“The waiting will kill you.”
For the fans of Grey’s Anatomy, the summer-long wait is finally over. You have the season premiere of season 11 upon you, and you get to relive all 24 episodes of season 9 with this DVD collection. Hopefully you’ll find it was worth the wait.
Grey’s Anatomy has continued to surprise fans and critics alike. As far back as the seventh season there was strong talk that the show was drawing to an inevitable close. Since that time we have seen the end of the spinoff series Private Practice, which I always considered to be a better show. Nothing’s changed; as the show entered its ninth year there was the same talk both from outside and from within that the series was ending. Not only did it not end, but the show took some serious strides in ratings and storytelling. Now, going into 10 there is still talk of the show ending. The huge talk involves Sandra Oh leaving the series, but cast changes have been going on every year for this series. Huge regulars have left or even been forced out. Over the years we saw huge names like Isaiah Washington, Kate Walsh, Katherine Heigl, T.R. Knight, and now Eric Dane and Chyler Leigh. Is Grey’s going away? I’m not completely sure. What I am sure of is that fans should not miss the 10th season on DVD.
If you want some history of the show, we’ve reviewed most of the eight seasons that have come before now. You can catch them here: Previous seasons. But this is not the kind of a show you can just start with on the 10th season and get much out of. If you’re not familiar with the cast and crew, start from one and work your way up. This review just isn’t for you. Fans wanting to continue the ride…read on.
The 10th season picks up just where the 9th ended. A super storm has ripped through Seattle, and the hospital is on full alert. Now they’re treating victims of mudslides and working full-out. It’s not looking good for Weber, who was electrocuted in the season finale, or Heather Brooks. When Brooks doesn’t make it, this causes a downward spiral for Shane Ross, who feels the guilt over her doing what he feels he should have done. This guilt will cause him to move toward a tragic breakdown involving Alex’s father. Gaius Charles gets to play a lot from that guilt, and he is certainly the character who evolves the most this season.
It’s a big break for the show that Weber survives. He’s likely the best performer on the series, and I would miss him tremendously. Instead we get to see another side of the character. They say doctors make the worst patients, and Weber’s going to prove that axiom this season. He spends half the year in a hospital bed, but he still manages to make his presence felt throughout the hospital. James Pickens, Jr. is a force to be reckoned with. Yes, iconic characters and actors have left the show and it survived just fine. Will it survive if Weber goes? Let’s hope we never have to find out.
Of course, the year is marked by the planned exit of Sandra Oh as Dr. Wang. Fans knew going in that it was going to be her last year, and I have to say she gets the most elaborate sendoff yet on the show. The writers took their time and built toward the exit. It led to one of the season’s better shows where Wang lives alternate lives in her mind. We get to see how different choices might have played out for her. We also get Grey’s look at what the future might look like in technology and even interesting scrubs fashion. I kind of liked the new look. Obviously, it’s all leading to her decision to leave. A surprise guest visit by Isaiah Washington as Burke ends up putting the final exclamation point on her departure. This is after a lot of wasted time on an award hope and a bit of a breakup with Grey. They’ve built her up to be such a stellar and driven doctor that this outcome had to happen eventually if the show was going to continue to be honest.
Much of the season focuses on various characters and their research studies. Derek has to go back on his promise to cut back on work when the President of the United States personally takes an interest in his brain mapping research. It puts him at odds with Torres, who helped him develop the technology. Meredith uses grant money to get a 3D printer to prove she can print 3D arteries for transplant. Not sure how she even got grant money when she was once banned from participating in hospital research in order for them to keep their grants. I guess we’ve forgotten when she trashed a previous study. Unfortunately, it’s Wang who hijacks the equipment for her own ends. Bailey has found a way to use the HIV virus to do some good but ends up in hot water when she defies a patient’s parents to test her idea.
There’s a rather cool Halloween episode that features maggots in wounds and a guy who thinks he’s been infected by a zombie. Even the newly-dead Brooks might be haunting the halls. There’s also a kid lost in the corridors who has no natural way to produce adrenaline. It turns out she could literally be scared to death.
The best episode of the season and perhaps the entire series deals with Torres getting sued by an Olympic athlete who ended up losing his legs due to infection. It’s so good because the drama dominates the story. The characters aren’t distracted so much by the musical beds. Yes, there is a relationship B story where Torres is remembering moments with Arizona. Still, they serve the story quite well and don’t appear so contrived and frivolous. This is what Grey’s Anatomy could be at its best. It doesn’t have to be the soap opera that it is. There are good production values here and a mostly solid cast. I wonder how many watched this episode thinking what the show might have been.
In an amusing turn of events, for this show at least, the board passes a no-fraternization policy. Yeah, that’s going to work. You’ll fall in love with a patient who had his body altered to look like a feline. Was that a spoiler? Guess I shouldn’t have let the cat out of the bag on that one.
You get all 24 episodes, deleted scenes and a gag reel. You’ll get a look at how they do all that medical jargon and what those things are they’re operating on. There’s a focus feature on Sandra Oh. She gives us a tour of the production offices where we stop in editing for a look at her milestone moments including her first appearance on the pilot.
The season finale gives us the goodbye for Wang. The show will continue; for how long, I’m not sure. I guess for fans, “you’ve got to enjoy it while you can”.