“It‘s not a game anymore…”
A little back and forth--all of the bickering and for what? A little mercy is ideal, but in a hospital facing a multitude of personal alterations, mercy isn’t in the reality of any situations. Everybody is screaming into a void right now, but who really cares right now? There are other things happening that supersede all of that desperate screaming. The doctors of Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital get no mercy despite their screams in this installment of Grey’s Anatomy. With bigger problems a hand, they have to dig deep--deeper. Mercy is for the weak, right? And these doctors are brave heroes, strengthened by all the disasters they’ve faced. Is there hope and mercy at the end of this game or more existential dread and drama? Is the game of mercy over? Apparently, it is…
The Grey home is full. Callie is crashing, along with her daughter Sofia and a new Grey family member has both Meredith and Derek in a sleep deprived game of mercy trying to adjust to life outside of the hospital and with a newborn. Baby Bailey has his world-class surgeons fumbling around like zombies while tending to his needs, but Meredith also has someone else to tend to. Richard proves to be a surprisingly trying patient, but then again, most surgeons are. However, Richard is difficult in a completely different way. He seems to have given up. One might admit that they didn’t think Webber was in that bad of a condition, but according to him, he might as well be dead. And in some ways, one cannot blame him. Last season and arguably, the season prior to it both held some depressing, life-altering realities for the former Chief. The further decline of Adele’s health and her subsequent death is certainly the biggest. Catherine might be a silver lining that he doesn’t even think about in this episode, but it doesn’t erase all the devastation Webber has faced lately, it all seems like a prologue to the possible end of his character or at least a character-altering breakdown of some sort. Either way, it has been a long time coming.
What makes the situation so frustrating is that Richard is turning his back on Bailey, his staff and especially Meredith. If you think about it, it seems like Meredith and Richard’s personal difficulties and expectations of one another have changed. In the beginning seasons of Grey’s, Meredith always insisted that Richard is not her “father” but Richard always felt so guilty that he usually put himself in the fatherly position. Now that Meredith is finally accepting the notion of Richard being her father--in a sense--Richard’s new circumstance has altered how he looks at his life and relationships. I dare say that Richard might even dismiss Catherine in a way he does Meredith by the end of the episode, who is slapped in the face with her own past dark and twisty-ness. It all sends the story down a noticeably darker path than what most fans might have anticipated. Richard is unflinching with his words here and just by the body language, Meredith and Richard both seem to retreat from one another. Richard’s cry for mercy is misinterpreted and his situation is worsened, at least from his perspective. Shane’s drastic actions of applying a feeding tube to Richard, while valiant for him--certainly still feeling the guilt of sending Heather to her death--are detrimental to Richard’s new dark and twisty disposition.
How happy is everyone to see Alex Karev with someone who finally gets him? Most fans may still find themselves hopelessly holding out for an Alex-Izzie reunion that won’t happen, but Alex and Jo make perfect sense. In a way, they are in the least simple terms--easy. At least for Alex, who has been dealt a great deal of lovers that regard him as a bad guy--or the guy not good enough, but Alex isn’t bad and he is good enough, which shows in the latest installment. We get our real first look at just how compatible Jolex is. Alex is screaming mercy in a way: he wants it to be special, but at the same time, Jo is crying mercy too as she needs a little loving in order to get some sort of relief while she studies for her exams. This simple back and forth with Jolex proves as some great comedic relief amongst a few other dramatic issues. Yet the situation remains clear: Alex is scared to ruin something that is already noticeably different from every other relationship he’s had. Jo isn’t like other girls and it takes some taunting from good old Cristina for the Alex to realize just that. At least someone is happy and gets some sweet mercy, because everyone else is faltering…
Frankly, the fact that Kendrick Lamar’s “Swimming Pool (Drank)” was featured while a woman coded on the surgery table is a little humorous and yet somehow it worked without being overtly ridiculous. Also, the fact that the interns are being featured in more main stories this year is making the audience get to know them a lot better. I personally already am taking more of a liking towards them all including Leah, who is surprisingly likeable in this hour as she is forced to answer a family’s cry for mercy or hit them with two disasters at once. Callie ends up making the call in the end, but that doesn’t mean she’s particularly merciful when it comes to the other drama in her life. Callie’s attitude towards Arizona in the episode is rather snappy, until the very end of the episode. Callie is direct and for once not led by anger, but more so by concern for the woman that hurt her. The couple’s therapy Arizona got all gussied up for, with her pretty red dress and her lovely new haircut, turned into a therapy session just for Arizona. Callie does end up having some sort of mercy on Arizona by coming to the realization that her wife is dealing with something more deep and darker than just simplistic infidelity. Arizona probably should have been in therapy from the beginning of her loss, but fans everywhere are clamoring to know where this will go and how Callie and Arizona will be Calzona again.
Besides the now conflicting back and forth bursts of affection between Owen and Cristina, the Chief of Surgery is having trouble with financial problems that he must strategically sift through in order to come to a conclusion. The conflicting wants between being surgeons and administrators gets Owen and Jackson to finally begin working together instead of continuing to butt heads. The two titles of administrator and surgeon must be bonded for some sort of mercy to be found. Beyond the practical business stuff involving the hospital, Owen can’t get any mercy in his “break-up” with Cristina. Their relationship stays in a truly complicated, frustrating and conflicting position this episode whereas even Jackson and April seem to be finally moving past their relationship, or at least Jackson is. April might be--little by little. But we all know they are endgame, somehow. But the future certainly isn’t certain for Cristina and Owen. What is certain is that this is the season of Cristina Yang. She’s on fire already and the season has barely even started! Between how she deals with Alex’s dilemma and how she continues to explore the right way to leave Owen behind (as a lover), Cristina’s growth as a character is extremely evident. There is still no hint on how or when Cristina will go, but it’s already clear that it will be an amazingly pivotal and iconic moment in the series.
They’re not kids anymore. Their cries for mercy are going largely unheard now that they’ve taken the big steps into being adults, alone in the void. Grey’s Anatomy’s tenth season thus far seems to be hinging on aspects of the series’ past in order to develop more storylines for the future, highlighting nostalgia and some excellent character development. “Everybody’s Crying Mercy” gets 4 out of 5 stars!
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© Patrick Broadnax 2013