Grey's Anatomy Review: Church & State

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What ever happened to Gentle Ben?

Bailey's beloved faced an impossible decision on Grey's Anatomy Season 12 Episode 18, and had to face the consequences of his actions on Grey's Anatomy Season 12 Episode 19.

It was hard to tell on who the ordeal was harder – Ben faced losing his job, but Miranda was the one who had to decide his fate.

Lockdown - Grey's Anatomy

So team Bailey-Warren makes for a late but strong entry in the contest of "unhappiest couple of the season." There have been more upsets in the fight for this year's title than in the NCAA playoffs.

Their valiant efforts to be miserable deserve our full devotion right now, but you can join our Grey's Anatomy Round Table on Monday, April 18th for a more thorough break down of the double header.

"It's a Fine, Fine Line" was primarily focused on what exactly led up to Ben's decision to perform an emergency C-section in the hallway. By using a series of short flashbacks (quite effectively), Miranda's investigations let us experience multiple viewpoints of the event – the opening sequence with security cameras were a nice foreshadowing allegory for this.

Of course, the cameras weren't just a sophisticated storytelling technique, they ended up being central to the story.

I'm sure I wasn't the only one who was surprised by just how short the whole code pink situation was. Obviously the main story was going to be Ben's situation, but I really thought things would be more balanced. 

One thing that really worked for me about the flashbacks was that it allowed me to connect with Ben's patient, Gretchen. Having her as a more developed character made me more invested in Ben's decision. It was easy to understand why he was motivated to cut after her plea.

Gretchen: Omar had this really boring partner dinner that I agreed to go to because, hello -- night out like a grown up, and three cosmopolitans on board.
Arizona: Aww.
DeLuca: Yikes.

Something that was touched on but not explored as fully as I would have liked were the other residents attitudes about Ben. Although Jo and Webber reprimanded McCreepy Cross and the hot intern (Hannah? who can keep up?), Jo stepped right in once the boss was gone. 

Does she not have anything better to do than sit around and watch Bailey's office all day? Apparently, the chance to play mean girls to Ben meant that Penny was off the hook with Jo and Stephanie. That rift repaired quickly. 

At least Stephanie could be counted on for some deeper insight to the issue. But somebody really needs to pull a Tina Fey with this group and get them to work as a real team. While losing classmates and the rigor of the program brought our original interns closer, this group hasn't developed the same deep bonds.

Surgery is a drug. And operating outside the O.R.? That's mainlining.


I did think that Bailey's dilemma and internal struggle in the first half were done very well. It was an impossible position for her to be in, and her mentor wasn't exactly helpful.

I'm usually a frequent member of the "Grey's is just a show, let it go, let it go" chorus, but I was frustrated with Webber (and to a lesser extent Bailey) when it came to Ben's punishment. A hospital the size of SG would have a standing disciplinary board with rotating members.

Was this a mistake, or was it hubris? Did he do his job, or did he overstep? Bailey, I know it's hard being his wife and his boss, but you're the chief now. This is your call. It's your job. Do your job.


And Ben should have really been advised to have a lawyer with him. Not only to represent his interests with the "advisory board" but to protect him for legal fallout (Miranda should have pushed this since they have joint assets).

Having Bailey as the final decision maker certainly leant a certain dramatic quality to the proceedings though. "It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)" managed refocused the arc onto Ben and Miranda's relationship instead of just the facts at hand. Bringing in the advisory panel highlighted the cracks in their foundation.

Bailey: No, you saw what you wanted to see. You made a choice that you wanted to make.
Ben: Do you really believe that?
Bailey: What else am I supposed to --?
Ben: Oh, son of a --. I am your damned husband!

The attempt to compartmentalize the different aspects of their relationship was a great idea, but was too little, too late. I'm intrigued (and confused) that Bailey was the one that was more upset and angry over the situation. From what we've seen, I would have expected Ben to be the more aggrieved spouse. 

He had some pretty good reasoning behind his actions, and Bailey never heard him out the way Hunt, Maggie, and Meredith did. Jason George did an amazing job with that scene in particular. 

You do. You know. You should know. You're surgeons. You know what it's like. You -- when you operate, when you control if a person breathes another breath, when -- when you hold their beating heart in your hand, when you are responsible for that life, you don't see or hear or feel anything else. The rest of the world just disappears. You know that. You all do. You can't tell me you don't.

Ben [to the panel]

While Miranda's anger seemed to be about his behavior at work, when you consider that the others came down on Ben's side and didn't encourage such drastic punishment, it's hard not to think that it's really wife!Bailey that's upset, not boss!Bailey.

For all that she's a BAMF, she's also shown herself to be really insecure at times. Is she really upset about Ben's perceived recklessness or is it about how it reflects on her? I can't think of any other underlying issues in their relationship. 

Richard: Bailey, we talked about this. As the leader of this surgical staff, you need to take charge of it.
Bailey: As the leader of this surgical staff, I know my limitations. And I know I cannot be impartial about my husband and the future of his career. As a leader, I am taking charge of my lack impartiality by convening an advisory panel to review the matter.

We should be getting a reprieve from all the stress caused by the Bailey-Warren marriage dysfunction, which is good because watching those two be unhappy is rough. Grey's Anatomy Season 12 Episode 20 will focus on the problems between Jo & Alex and Callie & Arizona.

Yep, you read that right. The seemingly well adjusted exes are sure to fight dirty when it comes to custody of Sofia. Arizona's insecurity about her place in Sofia's life is surely rising up with Callie's announcement. I guess we'll find out if the papers they signed with Mark end up holding up. 

If you missed the two-parter (or any other episode), you can watch Grey's Anatomy online. And don't forget to check out the promo below! We'd love to hear what you thought about "There's a Fine, Fine Line" and "It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)," so please chime in down in the comments!

There's a Fine, Fine Line Review

Editor Rating: 4.25 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.7 / 5.0 (99 Votes)

Elizabeth Harlow was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She left the organization in October 2018.

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Grey's Anatomy Season 12 Episode 18 Quotes

Surgery is a drug. And operating outside the O.R.? That's mainlining.


What the hell are you two doing? This isn't a movie. Dr. Warren is not here for your entertainment. What is this? Concessions?

Callie [to Cross and another intern]