Episode Title: Time Has Come Today

There’s a song by the Chambers Brothers called “Time Has Come Today”. It’s probably safe to assume that the writers of the season premiere of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ had that song in mind when they wrote the first episode of season three. Not only is the episode titled “Time Has Come Today” but it also seems to fit the song. I’m not here to recant song lyrics though so if you’re interested in reading the lyrics, check it out here.

There was a very ‘Lost’-like quality to tonight’s episode of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’. Fans of both shows probably know what I’m referring to. Before I get down to the plot, let’s address the flashbacks. The episode picks up the day after prom night. Each of the characters is dealing with what happened the day before and how the events are affecting them personally. This results in a series of flashbacks throughout the episode.

All of the flashbacks are related in that they fill in the blanks for how everyone met. Izzie’s flashback starts it off at a meet-and-greet party held for the interns the night before their first day at Seattle Grace. She and Alex introduce themselves to one another and when Izzie tells Alex that she’s a surgical intern, he doesn’t take her seriously. She tells him that she’s hardcore. Cristina’s flashback is of her introducing herself to Burke. Maybe “introducing” isn’t entirely accurate. She gushes all over him like a fan-girl meeting a pop star. Burke is preoccupied with some beautiful woman and Cristina starts going on and on about his medical reputation and how she’d like to work under him (we all know how that turned out). Burke politely blows her off. Cristina wasn’t the only one to get shot down at the party. In George’s flashback, he recalls introducing himself to Meredith Grey. His introduction to Meredith wasn’t gushy but it was full of typical George-neediness. She walks away from him while he’s in the middle of a sentence.

In Derek’s flashback we get to see him and Addison fighting after he found out she cheated on him. Addison is desperately apologizing to him but Derek is too hurt to accept her remorse and he leaves her. Flash-forward a little bit to the meeting of Meredith and Derek at the bar the night of the party. They introduce themselves but neither mentions that they’re a doctor. It was this semi-intoxicated meeting that lead to their one-night-stand and the mess of a relationship that followed.

The flashbacks gave us some insight into what the characters were going through after that hellish day at the hospital. Now onto what’s going on in the present day. Izzie is falling apart over the loss of Denny. Her friends find her lying on the floor of her room still in her dress from the night before. They all agree that Meredith should go in and talk to her since she’s the most “dark and twisty”.

Instead of helping Izzie, Meredith needs to take some time to think about this “dark and twisty” term and goes into the kitchen, leaving George to tend to Izzie for the time being. While George is trying to talk to Izzie, Meredith and Cristina discuss shiva, the Jewish period of mourning. Cristina ponders over whether or not Izzie can sit shiva since she’s Catholic. Interestingly enough though, part of shiva involves the close family of the deceased sitting on a low stool or on the floor so in a way, Izzie spending the day lying on the floor was quite shiva-like.

After the shiva talk, Meredith confesses to Cristina that she got it on with McDreamy on prom night. She tells Cristina that she lost her panties. We then see the panties taken out of a dryer, folded and put in a plastic bag by, of all people, Addison. I guess this answers the question as to whether or not Addison knew about her husband’s recent infidelity.

Meanwhile at the hospital, Miranda has to identify Denny’s body before he can be taken to a funeral home. She learns that Denny’s body is being taken to Memphis as per his family’s wishes. Before he’s taken away, Miranda leans over him and apologizes. She seems sincerely sorry for his loss and is apparently taking on some of the blame for his death.

Patients are coming in to the hospital in droves with the flu. George and Derek see a car accident victim named Giselle who has a massive head injury. Derek seems preoccupied by the whole Meredith thing but as they work on Giselle, the conversation turns to Izzie. George explains to Derek that Izzie was in love with Denny (apparently Derek was the only one who wasn’t aware of this) and that he doesn’t think she’ll be the same after this.

It turns out that this car accident victim might have the black plague and since McDreamy and George were exposed, they’re quarantined to the locker room. They end up spending their time eating food out of people’s lockers and discussing their love lives. George talks about how he isn’t ready to tell Callie that he loves her and how Derek has had a full life (what with all his affairs and what not) but his life isn’t done yet. George is convinced he’s got the plague while Derek is calm and collected. He seems more intent on figuring out his own love life than he is on helping calm George.

The potential plague patient Giselle didn’t make it out of surgery. Her husband is also quarantined in an examining room and Miranda is keeping him company. When she gets the news about his wife she tells him. He starts to hyperventilate but Miranda can’t get into the room to calm him so she starts to talk him down through the door. Once again we see the guilt Miranda is feeling about Denny’s death. She explains to him about her thoughts on the afterlife and how she wishes she could go back in time to yesterday to make things better. Her words are directly related to Giselle’s death but its obvious she’s thinking about the Denny situation.

During all the plague-ness, a newborn baby is brought into the hospital. It was abandoned in a bathroom of a high school. Alex and Addison work to save the baby’s life and discuss figuring out who the mother is. A group of parents bring in a bunch of 14-year-old girls whom they believe had something to do with the baby. The girls were the last people seen in the bathroom before the baby was found. Addison calmly interrogates them to try and solve the mystery. The girls are all quiet about the whole thing but they definitely look like they know something. Addison recommends that she examine the girls to check to see if any of them recently gave birth. There are protests to this and even Addison discusses later that a pelvic exam on a 14-year-old girl could be painful because she’s so young. Here’s what I’m wondering – how far would the exam need to go to tell whether or not a girl recently gave birth? Anyway, they settle on blood tests. Eventually it comes down to two girls who might be a match to the baby. Addison talks to both of them about the responsibility they had to the child and how the baby could die. One of the girls finally speaks up and admits it’s hers.

Adele is frustrated with Webber for spending so much time at the hospital. She basically ends up telling him he needs to retire from his job or retire from their marriage.

Back at the intern’s house, Callie showed up with food. Meredith is hesitant to let Callie in but does anyway. Callie immediately promises Meredith that she’s not going to give her a hard time about the McDreamy encounter which is a relief to Meredith. Callie participates in the Shiva-ness by cooking. Finn shows up to see Meredith but she hastily leaves him in the kitchen and goes up to talk to Izzie. Callie explains to Finn that doctors have spent their entire adult lives in schools and hospitals, which inevitably makes them socially retarded 17-year-olds.

Izzie tells Meredith that she doesn’t know how to play the role of the grieving fiancé. She feels like she’s moving in slow motion and everything around her is moving so fast. She goes on to talk about needing Denny and feeling alone.

When Finn finally talks to Meredith he basically puts the ball in her court. He’s smart enough to realize she’s got other stuff going on that she needs to figure out but he’s not giving up, just letting her make the next move.

The plague was contained and George and Derek are let out. They both go over to Meredith’s house. Callie tells George how much she loves him and, while not saying it back, he gives her a sincere kiss and hug. Derek witnesses this and then goes in to talk to Meredith. He tells her he’s still in love with her and he wants to be with her but that she has a choice to make. He’s basically doing a modified version of the “choose me, love me” speech that she gave him last season. Mostly though he’s just telling her to make a choice either way. He leaves her to think about things.

Cristina goes back to the hospital and climbs into bed with Burke. She tells him “Don’t ever die”. They cuddle. Addison is leaving the hospital but takes a minute to pin Meredith’s underwear to a bulletin board under a sign that says “Lost and Found”. (heh.) We then get one last flashback of the interns leaving the party. As they’re walking out, Izzie tells George how cool it is that they’re going to be surgeons. They all leave the party looking hopeful. That takes us to the present. Meredith’s voice-over is talking about it being time to stand up and grow up. As these words are spoken, Meredith helps Izzie get up off the floor and out of her dress.

As powerful as last season’s finale was, the premiere of the new season seems to have kept most of the momentum. The episode was great for a number of reasons. The flashbacks have made the events over the last year and the growth that the characters have made all the more apparent.

I’m trying really hard to like Meredith this season but this episode didn’t help much. I’ve commented in the past that I think her character is extremely self-absorbed and tonight’s episode only supported that. When the interns suggested Meredith go talk to Izzie, Meredith bailed. It was only when Finn showed up that she went to Izzie’s side. She was obviously just trying to avoid Finn at the time. When Callie showed up with food, again, she seemed more concerned about what Callie thought about the Derek thing than she was about Callie’s real reason for being there.

I also need to add that I just love Addison. She’s such a strong character in the show. When she first appeared last season I didn’t like her at all but she’s grown on me a lot and now I’m really rooting for her. I have a feeling Alex is going to soften up this season. Working with pregnant women and babies is going to have an affect on him.

All in all, based on the first episode of the new season, I think season three is shaping up to be as good as, if not better than season 2.

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