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Saturday, November 12, 2011

"Dark Was the Night" as Grey's Anatomy ends fall run

     Grey's Anatomy presents "Dark Was the Night," the final episode of the show's fall run. While not as depressing as the gunman in the hospital episode, nothing goes right for the main characters. Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) and Derek (Patrick Dempsey) learn they will not be getting Zola back. Callie (Sara Ramirez) and Avery (Jesse Williams) learn a screw they put in a patient has come loose and is destroying her heart. While going to get a critical baby from a small hospital, the ambulance Meredith and Alex (Justin Chambers) are riding in breaks down, and then they are hit by another vehicle. Last, and perhaps most significant, Henry (Scott Foley) dies on Cristina's (Sandra Oh) operating table, though she doesn't even know it's him at the time.

     Given the relatively cheery state of recovery most of the characters are in, starting to forget about past trauma they suffer, it's understandable that events will begin to take a sadder bend, even if the stakes stay realistically lower than previously. Thus, "Dark Was the Night" is a depressing episode, but it's one that make sense in the run of the series.

     Meredith will not easily bounce back from losing Zola. At first reluctant to even have a child, she attaches to baby Zola very quickly. Despite only having her a brief time, Meredith is rocked by her loss, and tells Derek she doesn't want another kid. Thankfully, Derek is supportive, at least for now. After all, their marriage has been rocky, and he could have reacted very differently, blaming Meredith for their predicament. Instead, he offers her comfort and understanding. With a solid marriage, Meredith will eventually come around. Though whether the couple will remain childless or not remains very much up in the air.

     The ambulance accident could have been much worse than it is. Alex and Meredith have only minor scrapes, and the baby they are transporting is still alive. There are three bodies revealed on the road at the end of "Dark Was the Night," but they aren't characters that fans know about, so their loss is acceptable without too big an emotional impact. While the next episode of Grey's Anatomy might find Alex and Meredith trying to treat those figures, while struggling to keep the baby going, it's also possible nothing else will come of it. It's almost anti-climatic, but at the same time, one cannot wish physical harm on Alex and Meredith.

     What will the ramifications of Callie and Avery's mistake be? Callie feels guilt for letting Avery do the surgery while she reads a magazine, wondering if perhaps she isn't alert enough. But Bailey (Chandra Wilson) reminds Callie that this is a teaching hospital, and the students aren't perfect. Avery is a competent doctor. As to what consequences might come from the faulty surgery, those are left in the dark until a full investigation can be done. Maybe viewers will find out when Grey's Anatomy returns in January?

     The biggest even, of course, is Henry's death. The character is in fourteen episode of Grey's Anatomy, so complications from a tricky surgery are not really the way one expects him to go. Foley is a fine actor, and his presence will be missed.

     While Webber (James Pickens Jr.) and Lexie (Chyler Leigh) struggle to hold things together in the OR, Cristina heartlessly treats Henry like any other patient. Without knowing his identity, that is all he is to Cristina. Sure, she tries to do the operation in record time, but it is unlikely she could do anything more for Henry is she knew who he was. In fact, she probably would have felt a heavy emotional weight, and thus, things might have gone even worse.

     But Cristina isn't the most affected. That will be Teddy (Kim Raver), Henry's wife. Not only does Teddy entrust Cristina, it being her plan to have her resident blindly operate, but then Hunt (Kevin McKidd) lies to Teddy, his friend, about Henry making it through the surgery so she can complete her own complicated operation. It would likely kill Teddy's patient for Hunt to admit the truth at that moment, but that won't matter when Teddy finds out what is going on. She will be hurt and angry. Might this be the end of her time on Grey's Anatomy? With Henry gone, it does take away any interesting story she has. Other than, you know, the guilt she will have from trying to crush his dreams during his final day alive.

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