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Grey's Anatomy season premiere recap: Aftermath Test

Seattle Grace works through the effects of last season’s shooting rampage — and reinvigorates itself in the process.

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Greys Anatomy Pompeo
Peter Hopper Stone/ABC

Grey's Anatomy

TV Show
run date:
Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson, Justin Chambers, James Pickens Jr., Kevin McKidd, Jessica Capshaw
Current Status:
In Season

Meredith voiceover-ing about how “the human body regenerates, on average, every seven years” was no accident — the Grey’s Anatomy gang started their seventh season dealing with the aftermath of the stunning sixth season-finale shooting rampage, seeking redemption, and finding regeneration. And as far as I’m concerned, they all should be cleared to operate — I’m prepared to call this the best kickoff in several seasons, even including George’s funeral of ’09. That felt like a goodbye, a closing down of possibilities, too much to do with the behind-the-scenes politics of T.R. Knight leaving the show; this felt like lots of new storytelling possibilities opening up, no small feat at this point in the Grey’s timeline. Is it okay, since the shooter was a fictional shooter, to say I wish they’d gone and terrorized the place a few years ago? I think it is. Maybe if they had, we would’ve avoided far worse debacles, like George and Izzie, and Izzie and Ghost Denny, and that boring doctor with Asperger’s.

So, welcome back to Seattle Grace, Grey’s watchers — let’s give a good, thorough evaluation to each of the major elements in tonight’s episode, just like trauma counselor Andrew Perkins would:

The New Guy

Since we’re on the subject, let’s talk about the addition of James Tupper as Perkins, who’s charged with determining which docs are psychologically fit to return to surgery and which ones are still too weighed down with PTSD. In a word: Sigh. In several words: If I were a doctor at Seattle Grace, I would consider purposely acting crazy to continue to see him. I’ve loved him since Men in Trees, and that is the kind of love that never dies. As a bonus, he made for a fine framing device in tonight’s episode. With a few months having passed off camera since the shooting, the doctors’ sessions with him allowed for both flashbacks to the shooting to refresh our memories, and glimpses at important stuff that happened since then. And I have to admit, I was taken aback by how emotional I still felt during the scenes from the hostage/murder rampage scenario. Just when you think this show is down, it shoots everything up and starts over. That’s good TV-making, folks. Here’s to hoping it continues.

I realize I’m now giving Tupper credit for lots of things far beyond his personal contributions, but that doesn’t change the fact that I would happily spend my life running my fingers through his tresses and petting his perfect facial hair. If I were also watching Grey’s while that happened, so much the better. And does he not look like he belongs there, like he’s been there the whole time? Grey’s guys have a look, and he’s the prototype. For this and so much more, he gets an A.

NEXT: “I’m not wearing white. It’s sexist, and vaguely racist.”