It’s not easy being a new leader . . .
You often find yourself forced to reconcile the demons of leaders past . . .
There are obstacles to overcome . . .
. . . and battles to be won.
And, of course, you will inevitably have to face your detractors . . .
Don’t worry, you haven’t inadvertently stepped into the wrong blog article. (The Grey’s picture is still at the top of your screen. That’s why I put it there!) I am simply attempting to establish, by way of analogy, the challenges faced by our favorite McDreamy doctor on his first day as interim chief.
Sure, he looked a bit nervous giving that opening speech. And, yes, that tie under his lab coat was misguided. (Christina was right when she said he looked like an undertaker.) But, overall, when given time to adapt to his new position, Dr. Shepherd, like another charismatic leader we all know and love is about to do, soon hit his stride and, eventually, kind of kicked ass.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the various events that comprised Derek Shepherd’s first day as interim chief . . .
The Gas Man Cometh . . .
Who says new, randomly introduced, doctors can’t be instantly likeable?
(Yeah, I wasn’t talking about you guys . . .)
I’m talking about Mercy West’s resident anesthesiologist, whose chemistry with the good Dr. Bailey crackled and popped every time the two shared the screen. Yes, even a Nazi deserves some loving every once in a while. And I’ll be darned if I don’t smell a bit of romance in the air . . .
Sure, things got off to a bit of a rough start, with that whole “patient waking up on the operating table” thing. The understandably traumatized heart patient blamed Miranda for losing her cool during surgery, and refused to let her operate a second time. Like the patient, Miranda too was playing the blame game, but her axe fell on the Gas Man, who she claimed dropped the ball out of pure laziness and boredom, and under-dosed the patient.
As Bailey became more and more heated and intense, the Gas Man remained almost maddeningly calm and collected. He merely listened to Miranda and let her burn off steam before gently proving her wrong. As it turned out, the incident was no one’s fault. Rather, a freak side effect of the patient’s heart condition made her metabolize the anesthesia abnormally fast.
Don’t get me wrong, I luuuved the Gas Man, but I’m not sure that I’m buying his excuse. As an anesthesiologist, isn’t it kind of your job to ascertain whether your patients’ have freak conditions that make them immune to your procedures? I certainly think so . . . but what do I know . . .
Anyway, Gas Man calls Miranda on her poo, with a sexy smile that instantly disarms her. Miranda’s admission that she “yells when she is upset” (understatement of the year), is about as close to an apology as this confident doc has made in six seasons. Enjoy it while it lasts Gas Man, because I am pretty sure it’s the last one you will be getting for a while . . .
As for the follow-up surgery, Traumatized Patient allows resident Meredith Grey to perform the procedure, and everything goes off without a hitch. (Well, aside from the whole “being awake during surgery” situation from earlier . . .)
After grappling with her own control issues, the Miraculous Miranda still has enough energy left over to advise Nu-Chief McDreamy on how to handle the administrative aspect of “Patient Awake-gate.” On her advice, McDreamy swallows his fear and pride, and (gasp) actually apologizes to the patient for her nightmarish experiences on the operating table. Nicely played, Nu-Chief. Score One for You.
Ass Me No More Questions . . .
Remember when Lexie broke Mark’s you-know-what while the two were getting it on in the on call room? Well, apparently, those two aren’t the only on-screen couple who like it rough. Throughout most of this episode, Owen was screwing Christina’s brains out with a neediness and territoriality verging on the barbaric.
(“So easy, a caveman could do her . . .”)
Seeing as Teddy has been giving her former cardio minion the cold shoulder (following the elder doc’s own drunken admission to Owen that Christina would willingly trade her boyfriend for time on Teddy’s service), Christina has some extra time on her hands. And, boy, does she know how to spend it. In fact, one of the couple’s literally hot and steamy ventilation room love sessions became so intense that Christina ended up scarred with painful heat vent indentations seared into her ass . . .
That’s going to leave a mark . . .
Later, while the two are once again going at it, Teddy finally gives in and pages Christina for an important surgery. Owen forces Christina to ignore it and continue screwing. Bad move, Owen. NO ONE comes between Christina and her heart surgeries . . . NO ONE!
After inadvertently learning about Christina’s tortured past with Burke, Owen confronts his lover about her general closed-offedness with him. Although she initially staves him off, eventually, Christina comes clean. In a tearful speech that was, by far, the evening’s best, Christina explains her tortured history with the dastardly and devious Isaiah Washington.
“He took something from me. He took little pieces of me,” Christina notes of the dickwad who made gay slurs at T.R. Knight, beat up Patrick Dempsey, and left her at the altar. (OK, perhaps I am mixing TV with reality here, but still . . )
“Because when you asked me to ignore Teddy’s page . . . you took a piece of me, and I let you. And that will never happen again,” she concludes.
And you know what? I think these two crazy kids may actually make it . . .
Speaking of Dickwads . . .
Unfortunately, sex injuries aren’t the cure-all for all relationships gone rotten. This tough lesson is learned by Mark “McSteamy” Sloan as he gives Lexie the silent treatment for the entire episode and bitches and moans about being dumped and cheated on by her, despite his own just-as-bad behavior. When his best friend, Callie, calls him on his hypocritical crap, Sloan blubbers about her taking Lexie’s side, instead of his own.
(“You think you have problems. I have to sit in my own poo . . .”)
Callie decides that this cranky baby needs a nap, and lays him down in bed with her and her girlfriend, Arizona. “This is not working for me,” Arizona notes gently.
Yeah, we hear ya, Arizona. It’s not exactly working for us either . . .
A Shout Out to All of the Little People . . .
Sloan’s blubbery antics might not be working for Arizona, but Karev most certainly is. Initially skeptical about having to spend a day on Arizona’s pediatric service, Karev soon finds himself wrapped up in a case of a teenage boy complaining of stomach pains. Apparently, the boy’s parents believe said boy to be a lazy excuse-making malingerer instead of a legitimately ill child.
After receiving a lecture from Arizona about having to “advocate for the little people,” Alex tough talks the disbelieving parents into OK’ing the doctors’ performance of a surgical procedure on their son. Arizona is impressed. Although Alex’s initial diagnosis is ruled out from the surgery, during a follow up procedure, Alex finds the source of the teen’s problem. It turns out that the boy was not faking his condition after all. He was actually very sick.
With some prodding from Arizona, Alex found himself forced to admit that advocating for a young boy who couldn’t fight for himself, and, ultimately saving his life, was “pretty hard core.”
Now if Alex would have just taken his shirt off at some point during the episode, this storyline would have been picture perfect . . .
(Maybe next time . . .)
The Changing of the Guard . . .
You know who wasn’t being particularly hard core throughout this episode? Old Chief Webber. When given the decision between entering rehab for the opportunity of possibly getting his old job back once clean, and tendering his resignation, Old Chief stewed in his own juices . . . for 12 Hours. In doing so, he succeeded in making a total ass of himself in front of the entire hospital staff, who watched him from a window, as he accused Derek of being opportunistic, and then, like McSteamy, proceeded to mope around all day . . .
I’m always impressed by how unabashedly nosy Seattle Grace doctors are. I mean, I get it. When your coworkers (particularly your bosses) fight in the office, it is pretty awesome to watch/hear. But most of us regular folk have the decency to at least pretend to work while we listen/watch. Not so much, at this hospital. Maybe if these doctors were less focused on interoffice drama, there wouldn’t be so many cut L-vac wires, jaundiced patients, and patients who wake up during surgery. Am I right, or am I right?
Eventually, it is Champion Ass Kicker Miranda who saves the day and beats Webber out of his funk. “Be the Chief!” She instructs.
Except . . . Webber can’t really do that anymore. But he can agree to go into rehab. And so, he does.
With Webber finally out of his hair and off his conscience, Derek is finally able to make the motivational staff speech he chickened out on during the episode’s opening. He promises to honor Old Chief McBoozy’s legacy. And therefore, does not fire the Mercy Westers that Old Chief took in as a result of the merger (darn).
In fact, he goes one step further, by hiring back Mercy Wester, April.
Remember her? She was the one that the Chief fired for failing to recognize soot on a patient’s lungs and accidentally killing the patient, as a result. Apparently, with Katherine Heigel’s absence becoming increasingly more regular, Grey’s did not have enough female docs on which to inflict funny sexual injuries.
Way to go April . . . welcome back to the team. I suggest you cover your ass . . . literally.