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Grey's Anatomy - Time Stops - Review

I know. I’m right up against the wire. But in my defense I had to re-watch twice to drum up the enthusiasm to write. It’s not that this episode was dull. It wasn’t. It was entertaining. But it was forgettable. Which is just not what you want of a penultimate episode.

We are almost there, season finale, and this down to the wire visit to Grey Sloan Memorial provided a teasing set up for the big finish. Though how much bigger than knocking off Derek can you get I don’t know. Time Stops stopped the mahoosive time jump as motion sickness abated and we start to move on from McDreamy. It was, and I know I’m now sounding boring in my praise, an enjoyable episode and barring the finale I can say categorically that this season of Grey’s has been wonderful....but more on that another day.

We pick up at the beginning of a new intern year as Arizona merrily enthuses about the arrival of the baby chicks and ducks triggering flashbacks to Richard giving the very same lecture x years ago. X = insert whatever number of ‘Grey’s’ years you’ve calculated have passed by. I’ve lost count. The chicks and ducks present themselves in the usual inept, clownish fashion familiar to us seasoned pseudo doctors. One particular chick announcing himself as a hero, leaping in like a swashbuckler only to be slammed down by the newly empowered Stephanie. And suddenly Stephanie gets interesting. Who saw that coming? Our new Errol Flynn, who could also be mistaken for a young Pierce Brosnan, comes fully laden with thick lush McDreamy hair and dashing Hollywood 1940’s looks. Okay, I’m dwelling on the new fella too much...I’ll move on.
...to the couples....

Let’s get something out the way, which is important to note. The couples are all in trouble. Meredith and Derek are no more. And will never be again. Richard and Catherine (is it a C or a K?) have broken up again. Seriously those two are worse than high school students. April and Jackson are drifting apart on account of April becoming a new super hero and Jackson being left on the shelf. Alex and Jo have spotted the biggest flaw in their relationship – he’s on the up and up and found some roots and she’s determined to get back in her car. By the way...did you know that Jo used to live in her car? No? Well she did. Or at least she tells us during every single episode, twice even in this episode, and I’m boring myself pointing it out. Where were we...oh yes...couples....Owen and Amelia, spent a year apart and are still looking at each other with dopey rejecting eyes. Callie and Arizona are living in separate domestic bliss only to find themselves finally in treatment cubicle together for the first time in what appears to be two years. Which leaves us with Ben and Bailey....the only couple currently enjoying the benefits of love. Don’t get comfortable Ben, after pontificating for a year on what to put in your living will I have an ominous feeling we may be seeing the fruits of that in the coming season – surely that was foreshadowing? So all but one couple is okay. What can they possibly do to us in the finale to make things worse?

Amelia finally had it out with Meredith. We all knew it was coming but let’s get this straight...it’s not about whether or not Amelia could save Derek. It’s not. Yes Amelia is a God when it comes to neuro surgery. The writers have taken care to build her to this status prior to killing off the previous God. This argument between Meredith and Amelia was about the fact that Amelia never got to say goodbye to her brother. Everything else is a smoke screen. And this is Meredith’s fault.
But really they are both right and they are both wrong because there is no right way of dealing with someone attached to a breathing machine with little brain function. If you’ve ever been in that situation you will know that every person reacts differently. Should Meredith have phoned Derek’s mother and sisters? Yes absolutely. Would it cross Meredith’s mind to do so? No. Her track record of family matters is woefully poor. She has no sense of ‘social convention’ when it comes to mothers and siblings. And who cares what Amelia thinks anyway. Mama Shepherd would surely be steaming mad at Meredith. However Mama Shepherd also understands Meredith and we have to as well. Grey’s always balances out these stories. Conflict between characters rarely lasts long and we are usually shown that both are at fault. I enjoyed seeing Meredith breakdown as Amelia left the room. Her grief was tangible as feelings of loss, let down and loneliness overwhelmed her. This is not the end of this particular drama, nor should it be. Derek was a pivotal person in Amelia’s life, let’s see her deal with this.

We knew that April would return from ‘war’ a changed woman. Her superwoman attack and clever direction and cinematography allowed us to see a powerful formidable woman at the end. She is no longer the wilting flower waiting to be asked to dance. This girl means business. I hope Sarah Drew is signed on for season twelve. This could be her best season yet.

Having already covered earthquakes, car crashes and plane crashes this season it’s not surprising that the writers just gave up on actually categorizing their latest disaster and just concluded that ‘something happened, there’s lots of dead people but also some alive people so let’s save them’. Okay, we did find out eventually but I didn’t need to know. What I know now however is that I’m not going to ever live in Seattle. That city is a disaster.

Episode 11.23, Time Stops was a functional enjoyable episode. But it confused and bothered me at the same time. I was really bothered when Richard claimed he owned the hospital – when did that happen? It also bothered me when Catherine started putting her nose into hospital business – hang on a minute, the board has been without three members for a year and now they’re back she’s suddenly sticking her oar in? It bothers me that Owen is all gung ho about the experimental technique and Jackson just moans about it. It is worth mentioning here that Kevin McKidd must surely be considering his options. He’s out of cycle with the cast on contract signing so if the seven year rule applies then this season finale could have him on a knife edge to leave. He signed on as a series regular during season 5.

Within an hour we’ll be through season finale. I predict it will be good but in order to live up to the season it needs to be bloody brilliant.

Here’s hoping.

About the Author - Brouhaha
Maxine (aka Brouhaha) is a fan of Grey’s Anatomy and writes episode reviews and occasional articles. Her other TV favourites include Foyle's War, Criminal Minds, TBBT and more recently Broadchurch. In real life she's a new mum, self-employed and can often be found arguing about politics or current affairs, attempting to write fiction and buying hair products. Got a question - go to Tumblr ask!
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