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Grey’s Anatomy – 7.1 – “With You I’m Born Again”

September 24, 2010

By the time Dr. Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) says, “You’re a good man. You are handsome and kind and smart and good. You’re perfect. But I’m busy. Holding myself together with tape and glue, and a piece of me wishes that you hadn’t played golf and you’d be taped and glued and you’d be where I am.” to the beau she’s kicking to the curb I sighed. For better or worse, tragedy doesn’t seem to encourage the professionals of Seattle Grace (or the writers, for that matter) to move forward, but instead we find each of our original cast members exactly as they were when we were first introduced to them seven years ago as they negotiate the paradigm shift in the aftermath of last season’s tragic finale.

Abandon all ye hope, thar’s spoilers ahead!!!

While the vulnerability displayed in the moving “glue and tape” speech was new, the sentiment behind it wasn’t. One emotionally impressive outpouring unravels all the good will extended to the writers Bailey’s romantic story arc had created. In contrast, Miranda’s conversation with the hospital’s crisis counselor – whom I hope is not sticking around much, because he was like watching driftwood smack against the side of a boat – Perkins, are well executed and avoid any whiff of “‘strong black woman” foolishness. Since it’s only the season premiere I’m going to reserve judgment and see where Bailey’s story arc leads.

Yes, it’s true; Dr. Yang and Owen – I can never remember his character’s last name – tie the knot in a ceremony decidedly less dramatic than her previous ill-fated trip down the alter. When Meredith tells the piece of driftwood smacking the side of the boat, “I had to cut her (Cristina) out of her last wedding dress,” she wasn’t kidding! But we’re a long way from that low point in Dr. Yang’s life and it seems that like Bailey, Yang is falling on some familiar coping patterns of her own. Nevertheless, it was refreshing to see the pre-fourth season dynamic between Yang and Grey, though I’m sure I deserve whatever grating Meredith behavior that is to come for admitting this.

Talk about a do-over! The Chief – who we can finally call The Chief – gets the biggest reboot of the episode when the board decides he is the best person for the job. It only took – what – a mass shooting and eleven casualties to realize McDreamy wasn’t administrative material, often lacking the restraint and bigger picture focus of a hospital administrator? With his newly minted status as the Chief (again) Dr. Webber cut a little rug to the dulcet strains of his newest favorite song – schadenfreude. There is really no other way to classify atypical smirky satisfaction displayed by the usually gracious Dr. Webber.

When the premiere wasn’t attempting to smack the viewer over the head with the newly bad ass McDreamy – complete with several visits to the pokey for reckless driving – it was quietly assembling the various romantic, emotional and professional arcs for the characters not as heavily utilized in the episode. Dr. Sloan received what appeared to me an unusual amount of screen time for a character who’s been in search of meaningful story arc for nearly three years. It’s a shame the writers have not found better ways to utilize the friendship between Dr. Sloan and Dr. Torres, who are my favorite friendship on the show. The premiere contained no real, “oh snap!” moments, which is fine because last season’s two part finale was two long hours of, “oh snap” turned up to 11.

Check out the episode here.

[Wait, what about Lexie? Alex? Teddy? Callie? Arizona? Jackson? April? Want more analysis of this episode? Catch the all new round table series called, “Grand Rounds: Dissecting Grey’s Anatomy” I’m a part of over at Bitch Media, which starts today!]

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. September 24, 2010 9:56 am

    Need more Sloan and Torres. Seriously, who do we talk to about this?

    One thing that really struck me about this episode is, yeah, how far the characters haven’t come in all this time. Is the shooting going to be the catharsis for some actual character growth?

  2. September 24, 2010 10:18 am

    Agreed. There is a lot of exposition for an episode with very little pay off. Since the wedding spoiler was out there from as early as this summer! Can’t wait for the round table today. Welcome to Fry Butt, s.e.!!!

  3. September 24, 2010 12:11 pm

    First episodes of the season are somewhat tricky, especially for a show with a large cast. Do you try to fit everybody in? Do you try to catch people up on a lot of storylines or focus on the cliffhanger from last year’s final ep?

    So, yeah, exposition overload is often an issue.

    But on the character growth tip… the thing about characters on a television series is they DON’T change much over time. There’s a particular reason for that: if they did, that would change the nature of the show! I mean, sometimes a character will adapt for a particular episode with some obstacle they have to deal with, but usually, that won’t “change” them and will likely revert to their original personality for future episodes.

    Also, really, viewers don’t want the characters to change, for that same reason, but then I’d be teaching my course in episodic television writing, and I probably shouldn’t be doing that in a post about “GA!”

  4. evmaroon permalink
    September 24, 2010 12:55 pm

    Penpusher, as he often does, nails it. These characters aren’t changing much at all, even if, as Meredith voices at the beginning of the episode, they all have new livers now. Liver = new. Derek = still the same jackass.

  5. September 24, 2010 1:34 pm

    I think the shock of the last season finale is pushing everyone even further into being the characters they are deep down, minus the veneer of professionalism they’ve acquired over the years. Derek for example is seen as an adrenaline junkie, using speeding, surgery and sex for the rush. Meredith’s need to process is keeping her from getting cleared. Cristina has never had a middle ground, and being too traumatized to go back into the OR has her reduced to a cardboard cutout of a bride.

    I agree with NYCPenpusher, the narrative seems to derive less from character development than from the various relationship configurations. Which, from discussion I’ve heard, is exactly what the audience wants.

  6. September 24, 2010 2:32 pm

    I just love being reminded of this song every time you write about GA.

  7. September 24, 2010 3:28 pm

    i think meredith is turning out to be like her mom. did you notice that, the way shes treating derek, treated people during the shooting, and treated christina while atthe hospital/ that may be one of the main points of the show.

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