Thursday, November 19, 2020

REVIEW: 'Grey's Anatomy' - The Doctors Rally Around Meredith After She Tests Positive for COVID-19 in 'My Happy Ending'

ABC's Grey's Anatomy - Episode 17.03 "My Happy Ending"

The Grey Sloan doctors continue to face their new COVID-19 reality and deal with a familiar and stubborn patient. Koracick is put in charge of the interns who recently joined the hospital ranks. Link operates on a sex therapist. Maggie finds comfort in Winston's virtual presence.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides 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 Happy Ending" was written by Meg Marinis and directed by Kevin McKidd

Meredith Grey has tested positive for COVID-19. That seemed like the direction the show was going in at the conclusion of the season premiere. And yet, it is officially confirmed here. She is hospitalized. Her numbers are going in the wrong direction as well. She is deciding who should make the life-or-death decisions for her should she lose consciousness. It's scary. It actually plays like a final season story arc. The lead character of the show is facing death. That allows the creative team to bring back some familiar faces from previous seasons to pay homage to all that has happened. It was a huge surprise when Patrick Dempsey suddenly appeared as Derek once more. It wasn't just a plot conceit for a brief moment either. This episode confirms that it is going to be a recurring motif this season. Whenever Meredith drifts away, she finds herself on this beach with him. It highlights the love and affection they still have for each other. But it also establishes just how dire the situation actually is. This is essentially her close to death. Her loved ones on the other side are greeting her and ready whenever she crosses over. It is a sweet and sentimental message. But it's also positioned as Meredith holding on to all the things she loves in her life which is then preventing her from embracing Derek and that happiness in the aftermath. The show does a lot of teasing about this reunion between the characters. It basically amounts to the same thrill of seeing Derek once more over and over again. Meredith wants to run to be with him. She is incapable of ever reaching him though. She continually pulls herself back subconsciously. That is the design of this place. It has no simple conclusion either. This isn't the first time Meredith has walked around the afterlife and dealt with people whose deaths had a profound impact on her. This situation is different because it is being prolonged. People are continually guessing just how severe Meredith's condition is. One moment, she appears fine and could even be discharged. And then, she is found passed out on the floor because she tried to exert herself. She wants to be of service. She has seen the horrors of this pandemic. The doctors are losing so many lives every shift. It's heartbreaking. Their souls are being crushed because they have so much empathy. They want to do everything they can. They will fight to save as many people as possible. But they also have to break the bad news to family members who were prevented from spending these final moments with their loved ones. That is devastating. Meredith has a blessing because she gets to see Derek again. It highlights just how powerful their love always was and continues to be. The show embracing that fully while she endures this disease may make it harder for the narrative to reasonably suggest that she can ever move on. She has tried to do so in the seasons following Derek's death. She has been unlucky in love since then. Nothing too tragic has happened. These feelings are obviously still present and real. She has accepted other versions of love. This romance just remains centered in her world. Hayes and DeLuca are fighting for her now. Their efforts are minimal at the moment. People are confused about what might happen to her. And yet, this also plays as a very typical episode of Grey's Anatomy. Yes, stress comes as a result of the pandemic. However, a new group of interns are introduced to the hospital. Jackson and Link are healing the hand of a renowned sex therapist. Jo and Bailey deliver a baby who grew on a woman's liver. Maggie worries about Teddy's ability to do her job given the drama happening in her personal life. The show always presents unique medical cases and situations while creating heightened personal dramas for its characters. Those are still being told despite these heightened times. That provides a way for the show to maintain some stability. And yet, it also means things are a little unfocused at the center with Meredith as no real clarity is allowed to form with her prognosis. Instead, it's simply stated that Richard will become her medical proxy. Plus, Koracick tests positive for COVID-19 as well. That may ensure that the show is priming itself to tell many different stories about how patients handle this disease. It causes different effects on different people. A show bringing attention to that can also do a great service to the audience in the midst of yet another huge spike in the real world.