A good night for the Chief, and Bailey, and some others ...
I'm just going to jump past the Meredith/Derek rapprochement. I actually liked them being apart and, however much Shonda Rhimes may think otherwise, I'm not keen on their being together. And Rose was a good egg -- good enough even to recognize that Derek and Meredith belonged together before they had entirely figured it out for themselves.
The Hahn/Callie thing also concerns me. I know that Callie is the current reigning hotpants of "Grey's," and it would make sense that she would explore her sexual possibilities. But it feels as if it will end badly for both of them. I expected that if any move would be made, Hahn would make it. And the timing of Callie's move seemed contrived; given the day Hahn had had, I would have expected her to tell Callie to back off. But maybe I am underestimating Hahn's vulnerability in the moment and desire overall.
Lexie has become a bit of a nut -- kind of an Izzie substitute, now that Izzie is getting to be sane. And I wonder what genius put that car commercial with the guy wrapped in concrete in the middle of a show with a guy wrapped in concrete; if the "Grey's" concrete guy had died, the car company should have asked for a refund. As it is, what was supposed to be commercial whimsy had an uncomfortable edge because we were seeing what a concrete mackinaw could really lead to.
OK, so "concrete mackinaw" is a bit too precious. How often do you get an excuse to write "mackinaw"?
Getting back to "Grey's," there were many things I liked. The Chief being the Chief in a big way -- from dressing down Hahn to sorting out the concrete-guy debate -- but still being the vulnerable fella who wanted to be back with his wife. Fine work by James Pickens Jr.
Bailey, the fine Chandra Wilson, was the core of the episode (and Rhimes's surrogate), starting the idea of looking at the big picture, as Rhimes reportedly did with "Grey's" during the writers strike. But Bailey was not the only one who looked at the big pic in the episode. The patients and their families had to, of course, because of the crises they faced. And among the regular characters, big pictures hung on almost every wall.
Meredith and Derek had it where their relationship was concerned. George did about his place in the hospital hierarchy. Cristina did in her approach to surgery and Hahn (and how swell was it when she told Hahn to back off?). Izzie did in terms of what she has to do as a doctor, the Chief and his marriage. Meredith's mother epiphany (which was too tidy and quick, but still moved her along emotionally). Sloan had already begun his big-picture effort after the "whore" episode, but he still has places to go.
About the only one who was missing the big picture was Karev. He came very slowly to it with Rebecca and his seeking comfort with Izzie was immediate, impulsive -- and definitely not a big-picture idea. Maybe they will stay together. History is against them.
In sum, it was an OK episode. Not great, but setting plenty in motion for next season without seeming grandiose. And considering how many times I have been infuriated by "Grey's" attempts at the big statement, it was a relief to see things kept more under control.