Grey’s Anatomy: A Traditional Wedding
By Alex Cranz
I think we all know I’ve been pretty stoked about Grey’s Anatomy‘s Big Gay Wedding. I haven’t hesitated to drop in a wedding photo whenever the conversation on FemPop even looked like it was near Grey’s Anatomy territory.
I was ready for this wedding. So when it didn’t meet my expectations in every way imagined I was naturally super disappointed.
The episode did deliver on a lot of fronts. But guys. This was the very first Grey’s Anatomy wedding with a wedding reception. I wanted like twenty minutes of this.
Instead we got the Teddy storyline. OH MY GOD TEDDY STORYLINE.
This show really wants us to be invested in Teddy’s love triangle. But if that love triangle were any more manufactured it’d be popping out of a factory in Detroit. I’ve tried to be invested because I liked the Teddy character last season, but I just can’t. Her big dilemma is between a tumor patient husband that she insists she doesn’t like (even the CHIEF knows differently) and some sort of vacuum of a trauma councilor who travels a lot. Grey’s Anatomy, stop trying to make me like that storyline.
The vacuum (because he sucks all the energy out of every scene he’s in) asked Teddy to move to Germany with him. They’ve been on maybe three dates and she’s already confessed that all they do is talk about her while he sits there patiently staring. WHY WOULD YOU MOVE TO GERMANY WITH HIM?! But I’ll confess to wanting her to go to Germany, because between that and the retconning of her conflict with Christina, I’m done with the character.
That’s right. I said retconning. Back in the musical episode Christina had an idea for saving Callie that was perfect in every way possible. Teddy protested because the script required her to and because she’s older. During the actual surgery Christina suggested it again. Her reason? Not so everyone would be wowed by her surgical prowess (though that was part of it) but so she could save the life of her god-daughter’s mother.
Only in this episode Teddy maintains that she was against the procedure because it was super risky and could have killed Callie. Something that was NEVER MENTIONED. And whereas in the musical episode it was Teddy’s ego that seemed to motivate her rejection of the procedure we’re now supposed to believe it’s really because she was trying to protect Callie and Christina.
The idea that Christina’s ego could get someone killed is a fantastic one and I want to see that storyline explored, but using Callie’s surgery as an example of Christina’s dangerous ego is just idiotic and a very lazy attempt at retconning.
Meanwhile, Teddy’s storyline was dragging this and every preceding episode down. Arizona and Callie were getting some juicy bits (only there weren’t enough of them).
Hector Elizondo was back as Callie’s dad. He’s always a delight. Even in The Princess Diaries. When we last saw him he was learning to come to terms with Callie’s sexuality because Arizona had given him the best “accept your gay child” speech to ever be speechified. It’s so good, I’m including it here so you can watch it and be wowed by it.
So now he’s back and he’s okay with his daughter being gay and we know this because he tries to talk to Arizona about gay pride parades. And look at Arizona. You know that woman’s never slapped on some rainbows and marched a day in her life.
Arizona’s parents are also around for the big wedding. Her mom is kind of just there and smiling and happy. Her dad is all military like and hates Mark with the passion of a thousand suns. But as Mark insinuated that he was married to Callie and Arizona I’ll allow it. (Dear writers, deal with that triangle already, please.)
This episode also featured the introduction of Callie’s mom. I’d kind of assumed she would be awesome and what not, but actually she was a monumental McCunterson. At one point she tries to guilt Callie into going straight because she doesn’t want to one day go to heaven knowing her daughter is going to HELL.
What an awful, awful, awful mother. Especially for waiting until the day before the wedding to tell her daughter she can never approve of her lifestyle. Massive McCunterson. The scenes themselves were very nice though. Sara Ramirez can still do a quiet reaction shot like nobody’s business and the disapproving McCunterson mom plot allowed for a lot of quiet reaction shots.
After that, and an injured minister, Callie called off the wedding. She told Mark. And someone told Bailey, who appears magically and tells Callie what we all know, that God is everywhere and churches are necessary for a wedding if you really love the person. Dwaaaaa. This fixes Callie and the wedding is uncancelled. The best part of the canceled wedding is that NO ONE TOLD ARIZONA. Can you imagine if she’d showed up to the garden or whatever it was with her parents and her dress and the place was empty and Callie was at home crying and eating pints of ice cream? Oh that would have been a delight.
But no. Bailey fixed everything (and the actress playing her also directed the episode) and the ladies walked down the aisle and pretty music played and Meredith and Derek skipped it all to get married.
Look, again, writers, I get what you were TRYING to do. You wanted to make some important statement about how marriage is about love and not paper or something. Fine. But seriously, if I’m doing my gay wedding dress up event and two coworker/friends (but are they really) decide to skip it so they can get for real married in the eyes of God and country so they can go and adopt a baby (something gay people can’t do in multiple states in this here union) I am going to be monumentally pissed. I don’t care how cute it was to watch the two couples get married at the same time, it was still really really dickish on MerDer’s part.
Guys. You’re getting married in a courthouse. YOU CAN DO THAT AT ANY TIME. Maybe wait a few hours so you don’t miss that wedding that those lesbians have been planning for months. Maybe?
But Meredith and Derek Grey (because he totally took her name in my head) have always been kind of selfish and dickish and the baby they want to adopt is so cute she’s planted C4 on my ovaries so I guess we can’t be too mad, right?
One of the cool things about Grey’s Anatomy is that it’s primarily told from the woman’s perspective. The various romantic entanglements on the show are nearly always seen from the view of the women. Characters like Derek Shepherd and Owen Hunt become cyphers that the audience and the characters (Meredith and Christina respectively) must figure out.
Every once in a while the show will buck the trend and tell a story from the man’s point of view. We’ll get a chance to see how their minds operate. But the moments are rare and inevitably the men drift to the background.
The only relationship that was every really told from both sides was that between Mark and Lexie. We got to watch both characters process the ups and downs and discuss them (sometimes ad nauseam) with the other characters.
And as Mark has increasingly become “one of the girls” Arizona Robbins has consistently been “one of the guys.” She’s Callie’s cypher. We get little glimpses of how she processes the world, but for the most part, the character and her relationships are all told from Callie’s point of view.
The entire episode we see Callie slowly coming undone over the impeding wedding and we watch Arizona (McDreamy the Vag Edition) stay calm and awesome like a McDreamy is required to do. Her fiancée calls off weddings and ends things with her mom and Arizona drifts from scene to scene with calm grace. She even finds time to comfort some African kid who thinks his brother might die.
But finally, near the end of the episode, we broke away from Callie’s point of view and watched Arizona breakdown. And it wasn’t over the marriage (which it could have been as the character is committment-shy). It was grief that got to her.
Grief is so funny. It can hit you at the most random moment. One minute you’re fine and then the next you’re smelling some soup that reminds you of someone you’ve lost and that’s it. You’re done. Arizona’s getting ready for her big day and she’s minutes away from getting married and then all of a sudden she remembers the brother she lost. The brother who will never get to see her big day. And she breaks down. A lot of this episode was lackluster, but Arizona’s grief and the comfort she finds in Mark was pitch perfect.
What else happened this episode? Some more of the Chief Resident race, Jackson being Jackson(that character should have a fight to the death with Teddy to decide who to keep on the show), April earning Peter MacNicol’s respect again and Meredith’s face when Derek told her they should adopt a baby.
NEXT WEEK: Christina withholds sex so she can be Chief Resident. Meredith continues lying about the super illegal and unethical thing she did. Jackson and Alex swing their peens around. The lesbians take a rest. Mark, now a dad, starts gunning for a wife of his own. Derek continues to try and explode ovaries by having scenes with Zola the wonderable baby.