I love when Grey’s Anatomy focuses on its core relationships. A few years back, I would say that would’ve been Meredith and Cristina (and probably Meredith and Derek), but it’s become just as heartwarming to watch Meredith and Alex constantly rely on each other lately. Their scenes in this winter finale, as brief as they might have been, were the highlight of this hour – possibly even this season.
However, I’m not sure if Alex being torn up about his guilt makes for a good cliffhanger. Maybe if Jo was a more likable character or this storyline was developed better it would have been a strong setup for the back half of the season, but since I’ve had almost zero interest in this case ever since last year’s finale, the ending fell kind of flat for me.
The same goes for the medical cases this week. Of course, a building had to collapse in front of Meredith, Alex and Maggie (who is still on this show somehow), but it was all very disjointed from everything else that was happening in the episode that it felt tonally jarring. A couple of odd directional choices certainly made this an even stranger experience, but thank goodness for Richard and Bailey for making the show a lot more grounded than it usually is. Can we have more of these please and less of everyone else?
Bits & Scalpels
– I love Arizona tricking Dr. Minnick by pretending not to remember her joke at first. Haven’t we all done that at least once?
– Ben pretending to be a priest was another strange, disjointed subplot that only served as plot contrivance to let us know that the landlord was partially responsible for the collapse of the building.
– I had to travel really hard down memory lane to remember that Owen did actually cheat on Cristina once! Seems like ages ago.
– The slow-mo during surgery felt like pointless filler.
– I wished the 12 year-old girl dying was more emotional, but we didn’t spend nearly as much time with the family as we should have.
– The mother pretending to be the landlord’s wife was intense, wasn’t it? And kind of crazy, even for this show! For a minute there, I thought I was watching something else entirely.
– Powerful moment between Bailey and Richard as the latter realizes the new Chief has already chosen Dr. Minnick for the job. My God, I love these two.
– I loved Alex apologizing to Jo for calling her “trash”.
– If Alex takes the plea and goes to prison for two years, can we honestly stand Jo anymore? And did we know that her real name isn’t really Jo Wilson?
– At least Maggie was useful this week. She brought all the doctors together to fight for Richard’s job.
– Amelia leaving Owen a goodbye note was VERY disappointing and frustrating. Talk about an underwhelming ending to a terrible subplot. Perhaps Caterina Scorsone will be back after maternity leave?
– We’re back to cover songs? That was a strange choice of music, especially during surgery.
– I got teary-eyed when Alex told Meredith to kiss the kids for him. Nope, still not believing he’s gone, though.
– As sappy as it was, I still loved the montage at the end.
– Grey’s Anatomy returns January 19th, along with the entire TGIT lineup!
Arizona: You walk around like you own the place. It’s annoying.
Dr. Minnick: It’s charming.
Bailey: I made a decision about what is best for the hospital moving forward, and I didn’t want my personal feelings, my very strong personal feelings to get in the way of that decision. If I do that, I won’t be able to do this job.
Richard: Bailey, we reach into people’s bodies and hold their lives and their futures in our hands. There’s nothing more personal than this job, in how we treat a patient, in how we raise our doctors and teach them how to do this work. Every decision that you make should be a personal one. If it isn’t, then you have no business being chief.
Meredith: You think this is noble, what you’re doing? It isn’t. It’s giving up. And it’s buying into everything you’ve ever said about yourself, and I won’t let you do it.
Alex: Look, you’ll be fine.
Meredith: You are not going to jail!
Alex: You’ll be just fine.
Meredith: Stop making this about me! Stop using me as an excuse to make yourself feel better. Of course I will be fine. I’m always fine! Don’t you know that?
Meredith: We can’t just give up, not after all this time. We have to stand together. We have to fight. Because it’s just us now. There were five of us, and now it’s just you and I. And it can’t be just me. It can’t be. I will go down swinging for you, Alex, you know I will. But that means you can’t give up. You don’t throw the fight. So, whatever you’re doing this for, please, don’t.
Somewhere Only We Know by Lily Allen
You Wouldn’t Like Me by Sleeping at Last
Not one of the strongest midseason finales, but Mer/Alex and Richard/Bailey’s gripping subplots salvage this hour from completely going off the rails.