Review: Grey's Anatomy - 'Could We Start Again, Please'
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Ladies and gentlemen I’m gonna need a clarification from you. Is this the first time in eleven years that Derek Shepherd has admitted he’s wrong about something in a professional setting? I know he’s been wrong, and I know he’s admitted, begrudgingly, to being wrong about things, but I’m pretty sure it took eleven years for him to get up in front of a group of his peers and eat all that crow.

And it was totally worth the wait.

Derek is a dick and he has to be a dick. You can’t tell people you’re going to fiddle around with their brains all the time without believing some of the hype about how extraordinary you are (unless you are the beautiful and perfect Amelia Shepherd). Yet this means he’s also terrible at admitting he’s wrong and sits high on his moral horse every chance he gets.

Until his sister’s crisis dovetails nicely with his own crisis and he throws her under the bus. Then it’s clear to everyone (but Owen) just how much of a self-righteous bastard Derek can be. Clear enough that he actually has to stand up in front of the board and admit he essentially sabotaged his sister to take her job.

Ouch.

As vindicated as I felt watching him admit what a dick he could be I had to admit to empathizing with him when he finally admits to Amelia that he doesn’t know what he’s doing in his career or personal life. Everyone spins out of control at some point. Amelia spins and it involves oxycontin and skipping work and sleeping with dead guys. Derek spins and he’s hurting the people he cares about for a brief moment of his own satisfaction (see what I did there?). Patrick Dempsey does really good work in that last scene–letting bravado and doubt give way so we can see just how broken Derek is.

Maybe Callie is right when she calls the MerDer sex band-aids. Though she could be projecting onto the other couple so she feels a little less lonely. While Arizona isn’t given a chance to mourn her relationship Callie dives right in and swiftly moves to the “anger” phase–talking about throwing Arizona out a window and suspecting Meredith and Derek are on rockier terms than they’re willing to admit. Callie doesn’t actually want to throw Arizona out a window, of course. She’s just the sort of person who goes from love to hatred easily to cover up her own hurt.

Meanwhile her wife/ex-wife/baby mama buckles down and focuses on her job, fully embracing it and getting a whizzbang storyline in the process. Last week Geena Davis offered Arizona the chance to be humanized and this week Arizona accepts, at first wrestling with the predicament Davis’s Herman has put her in before ultimately leaning into the messiness so she can have a chance at learning something extraordinary.

She wouldn’t have done this if she were still with Callie. Without a support system in place (as great as Alex and April are they’re still work friends versus a support system) she’s only got the work. Turning Herman in and returning to general pediatric surgery won’t help Arizona get over what she’s lost–even if it is the more ethical thing to do. Buckling down, wallowing in the drama a genius attending with a brain tumor brings will.

It’s fascinating to watch her and Callie move on because they do it in such emblematic ways. Callie is relatively healthy–bitching to cover the hurt and then hanging out with friends and drinking beers. Arizona isolates herself. Closes off and embraces the all consuming drama that Dr. Herman is. And then she moves into the Grey home. It’s a right of passage that every single character must spend at least a few nights there. Arizona, being so cut off from the rest of the primary cast, has been one of the few to skip the sleepovers (until this season only Arizona, Bailey and Webber had avoid living there).

Maggie’s skipped the sleepovers too, but her bunk bed sister scene with Meredith more than makes up for it. As Grey sibling integrations go hers has been smoother than Lexie’s ever was (RIP). Though that’s because both she and Meredith are a lot more mature. Meredith and Lexie ultimately came together because of loneliness, but Maggie and Meredith have stability–they have options. They’re choosing to be family and it’s really kind of beautiful and nicely juxtaposed with Derek and Amelia whom are thrust together by biology and circumstance.

Notes

  • Meredith is DONE with her husband’s shit.
  • Arizona and Amelia completely steal the hour despite how little I talked about Amelia. Her struggle with being “outed” was real and heartbreaking.
  • The standout moment wasn’t her conversations with Derek (though her “go to hell” look when Derek confessed to being lost was great). It was her scene with an encouraging Webber. That man talked her off a cliff and they both deserve hugs for it.
  • Maggie and Meredith had zero time for the woman who outed Amelia. Sisters stick together.
  • Bailey trolling Jo. Yes.
  • So how long before Jo flips over all the 40 something lady surgeons taking up Alex’s time?
  • Stephanie STILL hasn’t been given something to do.
  • Owen was a pretty major tool bag, but for once it was very easy to understand where he was coming from. If the hospital hired someone who is high on Oxy that would probably be a major health code violation or something.
  • Seriously, Bailey trolling Jo.
  • Next Episode: It’s the winter season finale! That means April will be at death’s door because of her baby and Meredith and Derek will finally have the fight they keep putting off and Callie will watch from the sidelines as Arizona either destroys her career or saves April’s baby.