I Am The Sun and He can Go Suck It

I Am The Sun and He can Go Suck It
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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Grey's Anatomy - How To Save A Life - Review by Maxine at Spoiler TV

"How to Save a Life Review by Maxine at Spoiler TV"

Due to writing commitments elsewhere I have not been able to write many Grey's Anatomy reviews, so I started linking to Maxine's reviews at Spoiler TV, a terrific site for all fans of Grey's Anatomy and Maxine is my favourite reviewer of this show. I wanted to link to her review and discuss it a little, because she makes so many good points regarding this episode.

Now I have had my little rants about this episode, mostly about how it was written. The acting was brilliant on all counts in my opinion, but Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey always do their best work, no matter how difficult the scene.

Maxine starts off by saying that she is in a state of shock, but not for the reasons the reader might think. See more below:

"I’m in a state of shock...but not, as you might expect, because Derek is dead. I am astounded at the crap way that Shondaland has exited one of it’s most pivotal Grey’s Anatomy characters.

With very little build up to what transpired to be one of the most momentous episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, not in the current season but in the entire eleven year history one might be forgiven for thinking that not being a season finale, 11.21, How To Save A Life would turn out to be just a horrible Meredith dream. Divorced from the usual ensemble episode format the viewer was taken on Derek’s final heroic journey alone, away from the hospital, his wife and separated from the entire cast in a piece of television which was not only tragic in outcome but unfortunately tragic in execution."

Read the whole review at Spoiler TV

Now if I had stayed away from Twitter and Facebook until this episode aired, it might have made a difference in how the episode affected me on watching it. Unfortunately I wasn't able to avoid being spoiled. Like Maxine, the thought also crossed my mind that Shonda gone the way of Meredith having an awful nightmare and she would wake up next week or next season. But in my gut I knew Derek's death was final, because I had heard he left the show. And, given the gossip I have read in the last two days, it would not surprise me if he was fired by ABC. Anyway moving on.

Two things Maxine and I definitely agree on is that it was necessary for Derek to die in order for the writers to exit the character and that Season 11 has been excellent and the writing has been outstanding. She moves on to discuss other deaths that have occurred on Grey's and how they compare. In my opinion it was not a creative episode by any stretch and the ideas were recycled. Maxine summarizes this here:

"The episode unraveled in the writing and execution. To put it bluntly episode 11.21 was frustrating, awkward and labored viewing. It was unoriginal – he died saving lives, remember George and the bus; he died trying to reach his phone in his car, remember Callie; he died by being switched off, remember Mark?" 

Read the entire review at Spoiler TV

I also have to agree with what Maxine said about Shonda Rhimes making the call to write out Derek Shepherd. This was a huge mistake, Stacy McKee should have written it. I am also suspicious that Shonda's script for "How to Save A Life" was dictated by whatever occurred regarding Patrick Dempsey's departure.

James Pickens Jnr recently claimed in an article that it was a shock when the rest of the cast found out Patrick was leaving. It would not be the first time that off screen drama has dictated story arcs and it also would not be the first time that the writing has come across as if Shonda is angry at the departing cast member. 

Maxine explains it like this:

"How To Save A Life, 11.21 was heartbreaking, tragic and scary. Scary because it signals a very uncertain and different future not only for Meredith’s life but also for the show’s life. However it was also an arrogant, unoriginal, self-indulgent episode which contrasted so sharply with the loving and well crafted departure of Mark, or by Lexie’s tragic ‘meant to be’. The smell of off screen shenanigans weighed heavily on the episode. The presence of so many inconsequential and uninteresting characters was continually in danger of swamping the dreaminess of Derek and the monologue narration style dulled what was supposed to be very high drama."

Read all of Maxine's Review at Spoiler TV

So, all in all this review was pretty spot on and gave me a lot to think about, if you do read it in it's entirety, make sure you read the comments as many of Spoiler TV's readers and Grey's fans had many thoughts on "How to Save a Life."

As always, a really great review. Thanks Maxine.

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Copyright © 2015 Janelle Coulton

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