Thursday, December 3, 2020

REVIEW: 'Grey's Anatomy' - Richard Struggles with a Decision to Put Meredith in a Clinical Trial in 'You'll Never Walk Alone'

ABC's Grey's Anatomy - Episode 17.04 "You'll Never Walk Alone"

Owen faces a medical diagnosis that challenges more than he imagined. Koracick begins to go stir crazy. Maggie gets a not-so-subtle glimpse into Winston's background.

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.

"You'll Never Walk Alone" was written by Julie Wong and directed by Alison Liddi-Brown

During her battle with COVID-19, Meredith is interacting with several key people from her past who have died. Her reunion with Derek was slightly disappointing because it was built so much around them longing to be together but something still holding them back. And now, she gets to interact with George on the beach. It's a very different situation. She wants to engage him in conversation. She wants to know if he has any regrets about what happened to him. He even tries to further explain the physics of this interdimensional space. It still makes no sense whatsoever. The story builds until Richard and Bailey are sitting alongside them on the beach. Meredith and George can see them and recognize the importance of these connections. However, Richard and Bailey are left in agony over the uncertainty of what happens next regarding Meredith's health. The isolation is devastating to Richard. He fears making the wrong decision with Meredith's health. Teddy and DeLuca are pleading with him to submit her for a clinical trial. And yet, the future is so unknown. This could be the thing that heals her. It could also end her life. He can't bear the consequences no matter which outcome he chooses. Facing that realization is dark for him. It presents a grim outlook on life and just how destructive this disease can be. He has to make this call. He believes he does what Meredith needs right now. Of course, the narrative is still presenting it all as a choice for Meredith. She has to decide just how much she wants to fight for her life. If she wants to return to her children and family at the hospital, then she will overcome this disease. If she is ready to move on and be with the people she lost along the way, then that is the outcome for her. The latter doesn't have to cut her off from the world she knows either. George talks about him looking down on the friends and family he left behind. He knows that his friends laughed during his funeral. He knows that his mother still struggles with him being gone. He has found peace knowing that he did what was right to save a life. It was the proper instinct that any of these heroes would have made in that moment. Plus, the grief has largely passed for Meredith. Her life has been consumed by so much death. As such, she basically knows how to process it and accept that a time will come where it doesn't hurt as much. She still struggled after every tragedy. She didn't know if she could love again after Derek died. She found that clarity with DeLuca. The future could be bright for her once more. But now, that future is uncertain because she has COVID and has seen Derek again. The audience should probably expect lethal consequences at some point during this story arc. It's unlikely that Meredith dies. And yet, Koracick has also tested positive and seems to be deteriorating quickly by the end of the episode. He went downhill fast. At first, he was trying to save the world from the pandemic even from quarantine. And then, he accepted that death is the only fitting end because of how widespread and foolish society is. The show has the responsibility to show how different people react in different situations. Koracick's is really dark. Winston disengages instead of dealing with his father. Amelia needs to vent all of her emotions. Link focuses on the positive side of things. Now, the conversation between Amelia and Link is something they have absolutely had before. As such, it feels repetitive. Meanwhile, it seemed clear that Jo and Jackson were becoming friends with benefits. That could work so long as the show doesn't try to force them into a more romantic context. Levi and Nico already have the tortured love dynamic at the moment. They too respond to things differently with Levi expressing his feelings at all times and Nico bottling them up because he doesn't feel like there is anything that he personally can do to change how someone else experiences the world. Nico pushes back against Owen for his medical judgment though. That opens his eyes to his own bias in the profession. But Bailey's response to it all is still the most fitting and appropriate. Owen has to educate himself and change the system. He can't just excuse his behavior away because it's difficult to do the alternative. The show is right to call out the shortcomings of its characters. It still needs to build to something more productive. At this point, it feels like the show is enjoying the elongated nature of Meredith's diagnosis because it allows all of these familiar faces to come back and play their beloved characters once more. The show just has to be careful with the overall message it's sending while still revealing the true horrors of this pandemic.