At least one thing’s for sure on Grey’s Anatomy, the series that will forever provoke the perennial comment, “Is that show still on?” Not only is that show still on, it wrapped up its seventeenth season tonight and has its eyes on number 18. Ellen Pompeo, as well as James Pickens Jr. and Chandra Wilson, the three remaining members from the original cast, all netted salary bumps to keep them on the series; according to The Hollywood Reporter, Pompeo is now the highest paid actress in prime-time television.
So no matter how many freak accidents she’s endured, no matter how close to death she may come (this season, she got COVID), no matter how many dead people she may hang out with (this season, it was lot), rest assured that Meredith Grey is never going anywhere on this show. She’s still got the voiceover, she’s got a new job bossing around young interns, she even has a festering flirtation with an Irish guy going. Meredith Grey and her namesake series are here to stay.
Since it’s been around for so long, Grey’s likes to throw some cutesy narrative twists at its audience when possible, like tonight’s wayback machine to September 2020. Which apparently is where we last left the cast, since Meredith was still recovering, and Maggie and Winston were just about to get married. (Try not to think about the math too much; it’ll make your head hurt.) Apparently this was a good way to fast-forward us toward the vaccine and Maggie and Winston’s second wedding ceremony, where people could congregate outside without masks, and Meredith and Teddy could be fully recovered from the virus to go perform that double-lung transplant on Girly.
The other downside about Grey’s being around for so long is that when it’s not skewing its timelines toward its own specific logic-defying calendar, you can see the rest of the stuff coming a mile away. Linc and Amelia don’t want the same things, which means that they’re going to break up, like Cristina and Owen broke up, and Amelia and Owen broke up (why are the men on this show so domestic-minded?)
Guess what pair does want the same thing: Linc and Jo. The newly dubbed “best friends” are bound to hook up next season in Jo’s fancy new apartment. If you don’t see that coming, not only have you never seen this show before, you may never have watched television before.
But then, there are the things that Grey’s still does so well, that keeps some diehard fans, anyway, coming back to a series now nearly old enough to vote. It’s always been smart about casting, and was wise to grab Caterina Scorsone after the demise of Private Practice. Amelia’s status as an addict has rarely been more poignant than this episode, when she talks about how hard it is to stay sober in such an extremely successful time. Richard’s alcoholic history is also vital to the DNA of the show, so it was nice to see the two bonding after a meeting (and viewing the transition from online Zoom recovery meeting to actually being able to attend in person).
Every once in a while, Grey’s just hits you with a real-life relationship zinger, and here Richard offered his welcome advice to Amelia, talking about how for addicts, just getting sober isn’t going to automatically fix everything. Amelia and Linc, likely, were never going to work out, and Richard urges her to “give yourself permission for it not to work.” It’s those moments, that tap into the show’s long history, that highlight the connection between characters, with dialogue that sounds almost like real life but better, that will likely keep Grey’s around for decades, until it’s just zapped directly into all of our heads.
That’s why Amelia knows that she can’t accept Linc’s proposal, even with her nieces and nephew at the ready. But like we said, cheer up, Linc! Because you’re about to hook up with Jo in .02 seconds.
Grey’s gets the joke about the show’s longevity, about the extremely high body count of the staff at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital (memorial is right), of Meredith Grey’s many dances with death. When Bailey urges her to stick to Richard’s teaching traditions, Meredith tries to make the case for creating her own traditions, to prepare for the day when Richard’s not around any more, or Bailey, or even herself: “One day I’m going to die,” she tells Bailey, even though we all know that’s not true. Grey’s underlines the stamina of Meredith—and the series—by having Girly wake up from her double-lung transplant, the COVID complications survivor that Meredith’s been rooting for all along. Meredith Grey’s last line of the season is no accident: “I’m still here.”
- I love how every once in a while on this show, some character has a light bulb go off and will suddenly remember, “I’m rich!” like Jo did this episode.
- Related to that: Does his character purchasing Jo’s shares that mean Greg Germann is not off of this show? Because I thought he was. But Jesse Williams popped up tonight too, so who knows.
- Anybody else get pissed when Meredith blew off her clap-out a few weeks ago? Glad she finally got hers tonight.
- Thanks for stopping by the Grey’s finale everybody! Maybe we’ll come back in the fall to see what this show could possibly pull in the season 18 opener.