Mega Spoiler Alert — no one dies, but someone does leave, and it’s actually worse than the parking lot of no return — that secret place where characters like Erica Hahn and Callie Torres get banished to when they walk out mysteriously. The Malibu Beach House Paradise of no return strikes again. We all knew Megan Hunt was leaving. (The actress is on another series, and yay, she was conflict-itis from the moment she rose up from the dead.) But apparently she bagged Riggs and took him with her. On one hand it’s sort of exciting to see the happily ever after as it is so fondly reminiscent of a scene gone by where Derek, Meredith, and Zola would dance around the living room, or some such fondness. That adorable little wave-chasing scene with the three of them at the close of the episode was vomit-inducingly precious. And it was actually really touching on an emotionally deep level watching Farouk struggle to adjust to life in America and the way Nathan handled that. But basically all that nonsense boils down to is once again Meredith is not allowed to find happiness after Derek and regrow her family.
Of course, this begs the question now that Owen and Amelia are split — second spoiler they split up at the end of the episode — will that become a thing? I’m sure it’s been shipped, Owen/Mer before, not that I’m particularly fond of it, but she’s Christina’s best friend, she’s Amelia’s sister, and she has kids. Owen wants kids and had not-quite-right relationships with both Christina and Amelia. And the kids already know him well, Bailey even calls him Owen. So why not? But let’s not think on that now. Amelia, for what it’s worth, barely makes an appearance in the episode because 50% of it is spent in flashbacks — featuring Teddy (hello and goodbye one more time Kim Raver) — and the other half is spent either in the car arguing with Megan and Owen or at the house failing to be construction workers with Farouk and Riggs.
Teddy, as a character, redeemed herself in her flashback scenes, really taking Nathan to task over cheating — and even worse, getting caught with another girl’s necklace and then turning it into a proposal — and then still having a human string of compassion and saying that if he speaks the truth then he does stand a chance. FYI, Shonda: “side piece” was highly unlikely to be a term used in ’07 for your mistress, but at least you didn’t say Bae. Getting to further explore the dynamic of how controlling Owen has always been was a really great thing that was fleshed out all through the arguments — both in present drive moments and in the past. Way to go Shonda for never failing to augment that major character flaw of his.
I still think she’s dead wrong about the happily ever after with Riggs and Megan, though. You don’t disappear for ten years and pick up just like nothing happened. I mean he did fall in love with Meredith. He chased her down for over a year. And Megan grew and changed and surely that’s not going to end well for them? But I guess we’re not allowed to care since they’ve been relegated to the Malibu Beach Paradise of no return. Just like we’re not meant to remember or care about Callie and Penny (and the fact that maybe they’re in hell since Sofia texted Arizona at the end of episode 4 saying she wanted to move home) in the NYC parking lot of no return, or the fact that Cristina and Ross used to hook up and she took him to Zurich with her in the Switzerland parking lot of no return. All these little neatly done away with “happily ever afters” just don’t really fly in the land of “Seattle Grace Mercy Death.”
Obviously we know Ben Warren is leaving in a few weeks’ time, or whenever they launch the “doomed-to-failure” spin-off featuring the fire fighters/EMT first responders series. It’s sort of like Addison, though I don’t think we’ll miss Ben as much. He at this point now just provides sexy comic relief wherever Bailey is concerned. This week just felt really disappointing, on the whole, as an episode. Like Shonda put in the bare minimum to make the episode work as a flashback — and the sound overlap between memory and live-time was horrible and distorted rather than smooth and seamless — and because somebody somewhere got a happy ending we’re supposed to forgive the rest of it. Also — since when does “thank you” via text equal closure?!? In anything? That’s seriously all we get with Nathan and Meredith and that closes their chapter? Finn the Vet had better closure and he was all of a quarter of a season way back in season two! Wow, despite her ultra slutty mistakes between discovering Derek was her boss, and then married, and George (let’s not forget George) the only one she ever really dated was Finn. And then she got with Derek, briefly broke up with Derek, then she married Derek, and then death broke them up, and after all that she sort of dated Nathan … and ended on a text message (though the parallel with Zola sleeping on her lap — again b/c the other two Grey-Shepherd Children have been relegated to the parking lot of no return — and Farouk on Nathan’s lap was precious)… Meredith is clearly destined to be a one-great-love woman. Until she and Owen hook up later this season.
Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursday at 8:00 PM on ABC.
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