This season (the 13th I think of Grey’s Anatomy) is developing a story line where Richard and his leadership is coming under scrutiny. They did a brilliant thing and mined the information from 12 seasons of Richard Leadership to challenge him. It’s all wrapped up in Alex’s consequences of beating up Deluca, the return of Leah Murphy who came to study cardio-thoracic surgery with Maggie, Bailey becoming the Chief she’s been working to be, and various and sundry minor story lines – Meredith’s love life, Avery and April.
Leaders make decision’s every day and they probably all can’t be right. Richard made decisions about the hospital, the staff, and the doctors and nurses for 12 seasons. He couldn’t have been right about everything. Nobody is right about everything. Sometimes the choice isn’t even between what is right or wrong. Richard often had to decide he was right about what is best or to figure out what is best in addition to considerations of moral and/or ethical right.
Some episodes, his leadership about any particular issue could be on display. and his choices effected the choices of other characters. (Isaac’s Spinal Tumor). The brilliant part is that the writers have continually connected episodes to choices or outcomes of other episodes. (Mary came back after Derricks shooting but died unexpectedly after living through the shooting threat) to as the push the story into future seasons.
This can only be possible because Shonda Rhimes has had a long, long range view right along side an Agile Development methodology for the short term view. Every episode has some strings in the short view that can be connected to in developing the long range.