Thursday, April 22, 2021

REVIEW: 'Grey's Anatomy' - Meredith Finally Enjoys Being Close to Derek Again While Stuck in Her Beach Limbo in 'Good as Hell'

ABC's Grey's Anatomy - Episode 17.13 "Good as Hell"

Amidst the need for more surgeons, Jo tries to convince Bailey to let her switch specialties. Link accuses Amelia of overstepping while he is treating a patient remotely. Winston comes up with an out-of-the-box idea.

In 2020, the television industry aired 493 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.

"Good as Hell" was written by Zoanne Clack and directed by Michael Watkins

When Meredith first arrived at the beach, Derek was there. She was unable to get close to him. Throughout this season, they have inched towards each other. Along the way, she has seen other loved ones who have died over the years. With Derek, she always had this mental block preventing her from getting as close as she could with others. It was all meant to infer that her getting close to him once more would also signal her turning away from all the love she has back in the world. She has been in limbo for the majority of this season. Now, this episode concludes with her waking up after Teddy and Winston successfully operate on her. It's still an ordeal where the hospital rallies around the idea that Zola is the only person who can pull Meredith back to this world. It's not that simple. The show makes it seem as much though. That's annoying. The show presents the argument that Meredith had complete clarity when she accepted that Derek's time with her and their family was up. And now, he is returning the favor to her. Her life isn't done just yet. She has to return to her family. They have been worried about her for a long time. Her condition has remained a grand mystery that has stumped all of them for awhile now. They celebrate patients who recover and are capable of being discharged. They are also still suffering devastating losses of people whose conditions take a turn for the worse quickly. Owen loses a young kindergarten teacher. He breaks down in delivering the sad news to her family. They are incapable of being at the hospital for this moment. That means Meredith is given a whole lot of privilege. Moreover, the show has probably burned the audience too many times in suggesting that this is the end for Meredith's uncertain health. Teddy even notes that the medical field still is completely in the dark about the potential longterm consequences for those who suffer from COVID-19. That's not comforting to Koracick, who has basically recovered at this point. This disease is still brand new. The complications don't make any sense. The doctors treat Meredith. It takes an emotional appeal to bring her back to this life. That's what everyone wants. It's what they have strived for. So many are surrounded outside her room when it finally occurs. This feels like the big moment where Meredith becomes an active participant in this narrative once more. But again, the story has delivered moments where it seemed like everything was working out for Meredith only for her to slip away once more. That may mean the audience doesn't trust the feelings of this particular moment. It's still too early to tell. Sure, this episode provides some closure between Meredith and Derek. It doesn't seem like there is any unfinished business that they must handle in that beach setting. And yet, that device quickly wore out its usefulness in the narrative. It was a neat way to bring back familiar faces longtime fans have missed over the years. It was a reflection of the past. It was always looking back. It wasn't with anything particularly insightful to say. The present isn't great. However, it's where the story is predominately focused. Meredith hasn't been part of that. She treated patients with COVID in the early days. She got sick. Everyone has placed their sanity on needing her to survive. The uncertainty threatened to break them. Winston needs to meet this great surgeon and Maggie's sister. Teddy needs to save this life. Richard can't have missed something crucial. Maggie and Amelia need their family to be whole once more. Zola, Bailey and Ellis need their mother again. That clarity is stated over and over again. The show isn't particularly being subtle this season. This framing device made that the case. It has also created a repetitive narrative. It's more engaging to spend time with Amelia listening in on Link consulting his patient and looking for a way to operate again. It's compelling to see Bailey object to Jo's desire to change specialties until she treats a patient with the perspective necessary for her to cope with these changing circumstances. Neither of those stories is particularly great. They do provide what the audience genuine expects from this world. That quality has been missing this year. The pandemic changed everything. It hasn't really produced a great season of television for Grey's Anatomy though.