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''Grey's Anatomy'': Dr. Booty, on call

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Katherine Heigl, Grey's Anatomy

Grey's Anatomy

type:
TV Show
genre:
Drama
run date:
03/27/17
performer:
Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson, Justin Chambers, James Pickens Jr., Kevin McKidd, Jessica Capshaw
broadcaster:
ABC
seasons:
13
Current Status:
In Season
tvpgr:
TV-14

”Grey’s Anatomy”: Dr. Booty, on call

Welcome back, everybody. Seemed like forever. The last new episode, part 3 of that series-low ferryboat thing three weeks ago, left us with a cliff-hanger far more cliff-hanging than part 2’s ”Is Meredith dead?” Of course she wasn’t! Weren’t we all feeling a little yanked around for even imagining that the show would kill her off? The real question after those steroidal sweeps-month episodes was ”Come March, is sharp and sexy Grey’s Anatomy finally gonna ditch the stupid disaster-movie drama and go back to normal?”

The answer we received tonight is ”Looks like it.” Welcome back, Grey’s. Seemed like forever.

In a clever trick that signaled the show’s return to its titillating roots, the episode was bookended by opening and closing scenes featuring Izzie naked. (I noticed this not just because the show does this kind of bookending thing a lot but also because I just watched The Departed for the third time, and there is that kind of hidden doubling all over that movie. Very cool. Look for it.) All before the opening titles, the show quickly sloughed off the heavy robes of February-sweeps seriousness and reassured us that we were back to summer-of-2001-level good times. Karev had quit brooding about dead women long enough to move in with the girls and walk in on Izzie in the shower. Meredith — showing not the slightest blip of brain damage — took a quick moment in the locker room to announce that Mom, currently hanging out in an urn in Meredith’s closet, was fine, so they should all get back to work. (So much for the mourning process.) And Cristina got her ass grabbed just in time for the first commercial. The culprit was Colin Marlow (Roger Rees, from Cheers), the renowned doc from Stanford who knew Cristina from their old teacher-student tryst and has now popped up to interview for the Chief’s job. The fact that while Marlow was squeezing buns, the show’s old jouncing keyboard-and-drum, cabana-jazz background music was back on the soundtrack was the surest sign yet that things had basically returned to normal at Seattle Grace.

In what seemed like old times, office politics came back into play as the grown-up doctors positioned themselves to become chief of surgery and a fresh guard of curiously ailing patients checked in. House of Sand and Fog‘s Shohreh Aghdashloo played a doc friend of Derek’s who was suffering from an affliction with a name that roared by too fast for me to figure out what it actually was, other than a tumor of some kind. (My hastily scribbled notes describe it as a ”parafalsie megenginoma among the superior saggital sinua.”) I love Aghdashloo’s musical speaking voice, and when her character announced she wanted to go to the beach and relax and let go until the tumor killed her, it sounded sweet enough to me. But Derek intervened and ultimately saved her life. Which is of course exactly what he just did for Meredith.

The other inpatient whose illness mirrored an intern’s was a scratchy old coot (James Gammon from Major League) with an infected bullet from Korea still lodged in his back. Shot by his own men, he had carried the slug in him forever, and when the docs finally plucked it out, Yosemite Sam turned (movingly, I must say) into King Lear, railing on feebly about how he’d been stewing over the wound inside him for 50 years, and for what? Izzie, with her own old wound inside, was of course listening, and the talk seemed to help propel her toward a wild ending to the episode that we’ll get to in a minute.

First, we gotta back up and go through George and Callie. Like Izzie, I can barely believe these two together, but they were very credible tonight. At the beginning of the show, Callie had to confess that she’s an heiress who’s been shelling out $2500 a week to put herself and George up in a luxury hotel. George felt deceived: ”I’ve been paying you $200 a week for what, fun?” ”No,” said Callie, ”I use it to tip housekeeping!” Best line of the show. In a funny bit of business, George slapped himself on the back of the head and promptly went and told Meredith, who told Izzie, who, in the OR, let on to Callie that she knew she’s an heiress, which led to some great eyeball acting from Katherine Heigl and Sara Ramirez above their surgical masks.

How often do George and Callie steal the show? It happened last night. Their final angry confrontation at the hotel was the episode’s highlight. The great drama of it arose out of trying to figure out who would come out the winner. Callie opened with ”You choose your friends over me,” and George countered with ”You lied to me!” He was more right than she was; point for George. ”And still,” he added quickly, ”I’m the dog that gets whacked on the nose with the newspaper all the time.” Absolutely perfect metaphor, George; a point and a half for you. ”[Izzie] has feelings for you!” said Callie. ”She wants you….That’s why she hates me. George, do not laugh at me.” Hmmm, a surprise attack mixed with emotional appeal for mercy. That’s worth two points, is it not? And here’s where George blew it. ”She’s Izzie!” he says. ”She’s blond, she’s stacked” — uh-oh — ”she’s a supermodel, she’s the star of the eagerly awaited summer comedy Knocked Up, and I think all of America might really be about to fall in love with her. And I’m George.” Great speech, there is much truth in it, but not the kind of truth you throw at your wife. Game over for him. Callie, a teardrop leaking down her face, kicked him out.

The exciting finale took place back at Meredith and Izzie’s house. Unfortunately, Meredith’s dad, Thatcher, was there, eating dinner with Mere and Dere. Who is this doofus? Does anybody buy this weakling as Meredith’s dad or Meredith’s mom’s husband? It was effective drama when, at the dinner table, he told a story in which he mistook Meredith for his other daughter, but I just wish the character were more sharply defined.

Much better things were happening in the kitchen, where Izzie wondered to Karev if she was going to be pining for a dead guy forever, and he told her she’d move on when she was ready, right before he pecked her on the cheek. Karev is always so smooth. Then he walked out and George stormed in with a bottle of whiskey and said to Izzie, ”I need you to start liking my wife!” Okay, she said. Sometimes he doesn’t know if getting married was a good idea and, he said, ”I need you to talk me back into it.” Okay, she said. And both of Heigl’s ”okay”s were highly expressive, instant concessions drained of all fight. They suggested a lot: Izzie was done with their feud, she wanted her friend back, she wanted to come back to life, and she wanted it all right now. Heigl — ill-served by the writers the whole time the ferry was burning — came back tonight with a wide-ranging performance, sometimes high-spirited and full of bite, other times (like this one) very soft and potent. Izzie is one of the best characters on the show right now, for better or worse, because Heigl is often so good and because the writers have Izzie all over the place. She’s fascinating to try and track.

What to make of her in the last scene? To send us out, Izzie and George drank a lot of whiskey, George drunkenly wondered if Callie was onto something, Izzie laughed and laughed at him, and yet she still somehow woke up naked next to George in the morning. Now, this is some development. This show is clearly not going to stop until the Chief beds Joe the Bartender, or Karev seduces the ghost of Ellis Grey. It made me smile, I’ll go along with it, I don’t know why we couldn’t have predicted it, but I also worry a little bit. George and Izzie hooking up makes me worry for — yeah, isn’t it obvious? — Isaiah Washington. I want this guy to stay on the show. Tonight, I happened to enjoy Burke’s speeches to Cristina about wanting her to want to marry him. But I worry that by the time everybody’s hooked up with everybody, Shonda’s eventually gonna need some new characters, some fresh booty for fresh couplings, and some players are gonna get cut to make room on the crowded full-cast bus ads. Washington feels like the one who might be first to go. I hope it doesn’t happen.

Am I crazy to worry? And what else did you think about tonight? Did you like that scene where Addison reamed Mark in the hallway for showboating and Derek joined in? What’s gonna happen between Karev and Jane Doe? Do you want Marlow to become a recurring character? (I’m not too hot on him so far.) Does it bother you that Meredith is not a vegetable? And do you agree the show feels back to normal, or at least much better than it’s been over the previous three episodes?