Thursday, March 30, 2017

REVIEW: ABC's 'Grey's Anatomy,' 'Scandal' and 'The Catch' (March 30)

Reviews for ABC's Shondaland shows from March 30:

ABC's Grey's Anatomy - Episode 13.18 "Be Still, My Soul"
ABC's Scandal - Episode 6.08 "A Stomach for Blood"
ABC's The Catch - Episode 2.04 "The Family Way"

Due to the demands of Peak TV, it is becoming more and more difficult for this website to devote the time to full length episodic reviews. And yet, there are still thoughts to be had about the ongoing adventures on a number of series. TGIT is back on ABC. So I thought it would be good to still write down a couple of brief thoughts about each episode on a weekly basis. Of course, you can still expect full reviews for premieres and finales. If ABC should make screeners available, those episodes would get detailed analysis as well. But for now, this will be the way to continue to provide content for these shows while also being a lighter workload for me.

Grey's Anatomy - "Be Still, My Soul"
When Maggie's mom's health deteriorates, the doctors are at odds over how to treat her. Richard comes to grips with Bailey's betrayal over the Residency Program. Written by Meg Marinis and directed by Ellen Pompeo

This is a truly emotionally devastating episode. It's also Ellen Pompeo's directorial debut. This hour does such a phenomenal job capturing the agony and pain that comes from fighting cancer. Maggie could come across as annoying because she's pushing for her mother to do whatever it takes to get better. She's ultimately doing more harm than good. And yet, it's also easy to sympathize with her because her mother is dying right in front of her. She ultimately has to accept that. This moment could dramatically change her as a person. Her mother doesn't want that to happen. She wants to pass along as much advice as she can. It's sweet and moving. When it reaches its inevitable conclusion, it's brutal to watch. I was wiping away the tears. It's one of the best episodes of the season. Kelly McCreary and LaTanya Richardson Jackson deliver some amazing performances. Plus, it's devastating when Maggie wants her dad but not Richard in the aftermath. They've come so far but he still doesn't quite have that connection with her yet. And finally, it's great that the show remembers its own history in regards to Meredith being in a similar position with her own mother. A

Scandal - "A Stomach for Blood"
The events leading up to election night are retold from Abby's perspective, revealing a formidable thirst for power and the explosive secret she's been keeping. Written by Severiano Canales and directed by Oliver Bokelberg

The show flashing back to what happened on Election Night yet again is very annoying. The show jumping around in time has had purpose this season. It's just been hard to establish much momentum. The audience still has no idea if Huck survived being shot. Instead, this hour is solely devoted to how Abby flipped from a gladiator to working with the new bad guys. It turns out all it took was $300 million, Cyrus telling her she could be president one day and Fitz acting like a baby obsessed with Vermont. If Fitz had just put his presidential library in California, none of this would have happened. For being the most powerful man in the world, Fitz really hasn't done much this season. He's not even the person people go to when they need help getting out of this conspiracy. Everything that happens in this episode tracks with what Abby has been up to this season. It shows that she's really not a willing participant in the conspiracy. It's just odd that she sells out Huck in order to exonerate Cyrus. She's known Huck for longer and didn't really have much affection for Cyrus before now. And yet, Darby Stanchfield still brings a powerful performance to this episode that makes most of the journey gripping to watch. B

The Catch - "The Family Way"
Alice and Ben get caught in each other's crosshairs when they must choose between loyalties. Alice is forced to confront a past she hoped she'd left behind. AVI may have uncovered one of Margot's biggest secrets. Written by Rina Mimoun and directed by Allison Liddi-Brown

There is a far amount of resolution to all of the stories that have been important so far this season in this episode. For the amount of time spent on them, it should be emotionally satisfying. The ending between Alice and Tommy does work even though Tommy has been pretty one-note as a character. T.R. Knight has brought some complexity to the role but the writing wasn't that great. He was just always flighty and never wanted to listen to Alice. That did get annoying after awhile. Meanwhile, it should be a big deal that Alice lets Ben and Margot know what's going on with the other. Instead, it's a little too rushed because there's a clock ticking down to save people's lives. In that regards, the resolution to the cliffhanger is pretty lame. It is kinda amusing that Rhys is able to talk his way out of his predicament. But the overall FBI story is really starting to drag. However, the show did identify the woman who wants Margot dead. That's some nice momentum for the future. It being Margot's daughter though largely sets up a new way to stir some drama in the Alice-Ben-Margot love triangle. B-