“The show must go on.”
Grey-Sloan is pulling out its A-game in the special 200th episode of Grey’s Anatomy! Talk about a landmark. The number 200 is usually unseen by any series. One-hundred is barely ever even seen by most shows, so you know your show is doing something right--something great, something special--when it reaches that specific number! Number two-hundred, “Puttin’ on the Ritz” features our doctors, primed and clothed in pressed suits and dresses charming Seattle’s wealth in hopes of raising money for repairs in the hospital. Outside of the OR, these surgeons are still competitive, bringing to light some personal issues and character development. It’s a nice change of pace that does well to flesh out a season still starting out on its training wheels. Thankfully, by time this episode ends, we feel like Season 10 is about to really kick into high-gear! The show goes on indeed…
Jackson and Owen’s glamorous, overly dramatic fundraiser full of clowns and magicians sets the mood of being in Vegas--gambling amongst the background spectacle. And yes, the doctors all try their surgeon hands at gambling and betting here! Meredith and Derek, really starting to feel the lack of surgical competitiveness in her life have turned their parenting methods into a game of wits and it truly translates as they put on their best charming faces to get the most money out of the rich in suits and ties and glimmering dresses. But that probably doesn’t stand to Callie using tragedy to score the high prices, telling the circulating walking banks of her wife’s untimely death in the plane crash that took Arizona’s leg. While most of it is played off as humor, it further highlights Callie and Arizona’s expanding separation. Callie remains fueled with mostly anger at this point so when someone asks if her wife actually perished in the infamous plane crash, Callie might as well use that in her favor, even if it is coming from a place of frustration, anger and concern.
Then there is Cristina and Owen, both of whom make a game out of “moving on” and seeing other people. Neither of these two are ready to let go of one another at all. After all it is much easier to play games than admit the painful truth and this gala party is the ultimate playground. Cristina says it herself, “It’s like when we were interns!” Oh, the nostalgia is like a knife to the chest, especially noting that this is the beginning of Cristina‘s departure from where it all started! Pushing Owen into flirting with another attractive doctor works in two ways: To work as a catalyst and to force Cristina to be okay with leaving Owen behind; Owen who is probably in his most fragile state ever at the moment. It must be the worst thing in the world to continuously be pushed away by the one you love. This is Cristina trying her hardest to give Owen the okay to potentially fall in love with another woman who could give him what he wants in life: A family. When Owen turns out to be reluctantly going for it, Cristina is perplexed. She doesn’t expect it to have happened so soon and all her flirting…it was all about the money!
Jackson keeps ahold of the gala as is slowly starts to spin out of control. It’s all lighthearted fun until a aerialist slips and falls crashing to the ground and stopping the party on a sour note with her ghastly broken leg. That’s when Jackson pulls the party from the gala to the hospital, showing the ones with the cash what they’ll be paying for and lucky for them, they get a show. While the owners of the hospital are away, the interns will play. Shane and Stephanie get the chance to run the ER and it ends with the oddest kiss. Shane and Stephanie is a definite NO. While most don’t care much for Jackson’s relationship with Stephanie either and is still looking for a Japril reunion, the artificial drama created from this heat of the moment kiss is a jump that falls short--very short. Leah gets busy in pediatrics while Alex gets the shock of his life when his heroin addict father is pulled into the hospital. This might put some strain on Alex and Jo’s new relationship. With all the stories we’ve heard about Alex’s father, we can probably expect the worse.
April and Arizona’s drunken bonding is both humorous and revealing for the characters. Arizona’s reputation at the hospital has been altered quite a bit sense she came on board in Season 5. She’s gone from the lesbian, the woman with one leg and now the cheater. People indeed stare. Judgment, worry, pity, anger. There don’t seem to be many positive stares, the stares Callie use to give her with love and warmth. It’s no wonder April finds her in the closet crying her eyes out. In all reality right now, she’s got nothing but a lot of judging stares. And Callie doesn’t want anything to do with her until she is able to figure out why she did what she did in the first place. It would be great to see Hilary Burton back so all who are involved can hash it all out, but who knows what the remainder of the season will hold for Calzona. Their future together is still up in the air. April can relate, in some small ways to Arizona’s conflict. She has this great man with her now and it is a great love, everything fairytales are made of for a girl like April, but she still shares a different love with Jackson that may not be totally idealistic, but it is something she is enamored by nonetheless.
Elsewhere, Bailey juggles two complicating patients, one of whom is the still agitated Richard Webber, continuing his downward spiral into a slow, painful death. Brooding and yelling at those who are attempting to help him. Much alike Bailey’s other patient, an older man dying of cancer and aggressively (and offensively) yelling for Bailey to do something about it although she knows that she can’t. Two patients on the verge of death and both testing Bailey to the point that her final tactic is to place both men with different perspectives on their care in the same room together. It’s a tricky situation, but in the end, Bailey’s decision is one that works a miracle. The best thing right now is that Webber is trying. Will he succeed? That too is up in the air…
From a Vegas gala party for money back to the place where it all began; my, how it has all changed. Grey’s Anatomy is a series that has stood the test of time. And so has its characters, its stories and its many, many surgical procedures. Time and time again, we always come back to those familiar sanitized hospital walls and those trademark blue scrubs. There is a lot of talent and charm here and after two-hundred episodes, you barely even have to try. This is a well-oiled machine with a lot of working parts and while a few of those parts falter every now and again in this installment, they keep on running every week! The thing is, for a 200th episode, this installment depends too much on the glam of nostalgia than anything. There isn't a special element beyond that and it certainly doesn't really hold a candle to the 100th episode which is still a personal favorite in my book. But with every series, you win some you lose some. And with or without the glitz and glamor, this show will definitely go on. "Puttin’ On the Ritz" gets 3 out of 5 stars!
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© Patrick Broadnax 2013