So, how do we feel about the highly anticipated winter premiere?
One thing is certain, Grey's Anatomy Season 14 Episode 9 was a huge improvement on Grey's Anatomy Season 14 Episode 8, but it still needed some work. At least the hacker storyline is wrapped up though.
The domestic abuse storyline is the most important one of the hour, and for what was given, it...worked.
One of the things I loved about the episode happened before it even aired. The change of the episode title to the National hotline for domestic abuse, in an age of #MeToo and Time's Up, was such a powerful statement.
The suggestion, courtesy of DeLuca's Giacomo Gianniotti, possibly meant, and don't quote me on this, that this was the first time in 300+ episodes that an episode wasn't a song title. That's huge; that's powerful.
I wanted the episode to be powerful, too. It was in some ways, but it mostly felt like just another episode and given the magnitude of the subject matter and the anticipation for it, it should have carried more weight. It did not. It's foolish of me to have had my hopes up for this one, but I expected more.
I recall Grey's Anatomy Season 13 Episode 10 came back from winter break with a bottle episode that had nothing to do with the cliffhanger. Back then, that was such a ludicrous decision.
This season, if ever there was a time for a bottle episode, it was for this premiere. It would have worked better this time because it would've and should've focused solely on Jo and her specific storyline.
He told me I was wrong so many times that I believed that I was wrong. He told me I was crazy so many times that I believed that I was crazy.Jo
That's right, I, a notorious Jo critic, would have preferred an episode entirely devoted to Jo. How do you like those apples? It would have finally given Luddington something meatier to chew on, and that's not to say that she didn't give a stellar performance here because she totally did.
Yes, this will likely play out for however long Matthew Morrison's arc is on the show so that we can look forward to snippets of it each week, and that's cool. However; a stronger impact is hitting it hardest in the premiere.
Jo has been on for how many seasons now? She's been around long enough for her own storyline that doesn't get sandwiched between a ridiculous hack and agitating 'ship(s).
It was interesting watching this hour as someone who openly dislikes Jo. I also happen to be watching with someone who loathes her more than I do. I started off the episode telling myself that I would be a Jo fan on principle.
It led to some interesting dialogue between myself and my viewing partner because no matter what was going on, my friend was not interested. My friend, who has experienced domestic violence and advocates for victims, wasn't feeling the storyline at all and was frustrated with Jo.
Why can't she just do her job? Why is she so dramatic? How do we know if her story is the only story or if her truth is the real truth?
I knew most of the reactions were because it's fiction and because it involves a character who said friend abhors, but there's some realism in that, right?
For one, it had me wondering how this storyline could have played out if the victim/survivor was a widely adored character and not someone who has shown up on "most annoying" lists more than once? Would it be received differently?
Paul: I'm really happy for you, Jo. I hope this brings you some real peace. You deserve it. We both do.
Jo: You don't deserve any real peace. You're a monster!
But think of the reality of that. Does someone have to be likable for you to emphasize with them? Wrong is wrong, and right is right. Do you have to care for the person to believe them? As I said, it led to some interesting conversations during commercial breaks and uninteresting scenes.
Paul is a classic abuser. It kind of sucks seeing Matthew Morrison play such a vile role because he was one of the last positive vestibules of Glee left. Paul is charming and handsome, and he did that thing where he wanted to make Jo feel like she was crazy and make others think that she was crazy, too.
He was loathsome from the moment he started talking. How has he managed to fly under the radar for so long? By the time he had that explosive outburst in the room with Jo, Meredith, and his fiancee, he had shown all of his cards.
He didn't even try to attempt to hide his abusive nature. His posture, body language, the way he delivered his lines, and everything he said, it all screamed abuser.
So, he just gave up on trying to convince Meredith that he was a decent person and Jo was crazy, eh? Can we talk about the unshakeable bond that has formed between Meredith and Jo right under our noses? Remember when they didn't get along at all? Now look at them!
Meredith being the supportive friend that Jo needed in this situation was so very moving. They have come such a long way in their relationship, and honestly, it was better watching their friendship blossoming than any Jo and Alex scenes during those moments.
Meredith's "You are Jo Wilson. I know exactly who you are" quote packed the emotional gravitas that the entire episode needed. It gave me chills.
Now that he's had this hit and run, I'm curious as to how the rest of this will play out. A small fraction of me was hoping that there would be a spin on the classic domestic abuse storyline. I hoped that he came seeking amends, that there was more to the story between him and Jo, or that he was a changed man.
But he unquestionably hasn't changed, and now he's a patient at Grey Sloan. The question is, who hit him? Meredith, understandably, assumed Alex had something to do with it, and Paul's wife suggests that Jo had something to do with it, but it was probably all her.
The other big storyline of the night that was beyond enjoyable was Bailey and Casey trying to save the hospital from the ridiculous hack. Can they be a new bromance? A new mentorship? A new something? They were a charming duo.
Move over Glasses, Casey is my new favorite intern!
Confession time, hackers have a soft spot in my wee heart. I love a good hacker, so the second Casey casually admitted that he had a record and that he's a hacker, he skyrocketed up to Best Intern of the bunch. Finally, some exciting intern action.
Little did we know, Casey wasn't done being interesting. After 14 years, Grey's Anatomy has finally added a character who doesn't fall into the L or B categories of LGBT. It took long enough.
Casey's Transgender revelation was unexpected but completely awesome. He acknowledged that he's a proud Trans man, but that he doesn't feel compelled to lead with any of that because he'd rather people get to know him first.
You go, Casey! It certainly worked. He worked his way up to likable before he shared that tidbit, so once he shared it, it wasn't a determining factor in how the viewers or Bailey would feel about him. Keep on keeping on with killing the representation game, Grey's.
Other than a glorious opportunity to see Jackson wet and in a towel, and Maggie too; they're both so pretty, most of the Jaggie stuff was pointless. They had more of that sexual tension that we've grown to love or hate, and they addressed the elephant in the room.
But alas, we may be heading somewhere now. Jackson finally threw it all out there asking her to go out for drinks, and Maggie reminded him that it's too messy and complicated. Then, she went out with her perfectly decent-ish but not nearly as smoking hot Tinder date.
I'm just glad to see my girl Maggie going out on a date, and whether this is a cat and mouse game, or a total shut down, I'm feeling it. At least it's going in a direction now.
DeLuca and Sam on the other hand, please stop it. Just stop it now. Sam isn't cute or endearing with her word vomit, crappy besides manner, and friskiness. DeLuca needs to shut it down and grow up. Whatever their thing is, it's not interesting, entertaining, or by any means good.
Andrew: How is this my fault?
Sam: Because I haven't slept because you penetrate me every five seconds.
On the plus, Amelia essentially admitted that Andrew is her new Stephanie. On the negative, Sam's med school work was impressive enough to catch Amelia's attention so she'll be tagging along with her and DeLuca. Sighs.
On a scale of 1-10, how much did you want to hurt Paul? Did Grey's hit the mark covering such a heavy subject matter? Was it fulfilling? Any thoughts on Casey, the intern/hacker? Are you relieved that Jaggie may be on hold for now? Let's talk it out in the comments!
Don't forget, you can watch Grey's Anatomy online here at TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.