Grey's Anatomy Season Premiere Recap: Then You Become a Mother

ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy kicked off its eighth season with a sinkhole that swallowed an intersection – and eventually set the stage for a test of the residents’ mettle — while much baby drama consumed Meredith and Cristina. Let’s take a quick look at what the two-hour opener served up.

OH, SUSANNY – DON’T YOU CRY FOR ME | “Susanny” (as the ‘shippers call Susannah/Danny, the couple we spent an inordinate amount of time with in the cold open) were the A-story victims of the sinkhole, as hubby – trapped below ground with the Mrs. – was instructed by docs Owen and Callie on how to amputate his honey’s gam. Long story short, Susanny served two purposes: Susannah went on to become “Gunther” aka a patient for the bickering residents to perform a collaborative surgery on, so as to reveal a team leader. Mark’s money was on Yang, the racehorse, and she in fact did fine until she jabbed Alex with an epi and sent him crashing to the floor. In the ensuing mayhem, it was Avery – Mark’s rival whom he’d been riding hard, lingering Lexie feelings and all – who emerged as the top dog. Nice twist. Oh, Susanny’s second function was to show Owen the power of love, which leads us to….

GONE, BABY, GONE | For the bulk of the premiere, the Cristina/Owen/unwanted pregnancy drama was voiced via Cristina and Mer. “I wish I wanted a kid… because then this would be easy. But I don’t. I don’t want to make jam, I don’t want to carpool…. I want to be a surgeon.,” Cristina shared with her person. “I need someone to get it, and I wish that someone was Owen. I need you to be there [for the procedure]… because I am scared, Mer.” That in a nutshell is what was going through Cristina’s mind as she braced for her  appointment. Later, Mer (amidst all her own crises) chided Owen: “You’re punishing her for what, being the woman you fell in love with? It will almost kill her – and it will almost kill her kid.” Evoking her own childhood of mediocre maternal love, she added, “The guilt of resenting her own kid will eat her alive.”

Owen processed Meredith’s download, and upon witnessing the aforementioned happy Susanny coda, went to his wife to take notice of their resolve to be together, any weather. “You’d cut my leg off for me, wouldn’t you?” He asked. “Well, I wouldn’t botch it like that guy did. I’d give you a good stump.” Sniff. (Applause for Sandra Oh, as Cristina spontaneously exploded with sobs, when the enormity of her decision — coupled with Owen’s complicity — shrouded her. Big sniff.) Owen then accompanied his lady love to her abortion appointment where, after being asked if they are “absolutely sure,” Cristina nodded.

ELSEWHERE IN SEATTLE GRACE…. | Teddy/Henry are having mind-blowing sex., but even that truth can’t temper her concern over his next procedure, which the Chief insists is simple and yet he wants Bailey on hand. Leading up to it, Chief has Bailey do a test run on a mouse, then hands her the scalpel once Henry himself is in the table. What the what? Bailey’s been Wonka’d! Turns out the Chief was planning to fall on his scalpel and take the rap for Mer so she can keep her job, so he signed over his islet trial thingy to Bailey’s ownership, to keep the FDA from shutting it down. The chocolate factory is now hers!… Her new gig as Chief Resident amusingly flustered April, especially when the wrong a patient almost had the wrong surgery performed on him…. Lexie was barely seen…. And I can’t recall any significant moments for Calzona, either

GONE, BABY, GONE 2 | Non-spoiler alert! As trumpeted in promos for a while now, Meredith was fired by the Chief (via the board) for tampering with Derek’s Alzheimer’s trial results (on behalf of Mrs. Chief, Adele). That’s bad in and of itself, a whole sweeps month twist even. But Mer’s misery only compounded exponentially when Janet the social worker paid Seattle Grace a visit and, despite Mer’s best effort to talk vaguely and in circles, learned that A) Dr. Grey had been canned and B) was living apart from Derek. Mer said she’d clear things right up by fetching her hubby… but instead fetched baby Zola and was off like a prom dress.

When initial efforts to find Mer failed, Cristina followed the light bulb in her head down to the hospital basement. “What were you thinking?!” Yang asked her BFF, speaking for many of us at home. Reconvening with the social worker, Meredith, with a semi-redemptive assist from Alex, tried to fib their way through the whole fired/separated/kidnapping thing, but Janet did not just tumble off a turnip truck. Until social services reevaluates Z’s placement in the Shepherd-Grey “home,” they’d have to bid the babe adieu.

You think true love is the only thing that can crush your heart,” Meredith said in the closing voiceover, as Alex walked her away from her surrender of Zola. “Then you become a mother.”

What did you think of the Grey’s Anatomy premiere? Was Janet right to not afford Mer-Der the benefit of a doubt? What’d you think of Bailey’s “Letter of Recommendation” for Meredith? And the outcome of the “Gunther” test?

GET MORE: Premieres, Recaps, Reviews