TV REVIEW: Grey’s Anatomy Where “Time Stops” But Doesn’t Always Heal
Confrontation seems to be the word of the night in “Time Stops” as our favorite docs have moved on from the biggest tragedy on Grey’s EVER and go about the business of doctoring. And fighting.
On the surface, everyone is pretty much over Derek’s death which is so strange because it has only been two weeks for us. All the characters have fast forwarded a year into the future but someone forgot to include the viewer in this healing process and we find ourselves longing for more than the teeny flashbacks of Derek we were offered up in this one.
Well, everyone’s accepted a McDreamy-less Grey’s except Meredith and Amelia. More on that later.
Yes, Derek is still dead. Let’s blame the death on just about everyone being in a pissy mood in the latest installment. I’m calling it Post Derek Rage Disorder and it’s a thing. Tonight’s episode was evidence of that as it proclaims that “Time Stops” but doesn’t always heal for all. Let’s take a look.
Oh Yeah, There’s a New Crop of Interns (yawn)
“Time stops when you’re in the OR… nothing else matters,” Meredith says in her beginning narration. “When something big happens you retreat into your happy bubble.” It’s flashback central again as we see young Mer/Der but then blink and we’re staring at a new crop of interns. Webber’s giving them the not so pep talk with our faves watching from above, even mouthing his speech from memory.
“They look stupid,” Karev says.
“Eager like puppies,” Meredith adds.
“God help us all,” Callie complains.
Does anyone care there are new interns entering the fray and Stephanie has now time-jumped into being a badass in charge of some? Not really. We will care. We will get to know them, love them, cry for them, and miss a few when they leave or die. Shonda will make sure we get sucked in. But for tonight … nah, the only thing we care about is that Derek is gone and our docs are not getting along.
It Was a Make War not Love Kind of Night
Everyone was in need of some major couples’ therapy tonight. Much has happened with our Grey’s couples and most of it pointing to break ups. not happily ever afters.
Things begin starry-eyed enough with Webber and Catherine about to get married – that night! When a tunnel collapse sends the ER into a chaos zone of victims, Catherine shows up, not to pull Richard away from the hospital to prepare for the nuptials, but instead to pitch in.
“This is reason number 537 that you and I are made for one another,” Webber says smiling happily and we think this couple will have their golden years, riding into the sunset moment.
But by episode’s end, the wedding is postponed or canceled or put on deep freeze after they argue vehemently about the experimental procedure used to help a 17-year old victim of the collapse.
Alex and Jo are also on shaky ground. Jo’s got a sassy new haircut and a sassy new attitude. Well, that may be old but it rubs Karev the wrong way in this one. There was no love lost when Jo fantasizes not about her man but about going out into the field like April did. She does say it would be cool if Alex came with her.
He’s not having it, all that tent sleeping, ew! He says he’d build a life here, with roots. Is that code for Mer needs me right now, for forever?
Speaking of a sassy new attitude, April Kepner where have you gone and who is this new girl? We have to admit, we do like her. Whiny Kepner has left the building and is replaced with a kickass doctor who shows no fear. Wow, the change is dramatic and reminds us that April has gone through so much. A lost baby and a battle zone excursion has done a Kepner good.
Jackson doesn’t think so, confessing to Owen that they are “not on the same page anymore.” She’s different and he doesn’t feel like he knows her anymore.
Amelia Blows (all over Mer)
The hospital sends a team to the tunnel collapse to help victims on the scene with Meredith part of the all girl field unit. Maggie, April, Amelia and Mer immediately get tasked with the impossible, trying to save a man pinned in the twisted remains of his car, metal and body forming one.
He’s impaled in two places, blood is gushing in typical Grey’s fashion and things look pretty hopeless. Meredith says, “I’ve seen worse.” Really?
After exhausting all their options, April says he’s a black tag, one they can’t save. Kepner offers to stay with him and do what she can while the firemen cut him out.
On the ride back, Meredith says they did the right thing, made the right call. Amelia’s more than skeptical, her Derek grief bubbling to the surface ready to blow.
“Maybe there was something we could have done,” Amelia says definitely talking about another man in an accident a year ago. Her brother.
Meredith insists there was nothing else they could’ve done.
“When is that Meredith? When are you okay that someone has no chance?” Amelia bitterly asks.
Later, the Amelia volcano erupts, leaving Meredith in its wake.
“I’m a neurosurgeon, I could have saved him,” Amelia insists. “How many chances did you have when you could have called me? Why didn’t you call me?”
“You couldn’t have done anything… it was too late,” Meredith answers.
“How could you do it? How could you unplug him without letting me know… I didn’t get to tell him goodbye,” Amelia cries. “I didn’t get to tell him goodbye because of you.”
We see Meredith alone in a supply closet breaking down crying, having the huge snot cry we’ve been waiting for. It only lasts a minute but we know this is just a small glimpse into what’s probably been going on with Mer over the past year and it feels right. Everything shouldn’t be business as usual. Derek is dead. He deserves this.
So who’s right? Who’s wrong? Oh, those shades of grey. We can definitely see both sides of the pulling the plug conundrum. Amelia needed closure and Meredith denied her that. Mer was obviously in shock and did what she thought had to be done. Where will these two go from here? The thing that intricately bound the pair is gone.
Oh Yeah, There Were Two Cases
Owen and Jackson go at each other, arguing about the best way to treat an injured 17-year-old. Hunt wants to do a freaky suspended animation trick on the boy, draining all his blood, replacing it with saline and lowering his body temperature all in an effort to get him stable enough to transport upstairs. Avery says get your space age mumbo jumbo outta here! Owen pulls the “I only need two doctors to agree since his parents aren’t here” card. Karev and Richard are all in.
The surgery goes well, after some tense moments with no heartbeat. The boy is saved and the doctors are thrilled. There wasn’t really an emotional investment in the teen, the case serving more as an arguing point for Richard and Catherine, Jo and Alex, and Hunt and Jackson.
The other big medical case involved the guy tangled in the mess of his car and his pregnant fiance back at the hospital. She apparently got knocked up on their first date (oh, hey Katherine Heigl). We didn’t feel any particular connection or investment in her well being also, but this one did highlight what a bumbling group of interns the newbies are. One almost permanently paralyzes her by moving around her neck brace.
Her baby is born as her fiance is almost black tagged back at the tunnel collapse.
Yes, almost. The final scene of the night was out of movie hero lore as April rolls up on a pile of tangled car wreckage. She’s in an Amelia super hero pose atop the car saying she couldn’t let the firefighters extract him after all. She figured they’d have better chance of saving him closer to the hospital.
“Are you ready to achieve the impossible?” Meredith’s voice over asks.
So what did you think of tonight’s episode? Are you ready to move into a no Derek era of Grey’s Anatomy or are you feeling Amelia and her need for some closure?
On a side note, what did you think of the whole Meredith moving in with Alex?
Meredith confesses to Alex that she pressed pause on her life. “I came back and I’m not home. Can the kids and I come stay with you for a while?” Alex says no problem.
“You better check with Wilson,” Mer advises.
Alex says he definitely doesn’t need to do that.
Would Shonda go there? Or is this simply a case of Meredith’s person stepping up and staying firmly in the friendzone. I suspect as much. Until I remember we are in Shondaland and ANYTHING goes, ANYTHING can happen. Season finale, people. Are we ready? We’ve been through so much this year, it is sure to be smooth sailing into season 12, right? Shondaland. Whisper it with me. We are so not ready.
Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8:00 p.m. on ABC.