Grey’s Anatomy “Old Time Rock and Roll” (Season 12 Episode 4)

It’s time to check in with the doctors at Grey Sloan memorial. Before getting into “Old Time Rock and Roll,” I wanted to share a few thoughts on the episodes following the season premiere:

– Episode 2, “Walking Tall,” focused on Chief Bailey’s first day in her new role. Although it was a new start for Bailey, the episode had a lot of the familiar elements of Grey’s Anatomy that have become part of the shows charm over twelve seasons. The episode was fun, lighthearted and much less didactic than the premiere – which many took issue with being too heavy handed in the writers’ effort to touch upon current events and to be inclusive. I do not consider myself among that group, but the criticisms were certainly noted. The show is at its best when the doctors are pulling together to help patients, which is something I also enjoyed about “Old Time Rock and Roll.” I love when the effort to help each other leads to moments in which the writers call back to longstanding relationships between characters. In particular, “Walking Tall” highlighted the wonderful bond between Bailey and Richard.

– Episode 3, “I Choose You,” continued the show’s focus this season on getting back to the basics. Although I was no fan of the manner in which the writers handled Derek’s death, the fallout of Patrick Dempsey’s departure has provided an opportunity to create a wonderful dynamic between Meredith, Amelia and Maggie. The relationship between the trio has been one of my favorite parts of this season. It is also amazing to watch Amelia and Maggie somehow make Meredith look a little less neurotic. Like “Walking Tall,” this episode had great call backs to longstanding relationships. In this episode, it was Meredith and Richard, which was followed by Meredith and Bailey. The exploration of the romantic relationships between Alex/Jo and April/Jackson has not been my favorite aspect of the first few episodes of the season. Jo has some serious issues that have not been worked out and absolutely should be before she and Alex think about having kids. I want Jackson and April to figure things out and for both parties to accept whatever is best for their partner, even if it is not their ideal solution. It was painful to watch April repeatedly decline Jackson’s requests for space.

On to this week’s episode . . .

“Old Time Rock and Roll” is my favorite of the first four episodes of this season. Maggie unlocked the last Grey’s Anatomy character achievement by sleeping with an intern last week. I loved Meredith’s very apt observation that they all do it and they literally do it all over the hospital. I like Maggie and the intern together and I’m all for them being awkwardly hot. Keep it simple and I’m all for it. Enjoy dipping into Amelia’s jumbo box of condoms under the bathroom sink!

I’ve finally gotten used to Jo and Stephanie being part of the group and I liked the exploration we got into Stephanie’s past. I did, however, think it was weird that Jo’s first instinct was to accuse Stephanie of lying about her sickle cell treatment just because Stephanie never told her about it. It seems reasonable to me that someone might not be willing to share information about their health with others. And although Stephanie has told her fair share of harmless lies to avoid long waits for lab results, we have not seen her be so manipulative that Jo would reasonably suspect Stephanie lied about her health to get out of treating a patient. I like that the conflict brought Stephanie and Amelia together, but I’m not sure if the end result was worth the odd conflict between Stephanie and Jo.

This was a bit of a mixed bag episode for Meredith. I LOVED how she set the interns straight on how to take on the unenviable task of letting someone know their loved one died. Ellen Pompeo was so great in that scene. I should have known that Meredith her peace with being a widow would be disrupted with a reminder of her loss. Enter Callie and her new girlfriend. I’m going to reserve judgment about this development in the storyline. I liked Meredith drawing from her experience to teach the interns that losing someone cannot be reduced to a checklist. I’m not so sure how I feel about one of the doctors who mismanaged Derek’s medical care showing up for a dinner party at Meredith’s home. I’m sure next week’s episode will be full of awkward, uncomfortable moments.

Other than the odd character beat with Jo, I generally liked this week’s episode. I did not love the stuff with April and Arizona, but I quite liked Arizona’s interaction with the gentleman who passed away while waiting on her to return with more Jell-O. What did you think of this week’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy? Sound off below!