Thursday, November 14, 2019

REVIEW: 'Grey's Anatomy' - Meredith's Fate as a Doctor Is Determined by the Medical Board in 'My Shot'

ABC's Grey's Anatomy - Episode 16.08 "My Shot"

Meredith faces the medical board as her future as a doctor remains uncertain, and she's forced to reckon with her past in some challenging ways. Meanwhile, the interns are put to the test as they are each vying to be the most successful on their respective cases in the absence of some of the attendings.

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.

"My Shot" was written by Meg Marinis and directed by Debbie Allen

Does Meredith deserve to keep her medical license? That is the central question to the proceedings here and one the audience should take very seriously. It's unlikely that she is going to lose it because she is the lead of the show and the drama has already been renewed for a seventeenth season. It would be a remarkable change if the medical procedural was led by someone who could no longer practice medicine. That may have been a fascinating story arc too. Meredith hasn't performed a surgery this season. She has been dealing with the consequences of her past actions. She committed insurance fraud and needed to be punished for doing so. The show makes it seem a little too easy for her to overcome it all though. That's unfortunate. It's as if the show wants to restore order to the basic foundation of the narrative as soon as possible. It was fascinating to start the season with this little diversion that took a lot of time away from Grey Sloan. However, that base of operations always has to remain the heart of the narrative. That's the way the show operates. There is just such a profound sense of history to that place. That doesn't mean things are incapable of changing. Plenty of doctors have come and gone. But that's what also makes it significant when major, longterm figures are forced out. Alex and Richard have had to find jobs elsewhere because of their complicity in Meredith's actions. Owen left because he could no longer tolerate the hostile environment created by Koracick. Those actions may not be reversed anytime soon. They are committed to making Pacific General a functional hospital. That's their new purpose at the moment. Meanwhile, Meredith is focused on retaining her medical license. She has dealt with the legal consequences of her actions. Sure, the narrative largely skipped over the time she actually spent in prison. It was brief enough so that none of her children actually knew what was going on. The family could just write it off as mom being away for work helping people. But Meredith is fighting for her life right now. She doesn't know who she is if she can't be a surgeon. She has done some tremendous work as well. There is a crowd of people who are alive right now because of the miracles she performed in the operating room. They are forever grateful for her skills. That may make her arrogant and cocky. That may make her protected from dealing with too many consequences for her actions. This season has seen her become more aware about the ways in which the health care system is set up to fall. However, it's just a surface level examination of the industry. She comments on it and can be passionate about it for a moment. But it's ultimately about personal survival for her right now. She fears her career is in jeopardy because her fate is being decided by the man who killed Derek. This is the 350th episode of the show. Just like the 300th episode, the narrative calls attention to the rich history of these characters. In fact, this legal proceeding showcases all the reckless decisions Meredith has made across her career which could add up to a damning case against her practicing medicine. The opposing counsel is extremely good at her job. Meredith has to have an outburst as well because that's simply the way she is wired. But it's also silly to watch the medical board representatives continue the case simply because there is an overwhelming crowd of people willing to speak on Meredith's behalf. That shouldn't have any bearing in how they view the central actions in question. It may speak to her character. That is important but it can't distract from the core thesis of what's going on. That's what brings so much importance to Bailey's final statement. She says it was right for Meredith to be fired and prosecuted for breaking the law. However, she doesn't deserve to loss her license. Because Bailey makes that statement, Meredith is allowed to remain a doctor. But then, Bailey offers Meredith her job back. That seems to go against the statement she has just issued. It's odd. Again, it's all about restoring the natural order of the narrative. That just makes it odd that Meredith is welcomed back to Grey Sloan even though Alex and Richard are still condemned to Pacific General as a result of her actions. Everyone could be happy with their current places in life. But the drama is likely still going to be very engaging moving forward because nothing is ever as simple as it presents. This episode also highlights how Meredith and Amelia still have so much passion and love for Derek. Their current partners may feel insecure because they can't compete with that reverence. Andrew decides to take a step back while Link stays firmly at Amelia's side through more tragedy. That's engaging while standing in sharp contrast to whatever the show is doing with Maggie and Jackson, which is so bad in numerous ways. But again, these are intriguing ideas that pop up in moments without ever feeling like they contribute to a more engaging and morally complex conclusion to this story.