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Grey's Anatomy recap: Getting Old

An elderly patient dies, an ancient intern arrives, and the regular characters all stay the same

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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”: Getting old without growing up

Tonight’s episode really reminded me of one thing: TV happens every week, and sometimes, because of that, it’s pretty…ordinary. No lives are changed, no minds are blown, no entire life philosophies are rethought. You know, it’s not HBO — it’s TV. (Though we’ll save the commentary on how HBO isn’t exactly HBO these days for another forum.)

Point being, nothing really happened this week on Grey’s Anatomy, yet it was another hour of reasonably entertaining nonsense, even if I’m getting a little itchy for some forward momentum. I don’t know if I could say the same if Grandpa Gilmore hadn’t shown up as an intern who’s rather obviously advanced in age, but he did, so we’ll never know. He served to oddly underscore another fact that this episode made very clear, if not purposely: Nobody has changed on this show one bloody bit since the beginning. There’s been a lot of drama, for sure, on the level that usually, you know, affects people — but not our budding little surgeons. Cristina still prefers surgeries over feelings, Meredith and McDreamy are still screwing each other while screwing with each other’s heads, Grandpa Gilmore is still on television. Honestly, the Friends theme could’ve played, and I would’ve thought nothing more than ”Well, of course. It is Thursday night after all.”

Oh, but there is one major change we haven’t addressed in this space: Alex’s new facial-hair configuration and, I believe, haircut. Though I’m also pretty sure they’ve already toned it down in comparison to the last two weeks. Seriously, though, that’s about the height of action poor Justin Chambers has gotten this season. Can we get him another amnesiac or something? Please? He still had very little to do this episode, aside from tending to some kid whose mom thought he was on drugs — a theory former pharmacist Grandpa Gilmore agreed with. But (yes, you guessed it!) nothing can be quite that simple. (To bottom-line it — kid had something else major wrong with him, surgery was had, Alex saved the day, Old Intern was wrong, etc.)

George, meanwhile, didn’t want to tell Callie about him and Izzie. I wouldn’t really want to either. I don’t, in fact, want to talk about it at all, and wouldn’t if I weren’t paid to here. George’s reluctance made Izzie (not unlike me) rather moody, particularly when she was dealing with the patient she dubbed Really Old Guy, who hadn’t woken up for a year, until he magically came to while she was explaining this to her interns, and he clarified that his name was actually Charlie Yost. And, in the grand tradition of Really Old Grey’s Patients, he had a lot of wisdom to impart — this time specifically because he’d heard all the gang’s convos while he was unconscious.

The Chief, on the other hand, was totally ready to ”push the envelope” on a surgery that would help a freewheeling tongue-cancer victim keep full use of her lingual member. Something about connecting the tongue nerves to the leg nerves, or…well, whatever. The point was that he and Sloan felt that they were ”not old dogs — we’ve still got it.” Which was, ostensibly, true, since the surgery was successful. But McDreamy (who helped make the surgery work) countered that he, himself, didn’t feel the least bit old. ”You think she’s gonna grow up and get all whole and want a relationship,” Sloan teased him concerning guess who, because, of course, it all comes back to Meredith. Ugh. Could everybody grow up and get a little more whole and grow some, ahem, nerves already? If these dudes end up discussing their feelings of inadequacy over chamomile tea, which seems not unlikely at this point, I’m so done here. The gals, however, were, as usual, not so hung up on their emotions. ”I’m not Izzie,” Cristina snapped. ”I’m not gonna lie on the bathroom floor all day.” Derek, baby, are you listening?

But there were surgeries to be done, a fact that didn’t escape our favorite emotionless doc. (”Sad is mine,” she declared when others tried to copy her woe-is-me technique for snagging good medical cases. ”Go find your own pretend emotion.”) Old Guy was whining to Izzie that he could ”only hang on for so long, Blondie — after a while it’s just not worth it.” Hmmm, do you think she got the message? Just in case she didn’t, he also mentioned that he knew about her and George, and he didn’t think George would leave Callie. (Incidentally: Wrong, Old Guy! Or at least so it seems from the last scene. But we’ll get there soon enough.)

NEXT: Sister issues