially since Meredith was deathly white and rushed to Seattle Grace - where she flatlines. The ending with her in the 'afterlife' with past dead characters was bizarre but good also. I also enjoyed Izzie's case in the field as she has to drill the holes in the patient's head but she had to phone the hospital for help. An exciting episode all around.


Season 4 (2007-08)

The fourth season ended up being shortened from a planned 23 episodes to just 17 but that didn't affect the season's quality as it was yet another great season as a whole. It was a season of change, for sure, as things had to progress after losing two cast members and gaining another - Lexie, who turns out to be Meredith's half-sister. Just to shake things up of course.

The most exciting thing about this season, for me, was seeing our main characters become residents after being interns for three years. They were great as interns but I always wanted to see what they would be like on the other side. I loved that they got their own little interns, but poor George had to re-do the internship as he failed the exam prior. It was actually a good little twist as we really did want George to become a resident but at the same time it was a good story to see how he dealt with the others progressing and him remaining stagnant. There was some turbulence between MerDer as they broke up, and Derek starts something with a nurse called Rose. They were on a break! The clerical trials they did were awesome too, even if they were more fatal than life-saving.

One of the major things in this season was the beginning of Callie's bisexuality. We have Erica Hahn, played by Brooke Smith, who had actually appeared in a few episodes in season 2 and 3 but she really became prominent in this season. She and Callie begin a relationship which takes Callie, and everyone, by surprise but it really showed you can fall for anyone, regardless of gender. And it was Addison who saw this first in her first guest-appearance since leaving the season before. I did kind of like Callie's and Erica's relationship but in another way I wasn't the biggest fan, I just didn't find them that compatible. I love Callie but I just thought Erica was alright and thought Callie could do better. I did quite like Erica's dynamic with Cristina though.

I was close to putting the finale as the episode spotlight but I ended up choosing the ambulance crash episodes. So I have to briefly mention the finale, particularly the fact that MerDer have a fantastic reunion complete with a candle floor-plan of their future home. And oh my, what a glorious home it is. The entire scene it happens in as well was yet another example of a monumental moment on the show.

EPISODE SPOTLIGHT:

"Crash Into Me, Part One" / "Crash Into Me, Part Two"
Since season two, there's been at least one big event and for season four, the ambulance crash is it. Perhaps not the scale of the bomb or the ferry crash, but the ambulance flip was exciting. The main thing I remember from the two-parter was guest star Seth Green and his scene with Lexie. You know the scene. They talk, he laughs, then an artery blows in his neck that squirts blood everywhere and all over Lexie. I was squirming watching it and it is perhaps still the grossest thing to happen on the show. Of course Meredith is involved heavily in the event as she has climbed into the rig to help the paramedic stuck inside the overturned ambulance. The paramedic lived, yay! But poor Seth Green did not.


Season 5 (2008-09)

Now onto my favourite season of the show. I just absolutely love season five and I think it's the peak of the show's genius. That's not to say the following seasons aren't great, because they are, but I just loved this season so much it's impossible to surpass it now. This was the final season with Erica Hahn and George O'Malley, and it's also the last full season for Izzie Stevens too as she has a very short and uneven tenure in the following season.

Anyway, the main reason I loved this season was because it had the most balance with all the characters and I believe they all had something to work with. There were a lot of great episodes too and a lot of them stand out. New characters were introduced including Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd) and Arizona Robbins (Jessica Capshaw). There was even a short story-arc with Sadie (Melissa George) concerning the interns practicing on each other, including Lexie and it was a good little storyline. One thing that also stands out is the transplant storyline where Meredith drops the kidney and it's all shocking and Bailey shouts "five second rule!"

With Erica gone, Callie begins to explore her sexuality which leads her to the love of her life, Arizona. Now I am definitely all for Callie/Arizona so I loved the kindling of their relationship in this season, and even for Mark and Lexie who were a fantastic couple and it makes it all the more heartbreaking when we know they end in tragedy. A huge development also, and a strange one at that, was the post-it wedding of Meredith and Derek. I always wanted them to get married as they belonged together and Shonda was right when she said she couldn't really picture Meredith in a wedding dress. The post-it thing was definitely more fitting than the big extravagant wedding they were originally going to have and I'm glad that Izzie and Alex were able to have that wedding instead. As a side-note, that 100th episode, which was marvellous, aired on my birthday which was the best present Grey's Anatomy could have ever given me.

Izzie had her malignant melanoma storyline this season which started with hallucinations of Denny. She cleverly got the interns to diagnose the Patient X and when they solved it, my heart really dropped. At this point, Izzie was my favourite so I didn't like the fact she had a 5% chance of survival and I genuinely felt scared for her. Turns out she was not the person I should have been scared for as George steps up to be a hero...

EPISODE SPOTLIGHT:

"Here's to Future Days" / "Now Or Never"
I think the season five finale perfectly balances the medical cases that keeps Grey's relevant, but also the horror of personal dilemmas for the characters. I mean, this was a totally exhausting two-hours as you literally feel winded by the end of it. And oh my God, the end of it!! Izzie has woke up with apparent memory loss, but Alex never gives up on her and she overcomes the amnesia, only to flatline! At the same time, a patient has come in who was hit by a bus. We have no idea who this person is but he manages to let Meredith know he's 007 - George! The moment Meredith realises was a heart-dropping, agonising ending for the episode as Meredith tells everybody it's George, all the while he and Izzie are in mortal danger and they beautifully end the episode with Izzie in the elevator in her prom dress and George in a uniform awaiting to get on.


Season 6 (2009-10)

The stakes had never been so high for Grey's Anatomy before a season premiere. It was the first finale to end with a main character's life on the line, and there were actually two lives on the line - George's and Izzie's! The premiere begins exactly where we left off: we have Izzie in cardiac arrest and they're fighting to bring her to life - then she opens her eyes. I couldn't have been more thankful to God a.k.a Shonda for this! But of course, we can't have too much of a good thing because poor George didn't make it. He died a hero.

The reactions of George's death were heartbreaking to say the least and every cast member brings something unique in the immediate aftermath. Callie's crying in the operating room when he dies set me off big time, and Izzie's goodbye was a tear-jerker too. But what was bizarre but oddly perfect was George's funeral, specifically the scene where Izzie, Meredith, Cristina and Alex all begin to laugh. And they can't stop laughing and then I can't stop laughing and it's genuinely funny but awful at the same time. I'm even laughing right now thinking about it while writing this. I was so glad Izzie was alive but it seems like maybe she should have just died considering she stayed for barely half the season and there's literally no chance of her making a return in the future which is a huge shame. I hated that she abandoned Alex, and her friends.

Derek got some meat this season too with his ascent to being Chief of Surgery. I quite liked him in that role and I thought he did a good job considering, even though Richard Webber has always been the perfect Chief of Surgery. One of the best storylines this season was the merger with Mercy West and the "infestation" of the other surgeons and residents from that hospital to our beloved Seattle Grace. I loved the introductions to the new characters, including April Kepner (Sarah Drew) and Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams). I never really took to the others, Reed and Percy who were both dispatched of in the finale. I did feel for both in the end.

Another new character was introduced this season - Teddy (Kim Raver) who I really took a liking to. Have you noticed I end up really liking all new characters that come on this show? It helps that they are so well-written and actually serve a purpose to the stories and aren't just there for filler. She starts some problems between Cristina and Owen but I ended up loving the Teddy and Cristina dynamic. I honestly think Cristina has great chemistry with everyone.

EPISODE SPOTLIGHT:

"Sanctuary" / "Death and All His Friends"
I cannot describe what and how much I felt during the season six two-part finale. Oh my God. A hostage is a storyline that has been done numerous times in shows but I don't think any of them do it quite like Grey's. From the moment Gary Clark, the shooter, shoots Reed in the head (was that not the most shocking death on Grey's ever?), everything kicked off in an exciting but nail-biting way. Seeing people panic and run, hiding under beds and pretending to be dead - the gravity of this episode raised the stakes high like at the start of the season with George and Izzie. Part one ended horribly with Gary shooting Derek back when April was pretty annoying (however I love her now) with the cast giving the performances of their lives. And how can I not talk about Meredith in this episode, especially in the last one when she realises she's having a miscarriage. An honest low point for the lives of these characters and I feel horrible for thinking these two episodes were the show's best. I'm a horrible, horrible human being!


Season 7 (2010-11)

Ah, the higher the rise, the harder the fall. When looking back at season seven, I have to admit, it was the beginning of a slow descent for me. The first six seasons were all fantastic in my opinion, but when I look at season seven, the majority of it was pretty boring. I think that's due in part to the fact that the characters have just endured a hostage that rocked everybody to the core and we watched them deal with it. It's realistic and fantastic writing and acting yet again but it felt too slow for me.

The hardest hit was Cristina. She ended up being so traumatised by it that she couldn't step foot in an OR and after saving Derek's life despite the threat of being shot, we can't blame her. Fortunately she has Owen and they end up marrying and it's really sweet. It's also a big struggle for Meredith and Derek too after the miscarriage because they want to try again, but they end up adopting - Zola. That also comes at a bad time when Derek finds out about Meredith's dishonesty in the medical trial and he leaves her in the finale. I was so devastated for Meredith!

This season was really all about the Callie too, which is why I really wanted to love this season but I just couldn't. I loved her expanded role and the strain between her and Arizona, though it was the beginning of a rocky road for the two. Callie slept with Mark and got pregnant, leading to a co-parenting situation between the triangle. It all gets really scary though when Callie and Arizona end up in a car crash. I'm not one of those people who hated the musical episode though, I actually enjoyed it but I can see why people didn't like it. It was bizarre to say the least. But to me, it wasn't terrible. Sometimes I like swimming against the current of popular opinion. It was made up for with Callie's and Arizona's eventual wedding. Yay!

There was no really big event in season seven either that has been a sort of tradition since season two - bomb, ferry crash, ambulance crash, shooting. Season five didn't have one either but five didn't really need it. I felt season seven needed to be injected with something. It can be argued that the musical was that "big event". This season was all about the healing though and I am glad a lot of the characters did.

EPISODE SPOTLIGHT:

"Golden Hour"
I actually loved this episode. It was just simple yet fantastic and I loved the concept of it being confined within the 'golden hour' that could change everything in a patient's life. So much can actually happen in an hour and this episode showcases the importance of time. The best of season 7 wasn't a big episode like the past six seasons, but I appreciate the simplicity in this episode and it's really quite beautiful. It's all about Meredith in this one as she runs the ER and I loved the focus on her in this. The real-time format is something I'd love to see incorporated more as I couldn't get enough of this episode. I'd love to see this kind of episode again. maybe with a different character as we see how they progress in an hour. Bailey and Eli were fun too hehe.


Season 8 (2011-12)

For me personally, it wouldn't really take much to be better than the seventh season and I thought season eight did a bit of a better job. We didn't have the characters in a dark place like they were in the beginning of the previous season because of the shooting so things already started out much lighter. I do love when the characters are in dark places because we can see how they deal with it and overcome it, but sometimes it can be too depressing.

Season eight still isn't regarded one of my favourites but it did have a lot of great episodes within. This season also had a major cast shake-up at the end (that spills into the start of next season) which also makes this a hard season because of how it ends. Firstly though, there are still problems at the start concerning the fallout from Meredith's tampering with the Alzheimer's trial and it's a long road to recovery for her and Derek following that disaster. The relationship between April and Jackson also gets interesting, especially with the appearance of Catherine Avery who is a wonderful character and brilliantly played by Debbie Allen.

The alternate reality episode was a good one, if not totally weird. Grey's likes to do special event episodes like that musical but this one was something I was very interested in seeing. I loved seeing how these different characters would have been if things were different and boy, were things different. I mean Bailey, a pushover? Never thought I'd see the day! And Meredith and Alex? Another fantastic episode was "Dark Was the Night" which was an exciting episode too with the ambulance crash with Meredith and Alex. Not just that, but also Teddy's husband being in surgery with his life in Cristina's hands... but he doesn't survive. Teddy also leaves in the season finale which I was pretty sad about. It was a quiet exit and I hope she returns one day.

Even the more recent seasons of Grey's Anatomy I am starting to forget more of than the earlier seasons. I'm in dire need of a rewatch but my conclusion of season eight is that it was an improvement over season seven, but it still trails the first six seasons. Fortunately, the season ended in both good and bad as a huge disaster strikes.

EPISODE SPOTLIGHT:

"Flight"
I was going to put "Dark Was the Night" here instead but I thought the spotlight should go to the episode that literally went all out. This is possibly the biggest game-changing episode of the show. It was exciting, no doubt about it, and it felt very Lost-esque, but it led to some huge storylines. For one, and the most heart-breaking one of all, was the death of Lexie. I absolutely loved Lexie and I miss her dearly still, and it also led to the death of Mark Sloan a few episodes later which my poor heart just couldn't handle. Another important factor was Arizona losing her leg - that led to troubles between her and Callie that are still ongoing in the show. This plane crash really did mess everything up both in a good way (for entertainment value) and in a bad way (I really, really miss Lexie and Mark, and a time when Arizona and Callie were deeply madly in love).


Season 9 (2012-13)

I really enjoyed season nine actually when looking back at it. I was still reeling from the loss of Lexie in the season eight finale and then suddenly I have to deal with the loss of Mark Sloan too which is no good, but as a whole, I think this was a great season. I liked the new interns this season too - Jo (Camilla Luddington), Stephanie (Jerrika Hinton) and even Heather (Tina Majorino). I slowly got to like Leah (Tessa Ferrer) next season though but I did not like Shane (Gaius Charles) one bit!

The second episode of the season really dealt with the aftermath of the plane crash as we saw through flashbacks what happened. I always remember the shock of Arizona having lost her leg, just the way it's revealed even though we could see the extent of her injuries in the season 8 finale. Derek also has the possibility of never being able to operate again which is scary and Meredith helps him through that. I do absolutely love the Alex and Jo relationship and I'm so glad that is still going on. I loved how Alex was there for her when she was abused by her then-boyfriend Jason.

Also due to the plane crash, the hospital ends up going bankrupt because of a loophole with the insurance company to pay the survivors $15 million each - a huge sum of money. I loved that the characters ended up putting it into the hospital to buy it, instead of completely ruining it, they saved it. It really shows how much these characters love the hospital and how much the hospital, in itself, is an important character in this show. I was also very happy Meredith fell pregnant though I wouldn't get attached until the baby was delivered for fear she might lose it. Can never be too safe on the show. Bailey also gets a big storyline when some of her patients die and she is investigated by the CDC. April begins to date Matthew and he proposes - he was actually a perfect match for April but we all knew she wanted Jackson.

EPISODE SPOTLIGHT:

"Perfect Storm"
The season ended with another big event, this time a storm that shuts down the power in the hospital and puts lots of lives in danger. Far more realistic than the plane crash and a great episode that brings more excitement to the hospital. Meredith also goes into labour (much like Bailey went into labour during the bomb fiasco) and it's not without complications. The bus crash outside the hospital was almost reminiscent of the ambulance crash in season four but it was still exciting. There's also the start of another downfall for Arizona and Callie when a doctor, played by Hilarie Burton whom I love, flirts with Arizona and seduces her. I wish we could have seen a confrontation between Lauren and Callie instead of just disappearing. The season also ends with Richard being electrocuted which was very frightening because nobody knew he was down there.


Season 10 (2013-14)

Before even starting this season, we all knew that this was going to be Sandra Oh's last. I can't tell you how heartbroken I was to hear the news. I still knew I was going to try and enjoy this season regardless, even knowing her inevitable end was coming. I was praying to Shonda not to kill her off and I didn't think she would and fortunately she wasn't, so phew.

The season begins with the storm as it's still ongoing and Richard is nowhere to be seen. The reason I hated Shane is because he inadvertently got Heather killed as he gets her to look for Richard when he should have been and she ends up getting electrocuted. Poor Heather! The interns do become more prominent in this season. Arizona begins a relationship with Leah since she and Callie call for a break following Arizona's betrayal. If the writers really wanted us to hate Arizona, it almost worked, but I still love her and I'm rooting for a reunion between her and Callie. Leah doesn't make it out of this season though as she is wasn't fit to be a surgeon, however I liked that she came in and helped in the finale despite this and simply took off her gown in the end and walked away. Pretty admirable. Jo and Alex are still hot and heavy and I love them more.

The love-square of April, Jackson, Stephanie and Matthew comes to a head in a pretty dramatic move - Jackson steals April away in the middle of her wedding to Matthew, right in front of his girlfriend Stephanie. I mean, major ouch. That was just an awful thing to do to them but good in a way because April and Jackson got to be together before it was too late. It was interesting to see everyone's reactions. Alex also got some more storyline this season as his father comes back and it was a sweet arc. I was sad for Owen and Cristina as they clearly love each other but things just aren't working out.

This is Cristina's swan-song. One thing I was crushed by was the fighting between her and Meredith in the beginning which I couldn't have been more happy about when it was resolved. I really wanted Cristina to win that Harper Avery award and the reason she didn't was infuriating, I would have been pretty violent if I was her. It was cool to see Preston Burke again after so long and how he and Cristina interacted. He kind of made it up to Cristina for leaving her at the alter by giving her his job - it was the least he could do. More about the finale in the spotlight.

EPISODE SPOTLIGHT:

"Fear (of the Unknown)"
Oh Cristina Yang, why did you have to go? With the amount of cast changes the show has suffered - Preston, Erica, George, Izzie, Lexie, Teddy, Mark, etc. - I wasn't ready for yet another big one to go, and none other than Cristina Yang! Alongside Meredith, their friendship was a main draw for this show and they were each other's person and I didn't want to believe anything could tear them apart. While I don't like that she's left Meredith, I am happy for her. She's living the dream and this was a great send-off for her. Her final moments with Meredith were so great and had me bawling my eyes out, even though there's still chances for Cristina to come back. The dancing set me off though, that was just rubbing salt to the wound because it's the height of their awesome friendship and we won't get that on a regular basis anymore. Sad face.


Season 11 (2014-15)

Phew. This has been an incredibly long ride so far going through the previous ten seasons of the show to get to this point. Season 11. 220 episodes has aired. Now time for the next 24. As of this 10th anniversary, only 17 of those episodes have aired. So far, I have liked this season as I usually like all seasons of Grey's Anatomy (I know I was a little harsh on season 7 but I still liked it in the end) and there are several reasons why I have liked this season, even though Sandra Oh is gone.

I'm a huge fan of Private Practice and so the incorporation of Amelia Shepherd (Caterina Scorsone) in the main cast is a dream come true for me. I loved her on the spin-off and I think she fits in so well with the cast on Grey's. I do kinda wish the other cast members from Private Practice would also join the show and Addison would come back. Anyway, the drug storyline from PP was sort of carried over here when a patient recognises Amelia and exposes her past - that was harsh but Amelia handled it brilliantly. The main highlight for me though is the Nicole Herman storyline involving Arizona and Amelia. More about that in the episode spotlight.

Shonda promised this to be Meredith's season and it has been. Her marriage with Derek is on the rocks as they fall out over his job offer at Washington D.C. which he ends up taking. I wanted him to because I was sick of the fighting and I can totally see why Meredith didn't end up going to see him when she was supposed to. The addition of Maggie (Kelly McCreary) was something I was wary about at first because we had Lexie as her surprise half-sister and she died (I'm still crying) and now we have another surprise half-sister. I am getting used to Maggie though and I do like her, I kind of relate to her too about being single and alone.

Callie and Arizona are just not on the same page anymore but I can see glimpses of hope for them every now and then, especially in episode 16 when Arizona tells Callie about her ex who Callie was then sleeping with. The most heartbreaking thing this season comes with April though and her baby with Jackson. Babies are supposed to bring joy but on Grey's Anatomy, most of the time, it brings despair. No exception can be made for April who loses her baby and again we have yet another tear-jerker.

Has season 11 been a great season so far? Hmm, probably not great, but it has been good. 11 seasons in and the show is still good. I still love these characters and I still love tuning into this show. I don't think I ever will stop as long as we have the characters we love and the great writing that still accompanies the show. It's not the same anymore, of course, but I feel like I always have and always will love Grey's Anatomy.

EPISODE SPOTLIGHT:

"The Distance"
The season is incomplete so who knows if this will still be my favourite by the end. All I know is I love Amelia Shepherd and I love this episode. The Nicole Herman storyline is definitely a favourite of mine this season so to have it come to this episode was huge. It was beautifully written and I liked the focus on Amelia as she prepares for this huge surgery. I love that she didn't run to her brother for help to do this - she did this all on her own, she is no longer the 'Other Shepherd'. To me, she proved herself in this episode and came out strong. I am a fan of Nicole Herman and I love Geena Davis and her work with Arizona this season so I was hoping and wishing for her to pull through. I was so glad she did, but it wasn't a full miracle as she lost her sight. I liked that she took it like a champion though.



Grey's Anatomy has aired 11 seasons in 10 years and a grand total of 237 episodes so far. That is a huge, huge number and a remarkable achievement. Happy 10th Anniversary!

Questions for the Fans

1. What is your favourite season of the show? (Bonus: rank the seasons from best to worst)
2. What is your favourite episode of the show? (Bonus: what's your favourite episode from each season?)
3. Who is your favourite character? Has it changed during the course of the show?
4. What is your favourite storyline from season 1 to 11?
5. Who is your favourite couple?
6. Looking back at the series as a whole, where do you stand on your feelings towards it now?
7. When do you think Grey's Anatomy should end?

About the Author - Gavin Hetherington
Award-winning author of 'Abyssal Sanctuary: Remnants of the Damned'. Gavin joined SpoilerTV on August 9, 2014 and will be reviewing 2 Broke Girls, Mistresses, Orange is the New Black, Pretty Little Liars, Salem and Sleepy Hollow in the 2014-15 season. Gavin's favourite shows include Charmed, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Desperate Housewives, The Walking Dead, Once Upon a Time, Revenge, Scandal and much more. You can contact him at gavin@spoilertv.com.
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