Thursday, September 26, 2019

REVIEW: 'Grey's Anatomy' - Meredith Faces Legal Consequences While Richard Looks for a New Job in 'Nothing Left to Cling To'

ABC's Grey's Anatomy - Episode 16.01 "Nothing Left to Cling To"

Meredith, Richard and Alex must deal with the consequences after Bailey fires them from Grey Sloan for insurance fraud. After disappearing in the fog, Jackson helps a man in a dangerous situation, as his relationship with Maggie comes to a new crossroad. Tom gets new responsibilities at the hospital that throw the doctors for a loop.

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 season premiere of ABC's Grey's Anatomy.

"Nothing Left to Cling To" was written by Krista Vernoff and directed by Debbie Allen

Two significant breakups bookend this premiere. They have such drastically different reactions though. Early on, Koracick tells Teddy that he loves her and they will continue to be friends. Near the end, Maggie tells Jackson she doesn't even like her and they aren't friends. Those are some of the big moves that take place in this hour. Both reactions are valid. For Teddy, it was always easier to root for her to finally be together with Owen in a way that wasn't complicated. Sure, their parental leaves from the hospital are agonizing for both of them as they are struggling with what to do. But they still come together in the end in a way that suggests future happiness. Meanwhile, Jackson was at the center of the season-ending cliffhanger. His fate in the fog was left unknown. He is perfectly fine though. He just came across people who needed his immediate help because they were literally dangling from a cliff. Before that moment though, he and Maggie got into a huge fight that left their future together in limbo. They have never really been a strong or endearing couple. They have felt like this relationship should have worked between them even though it took much more effort than was probably necessary. And now, Jackson is immediately flung into something new with Station 19's Vic. That seems designed simply to give the two shows another romance to share in addition to Ben and Bailey. Maggie feels stunned about that revelation. She feels betrayed by the man who should have loved her but made it too difficult for her. She has to find a way to bounce back from all of this. And yet, life rarely turns out exactly how one plans for it. Amelia wants to believe she is capable of doing things differently now. She wants to take things slow with Link. She doesn't want to be consumed by this relationship. She doesn't want that being the solely thing that defines her in life. She wants the freedom to make medical miracles come to life. She gets that resounding victory here as well. But all of the callbacks to her time on Private Practice basically set up the concluding twist of her being pregnant. Now, her last pregnancy was absolutely devastating for her. It could be really traumatic for her all over again. That fear will permeate throughout her life. It will be the thing that consumes her now. This is happening and will give her less time to figure out what she wants especially in this relationship with Link. Meanwhile, Bailey's decision to fire Meredith, Richard and Alex stands. She doesn't immediately reverse it in order to resolve everything quickly in the new season. Sure, that melodrama was very forced. It was a plot twist designed to put these characters through the professional ringer. After all these years, it's hard for the show to still find new drama for these characters. These three have been with the show since the beginning. And now, Richard and Alex are looking for new job opportunities while Meredith is picking up trash on the side of the road because of her insurance fraud. That presents as her sole punishment right away. She is allowed that simply because of her influence and standing in the medical community. However, the medical review board will be conducting an investigation on whether or not she should retain her license. That is significant. It may ensure that severe consequences are coming. It should just be fascinating to see how the show functions without these three characters at Grey Sloan. It seems like Richard and Alex are going to a local competitor. One that makes Catherine furious even though she tells Bailey that she no longer has time for these trivial things. It shouldn't be seen as such though. All of this is incredibly consequential. It should create a meaningful conversation about how the system is broken. But again, it would be reassuring to see these doctors together again. That seems like the inevitable conclusion for this story arc. So, it's unclear how exactly the show will manage to surprise the audience with these actions. It should be a big deal that Alex commits to Jo no matter what. And yet, it mostly just plays as the inevitable decision because the show has invested so much time in them already. This shouldn't be the thing that breaks them up for good. It's heartening that it isn't.