Saturday, October 20, 2012

Review: Grey's Anatomy 9x03, "Love the One You're With"

Grey's Anatomy has had its ups and downs over the years. Those downs have been pretty low at times, but it's always, in my opinion at least, been able to recover. After the first two episodes of this season, I was starting to wonder if it had finally hit a bottom it couldn't come back from. The episodes bored me, and I couldn't bring myself to care about what was happening. I liked both Sloan and Lexie a lot, but their deaths didn't even affect me.

I think my biggest problem with the current state of Grey's Anatomy is there's far too much trauma. Look, I appreciate some trauma on Grey's Anatomy from time to time. I loved the Denny storyline, and the season six finale with the hospital shooting was what convinced me to go back and watch from the beginning.

However, the trauma has reached a point of saturation on the show. A lot of beloved characters have died: Denny, George, Lexie, Henry, Sloan and for a brief period of time Meredith (Remember that time she drowned? Although I can't quite remember if she technically died.). There's been a shooting at the hospital, a bomb, a car crash for Arizona and Callie, a plane crash and worst of all a musical episode. I won't even go into all of the relationship drama that has taken place of the course of the show. I feel like I'm drowning in the trauma, and I need some fun and humor to keep me from becoming overwhelmed.

That's why I mostly enjoyed last Thursdays's episode, "Love the One You're With." While it wasn't a perfect episode and was still bogged down with some drama, it was a breath of fresh air compared to the first two episodes of the season.

My absolute favorite storyline to come out of last night's episode was the relationship between Mr. Feeny (whose character is technically named Dr. Thomas, but there's about zero chance I'll be able to refer to him as that) and Cristina. I love Cristina's misanthropy, but I always enjoy seeing her bond with another person. The budding friendship between her and Mr. Feeny was incredibly sweet and exactly what she (and the show) needs right now. I want sweetness and humor not tragedy and tears. I will even suffer through the awkward product placement iPad scenes if it means that Cristina stays in Minnesota for a while and we get more Mr. Feeny.

While Cristina's storyline provided sweetness to the episode, Bailey's was a nice dash of humor, at least initially. Bailey's exasperation with Meredith and company joining the attendings' lounge was fun to watch and reminded me of her relationship with them in the earlier days of the show. I laughed at the camera panning to her during April and Jackson's relationship conversation and her sticky-noting everything. I was really annoyed with the motivation for Bailey's actions that was tacked onto the storyline: that Bailey's upset about everyone in her life moving on. I was so appreciative to have this silly, fun plot, and then of course Grey's had to make into an emotional thing.

There were also some fun, small moments in the episode that I liked. Jackson and Meredith talking about the chief's relationships with their mothers was a nice way to give the two a bonding moment (and I got a kick out of Meredith asking if he was talking about Owen), and Cristina's attempt at a smile was funny.

I was somewhat ambivalent about Alex's story. The new girl, Jo, is a little annoying and reminds me a little bit of a second-rate Lexie. Even though I wasn't crazy about her, I didn't enjoy Alex's being a jerk towards her. However, I'm hoping that their probable relationship will be a nice, normal one and will lead towards a permanent, positive change in Alex. I'm tired of seeing Alex go through some character development towards becoming a nicer person, only for it to be retracted. I'm also tired of seeing him in disastrous relationships. So while I didn't exactly enjoy his portion of this episode, I'm hoping it will lead towards good things.

My two least favorite storylines were Derek's and Arizona's. Unsurprisingly, these were two of the more dramatic elements of the episode.

Before I start talking about Derek's portion of episode, I'm going to give a warning that you might want to skip the following paragraph if you're a Derek fan. I'm definitely not a Derek fan, and it's hard to not go into rant mode when I'm when I'm writing about him.

I found Derek incredibly annoying in this episode. His speech about not accepting the settlement was one of his most self-righteous moments in the show (no small feat). I'm not saying that it was necessarily a bad idea to reject the settlement, but he went about it in the most self-righteous way possible. Not only did he hold back on sharing his thoughts on the matter until they were actually in the meeting, he gave some long-winded speech about how doctors are better than people who work in airlines. Plus, this means that the plane crash plot is going to be dragged out even longer. Great, more melodrama. The only tragedy I want to see right now is Derek's death.

I'm finding Arizona's story very annoying as well. I understand that losing a leg is a huge deal, and the scene where Arizona was lying in the bathroom was pretty sad. However, the segments with Arizona really drag down the show. I don't want to see this angry, bitter Arizona; I'd rather see the cheery Arizona who's great with kids. Like I've already said, I'm tired of watching tragedy. I want fun, and this storyline is not bringing it.

My hope for the rest of this season of Grey's Anatomy is that it will abstain from inflicting tragedy on the main characters and leave it for the patients. I want good things to happen to them (other than Derek of course) and for the show to lighten up a bit. Both the characters and we desperately need it.

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