It’s about time! Seeing as how Arizona and April are leaving Grey’s Anatomy for good next week, it was only natural for Shonda to bring out the big guns. And boy did she bring them out.
Cold As Ice honestly had me guessing until the very end: would Shonda kill of April Kepner after nine seasons? I wouldn’t put it past her; after all, this woman has murdered Denny, George, McSteamy, Lexie, McDreamy and God knows how many more beloved characters. Thankfully, April survives the hour (maybe a bus will crash into her next week), and that still doesn’t make the episode any less traumatic. Everything about her accident is just horrifying: the way the doctors slowly come to the realization that April was with Matthew in the car, the endless compressions on poor Kepner, and of course Jackson sobbing by April’s side and finding God in the process. Basically Shonda Rhimes gets to have her cake and eat it too: she teases a big death while tugging at our heartstrings (and I don’t even like April), and then gives us a strangely uplifting and hopeful ending. Go figure.
Speaking of hopeful, Cold as Ice is home to one of my favorite Grey’s scenes in a long time: our doctors praying around Kepner in the OR as Maggie commits to finding a “rhythm” while everyone else gives up. The music (see below), the chilling vibes – it all comes together to create something truly magical and beautiful. Wow!
Herman Brings Hope
Although Geena Davis kind of came and gone last season without much fanfare, I was still a fan of her Doctor Herman and the downright traumatic ending she endured when she found herself blind (after Amelia’s surgery). That’s why I was ecstatic to see the character return this week; in fact, her proposal to Arizona by the end of the hour was absolutely perfect. After spending so much time with Arizona over the course of so many seasons, it’s a satisfying ending to have her leave to New York to reunite her family BUT also achieve something revolutionary in pediatrics. It would have been unfair to end Arizona’s storyline without having her achieve something great, so I’m pleased the writers took this route. Unfortunately, it still stings that Jessica Capshaw is leaving. Unlike April, I always loved Arizona’s special brand of sugary goodness, and the show is undoubtedly going to have a huge hole to fill after her departure.
Memories with Meredith
The beauty of a show that’s been around for 14 seasons is that you get to tap into a whole lot of continuity that helps make the show feel very lived-in and realistic. Cold as Ice is jampacked with such brilliant reference that help amplify the hour’s themes. When faced with April’s hypothermia, Meredith says she’s been through “worse” – a reference to when she drowned and almost died in season three. She also asks April if she saw “dead people”, a callback to that unforgettable after-life episode post-drowning. Finally, Derek’s scrub cap and post-it in note make return appearances, further illustrating Meredith’s voiceover about our past scars shaping our present. Well done show, well done!
Bits & Scalpels
– Arizona resigning and Bailey beginning her touching speech was enough to get me teary eyed. And it only took ten seconds!
– Bailey watches a fire on TV. #Station19 (which has shockingly been renewed).
– Meredith suddenly sobbing when Alex asked about Kepner was just heartbreaking.
– Amelia tells Herman she had a tumor when she operated on her but the show throws in a nice twist here: Herman knew because she was sleeping with Tom. Didn’t see that bombshell coming!
– Arizona says that April and Matthew have been seeing each other for months. I guess April will leave with Matthew next week? Guesses?
– How great is Jessica Capshaw? She made me cry when she cried at the desk, and she made me laugh when she cried when April woke up. All she did was cry both times!
– I appreciate Grey’s for always keeping April and Owen platonic. She tells him that he always “brings her back”. Aww!
– Jackson hugs Harriet gratefully after April survives and it’s extremely moving.
– The Betty subplot was a bit of a bore this week. So she’s not “clean”. Shocker.
– Beautiful final shot with the two hospital beds next to each other as April and Matthew fall asleep together. Never thought we’d get a happy ending this week!
Bailey: (to Arizona) I thought you were a pixie stick.
Bailey: When I met you, I thought you were an empty vessel, full of sugar,
Bailey: You’re asking parenting advice? You ever heard of the black lace-weaver spider? Well, she lays about 50 to 100 eggs, and when her babies reach a certain age, she taps her web and calls them to her. They swarm her, stab into her with their straw-like stingers, the mother’s innards liquefy, and they suck her up, like a milkshake, for their nourishment, leaving her a dead husk, and then, they go on with their lives. That’s parenting.
Meredith: Right now, we don’t need people with big feelings.
April: It’s just that you’re “broke,” other than your six-figure salary as a plastic surgeon, – your penthouse, and your yacht.
Nicole: Sex when you’re blind is way, way better.
As expected, this is a brutal but ultimately uplifting hour of Grey’s. Stunning!