Welcome to Grand Rounds: Dissecting Grey's Anatomy, a roundtable on Grey's Anatomy featuring Snarky's Machine, Everett Maroon, Redlami, and s.e. smith. This week's Grand Rounds is hosted by the mildly sunburned s.e. smith. Without further ado, let's begin!
s.e. smith: What kind of attitudes about international adoption came up in this episode? How do you think Grey's is handling this storyline as it unfurls?
Snarky's Machine: Grey's is making a real mess of what could be intriguing analysis, by refusing to have conversation about trans-racial adoption. They're playing a dangerous game if they truly think blacks have a monolithic experience and Zola will be all right with white parents because they work with some POCs (none of which have been identified as being from the same culture as Zola).
Redlami: I was wondering why the adoption interviewer didn't address the race issue with Meredith at all. The whole adoption storyline really has me perplexed. For example, why is Meredith suddenly worried about finding time to be a parent? Did she not consider this during all the months she spent trying to get pregnant?
Everett Maroon: I did like the depiction of the interview with the social worker, who was more than capable of seeing good parenting capacity in its many forms than Meredith thought she would, and it was nice, for a moment, to see relief on any of the character's faces, because this has been one hell of a stressful season. Once again, however, Grey's is moving through these plots very quickly, and perhaps the usual 24-episode season would have worked better for this storyline better than the abbreviated 22-episode schedule—I don't know anyone who gets to the interview stage of adoption that quickly! And we really do seem to be glossing over the trans-racial, trans-national aspects of this adoption process.
s.e. smith: The work/life balance for parents in surgical careers can be grueling. Has Grey's done a good job of depicting this in the past, and how do you think it will be handled in the future, especially considering the fact that Zola has disabilities?
Snarky's Machine: If anything, I think having parents who are doctors would be worse for any kid regardless of their ability status. Growing up in a family with clinical folks we didn't have so much as a band-aid and we were at the mild end of the spectrum. I think Zola would be better off with a family who weren't so used to seeing illness, injury and trauma—they have a tendency to diminish all but the issues they deem most serious.
Redlami: I don't think the show has begun to scratch the surface of the transracial or disability elements of the Zola adoption storyline. But Callie's difficulty in letting go of Sofia in order to break some bones gave a good suggestion of the conflict that highly driven professionals might feel when trying to find balance between work and private lives.
Everett Maroon: I think we've seen a good amount of lonely, young Meredith stuck at the hospital, but we've also seen Miranda making time for her child, so there's some model of how it can be done. It does strike me as unusual that so few of the doctors on the show have raised kids, but hey, the ensemble is about as big as it can get already. As far as Zola's disabilities, they're really only brought up in terms of how challenging she's going to be, which is at once understandable given their medical perspective, but really dehumanizing. At least nobody's talking about how they make her extra special.
s.e. smith: As the candidates for Chief Resident drop out one by one, is it changing your predictions? How do you feel about the different reasons cited to eliminate the various candidates?
Snarky's Machine: Avery's was the only one whose reason actually makes sense. That said, for a hospital so in love with winning awards they sure treat Harper Avery's grandson like garbage. I guess they haven't heard awards are often political in nature. Treating Avery like an errand boy probably won't make them high on the list for anything. Cristina is a slob; this was established early on the in series with her nasty apartment. Alex is a hot head and inconsistent, but he still has the best judgment of the bunch. I never saw Meredith as a front runner; she's just not that impressive as a doctor at all. April has the right mindset; it's all protocol and checklists. If Izzie or George were still around I would have said they would be the front runners. Owen is right about what kind of job Chief Resident is. Bailey was great because she was willing to sacrifice immediate glory and also not implode every time something went wrong. April and Alex are really the only ones who have overcome traumas without grinding their lives to a halt. Let's be real; it's not fair or right but Chief Resident needs to also have not much of a life.
Redlami: The writers clearly enjoy keeping us guessing. I haven't changed my mind about Alex being the frontrunner, although I like April's chances better since she started showing admin chops by championing checklists. Also, Jackson being willing to step aside so Richard doesn't lose a shot at the Harper Avery prize probably improved Owen's opinion of him. I never thought Cristina would be anyone's choice and was pleased to see Owen's framing (that anything that keeps her from being an excellent surgeon will kill her) as one Cristina could accept. And even though I never agreed with Meredith's front-runner status, Alex's outing her misconduct has probably made her elimination official.
Everett Maroon: The numbers of betrayals this week were astounding: Lucy steals the job Alex was considering, Cristina undercuts Teddy to schedule a surgery, April rats on Cristina (appropriately, I think), Teddy ducks town on her quasi-husband, and to round things out, Alex reveals Meredith's clinical trial tampering. I'm sticking with my prediction of April getting the job, if only because she's not self-selecting out or screwing something up in a major way. I'm glad Hunt told Avery not to sell himself short, and maybe Avery's self-sacrifice will put him over the top for the job, since it's Hunt's decision.
s.e. smith: Speaking of elimination, it looks like we'll be losing some characters in this bloated cast next season. Who will you be glad to see going (or staying) and is there anyone you'd like to go (or stay) who probably won't be?
Snarky's Machine: I'm over my Teddycrush. They have not been able to do anything Kim Raver and that's a shame because she's a great soap actress. I wouldn't mind if everyone involved in Teddyarc was relocated. Scott Foley is on a pilot with Christine Lahti on CBS, so he's definitely done. Alex's girlfriend can go too; not useful to his story arc or the show.
Redlami: I'm ready to say goodbye to the whole Teddy/Henry/Andrew storyline. And while I don't have any great desire to see Jackson leave, the writers don't seem to be interested in giving him a lot to work with. I wouldn't mind seeing Arizona go (did she really lecture Alex about leaving Lucy for Malawi right after planting the idea in his head in the first place?) and having Callie and Mark set up house instead. I'd like to see Lexi move on as well but I don't think that's where the writers are taking us.
Everett Maroon: Bye-bye Lucy, we hardly knew ya. Don't let the Space Needle fall on you on your way out! I'm sad to see Teddy go, however. The writers never really gave her character a chance. And they don't seem to let relationships with non-doctors really get off the ground (e.g. Denny, Chris O'Donnell), so it's not surprising that she's parting ways with Henry, but I liked their chemistry together.
s.e. smith: And, of course...any finale predictions?
Snarky's Machine: Cristina being knocked up? Derek or Mer being fired? Drama ensuing! Alex getting kicked out of Mer's house (so much for being her family). I guess you can put family out on the street if they piss you off.
Redlami: The previews hinted at some big stuff, so I'll leave that alone. Otherwise, I see Mark getting back together with Lexi. Wearing Sofia in the snuggly for most of the epsiode seems to have gotten everyone's cuddle hormones in an uproar. Alex (or perhaps April) will be named Chief Resident, but don't weep for Cristina because with Teddy leaving she's finally going to get back to surgery, perhaps as the acting head of cardio-thoracic.
Everett Maroon: Despite their Post-It marriage decree and quicky judge's chambers nuptials, Derek and Meredith call it quits for the summer. The Chief fires Meredith then rehires her as a home aide for Adele. Cristina finds out she's pregnant and invents the first artificial womb so that she can transplant the embryo herself to the machine and go about her surgical duties. In his grief over the loss of his marriage, Derek starts an adoption service for overworked white doctors with pretty hair, and gets funding from Angelina Jolie and Madonna, which brings him down to LA, where he rekindles his romance with Addison, who has been looking to get pregnant for at least half a season over on Private Practice. Avery and April agree to split Chief Res duties, so it's A&A at the M&M presentations! Arizona and Callie have to tell Mark to stop overparenting Sophia, Bailey and Eli take a cruise to Alaska, and Alex winds up alone.
See you next week with "Unaccompanied Minor"!
About your bloggers:
Snarky's Machine is the founder of the pop culture site I Fry Mine in Butter.
Everett Maroon is a Seattle-based writer, focusing on popular culture commentary, speculative fiction, and memoir. His interests include the interrelationships of characters on Grey's Anatomy, Dr. Bailey, behind-the-scenes politics, and Dr. Bailey.
Tasha Fierce blogs about sex, dating, relationships and body image at Sex and the Fat Girl.
s.e. smith is a cantankerous, cat-wearing, pop culture-loving, pants-eschewing philistine from the wilds of Northern California with a compendium of largely useless random knowledge and a typewriter that doesn't know when to quit. smith writes at this ain't livin'.
Redlami turns numbers into stories and is the resident tech geek at I Fry Mine in Butter.