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 ….