Recap: Grey’s Anatomy – 7.2 – Shock to the System
“Shock to the System” is not an episode filled with dramatic revelations. Like the title suggests, it is an episode filled with quick painful bursts of emotionality leaving its recipients scorched; unable to effectively respond to the emotional “shocks” without assistance.
Man your battle stations; there be spoilers on the horizon!
Cristina awakes to discover that she has added another facet to her increasingly complex identity: newlywed. She freaks out. To his credit, Owen defuses the situation as though it were a time bomb and the couple talks of sudsy grown up shower time and possibly the best route to work. Once at work, Cristina stumbles onto Meredith who is trying to avoid her Post-it hubby who you’ll remember she left in the pokey. Once again, the writers have insisted on saying something with this ridiculous “post-it marriage”, which doesn’t call to mind all the couples who legally cannot marry, but instead reminds you of how privileged and obnoxious Meredith and Derek are. I understand what the writers are trying to do with this “post-it marriage” foolishness, but for me it comes across as problematic rather than progressive. This is made even more obnoxious when Cristina asks Meredith if she felt different after the Post-It. Again, I think it’s great the writers are trying to acknowledge all the loving unions that are valid to everyone except the state, but this couple is not the wagon to hitch to that particular star. I found this interaction not especially useful and far too much time was spent talking about Meredith, rather than Cristina who clearly looked deeply troubled by both her professional anxieties – she’s still not cleared for surgery – and the duplicity she feels towards being married to Owen.
Somewhere along the way, we find Alex Karev sauntering the halls and annoying Bailey with his trophy bullet, still enshrined in his chest. Bailey throws down the gauntlet; get the bullet removed or no more surgery. Karev initially scoffs, but comes around by the end of the episode. It’s a shame the writers didn’t spend more time with Bailey and Karev, who have long had an interesting dynamic worth exploring. Instead we are treated to Callie and Arizona who are clearly trying to work around Capshaw’s real life pregnancy by having endless conversations about decorating. Again, the writers missed a great opportunity to further develop CalZona or at least throw some more interesting problems their way.
Now the medical drama of the episode was actually quite good. A flag football team is struck by lightning, sending the entire crew to Seattle Grace where the male members of the team spend their time in triage smoldering like charcoal brickets and pledging their undying love to the sole female member of the team. Naturally, she has eyes for only one team mate, which unsurprisingly is not any of the jocks. While the medical case itself was good, the execution of the characters at the center of it was less successful. Grey’s Anatomy used to be adept at eschewing the, “I nearly died so now I have to live” trope in order to present the range of reactions to life altering events in a more realistic and often entertaining manner. But unfortunately, the writers opted to craft this episode quite literally – with REAL SHOCKS – so there was little opportunity for the one oft characters to transcend beyond their learning opportunity framing.
Not that any of the doctors paid enough attention to the flag football team members to take advantage of the learning opportunities. Instead Dr. Sloan has slowly transitioned from McSteamy to McStalky, which sees him demoted from active participant in his own life to merely a hook from which Chyler Leigh (Lexie) can attach her Emmy bait to.
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