Grey's Anatomy: Season 6 - Good Mourning (Review)
Review by Jack Foley
What’s the story? The hospital staff are left to deal with the aftermath of George’s passing. Hitting them hard, they all find unique ways to get through the various stages of grief. George’s mum returns, faced with the difficult task of deciding what to do with his organs. Elsewhere, the Chief (James Pickens Jr.) must deal with a shocking blow to his career, Derek (Patrick Dempsey) receives an unexpected job offer, and Lexie (Chyler Leigh) is asked to befriend a young female patient with serious injuries and no support system at her side.
Our verdict: I had high hopes for the return of Grey’s Anatomy given the traumatic events of the closing episode of Season 5. Alas, this season opener fluffed its lines big time.
The selfishness that marks almost every one of the show’s principal characters continued to be an achilles’ heel – as is the need to pile on melodrama.
The very best shows, such as ER, treated the big moments with subtlety instead of overdoing things. Grey’s Anatomy‘s writers, meanwhile, opt to bludgeon you over the head with an overdose of cheesy emotion and sentiment… then attempt to offset it by falling back on quirky humour.
Hence, the aftermath of George’s death had both. Izzie (Katherine Heigl), who had just emerged from her own near-death experience with cancer, was forced to hear of George’s death hours after being pulled back from the brink. And then, to add stupidity to injury, had to decide what to do with his organs after George’s mother bailed out of it herself.
There were tears, of course… but incredibly not from the people most likely to shed them. Rather, Izzie, Alex, Meredith and Cristina burst into laughter at the funeral… because George had been hit by a bus and because the person he was trying to save was inconsolable with grief.
The scene smacked of insensitivity and desperation. It felt staged. And it felt symptomatic of Grey’s Anatomy‘s fall from grace in recent seasons. Try comparing it to the emotional impact of Greg Pratt’s departure from ER as an example of what I mean.
Elsewhere, the dud plot-points continued to amass. And here’s just a few of them by way of recap…
- Having been offered The Chief’s position, Derek (Dempsey) chose to give his colleague a heads-up and warn him of the board’s impending plans to replace him. Rather than embrace the act of friendship, Richard Webber took it out on Derek and repeatedly asked for more time, before making one bad decision after another to further underline his growing incompetence. If we were expected to sympathise with him, we didn’t.
- Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) was unable to work in the aftermath of George’s death and dropped attitude laden outbursts to any colleague foolish enough to ask for her opinion. A supposedly touching moment between her and Arizona Robbins (Jessica Capshaw) on a bench outside the hospital was actually more frustrating as we were once again asked to sympathise and ‘admire’ someone whose actions weren’t worthy of either.
- Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez) made a play for a promotion, only to be shouted down by Webber. She then stormed angrily out before descending into tears and locking herself away. This, only moments after she was seen deferring the decision on what to do with ex-husband George’s organs to the still-recovering Izzie. Again, highly uneven in terms of character and hugely frustrating to have to watch.
We could go on… but this first hour was traumatic only in that it kept annoying this particular viewer with its variously contrived plot machinations.
And as if to underline the inherent selfishness on show, a patient who had been brought in following a boating accident and befriended by Lexie during her rehab selfishly let fly with an outburst in which she declared she’d rather be dead than faced with a life of limited use of her arms and only one leg.
One hour in and Season 6 of Grey’s Anatomy already looks like being a tall order to want to complete!
Grey’s Anatomy is on Living TV at 10pm on Thursday nights.
- Buy it on DVD (Amazon)
- Grey's Anatomy - Season 4 (Season review)
- Grey's Anatomy - Season 4: Freedom (season finale review)
- Grey's Anatomy - Season 4: A Change Is Gonna Come review
- Grey's Anatomy - Season 3 (Review)
- Grey's Anatomy - Season 3: Drowning On Dry Land review
- Grey's Anatomy - Season 3: What I Am review
- Read our verdict on Grey's Anatomy - Season 2
- Grey's Anatomy soundtracks 1 & 2 reviewed
- Read our review of Grey's Anatomy - Season 1