Welcome to Grand Rounds: Dissecting Grey’s Anatomy, a roundtable on Grey’s Anatomy featuring Snarky’s Machine, Everett Maroon, Redlami, Tasha Fierce, and s.e. smith. This special edition of Grand Rounds is hosted by, well, all of us, as we probe into where this show is headed next! Grey’s Anatomy is known for soapy storylines, convoluted storytelling, and human drama between all the medical excitement. What are we going to see on the OR table next season? Snarky’s Machine: What story arcs do you most hope are developed? Which relationships? Which pairings do you think would be interesting to explore? I’m kind of interested in seeing if April and Mark might be worth investigating. I don’t know why. s.e. smith: I really want to see where the Yang and Owen storyline goes. I suspect unfortunately that we will be seeing a lot more Mer-Der drama, which, blech. And I’d like to see Alex get a chance. He ended this season on a really sour note with a punishment he really didn’t deserve, and it’s a reminder that he’s always been marginalized amongst the other characters. Alex has a hard ethical core and I want to see that blossom next season. Redlami: Now that she’s been made chief resident, I’m interested in seeing how things go with April and Dr. Stark because I think there’s really something there worth exploring. Everett Maroon: I would like to see April and Karev. They almost went there last season and I had to peel my eyes off the TV. She would be entirely unlike anyone Alex has ever gone after, and he might finally be able to melt his personal ice fortress. And once she’d won him over, I think he’d be a loyal, smart counterpoint for her. As for story arcs I would be fascinated with Meredith as a single parent, maybe finishing her residency somewhere else. They’re all about change over on Private Practice, so why not carry some big change for the central character here? Tasha Fierce: I want to see more interesting interactions between Miranda and the hot nurse. Their interactions have been kind of boring lately and they’re setting up Miranda to be the stereotypical strong black woman who doesn’t want to open up her life to a man, which is just annoying to me. I want to see a fully developed sexual and romantic relationship storyline going on there. And oh god, only pair April with Mark if it’s a BDSM storyline and it involves April wearing a ball gag. That might be kind of hot, actually. Meh. Everett Maroon: If season seven highlighted struggle against trauma (Cristina’s battle to get back in the OR, Callie’s fight after the car crash, Bailey’s emotional tenderness) where will season eight head from here? Will there in fact be five doctors on staff with adorable babies? What glimmers of hope for happier days have the writers given us this season? s.e. smith: I have a hard time believing that they’re going to leave us with happy babies! Television has a hard time working babies into shows like this, and I think we’re going to see those babies quietly shuffled to the sidelines, one way or another, which is a pity, because I’d like to see Grey’s tackle the work/life balance with more nuance than they did with Bailey. I am a bit worried about where these stories are going to go with illness and disability, given Zola’s documented neurological issues. Redlami: I’ve never known the writers to give us something to hope for without yanking it away again like Lucy van Pelt and Charlie Brown’s football. Tasha Fierce: It seems like they’re headed for darker, more complicated days if they really let things play out like they probably would in real life. But oh right, this isn’t real life. So Cristina will give in to her latent maternal instincts, and Derek will go back to Meredith because of the baby. I would like to see them take it down the road it really would go down, though. Snarky’s Machine: I am always distrustful of Shondas bearing hope. She has dangled hope in front of us before only to shatter it completely. I don’t think babies are going to change much around Grey’s. They barely rippled on the show. Anyone seen Tuck lately? For all I know Bailey’s got him stuffed and stashed in a closet. Redlami: The residents at Seattle Grace haven’t always displayed the best judgment in their personal or professional lives. When they were younger it could perhaps be forgiven as part of the learning process. One of them finally being named chief resident seems to signal that they have reached a new level of maturity. How do you think this will affect the choices they make in the future? s.e. smith: Well, the most mature resident got the brass ring, so! Maybe the others will take something away from that, or maybe not. I think now that their residencies are starting to wrap up, it’s time to start thinking about being doctors, and the real world consequences that their actions will have. Eventually these folks have to leave their residencies! Everett Maroon: I think we got a glimpse of this when the residents had to haul interns around with them all day; by the end of the shift some of them grew up a bit and recognized that this is how the medical training process works. I’m pretty sure April is going to lay down the law pretty quickly and we’ll see at that point who can deal with the new power structure and who can’t. Tasha Fierce: I don’t think the fact that they’re in their final year of their residencies necessarily means they’re more mature. In some ways it seems like they’re less mature now, they’re just making bigger choices. If they actually reached a new level of maturity, yeah, that would positively affect their choices in the future. But I see a lot of immaturity in their future, especially with April being chief resident. I’m anticipating a lot of juvenile behavior. Snarky’s Machine: I think Alex is about to go through some major emotional upheaval, which would be great for his character. He keeps showing glimpses of the murky depths, but Grey’s hasn’t really effectively showed how the strains of class experience and his experiences caretaking mentally ill people in his life have informed him as person, because it’s decidedly different than how it shapes him as a doctor. As a doctor his boundaries are really some of the best, but as a person he’s very loyal, and I think it was very brave despite being drunk that he ratted out Meredith. He risked everything—his family, his home—and I think this is something really powerful for Alex. I hope they explore what this meant for him next season. We already know what it cost him and we already know what others think about it. s.e. smith: Grey’s has a long history of pushing ethical boundaries with few consequences. Do you think some chickens might come home to roost in season eight? Redlami: I’m assuming we’ll get to see a long struggle back for Meredith just as excruciating as Cristina making it back into the OR. But otherwise, I don’t think bad ethics will do any more harm than they’ve ever done in the past. Everett Maroon: Well, there’s the insurance fraud of Teddy’s marriage that the Chief begrudgingly let slide by, and of course the tampering of Derek’s clinical trial that again, comes down to whether the Chief alerts the powers that be or not. So my guess is that it’s the Chief who may have to bear the brunt of the doctors’ misdeeds. Tasha Fierce: I think all the chickens will hopefully come home to roost before the series is over. Is it over in season eight? I don’t see them really ruining lives until the end. Snarky’s Machine: I think Grey’s will continue to make real life residents scoff by showing fictional residents engaged in a host of problematic ethical situations whose punishment barely involves a slap on the wrist. I think the ethical breakdowns are used to create wedges between the sets of partners and as springboard to explore the relationships between the character. I think season eight will see some kind of healing between Richard and Meredith or at least an understanding. These two are bonded to each other through Eliis Grey and the show has never allowed them to deal with it. Tasha Fierce: Season eight is shaping up to have some juicy storylines, what with Derek leaving and Owen kicking Cristina out. What are your predictions on how the two “pillar” relationships (Derek/Meredith, Owen/Cristina) will play out? s.e. smith: My predictions, or my fantasy? Because my fantasy is that the Twisted Sisters get together and live happily ever after while Owen and Derek fish and look woeful. My prediction is that both relationships are going to be restored to their former selves early on in the season opener, because the show just can’t seem to let them go! Redlami: Derek will end up forgiving Meredith, but only because he wants baby Zola. I think Owen and Cristina are doomed: he’s not getting that she’s not the emotional basket case she was when they got married. Everett Maroon: Sadly, I think this is one of those cliffhangers that gets resolved in the first half hour of the next season. Someone will call Derek and ask him how the baby is doing, and he’ll realize he needs to go home and check it out, and once he shows up with little Zola in Meredith’s arms, his heart will melt. And Owen will realize that it’s Cristina who helped him get past his emotional war wounds and wow she’s the best thing since sliced bread and I can’t believe I tried to change her, again, and he’ll come crawling back. But maybe I’m just making things up. Oh wait, I am. We’re like to thank Bitch for hosting us—we had a fabulous time this season and we hope you did too! Be sure to check out our sites to see what else you’re up if you have an interest in our takes on pop culture and so much more. s.e. smith and Everett Maroon will also be returning to Bitch shortly to discuss politics and mental health in pop culture (and I think you can guess who will be covering what!). About your bloggers: Snarky’s Machine is the founder of the pop culture site I Fry Mine in Butter. Everett Maroon is a Seattle-based writer, focusing on popular culture commentary, speculative fiction, and memoir. His interests include the interrelationships of characters on Grey’s Anatomy, Dr. Bailey, behind-the-scenes politics, and Dr. Bailey. Tasha Fierce blogs about sex, dating, relationships and body image at Sex and the Fat Girl. s.e. smith is a cantankerous, cat-wearing, pop culture-loving, pants-eschewing philistine from the wilds of Northern California with a compendium of largely useless random knowledge and a typewriter that doesn’t know when to quit. smith writes at this ain’t livin’. Redlami turns numbers into stories and is the resident tech geek at I Fry Mine in Butter.