Anyone who knows anything about Grey’s Anatomy knows the names of its episodes are derived from actual song titles. Tonight’s episode, “Don’t Let’s Start” of course, follows along the same narrative.
Every once in awhile I’ll take a look at the lyrics to the song title used to name an episode. I did so after watching tonight’s show. I couldn’t help but smirk to myself when I made it down to the third chorus and read the following lines:
No one in the world ever gets what they want and that is beautiful
Everybody dies frustrated and sad and that is beautiful
I won’t lie, I immediately wondered if Shonda Rhimes, herself, had penned these very lyrics in-between writing episode scripts.
If those two lines of lyrics don’t epitomize what has happened to the majority of Grey’s Anatomy’s characters over the past 10 plus seasons, I don’t know what does.
And it continues. Tonight’s episode was no different and at this point in the series’ impressive run, no one should really come to expect any differently. It’s the Grey’s Anatomy brand of drama.
This episode showed some intriguing parallels of which I will elaborate on as I go. As for the whole scope of the episode, it was…ok. Not bad, but not earth-shatteringly good either.
The umbrella medical story of the episode had many of Grey Sloan’s doctors rushing to the aid of a woman who was carjacked and dragged several feet as her assailants drove away.
Callie and Arizona continue to shatter my feelings into a million pieces. After their gut-punch-heart-wrenching breakup in the last episode (and let’s be honest, that wasn’t even their worst breakup scene), I really tried to be open minded about why the breakup was necessary and how both characters could and would come out better on the other side.
After tonight, I’m a little sadder, yes, but also a little more convinced that definitive separation was what they both needed. Arizona being able to focus on her fellowship and Callie with her veterans project, allows both characters to focus on themselves instead of other people. Through that self-awareness and eventual rediscovery of their individuality, I believe, will lead them full circle and ultimately back to each other. It will take time though. And honestly, as a true fan of the couple, why would you want a reconnection rushed? These characters were so broken in more ways than one.
Even with all of a made-for-each-other-hakuna-matata future outlook, tonight’s episode delivered an important scene of disconnect and emotional variance between both characters and it still feels like pouring salt into the wound.
Callie realizes Arizona has been sleeping at the hospital since their split (parallel to Callie shacking up at the hospital in season 2?) and wants to know why. She didn’t kick her out. Arizona knows, but thinks it’s counterproductive to stay in a home where the other party feels suffocated by her presence. She also sticks in a jab about Callie not being able to care about her sleeping arrangements anymore. They both wonder if the other has told anyone else about their separation. No. Arizona says she doesn’t want to tell anyone yet and Callie agrees, saying whatever she wants. Arizona’s response, “I never wanted any of this.” She leaves.
The one thing to come out of Callie and Arizona’s breakup that has me doing backflips into a pool of rainbows is the fact that Arizona finally has her own storyline. Away from Callie. Away from Alex. It has no attachment to anything. This fellowship with Dr. Herman is her baby. Pun intended. And what is even more glorious is that through this fellowship, I feel that we, as viewers, will again, finally, get the opportunity to learn a little more about Arizona from her point of view. This character’s point of view has been so miniscule that it has barely registered over the past few years, leaving many of us to wonder if Callie was the only one in the relationship with thoughts and feelings.
Keeping with the fellowship theme, Dr. Herman’s ball busting continues and Arizona’s doing her best to bite her tongue. She finally sticks up for herself when Alex shows he still has her back after witnessing firsthand how Herman treats Arizona during surgery. Arizona confronts Dr. Herman, saying that she doesn’t appreciate the way she’s being treated and refuses to be part a fellowship for a year if she’s going to continually be a verbal punching bag. Herman counters by saying she doesn’t have a year. Arizona is about to walk out the door when Herman drops the bomb that she has an inoperable brain tumor and only has six months to live.
I have to say, Dr. Herman (or maybe it’s just Geena Davis by extension) is superb at drop the mic moments. Like, really good. Matter of fact, no glossy exterior. Just cold, hard fact. Boom, there it is. How are you going to deal with it? And that’s exactly how she laid it out for Arizona. Learn a year’s worth of medicine in six months under Herman or tell the Chief, the board and learn nothing.
Quite the dilemma Arizona is in and it is delicious. Arizona is an exceptional surgeon. I’ve been waiting for the medical to catch back up to her.
As for the state of Meredith and Derek’s marriage, I remain confused. There are issues, but I don’t see them making any headway towards a resolution. In tonight’s episode they merely hit the pause button on their problems in order to host a dinner (at Derek’s behest and Mer’s adamant rejection) with two individuals, Pierce and Webber, who would rather be on separate continents than at the same dinner table.
What’s ridiculous is that the dinner was supposed to somewhat help bridge the gap in Meredith and Maggie relationship. Kind of difficult when the latter party bails before she even knocks on the door to say hello. Yes, the homeowners were busy having sex in the shower, but still.
I’ve learned Grey’s couples like to use the pause button so they can have sex while having a pile of relationship problems up to their eyeballs.
I haven’t been a fan of the sister storyline all season. It has been done with Lexie already. No, she wasn’t the daughter of Ellis and Richard, but the narrative is too similar despite the genetic makeup. I realize the show is in its eleventh season, but can we go for a storyline a little less predictable? It’s tired and strained and I’m just not feeling it.
In other happenings, April’s mother comes to visit to help set up for the baby. We now know, by no short surprise, that April gets her bright and shiny personality from her mother.
Apparently no one in Seattle is in need of a boob job or face lift, so Jackson is free for most of the day after a board meeting. He offers to take April’s insistent mother out shopping for the baby after April has a mini meltdown, expressing that her work won’t allow for impromptu baby shopping excursions in the middle of the afternoon.
After freaking out on her mother when she buys and ships a room’s-worth load of baby stuff to her and Jackson’s home, April finds her mother outside of the hospital and apologizes. Later she comes home to find Jackson brushing up on his daddy skills via a very scary baby book. April takes in the nursery scene and helps to assuage Jackson’s insecurities about being a father.
I like April, and Jackson isn’t bad himself, but together, they fall a little on the flat side for me. This might just be because they are in happy baby land at the moment, but it’s all just a little dull right now. On TV, happy equals boring. It’s a sad, sad truth.
In other miscellaneous events, because of a medical case with a similar situation, Jo shares with Owen and Callie that she lived in a car in high school. That translated into a parallel within her relationship with Alex. She wants to have roots and right now she’s scared of losing everything. A legitimate argument.
So are we supposed to make the assumption that Alex is going to ask her to move in within the next few episodes? They’ve been hovering in a safe little bubble for awhile, which, in Shondaland terms, means it’s about time for some doom to befall them.
I’m not sure what Bailey’s storyline is supposed to be this season. Tonight she had the realization that she needs to be a better example for what she preaches to her patients about eating healthy and exercising. She even goes out jogging to an Oprah audio book. Fascinating, right? I miss badass Bailey.