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TV Review: Grey’s Anatomy Gets Trendy

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It was a publicity stunt meant to connect the show with the times. Dr. Bailey, (Chandra Wilson) the character, tweeted during her surgeries, and internet-savy viewers could follow the tweets on a real twitter account. I signed up for a bit, but getting mostly medical jargon delivered to my phone, especially when the episode, “Don’t Deceive Me (Please Don’t Go)”, was on (I didn’t watch it live, as I don’t anything – thank you TiVo!) and the tweets were coming rapidly, got annoying very quickly. I unsubscribed about ten minutes after the episode began.

As for the story playing out on screen, it was not nearly as bad. Dr. Bailey tried to convince a skeptical Chief Webber (James Pickens Jr.) that tweeting to residents and interested parties all around the world was beneficial for everyone involved.Webber demanded she stop until, after defying his orders at the pleading of Drs. Kepner (Sarah Drew) and Lexie Grey (Chyler Leigh), he caught her, the surgery went wrong, and helpful tweets allowed a saved life.

Yeah, it was a bit of a stretch. I don’t understand how all those doctors had time to follow someone’s tweets when the ones portrayed on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy are always running around so harried. Certainly, it was a big distraction from their jobs. But I could see med students possibly getting interested, and I could easily imagine a plot where one of the regular interns or residents on the show got obsessed with some doctor’s tweets far away, so it didn’t seem all that unlikely. Though, yes, it was pure pandering.

Meanwhile, it seems that Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh) is fully back to work. While trying to score points with Teddy (Kim Raver) towards the chief resident title that one of our beloved characters will soon earn (because, of course, only the main characters in the show achieve anything at Seattle Grace-Mercy West), Avery (Jesse Williams) tossed her recent leave in her face. It appeared Cristina was having a break down after that, making Avery feel incredibly guilty. After all, he had been there to witness her trauma. But, as it turned out, she’s fine, and was just faking it to gain an edge over him.

That is classic Yang. She can let things roll off her back and play on others’ feelings because she is highly competitive and cares about the job over anything else. Yes, Cristina went through a lot, and I think there will be lasting changes to her personality. But there is no reason to throw out a whole character, having been built up over the past six and a half seasons, and so I was delighted to see the first old-Cristina story this season. Very good.

Now that Cristina is fixed, there are still a number of ongoing problems that need screen time to work themselves out. Perhaps the one most fans are passionate about is the broken relationship of Callie (Sara Ramirez) and Arizona (Jessica Capshaw). That arc got a huge leap forward this week, as Callie parked herself on the examining table of her new baby doctor, Lucy Fields (Rachael Taylor, making her debut in a multi-episode arc), and she turned her stress and worry about Arizona’s future commitment onto worrying if her barely developed fetus was OK. Of course, it was; Grey’s has suffered too much tragedy lately to add another to the heap just yet. But the tantrum gave Arizona the boost to really prove she was in this for the long haul. The duo are not completely good, but they are well on their way. Plus, the coming three-way parenting with Mark (Eric Dane) is going to be comedy gold!

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Mark and Lexie. The baby is biologically Sloan’s, conceived while both couples were broken up, but Lexie stormed out angrily after learning the ‘good news’. I can see why she’d be upset, but her comparing it to the story last year, when Mark’s practically adult daughter showed up, was unfair. A baby and a young adult are two totally different situations. Plus, Mark and Lexie are perfect for each other. Perhaps Lexie doesn’t want or isn’t ready for kids, but she can have plenty of life with Mark, too. Let’s hope Little Grey comes around, because I can’t take much more of Mark pining for her, and I don’t see him moving on anytime soon.

Derek (Patrick Dempsey) has begun his clinical trials on Alzheimer’s patients, and as we’d seen discussed before, not brought his wife, Meredith (Ellen Pompeo), along for the ride. That is a crying shame, considering her family history. Luckily, Alex (Justin Chambers) pointed that out to him, so it looks like Meredith will soon be by Derek’s side once again, professionally as well as personally.

Does having a mother who suffered from Alzheimer’s put Meredith too close to the situation? I understand why her history would distract Derek, who would be concerned about his wife instead of totally focusing on the patients. But Meredith has more than proven herself a great doctor, and so it makes sense, too, to include her, especially when she will have such strong motivation to solve the problem. Some wonderful breakthroughs have occurred in science when the researcher had family or friends giving him or her a personal stake. I think a Derek-Meredith partnership on this project will not only solidify their power couple status in the medical world, but is bound to be successful. At least, from a TV writing stand point, that seems the path to take. Let’s just hope Meredith’s problems getting pregnant don’t screw it all up.

Alex, one of the best characters in the series, removed himself from Derek’s study after discovering that he couldn’t handle lying to the patients and their families, giving them the false hope needed to make the study work. This is just one of a recent string of areas where Alex has tried his hand at something new, and found he didn’t like it nearly as much as pediatrics. It always comes down to perference, never a lack of skill. I understand he is still somewhat in his student phase, but it’s time to commit Alex totally to Arizona’s tutelage. He is awesome in peds, and that’s where he belongs.

If you thought Owen (Kevin McKidd) seemed mysteriously absent from this week’s episode, there was good reason for that. McKidd directed it, though only found out he would do so four days before the story began shooting. Add to that, this was McKidd’s first directing experience, though he’d been working in preparation for awhile, he was really far too busy to be a central part of the story. I think it is a credit to him that I didn’t pick out an odd directing style, but instead a great, consistent episode in a fantastic season. Though I miss Owen, I hope McKidd gets more opportunities to hone his other skill. He did a fine job, as far as I can tell.

Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on ABC. If you’ve drifted away because of substandard plots the past couple of years, come back. The show has not only fixed its bugs, but is currently soaring.

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About JeromeWetzelTV

Jerome writes TV reviews for BlogCritics.org and Seat42F.com, as well as fiction. He is a frequent guest on two podcasts, Let's Talk TV with Barbara Barnett and The Good, the Bad, & the Geeky. All of his work can be found on his website, jeromewetzel.com