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‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Back with a vengeance

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So Dr. Hahn is a lesbian. Cool. It’s about time ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ had a gay, or at least non-morbidly-heterosexual character. And we’re not at all certain that Hahn (Brooke Smith) is a lesbian, just that she and Callie (Sara Ramirez) seem to have some sort of mutual pash going on -- could just be a girl crush, since Callie seems totally freaked, or it could be the real thing, since Callie seems totally freaked. And what’s wrong with exploring bi-sexuality on network television (though they better get moving if they want to get the jump on ‘House.’)?

Whichever direction it goes, any storyline that gives us more of Callie and Hahn is guaranteed to bring the show the depth and freshness its writers have so wisely decided it needs. And the surprises don’t stop there: Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) has gotten a lovely new hair cut and decided to be a doctor again! Izzie (Katherine Heigl) has stopped pretending she is in love with George (T. R. Knight)! Cristina (Sandra Oh) will attempt to ‘speak girl’ if it means Dr. Hahn will let her scrub in! Rebecca/Ava/Jane Doe (Elizabeth Reaser) is back and she’s pregnant with Karev’s (Justin Chambers) baby!

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After last week’s dip into a gentle satire of ‘House,’ ‘Grey’s’ is back, with a vengeance. (Bruce Willis, now there’s a guest star worth contemplating, though he’d probably just make all the male docs on ‘Grey’s’ look even wimpier than they do now, but I digress...) Last night, ‘Grey’s’ had to make do with Kate Walsh as a special guest star, which is sort of cheating since her character, Addison Shepherd, has technically only been gone half a season -- the first season of her new show ‘Private Practice’ was chopped in half by the writers strike. Still, it was enough time for her to get a new hair color -- a darker auburn, closer to mahogany -- and to wonder, apparently, if she had done the right thing by moving to Los Angeles. Also to completely lose track of all her ‘good friends’ so she can be shocked to learn that Meredith and Derek (Patrick Dempsey) have broken up (like no one would have called her first thing) and Dr. Bailey’s (Chandra Wilson) husband has left her. She also gets to be the one who asks Callie if she and Hahn are a couple, which has to be worth whatever ribbing or icy glances she got from those cast members who didn’t get their own spinoff upon her return to the ‘Grey’s’ set.

Beyond dropping the l-word bomb and the pregnancy bomb, and oh yea there was a baby who was born with his heart outside his body, last night’s episode mainly served as a reminder of how much we miss Addison on ‘Grey’s’ and why some of us wish ‘Private Practice’ had never been born. As Derek’s adulterous yet penitent wife (have they technically divorced? This has not been made clear), she was able to bring both hard-earned wisdom and vulnerability to all the ‘sharing’ that passes for conversation at Seattle Grace. In other words, she was a grown-up, so it’s not surprising her best friends were Bailey and Callie, the other two grown ups on staff. Without Addison, Bailey has lost a confidante and an equal, which may be why, regrettably, we haven’t seen as much of Bailey as one would want (or this one anyway.) Callie has Hahn, and let’s hope that romance won’t take the sting out of either, but still Addison had everyone’s number in a way Hahn can never hope to, unless she plans to sleep with Mark and Derek (which doesn’t seem to be where her character is going.) When, at the end of last night’s episode, she tells Meredith that she’s a fool if she lets Derek get away, there is a brief moment when it seems that Meredith might, for once in her life, listen to someone other than the crazy voice-over inside her own head.

As an obstetrician, Addison also brought babies into the mix, which are always good when you need to ratchet up the tension and the Kleenex-count. After surveying the tangled webs woven since she left Seattle, Addison tells the Chief he should give up hope and fill her position. With any luck he will --maybe Kal Penn’s character from ‘House’ will inexplicably have to move to Seattle and become an obstetrician. He’d fit right in, and stranger things seem to be happening.

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