Time. It’s one of the most precious (and uncontrollable) forces in the universe. There’s no changing it; there’s no stopping it; and there’s absolutely no going back – unless you’re a character on a highly popular, nationwide television show, that is. Then anything is possible… which is a concept Grey’s Anatomy made sure to take full advantage of this week. Yes, it seems the ABC show is mimicking way more than just Lost’s death-ridden plane crash. It’s also dabbling with its unique concept of time: the oh-so popular flashbacks and flash-forwards. Yup, Shonda Rhimes went there.
Though the season premiere left fans sobbing (alright, weeping) over McSteamy’s departure, we were given very little information about why this happened and how they all were rescued. But fear not, for “Remember the Time” was able to put all those questions to rest. But to do this, we must start where it all began. We have to go back! (Sorry, I just couldn’t help myself.)
We start off with a helicopter shining down on a seriously dazed (not to mention injured) Meredith Grey, who’s lying in the woods in a very Jack Shepherd-type style. Seconds later, we flash ahead to a much less docile version of Meredith who is freaking out in a hospital bed, demanding to see her sister, Lexie (who we know didn’t make it). Clearly, the depth of the trauma is starting to hit her, but thankfully Bailey shows up with Zola, which seems to calm her down.
Since the victims need to get back to Seattle Grace for treatment (though why they couldn’t just stay at that hospital is beyond me), they’re forced to undergo yet another plane ride – something they’re all none too thrilled about for obvious reasons. But that’s nothing a few strong sedatives can’t cure, which allowed us time to hear Bailey make a few self-aware Lost references (like being scared of crashing on mysterious islands with ferocious polar bears). Hey, at least Grey’s knows how to make fun of itself.
Meanwhile, a recently rescued Cristina is not speaking… like, at all. Now, as we’ve seen in the past, Cristina Yang doesn’t do well in the aftermath of intense trauma (remember what she was like after the shooting?), so her shelled up-zombie approach shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. But still, things are not looking good, which prompts Meredith to warn Cristina that if she doesn’t snap out of her cuckoo coma and soon, she’ll be granted a one-way ticket to the loony bin.
NEXT: Callie gives Derek a hand and McSteamy is (temporarily) on the mend!Now it’s Derek’s turn in the flashback cycle where we learn about his rescue/recovery, especially in regards to that nasty injury he has on his hands… literally. And whoa, out of nowhere there’s a glimpse of a highly functional and recovering McSteamy! What the whaa??? (But more on that later). Callie and Derek interrupt our brief moment of euphoria to discuss hand strategy. While one physician guarantees he can safely get Derek’s hand back to being 80 percent functional, Callie wants to take a riskier approach that could restore his hand completely, making it fully functional to perform surgeries. Of course, it could also completely damage his hand for good. The results could go either way, but this is Grey’s we’re talking about, so of course they go the dangerous route, leaving McDreamy’s career in Callie’s two fully functional (and capable) hands. But based on what we saw during the season premiere (when his hand went completely numb), Derek’s surgery days could be just about over.
There’s no time to dwell though because it’s time to flash to a fully naked and still silent Cristina who is being washed in a 18th century-looking bathtub by none other than her estranged husband, Dr. Owen Hunt. Clearly willing to take care of her, Hunt contemplates taking a leave of absence from the hospital to cook roasted chicken or something, but Cristina isn’t listening. She’s too busy reliving the long four days she spent in the woods, fighting to stay awake. Finally speaking (in a very horror story type of way, might I add), she recalls the horrors she encountered while out there, including a gruesome description of animals fighting over a dead Lexie’s remains. Like I said: horrifying. So when we flash-forward to a non-tub-ridden Cristina running off to a job in Minnesota, it’s hard to get too upset. Her logic is valid: horrible things happen at Seattle Grace and she’s done sticking around to see what’ll happen next. Of course, Meredith doesn’t want her to go and pulls the “You’re My Person” card, but not even that can keep Cristina from fleeing. There’s just been too much hurt and heartbreak.
Speaking of heartbreak, it’s time to learn about McSteamy’s side of the story. We already know he doesn’t survive (a fact I still haven’t fully recovered from), but in one final attempt to toy with our emotions, Shonda Rhimes shows us a Mark Sloan who isn’t just conscious, but on his way to a full recovery… or at least at first glance. After confessing to his girlfriend about his true feelings for Lexie, Sloan bounces back to his old self at an oddly resilient rate (even inappropriately hitting on interns for good measure). And while everyone else is thrilled with his progress, Richard Webber believes he’s simply experiencing a temporary surge — the instance where a terminally ill patient gets better before they get worse. And as much as we wish it wasn’t true, deep down we know the wise, ex-Chief of Surgery is right. He even helps Mark make the necessary arrangements on his living will. And well… you know the rest.
NEXT: Is Arizona and Callie’s relationship over?Last week’s episode concluded with finding out that Dr. Arizona Robbins was most certainly still alive, but a far cry from her normally perky self. Why? Because her severely injured leg from the crash had to be amputated. And while feeling angry is most certainly a normal reaction in situations like these, it seemed like the majority of her rage was zeroed in on Callie, leaving many fans (me) wondering why.
The flashback showed that by the time Arizona was able to receive proper medical care, the leg was majorly infected all the way to the bone, making many doctors recommend cutting the leg off. But Arizona — in a very Gregory House sort of fashion — was adamant about keeping her leg intact no matter what. She even made Callie promise her that under no circumstances would she let them amputate. So Callie, in a desperate attempt to get her wife back to her normal self, makes a plan to save the leg. But before she can make it into surgery, Arizona crashes, forcing Callie to make the toughest decision of her life: break her promise and amputate the leg or do nothing and watch her wife die. Finally, in a very powerful moment, she told Karev, “Cut it off.” This definitely isn’t going to help get Karev back on Arizona’s good side (especially after the good telling-off she just gave him earlier in the episode). And given her recent attitude toward Callie, it could mean the end for their marriage as well.
What did you think of this week’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy? Were the flashbacks helpful or a little too all over the place? Did it make you miss McSteamy even more than you already did? Do you think Callie and Arizona’s relationship will be able to recover? Sound off in the comments below and let me know your thoughts!
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[Image Credits: ABC]