Thursday, April 11, 2019

REVIEW: 'Grey's Anatomy' - Amelia Has an Awkward Reunion with Her Sisters and Mother in 'Good Shepherd'

ABC's Grey's Anatomy - Episode 15.21 "Good Shepherd"

Amelia and Link travel to New York to operate on a patient with a severe spinal deformity, but they're in for more than they bargained for when Nancy Shepherd invites them to dinner at her home.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of ABC's Grey's Anatomy.

"Good Shepherd" was written by Julie Wong and directed by Bill D'Elia

Across the fifteen seasons of the drama, Embeth Davidtz and Tyne Daly have only appeared in one episode apiece as Nancy Shepherd and Carolyn Shepherd, respectively. Meanwhile, Neve Campbell played Liz Shepherd in two episodes but doesn't return here and Amy Acker appears for the very first time as Kathleen Shepherd in this episode. This show has mined the personal lives of all of its cast in depth since the very beginning. However, the Shepherd family drama has mostly been contained to how Derek and Amelia seeing their father killed had an impact on their lives. The rest of the family may also be doctors and nurses. But they have remained distant. They all live in New York City while Derek and Amelia went out to the West Coast. That was where they started their careers and made their names as the top neurosurgeons in the country. However, it has also left the family with a certain impression of who they are. Derek has been dead for a couple of seasons now. Amelia has dealt with a ton of drama both here and on Private Practice. And now, it becomes clear just how much she has left her family in the dark. She was devastated when none of them came to her wedding with Owen. She almost didn't walk down the aisle because of that fact too. The show revises its own history a little bit with Carolyn saying she didn't have enough notice ahead of time to make the ceremony. Meanwhile, Nancy and Kathleen make the argument that it was payback for the actions Amelia took during their own weddings. This is a complicated episode for family dynamics. To Nancy and Kathleen, Amelia will always be their kid sister who is constantly getting into trouble. They don't see her as an adult who has her life together. The audience may not see her that way either because she has been a mess for a long time even though she has been sober. She even tricks her sisters into believing that Link is Owen and that they are still married. That is such a silly lie. It defines so much of the story here. Amelia and Link just want to perform this special surgery and get back to Seattle. They aren't even trying their most experimental procedure at first. They ultimately have to do it because they have no other choices. It has a much better outcome here as well. That proves that Amelia is such an innovator in her field. Link is proud to talk about her accomplishments. However, this episode also shows how little the two of them actually know about each other. Amelia just wanted something simple and fun following her divorce from Owen. Link has provided that to her even though he has clearly been longing for more. He is willing to go along with a lot here. He just needs her to be certain that her actions are what she wants to do instead of being in defiance of her family. That proves that their connection is real. But it also highlights how communication is important for the health of any relationship. Amelia is humiliated and judged over and over again by her sisters. She doesn't want to deal with that. That's why they don't have a connection with her. She has found new sisters in Meredith and Maggie. Nancy and Kathleen even assume that Amelia is distant from Meredith simply because they don't know their sister-in-law very well. They just know her through the pictures that she sends of the children. That may be the extent of their relationship. However, it's so emotional when Amelia sits down with her mother as they try to reckon with the past. Amelia doubts her ability to love and have a healthy relationship. Carolyn sees that as a fault of her as a mother because she was so distant after her husband was killed. Derek stepped up and took care of Amelia. That bond was special. But now, he too is gone. Amelia has a new support system. But her mother isn't so bad either. She deserves to be kept in the loop about what's going on. This hour proves that may be possible now which is a very hopeful and uplifting ending even though Nancy and Kathleen may never be a part of Amelia's life.