‘Grey’s Anatomy’ season 9, episode 5 review: Was ‘Beautiful Doom’ that beautiful?

The worst thing about expectations is that you have to meet them, and that was the challenge for Thursday night’s new episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” was trying to find a way to make “Beautiful Doom” something that stands out as one of the best of the entire series.

So was it? In a word yes, mostly because it perfectly followed the “less is more” formula that more shows should adopt. Ellen Pompeo and Sandra Oh each gave incredible performances as Meredith and Cristina slowly and surely started to brake over the course of the hour. In the case of the former, we are looking at a woman struggling to manage being a mother, a wife, a doctor, and also someone struggling to cope with the loss of her sister. This heartache played a part in an accident early on in the episode, and then it reared its head again in the operating room.

As Meredith communicated with Cristina from across the country, we saw that she was still struggling with trying to keep her friend Dr. Thomas from being forced out of the hospital due to his age. Anyone who works in this sort of environment knows this sort of situation well, and it’s heartbreaking. This sort of relationship is lovely to watch, but what happened at the end here may be the only real flaw in this episode overall. Why in the world did Shonda Rhimes feel the need to kill him off? We understand that death is a circumstance that doctors face every day, but it is starting to feel as though Rhimes uses this as a crutch when she does not know what to do with her characters rather than something that is effective storytelling. When death happens too often, it’s no longer shocking … especially only a few episodes after the plane crash.

“Beautiful Doom” was a powerful episode, but what may have been the most surprising is that it was so strong despite so little happening outside of these two characters. This was an hour more about emotion, and the stage is set now for some larger stories moving forward … especially now that Thomas’ death has led to Cristina coming back to Seattle.

Did this episode live up to some of your own personal expectations?

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