I Am The Sun and He can Go Suck It

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Grey's Anatomy Season 11 - 2 - Puzzle With A Missing Piece

Grey's Anatomy - Puzzle With A Missing Piece - Written by Brouhaha on 7th October 2014

Hi there Grey's fans, here is the review of the second episode of Grey's Anatomy for Season 11 written by PipMazine AKA Brouhaha - Writer at Spoiler TV. This review was originally posted on Spoiler TV: Grey's Anatomy - Puzzle With A Missing Piece

I have been time limited lately when it comes to updating this blog, as I have been doing a lot of writing work and it pays, so I have to prioritize paid work over managing my blogs. This season, I am going to be posting my favorite reviews and recaps of episodes from other reviewers in the blogsphere who are my favorite bloggers and writers. This episode review is again; written by Brouhaha from SpoilerTV.

Anyway, let's get on with it. Happy reading everyone, and see you next weekend.

Grey's Anatomy - Puzzle With A Missing Piece

Did anyone see the pilot episode for a new show last Thursday? It’s called Grey’s Anatomy and stars Kelly McCreary as a beautiful young surgeon...
There is always a risk when a new face lands in a mature series as a major character. Too many times it’s merely the last death throws of a show that is painfully lingering before the network cancels. On rare occasions the introduction causes a positive shift and the show goes happily on – perhaps Law & Order SVU is an example of that. Well, Grey’s is not in the death throws but it is a mature show and in order to secure a future the producers had to change the game. The question is...did you notice?

There was something very different about Puzzle With A Missing Piece. It’s easy to assume the status quo with the current set of characters. Many of the longest serving actors have renewed up to the end of season twelve and that’s quite a lot of story yet to tell. However, it became very clear on Thursday that the writers are starting to play the long game, it’s called the ‘planning the future of Grey’s’ game and in episode two of season eleven we were introduced to the key protagonist. Grey 2.0. Lexie was technically a Grey but she didn’t have the legacy. Perhaps, early on, the writers had some thoughts that she could be the next Grey but it was apparent in season seven that this would not work. Maggie is a Pierce (or a Webber?) but, as we will no doubt discover thoughout this season, Maggie is a Grey in all but name and she’s arrived with the Ellis (and Richard) legacy, cardio and all. 

Well, it’s a theory anyway. 

To present the viewer with a ‘special’ episode so early in the season is a huge risk and indicates how seriously the producers view this storyline. If the viewer is to believe in this character as a potential lead (it’s only a theory and it’s way into the future!) then the writers need ensure she’s legitimate and worthy. They need the audience to root for her even if they don’t quite like her, though it was hard not to. It worked. Episode two was a gem of a story. It was funny, it entertained, it informed, it was fresh and despite the viewer being by default on Meredith’s side this particular viewer came away very sympathetic to Maggie and wanting to see much more of her. 

Dear Shonda, THAT is how you introduce new characters to the show. Not by giving them their own early episodes necessarily but by giving them a strong story to land with and most importantly showing it to us. (A sigh of relief though that Adele isn't here to see this child of Richard).

Not all new characters need such a power introduction. Owen Hunt and Arizona Robbins were phased in through the story and though the latter’s back story stalled somewhat, their introduction worked well because of the immediate relationships they formed – both work and romantic. Contrast this to our sudden introduction to the Mercy West residents whom we had to endure for the season before two were killed off. It took a long time for Avery and April to take hold. Then in season nine a new set of interns arrived and frankly we are still trying to like the remaining two, a full two seasons later.

Putting aside the far-fetched fantasy coincidence of Maggie being a surgeon, just like her birth mother, and being a cardio one at that, which was Ellis' aspiration for Meredith, Maggie has arrived at Grey Sloan Memorial to get to know her sister and find out more of her past. It is a scary thing for adopted children, finding out their birth stories, walking into the unknown and the very best feature of this episode was the successful presentation of her fears for that as well as the more common fears that we all have when starting a new job...will people like us, will we make friends, will we understand the politics and relationships? It’s quite fitting that the same writer who penned the season ten finale and Cristina’s exit, William Harper, wrote 11.02. He’s overseen the departure of one powerful character and it seems was given the brief to bring in a new one...

We saw many sides to Maggie, kick ass cardio expert, vulnerable newbie, scared adoptee, and with a foot planted firmly in her mouth she introduced herself to the seniors in the show planting the seeds of future relationships. She was woven in, the most wonderfully funny scene which illustrated this perfectly was her introduction to Amelia. Amelia knows THE secret (isn’t that fabulous, it’s a lovely little plot twist!) so when Maggie says “Is everyone in this room somehow related?” and Amelia cracks up laughing after a wry look at Richard we get to feel the complex nature of this story we’ve now been buried in. Amelia has also been given a great introduction. Her unique ‘relationship’ with Richard allows her to get a birds eye view of the action. It presents Maggie with her potential friend in the hospital, one who will eventually have to deal with a huge conflict – confidential AA meeting versus being honest with her new friend. Nothing promotes bonding between women more than rolling eyes at over-sexed frat boys and talking sex lives. This is great story telling and inspired comic writing, a real tapestry of a story arc. 

Instead of patients telling the stories of the doctors, in 11.02 it is Maggie pointing the way. Callie and Arizona, who have a persistent shadow of doom hanging over their marriage, come to a decision on their future. Maggie inspires Arizona. Apparently the Robbins-Torres’ can have it all as both ladies had their own epiphanies. This was a small step forward in story telling but nevertheless it progressed these other characters’ stories. Alex gets fired as a direct result of her parroting Wilson’s blabber preparing us for the Bailey v Karev fight. 

On top of all of this Maggie presents herself as a problem solver and indeed she solves problems all over the episode. She even solved the biggest medical puzzle, the one that beat Yang, the cardio myopathy mystery, which finally gave Sabine some closure. There is one huge puzzle outstanding though; the one puzzle she is only now confronting, which she hasn’t even started to solve, the story of her birth and the following relationship with Meredith. By the end of Puzzle With A Missing Piece, Maggie comes across as an entirely likeable character. This is important because if a future Meredith/Maggie relationship is to be legitimate then the viewers have to see that it's actually possible and this must be through strong character development. We’ve felt the frost of Meredith’s cold demeanor but have been given no reason for her to be otherwise. Up until the closing minutes, to Meredith, Maggie was simply a new doctor who didn’t know the hospital rules, disagreed with patient care and apparently broke protocol. Meredith had no reason to like her at all. At the end she now has a reason to either hate her or to love her. 

This is huge for Meredith. How should she react...her mother had an affair which produced another child. She's discovered that Ellis was capable of ‘abandoning’ her child, no doubt soon she'll realise she was capable of abandoning the child conceived with love. Her mother already had a 5 year old daughter, she knew about motherhood and what it entailed, what does it say about Meredith that she was willing to give it up by giving away another daughter. This story is going to challenge Meredith’s moral center, motherhood, career, and marriage. It will also continue to fuel her insecurities, particularly as she realizes that Maggie became the heart surgeon her mother expected her to become. This story may be far fetched but it’s a massive powder keg and once again places Meredith front and centre in the show. 

In other news, while we learnt a lot about Maggie, we also learnt a couple of things about Wilson; that she is annoying and forgettable. Actually we knew that already and unfortunately this episode has not done that character any favours at all. Two character introductions - Maggie and Jo - they simply cannot be compared. 

This felt like a pilot of a new show, and perhaps it was; a pilot for the continuation of Grey’s past the possible departures of Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey; a game changer. Maybe by mid season the viewers will be introduced to Maggie’s on/off epic love interest, unless of course that’s already happened. Alex anyone? Amelia? Owen? 

Puzzle With A Missing Piece was a fresh, thoroughly watchable episode contrasting the light newness of Maggie with the familiar darkness of Meredith. But in the end perhaps it’s worth forecasting that these two will eventually become something together. Amelia said it best – “she’s worth knowing”

Written by Spoiler TV writer, PipMaxine AKA Brouhaha - Follow Brouhaha on Twitter

You can visit this link to read the comments Spoiler TV readers have written: Spoiler TV: Grey's Anatomy - Puzzle With A Missing Piece

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