This was one of the hardest episodes of television I’ve ever had to watch. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve had a morbid year myself or the subject matter was so brutal (it was probably both) but I found it extremely uncomfortable and unsettling to sit through.
Shonda’s most impressive achievement with this hour is the fact that she managed to horrify me without actually showing much of the actual crash aftermath. Aside from a few brief glimpes and flashes, most of the flashbacks didn’t really take place in the woods. Nevertheless, the raw emotions that she managed to tap into felt so incredibly real and terrifying. Starting with a harrowing opening shot of Meredith on the ground, straight through the episode’s final moments, this was a merciless and intense hour of television. Part of me really doesn’t want to commend an episode that made me feel so horrible but I can’t deny this episode’s extraordinary power and impact.
From Christina’s revelations in the bathtub to Arizona’s petrifying experience, Shonda put the whole cast through the ringer. I was fascinated by Arizona outright blaming Karev and calling him a horrible person (he really deserves it, I hate the guy) and her panic at the possibility of losing her leg. Jessica Capshaw was phenomenal and this was undoubtedly her best performance on the show yet. Callie also got some great stuff to work with as she juggled her wife’s condition (which realistically reached its conclusion) while trying to salvage Derek’s hand (another intriguing development). I’ve really grown to love Sara Ramirez over the years and she was exceptional here.
I haven’t even discussed Mark Sloane. While I wasn’t too touched by his departure last week, I should have known Shonda hadn’t really brought out the big guns. His story here was beyond frightening, particularly with “the surge” of excitement just before his death. It was painful to watch on every level and Eric Dane also delivered his strongest showing ever. I do hope the show can still manage to maintain its quality with all its recent losses. McSteamy brought a certain brand of humor to the show that will indeed be missed.
While it requires quite a bit of suspension of disbelief to comprehend how much the Seattle Grace team has been through over the years, I can’t deny that this was expertly realized and compelling television that elevated the show into further darker territory. It got under my skin, it made me uneasy, and it did it all without losing sight of its characters and heart. And no matter how much people may look down on Grey’s Anatomy as just another medical show, it’s undeniably proven itself as great television worthy of its success time and time again.
Bits & Scalpels
– What a horrifying shot of all our doctors in hospital beds on the plane. Thankfully, Bailey’s epic line poking fun at Lost and polar bears did a great job of breaking the ice.
– Christina’s blank-eyed trauma stare creeped me out endlessly. Loved her throwing the vase at the interns though. I knew she was going to do that as soon as she eyed the object.
– I certainly didn’t expect to see the actress who plays Tara’s mom on True Blood show up on Grey’s as a doctor no less. And lo and behold she played an incompetent character here. How fitting. Typecast much?
– Although Bailey didn’t get much to do in this episode, I was fine with having her support the gang for once, particularly as she brought Zola to Meredith when she needed her most.
– Christina’s haunting monologue was just insane. From her disturbing revelations of drinking her own pee, to getting bugs out of Arizona’s leg, and her description of animals tearing apart Lexie’s body, Sandra Oh knocked this scene out of park with a potent mix of subtlety and terror. Her final proclamation “I can’t get out, I’ll never get out” was plain traumatic to watch.
– I still don’t care about April. Ugh.
– I’m unsure how I feel about the ending with Christina’s final “You are my person” line. Still it doesn’t take away from a mind-blowing hour.
Must Download Tune
All I Want by Kodaline
A jaw-dropping hour of television that’s highly disturbing yet beautifully produced.