In the two-hour Season 6 premiere of Grey's Anatomy, the staff of Seattle Grace deals with the death of one of their own. Meanwhile, Owen treats a British backpacker who loses an arm in a speedboat accident, and Arizona has trouble diagnosing a 15-year-old patient's "growing pains." Plus: Derek gets a shocking proposition that puts him at odds with the Chief.
It's been a long summer since that cosmic elevator ride with George and Izzie last May. If you've kept an eye on the headlines at all the past few months, it was no shock that it was indeed George O'Malley who was sent to that big ER in the sky. Still, questions loomed: How would the show send him off? How would those left behind deal with the tragedy? There's a simple answer to the first question: Despite Derek's attempts, George is left brain-dead. Answering the latter question was the major focus of the opener, so in the interest of dissecting this extra-long episode, let's recap by focusing on those most affected - and someone who's barely affected by it at all. Grab your hankies, and let's get to it.
The former Mrs. O'Malley has the most immediate and physical reaction. Though the hyperventilating struck me as a bit much after it went on and on, Sara Ramirez certainly knows how to play someone grieving. Because she's still George's wife in God and Mama O'Malley's eyes, Callie has to decide whether or not George's organs should be donated. Callie freaks, before realizing that Izzie, fresh off coming back from the dead herself, is the one best equipped to make that decision.
Once George's organs are harvested and his body is in the ground, Callie hopes to throw herself into her new job as an attending physician. The bad news is, the doc she believed she would be replacing took a hit to his 401(k) and won't be retiring. (Topical!) Callie is furious with the Chief, who is in no mood for her complaints (see below). Instead of grieving her way through Arizona's endless supply of doughnuts, Callie becomes the new attending at cross-town rival Mercy West. Ironically, the Chief shows up there with a wounded leg after running a red light. Though her grief (personal and professional) is the most palpable through the episode, at least she gets the last laugh. (Or does she?)
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