Grey's Anatomy Gets Its Groove Back

The first half of the current Grey’s season  had me mightily worried the show had run out of steam.  But color me happily relieved, as the back half has proved Grey’s has reclaimed its mojo.

The first half of the current Grey’s season had me mightily worried the show had run out of steam.  But color me happily relieved, as the back half has proved Grey’s has reclaimed its mojo.

And there are a couple current storylines that are particular winners. First, the baby quad storyline, featuring Callie, Arizona, Mark and Lexie has proven to be a hit, with enough conflict, emotion and humour to keep loyal Grey’s fans satisfied.  While Arizona (Jessica Capshaw)  was away in Africa, nursing her doubts about their relationship, Callie (Sara Ramirez) was healing her broken heart by sleeping with her BFF Mark Sloan (Eric Dane).  I adore this relationship between Callie and Mark–it is funny, real and always honest.  And I especially love  that they are loyal and true friends, first and always, and the sex thing is just an occasional fringe benefit.

So while they were busy being friends with bennies, Callie found herself pregnant and promptly told Mark, who, in turn, immediately jumped on board. Two best friends, being honest and supportive of each other, even if it means they will be co-parents. Wow.  So I’m giving major kudos to the writers for not letting this storyline become a “secret pregnancy” cliché, or worse, the “reluctant daddy” stereotype.  Instead, we’re watching  two grown-up  people who, despite the less-than-planned pregnancy, are excited about being parents.  Imagine that.

But of course, this is Grey’s, so we need some drama and angst. Cue the significant others and their less-than thrilled reactions. First, Arizona returned  from her African medical sojourn and told Callie she wanted to try again with her.  While at first Calliope, understandably, wanted nothing to do with Arizona and gave her a very convincing cold shoulder, Arizona eventually wore her former lover down. But not before Dr. Torres told Dr. Robbins that if she really meant to stick around this time, she needed to do so with  Mark’s (not Arizona’s favorite person) baby in the mix.  Cue the drama for years to come! And so far, it’s been fun and entertaining watching Mark and Arizona (surprisingly) partner-up in mutual concern for the mama-to-be.  This is a relevant story,  and I, for one, am enjoying it being played  out by characters who are acting (for the most part) like real grown-ups.

That maturity level is in direct contrast to the reaction of Mark’s girlfriend, Lexie Grey (Chyler Leigh). Never has the age difference between Mark and  Little Grey been more glaringly apparent than when he broke the baby news to her.  She was livid and disgusted and stormed out, without giving the sexy (and, by the way,  madly in love with her) Dr. Sloan any chance to explain.  As a viewer, I was incredibly angry with Lexie and, not for the first time, felt she didn’t deserve his love.  She had  already broken up with him once before (again, over Mark wanting to raise a child and be a father) and he slept with Callie and made this baby,  AFTER Lexie left him. So where she found the nerve to be indignant is beyond me.

But again, it was some smart writing that wrung this reaction from me,  and this storyline may force the emotional development of Lexie Grey  and bring the character to another level. All good things, as Mark and Lexie had  once been my favorite couple on the show. But now I believe Mark deserves better, and if it’s to be Lexie, she needs to grow up. And fast.

I’ve  also been forced to eat some crow regarding the character of Dr. Teddy Altman (Kim Raver). In a previous column, I commented on how boring and forgettable this character was turning out to be. But the addition of Scott Foley, as Henry, a gravely ill patient whom Teddy married in order to give him health insurance,  has been another really clever writing move. There’s an undeniable chemistry between the two actors and it’s fleshing out the previously one-dimensional character of  Teddy , while also giving her more to do than simply  stare longingly at Owen (Kevin McKidd).  So more of Henry,  if you please, dear showrunners.  I’m actually starting to like Teddy, instead of resenting the screen time given to her. That’s a huge improvement, in a relatively short period of time.

Additionally, Scott Foley is a charming actor, with real screen presence. And he brings his own Felicity fan base to Grey’s, a point I’m sure was not lost on Shonda Rhimes and the executive team.  And while it remains to be seen how long an arc Henry will enjoy on the show, I’m hopeful he doesn’t die from his illness anytime soon.

I should have known Grey’s would find a way to correct a disappointing start to the season.  After all, this is the show that took dark and twisty to new heights.  It’s nice to see it back in the groove.


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