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For 200th Episode, GREY'S ANATOMY is "Puttin' on the Ritz"

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Written by : published Sunday 13th October 2013

ABC's Grey's Anatomy has been on for a long time. Four episodes into the tenth season this week, they hit the important milestone of 200th episode, "Puttin' on the Ritz." To celebrate, the writers mostly give the characters a break, sending them to a fun-filled circus-themed fundraiser, rather than making then suffer serious disasters, psychological breakdowns, or cheating partners. It's kind of nice, for a change.

The event is far more elaborate than it needs to be, since Jackson's (Jesse Williams) party planner doesn't seem to understand what to do. This is supposed to be to get big donors to give generously to the hospital, which needs the cash, but a lot of expense is poured into the night itself, which makes one wonder how effective the plan will be.

Not to worry. Jackson takes the donors to the gallery and has them watch a surgery being performed. It's a little odd that everyone is so impressed by seeing doctors do what doctors do that they whip out their checkbooks and fork over thousands of dollars, presumably; after all, what did they think was going on in the hospital? But it's a feel-good moment for Jackson and the staff, proving their jobs are worthwhile, so it can be overlooked.

Derek (Patrick Dempsey), Meredith (Ellen Pompeo), and Cristina (Sandra Oh) aren't the type to just go along and enjoy a fancy party, especially the former two, off of work at the moment for maternity leave. It's not in a surgeon's nature to make idle chitchat, they need something real to occupy their time. Knowing this, Owen (Kevin McKidd) wisely plays on their natures, making the night a competition to see which department can earn the most.

Seeing Derek and Meredith, especially, compete with one another is fun, and doesn't happen often enough. They are professionals and they are in love, but they also enjoy working together and beating the other. "Puttin' on the Ritz" gives them the chance to get out of their home and the hospital and enjoy themselves, which of course ends up with them back at work. It's touching and light.

It's the combination of seeing the characters all grown up, and also knowing they are still young at heart, that works really well. As the interns grew into residents and beyond, they have become the staff members they once looked up to, the experienced elders, and they've actually earned that place. It's really rewarding to reminisce now, especially with the numerous references to the past in "Puttin' on the Ritz,"  and enjoy reliving that journey, seeing how far we've come.

Not that everything is perfect. Owen is finally listening to Cristina and moving on, something she is not happy about, no matter how much she encouraged it. Stephanie (Jerrika Hinton), mad that Jackson didn't invite her to the party, lets Ross (Gaius Charles), heady from his shark behavior, kiss her, which Jackson walks in on. Callie (Sara Ramirez) lies about her wife being dead, which she then feels guilty about. Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) can't even bear to be at the party, leading to hilarious and unexpected bonding with April (Sarah Drew) as they get drunk in a supply closet.

Bailey (Chandra Wilson) has the biggest challenge of the episode, trying to convince Webber (James Pickens Jr.) to live. Webber has given up, and he has lots of reason to, but that doesn't mean it should be over for him. I think Bailey's decision to pair Webber up with a roommate (Justified's Raymond J. Barry) should work, though, in changing Webber's mind.

Lastly, Alex (Justin Chambers) is shocked when his druggie father (Dexter's James Remar) is admitted. Alex is a rich, layered character, but relatively little about his family and his past has been explored in depth. Now, at the precipice of happiness with Jo (Camilla Luddington), said past comes roaring back, threatening to derail Alex.

I don't believe it will, though. Alex is tough, shaped by his experiences, and he now has too much to lose to be reckless. Confronting his father may shake him, but it won't break him. He has friends, a girlfriend he loves, a support structure. I'm glad Grey's brings him this challenge because it should be rich drama for Chambers to play with, and he deserves it, having made the once-grating character beloved. Good development.

"Puttin' on the Ritz" isn't the best episode of Grey's Anatomy ever, and certainly not the "big" episode I assumed the show would do for it's 200th. But in a way, it was exactly what fans need at this point, and definitely has some good development. It's hard to be disappointed at another solid hour.

Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.

About the author JeromeWetzelTV

JeromeWetzelTV

Jerome Wetzel is a huge fan of stories, in both books and television. He writes TV reviews and fiction. He currently posts articles for TheTVKing, Seat42F, and BlogCritics, as well as his own personal blog, as well as writing fiction. His website is www.jeromewetzel.com Follow him on twitter @JeromeWetzelTV

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