ABC has been promising some huge events in the three-part mega-sweepsy episode of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and they’re certainly delivering. I believe that after tonight’s episode, titled “Drowning on Dry Land,” fans of the show will be somewhat divided in terms of how they feel about what happened in this episode and what will happen in next week’s “devastating” conclusion. Some will use the over-used “Jump the shark” phrase and complain that the show has gone too far into ‘ER’ territory to redeem itself. Others are loving these episodes and are on the edge of their seats to see how it all turns out. And while some are sure Meredith is going to pull through, others are actually starting to wonder if the writers of ‘Grey’s’ are ballsy enough to kill off the title character.
I have to say, I’m of the latter group myself. While I understand that Meredith dying will completely alter the dynamic of the show, if they do decide to let her die, it would turn the show upside down. That might not be such a bad thing but I’ll get more into that later. In the meantime, Meredith’s fate was not the only thing that was addressed in this episode.
Izzie was with the man who was trapped under a car. When she begins to panic, Vince (one of the unconscious mechanic’s friends) calms her down and Izzie takes a minute to think. She calls the chief and he tells her she needs to drill the man’s skull. Izzie uses Vince’s drill and lets Sloan and Weber talk her through the procedure. She handles it like a pro and the rescue people get the guy to the hospital. Weber tells her she did great and that she’s off probation. He even lets her scrub in on the man’s surgery where she gets to use an actual surgical drill to finish the job she started on the ferry.
George lied and told the injured mother that he found her son so that she’d let the doctors operate on her. Bailey tells him he needs to go find the kid before the mother wakes up. George searches the whole hospital, including the morgue but he can’t find the kid. Finally he sees that there’s a 7-year-old John Doe in the O.R. He goes in to find Callie operating on a kid. He asks her to look at the picture to see if the kid she’s operating on is Chris. At first Callie doesn’t want him bothering her but after hearing the desperation in his voice, she looks at the picture. She confirms that it’s her patient. George’s mission is accomplished.
Alex is still trying to figure out who the pregnant woman is. Addison tells him that she thinks it’s terrible that this woman is in this condition and no one she knows is there. She goes on to say that she’s afraid if she disappeared, no one would notice.
In addition to worrying about the pregnant Jane Doe, Alex has to manage the families of the ferry victims who are waiting in the clinic for word about their loved ones. At first he can’t handle the situation and only has a 2-hour-old list to show them. Finally he comes up with a system to give the people updates. He takes Polaroid photos of all of the patients and posts them on the wall for the friends and family to come and identify. He then goes to the morgue and takes photos of those people. He talks to George (who was there looking for Chris at the time) about how he’s not a people person. He likes patients but not people. He finds the body of a pregnant woman and takes her picture.
When he returns to the clinic, he talks to a man who said he was looking for a pregnant woman. Alex is beyond hopeful that the woman the man is there for is the Jane Doe in the O.R. and not the one in the morgue. He describes the woman in the O.R. but the man says it doesn’t sound like its her nor does it look like her in the picture (though her face is badly bruised so its hard to be sure). Finally after the man describes his wife’s eyes, Alex shows him the picture of the woman from the morgue. It’s her. The man breaks down in tears.
Alex just stands there looking around the clinic at all of the people crying, hugging each other or on cell phones breaking the news to others. Afterwards he goes up to Addison and tells her that he’d notice if she disappeared. Could this be the beginning of something real between them?
Cristina has been stuck stitching people up all day. She asks everyone where Meredith is because she needs to tell her about the engagement. She has another argument with Burke about the subject. She says Meredith’s “her person.” She uses an analogy about it, saying that if she murdered someone, Meredith would be the person she’d call to help her drag the body across the living room floor. Burke isn’t happy that she’s comparing their engagement to a corpse and leaves. What Cristina was trying to say was that its not really real until she tells her closest friend. She can’t celebrate it until Meredith knows.
Meredith, however, is under water. She was knocked into the freezing cold water by the hysterical injured man and no one but the little mute girl witnessed it. She breaks the surface of the water and tries to swim but the water is too cold and her body probably started to go into shock. Her final thought before slipping back under the water was “There’s more I have to say… so much more, but I’ve disappeared.”
The patient Meredith treated is brought over to the triage area and Derek spots Meredith’s jacket and ID tag on him. He gets worried and goes to find her. He finds the little girl and asks her to show him where Meredith is. She looks around but there’s chaos everywhere and it takes her a minute or two. Tthen she points towards the water. When we next see her, she’s standing alone by the water. A Coast Guard guy finds the girl, picks her up and begins to carry her away. Just then we hear a cough. Derek climbs up onto the dock, carrying Meredith who is blue and not breathing.
He performs CPR on her in the ambulance but she’s not responding. They get her into the hospital and Bailey has to push Derek away from Meredith so they can try to treat her. Each of the interns gets the page, as do the other (relevant) residents. Derek is kicked out of the room because he’s too distraught to be of any use in this situation. He sits outside and Sloan comes and sits next to him. It’s clear that their past is forgotten for now and in this moment they’re the best friends they once were. Sloan puts his hand on Derek’s arm and the two just sit there together.
Addison, Burke, Weber and Bailey work on Meredith. Addison makes some suggestions about how to get warmth back into her frozen body. Meredith’s heart stops but they get it going again. The situation is very grim though. I’m thinking if this was any other patient they might have given up already but they keep trying.
Outside the interns have gathered. At first Cristina doesn’t believe it’s Meredith in there but when she sees Derek, she knows. Izzie says Meredith will pull through this. George isn’t so sure though. Izzie goes into a powerfully moving (but not overdone) speech about believing. She says she believes Denny is always with her and that if she eats a whole tub of butter and no one sees it, that the calories don’t count. She looks at George and says she believes that he is a man who made a terrible mistake in marrying Callie but that its ok for her to say that because she’s his best friend and they’ll get through this. She says they’ll survive because sometimes just believing you’ll survive is the only thing that makes you survive. She hugs Cristina.
Meredith’s heart stops again. The screen fades to white briefly and then we see a healthy looking Meredith sit up in the bed, coughing. She looks over to the side of the room and sees Dylan Young, the man who was killed in the bomb blast in last season’s “It’s The End of the World” episode (you might also recognize him as Coach Taylor from ‘Friday Night Lights’). He says hi to her. She asks if she’s dead and Denny, who is standing on the other side of the bed, smiles kindly and says “damn right, you are”.
So is Meredith really dead? Will the doctors be able to bring her back? I know plenty of people are probably thinking that there’s no way the writers would kill off the title character in the middle of the third season but what if they do? Stranger things have happened in drama shows. I’m not so sure that killing Meredith would be the beginning of the end of the series. It’s a huge risk but the other characters have carried the show for episodes on end during some of the less enjoyable Meredith-episodes.
The previews promised a devastating conclusion and rumor has it, someone is going to die. If Meredith does pull through this by some sweeps miracle, which (if any) character will be the one to take her place at death’s door?