I have watched Grey’s Anatomy for six seasons now. (Yeah, it has been on for that long. Doesn’t that make you feel old? Because it makes me feel ancient.) And when you’ve watched a show religiously for that long, it begins to feel somewhat like an old friend. So that is how I think of Grey’s Anatomy, as a childhood buddy of sorts . . .
After all, we’ve been through a lot together, Grey’s and I. And like I would for any good friend, I have stood by Grey’s through good times (all of Season 1 and most of Season 2) and bad times (that unfortunate story arc where Meredith “died” by drowning and literally chilled out with other dead people and a dog for three hours).
I have supported my pal Grey’s even when it (a) made unwise decisions (the George and Izzie romance, Izzie’s brain tumor and related dalliance with Ghost Denny, and Derek’s unfortunate romance with the bland Nurse Rose), (b) got involved with a bad crowd of people (the rotating cadre of cardio docs, and the entire Mercy West crew . . . except for that really hot one whose name I can’t remember. He’s just so pretty), and (c) said mean and insensitive things (pretty much everything that came out of Isaiah Washington’s mouth during the whole f-word scandal).
Because Grey’s is such a good friend of mine, when the two of us got together on Thursday, after a long time apart, I was so excited that I took in stride the fact that it wasn’t quite itself . . . that a certain spark was missing. And for that, I was ultimately rewarded. Here’s what I learned during our friendly meeting:
Chief is still off the wagon . . .
As the episode opened, Meredith was heading off for another “surgery lesson” with Chief. We learn that Meredith and Dr. Webber have been spending a lot of time together lately engaging in these “surgery lessons.” And this continues to occur, much to the chagrin of her suspicious new husband-via-Post-It Note, Derek. Thankfully (although it probably would have made things more interesting if they were), contrary to what the Ghost of Grey’s Episodes Past may have implied, “surgery lessons” are not a euphemism for “playing dirty doctor,” if you know what I mean. Instead, these lessons basically consisted of Chief and Meredith watching old videos of Meredith’s dearly departed mother performing surgeries, while Chief waxed poetic about his former fling.
Apparently, Chief has been spending so much time watching videos and “doing paper work for the [Mercy West] merger,” that he hasn’t had much time to . . . um . . . be a doctor? Instead, he has been reassigning his surgeries to Bailey, who has been majorly covering his ass, ever since that unfortunate incident during which a wasted Chief cut into a patient’s bile duct, turning said patient yellow and nearly killing him. To throw Derek off the scent, the usually honest-to-a-fault Bailey was even willing to lie and say she had a crush on Bile Duct Guy in order to explain her sudden obsessive interest in the patient’s health and well-being. Ultimately, at the episode’s conclusion, a guilt-ridden Meredith comes clean to Derek about the Chief’s drinking problem, which she witnessed first hand a few month’s ago, during the show’s Christmas episode.
Bailey’s still not getting laid . . .
Repeated visits with Bile Duct Guy notwithstanding, since her unfortunate separation from her husband, Bailey, much like the Chief, has been missing out on the opportunity to “play dirty doctor.” Doctor McDreamy (he of the always oh-so-healthy relationships) seems unusually eager to put an end to Bailey’s self-enforced period of celibacy. And, no, this isn’t a euphemism either. (What happened to the old slutty Grey’s I used to know?) Like Meredith and the Chief, Derek has absolutely no interest in surfing Bailey’s va-jay-jay, himself. Instead, the altruistic doc commandeers another single surgeon to do the job for him. Unfortunately for Derek, Bailey is not having any of that love crud. In fact, she scares the man off completely with talk about her three-year-old son who pees on everything. (Note to all the Single Ladies out there: pee stories . . . not a turn on).
McSteamy and Lexipedia are Splitsville . . . for now
When we last left our favorite May/December romance couple, Mark had just learned that he had a teenage daughter who just so happened to be pregnant. When the episode begins, Mark, Lexie and Mark’s daughter, whose name is Sloan (which, assuming she takes on Mark’s last name, would make her Sloan Sloan?) are living together in not-so-marital bliss. When a reluctant Lexie performs an ultrasound for Little Sloan, she learns that Mark’s unborn grandchild has amniotic band syndrome. In other words, the child’s legs are trapped amid wisps of amniotic fluid.
Little Sloan, determined that her child “have feet,” decides to have an operation to fix this abnormality, regardless of the inherent risks involved . And so, despite the fact that Arizona, Callie’s current girlfriend, is a perfectly competent pediatric surgeon, in yet another ploy to get viewers to watch the failing Grey’s spinoff Private Practice, Mark flies Addison out from LA to perform the surgery. However, once Little Sloan is on the operating table, Mark freaks out about the risks and forces Addison to close up shop and fly back from whence she came. (Hey, at least she’s racking up those frequent flyer miles . . .)
After the Surgery that Wasn’t, Mark and Little Sloan have a father-daughter talk. The latter convinces Mark that she must do whatever it takes to save her child’s legs. Therefore, Little Sloan is determined to go under the knife again. Lexie, playing the role of martryr, suggests that the pair fly out to LA so that Addison can perform the surgery for real this time. The father and daughter pair agree to do this, and in a moment of paternal bliss, Mark invites Little Sloan to live with him and Lexie permanently . This way, the three can raise Sloan’s baby together in Seattle.
When the 25-year old Lexie understandably balks at the idea of being the world’s youngest step-grandmother. Mark warns her not to make him choose between his daughter and his lover. But in making such a distinction, Lexie knows that Mark has already made his choice, and it is not Lexie. Feeling hurt, alone, and reckless, Lexie searches desperately for an outlet for all of her pent up emotion . . . which leads her to . . .
Alex has reverted, yet again, to Tool status
Speaking of euphemisms, Alex and former-Mercy Wester Reed spend most of the episode speaking in them. “Let me scrub in [on your surgery], and I’ll take you out for a drink afterward and . . . you know,” offers Reed, who has been majorly crushing on our resident “Saved” Bad Boy since she arrived at Seattle Grace. Karev, who has been understandably uber pissed at his wife Izzie for being MIA for half-the-season, initially seems receptive to Reed’s offer to “play dirty doctor” with him. And despite Meredith’s not-so-gentle reminder to him that he is, in-fact, still married, Karev continues to invite doe-eyed Reed’s thinly veiled offers of sex.
Yet, ultimately, Bad Boy turns her down, making us viewers believe he truly has changed . . . for about two minutes. In the final moments of the episode, he entices his former screw buddy, the vulnerable and lovelorn Lexie, to the darkside with his come hither eyes, overwhelmingly masculine sexiness, and insanely hot body. FINALLY, someone is actually PLAYING DIRTY DOCTOR! Here’s hoping for lots of Naked Alex this year . . . I honestly don’t care who with.
Christina is not a Playa
Unlike Lexie and Alex, Christina Yang would actually prefer being a real doctor to playing a dirty one. We learn this when she nearly has an “O” when new “Cardio God” Teddy gives her the opportunity to perform a complicated heart valve surgery. In what was, for me, the most intriguing storyline of the Episode, Christina goes on to perform the prized surgery solo.
When Christina runs into some trouble on the operating table, Teddy ignores her student completely, opting instead to read a magazine during the operation. When Christina’s beau, Owen, tries to intervene on her behalf, Christina pushes him away. Yang ultimately successfully completes the surgery on her own.
After the surgery, Owen confronts Teddy and accuses her of having ulterior motives for not helping Christina through the difficult surgery. However, when he speaks to Christina, the young doc is absolutely thrilled with Teddy and her methods. Christina explains to Owen that, by letting her complete the surgery on her own, Teddy gave her back the confidence she had lost in herself, thereby making her feel alive again.
When Owen explains that Teddy will be leaving Seattle Grace, Christina runs after her, like a lover in the last few moments of a romantic comedy. Then, Christina, in keeping with her rom-com script, explains to Teddy that she will give the New Cardio God whatever it takes to make her stay. Teddy turns to Christina, impulsively, and the two make out hard core (just kidding – It turns out this really isn’t a rom-com, after all.) Actually, Teddy says, “I want Owen.” (Gasp – GIRL, OH NO YOU DIDN’T!!!!!)
Without a moment’s thought, Christina pulls Teddy’s hair and begins to engage in a knock- down, drag-out girl fight with her. (kidding again — Sorry, I just couldn’t help myself.) Instead, Christina caused my jaw to literally drop to the floor by replying, “Fine, then take him.”
And it’s moments like this one that remind me why Grey’s Anatomy and I have remained friends for so long . . .