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IMAGE: Grey's Anatomy
Scott Garfield  /  ABC
Kevin McKidd plays a new doctor who isn't taking any guff. Even McDreamy's tousled coif has no effect on the army surgeon.
msnbc.com contributor
updated 10/7/2008 8:23:32 PM ET 2008-10-08T00:23:32

Back to basics: When "Grey's Anatomy" returned Sept. 25, Meredith spent the episode talking herself in and out of moving in with Derek, eventually (as always) using her patients as tools of self-discovery and choosing cohabitation. Derek successfully shook off a resentful Rose, who agreed to retreat to another specialty so she won’t keep stabbing him during surgeries.

Lexie’s debilitating crush on George was noticed only by McSteamy, who chose to tease her about it relentlessly (and delightfully). Alex and Izzie were getting along pretty well until Meredith blabbed that Izzie had gained new respect for him, at which point he reset his controls to “great big jerk.” Callie and Hahn avoided each other following their big season-ending kiss, but they eventually decided to try dating, kind of, maybe.

Cold-hearted: On an implausibly snowy September night in Seattle, Cristina took a giant icicle to the chest.

If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “One of Meredith’s best friends could be lying on a table with a sharp object sticking out of her chest, and I bet Meredith would still be yapping about her boring life with all the self-awareness of a 13-year-old’s MySpace page,” you now know you were right.

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In fact, Cristina tried to give Meredith the “shut up shut up SHUT UP” speech viewers have long known Meredith needed to hear. Meredith did not shut up.

Traumatized housewives: The patients all came from a single story in which Bernadette Peters, Mariette Hartley and Kathy Baker played three society women whose husbands were injured in the same limo accident. Infidelities were uncovered, friendships were tested, and one out of three husbands died. So … another average day at Seattle Grace.

Welcome, Dr. McArmy: Fortunately for Cristina, any grumpiness brought on by being impaled was moderated by the intriguing arrival of one Major Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd, most recently of NBC’s “Journeyman,” previously of HBO's "Rome"). He's an Army trauma surgeon who arrived on the scene after performing an emergency tracheotomy on one of the husbands, stapled his own leg wound without the benefit of anesthesia, laid a big smooch on Cristina, and then turned down a position at the hospital — a “no” you can be sure won’t last.

Psych!:Two fake-outs were included for the transparent purpose of season-premiere teasers: Meredith keening over a dead Derek (it’s just a dream!), and Rose somberly telling Derek that she was pregnant (she’s just kidding!). Once is bad enough, but using this device twice in the same episode suggests a lack of confidence in the actual story.

Grade-grubbing: Seattle Grace slipped substantially in national rankings of teaching hospitals, perhaps as a result of the doctors using the patients to sort out their personal problems. Expect to see plenty of internal hospital politics this season as the quest to improve the ranking continues.

First new rule that should be considered: Less sex in the closets.

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