Case Number 12000


Buena Vista // 2006 // 1105 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Kent Dixon (Retired) // September 5th, 2007

The Charge

"Every single surgical patient in a hospital is your patient. Whether you're the one who cut them open or not. The scalpel stops with you. You need to be able to look at her family. And to tell them your team did everything they could to save someone's life. The husband, the wife. Taking care about the people's families. And makes take care of the people's families. But you sacrifice your own." -- Dr. Richard Webber

Opening Statement

One of the strongest ensemble cast dramas on TV today, Grey's Anatomy continues to build on its strengths in Season Three, as the characters mature and their stories take some interesting turns. But can the doctors of Seattle Grace possibly sustain the momentum through 25 new episodes?

Facts of the Case

Grey's Anatomy follows the personal and professional lives of a group of medical interns as they put their studies into practice at Seattle Grace Hospital and strive to balance career and personal life. The doctors often struggle as they seek to find cures to life's problems and find they aren't as easy to fix as putting a cast on a broken leg or stitching a wound.

Grey's Anatomy: The Complete Third Season builds significantly on the character arcs of every single cast member. The romantic triangle continues between Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo), Derek Sheppard (Patrick Dempsey), and Finn Dandridge (Chris O'Donnell). Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl) continues to grieve and question her commitment to her chosen profession. Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh) and Carter Burke (Isaiah Washington) continue to explore their relationship. Alex Karev (Justin Chambers) wrestles with the fact that his skills and talents may not be best suited for a specialty in plastic surgery. And George O'Malley (T.R. Knight) continues to be...well, George!

Disc One
"Time Has Come Today" (Extended Episode)
The doctors of Seattle Grace help Izzie cope with the loss of her fiancé, Denny, and her decision to quit the internship program. Meredith must decide what the future holds after her hospital liaison with Derek. The Chief is confronted by his wife, Adele, after spending the night in his office, and George seeks relationship advice from a surprising source.

mcdreamy and meredith

"I am a Tree"
Cristina meets Burke's parents -- and in the most awkward of circumstances -- the interns campaign for Izzie's reinstatement to the surgical intern program, Addison takes a break from her hospital duties, and a surgical patient lives what may be her last day to the fullest.

"Sometimes a Fantasy"
Cristina tries to help Preston cope with his hand tremor, Izzie attempts to return to the hospital for the first time since she quit the program, Alex deals with a patient who has a long history of injuries, and George and Callie's relationship moves forward.

"What I Am"
Addison doubts her abilities as a doctor, Cristina pushes Burkes rehabilitation, one of the interns suffers their own medical emergency, and Izzie receives the surprise of her life.

Disc Two
"Oh, The Guilt"
Bailey treats a young mother battling breast cancer, Derek learns more about Mark and Addison's relationship, the interns defend a residents competence at a hospital staff meeting, and Meredith and Addison examine a couple who find themselves in a rather awkward position.

"Let The Angels Commit": Cristina scrubs in on the rare humpty dumpty procedure, much to the envy of her fellow doctors, Alex questions his future medical specialty, George and Addison work with a pregnant woman with an unusual dilemma, and Derek receives a surprise visit from his sister.

"Where the Boys Are" (Extended Episode)
The men of Seattle Grace go on a camping trip together, Addison and Callie must team up to work on a patient, Meredith assists Sloan with a procedure unlike any she has experienced, and, suspicious of her recent actions at the hospital, Bailey confronts Cristina.

george goes fishing

"Staring at the Sun"
The O'Malley Family visits George at the hospital, Meredith is determined to have a more positive outlook on life, Derek and Addison strive for a civil relationship, and Richard endeavors to reunite with his wife, Adele.

Disc Three
"From A Whisper to a Scream"
A traumatic car accident fills the ER, Cristina has a crisis of conscience about her deceptive teamwork with Burke, and Izzie pushes the boundaries of her probation.

"Don't Stand So Close to Me"
Recent events strain Burke and Cristina's relationship, Meredith's half-sister, Molly, is admitted to the hospital, and Mark and Derek must work together when two close-knit brothers seek medical help.

"Six Days, Part 1"
As Mr. O'Malley's surgery approaches, he begins to suspect how serious his condition is, Izzie has to take a positive step to scrub in on a surgery, and Meredith keeps running in to her father.

meredith and mcsteamy

"Six Days, Part 2"
George's dad has a rocky road to recovery, Cristina and Burke continue their war of silence, and Meredith reaches out to her father.

Disc Four
"Great Expectations" (Extended Episode)
While rumors of the Chief's departure spread among the hospital staff, Bailey proposes the creation of a free clinic, and a Seattle Grace doctor receives a proposal of a different sort.

"Wishin' and Hopin'" (Extended Episode)
The race for the Chief's position is on, as the doctors compete for Richards affections, a surgical patient endangers the lives of those around her, and Meredith's Alzheimer's-stricken mother, Ellis, experiences a change in her medical condition.

"Walk On Water"
Derek rescues Meredith, Meredith helps Izzie to believe in herself again, and the Chief dyes his hair.

"Drowning on Dry Land"
The doctors of Seattle Grace attend a disaster scene and relationship doubts continue to plague Meredith and Derek.

Disc Five
"Some Kind of Miracle"
One person's fight to live affects everyone at Seattle Grace.

"Scars and Souvenirs"
The race for chief heats up after a new competitor enters the fray, tensions escalate between Izzie and George, and Callie must reveal a big secret. Meanwhile, Derek treats a patient near and dear to him, while Alex continues his work with Jane Doe.

george and callie

"My Favorite Mistake"
George meets his new father-in-law (and is no condition to make a good impression), Alex helps Jane Doe determine how the world will see her from now on, the hospital board begins interviewing the candidates for the Chief's position, and Izzie wrestles with a startling revelation.

"Time After Time"
Izzie faces her past and finds comfort in George, while Alex becomes more attached to Jane Doe (Elizabeth Reaser), Meredith and Derek question their own status, and Cristina resolves to fight for her relationship with Burke -- despite her past with Colin Marlow (Roger Rees).

Disc Six
As the interns of Seattle Grace cram for their upcoming exam, the attending surgeons vie for the Chief's position by tending to the chairman of the hospital board after he's admitted as a patient. Meanwhile, Burke struggles to involve Cristina in the wedding planning, things heat up between Addison and Alex, and Derek questions his relationship with Meredith.

"The Other Side of This Life, Part 1"
Addison takes temporary leave from Seattle Grace and makes a road trip to Los Angeles in order to visit some old friends from medical school. As Meredith continues to bond with her stepmother, Susan, Cristina reluctantly plans her wedding with the assistance of her mother, Helen, and Burke's mother, Mama Jane. Meanwhile, Derek must perform emergency surgery on Ava/Jane Doe, as Alex continues his unfailing bedside manner with her.

"The Other Side of This Life, Part 2"
Addison takes temporary leave from Seattle Grace and makes a road trip to Los Angeles in order to visit some old friends from medical school. As Meredith continues to bond with her stepmother, Susan, Cristina reluctantly plans her wedding with the assistance of her mother, Helen, and Burke's mother, Mama Jane. Meanwhile, Derek must perform emergency surgery on Ava/Jane Doe, as Alex continues his unfailing bedside manner with her.

Disc Seven
"Testing 1-2-3"
The interns take the biggest test of their careers, their first-year medical exams, as the residents attend to three injured mountain climbers. Meanwhile Callie's suspicions of George and Izzie grow, and Cristina struggles to write her wedding vows.

"Didn't We Almost Have it All?"
Cristina and Burke's wedding day arrives along with the interns' first exam results and a successor to the Chief is named, as Callie and George make a big decision about their relationship.

The Evidence

My top five favorite episodes of the season were "Oh, The Guilt," "Where the Boys Are," "Wishin' and Hopin'," "Scars and Souvenirs," and "Desire." But why did I pick these episodes you ask? Favorite episodes are certainly a subjective preference, but each of these episodes stood out in my mind, either for their humor, plot points or character development. In all the episodes I have mentioned, as well as others in the series, the show's writers deftly balance humor and grief. Whether through the stories of the patients that come to Seattle Grace, or through the stories of the main characters, the viewer often ranges between laughter and tears within the same episode, all without feeling manipulated.

In an ensemble drama like Grey's Anatomy, the chemistry between the actors will make or break the show. That's one of the main things the creators of Grey's Anatomy got right. These characters are real people with gifts and flaws just like the rest of us. It's easy to become invested in their lives and find yourself crying with them when they grieve and cheering when they cheer.

I must confess that I find it easy to love a well-written show, and if a show hooks me early, they've pretty much got me for their entire run. Unfortunately, there just aren't enough hours in the day to watch every acclaimed show (sorry House), so I need to pick and choose which ones I keep on the viewing roster and which ones fall by the wayside (sorry CSI: Miami, but Caruso just made me nuts!).

Why do I think the show is well written? Emmys and miscellaneous other awards aside, and as I have mentioned elsewhere in this review, each episode of Grey's Anatomy is a strong mix of laughter and tears, as viewers follow the stories of patients (some lasting more than one episode), interns and staff. I must confess that I'm somewhat jaded when it comes to TV these days. It takes a special show with strong writing to get me to suspend my disbelief for 44 minutes and fully engage in the story, not to mention creating situations that can make me laugh out loud or shed a tear. Grey's Anatomy is one of those special shows.

What's to Love?
On the positive side, Grey's Anatomy: The Complete Third Season continues to please with the strong writing and acting that has sustained it to date. We're not just watching caricatures of doctors with God complexes week after week, we're getting an intimate look into the lives of real people. It's refreshing to watch a show where the actors face very real consequences from the decisions they make.

The story arch of every character directly impacts at least one, and at times many other characters. Like ripples in a pool, it's fascinating to watch how one character's action or inaction affects the plot of each show and usually several episodes to follow. For example, the tension between Cristina and Burke builds throughout the season, both through Cristina's reluctance to commit, and also through their efforts to hide Burke's weakness following his injury.

As in real life, viewers see how the concerted efforts required to maintain a lie cause indirect tension and stress in other relationships. Cristina is so driven and focused on concealing the deception that she largely fails to be there for Izzie at a time when she needs her friends most. This is only one example of how the ripples expand. The viewer can also see impacts, as George and Izzie struggle over their feelings for each other, negatively impacting George's relationship with Callie. These people are real -- they are ambitious, selfish, sexist, arrogant and opinionated; they are also compassionate, remorseful and caring.

It's a tribute to the show's creator Shonda Rhimes that Grey's Anatomy has spawned a spin-off series so soon into the show's life span. Although die-hard fans will miss the departure of one of the show's much-loved characters, Private Practice will no doubt garner a fan base of its own, while adding another must-watch show to the list for current Grey's fans.

Meh...not so much!
But no show is perfect (unless it's written by Joss Whedon), and Grey's Anatomy is no exception. Meredith's angst-ridden rants are a bit tiring at times and the viewer often begs her to just make up her mind and stick with a decision just once! At times, the show's blend of personal and emotional issues clashes with the medical drama plot lines, jarring the viewer back and forth between the two.

Eyes and Ears
The 1.78:1 Anamorphic presentation fares nicely and by far, I still prefer TV sets presented in widescreen versus full screen -- call me an Anamorphic snob. The image is soft at times, but clear and crisp overall, with true colors and strong contrast, even when reproduced on a 100-inch projection screen. As anyone would agree, it's fair to expect a solid video presentation for a season that aired just a few months ago.

The audio presentation is also strong and while there is no significant use of the rear channel in the 5.1 surround mix, this isn't too surprising for a dialogue-based show. As a show also notable for it's soundtrack week to week, music reproduction is strong and free of any noise or noticeable distortion.

Disc seven includes a whole assortment of extras, ranging from forgettable to memorable. Three short featurettes include: "Making Rounds With Patrick Dempsey" (10:23), "Shades of Grey: One on One With Ellen Pompeo" (8:39), and "Prescription For Success: Jane Doe Unmasked" (8:34). "Dissecting Grey's Anatomy: Unaired Scenes" (13:28) is an assortment of scenes that were cut from some of the season's episodes for various reasons. "Good Medicine: My Favorite Scenes" (9:26) gives some of the actors the opportunity to share their favorite moments from the season, and "In Stitches: Season 3 Outtakes" (4:19) shares some of the tension-breaking hilarity that goes on behind the scenes.

Disc seven also includes "Sneak Peeks" at The Game Plan, Brothers and Sisters: First Season, Soap Net, Ugly Betty: The Complete First Season, What About Brian: The Complete Series, Desperate Housewives: The Complete Third Season, Lost: The Complete Third Season, and Grey's Anatomy: New Season Preview.

For this release, Buena Vista has also included "Extended Episode" versions of "Time Has Come Today" (Disc 1), "Where the Boys Are" (Disc 2), "Great Expectations" (Disc 4), and "Wishin' and Hopin'" (Disc 4).

Viewers can also enjoy cast commentaries on the following episodes: "Time Has Come Today" (commentary by Kate Walsh and Chandra Wilson), "Wishin' and Hopin'" (commentary by Ellen Pompeo and Kate Burton), and "Desire" (commentary by Sandra Oh). It's interesting to hear the actor's point of view as they share their impressions on the development of their characters within the episode in question, as well as their overall character arcs.

While not the most stellar collection of extras, the offering on Grey's Anatomy: The Complete Third Season is pretty decent overall, especially for a set being released so soon after the episodes aired. The set is also presented nicely with two discs per tray and a relatively solid foldout package design.

A nice black and white montage of character faces leads into an easy-to-use menu system that makes accessing your menus choices on each disc simple and fairly intuitive.

Closing Statement

You'd think living vicariously through the lives of interns and their supervisors week after week would get old, but Grey's Anatomy manages to make a fairly simple premise shine through solid writing and strong chemistry among the cast members. And speaking of chemistry between the cast members, it will be interesting to see how the departure of Isaiah Washington (Dr. Preston Burke) under less than positive circumstances, will impact the show's fourth season. If it's time for a complete TV physical, book an appointment with Grey's Anatomy: The Complete Third Season.

The Verdict

If you're a fan of the show and already own the previous season's sets, Grey's Anatomy: The Complete Third Season is a natural addition to your library. If you haven't had the opportunity to see the show yet, it's wise to start from the beginning and enjoy the complete run -- you won't be disappointed! Grey's Anatomy: The Complete Third Season is cleared of all charges and released on good behavior for leaving us in stitches while often inducing a strong dose of tears.

Review content copyright © 2007 Kent Dixon; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2016 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Video: 90
Audio: 90
Extras: 80
Acting: 95
Story: 90
Judgment: 90

Perp Profile
Studio: Buena Vista
Video Formats:
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)

* English
* Spanish

Running Time: 1105 Minutes
Release Year: 2006
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* Audio Commentaries
* Extended episodes
* "Making Rounds With Patrick Dempsey"
* "Shades of Grey: One on One With Ellen Pompeo"
* "Prescription For Success: Jane Doe Unmasked"
* "Dissecting Greyâs Anatomy" (Unaired Scenes)
* "Good Medicine" (Favorite Scenes)
* "In Stitches" (Bloopers)
* Trailers

* IMDb

* Official Site

* Wikipedia: Grey's Anatomy