Grey’s Anatomy - Fifth Season Premiere
Starring: Ellen Pompeo, Patrick Dempsey, Sandra Oh, Katherine Heigl, Justin Chambers. T.R. Knight, Chandra Wilson, James Pickens Jr., Sara Ramirez, Eric Dane, Chyler Leigh, Brooke Smith
Created By: Shonda Rhimes

Premieres: Thursday, September 25, 2008 at 9:00 PM ET on ABC

Since I realize not everyone loves spoilers, I’ve broken this review up between general impressions and more spoilery stuff. So if you don’t want any details, only read the first half. For some great Grey’s goodies (but nothing that’ll ruin the episode for you) about the premiere, you'll find those in the second part.

There’s something to be said about hitting the refresh button. I’ve been a fan of Grey’s Anatomy since the series premiered but I found that since the second season, the show just hasn’t been as good. Last season another off-again period in the Meredith/Derek saga, George repeating his internship, Cristina picking up the pieces after Burke left, Alex’s crazy girlfriend, the Chief’s marital issues and of course, Bailey’s marital problems as well all played a part in what felt like a real downer of a season. All the while I was starting to wonder if things were ever going to get good again. Will these people ever have more than a brief moment or two of happiness? I get that there has to be rough times in any drama series but Grey’s has had a season and a half of rough times and the light at the end of the tunnel only seemed to be getting dimmer and dimmer with each passing episode. If ever there were a series that was in need of the refresh button, it was this one and it is my belief that Ms. Rhimes is doing just that with this new season.

Based on the two-hour premiere, it does appear like things are changing for the better at Seattle Grace hospital. Characters are starting to rethink the way they look at things in terms of their relationships, themselves and the way they do their jobs. Here’s the part where I start talking in specifics though so if you don’t want to know anything more, read no further. Just know that I have good things to say about it and if you’re a fan of the series, I think you’ll like the way things are starting out for the season.

Make way for spoilers!

Ok, technically there are no major spoilers here as we were requested not to mention certain things about the episode. What I can tell you is that things are going to change at Seattle Grace. S.G. was once a top-ranked teaching hospital but in the season premiere Weber and his staff learn that Seattle Grace has been bumped down to #12 on the list. It’s also been moved down on the trauma list, which basically means that in most cases, ambulances will be bringing emergency patients to another hospital instead of Seattle Grace.

While everyone is unhappy with the #12 ranking, no one is more outraged than Chief Weber. So he’s making it his mission to get Seattle Grace back up to par. This means evaluating the attendings, residents and interns to figure out what (and who) needs improvement. In terms of the character development, Derek and Meredith are on-again, which leaves Rose (Derek’s temporary girlfriend) feeling like the rebound chick and she is not happy about that. Izzie’s re-evaluating how she feels about Alex, which causes Alex to re-evaluate how he feels about himself. Lexie is making googly-eyes at George every time his back is turned because actually telling him how she feels would be totally post-grade-school and that’s just not how interns roll at Seattle Grace. Cristina takes time off from listening to Meredith obsess about where she stands with Derek in order to make eyes at the sexy military doctor, Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd) who rolls in with a group of car accident victims. McKidd (Journeyman, Rome) is totally Mc-(insert word that describes a guy who is handsome, strong, intelligent, masculine and totally perfect for Cristina here).

Speaking of car accident victims, while we’re getting caught up on all of the Grey’s characters’ drama, there’s an ice storm going on outside. A group of three couples (three men, three women) are brought in after having been in two separate car accidents. They’re all dressed up for some formal event and from what we learn, they’ve all been close friends for years. As the doctors diagnose them, their injuries range from superficial to life-threatening and we come to learn that while they’re all happy and friends on the surface, their relationships aren’t perfect. As is often the case in Grey’s, the drama among the doctors affects the patients and the drama among the patients affects the doctors. Bernadette Peters guest stars as one of the women among this group and she’s fabulous (as always). Kathy Baker (whom I will forever associate with her role as Jill in Picket Fences) plays another one of the women and she too is excellent.

Ok, that’s all I’m giving up about the episode. Like I said, I think based on the season premiere, this season has a lot of potential to be much better than the previous seasons. For some video clips from the episode and cast photos, CLICK HERE. There are also episode photos in the gallery below.
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