Rocking OUT at Seattle Grace, Mercy Death! – Some thoughts on Grey’s Anatomy’s Musical Episode “Song Beneath a Song”

If Sue Sylvester and that Kurt Kid show up in this dream, I am SO outta here!

“She works here at Seattle Grace Mercy Death.  So, I’m sure she’s pretty much going to go crazy, or get cancer, or shot by a gunman or hit by a truck,” remarks Alex Karev, this week, upon being asked about the prospects of him and his Latest Love Interest making it for the “long haul.”

That’s right, Karev!  You have TERRIBLE luck with the Ladies on this Show!  And the Ladies on this Show have terrible luck with . . . well . . . EVERYTHING!

Awww . . . remember back when it was just these three . . . and Dead George . . . and Cancer Izzie?  Good times!

This “We’re Hot Doctors, So Why Do Our Lives Consistently Suck So Badly?” sentiment was echoed later in the episode, by Meredith Grey, who, in an uncharacteristically (but oh-so-poignant) emotional elevator scene, turned to her Post-It Note Husband Derek, and said, “The universe is so screwed up, and random, and mean.” 

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Sing it, SISTA!

Speaking of singing . . . you might have noticed that this was the Musical Episode of Grey’s Anatomy.  And WHY was everyone singing, you ask?  Well, because CALLIE TORRES was hit by a truck, of course! 

Believe it, or not.   This actually isn’t as cruel and inappropriate as it sounds!  You see, in Callie’s final moments of consciousness, before she LITERALLY left her body (a coping mechanism, employed by her traumatized brain, to cope with the pain of the accident), she managed to utter the word “music.”  And it was “music” that enabled Callie’s mind to understand what was happening to her and her unborn child, while being given the opportunity to connect with the people she loved. 

Because, if Callie Torres’ Extra Special Vagina Vote wants to see Singing Hallucinations of her Friends, while she’s on the operating table, Callie is going to GET Singing Hallucinations, dammit!

Now . . . the fact that ONE of those hallucinations featured all of the Grey’s couples BONING one another, while happily singing “Running on Sunshine,” as Callie NEARLY BLED TO DEATH on the operating table . . . THAT was cruel and inappropriate!

“I feel like there’s something I should be doing right now . . . besides you .  . . and I can’t, for the life of me, remember what it is!”

“HELLO!  IT’S ME . . . CALLIE!  DYING HERE!  You think maybe one of you Strapping Specimens of Men could put it back in your pants long enough to  . . . I don’t know . . . save MY LIFE?”

Of course, most of the singing during the episode was brought to the fans, courtesy of Callie, herself.  Consequently, this gave actress Sara Ramirez (who has a background in theater, and even won a Tony for her performance in Spamalot, back in 2005) the opportunity to flex her musical pipes for fans, like me, who have never had the chance to hear her sing before.  Of all of Sara’s performances during the hour, my favorite, was probably her cover of Brandi Carlile’s “The Story.” Callie sang this uplifting tune in the final moments of the episode, moments before waking up, FOR REAL, and belatedly accepting Arizona’s initially ill-fated marriage proposal.

“I’ll marry you . . . yes.”

As for the rest of the episode, it was kind of a mixed bag for me.  Interestingly enough, my favorite moments from the episode were mostly the non-musical ones.  These included the marriage proposal acceptance, shown here, and Meredith’s emotional elevator breakdown, shown above.  I also adored the quiet moments of friendship and understanding shared between Lexie and Mark during the episode (“I don’t hate you.”), and the less quiet ones between Arizona and Mark.  (“You are not nothing.”) 

Speaking of Mark Sloan, Eric Dane’s heart-wrenching performance this week was top notch . . . the best I’ve seen from the actor at least, while still wearing all his clothes in a long time.

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(Oh . . . and, for the record, his singing voice is pretty awesome too.)

The Arizona / Callie / Mark triangle took a major step in the right direction tonight, with Arizona FINALLY learning to put their baby’s needs first (By the way, it’s a GIRL!), and Mark FINALLY learning to put Callie’s needs first.  It was Callie’s and Mark’s respective shifts in ideology that brought about the truce that ultimately binded these heretofore perpetually-at odds-characters together, toward the end of the episode.

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A similar ideological shift happened for Lexie, who, upon taking a step outside of her own personal melodrama, for a change, was finally able to, if not necessarily forgive Mark for his “Unfortunate Sperm Donation”  . . .

“We were ON A BREAK!”

 . . . at least, accept it enough to support him in his Hour of Need.

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And it was that acceptance, that ultimately gave Lexie the courage to truly give her budding relationship with the SUPER FLY Jackson Avery a fighting chance to survive, in the long term.

More of THAT, please!

Speaking of Lexie, Chyler Leigh’s rendition of Anna Nalick’s 2 A.M. Breathe, was extremely impressive, especially considering the actress had no musical training before filming this episode.  Of all the songs that wound their way into the hour, this one (in my opinion, at least) came about the most naturally, in terms of the episode’s plotline.  And, as a result, it seemed the least forced.

Less believable for me was Gyno Lucy (I’m still not feeling this character . . . or her relationship with Karev, for that matter . . . AT ALL!) . . .

Dr. McUselessPlotDevice

 . . . and her sudden admission that she was “out of her depth” in taking care of the pregnant Callie.  Presumably, Lucy’s temporary bout of Selective Amnesia for Everything She Learned in Medical School only occurred, so that Saint Addison Montgomery could miraculously (and oh-so-conveniently) be flown into town to Save the Day, as per usual. 

(By the way, is there something in Kate Walsh’s Private Practice contract that REQUIRES Shondra Rhimes to inexplicably include her about every fourth Grey’s episode for NO REASON WHATSOEVER?)

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Oh . . . and don’t even get me started on Teddy’s random and out-of-character outburst directed toward Cristina.  Silly Yang!  How DARE she have the NERVE to come up with a plan to save Callie’s and her baby’s” lives, without Teddy patting her on the head, and giving her a lollipop, first!  “I can’t teach you, anymore,” Teddy huffed, before blowing Cristina a raspberry, sticking her thumb in her mouth, and running out of the room, crying.

First of all, when was the last time Teddy actually TAUGHT Cristina? 

“It was . . . no that wasn’t it . . . Well, then it had to be . . . no, that wasn’t it either.  Perhaps, it . . . no.  I’m stumped.”

While we are on the subject of Teddy, when did Callie’s near death experience suddenly become all about Dr. McMajorStickUpHer Ass’s inferiority complex, and need to be hero worshipped by all people, at all times?

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Be careful, Noel from Felicity!  Cristina may have to work with her, but YOU’RE the one who’s going to have to evenually take her home!

“I am SO screwed!”

And while I thought it was appropriate and rather cheesy fitting, that the episode climaxed (Yes, I intended for that to sound dirty.), with the entire cast singing The Fray’s “How to Save a Life,” I couldn’t help but wonder why saving Callie’s life REQUIRED the whole cast.  I shudder to imagine what the heck was happening to the OTHER 3,000 or so patients DYING in the hospital, while all of Seattle Grace’s finest medical experts were busy enjoying their impromptu karaoke session . . .

“The good news is, if they bring in another Crazed Gunman, he will know exactly where to find us all!”

Speaking of karaoke, I also probably could have done with a FEW less songs packed into the hour.  (I mean, you’ve gotta leave SOMETHING over for the sequel, right, Shondra Rhimes?)  Because one Kevin McKidd solo is cool.   Two is OK . . . but FOUR?  I mean . . . let’s face it, Justin Timberlake, he’s definitely NOT!

Though, admittedly, a Dick in the Box cover would have REALLY spiced things up a bit for this episode . . .

Maybe next time, McKidd!

All in all, I thought Grey’s experiment with musicality was an intriguing little exercise, the making of which obviously took a great deal of preparation, courage, and considerable “guts,” on the part of Shondra Rhimes, and her intrepid staff of “Greysies.”  And, although the hour wasn’t necessarily positively received by all who viewed it, it certainly sparked more “water cooler” and online conversations about the show, than I’ve heard “through the grapevine” in a while . . .

So, what did YOU think about Grey’s Big Musical Extravaganza?  Did it leave you tapping your feet, and begging for more . . .

. . . or holding your ears, and begging for mercy?

Feel free to sound off in the comments section, below.

[www.juliekushner.com]

2 Comments

Filed under Grey's Anatomy

2 responses to “Rocking OUT at Seattle Grace, Mercy Death! – Some thoughts on Grey’s Anatomy’s Musical Episode “Song Beneath a Song”

  1. I liked it. I didn’t intellectualize it much but I guess there is something about singing that gives me goosebumps – coupled with the intense situation of Callie “dying” this episode brought tears to my eyes. I’m not sure how apt/appropriate the song choices and timing were but I guess it was effective in making people talk about the show again!

    • You hit the nail on the head, diplomaticwife. The reviews I read of the Musical Episode of Grey’s Anatomy were definitely mixed, with most people either REALLY loving it, or absolutely despising it. But whether you loved the episode, or hated it, there’s a good chance you were talking about it at the proverbial “water cooler,” the next morning. And for a show that’s already in it’s seventh season to STILL have the capacity to be “water cooler” conversation is pretty darn impressive. In that sense, the risk Shondra Rhimes took producing this episode paid off.

      Plus, Sara Ramirez (a.k.a. Callie Torres) is such an INSANELY talented singer / performer. I’m glad Grey’s Fans finally got a chance to appreciate that. (I probably could have done with less Kevin McKidd / Owen Hunt solos though . . . just sayin’. :))

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