After experiencing the biggest health and humanitarian crisis of the 21st century, it seems that normality has finally returned to Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital — only to shed light on new problems related to the professional training of residents and the loss of important staff members hospital over the past few years. Meanwhile, Meredith Grey, after receiving an offer to lead a major research project in another state, begins to consider the idea of leaving the city and hospital where she grew up and became the renowned surgeon she is today. Welcome to season 18 of Grey's Anatomy.
An Old Friend
Perhaps the most anticipated event of the season was Kate Walsh 's return to production. Addison Montgomery was a crucial character in the already complicated relationship between Meredith and Derek in the early years of the series and her interpreter's talent won over fans and the production team, who not only gave her an extended participation in the main plot, but later, a spin-off to call his own — Private Practice, which ran for 6 seasons and introduced Amelia Shepherd, another fan-favorite character.
Although her participation was only in 3 episodes, which some may consider little since the obstetrician was absent from Seattle for almost 10 years, I consider that this amount was enough to kill the longing and that the script was faithful to the character's legacy, that continues with the same presence, wit, provocative personality, that throws the truths in the face of the person without mercy that so won fans in the 2000s. Kate Walsh demonstrated an apparent ease of incorporating Addison again and her sync with the character is perfect. It's like she never left.
To make up for lost time in the pandemic and accelerate residents' learning, Richard dared and tried to reinvent the wheel with the Webber Method. In routine surgeries, residents would perform the procedures and attendants, after estimating the average duration of the surgery, would make timed rounds of the operating rooms so that, at the moments identified as the most critical, they would be present to assess, assist or intervene in the procedure.
Perhaps the biggest question about the Webber method was the need to make this system of patrols instead of keeping an attendant fully observing the operation. Which, in addition to being easier, would also establish a more solid command line, that would eliminate other problems. Not raised by the script, such as possible conflicts between attendants about decisions made by residents. Despite all these warning flags and the reluctance on the part of Maggie and Miranda as to the nature of the method, it was implemented and went well, until it all started to go wrong. Rather very wrong.
An interesting detail is that the plot of the Webber Method is very similar to the one that happened to another character in season 13. I won't call the writers lazy for wanting to give another chance to a forgettable story from a season that left a bitter taste in the fans' mouths, but I won't call them bold either. I will only be content to say that it fulfilled its purpose of being one of the starting points for the season and, consequently, for the end of something bigger than the teaching initiative itself.
What was supposed to be a visit to a Minnesota clinic turned into something bigger, and for the first half of the season, Meredith and Amelia had to split between their duties as Chief of General Surgery and Neurology at Grey-Sloan and as researchers. of a study aimed at finding a surgical cure for Parkinson's disease. And patient zero would be Dr. David Hamilton, their own sponsor. Still, even with such responsibility, both had the chance to find love.
The chosen one for Dr. Grey, this time, was Nick Marsh. Ask yourself “who is this guy?” It's a natural reaction since he only appeared in one episode of Season 14, but it allowed the writers to kind of emulate Season 1, causing the audience, along with Meredith, to discover the nuances of this newcomer, and at the few, develop an appreciation for it. And it worked very well. As well as their characters, Ellen and Scott's rapport gradually deepens, which makes the moment of the three words rewarding and the final scene of the two emotionally conflicted. Writers, you can go on jumping to give Mer the happy ending she deserves.
The same goes for Amelia and Kai from the research lab. I confess that seeing such a stable and well-developed relationship that was Amelia's with Link end so abruptly was, in a way, frustrating (although it shouldn't, when it comes to Grey's Anatomy), which made it a little difficult to accept this turn of events. neurologist page. But time helps the process.
Problems and Consequences
After a long time, Owen got an interesting plot, at least for the first half of the season. His involvement with war veterans who developed severe lung problems from inhaling toxic fumes generated by burning waste in the field quickly evolved into something morally ambiguous and possibly unethical (debate here about “death with dignity”) that may have cost, not only his career, but Teddy's career as well. Not to mention the return of both in the next year of production became very uncertain after the final episode.
Winston, Maggie, Jo and Link also had their relationship problems (nothing involving the police, obviously), but that, towards the final episode, were partially resolved, leaving them in a situation close to the one they were in at the beginning of the season. . I give due prominence to the newlyweds, since the visit of Winston's brother shook up the surgeon's emotions and Maggie had her curiosity to know who Ellis Gray was satiated, although the answer was not what she expected.
The last few episodes of the season were difficult for everyone, especially Meredith, Richard and Miranda. And, as a way to “celebrate” the historic milestone of 400 episodes, the writers decided to create the perfect storm that could have cost the already broken relationship of these 3 characters. Discovering the job offer that Dr. Gray received from Minnesota, along with raised arguments, exchanged insults, a denigrated public image, a large number of attendants leaving and/or wanting to leave, complaints that could cause the suspension of the residency program, the carrying out of criminal activities involving the hospital, a literal storm and an almost empty blood bank, indicated that the end would be anything but happy .
At the start of Season 9, after Yang moved to Minnesota after finishing her Seattle residency, Meredith said over the phone that she did the right thing. It was a way to escape the disaster, the pain, so many deaths, so many wounds, so much suffering caused to so many people. And yet, Meredith remained. Her justification, at the time, was that, since her childhood, that city, that hospital more specifically, provided her with a "balance". Balance between all that was taken from you and what was given to you. That's what she believed. Or she wanted to believe. Or she needed to believe .
That no longer exists. Meredith has become a prisoner of the hospital where she grew up and the city she grew to love. Many have arrived and many have left over the past few years. Some tragically, cruelly, even unfairly, but all were fully aware that they wanted to do more. Grow more. Be more. smile more. And the only way to do that was to get out of Seattle. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, this has never been denied to anyone. But that doesn't apply to Dr. Grey.
There is only one option for her: to remain, against her will, in a place that now only brings her suffering. Becoming the scapegoat for a problem that was never directly hers. Being forced to rebuild a hospital practically on her own, since, ironically, Richard and Miranda also left the hospital (in short, hypocrisy). Forget Minnesota. Forget the chance to have a new love. Forget your own happiness .
I'm certainly wrong, but morbidity, discontent and discomfort aside, the writers seem to be setting the stage even further for Season 19 to be the last, at least, of Doctor Grey's narrative arc. Whether that means the end of America's biggest prime-time medical drama and one of ABC's most profitable productions, that's a question for next year.
© 2022 Hamza Hussaini