After the huge, giant emotion of last May’s Grey’s Anatomy finale, Thursday’s season premiere was a pretty serious curveball. It took a few minutes to get used to, but once I did it was easy to appreciate what creator Shonda Rhimes was going for, and got to pretty well.
Rhimes told us to watch for Meredith’s panties, so I did. And it looks like they’ll be more integral to next week’s story. What she was interested in Thursday, though, was a few little moments in time, flashing us back to the hours before we first met everyone, and in a couple cases further back than that, to give us a sense of how these people arrived at the post-Denny, post-prom, post-panties place we are now.
She made a smart move not to focus too much on Izzie’s grief over Denny; as big as her despair was in the finale, Katherine Heigl was just as quiet (and quietly effective) tonight. Her paralysis felt pretty right.
Also really liked the flashbacks to the new interns mixer, with George making his first awkward conversation with Meredith and Cristina going all fangirl on Burke. (Sandra Oh was also great in her final scene with Isaiah Washington; Yang displays emotion so infrequently that there would seem to be a tendency to overplay when she does; Oh manages to find a great balance, though, and her imploring Burke to "Don’t ever die" was a little heartbreaking.)
The Meredith-Derek pickup flashback was cute, but I’m not sure how I feel about his profession of love at episode’s end. I imagine being quarantined while someone finds out if you’ve been exposed to the plague would make you re-examine some things, but you know what? Finn was kind of right when he told Meredith that Derek was bad for her. McDreamy’s continual yo-yoing feels unfair to Meredith, to Addison, maybe even to him. But it is the stuff of drama, I guess.
And the panties? They’re on the bulletin board now. That’s probably not good.
I know I didn’t cover George and Callie, Bailey and the quarantined patient, the Chief and his wife, so I’ll leave it to you. The floor is open.