Fri 28 Sep 2012
Yes, Grey’s fans. The series has returned and the premiere episode promises that this season may be a strange one indeed. Could it be — The Season Of The Body Snatchers?
We catch back up to our Seattle Grace faves on the 30th day after the plane crash -the day the crash claims its last victim. Mark has been hooked to life support since the crash. His living will or heath care power of attorney directs that he should be disconnected from artificial life support on the 30th day that passes without any cognizable signs of improvement. On the first day of the new season, everyone is affected by the knowledge that it’s the day that Mark Sloane will die.
Everyone feels that Mark’s death on this 30th day means that limbo time is over. By his final declaration, Mark essentially said, if you can’t play after 30 days it’s time to get out of the game. Operating under the Sloane Rule, on this day people are trying to make some big moves.
Derek’s been treated by Callie for his hand injury. There’s been lots of surgery and lots of therapy and as this 30th day dawns, Callie calls him in for a consult to view an x-ray. He agrees with her diagnosis and they decide surgery is necessary. Then he surprises her by saying he’ll help with the operation. Derek thinks the 30th day means it’s time to return to the OR. It goes well at first, but then his hand goes numb and he drops an instrument. It wasn’t time for Derek’s move and now he must decide how to play the rest of the game.
Derek’s marriage seems to be going fine – or at least, from the bit of interplay we get in this episode, he and Mer seem to be happy in their marriage. He’s dealing better with Mer’s aftermath than she is, as it turns out. Or perhaps, McDreamy just knows his Mrs. that well. She won’t deal with her emotions for a while, and he knows that. She’ll rebel for a while. Then she’ll tread water for a while. One day, it will hit her all at once – and when it happens, he’ll be there for her. But the 30th day is not that day yet.
On the 30th day, Meredith is busy being inhabited by the spirit of someone who seems like a combination of the Nazi, her Mother and……. Cristina? See, Mer is now the attending in charge of the interns. How does she handle them? She out-Nazis the Nazi. Mer learned her lessons from Bailey too well and perhaps she combined them with some memories of her mother because the interns call her Medusa. On the 30th day, she picks one for the first surgery – but not to highlight her skills. Oh no. Mer gives the honor to an intern along with a big lesson in humility. She assigns a simple surgery with a complication guaranteeing that the intern, under the watchful eyes of her fellows, will fail in a dramatic fashion.
Mer’s also busy trying to push Cristina into returning for the 30th day. Cristina’s in Minnesota at her new job and she’s been repeatedly agreeing to fly back to Seattle but she never gets on the plane. Cristina promises to make her big move on this 30th day by returning to be there as Mark dies. Then Cristina schedules a surgery that means she won’t make the 5 pm time when Mark will be removed from life support. She promises to catch a plane as soon as the surgery is over, but then — she doesn’t. Cristina does a world-class job on her surgery, as always, but is called on the carpet by her new chief who tells her that she’s not fitting in – she’s not doing well. At the new place, everything is a team approach and the only super star is the hospital. There’s no competition.
The new Chief orders Cristina to take time off and get in a Minnesota frame of mind. Cristina sits, blinking, and trying to absorb the concept of a surgical program that doesn’t thrive on competition. If she can’t compete, then she can’t excel. If she can’t excel at her job, then what’s she to do?
On this 30th day Alex is making his move – flying off to start his new job at John’s Hopkins. Except, as he leaves, he discovers that the new peds Chief is more concerned with the bottom line than the human factor. The New Chief has decided to end the program Arizona and Alex had started to fly in needy kids from Africa for free care. It doesn’t fit the new guy’s image of the program he wants to build. That thought stays with Karev as he goes to the airport and encounters Meredith, who has fled from Mark’s death vigil, allegedly to wait for Cristina. Mer screams at Karev for leaving and he says he can’t keep walking around the hospital as the guy who should have been on the plane.
Mer decides to make a big move by flying to see Cristina, but as her plane is about to take off she learns that she’s not ready yet either. The walls close in on her and she stages a fit, insisting she has to get off. She has to leave. Does the warm, fuzzy, Meredith go home to her husband and child? No, that warm Mer has vanished. In her place is the rebel, tossing back drinks at the bar as she chats with Cristina over Skype. Then in comes Alex, and we learn that he didn’t go, has perhaps decided to stay. Why? Well, he wants to fight the new Chief but also — he just couldn’t get on the plane – and he wasn’t even in the crash.
And there’s lots of not ready yet in this episode. Derek wasn’t ready. Mer wasn’t ready. Cristina wasn’t ready. Alex wasn’t ready.
Someone who is ready is Callie. We’ve been watching her all episode at the hospital, without Arizona. And we’ve been seeing everyone acting awkward. The new Peds Chief when introduced mumbles something about how sorry he is. Callie’s spending time in supply closets and on-call rooms crying – when she can find one where Bailey and Ben or Karev and the new woman of the hour aren’t doing the mattress mambo. But overall, we’re given the clear impression that the absent Arizona died in the crash. That turns out not to be true. Callie’s big move is going home and slamming open a bedroom door where we see Arizona under the covers.
Callie screams at Arizona, telling her that she has to get out of the bed and live. Mark died today but Arizona is alive and she and Callie have a child to raise. Arizona – no longer the peppy, perpetually happy soul – snarls at Callie, asking how she is to get up and go on like this. She throws back the cover to show a stump, saying, you cut off my leg. Oh, Callie should have known that the 30th day wasn’t the time to make her big move — hadn’t she learned that from Derek?
Owen decides to make a big move on the 30th day too. Not to fly to his wife in Minnesota – as Karev tells Cristina – but to fly to April. She’s left the medical industry to work on a farm. Owen marches up to her as she herds a pig, telling April that she needs to come back to the hospital. Owen says April failed because he didn’t do his job and he’s going to do a better job teaching her.
As the epi ends, I’m left wondering whether this will be the Season Of The Body Snatchers. Is Meredith turning into Cristina? She’s Medusa to her interns, snarling and tossing bones, waiting for the pack to turn on each other and enjoying their battle. Bailey seems to have turned into Meredith from the first season, as she and Ben boogle through on-call room sexing at a pace and rate that would have made Mer/Der proud. In fact, Bailey’s not the Nazi anymore. Now they call her BCB – Booty Call Bailey. Say What?
Now the Minnesota Chief has announced that he’s trying to turn Cristina into Meredith – a non-competitive team player who cares more for the interests of the group than themselves. They’re trying to turn Cristina all warm and fuzzy. Which would make her — Meredith.
So, the premiere has me wondering that if all the attention from the plane crash may have attracted a really foul group of deviants — The Body Snatchers. Is this the season when all the players change parts to see how they fit?