I want to preface this by saying I couldn’t even wait five minutes after the conclusion of tonight’s episode, “Can We Start Again, Please?” before writing this. That’s how much I enjoyed it.
While I’m a long-time fan of the show, in its latter seasons, Grey’s Anatomy has had trouble putting together a great episode from start to finish. Sure, there have been a few noteworthy ones sprinkled throughout a season, but the consistency of greatness has sadly declined over the past few years.
Not so tonight.
Tonight’s episode left me cursing commercial breaks and I lost count of how many times my mouth dropped open in astonishment.
Tonight was about the medicine and how each individual was able to thrive and take a step forward in their personals lives through their craft. It felt like the Grey’s of old.
I didn’t find myself rolling my eyes at childish antics or egotistical one-upmanship. I found myself engrossedly entertained by all plot lines – A through C – as neither showcased itself as a throwaway subplot. Storylines progressed in a believable manner and some of my favorite character traits and subtle throwbacks made the episode that much more enjoyable.
Arizona is a surgical badass.
Look, you can feel whatever you want to feel about the character and her past misdeeds, but the simple fact of the matter is, she is a brilliant surgeon, who operates on the tiniest of humans. And because she is such a surgical badass, she wants to extend her knowledge and skill set into a much broader spectrum by completing this fetal fellowship with Dr. Nicole (We finally learn her first name through an overheard voicemail greeting. I was beginning to think she was Cher-esque in the name department.) Herman.
As we learned last week, Dr. Herman has an inoperable brain tumor and has a mere six months to live. Herman wants to teach all she has to offer (which can only be found in her brain and not some fancy schmancy medical journal) to Arizona in the time she has left. This puts Arizona between a rock and a hard place. Tell the board and Hunt about Herman’s illness or keep quiet and learn from one of the best.
At the beginning of the episode Arizona is prepared to go to Hunt, but when Herman excuses herself for the day because of medical reasons she has no interest in sharing, Arizona is left to take care of one of Herman’s patients who is in danger of going into early labor if a surgery is not performed on her baby in-utero. A surgery only Herman knows how to perform.
Arizona is thrust into what can only be described as a surgical nightmare as her patient needs an emergency C-section at 28 weeks (because Arizona cannot get ahold of Herman). My favorite brotp springs into action to try to save both the mother and the baby. After running back and forth between two ORs Arizona, with the help of Alex, is able to save the baby. The same can’t be said for the mother as she has developed a rare pregnancy condition that has caused her to bleed out rapidly. She dies. Equally saddened as furious, Arizona is ready to rip Herman a new one for abandoning her, when she spots her mentor already breaking the news to her patient’s husband. Herman explains to the him that Arizona did everything right and within her power to save both his wife and baby.
Herman reiterates her thoughts on Arizona’s correct course of action when the two retreat to the attending’s lounge. Arizona wants to know how to do the surgery Dr. Herman was going to perform on the mother who died. She wants to be able to save someone in a similar situation in the future. Herman says she can teach her tomorrow, that is, if Arizona doesn’t go to Hunt and the Board about her condition. Arizona agrees not to. Herman says ok, she’ll see her tomorrow and to go home.
Arizona doesn’t know where home is.
Even if you’re not a fan of Arizona, you had to enjoy the role she played in the episode. So diplomatic and in control in the face of extreme adversity. She didn’t back down. She didn’t run scared. And she wants more, which makes this storyline that much better.
Amelia is a– wait, Amelia is on screen for more than 30 seconds?
Sing the praises because seven episodes in, it finally happened. Caterina Scorsone is amazing and should be utilized as such.
The daughter of a couple, who had jumped out of their two-story apartment building to avoid a raging fire, recognizes Amelia from a NA meeting when she comes out to update her on the status of her injured parents. In shock, the daughter immediately starts yelling for a new doctor to treat her parents. She screams out to the whole hospital floor that Amelia is a drug addict and should be nowhere near patients.
The hospital staff whisper about Amelia as she walks through halls and she finally realizes that she can’t escape her past, no matter how many miles away from it she moves.
She tells Derek that one of the reasons she moved to Seattle was to get a fresh start. No one knew her past here and she felt like she could start over. She says it’s becoming apparent that will never happen. During the same conversation, she realizes Derek may have cost her her job by not defending her to Hunt. She rips into him, saying that he hasn’t supported her since she came to Seattle and he did all of this just to get his old job back. He says he will fix it, but she doesn’t really believe him. After all that has happened with him the past several episodes, would you?
Everything that happened to Amelia in this episode just made me want to hug her. She has worked so hard (as those of you who watched Private Practice previous to this know) to get sober and pull her shambled life back together one piece at a time. It’s hard not to root for her. Above all else she deserves more support from Derek.
Derek finally realizes he is an ass.
Derek, as a person and doctor, has bothered me greatly for sometime. His ego is rather infuriating and he just doesn’t get it most of the time.
During this episode we see him flashback to the convenience store setting where he and Amelia were hiding out before their father was murdered. He keeps imagining he did the right thing and protected Amelia from what happened when in actuality, he didn’t. This plays out similarly during the episode.
Once again thinking about how he can better himself, he puts Amelia’s job in jeopardy by not defending her sobriety to Hunt after a fellow NA member blatantly calls her a drug addict in front of everyone at the hospital.
He stews about the situation all day,finally realizing by not saying anything to Hunt it made it seem like Amelia had no business practicing medicine. After Hunt calls an emergency board meeting, Derek speaks to everyone and rectifies the situation, saying he couldn’t do any better of a job than what Amelia has been doing as the head of neurosurgery.
Later that evening, while at home, Derek explains to Amelia that he doesn’t know who he is anymore. He’s angry all of the time and hurting all of the people he loves and he doesn’t know why, and more importantly, he doesn’t know how to fix it. He doesn’t know what to do.
Amelia simply tells him, he’s hit rock bottom.
Ok. So, are we supposed to believe that Derek has hit rock bottom because he gave up the job in Washington even after Meredith told him to take it? Or is it everything else that is stemming from that decision? Subconsciously, he’s always going to blame her for not having his dream job. I don’t know how they escape that, or if they can. She didn’t do anything wrong though. That’s what gets me. They are both so good at what they do, how can one ask the other to give up their job and move? They can’t. Sex won’t solve their problems either, but they’re trying that route anyway. Band aid city while waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Badass Bailey is back (at least temporarily).
There is a definite ass theme going on here.
While this acted as one of the subplots throughout tonight’s episode, Bailey was back to her take-no-prisoners-get-out-of-my-face-with-your-problems mentality, and I loved it. Her victim: Jo.
Jo is ready (or so she thinks) for her first solo surgery, which Bailey is nonchalantly supervising. In the restroom, she gloats about how confident she is to Edwards, saying that she isn’t scared of little bitty Bailey. The sound of a toilet flush causes a small flush of panic to overcome Jo, as Bailey trots out of one of the stalls. She eyes Jo like a piece of gum she just flicked off the bottom of her shoe.
Despite the slightly unsettling bathroom run-in, Jo sails through her surgery with flying colors. At least she thinks so until she goes over her surgery checklist with Edwards again. Edwards quickly points out she missed a step in her run down. Jo starts to panic, but tries to tell herself that she completed everything. Next stop, telling Bailey.
To say Bailey wasn’t pleased is an understatement of maximum proportions. The Bailey of old, who ate interns for breakfast, rears her head and rips Jo a new one, saying she will take the patient down for a CT to see if she’s bleeding all over the place internally. She tells Jo to stay put and pray.
Bailey returns and informs Jo that her patient didn’t make it to CT. Jo looks like she’s about to toss her cookies. She asks if her patient is dead. Letting the moment marinate for a few more seconds, Bailey again says her patient didn’t make it to CT…because she never took her. Jo is confused. Bailey says she never took her down because she knew Jo did everything she was supposed to during surgery. Her patient is fine. Jo breathes a huge sigh of relief and then reems at Bailey, asking why she would do that to her. Bailey is all about the teaching moments, even if they scare the crap out of her fellow doctors. Jo then calls Bailey mean. Bailey responds with a sly smile, “I know.”
Badass teaching Bailey is my most favorite, Bailey. I want to see her a lot more.
The moment that literally made me fist pump and yell, “YES!”
Arizona moved into the frat (Alex’s) house for the foreseeable future. Jo didn’t look too pleased, but really, Jo? Deal with it. It’s the circle of Grey’s Anatomy life. I think everyone secretly wants to be surgically blessed by the ghost of Ellis Grey. No? Just me? That house is gigantic. Just watch out for the occasional uncomfortable shower run-in. You would think that house would have more than one bathroom, no?
Why does this make me so happy? Because we never get to see Alex and Arizona interact outside of the hospital. I also feel like Arizona is finally being explored as her own entity and not a prop for Callie. Finally. Individuality.