Grey's Anatomy: Season 6 - Give Peace a Chance (Review)
Review by Jack Foley
What’s the story? When a lab technician from the hospital has an inoperable tumor wrapped around his spine, he asks Derek (Patrick Dempsey) to do the impossible. Derek tests the Chief, Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr)‘s authority by moving forward with the risky surgery. Meanwhile, Alex (Justin Chambers) continues to be tested emotionally over his situation with Izzie, and the rest of the doctors compete with each other to prove their talents.
Our verdict: Credit where credit is due… Grey’s Anatomy has returned to something approaching top form during the course of its past two episodes, I Saw What I Saw and – most notably – Give Peace A Chance.
With less of an emphasis on the personal lives and selfish tendencies of its chief surgeons, and more of a focus on the medical dilemmas underpinning the show, Grey’s Anatomy has rediscovered some back-bone.
Hence, the battle of wills that’s developing between Patrick Dempsey’s Derek Shepherd and James Pickens Jr’s Richard Webber is a fascinating storyline, given heightened dramatic interest by the clever storylines being weaved around it.
In I Saw What I Saw, for instance, the events surrounding a hospital tragedy were relayed in a Roshomon-style devide as each intern took it in turn to relay the events leading up to a patient’s death, so that the appropriate blame could be apportioned.
It made for gripping viewing, particularly as the identity of the unlucky cuplrit was played so close to the show’s chest.
In Give Peace A Chance, we had a ticking clock style scenario that was triggered when a lab technician from the hospital asks Derek to try and remove an inoperable tumor wrapped around his spine.
Derek agreed… but only after much soul-searching. But in order to try and perform the procedure, he needed to go behind Webber’s back.
The will he/won’t he succeed device ensured that the episode grabbed our attention and the pace was kept taut, the tension high… and there was even some nice humour interspersed between the medical action (such as Lexie’s decision to wear a nappy to gain more OR time).
The escalating rivalry between Derek and Webber resulted in several gasp-inducing showdowns – one involving an unlikely interception by Jessica Capshaw’s Arizona Robbins, the other culminating with Webber telling Derek he was fired.
It was interesting, too, to watch how Derek reacted to this, but Dempsey played it perfectly and is clearly relishing the newfound opportunity to do something other than swan around looking lovelorn after Meredith, or distraught by his own failings.
Rather, with assured authority, he calmly told Webber to go home and think about it, so they could talk it through in the morning. Webber’s crestfallen reaction, as he finally realised he had lost the remaining member of his staff’s loyalty, was nicely underplayed.
Hence, credit where credit is due. By realigning the show’s focus towards tougher, more story-driven episodes, Grey’s Anatomy has rediscovered its mojo. It remains to be seen, however, whether this is just a blip, or whether the remainder of this sixth season can maintain such a high standard.
Read our review of the Season 6 opener, Good Mourning
Grey’s Anatomy: Season 6 is currently airing on Living TV on Thursday nights from 9pm.
- Buy it on DVD (Amazon)
- Grey's Anatomy: Season 6 - Good Mourning review
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- Grey's Anatomy - Season 4: A Change Is Gonna Come review
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- Read our verdict on Grey's Anatomy - Season 2
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- Read our review of Grey's Anatomy - Season 1