Thursday, June 3, 2021

REVIEW: 'Grey's Anatomy' - Meredith Makes Changes While Fighting to Return to Surgery in 'Someone Saved My Life Tonight'

ABC's Grey's Anatomy - Episode 17.17 "Someone Saved My Life Tonight"

It's wedding day for Maggie and Winston. Meredith takes on a new role at the hospital. Jo makes a life-changing decision.

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 season finale of ABC's Grey's Anatomy.

"Someone Saved My Life Tonight" was written by Andy Reaser & Meg Marinis and directed by Kevin McKidd

Meredith was treating patients in the COVID ward at the start of the season. She tested positive early on as well. She was sidelined for much of the season as her fate was left in limbo. That was obviously tough and grueling on her family. It had a personal impact for so many in the hospital too. Life moved on without her. She was on her own metaphysical journey. She was reconnecting with some of the people she lost along the way. They had to inspire her to find the courage to return to the life she has at Grey Sloan and with her family. She has done exactly that. And yet, she hadn't returned to full strength. The world was still shut down as a result of the pandemic. She was still dealing with longterm symptoms. She feared that this would be her life moving forward. It could no longer return to what it once was. The great Dr. Meredith Grey may no longer be the revered surgeon around the world. And now, this finale speeds up time a significant amount. It highlights how the world should feel more hopeful because the darkness is being pushed aside as a result of the vaccines. It took courage from the people willing to be in the trials. It also took resilience to ramp up the infrastructure to ensure the world could be protected from this vicious and devastating disease. It's a moment of joy seeing the doctors and nurses get vaccinated. It brings a renewed sense of hope to all of their lives. They were previously planning for this to one day occur. They didn't know how long it would take. Maggie and Winston were willing to settle for a small wedding with their families because they didn't think they could safely do something big. It means they also have to rationalize the people who can't be there simply because they are on call. It doesn't come across as special. They deserve more. They shouldn't have to wait. And yet, they find beauty eventually because of the vaccine. As such, they get married on the beach surrounded by even more loved ones. Meanwhile, Meredith's health does improve. She shares that the survivor's guilt may never go away. She lived when so many lives were lost as a result of this pandemic. That means she has to fight for everyone dealing with the consequences of surviving this disease and the damage it has done to their bodies. The health profession is still learning new things about those who have recovered. Meredith is given a new role in the hospital with a promise of change. She takes that directive and runs with it even though that startles Bailey. This is what she wanted. Seeing it in action is disruptive. She has opinions about the changes made. And yet, this story is meant to prop up the fear that Meredith may never return as the great surgeon she is. Over time though, that is no longer a concern. She fights on behalf of a patient whose family can't be with her. She advocates for a double lung transplant. Once that is approved, she is right there in the operating room with Teddy to perform the procedure. It's a success. Meredith Grey is back. She walks out of surgery and is greeted by a thunderous applause. This is an accomplishment worth celebrating. She didn't need it when she left the hospital after weeks in limbo. Here though, this is an acknowledgement of what matters to her. She shares in the beauty and wonder of Maggie's wedding. She is also capable of transforming a life through this miraculous procedure. Sure, Amelia gets to be the sister going through a tough time now. But this finale fundamentally showcases the transformational nature of life. Amelia and Link haven't been on the same page in months. Amelia can't vocalize her feelings with him while Link gets caught up in the excitement. It's still wonderful when Jo finds a way to officially adopt Luna. She becomes a mother. That is more rewarding to her than owning part of the hospital or sharing an apartment with Levi and Taryn. Similarly, Owen and Teddy accept that they can be happy together. They have their own little scare with COVID as well. They emerge on the other side of it. The world may be scary. And yet, that can't prevent people from celebrating the joy and happiness that overwhelms much of life too. That hope can radiate through every action. It takes clarity to see things as they are. That can inspire moments of grace that reward those who survive while still honoring those who died during the darkest days of the past year. It's been a wild ride for the show. One that took risks that didn't really work. The show has come full circle. Now, it can move on to tell stories with the pandemic mostly in the rearview mirror.