Let’s try a bit of free association, shall we? What is the first word that comes to your mind when you think of Valentine’s Day? Is it “love,” “hearts,” “relationships,” “sex?” Or, perhaps your single, and the words you think about instead are “darkness,” “depression,” “drunkeness,” and “binge-eating”?
Actually, the word that comes to my mind is none of the above. Rather, it is “pressure.” For guys, Valentine’s Day inevitably brings with it the pressure to “impress your significant other.” For girls, there is the pressure to “define your relationship.” For singles, there is pressure to “obliterate the evening in as painless a way as possible.”
But it’s not only humans who experience pressure on Valentine’s Day, television shows do too – particularly television shows based primarily on relationships. These shows experience the pressure to be even sappier and mushy-gushier than they normally are. And for an often sappy, mushy-gushy, show like Grey’s Anatomy, that is one tall order!
So, how did the Valentine’s Day-themed installment of Grey’s Anatomy do? Let’s take a close look at the candy conversation hearts that made up this episode, to find out . . .
“Eat Your Heart Out”
Someone once said that “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” (And here, I always thought she was referring to heart disease . . . go figure.) However, in this Grey’s episode, it was not the males, but the females , who showed their love through eating.
When the episode opens, McDreamy is informed that one of his first duties as “Nu-Chief” is to attend a hoity toity fundraiser breakfast. As if it wasn’t bad enough that Derek would be expected to take time out of his busy “saving lives” schedule to eat donuts and beg for money, as his “Post-It Wife,” Meredith was expected to go too. And those of you who have seen Meredith know that eating is not exactly her strong suit . . .
At first, Meredith declines to attend the breakfast because she despises food has important surgeries to attend to. Things change when she meets a married couple and their doting waiter, all of whom were seriously injured during a restaurant roof collapse. The waiter slips Karev a $50 to ensure that his bed is placed next to the wife of the couple. That’s one well-paid waiter, if he has spare $50’s lying around his pockets! Just saying . . .)
When he thinks the wife is sleeping, the waiter explains how he has known this woman for 15 years. Apparently, she used to dine alone with him each week, order ing something different from the menu every time. The waiter soon fell in love with this woman.
Unforunately, all is not fair in love and eating. One day, the woman brought her soon-to-be husband to the restaurant as her date. She continued coming back to the restaurant each week, and the waiter was forced to watch the couple’s courtship. It was he who helped the husband to propose by placing the wife’s engagement ring in the crème brule.
Through the years, the waiter watched as the husband began to order food for the wife — the same item each week. Inevitably, the couple’s conversation began to dwindle and lessen. Soon they didn’t speak to one another at all.
When the waiter finally closes his eyes, the wife opens hers and winks at Meredith to let her know that she has heard everything the waiter said. The wife admits that she had also fallen in love with the waiter. That’s why she came back to the restaurant each week. Because complex surgeries are clearly insufficient to occupy the minds of these brilliant doctors, Karev and Meredith begin to make bets as to which party will express their love for one another first, using the $50 the waiter initially gave Karev.
Unfortunately, there is no time for long-winded speeches for these star-crossed foodies. Complications plague both the husband and the waiter and, in an event that only happens on television, the two men are rushed into surgery simultaneously. When inquiring as to their status, the wife admits to Meredith that she waited for the waiter for a long time. But, finally, she made a choice. She chose her husband, and she loved him dearly.
Ultimately, the waiter dies, the husband lives, and, as a result of the wife’s “Choose your husband” speech, Meredith decides to go to the fundraising breakfast after all. (So, a poor waiter had to DIE to convince you to eat a donut. Real nice, Meredith. REAL NICE!)
“At least it was a worthy cause! Mmmmmm . . . donuts!”
“Wear Your Heart On Your Sleeve” (And your sleeve on your thigh . . .)
Remember the television show Felicity, where the titular character got dumped, cut her hair short, and single-handedly ruined the series in the process?
Well, apparently, Lexie, who has just been dumped by Mark “the Hypocrite” Sloan, was too busy studying to watch much television. When a newly-single Mark approaches a young blonde doctor to hit on her, he is disturbed to find that the “young blonde” is Lexie. And, you know what? As much as I hate to say it, I actually like her new look . . .
After teasing her about her renegade appearance change (he called her Surgical Barbie), the lone likeable Mercy Wester (or Doctor Hotness, as I like to call him), challenges Lexie not just to change her mousy appearance, but to also change her mousy personality. Coming from someone less attractive, that remark would be considered D-bagishly insensitive. However, coming from Doctor Hotness . . .
. . . .
Sorry . . . I was fantasizing about Doctor Hotness and lost my train of thought. Wait . . . what was I saying?
“Now that you mention it, I can definitely see a resemblance . . .”
Surgical Barbie Lexie gets the opportunity to meet Doctor Hotness’s challenge, when a shy loner dishwasher from the same restaurant where the husband and wife used to dine, comes into the ER with a severed arm. Apparently, the dishwasher was so forgettable that the dude sat armless and unttended to for hours, while his unattached arm lay lifeless in a sink nearby. The dishwasher pleads with Lexie to salvage his arm. “I just want to be normal,” he cries.
When the residents explain that there is no way that the dishwasher’s arm can be salvaged, Lexie uses her photographic memory to call to mind a special procedure whereby a severed body part is fused to another body part until it heals. In a strongly worded speech, Lexie demands that extraordinary measures be taken to save this patient’s arm. “That was definitely not mousy,” commends Doctor Hotness, in what had to be the biggest backhanded compliment a man has ever given a woman.
Unforunately, no good deed goes unpunished. When the desperate-to-be-normal dishwasher wakes up to find that the doctors have attached his arm to his leg, he is absolutely horrified and furious. “You made me into a freak!” He yells.
However, Lexie calms him down by explaining to him that after this surgery, the dishwasher will no longer be ignored like he once was. Instead, he will be “special and unique.” Most importantly, after he sues the pants off the restaurant, he will also be rich.
So, Happy Valentine’s Day to the No-Longer Mousy, Surgical Barbie and the Richly Unique Dishwasher Freak!
“Love Means Never Having to Say I Killed a Patient . . .”
If you recall, at the conclusion of last week’s episode, Nu-Chief McDreamy rehired the formerly fired April, who was let go from Seattle Grace, after making a careless error that resulted in a patient’s death. Now she’s back and is lodged so far up Nu-Chief’s butt, that you can’t tell where one ends and another begins. Naming herself as Shepherd’s unofficial assistant, April follows McDreamy around like a lost puppy — reading him his schedule, picking out his clothing for him, and even going to his home to pick out Meredith’s clothing for her.
When McDreamy calls her out on this, April breaks down, admiting that, since the incident, she has been deathly afraid (no pun intended) to perform surgery. April still hasn’t come to terms with the loss of the patient she killed. In fact, she relives the traumatic experience every day. For that reason, she fears that she is not a good doctor.
Taking on the fatherly role previously held by Old Chief McDrunky (who was completely absent during this episode), McDreamy explains that it is April’s good heart and empathetic soul that make her a good doctor. Awwww!
“My Daddy is MY Valentine!”
In other fatherly news, Pregnant Little Sloan has returned from her stint on Private Practice dangerous operation. As soon as she has returns, she tricks Callie into giving her a free sonogram. Little Sloan then asks Callie for a “piece of paper” proving that her baby is healthy. When Callie demands to know why Little Sloan needs such a document, Little Sloan admits that she plans to give her baby up for adoption.
Callie is horrified that Little Sloan would keep this a secret from Papa McSteamy, and demands that she comes clean to him. Bratty Little Sloan declines to do so. In fact, she only admits her secret, after Callie threatens to tell McSteamy on her own.
Stunned by how attached he has grown to his unborn grandson, McSteamy shocks everyone by offering to raise it himself. Then Callie shocks everyone again by offering to help raise the baby. It’s all a bit . . . shocking.
“Diapers cost HOW MUCH?”
The Gay/Straight baby raising storyline didn’t work on Will and Grace, and probably wouldn’t work here. Shondra Rhimes undoubtedly sensed this (just as she sensed what an annoying character Little Sloan has turned out to be), and proceeded to murder the prospective storyline within a few moments of its presentation. Little Sloan declines her papa’s generous offer and sneaks out of town without even telling him goodbye.
Good riddens, I say!
“Ménage a trois?’
Tired of being given the cold shoulder by Owen, since her unfortunate drunken confession of love for him, Teddy, in a burst of uncharacteristic girlishness, approaches Owen and proceeds to babble uncontrollably about loneliness, puppies and bikini waxes. Ahhh, yes . . . of course! There is no better way to get a boy to like you, than to smother him with girl talk.
Ummm . . . Teddy? If your former boyfriend used to listen to you talking like this, it was only because you were sleeping with him. F.Y.I. No straight guy wants to hear about bikini waxes from a woman who isn’t giving him sex . . .
When this approach doesn’t work (shocker), Teddy tries another one. She approaches Owen and Christina together. (I’m liking this method better already . . .).
However, instead of propositioning them for a threesome (darn), she simply offers them her hand in friendship. While Teddy recognizes that it is nearly impossible to “unring the bell” of a drunken love confession and repair a broken friendship, she vows to “try like hell.”
Because, I really like this character, I hope she succeeds . . . (and, ultimately, gives us fans the threesome we so deserve for putting up with this show for as long as we have).
“Let’s Go Speed Dating!”
Eventually, it must have occurred to Shondra that none of the storylines in this “Valentine’s Day” episode of Grey’s were all that romantic. Recognizing that all of her current couples were either “mature and established” or “in the midst of a breakup,” Shondra succumbed to the pressure and decided to advance a brand new, fledgling, relationship at warp speed . . .
If you recall, last week I was giddy with anticipation for the inevitable coupling of tough-as-nails Bailey with the Sexy McGas Man. After all, there is nothing I love more than to swoon over the first signs of companionate game-playing and torturous unrequited love — both in real life, and on my television screen.
Mmmmmm . . . the longing looks, the heated arguments, the cat and mouse games, the inevitable jealousy when one of the pair finds someone new who is completely wrong for them, the close encounters that almost go there . . . but don’t. And, finally, (after an entire season of will they, won’t they?) a hot and steamy makeout session that devolves into coupledom. It makes me weak in the knees just thinking about it . . .
Unforunately, Shondra Rhimes burst my sexy balloon within seconds of the episode’s opening, by having Gas Man immediately ask Bailey out on a date. When she initially turned him down, I gave a big sigh of relief. “There may be hope for this non-couple/ couple yet,” I thought.
But then stupid Arizona had to go and screw things up! Poopy Head started egging the couple on, like the catty middle school girl she really is. And, to my chagrin, it worked. By the end of the episode, Bailey admits to Mc Gas Man, “I like you.”
She then agrees to go on a date with him. (Hasn’t anyone told Shondra that sometimes the build up is better than the climax?)
Oh well! I guess I will have to rely on my own life for unrequited love and sexual tension. Tomorrow is, after all, Singles Awareness Day . . .