"People across the country think the man is insane." - A Race of Angels, Michael & The Force
A funny thing happened on the way to the coliseum: Grey's Anatomy became my favorite show on TV again. Perhaps it's the departure of Katherine Heigl or my general love for shows with ethnically diverse well rounded casts (hi Community and Fringe) but I think it's the return to focusing on strong women in emotionally honest ways.
Last night's episode featured some wonderful scene work from Ellen Pompeo and Sandra Oh. Their scenes together tend to be the strongest on the show often but, for me, I am always most pulled in when they are being friends to each other. Real friends. These are damaged people. They know they are damaged. They are also highly motivated and cocky and funny and bull headed and different from each other. They are rarely on the same emotional plane. Meredith Grey has moved past being "dark & twisty" to being, perhaps, the most emotionally stable person in the primary cast. Meanwhile, Cristina Yang has been through some shit lately. That's the only way to explain it. She's been rubbed raw.
So, last night, as she went through a PTSD episode on the floor of an OR and her best friend—her person—comes in and lays on the floor next to her and gets her through by reminding her she does still feel, that she is still alive, if only because she can see and touch her. That she can look in her eyes and hold her hand, well, I was moved. When they follow it up with another honest conversation, with more friendship, well, damn, that's powerful tv.
I especially enjoyed Ellen Pompeo's delivery of this line: "I'd already fixed her just before you came in. Nice speech, though." It speaks to who she is as a character.
And then there's Chandra Wilson's Miranda Bailey. With George gone from the show (and missed), she's clearly the moral and emotional center of Seattle Grace and while she's getting a lot of great small moments to work with so far this season, I keep thinking about last season's finale. I still have the episode on my DVR even though I haven't been able to bring myself to watch it again. What I remember, though, the images I see clearly from that episode are of her face. Her terror. Her sadness. Her fight.
GA does a better job of connecting with me emotionally than any other show on TV. For all the ridiculous medicine and over-the-top relationship drama, I always believe what these characters feel.
In a season of really bad new TV shows, I'm happy to have this old favorite back and in fine form.