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Grey's Anatomy - Falling Slowly - Review

For the first time in a very long time, perhaps ever, I am beginning to see the beginning of the end of Grey’s. While there were elements of goodness this week the over whelming impression is of a show struggling to keep up with its own reputation. As a stalwart fan of the show I am worried.

There was nothing inherently wrong with Falling Slowly, written by Jen Klein and directed by Victoria Mahoney. Indeed it was significantly better than the snore fest of last week. The problem lies in the lack of depth in storyline which in other seasons has been compensated by strong characterisation, strong dialogue and lots of gallows humour. Here we have none of that. At this point I should admit to my bias. All of my favourite characters have now departed - Mark Sloan, Cristina Yang, Derek Shepherd and Callie Torres - and this list includes three of the strongest in the entire historical cast roll.

The episode opens with Alex working his shift in the clinic under the jobs worth gaze of a bitter, inferior superior. There is no question that a major story about Alex has been a long time coming and it’s welcome. Who doesn’t want to see Alex the underdog, the beaten down become a hero? And this week we really see Alex at his best, when he’s diagnosing the undiagnosable. Cast your minds back to ‘Shiny Happy People,' Season 6 episode 22, when Alex is advocating for Demi Lovato. Alex being the doctor is where he kills it and where the strength of his character is created, moulded and displayed. My initial thoughts behind this review centered around questions of why we don’t see Alex with his lawyers (yet), being all gruff and huffy, but perhaps it’s because the writers have him fighting for his freedom and his job through his job. Through being a doctor.

…but there are elements to this that are so flat and unimaginative. We should really care about Andrew but we have nothing to hang our hats on. And what the hell is going with Jo? Both of these characters have a story to tell - and I don’t mean the story that Bailey won’t let them discuss. I want them to really go deep with Jo, delve into her past, her relationship with violence - she has one - and how this situation must be affecting her own ability to get on with her job. And then even when Jo and Andrew realised they could talk to one another they barely said anything worth listening to. Why is Arizona so underused in this story arc. Jessica Capshaw is back at work, so give her some work to do! Arizona is Alex’s mentor and Andrew’s room mate - she has a job to do with both men. I realise they are building this story up to a court case (probably), if this is the case then the writers need to ramp up the tension.

Meredith continued to play her games with both Nathan and Maggie this week as the Grey’s love triangle continued to complicate everyone’s lives. At some stage, mid season probably, Maggie is going to catch Riggs and Meredith doing the dirty and we will all be put out of our misery when she finally learns the truth. There is a positive to this story…if you can call it positive. By continually forcing Meredith into a position of betraying Maggie the writers are setting the scene for a very bitter and deeply unpleasant relationship between the sisters. The positive being that this is when the best drama occurs. We can only hope this happens soon.

I had just assumed that Amelia would know about Owen’s dark PTSD past and that Owen had known of Amelia’s rock bottom so it was a surprise to me that each opened up a pandora’s box to the surprise of the other. I hope they don’t just let the lid shut down quickly. I would like to see some impact of Amelia realising that she could wake up with her husband choking her. For even though he’s in a good place now he does have triggers. I’d also like to see the impact of another pregnancy on Amelia so I’m hoping that their efforts to conceive are quickly successful. It will be difficult to top Sarah Drew’s performance through both on screen pregnancies but Caterina Scorsone has it in her to deliver some heartbreaking stuff.

Can you tell I really want the drama to get on and show itself?

April and Jackson continue with their kindness towards each other as they come to a mild truce. Despite my need for drama I am very keen for their romance to be gently revived. The lack of depth in story I mentioned above does not apply with these two. April and Jackson’s journey is probably consistently the best presented drama of the last two or three seasons. All the way through whether it’s the storyline or the dialogue we’ve been presented with robust yet devastatingly sensitive drama played out beautifully by both Jesse Williams but more particularly Sarah Drew. It’s a dangerous thing to root for a couple in Grey’s. So far no couple has survived. However It would surprise me greatly if this couple do not make it to the end of the show with an actor exit being the only thing to precipitate a permanent split.

Richard Webber was put to good use this week as the saviour. He is the wise soul, the go to hero, the one who spots a doctor in trouble and bends down to pick them up. And so it’s Alex’s turn to benefit from Wise Old Webber. I rather like that the writers use him in this way.

Stephanie was the bit part player to Amelia’s neurosis and April's sleep deprivation and still needs a strong storyline to kick off her season. I’m very surprised that Jerrika Hinton is still on the show. She is rather underused.

Perhaps I’m missing Callie. Or perhaps the attempt at new hospital locations and different camera angles has discombobulated me. Or perhaps there is something still missing from the season so far. Or perhaps it’s just me. Whatever it is, I do hope that titling the episode "Falling Slowly" was not a prophesy of the season thirteen yet to come.

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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