‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Richard’s struggle makes for tears, introspection

These scenes shined.

We admit that we are at times as guilty as anyone when it comes to taking “Grey’s Anatomy” for granted. The show has been on for eight seasons, and when you look back at everything that happened to Meredith and the rest of Seattle Grace so much of it tends to blend in.

However, there are still episodes that by and large bring some great performances that remind us that this is one of the strongest scripted series on network TV — and Thursday night contained just that. There were some funny moments for Callie and Miranda, some strong “patient of the week plots,” Cristina and Owen’s continued attempt to find some sort of common ground in their oft-troubled relationship, and perhaps most notably the return of Loretta Devine as Adele Webber.

James Pickens Jr. has always been an under-appreicated part of this show, but you could feel the pain in Richard Webber’s eyes this week as he started to realize that he could no longer care for his wife Adele like he wanted to due to her debilitating Alzheimer’s — and when he tried to bring her to a nursing home, he couldn’t convince himself to check her in. A few minutes later, Richard learned just what a terrible mistake that this was. Adele not only freaked out in the midst of a china-throwing meltdown, but she also completely forgot who her husband was.

Later, Adele did manage to remember who her husband was while she questioned the very same injury that she gave him earlier, and it led to the most heartbreaking moment of the entire episode as Richard finally had to tell her during one of her better moments that she was suffering from the disease — and she replied by saying that she wanted to go and enter assisted living. It was a moment that has caused us to choke up more than anything we’ve seen on TV all week — it’s searching for joy in a place where there is none, and all you can really hope for is peace.

What did you think about this episode, and are performances like this the reason you still tune in to this show after all these years?

Photo: ABC

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