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‘Grey’s Anatomy’ premiere resolves cliffhangers

TV Review | 4 out of 5 stars

Published: Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Updated: Tuesday, October 9, 2012 07:10

“He’s not going to die.” “Don’t die. Please.”

These words dribbled from desperate viewers’ lips as they watched the season premiere of “Grey’s Anatomy.” With the start of the show’s ninth season, viewers were taken along on a whirlwind of heartache. Although they were more than likely relieved to find that most of their favorite characters were still alive and kicking, “Grey’s Anatomy” fans despairingly had to bid adieu to some of the characters they have grown to love and adore over the past eight years.

In last season’s finale, many of the protagonist doctors — Meredith (Ellen Pompeo), Derek (Patrick Dempsey), Cristina (Sandra Oh), Mark (Eric Dane), Lexie (Chyler Leigh) and Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) — were in a shocking plane crash that yanked viewers straight of their seats. Grey’s fans shed copious tears as Mark declared his eternal love for Lexie while the life slowly left her eyes. Since Mark and Lexie were one of the couples that viewers constantly rooted for during previous seasons, Lexie’s sudden death definitely crushed the hearts of many “Grey’s Anatomy” lovers. Following her death, the season ended with Arizona getting trapped under the plane wreckage, Derek enduring horrible arm injuries and Mark nearing death due to his severe heart issues.

One thing is for sure: Shonda Rhimes, the show’s creator, certainly knows how to end a season.

After an arduous four−month wait, season nine’s premiere takes place 30 days after the plane crash. In the aftermath, Mark lies in an unresponsive coma, Meredith has turned into an austere attendant feared by all the interns who call her “Medusa,” Derek’s arm has just healed, Cristina works in a hospital in Minnesota and Arizona is nowhere to be found.

The distressing episode is peppered with succinct moments of hope and joy. We see that Doctor Bailey’s (Chandra Wilson) relationship with Ben (Jason George) is flourishing and she has gained the comical nickname of BCB — which stands for Booty Call Bailey. When this “new” Bailey is compared to the Miranda Bailey from season 1 of “Grey’s,” one can see how much her character has developed over time. She has developed from a tyrannical resident to a loving fiancee.

Additionally, the premiere introduced viewers to this year’s new Seattle Grace−Mercy West interns, who will certainly be playing a larger role since many major characters were lost last season. There were definite glimmers of hope and moments of happiness in the premiere. Like the introduction of the interns, these glimmers all predict that the rest of this season will not be as depressing as the first episode. Still, you really never know with Shonda Rhimes.

Each episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” reminds the viewer that Rhimes is masterfully good at creating unyielding tension. Throughout the episode, viewers remained in the dark as to the eventual fate of Mark Sloan as well as the whereabouts of Arizona Robbins. Arizona’s death is a possibility, as Callie (Sara Ramirez) loses her temper and weeps in the ever−dramatic storeroom of the SG−MW hospital at one point in the episode.

On top of all of that, Derek’s hand trembles during a surgery, implying that it will never fully heal. Finally, Cristina and Meredith have yet to recover from their traumatic experience, thus resulting in their inability to travel anywhere. All of these dramatic subplots culminate to build tension that you could cut with a knife.

This season premiere of “Grey’s Anatomy” ends on a shockingly miserable note, making it clear that Rhimes seems to enjoy suddenly terminating some of her major characters. The show’s most beloved male character, George O’Malley (T.R. Knight), died in season five and this year audiences have lost a lot more. Killing off main characters is a huge risk. But the show has transfixed fans for eight years, so Rhimes must be doing something right.

If this first episode was any indicator of how the rest of the season will pan out, this year of “Grey’s Anatomy” is definitely going to be heart−wrenching and emotional, with many moments of both delight and sorrow. It is likely that by the end of the season, viewers will be drowning in their own sentimental tears.

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