Last night’s Grey’s had every bit of the formula that makes up a classic Grey’s episode. It was funny, sweet, HOT, triumphant, it had a classic Grey’s monologue (and Dr. Avery’s first I believe) and most importantly it continued to explore the character’s complex relationships. These people have history, and it’s comforting to see a writing team taking such care of their characters (maybe if they’d done that a few years ago we wouldnt have lost Heigl and Knight – but i think we’re better off, no?). Everyone in the cast (except for Jessica Capshaw who’s Arizona is in Africa) got a great moment last night in an episode that continues Grey’s rocket back to quality television.
At the end of last weeks episode we got two grenades, Callie and Arizona’s tough airport break-up (why do break-ups hurt more in an airport?) and Christina quitting the program. As much as I love CalZone as a couple, like the rest of the Seattle Grace Staff, Christina quitting devestated me. Since day one she has been the poster child for the type A woman. Strong and insistant but never grating, confident in her skills and a passionate student. Tonight we saw unemployed Christina who reminds me of suspended-from-work Liz Lemon. The episode started with Dr. Altman presenting on her patient to a filled auditorium, and with some goading by a nameless doctor, it was revealed in a big public way that Dr. Yang had quit.
“I’m sorry what? She what?” Mark interrupted and had his moment. I loved that it was Sloane of all people, someone with whom Yang has has limited interaction in 4 years to be the one to stand up. Sloane knows what we all know – Christina will be a star and eventually a legend. Mark was not buying it looking to Hunt, then to the Chief. Loved that moment, loved when he turned around to ask Grey what was going on, loved Grey’s reaction. Mark wasn’t the only one outraged; Derek was too but for a different reason; he blamed Dr. Altman. Which I think was totally fair seeing as even I thought it was too soon for Christina to be in an OR last week. Teddy was taken aback “Is this a patient presentation or a Post Mortem on Dr. Yang? “Mark was still dumfounded “Does Torres know anything about this? I’m calling Torres!”
Jackson and April got some forefront time last night. Jackson (who’s crushing on Lexie) feels hated by the Residents. He thinks no one wants him on their service. April (who’s crushing on Alex) was assigned to the new Pedes resident Dr. Stark (personal tv legend Peter MacNichol) along with Alex, who showed up late and as Meredith put it, had been “sweating booze”. He said he was in Vegas.
Callie who’s not at work because she’s supposed to be in Africa went to talk some sense into Christina at her new place and found her bouncing around blasting music in her ears. Christina has never been sexier, her wild mane flowing, her loose naval exposing sweater, skin tight jeans, ignoring psychological issues has never looked so hot. When Callie brought up Christina’s departure, Yang went blank faced, vacant. She was a ghost. It’s a credit to Sandra Oh, new Christina was present, but surgeon Christina might as well have been in across the world. Callie’s motivational visit quickly turned into the former roommates bonding over their shit lives. Callie considered a haircut but she thought “Maybe you shouldn’t do radical things right after a blond woman has ripped your heart out of your chest and stomped on it.” I think that’s fair, but Christina dissagreed and cut a chunk of Callie’s hair right off. “Let’s make Lemonade”
Back at the hospital, the secret service brought in a mystery patient and the Chief recruited Teddy and Owen to work on him. The mystery patient (a middle-eastern leader in the US for a secret peace meeting) could have been used as the backdrop for the series to make comment on politics, instead it allowed for a few funny moments (Bono?) but mainly supplied another forum for Derek and Teddy to continue to argue. Not everyone is friends. Derek fired her lest we not forget, she surely hasn’t.
Alex pissed off his resident by missing rounds, acting like a “jerk-face” and pretending to be sick. Stark didn’t buy it (hangovers are not contagious) and instead told Alex to prep his patient, a baby who needed a liver transplant. Alex and April met
the baby Lisa, and her parents who’d been consulting “Dr. Internet”. Alex relayed the questions parents to Stark who told him to “hold their hands and make them feel smart”. Peter MacNichol is one of the few actors who can bring both likeability and a grating personality together and he does so here. You don’t hate Dr. Stark, but you resent him and you should.
Jackson, still on the hunt for a doctor who’ll work with him pestered Bailey who had no use for him until the Chief passed on a re-admit patient with pancreas troubles. Ms. Cortez developed a pancreatic fistula which leaks pancreatic fluid into the body. If not stopped the fluid will digest her organs. The Chief put in a drain to release the fluid which had to be monitored closely. Bailey made Jackson Ms. Cortez’s babysitter. If anything changed, he had to page her, “Remember the first rule of Residency” she told him “eat when you can, sleep when you can and don’t screw with the pancreas” You could see Jackson’s disappointment as Bailey walked away. Right there I knew Ms. Cortez was a goner. Grey’s will always be predictable; like it can’t stop itself from blatant foreshadowing.
Karev and Kepner scrubbed in on the baby’s surgery where it was discovered that the liver was to circle peg as baby is to square hole. It didn’t fit. Stark’s plan is to leave the baby open, liver exposed until the circumstances allow for the liver to fit, which according to Stark is “as long as it takes”, which didn’t sit well with the doctors K. When Alex questioned Stark’s methods, he asked Alex for a better solution, which he didn’t have. Stark then told him “Well then keep your mouth shut and go do something you can do, you can start with my Post ops.” Oh no he di-int!
Callie and Christina continued to forget their problems with Christina giving Callie an impromptu hair cut. Which resulted in the some of the night’s best lines:”NO! This is not what I wanted. I look injured. Do you even cut hair?” “I still sorta can’t believe you let me do that.” Just fantastic. Oh and Ramirez played this scene perfectly, the right amount of comedy, the right amount of broken. They decided to continue forgetting their problems by throwing a housewarming party. Christina texted everyone, which sparked a little debate on the secret surgery team. Teddy, Owen and Meredith were gonna use the party for an intervention. Do they even know Christina? Even I know that wouldn’t work on her.
Back in the vip wing Teddy and Owen present surgical options to what looks like OPEC. Everything’s a go EXCEPT! the patient has a secret relayed to Meredith by his aide. He’s got a ruptured aneurysm and they need to bring in… DR DEREK SHEPHARD, the best brain man on the west coast. Setting up more bitchy conflict between Altman and Shephard who now have to operate on the Emir together. “Book an OR we’ll have to work simultaneously” Derek chirped condescendingly “I can’t wait” Teddy shot back. These two have good bitch chemistry, keep it going Shonda! While scrubbing in Meredith told Derek about the plan to surprise Christina at her party with an Intervention. Derek knew this was a shit idea. He reminded Meredith about when she came to talk to him after he quit and how he hit her engagement ring with a baseball bat (“oh, that was a great day!) he tried to warn Owen and Teddy too.
Alex, feeling dejected, had a medical epiphany, he can use the ping pong balls the kid was shooting at him earlier to relieve the pressure the liver would put on blood vessels. (apparently they are the perfect size, shape and material) Stark rejected Alex’s idea and added insult to injury.
The secret surgery club used their surgical time to debate the pros and cons of an intervention for Yang, until they were distracted from their debate by their patient umm… dying, a brain vs heart standoff ensuded between Altman and Shephard. It was tense, and I loved the way Raver just kept saying Shephard. Like he was a child not listening. Well this is Seattle Grace, the best hospital in the world, so Altman and Shephard played tag-team surgery while playing the blame game for what happened to Christina. Derek was not pulling punches either. He blames Altman, who says she tried everything.
“Yang was my student, dont you think I wanted to help her?”
“I have no doubt that’s what you wanted to do”
“But you’re saying that I failed”
“I’m saying we all failed, and now it’s time to back off.”
Ouch. And then Derek fixed the brain bleed, took a breath and calmed down.
“I’m sorry” He said ” I have a personal stake in this too. I would not be standing here if it wasn’t for her” it’s not always Derek who’s big with the empathy and understanding. It was great when he looked at Owen and Teddy and saw that all their goals were the same (even if Meredith pointing it out it was redundant by then). Derek knew Meredith, Owen and Teddy couldn’t do nothing, and he then knew what he had to do.
Elsewhere in the hospital Jackson’s pancreas lady started to leak blood and Jackson took her to the OR and opened her up awaiting Bailey’s rescue. Bailey arrived to find Jackson calling Time of Death. Jackson’s neglect and remorse lead to Jackson’s first Grey’s monologue: “THIS IS NOT MY FAULT… THEY ALWAYS GET FISTULAS…I DID WHAT YOU SAID” Kudos to Jesse Williams, his character is growing more complex this season. I like how the writers are using his looks as a plot point, which last I can remember was used with Izzie’s modeling in the first few season.
Alex remanded to Stark’s post ops, discovered that Stark had stolen his idea and was in surgery bragging to Richard who was all praise for the diminutive doc. Thankfully April (wanting the Karev sausage) set the Chief straight.
Derek went to warn Christina about the intervention. Amazing.
“Are you here to tell me to come back?”
“No, but a bunch of other people are coming to do that” (Callie eats a chip)
April went to console/cajole Alex in the on-call room. She was laying it on thick “What you did today was so great” and then he kissed her. Their shirts came off and her dreams came true. Almost. April the Virgin asked Alex to go a little slower, it was her first time. Alex the charmer responds with the soon to be classic “You wanna screw, let’s screw, you don’t, get out. I’m not gonna hold your virgin hand and walk you through it, dammit!. You’re not a child. I can’t take care of you. I can’t take care of everybody in this frikkin’place.” Ouch times Ten. Mega harsh.
Then it was party time… Jackson was downing shots, Mark was on hosting duties and Owen learned he had a fridge. Callie asks to move in with Mark. Her hair looks awesome. Everyone was looking for Christina. She was on the roof bonding over housewares with Derek. This was easily the best scene of the night. They’re more than friends at this point, they’re family and he gave her what she needed. I have a lot of respect for Derek after last night.
April told a drunk, depressed Jackson about her almost hook-up with Karev and Jackson went bananas at the sight of him. He punched him at least 6 or 7 times (and destroyed Christina’s new table). It looked brutal. Meredith took him outside and discovered the real reason for Alex’s attitude, he wasn’t in vegas. Alex’s brother Aaron was diagnosed schizophrenic, and he tried to kill his sister. Alex went home to commit him. Poor Alex. He’s been my favorite character for a long time now. He’s shown real growth, and has been hovering around Pedes since Addison was around. He’s going to be a great Pedes resident someday.
I also wanted to add; I don’t think we (the viewing public) give enough credit to Ellen Pompeo. She is the emotional core of a rich cast of characters, she is the titular character, yet she has no problem being part of an ensemble. A less secure or confident actress might have a problem sharing the spotlight, but Pompeo handles it gracefully. I think back to when the plots revolved around Meredith, angst riddled Meredith, The Meredith that didn’t know what she wanted. Remember how she used to whine and mope all the time. Meredith has evolved from misery junkie, to audience surrogate; her voice-overs are relatable, she is, for lack of a better description, a real person.
We ended with Christina and Derek on the roof. He was about to leave when he asked her if there was anything else she wanted to talk about (quitting perhaps), and she did…bathroom tiles.
A great episode with tons of good character play.
Derek and Meredith tried to score some nookie in the on-call room (awww… classic Grey’s)
Christina contemplating becoming a Mall Person (“I want a pretzel!”)
Lexie getting playful with Meredith in the cafeteria. (Sisterhood)
Derek and Teddy’s tag team surgery.
Everything April, but especially her entrance to the party.
Everything Callie and Christina.
Well that’s it until next week. Until next time!