Beth Hodgson's blog

Beth Hodgson is a freelance writer and editor (www.writesourcing.com) based in the Greater Toronto Area, Canada. Writing to keep the public informed is her passion; and who doesn't love Canadian TV?

Since there’s been such a long hiatus between the last episode before the holidays and the new one set to air, it’s the perfect time to revisit the last episode through the Grey’s writer blog.

How much longer do we have to watch Cristina mope around the hospital?  I’m sick of everybody being so sad.  When is the show gonna get back to “Old Grey’s” where people were happy??   

Okay.  First of all, there was a shooting.  Friends died, or were wounded.  Cristina had a gun pressed to her head.  And as far as “Old Grey’s” is concerned … this show is dark.  Always has been.  Always will be.  Just go back and watch Meredith drown, or George’s dad die or Cristina cover for Burke’s injury and have to turn him in to the Chief.  Sure, there’s gonna be humor to balance it, but Seattle is a cold, rainy place.  And we writers figured, if we’re gonna have a shooting, then we’re damn well gonna put our people through some honest to god post traumatic stress.  So bear with us.  Be patient.  Take a breath and enjoy seeing the many new and interesting colors our talented cast is finding in their characters.  (I mean, you gotta love Cristina giving that frat guy a lap dance at Joe’s Bar) 

Here’s the thing about healing …  it takes time.  There’s no rushing it.  Or planning for it.  Or “getting out in front of it.”  I’ve had two major surgeries in the past five years.  The first was a brain surgery.  Scared the crap out of me – they cut through my skull and dug around in my brain.  I woke up in the ICU …  and didn’t really feel that bad.  I went home two days later.  In a week I was running around, back on the set, joking with the actors … if it wasn’t for the shaved head and the scars, you never would have known. 

Don’t be fooled by appearances.  The bullet holes have been patched and painted over.  The hospital has released a “sizzle reel” talking about how it has come back stronger than ever.  But the scars of the shooting are still there.   For some of our doctors the recovery has been relatively fast and painless.  But for others … Cristina, Meredith, Derek … they’ve only just begun to deal.  And because of what went down that day, because – however illogically –  Cristina blames Meredith for her trauma, the two friends can’t lean on each other to help them through this crisis.  So Cristina turns to Derek – a man familiar with darkness and doubts.  He gets that Cristina needs to be given the space and time to find her way back from the brink.  And because he owes this woman his life, and because she’s his wife’s “person,” he shares the secret that has always given him comfort … fishing.  And he’s right.  Cristina needs the quiet, needs to be in a place she can’t escape from, needs the simple joy of catching a fish to finally allow the dam to break and the grief to finally wash over her.  

And how about Mer and Owen??  Things have always been kinda strained between those two.  The only thing they seem to have in common is Cristina, and now it’s pretty clear that neither really trusts the other.  You gotta feel sorry for Meredith.  Left behind at the hospital, abandoned by her best friend and her husband (who now seem to be besties themselves), and dealing with Owen who doesn’t seem to get how he’s totally screwing up Cristina.  What Mer doesn’t seem to understand yet is that she’s been traumatized too, but because she’s Meredith, she’s kept it hidden as she frantically tries to take care of each individual member of her little makeshift family.  And Owen doesn’t cut her any slack.  That OR blow-up between them is one of my favorite scenes of this season. 

Our Dr. Bailey declared war on fistula.  And won.  And celebrated as only Dr. Bailey can.  And picked up an admirer along the way.  Bailey and Nurse Eli?  Hmmm …. 

And Callie thought she’d really gained a new partner as she and Alex rocked that hip replacement.  Only to have Alex return to Peds and the allure of Dr. Stark (played brilliantly by Ally McBeal and Numb3rs alum Peter MacNicol.)  And then that knock on the apartment door and … a visitor from Malawi.  No hug.  No welcome home.  Just a door slammed in your face. Something tells me there are rough seas ahead for Calzona. 

A final word about Cristina and Derek.  Really Sandra and Patrick.  We spent two days up on Big Bear Lake shooting the fishing scenes.  Skeleton crew, led by Allison Liddi-Brown our Director, Herb Davis our gifted Director of Photography, and Jeff Rafner our resourceful UPM.  We all had a blast.  It was freezing cold, kinda rainy and incredibly beautiful.  Rainbows criss-crossing the early morning sky.  We don’t get off our soundstages very often.  Last time it was the Iraq episode, which Joan and I also wrote (I guess I like vacations).  But Sandra and Patrick really loved working together, and the chance to be surrounded by nature just made it all the more special.  Then there was the drinking and laughing and gossiping that happened in the hotel bar that night … but I guess what happens in Big Bear ….

According to ABC, there’s yet another new show to come from Grey’s creator Shonda Rhimes so fans of the show will have something else to look forward to. The creator will surely dominate the prime time slots on ABC!

Here’s what the network has had to say about this:

ABC has ordered its first pilot this development season, and fittingly, the prolific Grey’s Anatomy writer-producer got the nod for her untitled project based on Judy Smith.

The professional “fixer” (PR guru/crisis manager) inspired the latest effort from Rhimes, who also created Private Practice and Off the Map, which premieres January 12.

It was a quick turnaround for the newest project from ABC Studios and Rhimes’ studio-based Shondaland banner. ABC brass read the script and ordered a pilot in 24 hours.

The early order also comes weeks before the typical start of the networks’ pilot pickup season. Judy Smith herself will serve as a co-executive producer and consultant.

She served as a White House press aide under President George H. W. Bush, and counseled Monica Lewinsky, Michael Vick and other embattled stars in a PR capacity.

It’s been a while since we’ve seen much of Thatcher Grey…if there hadn’t been so much drama surrounding the character of two of the finest doctors at Seattle Grace, we might have forgotten about him entirely. But, it would appear as though he’s coming back just before we  are able to leave him in the past. An All My Children star has been cast to become his new love interest, and interestingly enough, it looks as though the character he’s set to date is about the same age as his daughters.

It’s yet to be determined, so we don’t yet know just how many episodes Thatcher will appear in or how he will dive back into the lives of his daughters. If there is to be more tragedy, it’s always possible that it will push the family back together – after all, his girls have been through a lot!

It’s not really about the love interest, but are you happy to see Thatcher make a reappearance?

The last episode of Grey’s Anatomy that aired certainly opened the door for some serious drama – namely, Teddy offering to marry a patient that was losing his health insurance and in turn his life. This could of course lead to a world of trouble both personally and professionally for this character if she goes through with it. So will she really?

Well, rumor has it that the actor Scott Foley will in fact be continuing to guest star on the show. Clearly that means he’s not disappearing, and that can only indicate that this plot will continue to grow. So will Teddy really marry her patient? What will happen from there/ My guess is that a real relationship will form from it. Maybe she’ll be lucky in love, maybe she’ll rediscover that their original agreement holds true and he was just using her for her insurance all along.  It will also be interesting to see what fallout happens within the hospital when she announces her master plan.

No matter which way you swing it, this little plot line is sure to bring a lot of drama!

Remember the teaser at the end of the last new episode of Grey’s Anatomy? It implied that something pretty darn terrible was going to happen, and one cast member has decided to spill the beans at least a little bit on what’s to come. It would seem that the disaster involves a school, but specifically what happens we don’t yet know. But if their faces in the teaser have anything to say, it’s going to be a shocking episode for the characters.

The good news is the team is well-prepared to handle whatever will be coming their way due to the disaster training that Owen recently lead. The may never have to apply what they’ve learned to their own lives, but unfortunately, it will be coming in handy.

“There’s a massive situation at a school, so all the training that Owen put into place suddenly makes people much more ready to handle this sort of thing,” Kevin McKidd says.

This episode is set to air when the show returns this week.

As the show gets picked up again into the New Year, it looks like Derek’s Alzheimer’s project is set to begin. Here’s the thing though, it looks like it may be a major source of conflict for Meredith and Derek. Why? Because for once, he’s not going to allow his personal relationship to dictate who gets to work with him. In fact, according to reports, Derek won’t be allowing Meredith to participate at all. Since the study is all for her, he’s afraid that his judgement will be clouded. That all sounds fairly reasonable, right? Well, it seems Meredith will not agree with that and she’s going to prepare to go to war with the chosen resident due to her jealousy. After a season with Meredith and Derek drama at a minimum, it looks like things may be shaken up a bit soon!

Although it’s yet to be confirmed whether or not Arizona will be leaving the show entirely, this breakup has made many wonder whether or not she will be gone for good. At a time when the actress has finally been brought on board permanently, this would be an odd move. Fortunately, Shonda Rhimes claims that this is just a bump in the road.

“Callie and Arizona will be back together soon”, said Shonda. She also mentioned that the little situation between Mark and Callie truly doesn’t mean a thing. They’re best friends, they’ve slept together before, and they’re both lonely. It’s not complicated, they’re just being there for each other! 

There’s been a lot of buzz online about the fact that Meredith’s miscarriage was swept under the rug, while Derek seems preoccupied with helping Yang. It’s not an insensitivity thing, says Shonda Rhimes. In fact, by being there for Meredith’s best friend he’s already showing is support. So why is it that the miscarriage plotline faded away and the issue with Cristina carries on?

Creator and executive producer Shonda Rhimes’ response: “Because Cristina saved his life & because no one held a gun to Mer’s head, gave her PTSD and made her unable to operate … because he is being optimistic about future babies.”

So, it sounds like the Mer/Der pregnancy situation was just a bump in the road heading towards better things. This also demonstrates that perhaps the Cristina thing will be a longer, lasting issue.

Glee is one of the hottest shows on TV right now, and it looks like Grey’s Anatomy wants to capture some of that audience. Because, beleive it or not, they are going to do a musical episode this season. Odd, for a medical drama, no? But, the series creator does promise that it’s not going to be cheesy, at least not from what she said to TV guide.

Creator Shonda Rhimes says the Grey’s musical episode will differ from other shows that have attempted one. She cites Buffy the Vampire Slayer as an example.

“[Ours] is sort of the opposite of that in a weird way,” Rhimes says. “They did an all-out, show-stopping, Broadway kind of musical episode. This is very different.”

This episode is sure to be a laugh, but it’s yet to be determined if that is a good thing or not.

Last week’s episode was different. We don’t normally see what the night shift looks like at Seattle Grace, and this was intentional to show that change can happen. At least, according to the writer of last week’s episode.

Nights are supposed to be for sleep, rest, relaxation.  There’s a reason night exists, and it’s not for humans to work.  It’s for vampires to hunt, and werewolves to change, and demons to roam.  Things change at night. 

And things change in this episode.  It’s not the usual Grey’s.  As a matter of fact, when Shonda first saw my episode in full she looked at me, took a moment of silence, then said, “Zoanne.  Your episode is… weird.  I mean, it’s not weird, it’s… yea, weird.”  I didn’t know quite what to make of that, but I get it.  Our attendings are checking deathat the door along with their coats.  They’re leaving all that life saving stuff behind them and are just out being themselves without the impending doom of potential death looming over them.  Teddy’s talking about online dating for god’s sakes.  For a whole episode.  It’s weird to see them like that – I get that, and I also kinda love it.  They left the life-saving parts for the residents mostly, because let’s face it – residents run hospitals at night.  The attendings let the inmates run the asylum, as it were. 

And crazy things can happen.

Take Callie and Mark, for example.  I’ll just go ahead and apologize to all you CalZona fans first.  Okay, now that that’s out of the way, that the scene where he becomes her sexual sorbet was HOT, right?  And it makes sense.  They’re friends, they’re comfortable, they’re there for each other.  What could be wrong about that?  In fact, there’s so much about it that’s right.  Who could be faulted for being green?  They’re recycling, people!  I’m sure you’d agree they’re doing their part for humanity and for mother earth.  Good for them.

Apologies also to all you Cristina fans who are mourning the loss of the driven, determined Cristina.  Can’t she just have a good time?  Can’t she just … BE?  She’s not losing Owen.  Owen’s sticking.  She was there for him when he was going through it.  She stuck.  So he’s sticking, too.  He’ll hold her hair.  He’ll forgive her transgressions.  He’s going to be there for her, whether she likes it or not. 

And we (i.e., the writers) know Cristina’s supposed to be the strong one.  Hardcore.  All surgery all the time.  We know that.  But sometimes it’s the ones who look like they’re the most together that have the biggest explosion.  It’s her process, and she’s kind of making it up as she goes along.  Trying to feel out what’s right for her.  I totally sympathize with this.  I had a moment in life where I completely burned out.  I was trying to figure out my next move – do something else in medicine (I was/am an ER doc) or pick up everything and move to Hollywood to fulfill a childhood dream.  Well, I’m writing this blog so you can tell what I did.  And people thought I was C-R-A-Z-Y.  And I didn’t even have a gun held to my head.  So all I’m saying is, give Cristina a little slack, people.  She’s been on one road with one destination all her life.  Like Callie said, doctors often don’t get their 20’s to explore.  They’re too busy with the weight of the world on their shoulders as they practice (yes, I said practice) saving lives!  She needs time, she needs space… she needs to figure things out.

Which is what Derek’s giving her.  Last week he talked about floors.  This week he watches her get drunk and go a little cray cray (but not too cray cray… he’s her bouncer, after all).  But that is so true to Derek.  He’s the king of backing off.  Even when Mer was trying to decide whether or not to give half her liver to her dad, he gave her space, let her make the decision.  He uses the same tactic with Cristina.  He knows that direct confrontation ain’t gonna help – he’s been through his own little “breakdown,” and he knows he wouldn’t have listened.  He needed to take the time he needed and that was that.  He’s offering the same to Cristina.

Mer doesn’t understand this tactic.  She can’t fathom just sitting back and doing nothing.  At one point we talked about Mer going to go to the bar to scream at Cristina to no avail, but as it turned out, her story did not allow for that.  She had to save a kid’s life.  Probably wasn’t so hard to go against Stark, since Stark is such, excuse my French, an ass.  It’s not that he doesn’t know what he’s doing, he does.  He’s not a bad doctor, he’s just a lazy doctor.  And lazy might as well equal bad.  So it’s up to Mer to save the day.  Mer and Alex.  Can you believe they’re the only two left of our original fab five?  Funny how the years change things.  They’ve stuck.  And they’re going to keep sticking.  Together.  Do you guys remember the Chief’s speech from the first episode?  “Eight of you will switch to an easier specialty.  Five will crack under the pressure.  Two of you will be asked to leave.”  Ahh, memories…