Grey’s Anatomy 7.01 “With You I’m Born Again”
When it comes to fandom, apparently I love an unpopular opinion. I love an underdog even more, and it seems as if I have a terrible need to play devil’s advocate. More and more, when confronted with general attitudes toward something I love, I find myself turning to the horrible egocentric idea that good TV is written for writers. After all, it seems to me, the rest of the world just takes everything at face value.
That has to be it, right? I mean, okay, to each their own, but sometimes it feels like I’m watching a totally different show from everyone else. Because I loved the opening of this new season of Grey’s Anatomy, which has been, for a long time, one of my favorite shows, but my reasons seem to be vastly different from everyone else’s. In fact, the more I see people talk about it, the more I’m bewildered by their reactions, and I can’t help wanting to address some of what seem to be the more recurrent notions about the episode.
1. Alex is not being portrayed as one-note again. He was shot, he was attacked, on ground that was just about as much his home as it is Meredith’s. He’s been cut down a little at a time all year, and Alex doesn’t respond to that by talking about his feelings or letting people in. The worse things get, the more he shuts them out, the ruder he becomes. It’s a defense mechanism just like Perkins said, designed to keep people from looking too closely lest they see what Lexie said: that he is the opposite of the act he’s putting on, that’s he rattled and alone. Should he let his guard down and get help from others? Sure, yes. But would that be in keeping with his personality? Not even remotely. I’ll take consistent characterization over an emotional breakdown any day.
(I desperately hope we get some Meredith-Alex time soon, though. They’re one of my favorite friendships.)
2. Derek is being horrible. He is being irresponsible. Yes, the surgery was successful, meaning once again Derek Shepherd has made medical history. Whoop-de-do. He’s reckless and Meredith’s right to call him on it, and that whole “the adrenaline feels good” thing? It’s not cute. It’s dangerous. I liked the line about medical advancement beginning with the words “That sounds crazy,” I did, because it has the ring of truth, and I get where this comes from, but that doesn’t make his behavior any less reckless and it doesn’t mean he’s not endangering both himself and his patients. Meredith could tell him how readily this kind of clarity dies, but he wouldn’t listen because now he just does. Is that a trait you really want in the guy working on your brain?
3. Arizona is perfectly justified in retreating a bit. She’s overcome the children thing to be with her girlfriend, to realize that being with her is just more important, but the fact remains that she still doesn’t really want children. A shooting isn’t magically going to change her mind, it just showed her what mattered more. And for her to behave like everything is sunshine and fluff would, I think, be unnatural to her and their relationship would be false. Better for her to behave as she honestly feels.
4. Kepner has every right to behave as she has been. I’m not her biggest fan by a long shot. In fact, sometimes she annoys me and by no means am I saying you have to like her. But her chasing after Derek to show him the biggest cordoma on record wasn’t about a wide-eyed little girl’s crush; it was about the fact she wants to be a neurosurgeon. We wouldn’t hate on Cristina for flying to Teddy with a heart surgery she wanted to do. And crying at the wedding? She lost her best friend. Her best friend is dead and this night of apparent joy is just one more sign that that’s true, because the whole world has moved on. There’s a marriage, there’s joy in front of her eyes, and everything is becoming normal again (or I’m sure it feels that way to her) and it’s like Reed’s just vanished into the ether. That chapter of her life is honestly closed and her best friend is never coming back. There’s no way that doesn’t hurt. There’s no way it isn’t overwhelming. Just because she’s one of the few doctors at Seattle Grace who don’t use denial as their first line of defense doesn’t make her crazy.
5. This marriage between Cristina and Owen is horrible. I’m not saying I would have hated it completely somewhere down the line, but don’t ignore what Meredith said. Cristina is rushing into this because she is desperately terrified of being alone. She can’t do surgery because the place that is sacred to her, the place she loved most, was invaded and she was nearly killed, and we shouldn’t expect her to just up and get over that and run right back to doing surgery. And Owen could clearly see that she was scared and sad and desperate that night. A better man would have waited. A man who understood the woman he was with would have known that it wasn’t a fair time to ask. Because Cristina loves him, but at a moment like that, of course she’s going to agree. She’s frightened and she needs someone to be there, she would agree to anything to keep him because the horror of seeing him shot in front of her hasn’t died yet; that kind of desperation isn’t the basis for a good, lasting marriage.
In conclusion, please give Ellen Pompeo and Chyler Leigh all the Emmys this year.