I think I’ve figured out Grey’s Anatomy. They hire a band of lobotomised monkeys reared on a solid diet of bad soap operas and mashed bananas, and those monkeys write a dozen episodes or so that make me think, “If it wasn’t for Bailey, I wouldn’t continue watching this.” It’s the monkeys who are responsible for badly written, repetitive dreck such as George and Izzie’s relationship, or the nth circle of Meredith-and-McWilltheyorwonttheygettogether? hell. And then, just as I think, “I could be using this time to grate my toenails into a fine dust, or stare at a wall, or re-read The Mists of Avalon, they go down to the attic and get the real writers, the ones with talent and who don’t actively enjoy flinging poo at each other, from their cages, and those writers blink at the computer screens. And then they write the big double episodes, where there’s a major disaster, everyone’s covered in blood, people are dying all over the place…
… and the people working at Seattle Grace pull their heads out of their asses with a resounding pop! (yes, I know, you didn’t actually need that image) and show that they can actually be professional. The show becomes as watchable as it was at the beginning. And you care about the characters again.
And then the writers go back to their rusty cages, and out come the monkeys, with yet more ideas: “Ook ook ook, how about Derek sleeping with this nurse, ook ook, and Mere can’t handle it, and-”
This is where we leave the chimps to their work and mashed bananas. Yes, they just showed the two-parter “Crash into me”, and it made me like the series again. It was well written, effectively structured, it was moving (yes, it was also manipulative, but why would we watch hospital soaps if we didn’t want to be manipulated into caring?), it was funny and sad and thrilling. And it reminded me why there was a time when I didn’t try to will Callie off screen every time she appeared, with one short, throwaway line at Sloane’s expense.
Some especially nice moments:
- Bailey’s handling of the white supremacist was great to watch – but Christina very much had a point when she told Bailey she resented having been used by her to goad Swastika Man – that she resented, in effect, having been made use of for racial reasons. And Bailey knew it. And yes, it was a bad moment for Christina to speak up, but she was right to do so.
- George’s scene with the Tattooed Git. “A black woman saved your life at a great personal cost, so maybe next time you’re looking at your tattoo and you’re thinking how much better all us white guys are than everyone else, you think about that. Because between you and me, if I’d been alone in that OR, you’d probably be dead right now. And since we’re sharing belief systems, I believe if you were dead? The world would be a better place.” It may not read like much, but coming from gentle George with his slight stutter, it packs a punch.
- What Bailey does to the swastika tattoo.
- Hahn: “You won’t hit on me?”
Sloane: “I can’t promise that.”
- Hahn: “If I say please?”
Callie, with the coolest half-smile: “He still can’t promise that.”