So, if you read any preview news at all about the Season 6 premiere, you knew that T.R. Knight wanted to leave the show, therefore George did really die, and Katherine Heigl isn't fully leaving, but taking some time out, just not quite yet... so Izzie made it... for now.
Without those surprises to really be revealed, all that was left was 2 hours of the characters dealing with George's death in various ways, and as is ALWAYS the case on Grey's, dealing with their ever-so-complicated romantic relationships.
As the first hour started out, while we already knew George was definitely John Doe and had died, they kindly went through the motions for us having his dramatic death on the operating table, which was only effective because of Callie's overdramatic but believable freak out to the point of crying so hard she was hyperventilating. While usually something like that couldn't be acted well enough for us to sympathize, she actually did it so well that it looked like extremely realistic shock and grief.
Of course, they had to do a quick bit of runaround by saying maybe it wasn't really him since all they had to rely on was Meredith being certain he'd traced "007" in her hand, but while the only one left with some hope was Lexie, we got the confirmation from Callie checking for George's distinct freckle to show us that George was definitely dead.
Good call, by the way Grey's, by setting him up to be so unrecognizable that you didn't have to actually bargain with T.R. Knight to stick around to play dead for 5 minutes of filming the premiere.
Once the news got around, everyone was obviously heartbroken. It seemed Lexie took it the most normally as someone close to him with a few regrets, Meredith took it in her annoying way of freaking out more about how she wasn't freaking out than actually freaking out that one of her best friends died. Cristina didn't react much, but those of us who've been around long enough could tell it hurt her and that was enough, then Izzie, Bailey, and Callie were left to deal with their shock and seriously difficult emotions from there.
The scene with Izzie laughing at the funeral almost worked, as it's very true that's where grief could lead you, but Meredith's very strained laugh ruined it and made it just creepy and inappropriate that they were all laughing in a graveyard.
Besides that, it seemed Izzie didn't know what to do and I'm sure we'll continue to see a lot of conflicting emotions from her and Bailey the most.
Meredith finally cried at the end of 'Goodbye,' so I think that was her going full-circle with her grief, and Callie broke down to where she seemed to finally take it in and accept it, but Izzie and Bailey seemed not to take it in quite that fully. We were left with Bailey continuing just to look stunned and depressed around the hospital, and Izzie pushing her emotions onto her cancer and Alex situations.
But of course, it'd be a little ridiculous to have the show entirely wrap up the grief from the loss of George in one episode, him being such a big character and the best friend to many on the show for years, so I'm glad that while it'll be in the background, we'll continue to see some reaction from the big loss.
In other happenings in the premiere, Lexie dealt with her hold up on moving in with Mark and actually did it, Derek dealt with the hospital board pushing him to make a decision about being chief or not, and Chief dealt with some big money issues for the hospital as well as feeling like he was getting pushed out, which obviously he is depending on Derek's decision.
Callie also dealt with some job issues as she took off to another hospital after getting frustrated about not getting the promotion she was hoping for. Cristina and Owen, Alex and Izzie, and Derek and Meredith had lots of action, or lack thereof, in their relationships as Mer-Der had fun everywhere in the house consummating their post-it marriage, Alex finally admitted to Izzie he was scared to do anything at all around or with her after her almost dying in his arms, and Cristina realized Owen's therapist was right to tell them to hold off on their sexual relationship for a while as they got to know and trust each other.
While there was still plenty of sexual tension silliness throughout the premiere, I think this was one of the first and only times I've seen couples on this show act like adults. Usually everyone's too busy avoiding their real problems and being excessively childish, but this time around, everyone was confronting their problems, though with a lot of struggle, and actually having adult conversations and making good, adult decisions.
Go Grey's! While I don't want the silliness to entirely end because watching those like Meredith and Cristina gossip about their relationship troubles is fun, I think it's about time for all these intelligent doctors to act a little less like they're running around in a high school sleeping with everyone as opposed to a respectable hospital where lives are on the line.
So overall, I'd say with the focus so much on George's death, there wasn't a lot of unpredictable excitement in the 2 hours, but the relationship developments and grief developments were mostly well-done and interesting.
What did you think? Did you think the premiere was well-done or did you find it just a necessary evil to get dealing with George dying out of the way? Do you feel like it set up for a great new season?
Photo courtesy of ABC.com