By Kiersten Weed
Warning: Spoilers ahead
Over the past ten years, Grey’s Anatomy has become one of the most (if not the most) iconic medical drama in the world. The combination of extremely attractive doctors, and the fact that the great majority of them are either related or have history with one another helps to compensate for the fact that all 245 episodes revolve around the same hospital. Everything that can go wrong, goes wrong, and the viewer is always left either overcome with emotion or feeling completely at peace with Meredith’s closing words of wisdom. However, with ten years under its belt, it’s no wonder that the execs decided to bring fresh angles in Season 12.
We were all there in May: trying to cope with the death of McDreamy with a box of tissues on standby and the mindset that the show would never be the same without him. Nevertheless, for those of us who watched the season premiere a few days ago, those thoughts were dashed; Shonda Rhimes was not kidding when she promised a lighter tone for the new season.
This episode has so many new beginnings that it makes it impossible to dwell on the past. Meredith, Amelia, and Maggie are now roommates. April comes back from joining in the war effort. Bailey becomes the new chief, and Jo and Karev are rediscovering each other. Everything has changed. The hospital and the people in it are getting back into order, and it reaches the point that the viewer doesn’t even miss the beloved Yang, Derek, and Calzona. The doctors who’ve managed to survive thus far are finding their niches among the changes in relationships and losses, and it’s a long time due.
Despite the standout fresh starts, the patient stories in this episode brought me more tears than the deaths of McDreamy and McSteamy combined. Best of all: NOBODY DIED! At first, the train wreck and the two victims seemed like it was going to be another mediocre trauma that we’ve seen in the past eleven seasons. That assumption was very inaccurate. The bullying that led to the girls’ attempted suicide struck a chord with all of the physicians, and the train wreck also brought the girls’ dads to a level of acceptance and love that I was not expecting at all. I don’t know about other viewers, but I nearly gave a standing ovation to Jesse’s dad as he stood up to his wife about not trying to force their daughter to change herself and just to love her for who she is. There wasn’t as much medical drama or catastrophe as there was in the last couple seasons, and it was for the better.
What is this season really going to be all about? Season 12 is renewing the interests of viewers and bringing back the positive vibes that made the show so popular when it first started. Everyone had some sort of setback in the last season or two, and they’re getting their lives back now. Even the colors seem brighter. Whether it’s Callie finding somebody who won’t cheat on her or Meredith and Amelia helping each other move on after Derek, the doors are wide open for good things to happen.
Catch the second episode this Thursday, Oct. 1, at 8pm EDT on ABC!