In a stunning move, and almost certainly for the first time ever, the title of this week’s episode breaks a 14-season running streak and arrives itself as the first episode to not share its name with a song title. As a news article revealed preceding the episode’s release, the title was changed to “1-800-799-7233”. This is the number for the domestic violence hotline. A bold and beautiful move on the entire creative team’s and cast’s behalf, it puts a statement out there for anyone who finds themselves in a situation like Jo Wilson.
But that’s just one of the many, many things happening in this gap-bridging episode, which closes up a great many loose ends from the winter finale. But before we get into all that — I’ve got to say — did not one see Webber playing April like a complete fool? Does nobody remember he’s used that age-line of bullpie before?!? In the giant tumor case at the back-end of season six? (“Push”, episode 17, season 6) HE’S DOING THE SAME THING!!! He’s not too old to run the chief’s contest. He wants to be in the chief’s contest so he’s playing the age card to get the pity vote out of April! #throwbackthursday
Moving on. Well, only slightly. Is anyone else seeing this strong potential for an April-Hunt thing? I think we all thought it before, back when they were touring together. They share a war, sort of like Teddy and Hunt did, and they do have things in common, plus he wants kids, she’s got a kid, so why not? Makes slightly more sense than my previous wild-hunch of Hunt-Meredith (still not over being sore about Riggs’ departure.) And I’m only going to rant/vent for a moment about Jaggie/Maxxie/whatever we’re calling it. You knew she was going to accept the Tindr date — they have to stretch out this melodramatic angst of “do I date my sorta-kinda-not-sister/brother” for at least the next 10 episodes — and that locker room scene was ridiculous. Not that we don’t all love to ogle Jesse Williams and his fabulousness, but given the overall tone of the episode and how we were meant to be focusing on empowering women and helping them escape domestic violence — the whole scene felt out of place and really dirty.
Back to GreySloan Memorial — still under attack. But suddenly, we’ve got an intern — is he an intern? Have we ever seen him before? (Seriously, I don’t recall seeing him before.) Parker. Who has some computer … savvy … let’s call them abilities. Despite the humor — and the defibrillator shock blasting open the blood bank at the exact moment Carina was talking about sparks with Arizona was pricelessly hilarious — what they did with Parker’s character was stunning. I LOVE the empowering message that the show is sending to Trans* individuals everywhere. BIG SPOILER: When Bailey askes him did he really hack into the DMV and why — and he says because his old driver’s license listed him as a female and his state’s DMV refused to change it so he changed it himself — I just felt my heart drop and it was that moment of pride tears, which toe the border of potentially becoming a gush storm of crying, but Bailey’s smile reassures everyone. Proud Trans Man. Enough said. Grey’s has been so supportive in every way imaginable, strong female characters, openly LGBTQ characters, trans* characters (do we remember when Ben’s brother finally came out as trans*), empowered characters of color. There’s no stopping the positivity and goodness they put out there.
Off the soapbox of pride and kudos and back to what happened. The big elephant in the room on this week’s episode was the return of Jo Wilson’s abusive ex-husband. And like manipulative abusers, he tried to paint her out to be crazy. Watching Jo break down in those scenes was harrowing — and it definitely needs to come with a #metoo warning. The episode did the best it could, having her friends stick strongly by her, offering to do everything to keep her safe, reassuring her that they believed her — though there was an awful lot of being shut up in rooms with Meredith (which I get is sort of a subtly symbolic representation of how you’re forced to live your life when you’re a silenced victim of abuse) and that was a bit off-putting in addition to everything else. The show sends a clear, strong message — in addition to making us all worry as to whether or not Alex will keep his head. (Remember back in Season 4’s “Lay Your Hands on Me” and the freaky faith healer was walking the halls — the episode lil Tuck got crushed by the bookcase? And the healer said that Alex’s throat chakra was blocked — that something so awful had happened to him, that it made him lose his voice and even worse it made him want to do bad things to people and to hurt people the way he was hurt?) He’s come so far from all that — a true proper grown-up mature adult … but here’s hoping he can keep it together in the face of all this catastrophe. (Next week’s preview does not look promising!)
The show did an excellent job of handling the domestic abuser qualities and characteristics, even going so far as Jo’s trying to rescue Paul’s current fiancée. It’s all a whirling dervish of emotions. No sighting of Katherine this week. Amelia and Hunt sort of floated in the background. NOBODY CARES ABOUT DELUCA AND BELLOW. It’s just another intern banging a resident, though Webber’s “oh man up, DeLuca, everyone heard you two banging through the walls” bit was hysterical. And did Ben Warren just drop off the face of the earth? Miranda didn’t talk about it. Nobody talked about it. (I didn’t watch the spin-off. Not even sure it premiered tonight!) So *POOF* just like so many who have come before him … off to the parking lot of no return.
Overall, an excellent wrap-up to the winter finale, though there needs to be less Jackson and Maggie happening. It’s like they’re trying to be new Meredith and Derek without all of the excitement. Well done, Grey’s Anatomy, keeping the spark alive. And good thing too since they just signed another two year contract (with Pompeo as the head signer) with ABC.
Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursday at 8:00 PM on ABC.
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