What theme does Shonda Sunshine want to explore on the sixth season of Grey's Anatomy? I think it's her take on the old adage - You Are What You Think You Are. Although the theme is rather conventional, I expect that Sunshine's take on it will be anything but standard.
Who set the theme? Why, it was Lexie's question to Callie: "How gay are you?" Don't forget, Callie had been wandering around in states of half dress right in front of Lexie's beau Mark. Callie even darted in to speak to Mark while he was wearing nothing but steam from his shower. So Lexie put the question to Callie who could have answered it straight out, proclaiming herself a lesbian and any future romantic escapades with McSteamy impossible. She didn't do that. Instead, she said Mark didn't see her boobs anymore and that meant he was committed to Lexie.
Ahmm, yeah, right. So now, Lexie must measure the status of her thing/fling with McSteamy by checking the degree of his boob blindness. Can he see other boobs today? Some boobs? All boobs? No boobs? He's only as into her as he thinks he is. So she should watch out for the cry - Boobs ahoy!
The theme reared it's entertaining noggin again with the marriage issue. How married are you? Alex kept pointing out that Mer/Der were not actually married. The couple looked at him like, you poor deluded fool you. This isn't reality. It's reality, Grey's style. And in Sunshine's world, you're only as married as you think you are. Legally wed Alex/Izzie aren't nearly as married as post it wed Mer/Der. The McDreamy duo have been consummating their union all over the place while the McDesperates haven't consummated anything. Der tosses the trailer keys to Izzie/Alex but they can't even get down and dirty in the Love Shack with a view. Based on backgrounds, the McDesperates should feel right at home in the trailer. Want to bet that Izzie throws that act of kindness back in Mer's face with a jab about Mer thinking Izzie doesn't deserve anything better?
Meanwhile, the chief faces a how employed are you dilemma. Webber spends most of the episode attacking Der, the messenger who brought him the news of his possible impending exit and gave him time to plot a strategy. He's too busy resenting Der to plot anything until he gets creamed by a car. Then, in the way of managers everywhere, he turns the tables on the staff. Now they all face the question. In the wake of the merger, how employed is anybody at Seattle Grace?
Owen/Christina face the how disturbed are you question. At the beginning of the episode Owen's convinced he's too batty to grub. Christina thinks the solution lies between the sheets but by the end she's drinking the Kool Aid, or at least pretending to. Owen decides he's not too closed off to talk and by the time we see him and Christina bantering on the shrink's sofa we know that they're ready for other uses of that couch.
One of the MOST interesting things Shonda Sunshine tossed on the waters was the encounter between Arizona and McDreamy. He's the knight who charges to the rescue of her child patient with a mysterious disorder. While they investigate and diagnose the problem, Arizona looks at him and says she now understands the nickname - she gets it and she looks like she wants to get it up close and personal. Oh, she says she's heard he's newly married and he says he is, but the pair connect over the operating room table.
Wait a minute - he's married and she's a lesbian, right? Well, we harken back to Callie's earlier non-answer to Lexie's question. Perhaps Sunshine's gonna toss out a real gristly connection this season. If you're only as gay as you think you are, then Arizona's starry-eyed and all but drooling looks at the McDreamy one could make for an interesting triangle until Mer returns from maternity leave and the triangle becomes a square. After all, if Der has a real relationship with Mer, he'll be looking for hero-worship from another source. Arizona surely looked like she was being dangled as protege bait, despite her being a pediatrician and despite her supposed sexual orientation.
In the history of the characters, Arizona came in as the partner with the confirmed orientation and it was Callie's that was in question. But if Der's only as married as he feels and Arizona is only as gay as she feels, then there's a lot of wiggle room. And those over the table glances looked a lot like the mismatched ones were thinking about wiggling. Temptation ahoy!
Given the hospital merger, there are lots of new folks coming in to challenge the status quo. So this season, it seems the entire staff will face the questions of who they are and how much of who they are can they - or do they want to- keep. By the time we're at the closing episode of season 6, I imagine that many characters we've known and loved for years may be acting in brand new ways. Change can stir the pot and create new complications and conundrums, but I hope the writers recall that the viewers may not be happy with measures that are too radical.
Economic reality hitting Seattle Grace may not be a good thing. In today's wishy-washy world, real life presents enough change for many of us. Most of all, Shonda Sunshine and her talented minions should recall that when reality bites, our TV shows shouldn't.
We need to believe in happy endings now more than ever.