Spoiler alert if you haven't seen this week's Grey's Anatomy, read no further.
I am a big fan of this show. Big fan of Shonda Rhimes. That woman can write. She's one of my new heros. I thought last night's episode (the past weeks' little trilogy of episodes) was great.
It's not that I thought they'd kill off Meredith. Like I said, the show's called Grey's Anatomy. It'd be hard to kill off Dr. Grey. But the show has killed off some very likable and sympathetic characters in the past, so the very slim chance she might actually die made me just a tiny bit scared.
But really, we didn't need to think she might die in order to be interested in that episode. The fact that she gave up fighting in the water and why. The horrible things her mother said to her. Derek's obvious commitment to her. (especially since we've been given reasons to doubt him in the past.) Addison's obvious sadness in realizing Derek's feelings for Meredith. The deepening of the Christina/Meredith friendship. "You're the one person I wanted to tell." And that little bit with Denny and Izzie at the end? Heartbreaking and not entirely predictable. Because of everything else going on, I thought she was about to say something nice to Callie. With hindsight, that little encounter with Denny was obvious, but there was enough misdirection (at least for me) that it was a tender, heartwrenching little surprise.
Yes, in that episode the "will Meredith live" question was almost the frame for the other subplots, not the main plot, so it didn't matter that we all knew she'd live.
And having her nearly die seems like smart writing to me. I mean, Meredith's character needs to change and evolve. But she's deeply scarred. You can't make a deeply scarred character simply do a 180 without motivation. This past sequence of events culminating in a near death experience may provide a believable catalyst for her to change. (Assuming that's where the writers take it.) Much more satisfying than her changing simply because she falls in love. (Not that her falling in love isn't satisfying... (That scene last week when Derek was carrying her out of the water just about killed me.) I guess I just like to see a character grow for reasons other than love. Especially when the character isn't capable of love unless they change. (Guess that's why I sucked at writing romances...)
I've heard some critics of this show say they find Meredith's character whiney. I don't agree. I love her character. I love all the characters on the show. They're flawed. They're 3 dimensional. And this latest group of shows where we saw more about her relationship with her mother and how that holds her back, explains much of her "malcontent" nature, if in fact she has one.
Can't wait to see where they take her character and this show.