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Grey's Anatomy: Good Mourning / Goodbye (season premiere)

by Michael Pascua, posted Sep 25th 2009 12:05AM
The Grey's Anatomy universe stops for George O'Malley
(S06E01,S06E02) Every end of a television season, I ask myself, "Why do I keep watching Grey's Anatomy?" Then I realized why; I love Callie. Sure, she came into the show in the second season and isn't an "original" character, but she's become what I consider the most genuine character.

Then they start the show with "Wade in the Water?" I'm automatically an emotional wreck for two hours. Instead of a regular episodic format, the premiere episodes shifted to a timeline (Day One, Seven, Ten, Thirteen, and so on). I guess they got the memo that FlashForward was on before them.

Day one dealt with everyone coping with a return to everyday life. The two episodes, happily merged as one, set up the five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance) and chucks them at the cast. Callie starts the ball rolling: she has to identify George, alert Izzie, then figure out what happens to his organs with Izzie and confront the Chief.

Our main patient of the week is a girl who lost her arms to a speedboat propeller, that were sewn back (I assume by Callie, since she refers to it later). The main reason she's here is to show that Lexie needed to be a better friend and doctor. Clara (who looks like a young Nicole Kidman) then goes crazy and her arms start bleeding again.

The secondary patient, Andy, suffers from something that's not curable by muscle relaxers. Unfortunately, the Chief is under much stress and won't let Arizona do her job correctly. I felt horrible for the mother, and it continued into the second episode.

The funeral wasn't as sad as I thought it would be. There were so many pre-episode pictures up that I thought the funeral would take up half the show, then it was five minutes and it wasn't sad at all. The core group walked away and Izzie spread the giggles. She laughs at the fact that she has cancer, like this was all some really badly written show. Oh wait, it is.

We got lots of guests during the episode but Mitch Pleggi? Skinner trying to steal Derek away? Causing a coup d'etat (much better use of the term than Big Brother)? And then he looked just like his X-Files character, where you only see him behind a glass talking to the higher-ups.

The second episode/hour starts with Day 20 and quickly sets up 21. The episode went by jumping yet another 20 days by the end. The show jumps into it with the chief in a car accident because he wasn't focused; Lexie still continuing with Clara; Callie now at Mercy West; and Arizona turning to her for help. Izzie and Alex have unsaid drama.

Derek was set up as a real character in the second half, not just a one-sided McDreamy. First, Arizona and Derek finally fix the problem with Andy, then the two had some genuine interaction. Derek confronted Alex about his problems with Izzie. He took a moment to talk to Mark about the hospital's situation and ended the episode by confronting a very edgy Bailey. Miraculously, he had the time to have a lot of sex with Meredith.

To round out the characters that will still be around while Ellen Pompeo is on pregnancy leave, Lexie continued to evolve. I loved the anxiety that Lexie had with Callie. She was smart to get Owen to talk to Clara. Then that preview for next week looks like she'll be broken down.

I'm still not sure how I feel about Izzie, probably because I don't like Katherine Heigl. She's less wimpy than she was before, but she keeps going from likable (getting Amanda off of the bench) to questionable (her reaction to her cancer).

The episode ends with a strong narration happily tying up some loose ends. Then the chief drops the bomb: the hospital is merging with Mercy West. Just when Callie got away, eh? I laughed a little watching Lexie have a putz attack, but I'll feel bad for her next week. She wasn't really a doctor in any sense in this episode, just a friend to lean on.

The opening episode came on very strong. Even the little funny moments were witty: cancer pops, George being hung, poop bag, walking in on sex, and ceviche. They were placed in the right places to balance out the deep issues of grief this episode dealt with.

There was a lull some time last season, but I think getting rid of George was one of the best things this show did. It sharpened the rest of the characters, while making better connections between all the characters. There are a lot of rumors floating around involving Mercy West later on in the season, but I hope they decide not to fill in the empty gaps with a million unnecessary characters. How did the episode grip you? Leave comments below.

[Watch clips and episodes of Grey's Anatomy at SlashControl.]

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26 Comments

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smiley

I loved George O'Malley and this episode didn't make me cry/care as much as I knew I should have and wanted too. I would have been fine with them killing off George and I think it was definitely a fitting way to go if he really did have to die on the show (preferably I would have just wanted him to have gone to the army and maybe guest appear back one day when TR Knight and Shonda Rhimes make up....it's only a wish) but I really would have appreciated it if George hadn't all but completely disappeared from the season until that last episode. I wish he had a stronger presence in that season so his death could be more significant. Because once he's gone and that awful two-part episode (personal opinion) ends, the guy is never mentioned again like he never mattered! The only other mention of George after that is in Season 8 when George's mother comes into the hospital. And Alex, I know he's supposed to be an ass, but to still be making fun of George after his death is just cruel! I know it was one of the greatest ways to die and it makes sense but honestly the way that it was handled was just cruel.

January 15 2014 at 12:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Scott

Grey's is back. This was a really good show. I wish TV Squad would hire a writer to review it who appreciates the show, though. :( Nothing like reading a recap that starts out with flat-out negativity, making you wonder, "Why is this guy reviewing the show when he clearly doesn't even seem to want to watch it?"

September 30 2009 at 12:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob Penn

This episode was poorly written, full of cliches and non events. They tried to put too many stories into two hours, and as a result, watered down the entire episode. Generally I am appreciative of the writing and acting on the series. This episode, in contrast, made me think that they they should not reuse whoever wrote it. It reminded of situation comedies which usually run a half hour, but have that "special one hour" episode. It generally means a weak episode as the framework of what works is disrupted and filler appears. While dramatic shows don't usually suffer this fate, this episode just didn't come anywhere to the level of quality the generally offer.

September 29 2009 at 9:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
shan

Well, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I, personally, loved the episode. I cried for most of it. I loved that Izzie laughed at the fact that she has cancer, and everything else (including George getting hit by a bus) because everyone doesn't deal with grief the same way. Most of you who have posted a comment here has been watching the show since the beginning, so you know a lot more about the characters than I do. I have only been watching it for 3 or 4 years, closer to 3.

I love everyone on the show and all the relationships that have developed. My favorite is Christina and Owen, those two have so much chemistry.

Anyway, I am sure that things will progress at a steady and interesting rate for the rest of the season. I am looking forward to seeing what's going to happen once the merger goes into effect and once EP has to go on maternity leave.

September 29 2009 at 1:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
JC

In Canada we love Grey's Anatomy, the show will be different now that George is out, things change who knows with the merger with Mercy it would be nice to see Brooke Smith come back.
Thank you

September 26 2009 at 3:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
igor m.

I think you're all a little bit overdramatic. I read all michael's post here and i agree with every line he wrote.
I watch grey's anatomy since the first pilot was aired, and i keep watching it till now. But i cant help it, every now or then, when im wacthing a new episode, i think in the back of my mind "hell, this show has changed";
When Addison was taken away to PP, it was clearly because she deserved a star to shine on its own, i remember people joking around the "she-shepherd's anatomy". She was HUGE on GA's, and thats why she got out, the focus shouldnt be on HER but on Meredith.
I do think the mer-der story is a little last week, but, c'mon, i'm sure the writters could pull something out. Meredith is not my fav char, my i honestly, cannot see HOW on earth Grey's is going to happen without her.
The name of the show IS about meredith.

Anyway, as said, the fourth season was a big disappointment to me, its been 3 years, but still i didnt make my peace with burke's exit. I miss him, and i would give anything to have addison back on GA's. I know theres nothing much for her to do now, but its only because she left. But whatever, she will never ever come back.

The fact is: the show is totally on katherine heigl's hands. they need her. and then again, callie. i loved her since that very first episode she popped up, as michael said. but no one can top off katherine.

george died? great choice indeed.

lets just hope and see what season six brings us.

and one last thing:
season six? its about time to finish the anatomy.
i dont want to see the show dyin, i know they still have potential for big hits, but season six, thats great but too much. Lets all remember ALIAS, such a Kick-Off show at the first 3 seasons, but then, it just died slowly.

SEASON SIX, HERE WE GO!

September 26 2009 at 3:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
R

crap show. crap writers. Don't watch it anymore, it's laughable. I just love reading the comments and thought I needed to add my two cents.

September 25 2009 at 11:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
R

Crap show. crap writers. don't watch anymore. Laughable

September 25 2009 at 11:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David Holtzinger

I just couldn't grieve for George and was rather bored by the 2 hour grieving special. He just wasn't around enough last season for me to care about him one way or the other. His death has no bearing on the show. He was pretty much gone last year.

September 25 2009 at 7:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
elorack

I agree with the review for the most part. Grey's really isn't what it once was. I think since the WGA stike the show really lost it's footing/direction/mojo.
This episode showed me that they were getting back on track. I was kind of hoping that Izzy would have died, if only to give Alex Karev more growth. However I am curious to see how he will grow as the begin to obviously write Heigl off the show.
It was also really nice to see that Derek (by the end of last season) is going to be more than a the diva rock god of Neuro doc.'s. He is going to have a great story while Ellen is on leave with her new baby.
I can honestly I am looking forward to this season.

September 25 2009 at 5:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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