If 'Grey's Anatomy' bans inter-hospital relationships, what's left of the show?

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The word game-changer is thrown around a lot when it comes to describing episodes of TV dramas. But "Grey's Anatomy" redefined the meaning of "game-changer" during its midseason premiere on Thursday (Feb. 27).

While fans went into the hour expecting the biggest surprise to be finding out who April Kepner (Sarah Drew) chose after the midseason cliffhanger -- her sweet, reliable, EMT fiance from whom she was seconds away from putting his ring on her finger at the altar at their wedding, or her longtime love Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams who professed his love to her as she was standing at the altar with another man -- that didn't even come close to the biggest twist that went down. Shonda Rhimes, you magnificent genius.

Before we even get to the real game-changer of the hour, let's first put all the mystery about April's choice to bed ... she chose Jackson. Of course. Was there ever any doubt? To be fair, Rhimes and co. put us all through the ringer during the hour, showing April and Jackson happy and kissing in his car driving away from the wedding, only to have April freak out and run out of the car saying she "can't do this." Flash forward to three weeks later, and they're not talking. So it seemed as if April didn't end up with either guy.

Until the end of the hour during a flashback, when it was revealed that Jackson and April decided they couldn't just throw everything away to simply date each other ... so they got married that night! And they've been keeping their newly-wedded bliss a secret from everyone at the hospital. So they got a happily ever after, after all!

But unfortunately, that secrecy and happiness is not going to last. Because Jackson's ex -- who was publicly humiliated by the fact that her boyfriend/date professed his love to someone else at that woman's wedding -- was convinced by Leah (who was still mad at Arizona for throwing her out like garbage as soon as Callie wanted Arizona back) to lodge a formal complaint to the hospital. 

Leah made a lot of good points that "Grey's Anatomy" hasn't addressed in all of its 10 seasons: The bosses at Grey Sloan Memorial keep taking advantage of their inferiors and treating them like they are expendable. The doctors treat the hospital like its their own personal dating pool, hooking up with their interns with no regard to the future. But they shouldn't. 

It's highly inappropriate, and it affects their performance in the OR. How many lives have been put at risk because of doctors' personal relationship problems? Too many. How many lives have been lost because doctors were fighting with each other, while operating, distracted? Even one is too many, and it's way more than that. It's gotten to the point that no sane person would ever go to Grey Sloan Memorial for treatment if they knew what was going on behind-the-scenes.

And this been happening for 10 seasons. It's basically what the premise of the entire show is: Doctors sleeping with and dating each other. So when an intern (unspecified, although all the doctors assume it's Jackson's ex) lodges a formal complaint against the hospital, Owen urges the board to vote to instate a rule: All relationships between co-workers is forbidden (excluding previously married couples).

HA. Can you even imagine "Grey's Anatomy" without all the relationship drama? What is even left of the show without it? That's all there is! Of course, previously wed couples are safe to continue on, business as usual, and that includes the secret married couple of Jackson and April -- though expect a lot of drama to go down when they are forced to reveal their marital status. But what about the couples who are just dating (Alex and Jo), or buying a house (Callie and Arizona), or sleeping together (Cristina and Shane)? Will they be forced to get married to stay together? Do they even want to? Is that even allowed? Or do they all have to break up, no excuses or exceptions? 

Of course, at first it's obvious that this will lead to doctors sneaking around, hiding their relationships, because duh. But that's going to get old fast, and no relationship could sustain and survive that way forever. Story-wise, this new rule provides some interesting dilemmas for a few episodes, but, again, this is going to get old fast. Has everything changed for good, for better or worse? Or is this just a red herring, an obstacle put in place for a little bit, only to be thrown out in just a few short weeks? 

Looks like we'll have to wait -- impatiently -- to find out the answer.

"Grey's Anatomy" airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.

Photo/Video credit: ABC