“Grey’s Anatomy” returned on Oct. 25 with the all-new episode “I Saw Her Standing There.”
This emotionally-charged episode was directed by multi-talented GA cast member Kevin McKidd and the theme can be summed up in a simple phrase: Change of heart.
Three key couples are still reeling and adjusting to some life-altering changes in the wake of the plane crash: Derek (Patrick Dempsey) may never operate again after the injury to his hand, Cristina (Sandra Oh) moved across the country from Owen and Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) is still blaming Callie (Sara Ramirez) for the loss of her leg.
In this week’s installment, Arizona finally takes a step forward (physically and figuratively) – but, it may not be enough to save her relationship with Callie.
MerDer seem to be in a good place right now. But, they both have a history of going to some dark and twisty emotional places that have tested their relationship more than once. This week, Derek gets a revelation about his past mistakes and takes a positive step to avoid repeating them.
Owen is losing sleep and seems resigned to the fact that Cristina is not coming back. Cristina gets a sex friend and then dumps him in a very morally upstanding moment of conviction that has positive repercussions.
How will these collective changes of heart affect our beloved couples? Will they survive and thrive? Or, are one or more of them destined to crash and burn?
Arizona and Callie
Jessica Capshaw and Sara Ramirez continue to do an astounding job as Arizona and Callie deal with Arizona’s traumatic amputation.
Arizona’s bitterness is so thick you can cut it with a knife. It almost physically hurts to see her flat, dead eyes and sneering mouth meet Callie’s gaze.
This couple has had a really rocky road for the brunt of their relationship. A ray of hope breaks through their dark cloud when Arizona gets fitted for her prosthesis and eventually moves her blanket over and asks Callie to sit with her on the couch to watch TV.
Is she softening? Is she working towards laying down the blame and moving forward?
So many horrible things have been said between them, though. One TV invitation isn’t going to make it all better. It’s really going to be a challenge to overcome those. She’s also going to have to admit she’s said and done some things that have really hurt her wife. Arizona doesn’t have a good track record in this department.
She’s ultimately got a long and difficult period of physical and emotional recovery and adjustment ahead – and she’s got to be willing to do what it takes to overcome. At the same time, Callie has also got to recognize that an injury like this invokes a sort of grieving process and there really is no time table for how long it takes a person to get through it.
So far, she’s been very patient and is doing the best she can to cope. Only time will tell if her patience is going to wear thin and whether or not this pair can work through it all and survive…
Meredith and Derek
Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) chooses not to tell Derek that she removed a really complicated tumor. He’s teaching now because can’t operate. He seems slightly frustrated with his students, but he really seems to be handling it well.
Derek finds out about Meredith’s surgery from someone else and he watches in the gallery with Owen. He wonders why Meredith didn’t tell him and Owen opens his eyes to the fact that he has a history of growing a beard and running off to the woods when things get rough and perhaps Meredith is trying to keep him from doing that.
This is a really strong scene for McKidd and Dempsey. We kind of ache for what Owen and Derek have endured and we see their flaws, insecurities and vulnerabilities.
Of course the easiest thing to do in any difficult situation is find a way to run and hide and just not deal with it.
It’s such a refreshing, moving scene when Derek tells Meredith that he watched her do the surgery and he’s not going to run away to his trailer in the woods because he can’t operate.
You can see the relief on Meredith’s face and feel the love swell between them. It’s nice to see them in a good place after all they have been through.
It’s a testament to a very true-blue kind of love and commitment when you recognize past mistakes and make definitive choices that keep you from repeating them in an effort to spare the other person harm
Derek does this here for Meredith and it’s a really beautiful thing to see.
Cristina and Owen
First we are shocked that Cristina is sleeping with her boss, Dr. Parker. He’s just too jovial for anyone’s taste, isn’t he? But Cristina only wears a slight smile on a good day. What gives?
Thankfully their pairing is short-lived because Cristina finds out Parker is using her to shine a light on what an OR dinosaur Dr. Thomas is, which will help his case for forcing him into early retirement.
How rotten and creepy is that?
It seems out of character for Cristina to rush to Dr. Thomas’ defense and actually help save him by encouraging him through a new technique. But, it’s also wonderful to see Cristina get her eyes off of herself and care about someone else enough to really help them in their hour of need.
We know she does this for her BFF Meredith. But she’s usually about climbing over or working around whoever she needs to further her own agenda.
Cristina and Dr. Thomas have really bonded and shared some touching moments, despite her initial dislike and frustration with him. It turns out he can and does teach her something inside and outside of the OR. It’s been fun to see her perception change about him and now she’s rushing to his aid.
Could Cristina change of heart with Dr. Thomas eventually lead her to find a way to forgive Owen and go back to him?
They both have to be willing to work through what they’ve individually done to wreck their relationship. We’ve seen them in counseling and it didn’t go well.
But, maybe Cristina’s loyalty to Dr. Thomas is a sign that people can still surprise us – they can still change and grow. Maybe this is a big, unselfish first step that will open a door in Cristina’s heart for Owen.
We have to admit, we’re feeling a little sorry for Owen sitting out in Derek’s woodsy trailer all alone…
They say time heals all wounds. But it can’t undo irreparable damage.
In this case, we hope time apart and time to reflect will bring Owen and Cristina back together.
Overall, this episode brilliantly shows us all the beautiful, fragile complexities of love and how a person’s individual growth through tragedy or other circumstances or a propensity to stay stuck wallowing in bitterness can have the best or the worst effect on a relationship.
Ultimately, when it comes to love, there are no easy answers and “Grey’s Anatomy,” once again, highlights this in a very real and honest way that keeps us invested in these treasured couples and rooting for love to prevail.
“Grey’s Anatomy” airs in Flint on WJRT ABC12 on Thursdays at 9 PM EST.