Smiley Faces on the Wall   

Thoughts on Grey’s Anatomy, 5×09: “In the Midnight Hour”

Chyler Leigh as Lexie Grey on GREYS ANATOMY. (c) 2008 ABC/KAREN NEALAt what point did Lexie Grey become my favorite character on Grey’s Anatomy and how did that happen?

Here’s the thing, I don’t hate the Denny storyline as much as everyone else. I attribute that to not having seen almost any of the first season and a half of this show. I was never overexposed to Denny so it doesn’t bother me when he shows back up.

That said, I completely understand the complaints about what is going on. I kind of wish Shondra hadn’t bothered to shoot down the brain tumor idea so that at least people would have some plausible reason to hold on to. The way I see it, the only other plausible explanation is that Izzie is literally losing her mind. (Theoretically she could still have some kind of health problem that is causing hallucinations BUT the way Shondra shot down the idea of the brain tumor implies that isn’t nothing similar to that either.) The reason I get the annoyance people feel here is that this show is based in reality. You have to be careful when you start introducing ghosts and things like that. Just look at the outcry when Meredith had her “going into the light” moment last season and at least that one could be explained as Meredith in a dream state.

I’m not exactly sure how we explain what’s going on now and the way they are dragging it out doesn’t help. The longer Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Denny Duquette on GREYS ANATOMY on ABC.Izzie’s seeing Denny, the harder it gets to accept that it’s something that could really happen. Especially when we get to hear her making love through the door. True we only heard her and Alex wouldn’t open the door so we have no idea what everyone else would have seen. But in trying to make us all wonder if Denny could be real, they’re quickly losing their audience. Because the truth is that most of us don’t buy that he can be real and the longer they play this game with us, the more we get annoyed that they think we’d be fooled into believing it’s possible that Denny’s really there.

You got to wonder how Katherine Heigl feels about it all (don’t want her to tell us, though, she gets herself into too much trouble when she starts over sharing with the press). She’s acting the hell out of her scenes and I’m leaning more towards the idea of Izzie going crazy from the way she’s playing it, but your ability to do the best with the material you are given doesn’t hide that it’s a lame storyline. I can’t lie, there is a part of me that thinks the writers are paying Katherine back for her remarks around Emmy time. However, I also think that’s just me indulging in my imagination and that it’s probably as simple as an idea not turning out as good as it looked on the white board. Whatever it is, I hope it’s not going to last too much longer because I can’t deal with listening to everyone continue to bitch about it… and, ya know, I could do without the constant reminder that Izzie got away with a huge mistake.

Which takes me back to Lexie. Despite the fact that Lexie screwed up big time in this episode, I love that she owned her mistake. At no point does she turn around and say that she was peer pressured into it. She was but that’s no excuse. She recognized that she was still responsible for what she did and refused to point the blame anywhere else. I love that about her. And, while she should absolutely be fired, there’s a part of me that’s relieved that she works at Seattle Grace… where it’s becoming increasingly obvious that the only thing interns can’t get away with is murder. And, hell, given the right circumstances I’m sure they’d even brush that under the rug.

In other news, Cristina yelling at Meredith pissed me off. What she said was complete bullshit and it annoys me that Meredith didn’t tell her that. Because if she wants to play the blame game, Cristina should never have let Meredith walk into that office with the possibility of getting blind sided. As soon as Cristina and Meredith saw what was going on in that room, Cristina should have told Meredith what she knew. Quite frankly, Cristina should have told Meredith and the Chief about it the week before. Yes, the attendings all have some culpability in what the interns were doing but that’s no excuse not to go to the Chief to force them to shut it down. Christina didn’t want to admit that she had been neglecting teaching the interns so she wanted to believe that telling them to stop would be enough. But instead of taking the blame for what she didn’t do, she goes off on Meredith for not sticking up for her. Bullshit.

There’s still apart of me, for the record, that thinks the writers are not willfully ignoring what’s going on at Seattle Grace. They’re the ones bringing all these constant mistakes and issues to our attention. It feels like they have to be doing it intentionally. However, it kind of goes against everything we heard preached in the first few episodes this season. It sure seemed like the hospital was going to start improving from that point forward… unless this is all about proving what a horrible leader the Chief has become lately. You could argue that his reaction to them falling so far down the list was what led them all trying to outdo each other in their attempt to prove that they’re the best. Except they’ve always been this way and really it’s just obvious that there’s nobody holding anyone accountable for anything. I felt like Hahn’s take on the Denny situation was a little too black and white but she wasn’t wrong to call the Chief on it. Something needs to happen soon if we’re all to believe that anyone would believe Seattle Grace is a hospital anyone would want to learn at much less go to be treated.

Wow. I’m guessing that sounds like I’m hating the show along with everyone else, eh? But I’m not. I’m enjoying it on the same level as always. It draws me in and I get caught up in what is happening to the characters (obviously!). In fact, it brings tears to my eyes almost every week. But liking the show doesn’t mean I’m blind to its faults. I just don’t think it’s as horrible as the most vocal complainers claim. It’s still got a lot of good storytelling going for it. I just hope they find a way to fix the parts that vexing everyone.

6 Responses to “Smiley Faces on the Wall”

  1. 1

    I really like Lexie as well, although it could just be that I’ve always liked Chyler Leigh and just like seeing her on something that isn’t in danger of being cancelled.

    As you know, I don’t particularly care for the Dead Denny/Izzie thing, but you are correct that Katherine Heigl is “acting the hell out of her scenes.” The scene in this episode where she tells off Dead Denny is outstanding.

    Like you, I enjoy watching the show as much as ever, even with the aforementioned storyline.

  2. 2
    TVFiend says:

    I too am not fond of the return of dead Denny, but Katherine Heigl has been absolutely awesome. Her performance as Izzie is nothing short of fantastic – if the storyline could match her efforts, she would have another Emmy in the bag.

  3. 3
    Eolivet says:

    Ooh, I didn’t hear Shonda debunked the idea of a brain tumor (I’m glad…I thought that was predictable). I have to think GA is based in reality, and there’s no way Denny is actually alive, but the guessing, to me, is what’s keeping the storyline interesting. Nobody else has seen him…but we haven’t seen Izzie talking to air, either.

    And quite frankly, I don’t think one questionable storyline can drag down an entire show, ESPECIALLY when the show has a cast of 10+ people! I got that a little with George/Izzie (because of the adultery thing), but one storyline is going to make people ignore all the awesome things, like a more involved Bailey, a stable Meredith/Derek, a more sisterly Meredith with Lexie, the awesome Owen Hunt, a more charming Mark Sloane and the hospital basically getting called out on all its faults, and the show/staff making an effort to fix them? People are missing some great characters and compelling stories because they don’t like ONE CHARACTER. :(

  4. 4
    Just Jody says:

    Personally, I’m enjoying the Izzy & Denny storyline! It’s about time someone on this show had some emotions again, I like that Grey’s is making me feel something again. And I’m also quite sure that Shondra has a very good plan, and we’ll likely be impressed with whatever the reason for Denny’s return is. AND I’m also glad she shot down the tumor theory, because let’s be honest… if it’s my first guess, then it’s lame storytelling!

    I think the people who are ripping the show apart for the Denny (who was never in the show enough to make me sick of him – it’s how Izzy behaves around him that bugs people I think) story should shut-it until they see where it’s actually going.

    My annoyance with the interns and their stupidity, and the fact that nobody is calling out the residents for their responsibility in this, is what’s driving me nuts right now. Christina’s horrid treatment of her interns drove them to this behaviour, and she should at least be one of the ones punished for what they’ve been doing.

  5. 5
    Rae says:

    Jason: I do like Chyler and I’ve never had a problem with Lexie… but it’s just that I realized she has become one of my favorite characters these days and that wasn’t the case before.

    TVFiend: I think she may have an Emmy reel in there despite the story. Especially so depending on the outcome of the story.

    Eolivet: Yep, it was just recently… maybe in a Kristin or Ausiello article? I agree that it’s based in reality and I’m sure he’s not actually alive. But that was my point. We all know he’s not really alive… and that’s what makes people frustrated with the story. Or, more accurately, the way they keep playing with the reveal… as if he COULD be alive. Does that make sense? It doesn’t bug me nearly as much as it does others because I am 100% the writers are going to try and pull something crazy like that. I think other people are worried they might and that’s why they find the storyline frustrating.

    That or, if we all know he’s not going to be alive, then stop acting like that’s what we’re supposed to be thinking… I feel like there’s an argument to be made that the storyline could be just as compelling if they just revealed to the audience what’s really going on… it feels like they are purposely playing games with us just for some kind of big reveal and it’s taking away from what ever is going onw ith Izzie.

    I do agree that one storyline can’t drag down a show although I certainly know people who have given up on shows because of one thing that bugs them and they can’t overlook.

    As you already know, I agree that Mark has been much more charming this season.

  6. 6
    Rae says:

    See now, Jo, GA’s never stopped making me feel… wonder if that’s just because I wasn’t watching from the beginning like you? I haven’t had time to get sick of certain storylines yet?

    I don’t know that I like that she shot down the tumor because I’m not sure it leaves many other options… I like Izzie and I don’t want to see her going crazy, etc.

    I agree with you 100% about Cristina. That’s what I meant about the Chief being a crappy manager. I feel like there’s no one on the show supervising these people. Even Bailey’s reaction to what happened this past week annoyed me because I can usually count on her to lay down the law.