Grey's Anatomy: Good Mourning / Goodbye (season premiere)
by Michael Pascua, posted Sep 25th 2009 12:05AM
(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.]