Grey's Anatomy Season 11 Episode 1 Review: It's All Relative

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I have not been a regular Grey's Anatomy viewer in quite some time. I needed a break after that whole Denny ghost sex thing and I've only checked in periodically ever since.

But I helped start the fansite Grey's Anatomy Insider way back in the day (which we eventually folded into TV Fanatic), I've kept up by reading Christina Tran's excellent reviews (she'll be back next week!) and I've tuned in to the occasional episode here and there.

I started out as a major fan and I've been more of a distant one for years now, but I was excited to review Grey's Anatomy Season 11 Episode 1 in Christina's temporary absence.

I've been hearing very good things about the progress Grey's has made and this felt like a good time to check back in to the hospital overall: Yang is gone; April is pregnant; Meredith's half-sister is here. With so many changes underway and Grey's Anatomy Season 11 feeling like a fresh start in many ways, let's dive right in, shall we?

Grey's Anatomy has never exactly been subtle in its themes, has it? In its parallels between the cases the doctors are working on and the personal issues affecting their lives at home?

This week, it was all relative in the hallways of Grey-Sloan Memorial.

Arizona and Callie aren't certain about having a child via surrogate? What do you know... there's a mother with a sick child whose parenting style they can debate!

(And it's also worth jumping in here to also note, of course, that Grey's Anatomy has never been subtle in its actual cases, either. Two teens, one with cancer, were bludgeoned by a gurney that fell off the top of the hospital while they were having sex in a car? Of course they were. Also: lost kidney.)

The partners disagreed on many ways to handle having a kid, most disturbingly disagreeing in the end on, you know, actually whether or not to have said kid. Arizona is interested in that fetal surgery fellowship (offered by Geena Davis!), which makes it clear now why the odds of these two lasting the season are 50/50.

Derek is torn about moving across the country and leaving his kids behind? Hey, look at what... a child who just lost his dad forever and who misses his father already!

This prompted Derek to realize he could never abandon his family in any way, calling up DC and removing his name from the list. It wasn't a shocking outcome and it's a bit lame (too harsh?) for Derek to not come to the realization on his own that a father should live with his children. But whatever keeps him and Meredith together, right?

Right?!? They are gonna remain together, aren't they? Derek just chose you, Mer, just as you begged him to do oh so many years ago. So why the need for tequila to close the premiere? Why that look on your face?

Also worth noting:

  • Jenga? Drinks? That sporting event that was played last night? Love the attempts to bro it up with Owen.
  • "Pierce is no Yang. She’s perky and chatty. I bet she likes cats." "I found my sister and I think I hate her." Yeah. Safe to say Richard shouldn't plan any family meals at his place any time soon, huh? This rivalry should be fun to watch play out.
  • Yup, Alex, you and Meredith are the "only ones left." Just accept it, man. You're her new Person... ish.
  • DIBS!
  • It's gonna be so nice to have Amelia back in the permanent picture, isn't it? But is there any way she doesn't let the Maggie secret slip to Derek, leaving him with the conundrum of whether or not to tell Meredith?
  • Thank goodness that hiker's family returned to him. I only have so many boxes of Kleenex in my house.

So, what was my return to Grey's Anatomy like? Shonda and company really do know how to tug at those heartstrings, huh? Even when you can pretty much see what's coming.

The acting remains stellar, the drama is mixed with just the right amount of humor and darn it if I'm not now wrapped up in the future of MerDer.

I may need to go watch Grey's Anatomy online to catch up on all I've missed. 

What did everyone else think? Sound off in the Comments and response: With whom would you most want to go on a man-date?

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Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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Grey's Anatomy Season 11 Episode 1 Quotes

How are you gonna get laid when the person you love is here and you’re in DC?


I don’t care about your boobs, Wilson. Out.


Grey's Anatomy Season 11 Episode 1 Music

  Song Artist
Jill scott le boom vent suite Le Boom Vent Suite Jill Scott iTunes
Song Ghost Of The Year Piney Gir & Correa Town
Odessa i will be there I Will Be There Odessa iTunes