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Grey's Anatomy - When It Hurts So Bad - Review

Awkward. This was all about the awkward…from the painfully (literally and metaphorically) awkward injury to the cringeworthy moment when Penny declares her love for Callie or the embarrassing moment she discovers Callie lied about her ex. Then there’s the hot (and shirtless) soldier confronted by fierce sisters and Stephanie visually describing the mountain she was faced with one college night. It made irresistible ‘hiding behind your fingers’ viewing.

“When It Hurts So Bad”, written by Andy Reaser and directed by Eric Laneuville returned us firmly and squarely back amongst relationship angst and drama. Though while there was drama it didn’t feel very dramatic, because though Grey’s is best when relationships are being tested I felt luke warm about the ones up front and centre.

You’ve gotta feel sorry for soldier Will. Waking up to a screaming Meredith and the evil eyes and pummelling fists of two protective sisters is not something you would wish on anyone. How was he to know he was THE first? It’s a shame, though completely understandable, why Meredith has paused if not stopped this little menage a deux. The romance weaving through their screen time was rather wonderful and even if he’s not the one destined to fill the space left by Derek he is a rather lovely diversion. And he’s a surgeon. And remember folks our favourite doctors only ever have lasting relationships with fellow surgeons. Who am I kidding? No one’s had a lasting relationship. Perhaps it would be better if they introduced some non-surgeon romance.

Anyway, moving on. Break up number two (if I can loosely describe Meredith’s as break up number one) had Amelia giving Owen some mature and plain speaking honesty. And it’s about time too. I wasn’t too impressed with the dialogue generally this week but Amelia’s little speech to Owen was bang on. I can’t see how this couple can square the circle of their conflicting traumas. Owen's is just a bit too full on for a rather fragile Amelia. How can she remain sober and strong when the one person who needs to be next to her is a train wreck. I’m rather hoping that the writers develop other relationships for them both. April and Owen? Amelia and Riggs?

Maggie “nobody brushes me off!” Pierce took care of break up number three as she finally saw through DeLuca’s avoidance. He’s cute and they make an uber cute couple but it lost it’s sparkle for me as well as DeLuca the minute they went public. Maybe that was intentional and very good acting or maybe it too is a romance not worth the writers pursuing in the long term.

Break up number four occurred when Callie lied about Arizona….just kidding. I know a fair few people would love it if Penny and Callie split. I’m not necessarily one of them. I like Penny. I think the writers have done a great job integrating her into the cast with a well developed character, backstory and strong engaging stories. The problem is that while her development within the hospital has been really well executed her relationship with Callie still feels like a device. Did you really feel it when Penny said “I love you?”. Were you rooting for Callie to say it back? Look at the picture above... does that look like the face of someone deeply in love? If this is not a device, if this relationship is one for the long term then the writers must work harder with the couple. I want Penny to stay but unless she’s with Callie I can’t see it happening. Which would be a shame because Penny is not the character that needs to exit. Enter Jo, stage left. And what about Callie? Is this the great love that Shonda would bestow on one of her favourite characters? (Though I rather enjoyed her throwing Arizona under a bus, and equally enjoyed Arizona’s spiky response!)

April is still pissed off at Arizona but I’ve a feeling she will soften when she figures out what Grandma Avery is up to. She will need her friends about her because even a pissed off April is nothing compared to the quiet steeping rage of a Catherine Avery. She is awesomely nasty. Well I put that in the context of Grey’s Anatomy rather than compared with any other show. Real baddies are few and far apart in Grey’s. It appears there is nothing more dangerous than an Avery mother protecting her young. I can’t see Jackson entertaining this retribution but I’m looking forward to the drama to follow. This has season finale cliff hanger written all over it and if I had more time I’d be re-watching end of season 11, beginning of season 12 for the foreshadowing of what that cliff hanger might be.

In other news Ben reminded us that he’s married to the chief who, it turns out, is as much of a chief at home as she is at work; Alex proved yet again that he’s the quiet hero of this show; Arizona showed us that she’s not going to be the awkward middle man; Richard set himself up for an interesting time with the Avery family; and Jo…well she was her usual gossipy shallow self. Pity Camilla Luddington, her character really is in dire need of help.

I enjoyed this chapter as a whole. The awkwardness was funny and engaging and some stories moved forward with the teasing early stages of season finale drama. But there were some aspects that were poorly done. Dialogue was out of place and even offensive — “no one needs to climb Everest twice” was outstanding in its cruelty. The one couple in the fresh bloom of romance declared their love for each other with as much enthusiasm as a sugar addict approaching the dentist and I can't figure out if they intended it to come across like that or if that's just the way it's ended up. And to cap that off there are some small annoying and irritating quirks which really shouldn't be distracting me from the drama:

Why is there no blood on Sofia’s hoodie. Head lacerations bleed like a b*tch - where is the blood?
For heaven's sake how old is Zola? Is she a Grey's version of Benjamin Button?
And where were the children when Meredith was having her screaming fit? How is it possible that her children are completely invisible in that house?

These, and many more important questions may or may not be answered tonight...

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, Bones, TBBT, Broadchurch, Catastrophe and despite her better judgement Madam Secretary. In real life she's a 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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