“Love the One You’re With”
Grey’s Anatomy 9×03
“I saw the plane. I went to the hangar and I saw the pieces of our plane laid out on the floor like a jigsaw puzzle. Mistakes happen. Accidents happen. We make mistakes that can cost lives, too. We make sure it never happens again And we try to make sure future patients never have to go through that grief. They don’t have to sleep with the lights on every night because the darkness is too much. We just can’t stand by and let this happen to other people’s Lexies and Marks. We have to do something about it. We have to make this right.”
Can you put a price on grief and suffering? How much money would make losing someone you loved okay? These are the questions the plane crash survivors are faced with in this week’s episode. The airline is offering them a SUBSTANTIAL sum to settle (we never see the number, but it’s implied that it would be a life altering one for all of them) but the survivors have to be unanimous in their decision. We see Meredith, Derek, Owen (speaking for Cristina, who is still in Minnesota) and Callie (representing Mark and Arizona, who still refuses to leave the house) struggle with this proposal throughout the episode. After all, no amount of money will bring Lexie and Mark back. No amount of money will cure Derek’s hand or save Arizona’s leg. So why not take the settlement and be DONE with the whole mess? It’s certainly an easier prospect than potentially dragging out a court case for what could be years…especially a court case that could eventually not rule in their favor.
Throughout the episode, it seems they are going to take the money. Callie sees that the money would not only take care of Arizona’s rehab but it would also secure a future for Sophia. Cristina, in her typical avoidance fashion, says that she will do whatever the group wants. Meredith and especially Derek are the ones who are most hesitant. Yes, this money would allow them to stop working and let them travel all over the world with Zola…but as Meredith points out, Zola is really only interested in the Park next door right now. And traveling? Really? Mere can’t even get on a plane to go visit Cristina. Then after Derek has a conversation with Webber about a past settlement, he has a realization. The bigger the settlement offer, the more the company knows that it was their fault. And then he sees their plane and realizes that they can’t take the money. Taking the money would be akin to saying it was okay. And it’s not. And it never will be until the company ensures that this kind of tragedy can never happen again. And that won’t happen if they essentially take “hush money”, no matter how much it is.
I thought the final scene of the episode was magnificent. Much like it has been throughout the history of this series, they make the choice to stand together. Meredith and Owen telling their lawyer to shut up was very reminiscent of early seasons. And Sara Ramirez, who continues to do excellent work this season, delivered “You don’t know, you’re not one of us” so perfectly. I love that the show continues to not tie up this plane crash arc in a neat little bow and move on to other things. While there were more “normal” story arcs in this episode, the crash still hangs like a shadow over them. I assume that it will continue to, and I look forward to it. Will we be seeing a court case later this season?
Other thoughts on the episode: