When Grey’s Anatomy returned for its Winter Premiere, I was admittedly disappointed. Whilst the two episodes that have aired thus far are great in the midst of a series binge; it faltered as a big return.
With intense, promotion of an attack on our lead character; with Denzel Washington’s name attached as director; “the sound of silence”, served us with the reminder that shit happens, and sometimes, drama doesn’t.
Perhaps I’m desensitised after 12 seasons of drama, or perhaps with last week’s episode, this was the show’s intent after all. Unsettled by the new artistic approach that seems to be happening, after 12 seasons of expectations, I’ll go into this recap, as optimistic as I can.
Briefly recapping “the sound of silence” which truly lacked dialogue, Meredith is attacked by a patient mid-seizure. As the episode progresses weeks into the future, the idea of time having pulled pieces into place; and allowed healing, is alluded to. Through the silence of our lead, as she recovers; the show seems to forget its more recent ensemble nature, as if to give us a glimpse into its other characters. Except, in this case, we learn little from them.
As Meredith recovers, we see baby Ellis, the peak of April and Jackson’s relationship as he serves her divorces papers, and we get Meredith’s approval for Alex and Jo to be a thing. At this point, no one know if they indeed are, a thing. In an attempt to give Meredith the silence to involve herself in the world outside of her grief, the episode fell flat in the attempt to be artistic.
With the silence, we are released from grief and guilt, and move onto “all I want is you”.
Last week’s episode saw the beginning of a return to normal, with the classic comes-round-every-couple-seasons; intercut episode, between our characters and their therapy sessions.
In a complete 180 from the Meredith that I’ve frankly, grown to dislike this season, Meredith declares that she is happy, lucky to be alive, and okay.
Cut to the hospital carpool, and Alex and Jo’s relationship is anything but defined. Arriving at the hospital, we learn that Meredith’s cliffhanger conversation with Owen has done little to repair his relationship with Riggs. The ER, April’s happy place in the midst of her personal drama, she doesn’t want Owen and Riggs, to ruin the lives of those around them. Elsewhere, Maggie and Andrew are still hiding their relationship, serving us with some comic relief, as Andrew and Richard discuss his lover, unbeknownst to their relationships with Maggie.
In another nod to the series’ notoriety for drama, Alex treats a miracle-seeking patient, and an ambulance explodes.
Back in therapy, Meredith’s therapist questions her possible fear of males following the attack. Echoing our thoughts entirely, she insists the attack was small stuff in the midst of bombs, shootings and plane crashes.
Whilst she can acknowledge the death of Lexi, Ellis and Susan, it is poignant that she can’t say the same of Derek. Instead, she settles with, “any day where nobody dies, that’s a good day”.
Throughout the episode we also learn that Amelia is sober, Alex and Jo are together but separated, and that Callie and Penny’s relationship suffers through Meredith. To our relief, Meredith insists that she is not in love with Alex; but talks about him often. Whilst Meredith declares she is happy alone, the session concludes with the notion that she doesn’t want to be alone.
It seems – with optimism- that Meredith is transitioning into a new person; that is neither mourning nor dark and twisty as a standard.
Later, at Joe’s, April avoids discussion of her divorce by focusing on Riggs; and his tension with Owen, over darts. Elsewhere, Owen confides in Amelia, that his sister Megan – a fellow doctor- was lost under Riggs’ care.
With Amelia’s comparison of Rigg’s and Meredith; wherein, she cannot hate someone her sibling loved, their tension reaches a momentary reprieve during surgery.
Whilst sadly, no lessons are learned from Alex’s case, the episode ends with, repair. With the physical repair of a girl’s sternum and ribcage, Alex and Jo seemingly make up, as Meredith moves forward – hopefully marking the beginning of a new tone to the season.
Again, it is with optimism, that I welcome tonight’s new episode, as it seeks to repair the relationship between April and Jackson.
Grey’s Anatomy airs tonight at 8|7c on ABC!
[Featured Image Courtesy of ABC/Eric McCandless; Source Content for Gifs: Grey’s Anatomy, ABC 2016 ]