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Monday, May 24, 2010

Grey's Anatomy delivers best episode of the series, best finale of the year

     I waited to watch the season finale of ABC's Grey's Anatomy until I could watch it in one sitting, uninterrupted, since I heard it was going to be fantastic.  None of the hype did it any justice.  The two-parter, entitled "Sanctuary" and "Death and All His Friends" was arguably the best episode of the entire series thus far, and definitely the best season finale that I've seen this year.  It was adrenaline-packed, incredibly suspenseful, and emotionally draining.  The darkest moments were spread out over the episode, so viewers barely got a breather before being hit hard again.  Dr. Bailey (Chandra Wilson) delivered one of her finest acting moments, and that's saying quite a lot.

     The main plot centered on a character we've seen a couple of times before, Gary Clark (Michael O'Neill, The West Wing).  Previously, Gary's wife had died at Seattle Grace Hospital, and he is out for revenge on the surgeons who he blames for her passing.  Namely Drs. Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey), Webber (James Pickens Jr.), and Lexie Grey (Chyler Leigh).  When he doesn't see them soon upon entering the building, he begins by shooting at others.  Before the first commercial, two major characters are lying in pools of their own blood.  Remarkably, O'Neill played Clark sympathetic, even after he had done his worst.

     The group hardest hit were this season's recurring interlopers, the Mercy West transfers.  Reed (Nora Zehetner) was the first one shot, right between the eyes.  She was probably dead before hitting the ground.  Percy (Robert Baker) bled out a lot more slowly, making his death mean so much more.  By the time he had finally died, I wished he had been a part of the show longer.  April (Sarah Drew) should have been shot, since she was directly to blame for Shepherd almost losing his life, and hopefully she will soon resign following these traumatic events.  The fourth, Dr. Avery (Jesse Williams) showed coolness under pressure, and helped save Shepherd from Gary.  For those heroic deeds, his name should soon join the opening credits.  Unfortunately, Shonda Rhimes, the show's creator, wants to keep both surviving doctors.

     Unfortunately, those weren't the only people hurt by the tragedy.  Alex Karev (Justin Chambers) was one of the first to fall, but fortunately was kept alive by Sloan (Eric Dane) until they could get him out.  This complicated the Alex - Lexie - Sloan love triangle terribly, even more so when Alex called for Izzy (departed cast member Katherine Heigl).  As mentioned before, Derek Shepherd was badly injured, and only Christina (Sandra Oh) and Avery kept him from joining Reed and Percy.  Also tragic, Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) and Derek's unborn child didn't survive the stress of the situation.

     Should you take from the above article that it was nothing by tragedy, there were a few bright moments, particularly at the end.  Richard Webber showed his true character, resisted turning back to alcohol after being sober for six months, and talked the shooter into ending his own life, sparing any further bloodshed.  Might he take his old job back as Derek recovers?  Hunt (Kevin McKidd) declared his love for Christina, and Callie (Sara Ramirez) and Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) reunited.

     Bravo to all involved for an amazing two hours of television those who watch it will not soon forget.

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