Friday, March 16, 2007

"I need to vent with alcohol": Grey's Anatomy

With the epic drama of sweeps over and done with, Grey's Anatomy settled back into its standard mix of unusual patients and relationship drama, and had what could be its best episode all season. It was all down to the energy, which dissipated the overbearing histrionics that have dominated these past few weeks. Sure, Meredith had to confront her mother's death, and the marriage of George/Callie and almost-marriage of Cristina/Burke hit severe turbulence, but there was fun dialogue, and good guest stars, and it balanced the humor and the drama well, so...thumbs up.

Onto what actually happened in the episode, then. First up, Meredith, back in Seattle Grace after her mother expired there last episode (as well as almost expiring herself), was typically avoiding confronting any lingering depression. No matter, as she quickly got herself caught up in a new family drama anyway, as her dopey milquetoast of a father Thatcher (Jeff Perry) came to check up on her, with his new wife Susan (Mare Winningham) in tow. Now, Mare Winningham is a great actress. I thought she had been given a criminal lack of things to do in her previous two appearances, but they sure made up for it here. There weren't any mindblowing confrontations or even much lingering animosity, but rather Susan presenting herself as something Meredith's never really experienced before: a caring mother figure. RIP Ellis Grey and all that, Kate Burton sure did make her an emotion-stirring fireball of a character, but I can't say I regret her being written out of the show--in her limited mental state, there wasn't much she could do except make Meredith unhappy (and make Pompeo deliver her best work). I really liked the stuff with Thatch/Susan/Meredith last night, so I hope they continue to recur with a little more frequency. Who knows, we might enter a daring new chapter of Meredith's life: one in which she's somewhat emotionally secure.

Let's get onto the more pressing matter at hand, which was George and Callie's conflict and the fallout that occurred afterwards. I refer, of course, to another chapter in "shocking GA hookups!", i.e. George drunkenly falling into bed with Izzie at the end of the episode. I'll digress to make a couple points--poor George, all the most shocking hookups on this show always involve him, as if he could never land these women in reality (keep bangin' away, O'Malley!); and this may be the most alcohol-driven show on network TV outside of How I Met Your Mother. Anyway, I can't say I'm particularly outraged at this development. Relationship drama is handled way better on this show than death drama, and this may be the thing to FINALLY lift Izzie out of her Denny obsession (I'm not entirely counting on that, though: he was referenced at least twice in this episode, after all). George's emotional maelstrom in the wake of his father's death might get cleared up too. I like him a lot with Callie, but their marriage wasn't making a ton of sense, so despite the dubious reasons for their big fight (George is angry that she's so rich? Really?), count me in. Also, the always-excellent Sara Ramirez had some great material here, especially in her final showdown with George where she brought up the idea that Izzie had feelings for him. His incredulity at the very idea a supermodel being in love with him had her tearfully asking, "so what does that make me?". Check and mate!

Outside of all that there were plenty of other B-plots to keep us watching. One special guest came in the form of Roger Rees as a potential candidate for Chief and former lover of Cristina's. While their chemistry was pretty non-existent, the idea itself was solid and Roger Rees is always good fun. Still, he should play it more drunk, I feel. I won't say much about the wedge that this revelation drove through Cristina/Burke, because I don't particularly care--the spark's been gone from there for ages now. There was also Shohreh Aghdashloo, who is turning into a perennial TV guest star, as an old buddy of Derek's who needed super-surgery for brain cancer. Not much to that one except some very solid work by Dempsey. Finally, Elizabeth Reaser is just about emerging from her super-scary makeup to flirt a little bit more with Alex. She's kinda like Denny, except not really at all apart from the patient-doctor thing. Still, Chambers is the show's most consistent performer, and I love that he's moving into Meredith's house. He's always been a bit of an exile depth-wise, so maybe this'll shed a little more light on all his baity problems.

I'm very much looking forward to the final run of episodes (there's at least five or six more after this one). Quite a bit of drama, the good fun kind, is laid out in front of us, plus there's the Addison spinoff to look forward to. Who else is excited? Speak up!


Todd VanDerWerff said...

Libby was outraged over the "shocking" hookup. I had figured they would do it some time or another, since there are only so many pairings they can get -- I think the poor girl just doesn't want to see Callie hurt so much.

But. . .yeah. . .she's too rich? I've heard of men who get upset when women out-earn them, but that doesn't seem like George at all. George is like me, and if I found out my wife was rich, I would quit my job and buy a pool.

David Sims said...

Totally. Poor Callie. But Callie can bounce back. Or win an Emmy. Take your pick.

If I found out my imaginary wife was rich, I'd totally start lighting cigarettes with $100 bills. I mean...hello? Money is awesome? Didn't anyone get the memo? Best. Bad news. Ever.

Todd VanDerWerff said...

If I found out your wife was rich, I would kill you and comfort the widow. We all know I'm not above a little murder to get what I want.

(God this blog is going to turn up in my high-profile trial some day.)

And will everyone on the Internets can it with the "EMMY FOR HEIGL!!!!" talk? She's not that good. She's pretty, yes. But not that good.

Libby said...

I know that you girls just LOVE your GA, but how about getting your asses over and commenting on AI? Lest one of your few female contributors leave your little sausage party.


That being said, Callie has always been too good for George, so here's hoping she and her money get a divorce and some worthy man-candy right quick.