This week, Grey’s Anatomy turned 100… in style. They celebrated with big drama, big trauma, balloons, flowers, sex and wedding cake. But something was burried in all the hoopla, my favourite stuff in fact.
The episode previous, episode 99, was small. It was about family and forgiveness and some flimsy metaphor about “saying you’re sorry”. But beneath its contrived exterior, episode 99 was full of heart. In small ways it spoke to who the characters really are, and in the process it brought me to tears. Izzie’s mother, Owen’s struggle, Bailey’s brave face and even Callie’s confusion (and, of course a guest stint from former TV first daughter Ellie Bartlett) were remarkable.
This week, amidst the sequins and sorrow of number 100, there were very few moments of truth that found their way to the screen.
Sure, knowing that nothing but death can tear Karev and Izzie apart makes me incredibly happy (and, for the record, I don’t think she’ll die. That would be bad story telling AND bad business) but the plot was so obvious and the writing so full of grandeur that I didn’t believe what they were saying (a problem usually never associated with the ever-genuine Alex Karev). Alex’s plagiarized wedding vows, Owen’s speech about teamwork and Denny’s “I’m here for you Iz” read like nothing more than melodrama. It wasn’t until George took Izzie’s arm to walk her down the isle (George, of course, being the perfect person for that job, on so many levels) that I started to buy into the episode.
I didn’t gasp at how beautiful Izzie looked in her gown (although, in what world are Ellen Pompeo and Katherine Heigl exactly the same size?) or weep at the sight of the several dead students from the trauma of the week and I certainly didn’t get caught up in the wonder of that montage during Izzie’s brain scan. It wasn’t that sort of show stopping scene that moved me.
Rather, the moment of this grand episode that rang truest, most complex, most bittersweet and most affecting? Alex Karev, speaking in his own words for the first time all episode, saying “my wife is hot” as he kissed Izzie’s bald head and the series’ landmark episode cut to black.