Taking the Pulse of Grey's Anatomy

Last week, Addison Montgomery-Shepherd marched into Seattle Grace and, acting as a proxy for the viewers, issued a much-needed talking to to most of the principal characters. Seeing the state of Grey's Anatomy through the eyes of someone who has been away all season, it became evident how much has really changed this year.

The most obvious (and needed) Addison smackdown went to Meredith. Like us, Addison couldn't believe that Derek and Meredith would break up in such a cavalier way after everything they'd been through (and everything they put her through). Meredith has been in need of a reality check all season, and who better to deliver it than Addison?

Speaking of Meredith, the writers are finally doing something with her that I like. The clinical trial is giving her something to do other than moon over Derek. It's about time! I'm also delighted that she's in therapy. That development also led to one of several great tiny details in the last episode, when Meredith's therapist walked by just as she was having a hissy fit.

Addison was also able to shed new, and unexpected (at least to me -- did you see this coming?) light on Callie and Hahn's new status as BFFs. I guess now we know why Hahn was able to resist Sloan. It will be interesting to see how all of this plays out over the next few episodes.

We still haven't really touched base with Bailey since she separated from her husband in the last episode before the break. I thought it was more poignant that Addison, one of the few people she's been on an intimate basis with, asked her what was going on and she didn't really want to talk about it. Bailey has always been different from every other character on the show in that she doesn't bring her personal life into the hospital. That's what made it so heartbreaking when Tuck was sick. Watching Bailey try to quietly hold it together is more interesting than a baker's dozen of Meredith and Izzie's breakdowns.

The plot development that I am most excited about is Jane Doe/Ava/Rebecca's announcement that she's pregnant. I think we've only scratched the tip of the iceberg in terms of Alex's backstory. He definitely has daddy issues, and the prospect of becoming a parent himself obviously freaks him out. This would be a juicy development even if Ava were actually pregnant. But, as it turns out, she's a big fat faker, and Izzie is the only one who knows about it so far. Given Izzie's history with Alex, I can't wait to see how this all plays out.

In terms of the other characters, Izzie and George seem to be back in their rhythm of friendship, without any puppy-dog eyes in sight, thankfully. Cristina is still struggling for Hahn's approval. I think it's about time for a new romantic interest for her. If Izzie could be in "love" with George less than a season after Denny's death, shouldn't Cristina be ready to move on from Burke? (Especially since, according to Meredith, they "screw boys like whores on tequila?") Cristina has had a history of getting involved with her mentors; wouldn't it be interesting if she reversed the pattern and got involved with one of her interns? Failing that, there's always Sloan ...

The past couple of episodes have been a definite upturn for Grey's. I am really looking forward to seeing what happens during the rest of the season. In tonight's episode, a "date and tell" policy will be instituted following complaints about Sloan, and Burke (well, news of him, anyway) comes back to haunt Cristina.

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Amy Kane spends as much quality time with her television as possible, when she's not busy at her day job as a cube dweller.