It's a classic story. Boy meets girl. Girl can't stand boy. Boy and girl end up having hate-sex.
OK, so maybe it's not a traditional relationship, but when has a pairing on Grey's Anatomy ever been so normal? But the story above is a very loose rundown of what went down between Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) and Riggs (Martin Henderson) last season, and has continued into this season, as the two have been secretly hooking up. Complicating matters? Maggie (Kelly McCreary), Mer's half-sister/roommate, asked Riggs out and even though he said no, she is still very into McKiwi.
But in tonight's episode, something funny happened: Meredith started to actually like Riggs...we're just not sure we buy it. Yet. (Warning, mild spoilers ahead for Grey's' Oct. 6 episode.)
After Maggie wouldn't stop talking about how Riggs rebuffed her advances, Meredith suggested he go out with her, "just be terrible...just turn off all that. She later added, "Be someone else. Don't be you." Riggs, of course, was delighted, and saw this as Meredith's weird way of saying she likes him.
On paper? We love it, and the easy banter. But on-screen, there's just a spark missing. What actually worked better for us was the quiet-but-powerful moment where Riggs opened up to Meredith about the "miracle dream," the one in which someone you've lost is still there. For Riggs, it's his girlfriend, Megan Hunt (Owen's sister), who died, saying it's her rolling over in bed, asking him to make coffee.
While Meredith immediately shut him down, not wanting to open up emotionally, she said she's never had that dream about Derek (Patrick Dempsey), she eventually came back and revealed that for her, it's "a knock at the door. He knocks at the door, says he forgot his keys and he's sorry for being gone so long."
It's a moment like that, where we see two people who have suffered such great losses, that we buy their connection. And we're hoping to see more of it moving forward, because right now, the relationship feels more like a tool being used to create conflict between Meredith and Maggie rather than a legitimate romantic option for Mer in a post-McDreamy world.
And we're not sure if viewers, who are still reeling from the deaths of Derek and MerDer, are invested enough to actually be worried for this couple once Maggie, Owen (Kevin McKidd), who blames Riggs for his sister's death, and others at the hospital find out they've been hooking up.
Perhaps one of our issues comes from the fact that when Henderson was cast, he was called Dempsey's replacement and Riggs was dubbed the show's new McDreamy, a notion Shonda Rhimes shot down. "I can't just drop a new guy in and be like, ‘There he is!' I keep seeing all these things that we're replacing McDreamy...and Patrick's irreplaceable," she said at the 2015 Summer TCA Press Tour. "That's not really the point."
So yes, we were surprised when Meredith and Riggs hooked up, seemingly out of nowhere at the end of last season, mostly because it felt too obvious?
For now, we're going to wait to see how this one plays out. But just know, in Shonda we trust.
Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on ABC.