Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Hey GREYS ANATOMY, "I Want You With Me"

Article first published as Hey GREYS ANATOMY, "I Want You With Me" on TheTVKing.

ABC's Grey's Anatomy begins their tenth season this week with a two part episode, "Seal Our Fate; I Want You With Me," that picks up on the same night last spring's finale ended. The storm still rages on, the team searches for one of their own who has gone missing in the hospital, a marriage falls apart, and a strong, new bond is formed. It's quite an episode!

Fans of Grey's Anatomy have waited all summer to learn the fate of Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.), last seen lying on the floor, electrocuted. With everything going on at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital, his absence hasn't really been noticed, but they do need him in surgery so Ross (Gaius Charles) is sent to look for him. Ross bumps into Brooks (Tina Majorino), and, wanting to steal her assignment, tells Brooks she is supposed to find Webber. Brooks locates Webber all right, but not noticing the danger around him, get shocked herself, bumping her head on the way down.

What this means is that both Webber and Brooks' lives on the line through the first hour and into the second. This is kind of a neat little fix, from a behind-the-scenes perspective, because Grey's gets to kill someone while still keeping beloved original cast member, Pickens. After all, while the other four interns have been promoted to series regulars this season, Majorino's schedule precluded her from accepting such an upgrade, so this ties up her storyline neatly, while having her departure make an impact, sort of like when we lost two of Mercy West residents in the shootout season finale a few years ago.

In fact, the death of Brooks sparks a major change in the remaining four interns. Ross, Murphy (Tessa Ferrer), Stephanie (Jerrika Hinton), and Jo (Camilla Luddington) haven't bonded yet the way the first five interns did way back in season one. Losing Brooks and forced to sit together to figure out something to say to Brooks' mother finally puts them all in a situation where they must rely on one another. This is a great moment for these four characters, developing them into something that should change their interactions from here on out.

That is, if they're still around, since the girls chase foolhardy Ross, who is rightly feeling extremely guilty, off to help people trapped by a mudslide, a dangerous operation. Might this three-part episode actually by a four-parter? Or will the story just skip ahead next week, revealing that the characters, so recently upgraded, are safe?

While Brooks passes away, Webber's life is saved. It's not an easy process, to be sure, with Bailey (Chandra Wilson), Yang (Sandra Oh), and Catherine Avery (Debbie Allen) arguing over treatment options. None of their opinions matter, though, because Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo), who has just given birth and had surgery, is listed as the decider of Richard's care in his personnel file.

Meredith and Webber have always had a very tense, yet close, relationship, he being the man who came between Meredith's parents. Meredith looks up to him, and even when she doesn't want him to, Webber attempts to be a father figure for her. It's an uneasy alliance that has occasionally been addressed, but never had any resolution to it.

Now, ten years in, Grey's Anatomy finally forces Meredith to decide how she feels about Webber. Richard has put his absolute faith in her, and while Meredith could sit out of the game and let the other three bicker over what to do, she makes a stand, becoming Webber's advocate. She says that he's family, and she's right. He has been for a long time, but until she says those words out loud, it's not established. This will likely mean a different relationship for them from now on.

I am really moved by the scene in which Bailey leaves a voice mail for her husband, Ben (Jason George), about what has happened with Webber. Living apart is very tough for the newlyweds, and this bit shows Bailey's longing and pain. I really hope Grey's reworks the plot to move Ben to Seattle ASAP. He's a great character on the show, and will be welcome to stick around more.

Meanwhile, things are still extremely tense between Callie (Sara Ramirez) and Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) after the latter's indiscretion is discovered. Arizona wants to talk things out and thinks she can make it OK, but Callie doesn't want to even be around her wife, grabbing their daughter and leaving the apartment while Arizona is still at work. Is this the end of their marriage?

I'd like to think not. They've been through a lot together, and while they still have a long way back to normal, as evidenced by their fights in last spring's finale and these premiere episodes, at least they are communicating. Yelling gets their feelings out, and perhaps, given space, Callie will begin to understand and forgive Arizona. In the meantime, it's a good sign that they are sharing custody of the daughter they've raised together, Callie not pointing out that Arizona has no legal right (which is probably true) and cutting her off.

It's interesting to see Callie hide out at Meredith and Derek's (Patrick Dempsey) place. They would have taken her in before last season, but it's only with recent stories that they want her to stay with them so they can help her. Taking over the hospital and all the time they've spent together away from work has changed the dynamic of the group, and it's touching to see how they have truly become a family for one another. Neither Derek nor Meredith take sides in Callie and Arizona's marriage, but offer support to whoever needs it, and try to provide a way to keep the lines of communication open.

Yang is involved in all of this, hanging out at Meredith's house, convincing Callie to let Arizona have a few minutes with her daughter when it's not her night. And she helps talk Meredith through the Webber thing, even when Meredith decides against Yang's recommendations. Plus, we see Yang have a few last trysts with Owen (Kevin McKidd) before deciding to finally be done with him for good. These are a lot of different sides to Yang, giving her a number of strong character scenes in the two hours. This season, her last on the show, will definitely be amazing, if these installments are any indication.

Also on the relationship front, Alex (Justin Chambers) and Jo finally have sex, and Avery (Jesse Williams) turns April (Sarah Drew) away. This hurts April, and drives her back into Matthew's (Justin Bruening) arms, accepting his proposal. Is April doing the right thing, moving on as she should? Or is she just fooling herself, using Matthew as a way to avoid the pain caused  by Jackson's rejection? I really don't think April should, or will, stay with Matthew for too much longer.

It boggles my mind how Grey's Anatomy continually re-invents itself in a way almost no other program does. Ten years in, the players are still growing and changing, and the stories move them in unexpected directions and still challenge them to rise to new, difficult occasions. Sometimes it seems artificial how many disasters come to this one particular location and staff, but it is never handled that way by the characters, always finding something authentic in it for them to work with. "Seal Our Fate" and "I Want You With Me" are very good, very enjoyable episodes.

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

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