Full Disclosure: I quit on “Grey’s Anatomy” a few episodes into Season 7. While the gunman at the conclusion of Season 6 offered hope that the show was getting back onto the right track, it didn’t capitalize, and I finally gave up on a show that I loved.
To be fair though, “Grey’s Anatomy” quit on me years before that. Season 4 to be exact. Not suggesting correlations here, just offering up facts–the moment that Addison and Burke left and Lexie waltzed in, this show starting getting really bad. Remember Izzie operating on a deer? Yeh. It was a shame–this was THE BEST SHOW on television for a solid 2 years (during that crappy Sopranos Season 6 Part 1 plus break period); it was far better than 24 in 2006 and should have won Outstanding Drama instead of Jack Bauer’s really long day.
But since then, the show has had intermittent ups, with lots of downs. Season 4 closed out strong, and season five was a monumental back and forth, aided by Izzie’s cancer turn, Derek’s mom and the serial killer arc. Season 6 was mostly a mess, with the typically lovable Kim Raver offering nothing, and Arizona and Owen existing as purely dead weight, there for romantic intrigue of more interesting characters.
All of this said I’ve been catching the highlights since I bailed on the show, and in recent weeks, I’d been turned onto Shonda Rhimes warning of a major shift ahead. She even tweeted yesterday, warning viewers it would not be a good night.
And she was right. It was a disturbing, maddeningly sad episode, that featured many unsightly surgical shots and some slit-your-wrists moments. But in many ways, it was a return to form for the uneven once-great soap.
Lexie’s death was not surprising, in that it had been predicted by many sites leading up to the episode. But boy was it shocking, whacking a character with the title in her last name. And what a number this one will do on the rest of the characters next season no?
Giving Teddy the boot was also startling, ending yet another cardio run that was less than favorable. While it opens Christina to take the position, giving the revolving door that one has been, I’m not sure she should want the job.
This brings us back to the core group–mainly Derek, Meredith, and Christina, out there trying not to die from their latest malady–a friggin plane crash! Christina, in a vintage performance by Sandra Oh, even lamented the constant misfortune that befalls her erstwhile family at Seattle-Grace-Mercy-Death.
And Meredith. Just when it seemed her life was getting cushy and dark twisty Meredith was gone, bam, it’s time for a reprise.
There were more shockers–it was a “Grey’s Anatomy” season finale after all–but for me, I’m more concerned with what it means.
Lexie’s emergence coincided with the show’s fall from grace (again, not suggesting correlation), and Teddy has been an awful presence on the show for years now. And with both of them exiting and the residents moving into legit surgeon status, it leaves me wondering if the show has the wherewithal within to return to prominence for what is likely to be two final seasons (the main cast signed two-year deals, which would bring it to a nice, round, ten seasons).
Beyond that, Private Practice is looking to end its run next season, and there’s hope that Addison could return to the mothership for a final season.
So, believe it or not–through last night’s death and mayhem, is it possible that “Grey’s” has turned the corner of a very painful middle chapter in its history, and could be staring down a graceful final run, befitting the greatness of its early years?
Who knows. Time will tell–and I think I’ll be watching.