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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Grey's Anatomy is "Free Falling" and "She's Gone"

     ABC's Grey's Anatomy returns this week with two hours of new material. In "Free Falling" and "She's Gone," Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) worries about the consequences of screwing up Derek's (Patrick Dempsey) clinical trial, including being fired, losing her husband, and having her baby taken away. Richard (James Pickens Jr.) looks for a way to help her, while Alex (Justin Chambers) wants to make up for turning her in. Bailey (Chandra Wilson) pushes the residents to work as a team. Owen (Kevin McKidd) considers forgiving Cristina (Sandra Oh).

     Meredith's mistake is made with the best of intentions, but will have lasting effects. Derek's trial is over, and even though Derek knows why Meredith did what she did, and others are urging Derek to get over it, he just can't. His stubborn streak is ruining the marriage. He is willing to be civil to her in front of the case worker so that perhaps they can keep their baby, whom he does love. But he won't even look Meredith in the eye, let alone talk to her. Is this something they can survive as a couple? It certainly doesn't appear that way.

      Professionally, Meredith's screw up kills her career. She is fired, and no matter how many phone calls Richard makes, he can't find her another one. Alex is willing to lie and take the blame, since after all, he is the one that reported her, but Richard refuses to let him. Instead, Richard decides to take the fall, since Meredith's actions helped his wife, Adele (Loretta Devine).  Unlike Meredith, Richard probably won't be fired. He is near the end of his career, and can blame age and love of his wife for it. But he certainly will not get to stay chief of surgery.

     In the end, Alex does manage to get back in Meredith's good graces by lying to help her keep her baby. Unable to solve her professional problems, he assists Cristina in staging a cover story for why Meredith steals her baby and goes off the grid for four hours. Derek is forced to go along with the lie, but isn't happy about it. Then Alex is there to comfort Meredith, and she lets him, indicating that he is forgiven. Alex will never be her lover, and won't replace Derek, but at least something in Meredith's mess is beginning to heal. The baby is gone, but probably only temporarily.

     Unlike Derek, Owen is able to begin to repair his own marriage. Meredith points out that Cristina truly loves him, and that's why she keeps putting off her abortion. By relating her own experience as an unwanted child, Meredith is also able to make Owen see that having the baby is a mistake for Cristina. Owen does love Cristina, and that is why he is able to put his dream of being a father aside for her. While with her, he cannot have kids, and that's just the way it is. This is a nice story, since Grey's Anatomy already had to convince one unwilling parent to change her mind last year. Now we get to see the other side.

      Speaking of Arizona (Jessica Capshaw), she and Mark (Eric Dane) are finally in a good place, sharing parenting responsibilities. This means that Callie (Sara Ramirez) is no longer in the middle of a feud, and they can all move on and happily raise their child together. It's a relief, after so much fighting, to see the three working as a unit. After all, any tension between them can only be bad for the impressionable infant.

     As the Grey's Anatomy premiere begins,. Lexie (Chyler Leigh) is happily in the arms of Avery (Jesse Williams). How long might this last? Mark is already hinting once more to Avery that he's coming back for Lexie. Lexie and Mark have been broken up for quite awhile, but Mark's feelings still haven't cooled. Considering that it was his daughter that drove them apart in the first place, a reunion will not be easy with this three-way parenting experiment Mark is now involved in. But perhaps, since there are all already so many adults to raise that baby, Lexie can be with Mark without having to take on the role of mother. Because, really, she belongs with Mark much more than with Avery.

     Also growing in a family way, Teddy (Kim Raver) is head over heels in love with her husband, Henry (Scott Foley). Theirs was a marriage of necessity, but has become one of love. When Henry goes back under the knife, a not uncommon occurrence with his medical conditions, Teddy acts like any other worried spouse. She questions everything, and wants to know how he is at all times. Even the brief amount of time she gets into the OR, she makes herself a nuisance, not a help. It's actually pretty sweet, because it shows that she really cares for him, and not just the way she kind of did before.

     Finally, Dr. Bailey is tired of the residents not getting along. This can be at least partially blamed on the selection of April (Sarah Drew) as Chief Resident. None of the others respect her authority, or listen to her when she tries to implement new systems. This leads to an almost tragic mistake, so Bailey forces them all to work together. Surprisingly, the exercise does not force leadership in April, but it's Avery that steps up. That doesn't mean he should replace April. But if he's got her back, she's bound to start doing better after a very rocky start. That's good, because Bailey needs to focus on taking over Richard's study, not worrying about fighting doctors.


     Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.

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