Thursday, November 13, 2008

No Dead Lesbians on Grey's Anatomy Tonight

Six years later, Buffy fans are still angry about Tara's death.

Last week I was a tad pessimistic about tonight's episode of Grey's Anatomy; I thought there was a chance from the preview that Erica Hahn's mangled corpse might be wheeled into Seattle Grace.

While common sense would dictate the last thing the Grey's writers, or ABC for that matter, would want to do right now is piss the gays off even more by dusting off the dread Dead Lesbian cliché, Grey's Anatomy isn't a show that's known for its sensible writing. What made me think that such a development wasn't outside the realm of possibility was a flashback I had to the creepy way ER once dispatched of one of its interns (played by Omar Epps), who -- as I remember it, but I saw the episode a long time ago and the details are hazy -- left work one night and returned hours later as an unidentified (until his beeper went off) patient who'd been run over by a subway train.

Since there had been no resolution to the Callie/Erica storyline, since it had been reported that Brooke Smith would not be appearing in future episodes, and since her character was last seen heading to her car after threatening to bring serious legal action against the hospital, there didn't seem to be many options for tidily wrapping things up for "Callica" outside of having Erica get hit by a bus or something.

In the end, she wasn't deemed an important enough character to merit a proper sendoff. Within the first minute or so of tonight's episode, Cristina, who had a contentious relationship with Erica, flopped into bed with Meredith and Derek to announce that "Hahn is gone." (Ah, lazy writing. It's a concept I'm well-acquainted with, as anyone reading this can tell.) She quit following her "no gray area" fight with Callie last week.

As if to compensate for the inevitable "Ding-dong! The witch is dead" joke made at Hahn's expense, Derek reacted to news of her departure by saying, "It's too bad, she was really talented." Erica's replacement, a cardiothoracic surgeon played by Mary McDonnell, was swiftly introduced; like her predecessor, she instantly rubbed a few coworkers the wrong way, but she has been given an autistic spectrum disorder that will presumably make viewers sympathetic to her in a way they never were to Hahn.

Judging by what we saw tonight, it's possible that "Callica" could resume contact off screen and viewers could get a Hahn update at some point. It's unlikely I'll be tuning into Grey's Anatomy again anytime soon, so I won't know about it unless someone mentions it to me.

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