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Love, Hearts, and Dismembered Limbs (a.k.a. The Gushy Stuff): A Recap of Grey’s Anatomy’s “Valentine’s Day Massacre”

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 . . .

 

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Hail to Nu-Chief – A Grey’s Anatomy Recap of “State of Love and Trust”

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 .  . )

(Pure eeevvvil!)

“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.

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