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A Murky Shade of Grey: Dissecting The Anatomy of Season Four (So Far)

Written by: Phoebe Raven, CC2K Staff Writer

ImageIf the fat cats in Hollywood don't capitulate to the striking writers, the new season of Grey’s Anatomy may come to an early end, and that may be a good thing.

One of the most successful dramas on television right now had kind of lost its swing in Season 3 already, which was remarked as too gloomy and full of long, dramatic speeches. Creator Shonda Rhimes promised more goofy fun, but so far the show has failed to deliver in my opinion. It is all messed up relationships and very little of the quirky good stuff.


The season started out in an extremely weird place with former best friends Izzie and George having hooked up despite him being married to Callie. And to make it weirder, Izzie and George actually decided they wanted to be together. Now initially, I must admit, unlike many others, I was a fan of this relationship, in theory. But as soon as I saw it on screen, I knew that they couldn’t work out. It was just too awkward in all the wrong ways. And although a resolution is still outstanding (since episode 9 didn’t deal with Izzie and George at all), I cannot see this going anywhere good. Side note: How ridiculous was that moment of Izzie getting ready to fist fight against Callie? One would think Izzie has more class than that, but unlike Callie, she hasn’t really grown up yet.

Most likely all three, Izzie, George and Callie, will end up single and the dating carousel of Seattle Grace can start spinning again. Just to throw out a wild guess: wouldn’t it be awesome if George hooked up with Lexi? They had chemistry in that one scene watching the babies, when he called her “kind of awesome”. So far, the only “aww” moment this season.

Which brings me directly to my next point: the annoyance that is Lexi’s sister, Meredith Grey. If the show wasn’t named after her character, I’d be the first to suggest kicking her off the show. Things between her and Derek started out weird in Season 4 as well and they haven’t gotten better an inch. He professed that he wants to marry her, but that she isn’t ready and ever since then they have been having break-up sex while Meredith tries to “become ready”, though she hasn’t taken any steps worth mentioning. Correction: she hasn’t taken any steps at all whatsoever. Derek is consequent in his behavior. He told her he doesn’t have the strength to leave her, and even though he tries his best at dating, he is still hooked on Meredith (a fascination I never understood, but oh well.)

Where will this MerDer mess end? In MurDer? (Excuse me, but you had that wordplay coming to you!) Right now it is dragging everything down, especially Derek’s witty charm (which may just be the reason Patrick Dempsey was runner-up for the third consecutive year for Sexiest Man Alive, if only he had been given better scenes, he could have made it!). But besides Meredith’s whining dragging down Derek, it also doesn’t help Cristina.

Oh, Cristina, another excellent point to complain about in Season 4: where is our favorite hard-ass cardio Resident? The season started out promising enough, dealing with Cristina’s pain after Burke left her at the altar. The first episode in which Cristina gave away her wedding gifts for cool surgeries and hid from Burke’s mom was hilarious. But ever since then valid Cristina moments have been reduced to a minimum. She makes the occasional cameo in Meredith-whining-scenes, and it doesn’t help that the new head of cardio, Dr. Hahn, isn’t a fan of Cristina either. She has it tough this season and I miss her sarcasm more than anything else. More Cristina could save an otherwise ho-hum season of GA.

Dr. Hahn on the other hand is an excellent addition to the cast. Her chemistry with the staff is amazing and who doesn’t love her shooting down Sloan over and over? It has been hinted (on that Dr. Hahn may be a lesbian and what that means for her relationship with Cristina, who has a habit of sleeping with her superiors, is for you to figure out.

Two more annoying things this season:

1. The lackluster way the relationship between Alex and Ava/Rebecca was handled left a lot to be desired. It seems the writers couldn’t make up their mind if those two are supposed to happen or not. And no sooner than she appeared and disappeared in an early episode of the season, Alex was canoodling with Meredith’s kinda-okay sister Lexi. We all know relationships change as much as Christian Bale’s weight on GA, but after the huge build-up Alex and Ava had in Season 3, we were all hoping for a little more drama on that front.

But it just may be coming in episode 10, airing in two weeks, part two of the big Season Two-Parter this year. Episode 9 had Ava coming back and stupidly risking Alex’s medical license by sneaking into the gallery to watch him in surgery. There she met Lexi and unknowingly Ava told her she was “with” Alex, leaving poor Lexi stomped, she had just started to like the guy in spite of himself.

2. George starting over as an Intern was fun at first, but is now becoming more and more annoying. It separates him from the rest of the group (group scenes between our Fantastic Five are sorely lacking on the whole anyway) and it also takes away from him anything good he may have left after crashing his marriage and his friendship with Izzie. Not to mention even the Attendings have trouble treating him as an Intern, they all know he is just as good as every other Resident.

(BTW, wasn’t Meredith supposed to be “the one to beat”? What awesome medical marvel has she performed lately? Seems to me the one to beat medically is Cristina and in terms of patient care it’s Izzie, she has the compassion and the sincerity to calm every patient down, see the Bird Man).

But we want to end this on a positive note, after all even I tune in every week for the new hijinks at Seattle Grace. So here’s the perks of Season 4:

1. Dr. Bailey finally got what she deserves, the position as Chief Resident. She belonged there from the beginning and we all knew it, the Chief seemed to be the only one too blind to see. It is heart-wrenching to see the lingering marital troubles the job brings with it for Bailey. She is a character you just cannot help but to love, every scene instantly becomes her scene when she arrives and she is just all around enjoyable and funny as well. Who didn’t love the moment when she was “rising above” to operate on the White Supremacist this week? Bailey needs to be on screen more, preferably in combination with people she can boss around. Because even though our Fantastic Five minus George (i.e. Meredith, Izzie, Cristina and Alex) are now Residents, they can still use an ass-kicking every now and then for the idiotic drama they make of certain things.

2. The guest appearances of both Seth Green and Gale Harold in the last episode brightened up my day. And they both will be returning for the conclusion of the Two-Parter in two weeks. Seth’s character was adorable and even though we saw the plot twist of his artery bursting coming from a mile away, it could just make for the moment Lexi realizes she can be a good doctor, when she saves him in the resolution.

Gale Harold once again took on an audacious role in the White Supremacist and I can’t wait to see if Bailey can save him.

3. The dynamic between the Chief and Derek (particularly in the episode where Derek was the Chief’s new “girlfriend”) is cause for delight. The Chief is best when he gets to be silly with the boys. I also love that he is trying to take charge a bit of Meredith’s life. Seems to me she has a serious talk from him coming her way. Let’s face it, her mom is dead, her father a drunk, her boyfriend too weak to leave her and Cristina is trying to cure her issues with dancing. Who if not the Chief can finally screw Meredith’s head on straight so she stops being the self-absorbed brat she is being?

Should the season really be cut short because of the writers’ strike, it will go down in my book as even worse than Season 3, because at least Season 3 plucked at my heartstrings with its gloom and doom and heartache, while Season 4 leaves me strangely untouched as it bounces around between one messy, unhappy relationship after the other.

There are exactly two things that need to happen to bring this show back on track:

Meredith needs to get over herself and commit to Derek (who should decide to build a house on his land for the two of them then) and the Fantastic Five need to realize that strength lies in unity, not in separation (what is up with Izzie’s ridiculous jealousy of Cristina’s and Meredith’s anything-but-extraordinary friendship?).

Until at least one of the two happens, I, as many other GA fans, will suffer through the episodes like the PotWs.