What is up with season finales ending happily and without any cliffhangers this year? I’m not complaining, though. Well, mostly.
This has been the show’s most depressing season without a doubt (Cristina left, Jackson and April’s baby died, Calzona ended…and oh yeah Derek died), so it makes perfect sense that Shonda and company decided to end the year on a happy note. It’s a freaking brilliant move, actually. After all the horror that we’ve faced with McDreamy’s death, Shonda Rhimes gave us a finale that screamed “there are still happy stories to tell on this show” and it was somewhat great.
What’s amazing about this show is its ability to entertain us even after offing so many pivotal characters. I was almost sure I wasn’t going to enjoy this, but it was surprisingly the best and most amusing hour, post-killing Derek. Meredith is an incredibly powerful character to root for and she’s definitely the reason we’re all still watching. That black and white freeze-frame at the end that froze on Meredith smiling (as she narrated that the sun would shine again) was an exceptionally uplifting image to end a season that’s been ridiculously gloomy. I still need some time to figure out whether I love the Greys sisterhood theme (because I forgot to mention Amelia and Maggie were in that final shot as well), but so far I’m in it for Meredith and Meredith alone (and Ellen Pompeo by proximity, of course).
She’s learned so much from all the tragedy that’s surrounded her that she’s able to give advice to all of her friends without being dark and twisty. Again, I’m not sure if this is a sign of creative writing or a way to beg viewers to tune in for season twelve. Either way, I think they won me over (damn-it) and I need to see happy Meredith again soon.
However (and this is where I start to sound completely confused), the rest of the hour felt slightly underwhelming for a Grey’s finale. The Jackson/April breakup was just cruel, especially after everything these two went through this season. While I have enjoyed April’s transformation (or Kepner 2.0, as Bailey so rightfully put it), she came off as a bit mean here. You don’t get to go back to war after just returning from a year-long tour, a year where your own son died before he was just born! I feel so bad for Avery, I want him to dump her ass and go back to Stephanie (well maybe not that much).
Shonda even decided to give us an emotionally moving case. I can’t believe neither the mom nor the dad died! It was a Grey’s Anatomy miracle for everyone to survive, but it was much needed. I don’t know why, but that case really got to me and while it can’t possibly erase the pain that was Derek’s death, it’s starting to feel better.
Elsewhere, Catherine and Richard made up and I was glad to see that mainly because Catherine is just delightful to watch. Even Bailey wasn’t that annoying this week and is in the running for Chief of surgery. Alex and Jo are moving in together even though I have absolutely no idea why we should care. But see, the point is that everyone got their happy ending on a Grey’s finale. How often can we say that?
Again, I am conflicted on whether I loved this episode so much because it came off as a bit series finale-ish, or if I hated it because of that same reason. I won’t lose sleep knowing I have to wait a whole summer for the next episode, but now I know the show isn’t as dead as I expected it to be, without Derek. Well played, S. Well played.
Bits & Scalpels
– Still not feeling the interns. But how pulse-pounding was that elevator scene? Dayum.
– Also not loving the idea of Meredith moving out of the McMansion (does anyone actually call it that?).
– More on how confused I am about the episode: Amelia listening to Derek’s voicemail. It was effing sad, but did we really need to see Derek again? That was just so, so painful. Sniff.
– The dance-it-out scene was great…if Cristina was there. Just kidding, it was good.
– The scene with Meredith bringing the father’s son to him while trapped in a car was incredibly emotional. I still can’t believe everyone walked out of the finale alive.
– I enjoy every little bit of Meredith/Alex we can get, so I practically smiled in giddiness at their scene in the elevator where he calls her a tool.
– Man, I loved that they used “How to Save a Life” in the end. It’s quite amazing how even songs have incredible history with this show.
– So, what did you think of the season finale? Did it win you over like it sort-of did with me? Are you coming back for season twelve?
Bailey: I like this Kepner. I never thought I would like Kepner. You know, old Kepner—there was pigtails, bunny rabbits and smiling. Lots of smiling. But Kepner the reboot, Kepner 2.0, she’s crazy. She’s fierce. She’s womaned up. Thank you, United States Army.
Meredith: I hurt her feelings and she’s mad at me. I forgot I’m supposed to be her sister.
Alex: You’re a complete tool sometimes.
Meredith: I’ve heard.
Amelia: Come on, you won’t miss being able to reach your toaster from your toilet?
Derek (on the phone): Hey, it’s me. I’m on the ferry. I-I just wanted to say that…God, I wish you could see this. Weather’s classic Seattle. Oh, the water is so blue. It may be the most perfect ferryboat ride I’ve ever had in my life. We’re gonna do this a lot more when I get home, by the way. You, me and the family. We’re just gonna take a day and ride the ferryboat…all day if we want. I love you, Meredith. I know I just left and I’m not even at the airport yet, but I just wanted to say I love you. I love our family. And we’re gonna keep doing this. I love you.
Meredith (v.o.): You can build a house out of anything, make it as strong as you want. But a home? A home is more fragile than that. A home is made of the people you fill it with. And people can be broken, sure. But any surgeon knows, what’s broken can be mended, what’s hurt can be healed, that no matter how dark it gets…the sun’s gonna rise again.
A much-needed happy ending to the most depressing and controversial season of Grey’s. It was an emotional, uplifting yet equally confusing hour. I loved it.