Emotional Shonda-coaster, Week 4: ‘Grey’s,’ ‘Scandal,’ ‘How To Get Away With Murder’

Shondaland LogoIn case you missed last week’s episodes, here’s everything you need to know about the most important programming block of the week. All right, let’s get into it.

Grey’s Anatomy

This was a real nothing episode, which you could tell because the hour covered a full month in the lives of its characters, and Grey’s is really at its best when the episodes unfold in real time. The frame for the episode comes from Callie and Arizona, who are taking a spin on the carousel of possible divorce (it is their turn, after all). They meet with the world’s worst therapist to try to work out their issues. Here is the therapist’s great idea: they should take a break from the relationship, but for the sake of their child, continue to live together and co-parent without speaking to each other. What!? Callie rightly thinks this is insane but Arizona is LOVING the idea of living together while pretending they don’t, so they do it.

Callie seeks refuge in the arms of tequila, which she drinks with Meredith, who is also no stranger to marital issues, and they spend a lot of time slamming shots and eating burgers and pickles and also having typical Grey’s Anatomy medical breakthroughs, in that this particular group of doctors seems to constantly be thinking about graphic surgery techniques while cutting into food, which seems like kind of a gross way to live. Anyway, she’s able to pull off some rock star moves with her patients while Arizona continues to take one step forward and two steps back with Dr. Geena Davis in her fetal surgery fellowship, alongside Ethan from Masters of Sex. It’s VERY Grey’s Anatomy in that the Patients of the Week (or month, rather) all end up being made worse before they can be made better, almost like Callie and Arizona’s marriage!!!! 

At the end of the 30-day experiment Arizona has rediscovered how much she loves Callie and how much she believes in their partnership, while Callie, who was initially doing the “we’re fine and we don’t need a break or therapy for that matter” dance, now kind of wants a divorce! Whomp. This was a classic Grey’s episode in the negative sense: heavy on metaphors and people being dumb about their marriages and very light on exciting cases or satisfying romantic drama. Skip!

Scandal

Why is Fitz an action hero this week? Seriously, he’s rolling up the sleeves of his Oxford shirt to deliver a couple of very presidential punches to Jake’s face while growling “Did you kill my son” and it’s being presented in a very straightforward, “two sides to every story” manner that does not sit right with me. First of all, leaving aside Fitz’s feelings re: Jake and Olivia, surely he is not so stupid to think that Rowan Pope is on the side of the angels here. Surely he has not forgotten that B613, the organization that everyone spent a whole season freaking out about, the organization that has made it very clear that it operates beyond the scope of the presidency, is also the organization that brought Olivia’s father into his life? Perhaps one could conclude that the things that Rowan Pope tells people should be taken with massive grains of salt?

And what was going on with Cyrus, who seemed to think that because no one had to beat Jake Ballard’s name out of Agent Tom’s mouth it was a clean confession? I realize that both Cyrus and Fitz have blind spots here, and in Cyrus’s defense Jake actually totally did kill his husband, but the events of this episode are so dependent on people being willfully stupid that it was kind of hard to care. Except for Olivia. She did great!

In other news, Huck is creepily stalking his ex-wife and their son, insisting that she allow him to visit his kid and telling her all about all the people he’s murdered (as though…that will help his case?). Unsurprisingly she’s not really interested in hearing about any of it and her attempts to placate him by hiring a therapist are met with a lot of monologuing and some light choking. This plot also seems to be dependent on people being willfully dumb/not asking the kinds of questions that normal, sane people would lead with, and makes for a lackluster companion to all of the ridiculous stuff going on with Fitz/Jake/Olivia. Finally, Olivia is still working the case of the murdered step-daughter of her college friend, and it looks like she and her best friend (who is also murdered in this episode) were part of a mysterious conspiracy that goes aaaaall the way to the top! I guess we have our arcs for season four. I wish we were getting there in a smarter way.

How To Get Away With Murder

I’m sad to report that the third hour of the Shondacoaster is not a whole lot better than the first two, not least because the main focus of the hour is not Annalise, as it ALWAYS SHOULD BE, but horrible Laurel. She’s Laurible! (Sorry.) I think it’s a huge error on the part of the show to give us these strong, action-oriented female characters and then saddle us with Laurel, who is the personality equivalent of getting your head stuck in a turtleneck sweater. We find out this week that after the mysterious future murder she sought refuge with Frank, who is the personality equivalent of finding a stranger’s hair in the sink. Turns out she’s been sleeping with him all semester while also dating cute Khan in Legal Aid. These two are the worst.

The case of the week, in which a teenager is accused of murdering his father and being painted as a sociopath in the court of public opinion, isn’t nearly as important as the Rebecca and Sam stuff, so let’s get to that instead. It turns out that Sam was totally sleeping with Lila but it wasn’t a full blown affair — to hear him tell it, it was just a couple of times when Lila was having a hard few months. How considerate of him! We also learn that Annalise is NOT Sam’s first wife, which I assume Will Be Important Later, and that he lied about the affair because he didn’t want to be connected to the murder. Otherwise he would have toooootally come clean, I guess.

Annalise goes to Nate, who’s been fired thanks to Bonnie, and since he’s not feeling particularly warm toward her these days he totally spills that Sam’s alibi for the night of the murder is nonexistent. But wait! Sam cops to going to look for Lila that night but not being able to find her!

Okay, so Wes and Rebecca: Annalise won’t turn over Lila’s phone to the cops for obvious, husband-protecting reasons, and Wes can’t figure out why. Rebecca, meanwhile, says that she and Lila were drug dealing buddies and that she knew that Lila was having some kind of affair with a married man. Then she goes into full runaway mode, telling Wes not to trust the Keatings — which he deduces when he realizes that the wallpaper in the nude photo matches the wallpaper in the Keatings’ bathroom. Ooh nooooo.

Good cliffhanger, but not nearly enough Annalise. Here’s hoping that gets fixed next week.

 

Emotional Shonda-coaster, Week 4: ‘Grey’s,’ ‘Scandal,’ ‘How To Get Away With Murder’