When we left Sloan Grey Memorial hospital at the end of season eight all was not well. The medical team had dealt with a massive influx of victims from a mega storm, Doctor Jackson Avery had almost been killed in a bus explosion, Doctor Arizona Robbins had cheated on wife Doctor Callie Torres, DoctorMeredith Grey had her baby body and emergency surgery and the final shot of the season was of former Chief of Surgery Richard Webber lying on the floor unconscious, presumably electrocuted in the process of restoring power to the hospital. So it is not surprising that I was eagerly anticipating the season ten opener of Greys Anatomy, if a bit cautious. After all, in the last season opener one of the longest standing characters died. I was hoping that the show runners could not be so cruel as to do the same thing to audiences again.
The show started, as always with a thought provoking voice over. For the most part these are done by central character, Meredith Grey, but it seemed fitting as the camera reminded us of where we left the characters, that it was told by the calm measured voice of Richard (played by James Pickens). The hospital is stretched to its limits as more and more casualties of the storm.
The opening episode continued what Greys Anatomy always has done well – mixing the medical drama with multiple patients with the personal dramas of all of the staff at the hospital. An inevitably nothing is sugar coated and not all of the patients have a good outcome – this reflects real life medicine, as much as we would like everyone survive, they don’t.
One of the things that I think worked really well last season was the integration of the new characters of the interns. Tina Majorino’s Doctor Heather Brooks has always stood out to me. In this episode she was as charming as ever, although it was frustrating to see her being manipulated again by a jealous Doctor Shane Ross, particularly as it led to her being put into mortal danger.
The new romance between Doctor Alex Karev and Doctor Jo Wilson still doesn’t work for me. I liked the fact that he was forming a non sexual relationship with a woman other than Meredith and Christina, and so I found it disappointing that the show runners have fallen into the tired trope of a man and woman who form a friendship automatically falling into some sort of sexual relationship. It is nice to see Doctor Miranda Bailey back to her old self, taking charge of the situation, whilst dealing with the emotional turmoil of operating on her long time mentor, Richard. The voice overs were done particularly well as Webber was wheeled into the ER, as he mused ‘We’re all going to die.’ ‘Decide. Is this the life you want to live. Is this the person you want to love. Is this the best you can be.’ something which I think we can all relate to.
As this is the first half of a two hour season opener, it was inevitable that it was going to end with a lot of things left unresolved. The end of the episode left the lives of both Heather and Webber in the balance, and certainly left me eager for next weeks episode.
9/10 – An emotional episode which shows that Greys Anatomy hasn’t lost any of its strength, and is still as tight as ever.
Greys Anatomy airs on Sky Living, Wednesdays at 10pm.