Henry's death. (Soaps.com)
Lexie's dead. (Soaps.com)
Still strong in eighth season.
When a television series lasts as long as "Grey's Anatomy" has, it's inevitable for discussion to begin on whether the show has 'jumped the shark', so to speak. Although there may have been a couple of episodes where it felt that way this season, Shonda Rhimes also delivered many emotional, classic episodes that proved "GA" still has tons of life left in it. The series still has the ability to shock viewers and literally leave them salivating to find out what happens next. Here's a look back at season eight:
Episode 1 - Free Falling.
The two-hour season opener was vintage "Grey's Anatomy," with Christina and Meredith estranged from their hubbies, Alex trying to reconnect with his colleagues and friends, Richard taking the fall for Meredith, Teddy falling for her own husband, and Zola being taken away from Meredith and Derek. All the elements we love were in place. Grade: A+
Episode 2 - Take The Lead.
The residents did their first solo surgeries, and Owen was promoted to Richard's former position of Chief of Surgery. Thanks to spoilers, the episode lacked impact and was largely ho-hum. Grade: C+
Episode 3 - What Is It About Men?
This week the voiceover was done by the men, and they ended the episode bonding while working on Derek's dream house. The twist and some comic relief made it an improvement over the previous week's offering. Grade: B
Episode 4 - Love, Loss, and Legacy.
Dr. Catherine Avery arrived at Seattle Grace to perform a penile transplant, and Ben began his pursuit of Bailey, who dumped Eli the male nurse. Zola had seizures, which provided some nail-biting moments. All-in-all it was enjoyable from beginning to end. Grade: A
Episode 5 - Poker Face.
It was cool to have Marilu Henner and Lee Majors as guest stars, and there was some fun with Christina sexting Owen, and Mark getting in the way of Arizona and Callie's sexy time. Pretty good. Grade: B
Episode 6 - Put Me In Coach.
Plenty of staff interaction, Alex going the extra mile on behalf of Meredith and Derek, and the comedy of the baseball game made for a strong episode. Grade: A
Episode 7 - Heart-Shaped Box.
Not the most exciting episode, but the return of Louise O'Malley, Meredith and Bailey making up, and Richard advising Christina were solid storylines. Grade: B+
Episode 8 - Dark Was The Night.
An incredible episode; over-the-top drama with Alex and Meredith in the stalled ambulance that got hit (remember the bodies laying in the road after?), and of course, Henry dying in surgery, with Christina being told after the fact that it was him on the table. Heart-stopping. Grade: A+
Episode 9 - Suddenly.
In the eagerly awaited return after the holiday hiatus, Christina had to help Teddy complete a surgery before telling her that Henry died under the knife - powerful! Meredith and Derek got Zola back in a surprise ending. Awesome. Grade: A
Episode 10 - This Magic Moment.
Teddy's behavior became quite neurotic before she finally broke down - it was very nearly enough to make one turn the channel. The best part was Ben's breakthrough with Bailey. Grade: C+
Episode 11 - Hope For The Hopeless.
An emotional episode with an intense ending as Owen snapped on Christina at the party to celebrate Richard's 10,000 surgery. Grade: A
Episode 12 - If/Then.
The weird episode in which Meredith dreamed how things might have been if her mother hadn't died was a terrific concept, but in reality proved to be strange and depressing. Grade: C-
Episode 13 - All You Need Is Love.
For the Valentine's Day episode, we were treated to some Arizona and Callie romance (remember the blindfold?), and Ben made Bailey a romantic dinner. The medical story arcs were strong. Grade: B+
Episode 14 - Have You Seen Me Lately?
Christina and Owen headed to couples therapy, Derek's sister popped in, Alex took notice of Morgan, and it was the gross 'hand in the meat-grinder' episode! Grade: A
Episode 15 - If Only You Were Lonely.
A classic top notch episode. Alex cared for Morgan's baby, Christina worried that Owen was cheating, and Richard made the decision to put Adele in a care facility. Grade: A
Episode 16 - One Step Too Far.
Dr. Catherine Avery returned and flirted with Richard, Lexie and Meredith removed a tumor they shouldn't have touched, and Owen told Christina he cheated on her. Riveting. Grade: A
Episode 17 - The Lion Sleeps Tonight.
Alex handles the Morgan issue, Callie gets jealous, Richard and Jackson bond a little, and Christina throws food on Owen. On the whole a bit of a downer episode. Grade: B-
Episode 18 - Support System.
The raw Christina and Owen stuff featured heavily tonight. Bailey and Ben had a hot interlude, and Mark somehow made himself Chief of Surgery for the day! Grade: A
Episode 19 - The Girl With No Name.
The story of the kidnap/torture victim truly had impact. The residents began their interviews with other hospitals, and Richard was forced to accept that Adele no longer knew him and wanted another man in the care facility - heart-breaking! Grade: A
Episode 20 - Moment Of Truth.
This episode represented everything amazing about "Grey's Anatomy;" the relationships between the characters, drama and tension, emotion, comedy, and passion! Richard and Catherine got busy, and April snapped and not only punched someone, but gave up her V-card to Jackson! Grade: A+
Episode 21 - Let The Bad Times Roll.
Another excellent episode full of tension as the residents worried about whether they'd passed the boards, Lexie blurted to Mark that she loves him, and Arizona dealt with her dying childhood buddy. Grade: A
Episode 22 - Migration.
In the lead up to the season finale, April reacted to not having passed the boards, Bailey was stunned by news of Ben's offer, and everyone decided whether they would stay at Seattle Grace. Six headed out on a flight to Baltimore which crashed in the forest. Grade: A
Episode 23/Season Finale - Flight.
Shonda Rhimes' once again crafted a heart-pounding, dramatic cliffhanger. Her utter fearlessness in choosing to have Lexie die paid off. I wasn't even a huge fan of the character, but sobbed my way through her untimely demise as Mark professed his love - brilliant. It left viewers riveted to their screens and full of questions, such as, "What about Derek's hand?" Viewers will make a beeline to tune into the season nine opener and watch the reactions of those back at Seattle Grace as they realize their colleagues never made it to Baltimore. Grade: A+
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- Candace Young