‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Recap: Did The ‘Private Practice’ Crossover Work?

grey's anatomyS8E15: When ABC announced they would be doing yet another crossover episode between Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice, I was immediately skeptical. Grey’s already has an overflowing cast as it is without throwing another ensemble into the mix. Don’t get me wrong, I’m always up for an Addison cameo, but bringing so many other castmates along for the ride results in one sweeping story line overshadowing the other, far more interesting developments. So was this crossover worth the hassle or was it simply just ABC’s way of shoving the less popular Private Practice down our throats? I’m tempted to believe the latter, but let’s delve into this tangled episode together, shall we?

“I wasn’t mugged by a baby. I just don’t want kids.” – Cristina

Things start off normally enough as we open up with Cristina and Owen in couple’s therapy, trying to deal with their many, many issues. However, the main hot topic of concern between the two of them is the abortion. While Owen resents Cristina for going through with it, Cristina equally resents Owen for holding her hand throughout the procedure and then yelling at her for killing their baby four months later. So you can see why she’d feel a little blindsided by his outburst. Owen is convinced that something must have happened in her past to cause her not to want children, but Cristina is just Cristina. Medicine and hardcore surgeries are her true loves, not babies.

It’s a really interesting storyline, dealing with raw, pent-up emotions that these two have been carrying with them all season long and it’s finally coming to a head. But their story is put on the back burner due to the crossover, which eats up precious minutes that could’ve been used to expand on Cristina and Owen’s issues. Granted, the couple still gets a fair amount of coverage, but with the addition of Meredith’s complicated hand-in-meat-grinder patient, Bailey’s obsession with another patient, and Alex’s pregnant intern suffering from some sort of heart attack, Owen and Cristina are sidelined. A crossover story just had no place amid all those other plots.


“All the passion in the world is not going to make her plan doable in 90 seconds.” – Derek

It’s when we reach the halfway point in the episode where things start to severely shift away from the Grey’s storyline. Derek’s sister, Amelia, enlists Derek’s help for a very complicated surgery and while they’re always dealing with complicated surgeries this one is particularly important because it concerns Erica, the mother of Cooper’s child. (For those of you who aren’t familiar with Private Practice, Cooper is one of the main characters on the show). Not only is the surgery complicated, it’s never been done before. The big problem: they need to do the procedure in under 90 seconds or her brain will essentially be dead and her son will be left without a mother. But no pressure.

It’s a very moving, sad story and there’s certainly enough of a risk factor to pique our interests, but I still fail to see the point of the whole crossover idea. In the midst of it all, we encounter characters we’re unfamiliar who all have different back stories that makes no sense to a first-time viewer. And because of that, you risk Grey’s fans tuning out due to confusion and Private Practice fans tuning out due to the first hour being almost completely dominated by a different show. Combining two shows doesn’t necessarily make them stronger and in this case it appears to be to their detriment. 

Finally, after a lot of practicing, Derek and Amelia attempt the procedure. They accomplish the task on time, however, nothing ever goes as smoothly as planned at Seattle Grace. Erica’s pressure goes through the roof despite their best efforts (why? too much medical talk for me to understand), but they’re able to lower it and inevitably save her life.

So what did you think of tonight’s episode? Did you enjoy the crossover effect or are you like me and prefer when Grey’s is just Grey’s? Sound off in the comments below or get at me on Twitter @KellyBean0415.