Thursday, November 20, 2014

REVIEW: 'Grey's Anatomy' - Derek and Meredith Make a Decision While Arizona Learns More About Dr. Herman's Condition in 'Risk'

ABC's Grey's Anatomy - Episode 11.08 "Risk"

Maggie and Meredith disagree with Derek about the best way to approach a patient's case, which leads to a bigger argument between the couple. Callie feels responsible when one of her veterans is pushed too far. One doctor's routine procedure results in a devastating diagnosis.

Is it possible within the Grey's Anatomy universe to have a healthy baby delivered in a normal way? One of the major revelations in the midseason finale is April and Jackson's baby having a bone condition that almost certifies his death days after being born. That's disheartening especially when you factor in the ridiculously heightened drama that have plagued pregnancies since the start of this series. First, Meredith couldn't get pregnant and when she finally did, she had to deliver during a massive storm and in the dark. Cristina lost her first baby and then had an abortion the second time she got pregnant. Callie was in a car wreck when she delivered Sophia. The hospital was under a bomb threat when Bailey went into labor. Even Amelia on Private Practice had to give birth to a baby without a brain. Because of all of this, I never for one second believed that the work Arizona was doing with Dr. Herman wouldn't somehow cross over with Jackson and April's pregnancy. It's too thematically relevant for the show not to explore. And yet, Herman's diagnosis of the baby makes it seem like there's nothing anyone can do. Why do this twist then? It's what the audience is expecting. Are they just trying to eliminate our hope so when a miraculous solution presents itself early next year we'll be overjoyed? Or are they just offering up a dramatic new direction to take Jackson and April seeing as how being a happily married couple isn't particularly interesting to watch.

Similarly, the other two developments of "Risk" feel like the expected direction to take. Arizona goes behind Dr. Herman's back to learn as much as she can about her brain tumor. That leads to Amelia getting her hands on the file and proclaiming in the end that she may have a way to remove the tumor. An actual terminal character has never been a thing that interests this show. They would rather say something is inoperable and then have one of their genius surgeons find a way to remove it. Herman has been making her peace with her pending death. It's a sad life she's living with no family and just work keeping her busy. But it's a decision she has come to terms with seeing as she only has five months left and nothing else to lose. Amelia and Arizona may just be giving her false hope in the future - something that Callie didn't want to give her patients during this episode. Callie learned her lesson but I'm not sure Amelia and Arizona will in the handling of this issue in the future.

And then, something just needed to change in the Derek and Meredith relationship. This story worked a lot better a couple weeks ago when it was Callie and Arizona going to couples therapy and dealing with a separation. That could also be very good for Derek and Meredith. And yet, it worked so well for Callie and Arizona because they've had years of dramatic ups and downs. All of that was coming together to fuel their disagreements. With Derek and Meredith, it's this one thing and it always felt like a lose-lose situation. The most interesting they have been this season is when they've called time outs in order to actually lean on the other to deal with the stuff happening in their lives. But now, Meredith has a strong dynamic of friends. There's such an easy and wonderful chemistry when Meredith, Alex, Maggie and Callie sit down for lunch. Derek doesn't really have anything like that. The President calls on him again to serve as head of this new program. And now, he has taken the job. Some time apart could be very good for the central couple. I don't know how it will work if Derek goes off to D.C. for a handful of episodes. Will we just not see him for a little bit? That could be interesting. Both characters need personal growth. Only after they get that will they be able to come together and be happy again. Hopefully the episode-closing decision is enough to set them on that path towards healing.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Risk" was written by William Harper and directed by Rob Corn.
  • Jo complaining about several people crashing at her and Alex's house is just so unnecessary. That is the setting the audience knows and loves because it houses so many people. Jo's argument just doesn't add anything interesting to the conversation. It's largely just something for her to do.
  • I'm glad that the show is actually committing to Bailey trying to eat healthier and exercise. It's funny.
  • Richard and Maggie are able to have a nice moment together again. He stands opposed to her with the main case of the episode. And yet, it's interesting seeing her try to understand his rationalization. It's through that thought-process that will thaw the dynamic between the two.
  • I'm already loving the new dynamic between Amelia and Owen. They are both dealing with their own issues. It's a daily battle and that offers them common ground to bond over.
  • The scene where Callie and Arizona pretended for a minute that everything was good between them was so great.