Spoilers for last night's "Grey's Anatomy" coming up just as soon as I get some cadavers...
I don't think I ever need to see Jeffrey Dean Morgan's face or hear the words "Denny Duquette" ever again. I appreciated that Erica Hahn said virtually everything about Izzie's continued employment that a lot of us were howling about back during the original storyline, but since Izzie's obviously not going anywhere, why keep picking at this particular scab?
Unfortunately, Dr. Hahn is going somewhere, and will not be seen on the show again. Given that this was the last episode Brooke Smith before was abruptly fired, I suppose we're supposed to assume that Erica will resign in disgust, off-camera, but not report the hospital to UNOS. What a lame exit. Unless Smith herself was causing problems, ala Isaiah Washington -- and that's not at all what I'm hearing -- then it's self-defeating to dump her without giving her a proper on-screen departure. Even if the ABC executives were all grossed out by two girls kissing or whatever (because, you know, who wants to see that?), this episode provided the perfect opportunity to get rid of the character without actually having to bring up her sexuality again. Even if you ignore the apparent close-mindedness of the move, it was just a stupid business and creative decision.
Beyond those two irritations, there was actually a lot to like about "Rise Up." Start with Bailey and McDreamy's case, which was the season's latest great showcase for familiar TV faces of a certain age -- in this case, Bonnie Bartlett and George Coe. In a weird way, "Grey's Anatomy" is starting to turn into a latter-day "Love Boat," in that "The Love Boat" used to feature three stories an episode breaking down along demographic lines (one young couple, one middle-aged couple, one older couple), which not only provided something for everyone in the audience, but also provided occasional employment for aging actors who were no longer in demand for steady work. Based on how the Emmy guest actor nominations are dominated by familiar faces who have a lot of friends in the Academy, I wouldn't be surprised to see next year's categories dominated by "Grey's" guests like Coe, Bartlett, Bernadette Peters and Daniel J. Travanti. Coe's despair at his wife's impending death -- and Bailey's own refusal to let go -- was one of the season's most touching moments, and one of the rare times when the obvious parallel between the patient's problem and the doctor's didn't bug me.
Meanwhile, Kevin McKidd got to tear into Cristina and Karev for treating surgery like a competitive sport when it should really about lifesaving. These sorts of lectures, which the show does once or twice a season, are always walking a fine line -- yes, it's appalling on an objective level how the docs behave sometimes, but the competition is also one of the show's most distinct and entertaining aspects -- but this was a good one, and made better by Cristina standing up to Hunt and telling him he might not want to be so quick to judge.
So, a mixed bag, with real-world idiocy and the resurrection of a storyline I despised marring what was otherwise another solid episode for this "Grey's" comeback season.
What did everybody else think?