|My Review of 6.18 - "Suicide is Painless"|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 28 March 2010 19:36|
Grey's ratings came in 2nd this week to college basketball. Next week, it's going up against The Mentalist as CBS decided to switch it with CSI to see how it does against Grey's. Eek. Read on for my full review.
So the episode turned out to be the Huntlet show. I knew the Owen/assisted-suicide patient storyline would be the main one, complete with the incredibly hyped flashbacks, but my bad, I didn't expect it to be an Owen-centric ep (he even got to do the voiceover!). There wasn't much in the episode for people who are not Owen fans, and I doubt the Cris/Owen shippers enjoyed much of it, either, due to the amount of Teddy/Owen interaction and the undertone of their relationship (which gave off a romantic vibe, as far as everyone around them was concerned). I'm not s ure where the writers are going with the Teddy/Huntlet relationship. Continuing to highlight their history and feelings for each other is not going to endear Teddy to the viewers, especially if the writers plan to draw her back into the triangle before the season ends. I was also hoping that a little more progress would be made at the end of the ep (rather than him shutting Cristina out again). He continues to be plagued at the end of the ep as he was at the beginning, as he was 2 years ago. Maybe there's a chance that he came to terms with it internally last night and he'll repress it until something else triggers it and then we revisit it next season...again. I know in reality, PTSD does not go away easily and is a very real and ongoing issue; but that being said, this is a one hour show and he is one of many (is it 12?) series regular, and I was hoping that something would happen to inch towards a resolution rather than sort of leaving it as a cliffhanger.
And why am I not surprised that it's another cliffhanger for Callie & Arizona fans. The baby issue is too good and legitimate of a topic for the writers not to turn into a mini arc, because if this got resolved in an episode, what else are they going to come up with that doesn't have to do with a 3rd party? So we ought to feel relieved that at least the conflict is a believable one. That's not to say that the ep was not a disappointing one in terms of Callie and Arizona screen time. I need to stop setting myself up whenever I see them mentioned in the press release.
To recap the Callie/Arizona storyline...
Arizona and Mark are hanging out in the lab while Callie's hard at work on her cartilage construction. Arizona, in pigtails again, has apparently decided that the best way to bond with her patients is to physically resemble them. And Mark, who is millions of years behind on the evolutionary scale, is lauding the merits of communication while standing upright. It's a chance to find out random things that you never wanted to know about someone, like the fact that Teddy prefers the word "damp" to "moist". (hmm... sharing idiosyncrasies by the third date - are things heating up or what?). Arizona looks slightly disturbed by this weird factoid about her newest friend, as Mark announces proudly that he's growing again! He's like... grown! (coming from Mark Sloan, that just makes me feel icky). Callie, who's usually much more gossipy, appears to be ignoring the chitchat between Mark and Arizona and has her full attention on her microscope and making the others look like slackers.
Arizona: She's busy making cartilage from scratch. She's a little preoccupied these days. It's super hot.
Callie looks at her and gives her a slightly forced smile.
Arizona: I'm going to be late. <leans in and gives Callie a peck>
How momentous! We got a kiss, albeit a quick one! I can confirm that if you freeze frame it, their lips indeed touch (And nooooo..that did not sound obsessive at all...). At least they have moved past the camera trickery. Such progress.
After Arizona is barely out of the door, Callie drops the hardworking routine and blurts to Mark that, "She doesn't want kids. Arizona doesn't want kids. In her womb, in her house..." and tells Mark that she hasn't brought it up with Arizona because they were doing so great and that she "doesn't want to ruin it by being the crazy desperate girl with the aching womb". Mark points out that "it's better than being a crazy, childless woman who sits at the playground watching the children play. They have laws for people like that". Hmm... he does have a point there, because that is a scary prospect.
The awkward smile from Callie after AZ said that she's preoccupied with making cartilage is very telling, isn't it? It seems to indicate that Callie's been spending quite a bit of time alone in the lab since the last episode and avoiding an oblivious AZ.
At lunchtime, all the attendings converge on the table that Owen's sitting at. Arizona starts to fret about her lunch even before sitting down.
Arizona: My lunch is making me sad, and I haven't started eating it yet.
Mark: <who is again chomping on an apple, whispers to Callie> Say something.
Callie: Shut up.
Arizona: I was gonna go for lasagna. I don't know why I didn't pull the trigger.
Mark: Say it!
Callie: Shut up!
Arizona: Say what? <sips on her gurgly and prematurely empty drink>
Just then, Richard approaches the table with his tray, clearly waiting for an invite from someone, anyone, to join them. Everyone looks up at him awkwardly while chomping on fruits/vegetables or looking up from the newspaper. The whole scene is turning out to be one from a bad after-school special. Richard belatedly takes the hint and goes away to find a cubby hole to eat his lunch in.
As the clique resumes their lunch, Callie glances warily at Arizona while Mark presses...
Mark: If you don't say it, you are going to regret it for a long, looong time.
Arizona: Okay, what is it with you two? <starts to look a little suspicious>
Just then, Teddy swoops down on Huntlet and confronts him on his shady, behind-the-scene dealings in an attempt thwart her patient's wish to die. Teddy is furious, and rightly so, and gives him a piece of her mind. Huntlet knows that Teddy's right, and walks off because he cannot defend his actions.
Throughout the episode, Callie has been treating two men who were injured in an avalanche while attempting to heli ski, accompanied by their friend who valued his life a little more and drew the line at this particular extreme adventure. It turns out that none of them really wanted to do these adventures and were in fact all wusses inside. They have only been putting up a front so as to not disappoint the other guys. How sweet of them. Callie bursts their bubble of bravado, and the three doofuses are relieved that they could go on living their mundane lives without any pressure to be exciting or cool.
Bolstered by the positive outcome of being honest, as witnessed earlier among her patients, Callie goes home and confronts Arizona about what has been troubling her:
Callie: Um... this is really hard for me to say, 'cos I really care about you...and...
Arizona: <in a panicked ramble> Oh my god.. you're breaking up with me. Mark? Is it is it is it Mark? Are you sleeping with Mark again? 'Cos are you one of those fake lesbians? Just having a va-va-va-va-vacation in Lesbianland?
(Totally understand why AZ reacted the way she did, especially after the whispering between Callie and Mark in the cafeteria. What's a girl to think when you say stuff like this, other than assume that you are trying to let her down easy? I know Callie meant that she doesn't want to upset her with the baby thing or fear that she'll run away, but her choice of words could've been less worry-inducing...)
Callie: Stop. God... it's not bad. This thing I have to tell you isn't bad.
Arizona eyes Callie with so much fear and uncertainty it makes my heart break a little.
Callie: I want to have a baby.
In a split second, Arizona's expression of fear turns into one of stunned disappointment and sort of a half-wince, as her initial thought seems to be, "no no no no no... this is not happening...this is not going to work". Right after Callie says, "I want to have a baby", AZ's shoulders just fall in resignation.
Callie: ...At some point. In my life. That's all. I really.... I have to have a baby. <sounding almost desperate and expressed with so much sincerity as she implores Arizona to understand her and be on the same page>
Arizona continues to stare at Callie speechlessly, and we see her hands almost lifelessly pulling away from Callie's. And what to make of the expression on AZ's face? I could see a tinge of hopelessness. Assuming that she has lived with her preference of not wanting children of her own for so long, and to now be confronted with someone she sees her future with who wants to have kids, her knee-jerk reaction would be to think that this is an irreconcilable difference and that they are doomed. I would think fear and hopelessness first come to mind before rationality kicks in, that maybe they could work through it. The whole thing just felt like it was in slow motion.
Sigh. That hurts to watch. I never thought I would ever see Arizona do something like that, pulling her hands away from Callie. I suppose she was just overwhelmed by the revelation - to be faced with this relationship-threatening type of hurdle out of the blue. I guess she pulled away as she was at a loss of how to process it and not so much repulsed by what Callie just communicated. Poor Callie. She mustered so much courage to finally be honest with Arizona, and this is the response she gets. The look on her face is the realization that they are in trouble.
AZ's ramble about fake lesbians and vacations in Lesbianland gives us a glimpse of all the insecurities that she keeps under wraps on a daily basis. As we have seen, they tend to spew forth during stressful situations (i.e. Callie considering moving to Portland, her freakout in 5.22 after Callie bolts on their date at the fancy restaurant, finding out that Callie's only dated only one woman before). The girl clearly has some issues. Adore the complexity of her character. If the writers are bothering to give her these dimensions, I hope they take a step further and delve into them in future eps.
I am relieved that Callie added the "at some point". I was worried after seeing the sneak peek on The View that she wanted to have a baby like tomorrow. Phew, at least that's sensible.
Sara and JCap just pack a punch in their short scenes. Certainly more impactful than an hour of Owen. But I'm probably biased.
So where do we go from here? Clearly, the writers do not want to resolve it right away. From the CTV promos for next week's episode, we see Callie joking with Mark in one scene, and then looks dazed as she asks Bailey when is a good time to have kids? Then in the promo stills, we see Mark/Callie/AZ smiling beside the pastry cart with their necklaces on. So given that things still look okay, my guess would be that AZ stalls a bit and tells Callie that maybe, when the time is right, or something to that effect. That'll mean that the writers can drag this on for another couple of eps. I have a feeling when "you-know-who" returns in ep 20, sh*t may hit the fan and what Callie offered earlier may come back to haunt her. In any case, I just want to see some kind of conversation between Callie and AZ rather than poof, the next morning, they meet up at the pastry cart and everything's A-Okay again. <roll eyes>
I just have a minor beef that I have to address. Now just to make it clear, I think Mark is a great character and very much enjoy his presence on the show. Mark and Callie have undeniable chemistry, particularly from a comedic standpoint, and it is great for Callie to have a best friend whom she can share with. And Mark has been there for Callie throughout the seasons so I get their deep connection. Don't get me wrong - I do enjoy their scenes a lot. And I don't mind having scenes with Callie/Arizona/Mark. It' ;s just that of late, aside from these group scenes, I feel that we have gotten more Callie/Mark scenes alone than Callie/Arizona scenes. Of course, it may be attributed to all the drama that Mark has been going through and Callie is his main source of support. We just see a lot more communication between Mark and Callie (especially when Callie has a problem herself like in this ep) than between Callie and Arizona, which makes AZ seem like the outsider in this case (i.e. the cafeteria scene). I have no problems with Callie running to Mark with her relationship problems, as it is a natural thing to do with one's best friend; what irked me a little is Callie sharing his problems with Mark for most of the hour and then have a 1 minute talk with Arizona at the end. Perhaps they are trying to drag out this storyline, and this ep was about Callie's internal struggle over whether she should be honest with AZ. The bottom line is, I'm hoping there'll be more communication between Callie & AZ in the next episode.
It's great for Mark and Callie to be tight and be portrayed as BFFs, just not at the expense of the development of Callie and Arizona's relationship because there is only so much screen time available. I'm no expert on Mer/Der and Cristina, but it seems that even though Mer and Cris share everything, we still see Mer communicate with Derek on screen afterwards. It's like Cristina adds to Mer/Der's relationship but does not take over it. Even though the drama is supposed to be between Callie/AZ in this ep, I think we saw more of Callie/Mark.
Someone on the TWoP boards wrote that Shonda tries to please both Callie/Arizona shippers and Mark/Callie shippers because both have strong followings. So she tries to compromise by having Callie be in a relationship with Arizona but have more screen time with Mark. It may be a somewhat cynical take on things, but definitely has some truth to it.
I'm liking the Mark/Teddy chemistry, especially the slap in the face to Owen when she sought Mark's help after Owen got all self-righteous on her. The Mark/Teddy chemistry is more evident after one episode than between Huntlet/Teddy after 10 eps and counting. Mark brings injects some levity to Teddy's character, which makes her so much more likeable. Like that tiny scene with him misunderstanding and bringing up arena football of all things when she approached him about assisted suicide. Everything's so easy and not laborious as it is with the tragic Huntlet. She and Owen are both intense people and just feed off each other's angst when together. I'm going to be very disappointed if the writers are mashing Teddy and Mark together just to create jealousy in Huntlet, and then Mark is the one who gets hurt at the end of all this. Let him grow and be happy, for crying out loud.
This is unexpected, but I'm still enjoying the Richard storyline, mainly for the pure entertainment value of seeing him try to fit in with the guys. The scene in the OR is probably the highlight of the ep for me:
Richard: <to nurse> Can you find out if Dr. Bailey's 'on her way?
Richard: If I wasn't happily married, I'd hit her. I'd hit her hard.
Alex, Nosedive, and Jackson all looking at each other uncomfortably.
Alex: Sir, I think what you wanted to say was "hit that".
Right. Wouldn't want suggestions of physical abuse and sexual harassment mixed up now.
Bailey: <appearing out of nowhere> I don't think you wanted to say that at all. <in a highly unamused tone>
I will also say that it's a rare feel-good story of redemption, and yes, I know that's what the writers want me to feel. I'm such a sucker for sap. I will lose it if they actually wrote a moving scene between Callie & Arizona.
Derek put a serious dent in his McDreaminess when he decided to abuse his power and pull the surgery from under Meredith and Shadow Shepherd. Well, actually, April, who's been Shepherd's real shadow of late, was the one sent to do the dirty work. What an arse. First he steals the surgery, then he won't let her on his service because it'll look like favoritism. Good for her for screaming and stomping her feet over it. Public humiliation was what he deserved. But yay! The return of Shadow Shepherd! That little guy never ceases to crack me up. Hilarious that both Cris and Mer have each cozied up to Shadow Shepherd to get surgeries. The whole Whoville, Cindy Lou spiel from Jackson was a little over the top, though. Thought he was going to bring into song or something...
This episode really show how extraneous the Mercy Westers really are. They serve no purpose except to look like extras in the background. Begone, I say!
Sara Gilbert was amazing in her role as the assisted-suicide patient. The storyline could have been a stand-alone one without it being an anvil for Owen. I think I would've felt that story and Sara Gilbert's performance even more if it didn't alternate so much with the flashbacks. What a courageous woman her character was. She saw everything with such clarity.
Also enjoyed Cristina's human side and the sensitivity she displayed when dealing with the patient. And I have never admired Cris' candor more than when she told the patient straight up that the extra procedure was just the hospital covering its ass. False hope is a dangerous thing.
Teddy looked really good in this ep. I think it's the hair.
Necklace update: still have them on, and especially visible in the heartbreak scene.