Amelia Progresses From Passively Annoying To Aggressively Annoying On Grey's Anatomy
Amelia has a hard time with such concepts as opinions, marital rights, and not bringing up Cristina Yang.
I am not even going to try to pretty this up: I just hate Amelia. And this one episode uses three Grey's conventions that flawlessly demonstrates just how terrible Amelia has become.
Use A Patient Case To Set Up A Contrast
Hal Holbrook and June Squibb check into the hospital as a 90-something married couple named Lewis and Elsie. They're affectionate, they squabble, but most importantly, they have been together for sixty years. Sixty years! Since the timeline on Grey's is so squirrelly, I have no real idea how much time has actually passed since Owen and Amelia's wedding, but I'll bet Amelia had a hard time making it past the sixty-day mark. Who am I kidding: Amelia barely even made it to the wedding to begin with, so Owen was pretty lucky to even get sixty minutes.
Even more damning is that Elsie has a brain bleed that does not look good. But Elsie and Lewis are both retired surgeons and are thus a little quicker on the uptake than your run-of-the-mill patients. Elsie is willing to undergo a risky surgery to get even more time with her man. (Elsie is greedy, she wants more than sixty years.) Lewis argues against it, and even though Amelia initially opposes it as well, she agrees to perform the surgery. I want to believe that she changes her mind because she is so moved by Elsie's will to live, but the part of me that really just can't with Amelia believes she performs the surgery as a way to show that Lewis has no say in Elsie's decision. And, well, because Owen had also agreed the surgery was not a good call.
Elsie dies. Even more tragically, Lewis is alone with her when she dies and is the one who pronounces her time of death. That act, more than anything, conveys what it means to be committed to a person for better or worse. In comparison, Owen and Amelia's marriage looks like amateur hour. To be fair, Owen is at least trying. He waited patiently in a church full of people while Amelia took a runner during their wedding. He is still waiting since Amelia took a runner from their marriage. Amelia is the one who really doesn't understand what it means to be married.
Initiate A Loud Argument About Your Personal Business In A Public Place
After the surgery is initially successful, Owen compliments Amelia, conceding that the she was right. This is where Amelia really starts to go downhill. Outside of Elsie's room, within earshot of people walking in the busy corridor, she unloads on Owen in an attack that is unprovoked and shocking: "I don't care what you think." "You don't have a right to an opinion." "You don't have a right to bully me." "You are suffocating me." "You don't have a right to give me ultimatums to come home and make up my mind." Owen is looking at her wondering who is this devil woman?
I feel like I am supposed to agree that Amelia has a point or something -- that this is supposed to be an empowering moment of personal female self-actualization in the face of an overbearing husband trying to make demands he isn't supposed to be making. But I don't. I disagree with everything she says because she's wrong. Worse, she is being an asshole and inappropriate and...oh, everything terrible. Not only does Owen have a right to an opinion, but she is accusing him of things he hasn't even done. In front of an audience.
When It Comes To Owen, Invoke Cristina
"I would love to ask Cristina how suffocated she felt by you, by your needs...."
And this is where Amelia boards the Tina hate train. It's a very low blow. Amelia takes something that is painful to Owen and uses it as a weapon. She knows that his desire for child a contributed to the failure of his marriage to Cristina. She acts like his desire for a family is new, and something he bullied her into. She conveniently forgets how she proposed to him and giddily planned their life, even talking about buying a house in the best school district. Who cares about how good the school district your house is in unless you are planning to send a kid there?
I believe some would argue that making this remark is just a way of deflecting Amelia's own fears onto Owen, and sure, I can go with that. However, it doesn't make her behaviour any less heinous. Amelia has never been a comfortable character to be around. Usually I can roll with the ups and downs of character appeal with this show; characters should have flaws and be uncomfortable sometimes. But I think Amelia has really gone past the uncomfortable and straight to despicable.