Thursday, May 27, 2021

REVIEW: 'Grey's Anatomy' - Jo Makes a Commitment to Luna While Levi Finds Clarity in His Personal Life in 'I'm Still Standing'

ABC's Grey's Anatomy - Episode 17.16 "I'm Still Standing"

Levi gets accepted into the vaccine trial. Amelia and Owen treat a car crash patient. Hayes and Jo are met with Luna's legal guardian.

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.

"I'm Still Standing" was written by Meg Marinis & Andy Reaser and directed by Michael Watkins

Levi is the first doctor at Grey Sloan to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. In the show's timeline, the vaccines are still just in the trial stages. However, the story also provides the necessary information of this technology being in development for years. As such, no one should be concerned about how quickly the vaccine was developed and released. Levi is willing to give himself in this way despite how anxious he is in a normal setting. Moreover, his interactions with the sexy doctor administering the vaccine sparks a conversation about what he wants in his personal life. Now, that story has been a bit more erratic this season. It hasn't been a consistent focus. That means it can be difficult for the audience to track all the developments and how he is feeling in any moment. Levi and Nico never technically broke up. Levi simply avoided the conversation and Nico for as long as possible. And now, the emotion swells as the story confirms that Nico is capable of stepping up and being the perfect guy for Levi. The two may clash because of their different perspectives in the world. However, Nico can proclaim his love. He is willing to hope that Levi will eventually show up to embrace this grand reunion. That happens here. It just took time for Levi to gain the clarity necessary. His life remains hopeful. He is giving with his love. He is deserving of receiving so much as well. He has found that happiness amidst the pandemic. Jo thought she had found that purpose too. She remains thrilled with her change in specialities. Moreover, she is now completely willing to adopt Luna. That always seemed like the inevitable conclusion of this storyline. She cared so much about this baby. She had a bond with Luna's mother before she tragically died due to complications after delivering early. Luna is still trapped within medical uncertainty as well. She provides hope and inspiration to Jo. And yet, the system won't approve Jo to adopt her. She can't pass a background check. This isn't what she thought her life would look like. Everything was thrown into chaos the moment Alex left her. She is still finding her footing again. She is going after what brings joy and passion into her world. That enthusiasm and ambition doesn't seem to be enough. It's not respected. Hayes knows how much Jo cares. He is supportive of Jo taking over as Luna's guardian. It doesn't happen. As such, Jo is right back in bed in a depressive state. She has been in this position before. It happens again even though she is happy in so many parts of her life. All it took was this one piece of bad news and Luna's condition worsening unexpectedly. That's brutal. It's also a story easily understood. Elsewhere, the show is stretching to find some drama between Maggie and Winston. They are happily engaged. They are trying to figure out what their expectations should be for the wedding. They clash because their ideas of perfection can never actually be achieved. It's not because of the pandemic either. It's just a story that hits the audience over the head without really providing an opportunity to engage in a nuanced way. It's the characters explaining things to each other and hoping the audience goes along for the ride. It's sweet to know they will be getting married in the finale. That mostly just ensures that more drama is on the horizon when they aren't the most active or engaging story at the moment. Similarly, it's clear the show is setting up tension between Amelia and Link. They have differing thoughts on expanding their family. Link wants more kids. Amelia doesn't. She doesn't share those views with Link either. Because the conversation doesn't occur here, it seems likely to explode in some melodramatic way. That seems like the obvious direction. Sometimes, the show pursues that impulse. Sometimes, it doesn't. This situation seems likely though. And finally, Meredith is just slowly recovering at home. She remains an active parent. She is engaged by the world. She lambasts the idea of returning to normalcy. The world can never be what it once was. Too much has changed because of how the pandemic exposed the failings of the underlying structures. Meredith sees that clearly. Bailey's solution is to have her lead the residency program. That's always been Richard's chief focus. He has done well in that role. This season hasn't changed that. And so, it should be fascinating to see Meredith return to the hospital after a near total season away. She needs a victory in the OR. She deserves that after so much turmoil has already taken place that has disrupted the typical storytelling patterns of this world.