Friday, October 29, 2010

Grey's Writers: Stacy McKee on 7.06 "These Arms Of Mine"

From the writers of Grey's on last night's episode and there's lots of talk about Cristina:

It’s somehow so much more emotional having her talk to the camera instead of talking to one of our doctors. It’s like she’s talking directly to us.

Which is why I love the Meredith and Cristina interviews. I think Richard probably asked Mer and Cristina to sit down for the cameras, as the face of the Seattle Grace residency program. And as the resident twisted sisters, Mer and Cristina are bound and determined NOT to reveal anything true or real about themselves. They plan to put on a show and be all perky and happy and charming and not dark or twisty at all. Which works for a while, until it all begins to unravel.

What I love is watching Meredith take on such a maternal role toward Cristina. She knows that Cristina has been struggling, and she sees Cristina beginning to crack under the pressure of the interview, so she jumps in and tries to help her best friend out. Mer’s trying to protect Cristina. But what’s interesting is that, the minute Mer steps in, Cristina can’t go on with the interview. There’s some residual Mer/Cristina friction that we’re only seeing a tiny little glimpse of here, and this type of episode is the perfect way to bring that to the surface.


I did try to preserve a few of our usual Grey’s motifs – like our typical final montage. I did a Seattle Medical version of it. Because Cristina cut her interview short in the previous act, I felt that the documentary crew would probably, four weeks later, have asked her to come in and complete the interview. And at this point, I think Cristina has pulled herself together, steeled herself for the interview, and rehearsed her talking points. She is ready to rattle off exactly what she thinks they want to hear, and nothing more. She is not about to lose it in front of the camera again. She is ready. And Sandra played it beautifully. The words are articulate, but hollow. You can tell she doesn’t actually believe them for a minute. And there is only the slightest hint of vulnerability when she answers the final question.


The other thing I love about the ending to the episode is that, in that final scene, it’s the only time in the entire episode we hear the off camera interviewer. There’s this flicker that crosses Cristina’s face, before she answers with, “being a hero has its price.” It’s the most honest she has been all episode, probably all season. I love that it takes a camera crew full of strangers to bring such honesty to the surface, when Cristina has not yet been able to be that honest with her husband, her best friend, or even, really, herself.

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