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'Grey's Anatomy' recap: 'Time Stops'

Posted on

ABC/Richard Cartwright

Grey's Anatomy

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson, Sara Ramirez

After last week’s weird, occasionally emotional, generally unsatisfying two-hour episode, this episode (thankfully only one hour) was a return to Grey’s of episodes past—and while the normalcy was welcome, the hour was mostly disappointing.

Part of this disappointment came from the new interns’ arrival because, first of all, who actually cares about new interns? And second of all, who actually cares about new interns when Derek died two episodes ago? Oh, did you forget about that? Because Grey’s did.

Okay, okay, that’s not entirely fair: Meredith and Amelia did have a tense moment near the end of the episode about his death. Amelia’s been upset that Meredith didn’t wait for her to pull the plug on Derek, and all that anger is finally bubbling to the surface in an extremely unproductive but extremely understandable way.

Looking back, it was strange that Meredith didn’t call anyone before she decided to let him go. But not that strange. As she explains, “I didn’t call anyone. I needed time.” It’d be easy to call Meredith selfish—after all, Derek is Amelia’s brother—but, at the same time, she was in shock. The worst thing that could happen to her was happening to her, so who could really expect her to remember to alert people to what was going on? Who could really expect anything out of her at that moment?

Also, what’s done is done. Amelia can be mad at Meredith, but Derek is dead and there’s no changing that. It’s clear that Amelia’s having a hard time accepting that though—”I’m a neurosurgeon,” she tells Meredith. “I could have saved him.” That’s what she keeps repeating: that she could have saved him. Meredith, somehow maintaining her composure, calmly tells her there’s nothing she could have done, which is probably true. Even if it isn’t, again, what’s done is done.

There’s no need to take sides here because both responses make sense within the context of grief. They’re both struggling, and Amelia’s taking her anger that her brother is dead out on her sister-in-law. It’s not the healthiest thing to do, but it isn’t Amelia being crazy or irrational. It’s Amelia feeling—actually feeling, like what Owen advised her to do in the previous episode. And that is healthy.

But there are consequences. As soon as Amelia leaves, Meredith breaks down in violent sobs. Imagining the guilt and sadness she must feel at that moment is enough to make my stomach turn. Not only is she without her husband, but now his sister is mad at her for something she can’t fix.

It’s not all bad for Mer, though. At the end of the episode, she admits to Alex that she doesn’t feel at home anymore. “I go home every night to my house and it’s not my house. It was my and Derek’s house. And now he’s gone,” she says. “And it really just feels like a house.” She wants to be home, though—don’t we all?—so asks if she and the kids can crash with him for a while. He says yes, of course. Looks like Alex is about to be taking on some dad-like duties (which will probably make the grumpy Karev even more lovable than he already is).

All this is happening on the day Webber and Catherine are supposed to get married. But, alas, this is Grey’s Anatomy, and weddings just don’t happen on Grey’s Anatomy. A tunnel crashes during the morning commute, sending the hospital rushing to save the victims—and sending both Webber and Catherine to the ER. “This is number 537 why you and I are made for one another,” Webber tells Catherine once he realizes they both are prioritizing work over their wedding.

NEXT: The wedding’s off. [pagebreak]

Webber and Catherine’s pre-honeymoon phase doesn’t last for long though, as she gets mad at him later on. Owen suggests they put one of the crash victims in suspended animation—what Jackson dubs “science fiction”—and Webber gives him the go ahead despite Jackson’s serious doubts. For those not familiar with suspended animation nor science fiction, suspended animation is inducing hypothermia in a human so they can be brought back to life at a later period. It’s not entirely possible yet, but according to Grey’s, it will be in 2016.

They go through with it and it works—the patient’s heartbeat returns once he’s revived—but Catherine’s pissed that Webber would jeopardize the hospital’s reputation by doing something so risky. Webber’s opinion is that he had to do whatever he could to save the patient’s life. This is a typical Webber-Catherine problem: He’s emotional about work, she’s cold about it. This is why they will never work. Stop trying to make it happen, Grey’s. Please.

Jackson’s love life isn’t going too well, either. Ever since April’s returned from working in the army, they’ve been on two different levels and he doesn’t know how they can return to normal. Owen—who, by the way, is resigning as chief—advises him to give her time. She, on the other hand, seems to be doing okay: She’s on the scene at the crash trying to rescue a man trapped under a car.

At first, she, Maggie, Grey, and Amelia are all trying to save him, but then Amelia calls it (mostly) quits: She insists that the other three go try to save people who can be saved, and it seems like she’s giving up on the trapped guy. But at the end of the episode, she arrives to the hospital with the trapped guy—and the car he’s trapped under—in tow. If he’s closer to the hospital, she tells the three when they rush out, he might have a chance. It’s cool and all that this guy has a chance now, but it’s also so, so ridiculous. How did April suddenly change her mind?

While I’m glad this was a more run-of-the-mill Grey’s episode, I’m also bored by it. Like last week, there wasn’t nearly enough Meredith, and the whole time jump seems more and more like a cop-out. Sure, she and Amelia are still struggling with grief a year after Derek’s death, but the show basically skipped over Meredith’s entire immediate process. It’s not that I particularly wanted to see Meredith fall apart, but I want to at least see more of her and her response to what’s going on. Like, really: Who decided now was the time to bring in more interns and take some of the spotlight away from Mer?

Although I’m all-around down on the show at this point, I am intrigued by Alex and Meredith’s growing friendship. Now that she’s moving in with him, there might be a return to old times—albeit with three kids in tow, but old times nonetheless. Unless they decide to kill him off, too. (I wish I were joking.)


  • Maggie has a heated phone conversation with her mom, but we don’t get to hear what the conversation is about. At first, I thought it might have something to do with that head injury she never got checked out earlier in the season (still waiting for the show to return to that)—but it seems like it might have something to do with her family instead.
  • Karev and Wilson get in an argument that ends with Karev saying he has roots in Seattle. “I’m not walking away, not from this,” he says. It’s sweet to see him attached to something, and especially sweet knowing that Meredith is part of that attachment. Hooray for loyalty!
  • One of the new interns reminds me of Spencer Pratt from The Hills, and I am not happy about it.