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Grey's Anatomy: Season 3 - Time Has Come Today (Review)

Grey's Anatomy

Review by Jack Foley

INDIELONDON singles out notable episodes from current television series for stand-alone reviews. On this occasion we take a look at the first episode of Grey’s Anatomy Season 3 entitled Time Has Come Today.

What’s the story? Izzie (Katherine Heigl) struggles to come to terms with the death of her fiancé, Denny (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), as well as her decision to quit the internship programme. Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) has to face the music after sleeping with Derek – aka McDreamy – (Patrick Dempsey) at the hospital prom party and George (TR Knight) seeks relationship advice from an unlikely source.

Was it any good? Grey’s Anatomy remains the show that you hate to love as much as you love to hate (if that makes any sense). Strong storylines continue to jostle for position with saccharine anecdotes about the love-lorn nature of the docs who work at the Seattle hospital. Meredith, for instance, is more obsessed than ever with her romantic woes, while even the usually reliable likes of George and Dr Addison-Montgomery Shepherd (Kate Walsh) seemed a little more distracted than normal.

The main dramatic thrust came from a potential outbreak of the plague at the hospital, as well as the discovery of a newborn baby that had been thrown into a school waste paper bin with its unbilical chord still attached. Could Addison and Alex Karev (Justin Chambers) figure out which of the assembled schoolgirls was the mum? It was these story strands that proved the most riveting.

Digging a little deeper: It’s been some time since UK viewers have had the chance to catch up with Grey’s Anatomy on terrestrial TV and, needless to say, we’re still some way behind the US (despite the best efforts of the writers’ strike). But all of the ailments that existed in seasons one and two continued to bedevil the start of season three.

Shonda Rhimes and her creative team don’t always strike the right balance between the hospital drama and the melodrama and Time Has Come Today felt like a classic case in point.

Izzie (Heigl) spent the entire episode on the floor, being consoled by colleagues, as she attempted to come to terms with the death of Denny, while Meredith (Pompeo) started to tackle her umpteenth “should I/shouldn’t I” dilemma with McDreamy. Quite why any man would still be that devoted or understanding to her plight is beyond me.

But having reignited the flames of passion with Derek at the tail end of last season, which meant cheating on current beau Dr Finn (Chris O’Donnell), both of her suitors seemed mightily calm. Finn, for example, swung by the house to say that, yes, he was a little peeved (or pissed off I think he used), but wanted to throw his “hat in the ring” because he was the good guy to Derek’s bad.

While Derek, having had to bide his time in quarantine, paid a visit towards the end of the episode to inform Meredith that he still loved her, and that she could take all the time she needed to make a decision about them. How sweet… especially for a cheater.

Why is it that men go misty-eyed at the sight of Meredith? Dempsey, in particular, seems awe-struck every time he sees her, which kind of lessens the value of his otherwise solid character. Surely it’s time to get a grip!

Elsewhere, George – who shared quarantine with Derek – agonized over his inability to express his feelings towards Dr Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez), only to blow his big moment once he was reunited with her. Yawn.

And even hospital chief Dr Richard Webber (James Pickens Jnr) was saddled with an ultimatum: his wife or work; a potential crisis blunted by the minimal screen-time afforded to his wife thus far.

Thank goodness, then, for at least one really strong sub-plot involving the abandoned baby, which provided plenty of opportunity for Addison and Alex to mull over the ethics and morals of the situation, whilst playing medical detectives to find the real mom. It was sensitively handled and evidence of the show at its hard-hitting best (even though it still falls some way short of ER‘s standards).

As for the plague… well, someone came in with it, another person died from it, they were related and it tore the survivor apart. But their story was pushed so far into the background, it failed to carry the impact it should, which seemed like a real waste of potential. But then there’s always another tearful Meredith moment to get back to…

I mustn’t be too scathing, though. For all its flaws, Grey’s Anatomy remains amiable enough viewing: the frothy soap to ER‘s grit. It’s undemanding, pretty to look at and – on its day – fairly emotional. And, if nothing else, it’s good to have it back as the melodrama does, at least, gives you plenty to vent about…

What did you think?