I don’t know where to start. Maybe with just stateing that episodes like these are why I love this show so much. This episode was unbelievably awesome from start to finish.
First things first [I’m a huge Mer/Der shipper after all] To me this proposal was just perfect. Because it was so uniquely them. Meredith and Derek, the way they are. For weeks there was all this spoilerish talk and it seemed like everyone involved said that the proposal would be great. Which gave me hope but also made me worry a bit. Because what if the writers’ idea of a great proposal didn’t match with my idea? They have messed up some part of the show recently, so I was worried they would mess this up as well. Make it too forseeable, too cheesy, too romantic. Perfect speech, candles and all. Don’t get me wrong, I would have loved to see Derek propose to Meredith in any way or any setting (well, except just putting the ring box on the kitchen table).
But I really enjoyed how this turned out. Because he isn’t McDreamy for always saying the “romantic” things. He’s McDreamy for saying the “right” things. And yes also for giving her these looks and having this hair and this smile and these eyes and all. The thing is: He gets her. He knows her and what I thought was most important to me: he values the person she is. That was so evident in this scene. More than ever before I think. He loves her with all her baggage and darkness. Because we all have those. He definitely does. And I’m so happy that he finally officially acknowledge that he is just as human and that he needs her to get him through these dark moments.
I loved that he brought all their cases into this, because they fell in love when they were working on these and they share this passion for medicine and science. They are both nerds that way. Remember, he gave her a kidney in a jar once and she totally loved it. So all the brain scans fitted perfectly. And of course it had to happen in an elevator. Just perfect. So, yes, that proposal left me pretty much in bliss and probably would have been enough for me to enjoy this episode immensely.
To top all that though the whole episode was just awesome. I don’t really have any complaints about anyone or any storyline. Well, maybe that there was just little to see of Mark and Lexie, but I didn’t really mind that much this time. I haven’t understood why Mark was in involved with that old lady in the first place. What kind of surgery could she have had that he was needed there? I guess it was just to give him (beside Lexie) something to do :-)
And something else that struck me as rather peculiar, but I guess it’s just the way of TV business. Why on earth did they not shave Izzie’s head? She had brain surgery and it looked like Derek operated on the back of her skull. But all she had later on was a bandage on her forehead? Oh well TV medicine I guess :-)
But now on to the real thing: So, where to start: The chief almost redeemed himself. He wasn’t too obnoxious, he cared, but he didn’t step over any lines. He gave some helpful advice, but stayed in the background besides that. I can live with him if he keeps acting like that.
I loved everyone of the (semi-)maincharacters this week, so it’s really hard to decide about who to write first. It all centred around Izzie somehow so maybe I should start with her. I really felt sorry for her, all alone in her hospital bed with all these operations and treatments ahead and without her friends at her side. She sent them away, but I’m sure she was still hoping that they showed up in between. Alex was just lurking around and it must have broken her heart. Damn, I’m feeling sorry for Izzie Stevens. Way to turn me around, Shonda, after you ruined her character for me during the last two seasons. Anyway it was so sad to see her sitting there, all alone, knitting.
Bailey was finally back to being the awesome hardcore but still so so caring chief resident I grew to love. She wasn’t quite herself when she was searching for her true specialty and her endless bickering with the chief got on my nerves every once in a while. So I was very happy to have the old “Momma-Bear” Bailey back, who cares so much about “her” interns. Trying to entertain Izzie with surgery questions and having faith that Izzie will survive this. It was so sad, when Izzie asked if she really thought she’d be her a year from now.
Then there was Alex. It was such a brilliant idea to have him do the voiceover. It’s always nice to have someone other than Meredith do that every once in a while. And it was so heartbreaking to see him struggle. With himself and his feelings for Izzie and for feeling guilty for not realizing what was wrong. The whole babymaking issue was so sad, even though it provided some funny moments (when he dropped it off at the chief’s lunch table). I really had to cry when Meredith came to talk to him and Alex broke down. Poor Alex. I have always loved Mer/Alex scenes by the way, because they are so much alike. They’ve had a crappy childhood, they have (had) problems to let other people in , they had their share of sex and booze. I just love their connection.
The old lady patient storyline was a wonderful addition as well. It’s such a simple truth, but probably difficult for someone like Alex to actually realize it: “People are better than no people.” Because we all need someone at our side, when times get tough.
I was so happy to hear Alex admit that he wants all these wonderful normal things with Izzie, a future, a baby and it broke my heart [I guess you’ll read that a lot in this review *g*] to see all his dreams come crumbling down. Justin Chambers did an awesome job there. The voiceover in the end was perfect as well, because it was so true. “All the pain and the fear and crap, maybe going through all that is what keeps us moving forward. It’s what pushes us. Maybe we have to get a little messed up before we can step up.” True Grey’s Anatomy wisdom….
I was a bit surprised that George didn’t want to see Izzie, because at the end of last episode he showed up at her bed at once. What has changed within these 24 (or less) hours? Anyway, I understand his anger towards Izzie for not confinding in him, when he asked. His anger at life and God and what else. The whole situation is just so unfair and so hard to deal with. I was also surprised that Callie talked to him about it and that she was the one who told George what really matters at the moment. I’m happy to see that after all the mess they had to go through they still care about each other and are still friends, when it comes down to it. Go, Callie for being the better person and for really forgiving him.
It was great to see Callie and Arizona together again. Dancing and having fun in the beginning and I loved that Arizona was with Callie in the chapel later on. I love those girls and I think they make a great couple. And a very very pretty one! And I loved how protective Callie got when it came to Cristina and Owen. Looking back I could never had thought that Callie and Cristina would become close friends, but they surprised me.
Which leads to Cristina. And of course Owen. Who tried to strangle her in his sleep. OMG, that was so intense. I was shocked and I’d have to say that this storyline is brilliantly written and played out. Kevin McKidd and Sandra Oh both did an amazing job. He is so messed up and feels guilty and she loves him so much and is trying to be the strong one, even though he almost killed her. Just like Meredith I was really worried about Cristina, because this isn’t something that can be ignored. Or just goes away by itself. Even Cristina can’t deal with this on her own as much as she tries to. I have to give her so much credit for standing by Owen through this, for acknowledging that this is a war wound just like a lost limb and for not wanting to give up on him. True and strong love. From Cristina Yang. Who would have thought :-) I love that Owen brings out a new and more emotional side of her. Which made it even sadder when she admitted that she can’t deal with this kind of trauma after all. She was trying so hard to be the strong one and then she had to admit that this is way over her head. Yes, I have to say it: It broke my heart…
It was such a nice change to see Meredith protecting her person this time, whereas it usually was Cristina who “protected” Meredith from McDreamy, back in season 2 and all. And Meredith makes an awesome protector. Especially when she teamed up with Callie on this one. I really liked Meredith a lot in this episode. She might have seeemed rather cool towards Derek, but I don’t think she really meant it that way. In the kitchen and all. Honestly she deserves better than having the ring just put on the table ;-)
Even later outside the scrubroom. She didn’t refuse to say “Yes” to torment him or to blackmail him. She just needed to push him to not give up before he even started the surgery. Derek didn’t ask for absolution in advance in case something goes wrong during surgery. He was hesitant to operate in the first place and was willing to give into his fear and refuse to do the surgery and thus not save Izzie. And I’m with Meredith on this, that their relationship wouldn’t have a chance if he let Izzie die because of his own fears. So it was good she pushed him a little. And she told him she believes in him. That she loves him, which she hasn’t said for ages. At least not on screen. She brought him his freaking ferryboat scrubcap. She gets him, which is just what he needed in this moment. And can I just say that noone can look as cute as Ellen Pompeo when her character is annoyed. Even if just slightly annoyed? The glares to the chief in front of the elevator? Too cute.
And Derek: Poor Derek was still so tormented in the beginning of this episode. He had every right to be though. Still dealing with being responsible for Jen’s death. Being responsible for saving (or killing) Izzie Stevens. Having to endure all the talk behind his back and to his face at the hospital. Alex and Owen and the oncologist. Paddy once again did a wonderful job portraying this internal struggle. Give him an freaking award for this performance, please! It was so sad to see him get ready for the operation, going through the steps and realizing that he is still not feeling ready.
It was so great to see Bailey at his side in the OR, because those two share a special professional relationship as well and it was so wonderful how she supported him when the oncologist once again questioned his abilities. And there was this awesome moment when Dr. Derek Shepherd came back full force. The gifted and talented and capable neurosurgeon who knows exactly what he has to do to save a life. Of course it was equally awesome to see McDreamy came back full force in the elevator, but I wrote so much about that at the beginning of this post already.
I might have liked to see some more Mer/Der talk (sex or anything) after the proposal, but Grey’s wouldn’t be Grey’s if it all were just happily ever after. Because life isn’t. Meredith and Derek might be engaged now, but that doesn’t change the fact that life goes on and that their friends and family are going through hell right now. No engagement bliss can change any of that. Owen still has PTSD, Cristina finally broke down, Izzie still might die… Life is not just happily ever after. Life is messy. And I love this show for telling about all of that too. I don’t love that the next new episode won’t air until April 23th though. That are four freaking weeks! I guess I’ll have some time to rewatch this episode over and over again till then :-)
You said this all so much better than I could have!
I think he *finally* gets her. I always felt that he kinda felt she needed to change to fit with him, it was all about waiting on her to “catch up”, but he’s finally realized that she completes him just the way she is. So not only has she matured and grown a lot, he really has too.
I loved Alex’s voiceover. He should do it more often.
She completes him just the way she is. You got that 100% right. That’s what made this proposal so special to me. And I just had too much time at my hands today :-)