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Rocking OUT at Seattle Grace, Mercy Death! – Some thoughts on Grey’s Anatomy’s Musical Episode “Song Beneath a Song”

If Sue Sylvester and that Kurt Kid show up in this dream, I am SO outta here!

“She works here at Seattle Grace Mercy Death.  So, I’m sure she’s pretty much going to go crazy, or get cancer, or shot by a gunman or hit by a truck,” remarks Alex Karev, this week, upon being asked about the prospects of him and his Latest Love Interest making it for the “long haul.”

That’s right, Karev!  You have TERRIBLE luck with the Ladies on this Show!  And the Ladies on this Show have terrible luck with . . . well . . . EVERYTHING!

Awww . . . remember back when it was just these three . . . and Dead George . . . and Cancer Izzie?  Good times!

This “We’re Hot Doctors, So Why Do Our Lives Consistently Suck So Badly?” sentiment was echoed later in the episode, by Meredith Grey, who, in an uncharacteristically (but oh-so-poignant) emotional elevator scene, turned to her Post-It Note Husband Derek, and said, “The universe is so screwed up, and random, and mean.” 

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Sing it, SISTA!

Speaking of singing . . . you might have noticed that this was the Musical Episode of Grey’s Anatomy.  And WHY was everyone singing, you ask?  Well, because CALLIE TORRES was hit by a truck, of course! 

Believe it, or not.   This actually isn’t as cruel and inappropriate as it sounds!  You see, in Callie’s final moments of consciousness, before she LITERALLY left her body (a coping mechanism, employed by her traumatized brain, to cope with the pain of the accident), she managed to utter the word “music.”  And it was “music” that enabled Callie’s mind to understand what was happening to her and her unborn child, while being given the opportunity to connect with the people she loved. 

Because, if Callie Torres’ Extra Special Vagina Vote wants to see Singing Hallucinations of her Friends, while she’s on the operating table, Callie is going to GET Singing Hallucinations, dammit!

Now . . . the fact that ONE of those hallucinations featured all of the Grey’s couples BONING one another, while happily singing “Running on Sunshine,” as Callie NEARLY BLED TO DEATH on the operating table . . . THAT was cruel and inappropriate!

“I feel like there’s something I should be doing right now . . . besides you .  . . and I can’t, for the life of me, remember what it is!”

“HELLO!  IT’S ME . . . CALLIE!  DYING HERE!  You think maybe one of you Strapping Specimens of Men could put it back in your pants long enough to  . . . I don’t know . . . save MY LIFE?”

Of course, most of the singing during the episode was brought to the fans, courtesy of Callie, herself.  Consequently, this gave actress Sara Ramirez (who has a background in theater, and even won a Tony for her performance in Spamalot, back in 2005) the opportunity to flex her musical pipes for fans, like me, who have never had the chance to hear her sing before.  Of all of Sara’s performances during the hour, my favorite, was probably her cover of Brandi Carlile’s “The Story.” Callie sang this uplifting tune in the final moments of the episode, moments before waking up, FOR REAL, and belatedly accepting Arizona’s initially ill-fated marriage proposal.

“I’ll marry you . . . yes.”

As for the rest of the episode, it was kind of a mixed bag for me.  Interestingly enough, my favorite moments from the episode were mostly the non-musical ones.  These included the marriage proposal acceptance, shown here, and Meredith’s emotional elevator breakdown, shown above.  I also adored the quiet moments of friendship and understanding shared between Lexie and Mark during the episode (“I don’t hate you.”), and the less quiet ones between Arizona and Mark.  (“You are not nothing.”) 

Speaking of Mark Sloan, Eric Dane’s heart-wrenching performance this week was top notch . . . the best I’ve seen from the actor at least, while still wearing all his clothes in a long time.

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(Oh . . . and, for the record, his singing voice is pretty awesome too.)

The Arizona / Callie / Mark triangle took a major step in the right direction tonight, with Arizona FINALLY learning to put their baby’s needs first (By the way, it’s a GIRL!), and Mark FINALLY learning to put Callie’s needs first.  It was Callie’s and Mark’s respective shifts in ideology that brought about the truce that ultimately binded these heretofore perpetually-at odds-characters together, toward the end of the episode.

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A similar ideological shift happened for Lexie, who, upon taking a step outside of her own personal melodrama, for a change, was finally able to, if not necessarily forgive Mark for his “Unfortunate Sperm Donation”  . . .

“We were ON A BREAK!”

 . . . at least, accept it enough to support him in his Hour of Need.

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And it was that acceptance, that ultimately gave Lexie the courage to truly give her budding relationship with the SUPER FLY Jackson Avery a fighting chance to survive, in the long term.

More of THAT, please!

Speaking of Lexie, Chyler Leigh’s rendition of Anna Nalick’s 2 A.M. Breathe, was extremely impressive, especially considering the actress had no musical training before filming this episode.  Of all the songs that wound their way into the hour, this one (in my opinion, at least) came about the most naturally, in terms of the episode’s plotline.  And, as a result, it seemed the least forced.

Less believable for me was Gyno Lucy (I’m still not feeling this character . . . or her relationship with Karev, for that matter . . . AT ALL!) . . .

Dr. McUselessPlotDevice

 . . . and her sudden admission that she was “out of her depth” in taking care of the pregnant Callie.  Presumably, Lucy’s temporary bout of Selective Amnesia for Everything She Learned in Medical School only occurred, so that Saint Addison Montgomery could miraculously (and oh-so-conveniently) be flown into town to Save the Day, as per usual. 

(By the way, is there something in Kate Walsh’s Private Practice contract that REQUIRES Shondra Rhimes to inexplicably include her about every fourth Grey’s episode for NO REASON WHATSOEVER?)

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Oh . . . and don’t even get me started on Teddy’s random and out-of-character outburst directed toward Cristina.  Silly Yang!  How DARE she have the NERVE to come up with a plan to save Callie’s and her baby’s” lives, without Teddy patting her on the head, and giving her a lollipop, first!  “I can’t teach you, anymore,” Teddy huffed, before blowing Cristina a raspberry, sticking her thumb in her mouth, and running out of the room, crying.

First of all, when was the last time Teddy actually TAUGHT Cristina? 

“It was . . . no that wasn’t it . . . Well, then it had to be . . . no, that wasn’t it either.  Perhaps, it . . . no.  I’m stumped.”

While we are on the subject of Teddy, when did Callie’s near death experience suddenly become all about Dr. McMajorStickUpHer Ass’s inferiority complex, and need to be hero worshipped by all people, at all times?

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Be careful, Noel from Felicity!  Cristina may have to work with her, but YOU’RE the one who’s going to have to evenually take her home!

“I am SO screwed!”

And while I thought it was appropriate and rather cheesy fitting, that the episode climaxed (Yes, I intended for that to sound dirty.), with the entire cast singing The Fray’s “How to Save a Life,” I couldn’t help but wonder why saving Callie’s life REQUIRED the whole cast.  I shudder to imagine what the heck was happening to the OTHER 3,000 or so patients DYING in the hospital, while all of Seattle Grace’s finest medical experts were busy enjoying their impromptu karaoke session . . .

“The good news is, if they bring in another Crazed Gunman, he will know exactly where to find us all!”

Speaking of karaoke, I also probably could have done with a FEW less songs packed into the hour.  (I mean, you’ve gotta leave SOMETHING over for the sequel, right, Shondra Rhimes?)  Because one Kevin McKidd solo is cool.   Two is OK . . . but FOUR?  I mean . . . let’s face it, Justin Timberlake, he’s definitely NOT!

Though, admittedly, a Dick in the Box cover would have REALLY spiced things up a bit for this episode . . .

Maybe next time, McKidd!

All in all, I thought Grey’s experiment with musicality was an intriguing little exercise, the making of which obviously took a great deal of preparation, courage, and considerable “guts,” on the part of Shondra Rhimes, and her intrepid staff of “Greysies.”  And, although the hour wasn’t necessarily positively received by all who viewed it, it certainly sparked more “water cooler” and online conversations about the show, than I’ve heard “through the grapevine” in a while . . .

So, what did YOU think about Grey’s Big Musical Extravaganza?  Did it leave you tapping your feet, and begging for more . . .

. . . or holding your ears, and begging for mercy?

Feel free to sound off in the comments section, below.

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Sucking Up is Hard to Do – A Recap of Grey’s Anatomy’s “Start Me Up”

We feel your pain, Callie!  We didn’t want you involved in a Bad Pregnancy Storyline, either . . .

Sucking up . . . Kissing up . . . Brown nosing . . . Kissing ass . . . whatever term you have for it, it’s a skill!  It might not necessarily be an admirable skill, or an ethical skill, but it is a skill, nonetheless.  “Sucking up” is something that doesn’t come naturally to most people.  For one thing, it involves some serious acting.  And not everyone can be an actor.  But, perhaps, more importantly, sucking up well requires a certain amount of pride swallowing, which NOBODY likes to do . . .

 . . . least of all, a bunch of over-achieving, super smart, and extremely arrogant, doctors!  (Is it any wonder, Seattle Grace is filled with so much HOT AIR?)

Well . . . yes . . . THAT too . . . but I was more referring to this kind of “hot air.”

Like it or not, nearly every single character on this show was forced to swallow a bit of their pride this week.  And not all of them succeeded in doing so . . .

McDreamy Sex, Peeing on Sticks, and Poop-Covered Babies . . .

When the episode begins, Meredith and Derek are seated on the edge of their bed, woefully examining the evidence of their non-pregnancy.  Somewhere inside Meredith’s lower abdomen, her Hostile Uterus is pumping his fist in triumph to the theme song from Rocky . . .

“I am the champion, my friends.  And I’ll keep on fighting ’til the end.”

Rather than suck up her pride, and admit that Hostile Uterus is a worthy contender, Cristina suggests that Meredith “battle” said Uterus, in the same way that little kids “battle” the Boogey Man under their beds:  i.e. “Simply pretend it doesn’t exist, and maybe it will go away!”  Yes, boys and girls, DOCTOR Meredith Grey thought she could beat Hostile Uterus into submission by buying TEN PREGNANCY TESTS, and peeing on ALL OF THEM!

Neonatal Surgeon, Addison Montgomery, does NOT approve . . .

Later, when Meredith complains to Cristina about how gosh darn exhausting it is to pee on sticks all day, Cristina wisely notes that Poop-Covered Babies are much MORE exhausting .  . . “What makes you think my baby will be Poop-Covered?”  Meredith asks, defensively.

Oh, Meredith . . . you have so very much to learn . . .

Meredith’s and McDreamy’s Future McBaby

Oh BABY!

Meredith isn’t the only one failing miserably at swallowing her pride this week.  Arizona, herself, is forced to admit that she (gasp!) has FAULTS, when Callie (1) refuses to forgive her for going to Malawi; and (2) pretty much treats her like crap for the entire episode.  It all starts when Arizona buys out Callie’s subleters overnight, and moves back into the apartment they once shared together. 

 (You’ll notice that this is the second time that Callie has woken up to find that Arizona has been lurking around her home, while she slept.  It’s a little creepy . . . I’m not going to lie.)

After calling her “self-centered,” “selfish,” and a whole bunch of other VERY mean names, Callie decides to REALLY let Arizona know how she feels about her.  “I don’t want to see you.  I don’t want you in my life.  Get your crap out of my apartment.”

Ummm . . . Ouch?

Far from being put off by Callie’s 85,00th rejection of her since she’s returned, the clearly deluded optimistic Arizona remarks to a very embarrassed Mark, who has quietly watched the entire exchange,  “It’s good that she’s mad.  It means she feels something.”

(Oh . . . she feels something, all right.  She feels like she wants to CUT YOU!)

Be afraid, Arizona.  Be VERY AFRAID!

When Arizona explains to Mark that she doesn’t know any of her own flaws (aside from being a workaholic and smoking sometimes, of course), Mark seems more than happy to help her out  . . .

Throughout the course of the episode, while Arizona and Mark argue the merits of putting cadaver bones versus human bones in some teen’s face, so that she can play sports (Don’t ask.  I didn’t really get it either.), Mark tells Arizona that she is patronizing, passive aggressive, stubborn, doesn’t listen, and basically has a whole host of other things that are wrong with her.  (Because, clearly, this was Poop on Arizona Day on Grey’s Anatomy). 

But the biggest FLAW Arizona has, is that she is a “bailer.”  In other words, when the going get tough, the tough get going, and Arizona runs away like a little b*tch.  Well . . . at least that’s what she’s done, up until now . . .

In the final moments of the episode, Arizona conveniently barges in on Callie, as the latter rides on the WORLD’S SLOWEST ELEVATOR.  Speaking of said elevator, it used to be completely void of any artwork, whatsoever.  Now, it conveniently features a conspicous PICTURE OF A BABY . . .

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(I haven’t been this creeped out by an image on a wall, since someone told me there was a ghost of some dead kid in the film Three Men and a Baby . . .)

That’s right, kiddies.  Arizona finally apologized for walking out on Callie, declared her love, and begged for forgiveness . . . and Callie . . . well, she told Arizona that she was pregnant with Mark’s baby . . .

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Watch out, Callie!  Lexie’s coming after you for screwing her man.  And she’s armed and dangerous!

Speaking of inappropriate relationships . . .

Teddy is quickly learning that her No Frills Insurance Marriage to Henry Sick Noel from Felicity isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  Two more episodes, and these two will be boning one another.  Mark my words!  For starters, the Chief found out about the couple’s little “arrangement,” and has been totally reaming Teddy a new one, ever since.

CHIEF:  “How dare you marry Noel!  He’s meant to be with Felicity!

TEDDY:  But Felicity ended up with Ben, remember?  They went to med school together.  And then Felicity went back in time, and found out that if she chose Noel, back in college, Noel would have died in that dorm fire.”

CHIEF:  “Went back in time?!  What the heck are you talking about?”

TEDDY:  “I know right?  It was a good show, but it pretty much had the WORST FINALE EVER!”

To further complicate matters, Noel’s tumors are attacking his insides.  And, in the course of a single episode, he needs both his kidney, his dignity, and a good portion of his pancreas removed.  Teddy learns about all of Noel’s complications, at about the same time she learns that he has put her down as his “Emergency Contact” on his insurance forms. 

This kind of pisses Teddy off.  Marriage?  NO PROBLEM!  Emergency contact?  NO EFFING WAY!

“Our vows said, ‘In Sickness and in Health’ . . . ‘Til Death Do Us Part.’  The whole “Emergency Contact” thing was kind of implied in there.  Don’t you think?”

Seeing the obvious distress on Teddy’s face, Noel explains that he is 42-years old.  (NO WAY, NOEL!  You graduated from college in the 00’s.  You’re in your early 30’s, TOPS!)  His parents are dead.  His sister is in Europe, and he’s been too sick to make many friends.  So, Teddy is basically, Noel’s only friend now (Sucks to be him!), hence the “Emergency Contact” thing.   To be honest, it’s kind of a depressing story.  But it ended sweetly, with Teddy and Noel clasping hands in “friendship.”

(But it’s going to be MUCH sweeter when they screw, sometime within the next two episodes . . . Trust me!)

But you know who’s already screwing?  THESE TWO!

Way to GO, BAILEY!  It’s high time the Nazi got some nookie in the on-call room.  (Everyone else on this show has!)  Naughty Nurse Eli is precisely what Bailey needs to lift her out of the funk her character has been in, since The Shooting . . .  I hope they continue to go at it like bunnies . . .

 . . . for a VERY LONG TIME! 

(The more often they do it, the more likely it is that we will get to see Daniel Sunjata NAKED!  The way I see it, it’s a win-win!) 

In other news . . .

The Race for Chief Resident is ON (like Donkey Kong!)

The fourth year residents were SUPPOSED to be kissing the asses of the First-Year Med Students, who were at Seattle Grace on a “field trip” this week.  Doing this would impress upon the Chief that they were “Chief Resident Material.”  But, as I said earlier, the Seattle Graces docs don’t kiss ass all that well.  So, their competition basically  erupted into a game of Abuse the Special Guest Star Student.

Sloan drew on this poor guy’s head with permanent marker . . .

Evil Warren from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (who has apparently taken a break from World Domination and Creating Robot Girlfriends, in order to attend Med School), accidentally made Cristina (who’s TOTALLY back to her hardcore self, by the way) look bad, by undermining her authority to the Chief, and spilling the beans to a patient about his dire medical condtion.  So, she got back at him, by nearly shoving his head inside a gross tumor, and making him faint . . .

Avery bodily pushed Johan Hill’s Twin Brother (Seriously!  The resemblance is uncanny.) out of EVERY surgery, in which he was involved.   He then pouted when Jonah Hill 2.0 conveniently offered up information that saved a patient’s life at the last minute . . .

This chick had the gall to try to make friends with Meredith, and TEXT her boyfriend, while inside the hospital.  So Meredith totally b*tched her out.

Out of all the Special Guest Stars First Year Med Students, Ashleigh from Greek fared the best, by far, because she got to screw Alex Karev . . .

Having heard it directly from the Chief, we all KNOW that Ashleigh gave Karev a good review, for “Playing Doctor” with her at Seattle Grace.  (Alex was the only resident who “aced” his first “Race to Chief Challenge,” as a result.  Everybody else BOMBED IT!) 

However, we can only guess as to what she told Casey and her friends at the ZBZ house, upon arriving back home . . .

An Interesting Casting Note:  Fans of the show Greek, might recall, that for a few episodes at least, Ashleigh and Casey fought over which of them would be the first to bed a mysterious man, known to them only as “The Hotness Monster.”  And I bet you will never guess who played the Hotness Monster on the show . . .

It’s DOCTOR AVERY!

Talk about your coincidences, right?  It really is a shame that Ashleigh and Avery didn’t get to hook up!  (Not only would Greek fans have gotten a kick out of it, it also would have been REALLY HOT!)  Clearly, Shondra Rhimes is saving Avery’s virtue for ME!  That’s the only possible explanation as to why she’s been keeping the Hotness Monster (now Dr. Hotness), as celibate as MONK for OVER TWO SEASONS!  (Not that I’m complaining. ;))

Speaking of screwing, the episode ended up Meredith and Derek “practicing” their Mad Baby-Making Skills . . .

Take THAT, Hostile Uterus!

“I’ll get you My Pretty, and your little McWeiner too!”

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Grey’s Anatomy News Flash!: The Gasman Leaveth (seriously)

It seems like it was only three episodes ago, that we were meeting sexy Dr. Ben, a.k.a. the Gas Man, for the first time, and rooting for him to dethaw the icy walls of Miranda Bailey’s heart . . . Oh, wait . . . it WAS three episodes ago!  So you could imagine my surprise, when I opened up my Entertainment Weekly (online, of course), and came across this little gem . . .

“Oh HELL NO!!!”

Apparently, that bitchy resident from last week’s flashback episode isn’t the only one who has it in for our feisty heroine . . .

“I’ll get you my pretty, and your little (VERY little) love life too!”

. . . Shondra Rhimes is getting in on the act too.  Seemingly, just minutes after Bailey and Ben became an official item, Rhimes kidnapped Dr. Ben (who is played by Jason George) and whisked him off to star in yet another one of her pilots.  The name of the drama pilot responsible for the “Gas Man Snatching” is Off the Map.  And I bet you can’t guess what it’s about?

  . . . wait for it . . .

DOCTORS!!!!!

Yes, Rhimes has seemingly murdered Bailey’s last chance to get laid, all for a show about medics who practice at a clinic on a tropical island.  A medical drama?  About doctors who practice a laid-back form of medicine in a relaxed climate?  What a novel idea!

Oh . . . nevermind.

Sorry Bailey, it looks like your man has just been Addisoned . . .

“What the heck are you so smiley about?”

To boycott on Bailey’s behalf, I urge you all refuse to watch Private Practice.  Wait . . . we already do that . . .

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