May 16, 2006

Finale Report: Grey's Anatomy - "17 Seconds" "Deterioration of the Fight or Flight Response" "Losing My Religion"

It was billed as a three hour finale, but each hour is broken down to it's own episode number and title at the official site of the ABC show. This trio brings the second season to a total of 27 episodes, which is 5 more than than the typical season series. To be honest, I think it was about three hours too many.

The three hour finale was just way too long, especially the pair on Monday night. It was just too much. I like the series, and they usually keep the pace going with brief slow downs for emotional effect. This time it was bloated and draggy, it felt like they only had about 75, maybe 90, minutes of story and had to fill 180. Lots of padding to be had here.

The first hour, which aired in its regular Sunday night slot, has your favorite interns paired up with unlikely doctors, except for Karev who gets to continue working with Addison in the pre-natal unit. After the pairing off of stars, the story breaks off in two primary directions. First, a heart may have been found for Izzie's patient, and new love, so Burke, and the more than eager Karev, hop in a helicopter and head off to another hospital where the donor is. Meanwhile, the second thread is exploding downstairs, there was a shooting in an office building resulting in a large number of gunshot victims flooding the ER, and then the OR.

The only story that I found interesting here was with Burke and Karev trying to get the heart. When they arrive at the other hospital, they find two donors and Burke's former classmate and nemesis. As Burke goes to harvest his heart, the donor dies on the table, making the heart useless. So, ever proactive, he stops the other harvest from starting. His plan is to get that heart for his patient. They go through the normal procedures of seeing who is higher on the list and who is in worse shape, but the results are inconclusive, rather they point towards the other guy.

Burke calls Izzie, who has been keeping a close eye on the patient, Denny. Izzie's feelings have been growing and raging out of control, and in an ill advised moment of desperation, she lies about Denny's condition. The lie gives an unknowing Burke the edge in the heart raffle. He wins more time for tests on Denny to prove the condition.

Izzie is now in a panic. She rushes up to Denny's room with a plan. The plan boils down to stopping his current heart to make his condition worse, with the light of a heart coming. She enlists George to guard the door, but without telling him what she was doing. She agonizes over what she is about to do, and rightly so. Burke, wanting to get first hand information is on his way back to the hospital when the shooter, presumably the same guy from earlier, makes an appearance outside the entrance. Burke is shot and bleeding on the street just as Izzie puts Denny down. That brings an end to the first hour.

The second and third hours of the finale aired on Monday 5/15. Our intrepid band of interns are frantically trying to keep Denny alive, while Burke is wheeled in downstairs. Karev is still with the heart donor, in the process of procuring the much needed organ. Derek works on Burke, while Cristina watches from a distance. Izzie is having some regrets of what she is doing.

The episode features dueling surgeries. Denny is getting a new heart installed, while Derek gets Burke patched up. Then there is the subplot about Meredith and Derek's dog who has cancer, plus the chief's cancer patient niece has a relapse and is going to miss her prom. Denny survives hiseart transplant. Cristina struggles with her newfound humanity. Meredith and Derek put the dog to sleep, at the hands of Meredith's new boyfriend, Finn. The chief orders the interns to organize a prom in the hospital for his niece.

Then the best thing happens, Denny dies. I so wanted him to do, I'll get more into that in a bit. The prom is a success. Derek and Meredith reignite their flame in an empty room. Callie and George hit a boiling point in their relationship. Izzie quits following Denny's death. As quickly as the show started, it was over.

If you couldn't tell, I started to fade towards the end there. It is very similar to the way I felt watching the show. I was tiring of the marathon Grey's Anatomy session.

I should probably talk about my desire for Denny to die. It's not that I am cold hearted, or wanted him to die, but I wanted Izzie to be punished. I would not have been able to support her in her decision, and if I were her boss, I would have gotten her away from him a lot sooner than when it happened. She got to close and made bad decisions. She stole an organ that could have saved someone, she manioulated the system based on her emotional response, her judgement was severely compromised, and she deserved to be punished.

The dog, all I can say is why? This was such a worthless plotline. I can see it being of some use, but it was dragged out way too long. The same can be said for the whole prom thing, which seemed to be more of an excuse to dress the characters up than for anything else. The amount of filler was extraordinary.

Overall, I still liked them, but I was a little exhausted by the length. They could have told the same story with the same impact in a much more compact time frame. I did like the speeches that our stars made when they were questioned about their role in Denny's demise. I admired how they stuck together, even if I didn't agree with the reason for it to be necessary.

It will be interesting to see where they go next season, there are plenty of sown seeds to watch bloom. The George and Callie relationship, the Meredith/Derek developments, Burke's recovery and strained relationship with Cristina, will Izzie return, will Karev continue being the up front guy, any number of ways to go. It will be interesting.

One last thing, how old are these interns supposed to be? Mainly Meredith. Ellen Pompeo looks so much older than she is, still kind of cute, but old. I saw her on the cover of TV Guide recently, and she was air brushed to the point where it didn't even look like her. Just wondering.


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