I love it when Grey’s Anatomy is good. In a week when Private Practice made me want to tear my hair out, Grey’s Anatomy made me smile.

Let’s start with Karev. I always liked Izzie so I’ve spent 6 seasons rooting for her to be with my favourite character, Alex. But in the past year I’ve realized that I don’t remember why I liked her. She’s become selfish and hurtful, all the while Karev become more heroic every week. For him to finally put an end to their saga this week was daring but it encompassed their opposing character arcs perfectly: on his way upwards towards redemption and her way downwards to isolation they met for a brief time in the middle.

And as I realize that my love for Izzie is gone, I find it replaced by the most surprising of people: Meredith Grey. I’ve never liked her. I find her voice whiny and her hair wispy and wrist entire too unsubstantial. But since the post-it note wedding, Meredith seems to be so much more than the juvenile “dirty mistress” who once moped around the halls of Seattle Grace. I think the difference is happiness. While “broody” may work for some characters, I prefer my Meredeth not so “dark and twisty”.

In similar news, I’m on the McDreamy bandwagon. I feel like they’ve taken him off his pedestal, effectively making him actually sympathetic. By turning the very phrase “McDreamy” into a joke, Grey’s Anatomy has made Derek Shepherd into a person.

As for the people who were always people, Bailey’s triumphant argument that the chief has checked out was small but perfect; Christina’s plight to have love and learning was engrossing, complex and relatable in an odd Christina-esque way; and Arizona, Mark and Callie stole the show once again.

Easily the most enjoyable aspect of the show has, for months, been the sweet relationship between the always incredibly Callie and the wonderful new character of Arizona. This week was no different as Arizona overcame her desire to keep the relationship “sexy” to let it be ugly and real. But for years now perhaps the most engaging relationship on the show has been between Callie and Mark. They had little more than one short scene together this week but it fully captured everything that makes them wonderful. Their conversational shorthand is so specific it’s like they have their own language, their chemistry is unparalleled and Mark was the only person who knew how to give Callie exactly what she needed. Their scene was simple and perfect and only made better by the complimentary scene between Arizona and Lexi, looking in from the outside on the best friends as they comforted one another.

And Mark and Lexi? They made for a great ending to the episode as they each confessed their transgressions. And Mark, like Karev before him, finally stood up and said, in more eloquent words, “I needed you and you weren’t there”, finally pointing out the real difference between them. On the surface, Lexi is too good for bad boy Mark, but when it comes down to the clutch, it’s Mark who’ll show up to comfort a friend who has chicken pox and Lexi who’ll run scared when the man she loves is in crisis.

The surgery-of-the-week story about a singer who couldn’t live without singing perfectly touched upon the other stories of the episode, a great feat.

So Thursday night TV this week came out on the plus side of the balance. For every awful minute of Private Practice, Grey’s made up the difference. Decent offerings from Community and 30 Rock compensated for an Office clip show and The Deep End was mediocre but far from offensive. Project Runway and Models of the Runway are still sitting on my PVR but it’s a rare week when they disappoint.