Grey's Anatomy: Season 2 - It's The End Of The World As We Know It (review)
Review by Jack Foley
INDIELONDON singles out notable episodes from our favourite television series for stand-alone reviews. On this occasion we take a look at the season 2 episodes of Grey’s Anatomy entitled It’s The End Of The World… and As We Know It.
What’s the story? An explosive case arrives at the hospital that endangers the lives of everyone working there, prompting Dr Burke (Isiah Washington) to declare a “Code Black” for the hospital. Bailey (Chandra Wilson) worries where her husband is as she is in labour. Also Izzie (Katherine Heigl) and Alex (Justin Chambers) may be creating some heat.
Why the review? This is another case of an episode (or two) showcasing the best and the worst of a top-rated US import. The first hour and its tense set-up is brilliantly done, involving a patient being brought to the hospital with a bomb inside him (caused after an accident with a home-made bazooka).
The upshot was that almost all of the medical staff were placed in jeopardy, or confronting their relationships. Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) was, of course, at the centre of it all, particularly as she was left holding the bomb (literally) come the cliffhanger finale of part one.
But come the explosive resolution, the show lost any grip it had by once again focusing on the Meredith character and almost forgetting the other people involved!
Digging a little deeper: Let’s get one thing straight. We enjoy Grey’s Anatomy. It’s slick entertainment that’s mostly well-written and contains characters that are easy to identify with, if not always easy to like.
However, despite functioning as an ensemble it places far too much emphasis on the tiresome love life of Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) and McDreamy (Patrick Dempsey), often using medical dilemmas as a metaphor for their situations. It’s often a tedious device that detracts from the otherwise high quality of the show.
In most episodes, there’s enough going on to paper over such cracks. But in the key episodes, they tend to stick out like a sore thumb.
In the double bill It’s The End Of The World As We Know It a cracking scenario self-imploded. And we’d advise you not to read on if you haven’t seen it!!!
Having been caught in an operating theatre with a patient who had a bomb inside of him, Meredith’s life was on the line. So, too, was McDreamy’s – aka Derek Shepherd – given that he’d opted to stay in the neighbouring theatre to continue operating on Bailey’s husband (badly injured in a car crash while rushing to the hospital for the birth of his child).
Bailey, for her part, refused to give birth until her husband could be found, and Shepherd’s wife, Addison Montgomery (Kate Walsh) was faced with attempting to do so whilst being afraid for her husband.
The bomb, when it finally exploded, did kill a bomb disposal expert and injured Meredith. But having devastated a large part of the operating floor, Meredith emerged shaken up but relatively unscathed and everyone – we mean everyone – flocked to tend to her needs.
The deceased bomb expert was all but forgotten; Shepherd was more concerned with finding Meredith than checking in with his own wife, and the show once again became caught up in the emotions of one of its central characters rather than really delivering anything shell-shocking.
Grey’s Anatomy may be one of the top-rated shows in the US at the moment but it lacks the hard-hitting punch (so far) of most of the finest exports.
ER continues to shock every now and again without the need to wallow in lovelorn sentiment; NYPD Blue offered some heart-wrenching moments that showed a blatant disregard for the need to present a happy ending; and even House places cynicism above sentiment on the majority of occasions.
Grey’s sets up some cracking scenarios only to drop the ball by concentrating a little too much on the maddening Meredith character. So much so that the emotional connection doesn’t ring quite so true. The inclination is more to shout at the screen something like “get over yourself”, rather than shedding any tears.
It’s what prevents Grey’s from being truly great and the longer the writers persist in trivialising life or death cases in favour of playing up Meredith’s fragile feelings, the more annoying it will undoubtedly become.
What do you think?