CATCHING UP

George (T.R. Knight) was hit by a bus, saving a woman, and Izzie (Katherine Heigl) flatlines.

WHAT IT'S ABOUT

Izzie lives. But you knew that. Everyone knew that. And George dies. No surprise - after a summer of press coverage detailing every hiccup and burp in the Heigl/ Knight contretemps with ABC and producer Shonda Rhimes.

So with that out of the way, tonight's episode gets down to the somber business of grieving - how friends deal with the loss of the beloved. Meanwhile, the business of the hospital goes on, too - chief Webber (James Pickens Jr.) is facing a huge challenge as Seattle Grace gets ready to merge with a crosstown rival. Dere (Patrick Dempsey) and Mere (Ellen Pompeo) are also newlyweds.

BOTTOM LINE

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The sixth season should be one of those tempus fugit moments, with the departure of (maybe) other characters and the addition of new ones. Time is flying at Seattle Grace, and what changes will that bring? In real life, Pompeo (pregnant) will be out a bit, and so will Heigl (on a movie), so some changes will be forced upon "Grey's." But the pilot does feel like a break with the past - a painful break for George O'Malley fans, sure, but probably good for the rest of the cast. "Grey's Anatomy" needs to move forward. This episode feels like a start.

GRADE

B+