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Grey’s Anatomy – In The Air Tonight

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By: Krista Ann Freego

 

This episode, much like all “Grey’s Anatomy” episodes, was beautifully done. I am now going to go off on a brief rant/ode.  In other shows, I get upset because they will kill off my favorite character and then barely mention the character ever again. It is a serious pet peeve that I have with certain television shows. “Grey’s Anatomy” has never done this to me.  My all-time favorite character from “Grey’s Anatomy,” who will never change or be replaced, is Lexie Gray (Chyler Leigh). When she died, I cried and cried and cried. For me, she was such an amazing character and I felt she had such a profound impact on the majority of the other characters on the show.

This week’s episode is titled In the Air Tonight, which to me has a double meaning: Meaning (1) they are in a plane that is in the air tonight and meaning (2) the Rigss/Meredith, will they won’t they, is the romance and attraction in the air tonight between them.

Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) and Riggs (Martin Henderson) are both going to the same convention out of town and both are on the plane. Meredith gives up her original seat in the airplane so that a married couple can sit together. And as “no good deed goes unpunished” Meredith finds that her new seat is one seat away from Rigss, who is most likely one of the main reasons she jumped at the chance of getting out of town for three days and away from Grey Sloan Memorial. After some contentious flirting between Riggs and Meredith, Riggs follows Meredith into the bathroom. Meredith tells him to leave, but she won’t get away from in front of the door so that he can leave. What happens in the airplane bathroom stays in the airplane bathroom. Oh wait, no it doesn’t, that’s Vegas.  Yeah, what happens in the airplane bathroom is totally fair game for the rest of the episode and season.  Side note: It appears that Meredith and Riggs do best in confined areas, cars, bathrooms, etc.

So, after their bathroom rendezvous, there is turbulence, whhich just happened to be the first word of the starting monologue for tonight’s episode. A few passengers are injured. The doctors are informed by Candance (Spencer Grammer), the flight attendant, that the plane is stuck between two different storm systems and as such it is not safe to land. After the first bought of turbulence Candace ends up with a broken wrist, which she takes like a champ and still doesn’t miss a beat of doing her job and holds her own going toe-to-toe with an impatient and insistent Meredith.  In the downtime between taking care of patients, Riggs and Meredith have a heart to heart.

Riggs:

How’s it going with your dentist friend? You guys seem pretty chummy.

Meredith:

You’re one to talk. How long were you wrapping your flight attendant’s arm?

Riggs:

Her name’s Candace. It’s what I do when I board a plane. I always ask the crews their name. It’s a respect thing. Plus, it usually gets me free drinks. What was your plane crash like?

Meredith:

I told you. It was bad. It was cold. So cold. Even being numb was cold. I could not warm up. You know they call us the Seattle Grace Five. There were six of us that went up and only five of us came back. Now there are only three of us alive. My sister died out there.

Riggs:

You have another sister?

Meredith:

Um hum. My kid sister Lexie. I loved her. Anyway it’s weird. Sometimes I feel like I’m cursed. A lot of people die around me. Sometimes I feel like I’m just waiting for my turn.

Riggs:

I’m sorry about your sister. It makes sense now.

Meredith:

What does?

Riggs:

The way you feel about Maggie. How you want to protect her. I get it better?

Meredith:

Well there’s nothing to get.

Riggs:

I mean it makes sense. All the self-sacrifice. You don’t want to lose this one too.

Meredith:

Is it so crazy that I would put someone else’s happiness before mine?

Riggs:

No. But I mean it’s not completely practical in the long run. I mean at some point you have to think about the things that are gonna make you happy too.

Meredith:

And you think you’re it?

Riggs:

Well you haven’t exactly been backing away from me.

Meredith:

I told you what happened in the bathroom…

Riggs:

I’m not just talking about the damn bathroom

Meredith:

Then what?

Riggs:

For months now. You tried to stay away, maybe you even want to stay away, but you don’t, you never do. A week ago you call it quits and an hour ago we’re having sex in the bathroom.

Meredith:

Will you stop it please.

Riggs:

Look I will respect whatever you decide. Okay but don’t sit here and pretend you don’t want this thing between you and me, as much as I do.

Meredith:

I am married!

This awkward moment is now interrupted by a man on blood thinners with a brain bleed vomiting into an airsickness bag, isn’t that always the way…After Meredith does a harrowing save with nothing but an empty cup, nail clippers, syringe and a straw the plane is able to safely land and all the passengers and staff are safely taken off the plane.

Now with everyone safely on ground, Candace pursues Riggs and Riggs pursues Meredith and they pick up where their last heart to heart left off.

Riggs:

You just treated a brain bleed with a cocktail straw. You’re so fearless about so many things. How the hell are you still scared?

Meredith:

I’m not scared. I’m making a choice. I’m prioritizing my family, my sister.

Riggs:

Don’t. Don’t Don’t Please. Don’t pretend this is still about Pierce. It’s not. You’re scared.

Meredith:

Of what?

Riggs:

Oh him. Of letting him go. At some point you’ve got to let go.

Meredith:

I don’t really want to talk about this.

Riggs:

Well good. I don’t want to talk. I don’t want to talk about it. I don’t want to talk at all. I just want to move forward. I want to live my life because I am still here and I still got one and so do you. Don’t look at me like that. Like I don’t know what I’m talking about because you know I do.

Meredith:

That could have been you in that seat with no seatbelt.

Riggs:

Yeah. But it wasn’t. Okay I’m fine. And so are you.

Meredith:

(long pause) It better be a nice hotel.

The scene ends with Riggs continually trying to hold Meredith’s hand and Meredith holding her hand behind her back, out of Riggs’ reach. During the long pause, there was another series of flashbacks, this time with Derek and Meredith. Yet another beautiful example of gone but not forgotten.

Thank you to the writers for the beautiful tributes to two of our favorite and most missed characters!

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