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Grey's Anatomy recap: The Claws Come Out

As the residents compete in a top-surgeon contest, Meredith discovers that a bear attack victim also has a brain tumor

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Grey's Anatomy

TV Show
run date:
Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson, Justin Chambers, James Pickens Jr., Kevin McKidd, Jessica Capshaw
Current Status:
In Season

”Grey’s Anatomy” recap: Bear attack!

If I were in this episode, Meredith would be forced to narrate something about how I’m like, I don’t know, some kind of woodland creature who has come out of hibernation only to find that the seed and berry crop is still kind of sparse but hopefully I can survive until next week. Which is to say: This heavy-handed episode full of animal metaphors and almost zero character development? As the comeback episode after our long, cold, strike-plagued winter? Not the least bit satisfying for me.

Instead of some juicy character developments, all we got was an eyeful of, as Cristina called it, ”intestines in the hands” when a bear-mauled patient arrived. And money shots of internal organs were not what I missed about Grey’s Anatomy. I did like the idea of the ”surgical contest” that our beloved residents were in the throes of — the cast usually wears comic energy well, and I appreciate when they get to focus on their jobs as well as sex in the supply closet. The conceit showed promise as Izzie buzzed around, melting down about being 26 points behind and trying to find more than a sprained ankle wrong with her patient. But I got worried the second the intestine guy’s brother — being treated for some scratches and a claw through his palm — was spilling to Meredith, apropos of nothing, that he’d married his ”rebound girl” after knowing her only a few weeks. And the wife then blubbered, just out of his earshot, about what a catch he was: ”You sit around waiting for the other shoe to drop, because nobody like that marries you.” This was, of course, a serious code-red ”life-lesson alert!” for Meredith — OMG, what a coincidence, her Derek has been dating Nurse Rose for mere weeks, and what if he married her? It also raised a major red flag: This dude was going down by the end of the episode, right? PS: Why all the fuss over the wife taking her hat off and revealing that her scalp was hanging off the side of her head? Turned out she just needed some stitches and then was good as new. Are we just killing time with extraneous medical procedures now? Are we, the audience, somehow part of this contest and getting points for merely watching sutures happen? Because I’ll tell you, it’s possible I blacked out for a few minutes in there just from all the random flesh and blood shots, between her skin flap and her brother-in-law’s guts-tastic surgery.

When I came to, Izzie’s ankle patient was freaking out about how he wished he could go back to being 30 so he could quit smoking and be nicer to his ex, so worried was he about the battery of tests he was now undergoing. Cristina was freaking out for a less metaphorical but about 6 percent more interesting reason: Hahn and Callie were spotted becoming giggly friends. And Meredith appeared to be freaking out (silently, though) when she spotted Derek and Rose flirting over some flowers a grateful patient had given the suddenly annoyingly saintly nurse (who’s making McDreamy wait for sex so it’s special — what hospital does she think she works at?). Then there was some conversation with Lexie about how she’s ”stealing stuff” from the hospital to furnish her new apartment with George, but I’m bored even typing this right now.

In fact, I almost started to doze until Merdith’s kinda shocking, kinda funny ”tumor!” revelation, when she figured out what the doomed newlywed guy was going to, as we already knew from foreshadowing, die from. And she celebrated, in front of the patient and his freshly stitched wife, as if she’d just spiked a football in the end zone. Ah, that’s our sensitive little Meredith. (At least she was funny insensitive and not wallowy insensitive. Is that the ”evolution” she was waxing on about in the ending voice-over?) Anyway, it turned out that the guy’s bad vision and impulsiveness — this is where the rebound wife figured in — were classic symptoms of a brain tumor. And the MRI proved Mer right, so at least her celebrating wasn’t for naught. Naturally, she showed up to give him the good — er, bad — news just as the Chief was dropping the bomb that his brother had died. The guy laughed hysterically, an ”inappropriate affect” that Meredith attributed to the tumor, though I can’t entirely blame him. He was having a spectacularly bad day — and, well, he was the only remotely interesting thing in this episode — so I say he could have any kind of affect he wanted. Even if he wanted to indulge in some of this night’s ludicrously on-the-nose dialogue, as apparently he did when Meredith told him the tumor was inoperable: ”Good. I deserve that. I killed my brother, so I don’t deserve to survive.” Wifey, any final totally obvious words you’d like to add? ”I’m a symptom,” she said to Meredith, ”right?” God, could we not at least save this schmaltz for the voice-over?

NEXT: Meredith the medical genius

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