The 100th episode of Grey’s Anatomy went and did what its first hundred episodes had done so well. It juxtaposed life and death beautifully with the wedding of Izzie and Alex and the consumation of Callie and Arizona and Meredith and Derek’s now iconic little Post-It Note. The 200th episode didn’t reach the same emotional highs as that wedding or emotional lows as that lone car crash survivor’s speech. This second half of Grey’s Anatomy has been defined, in many ways, not by the melodrama and dramatic irony, but by the humor and the slow burn of character revelations. It’s a quieter show than it was a hundred episodes ago. The cast is more mature (even as it adds younger and younger principles), the characters more settled. If the 100th episode was their graduation than the 200th is that five year reunion. It’s fitting it takes place largely outside the hospital. The doctors are no longer fighting for surgeries, but rewarding them, so they can take a break for a night and have a few drinks. You know, until tragedy strikes so we can get our obligatory surgery scenes. Leading up to this episode Shonda Rhimes and company called it a “shift.” What’s curious is that it’s hardly a dramatic one. There is no major moment of irreversible betrayal or tragedy. No plane crash or shooter. Heck, Meredith and Derek are perfectly content and smilely and glittery eyed for the entire hour. But the shift is there. Jackson and Stephanie take the next step and choose to communicate as partners rather than infer as early stage boyfriend and girlfriend (the catalyst is Shane’s tongue and daaaang between that and the accidental death of Mousey it’s like they WANT us to hate Shane). As they come together, Owen and Cristina take that first, quiet and excruciating step away from one another. Owen goes on a date with a woman that isn’t Cristina and Cristina, perfect, wonderful, painfully stalwart Cristina, walks home alone. She told him to see other people and when he actually does it she doesn’t back down. She encourages it. It’s the kind of exquisite angst that show has always excelled at. Though it may not be the most painful and romantic moment of the night. It’s pretty close. That’s reserved for Callie and Arizona, who share a complicated look of longing and hurt that is so pure and so purely Grey’s I actually felt a moment of that old school season 2 magic. Just a tingle. Callie looks up and sees the wife she misses and the wife she hates and Sara Ramirez nails that awful pull pitch perfectly, and Jessica Capshaw finally gets to show Arizona as something but a big ol’ head stuck in the sand. She plays all the love and regret with a look and her eyes shine with hurt when they meet Callie’s and her head ducks low with shame and neither of them say a damn word. Afterwards Callie does something immensely irritating. I was kind of in love with her last week and her decision to step away so Arizona could get help without a wife hindering/enabling her. I’m STILL in love with that decision (and Meredith’s mirrored decision to do similar with Richard this week). But after being such a rockstar last week Callie goes and immediately flubs it by telling a whole room of people her wife is dead. It’s dark. It’s funny. But daaaaamn is it cold. Instead of cooling blankets they should have been using Callie to chill all that champagne. Its a little scary that as Callie goes around declaring her wife dead, that we learn that Arizona’s own ardor has, at least intellectually, cooled for her wife. For the first time since the affair Arizona admits precisely WHY she hopped into bed with the first pretty blond that gave her a compliment. As discussed countless times in this space, Arizona is private, and her relationship with Callie has meant sacrificing that privacy. It’s meant airing her dirty laundry in public and dealing with the “looks.” She hates those “looks” and she let herself be wooed by Lauren because for just one moment, it wasn’t about being the lesbian without a leg married to the bisexual who has a kid with her dead ex-bang buddy. It was about being herself. All the labels and the history and the weight of Arizona’s life fell away and she got to just be free. That’s where the shift seems to come for Arizona in the episode. When she quietly reveals her reasons, not just to April and the audience, but to herself. Because I suspect Arizona never quite knew until that moment why she went and slept with Lauren beyond “it feels nice.” The quiet revelation is so exemplitive of these last hundred episodes. Plane crashes and gunmen and storms and buses plowing over friends may be the catalysts, but the real moments, the ones that transform these characters in these last five seasons, are the quiet ones, where Cristina and Meredith hold hands under a door, or Alex sees some powdered sugar on Jo’s nose and falls in love, or Arizona finally understands herself in a dark closet with a new friend. Notes I did not even get into what is happening with Alex because it is angsty, just starting, and going to be SO GOOD. But props to Jo for assuming he was a drug addict, working out the ACTUAL truth and then immediately helping, no questions asked. Props to Leah for putting up with the McPerky brigade as they got blasted. The internet is positive Leah and Arizona’s exchange at the end spells more ill advised sex with blonds. What say you? Meredith and Derek’s nod to prom made me feel ANCIENT. Jackson was kind of a dick placing the blame on Stephanie for her lack of invite. Uh, no dude. You throw a party you invite your girlfiend. That’s just polite. So when that guy asked Bailey what Rosa Parks would do did anyone else want her to snap back “snatch you bald-headed?” Bailey continues to be the go to doctor for coaxing cranky, self destructive wounded surgeons out of their initial snits. First Arizona, and now Richard. That tibia break made Grey’s officially more graphic and cringy than American Horror Story. THANKS. Arizona apparently is obsessed with April’s faith. This delighted me way more than it should have. Owen is dating a Mighty Duck. QUACK ATTACK. McDreamy juggles. Of course. Next Week: Meredith and Cristina FIGHT. Flashbacks to early and awful season 5 and I’m excited because I like it when Meredith gets a little unlikable. nw0807 Some good points, but the comparison between Callie’s accident and Arizona’s is way off. They were two completely different situations by a mile. Life (Callie’s) vs Life (Sofia’s) and Life vs Limb are completely incomparable. Yes. Arizona would’ve chosen Sofia’s life over Callie’s, as per Callie’s wishes, but I don’t believe for a second that she would’ve allowed Callie to die when an amputation would save her life. http://fempop.com/ Alex Cranz Yes they are. Who…who was making that comparison? Grey’sAnatomyGrace I LOVE this review!!