BWW Recap: Classic GREY'S ANATOMY Returns in Back-to-Back Season Premiere Episodes
The 14th season of GREY'S ANATOMY premiered with 2 jam-packed episodes last night. After what many would consider a lackluster season 13, it is clear that the writers are ready to tear down what they created last season and start over. Some drawn out storylines are quickly resolved, others finally have their dilemmas clearly laid out, and in one instance, some retroactive continuity helped explain away the odd and quite frankly, out of character behavior exhibited last year by one of Grey Sloan Memorial's doctors. The first of the two episodes was titled "Break Down The House" and that is exactly what this season-opener did. After watching these first two-episodes, I can't wait to see how they continue to rebuild!
The first hour was directed by Executive Producer Debbie Allen and the second hour, entitled "Get Off On The Pain" was directed by Kevin McKidd. For the purposes of this recap, they will be treated as one supersized episode, as that is exactly how they felt for viewers.
The episode opens where last season left off. The hospital is in rough shape after the explosion and fire, and Owen and Amelia are at a military hospital for Owen to reunite with his long lost sister. In a clever twist, Megan is not nearly as emotionally traumatized as everyone had expected. Her captors had respected her skills as a surgeon and she had not been treated poorly for the past 10 years. She even adopted a little boy, who she is not desperate to get back to. Abigail Spencer has taken over this role after scheduling conflicts prevented Bridget Regan (who played Megan in a flashback last season) to continue with the part. Spencer makes the character her own, and it quickly becomes clear that Megan is clever and charming and not nearly as solemn and serious as her big bro. Megan requires abdominal surgery and things are a tad awkward when Meredith becomes her doctor. Eventually, Megan learns the truth about Meredith and Riggs...and she learns in from Meredith, who she quite likes. How refreshing to not see this secret be drawn out for an entire season!
Meredith is eventually successful with Megan's surgery, demonstrating just how much of a badass surgeon she is. It is really great to see Meredith at the top of her surgical game. It will be interesting to see if her relationship game has also evolved, or if season two is about to repeat itself in terms of her, the man she has fallen for, and his red headed ex.
After being referenced last season, Teddy Altman also makes a return. She is there to check on Megan and visit with her 'person' Owen. Teddy's presence is awkward for Amelia, who is already estranged from her husband and is now seeing him bonding with his bestie. She tells him she doesn't care, and continues to focus on her patient's case, leaving everyone scratching their heads. Owen confronts her saying that something seems to be wrong with her, after his family has basically encouraged him to leave her. In the moment, this seems unfair, but as the episode comes to a close, we learn that something is, in fact wrong...and has been for a while.
Basically, the writing for Amelia was so out of character last season, that returning writer, Krista Vernoff seems to have determined that the only way to explain that behavior is to give Amelia a giant brain tumor in her frontal lobe. Based on the size of that thing, it did not just pop up...meaning that Amelia Shepherd as we know her, might not be Amelia Shepherd at all. This could in part explain why her marriage is in shambles...too bad Owen already kissed Teddy! (Luckily Teddy stopped it from going any further, but it is clear that Owen is ready to move on). This storyline sure took an unexpected turn! It is an interesting story to tell, but one can only hope that the existence of this tumor does not undercut the fine storytelling that PRIVATE PRACTICE, and to some degree, GREY'S ANATOMY has done with regards to addiction and mental health, via the character of Amelia. It would be a shame if her challenging past experiences simply get explained away by a tumor.
Due to the length of this episode, it is impossible to detail everything that happened in this recap...but some other key storylines of note include this growing love triangle between April, Jackson, and Maggie. April finally confronts Jackson about their hookup in Montana and determines that she can no longer live with him. Maggie and Jackson get awkward and weird with each other when Maggie tells him what April had said about them being into each other. If they think it is awkward now, just wait until they remember that they are siblings!
Another notable storyline is the introduction of Deluca's sister Carina. She hooks up with Arizona, fights with her little brother in Italian, and convinces Bailey to let her do a research study on the female orgasm using the hospital's MRI. Yes, she made quite the impression. She also helped diagnose Amelia's aforementioned brain tumor!
Lastly, Jo and Alex actually work their stuff out! In one episode! After a season and a half of it being drawn out. I, for one am delighted for them!
All in all, this was quite the return to form for the popular medical drama, and if the promo for next week is any indication, the freshness of this exciting new season is not wearing off any time soon! Catch you next week!
GREY'S ANATOMY airs Thursdays at 8pm Eastern Standard Time on ABC and CTV
Photo Credit: ABC/Richard Cartwright