So the opening sequence was a car commercial, right? The first shot of Derek, Meredith, Owen, and Cristina — on a double date! — panned the glowy interior of the SUV they were driving so much like an auto ad that I expected Patrick Dempsey to break into voiceover to extol the virtues of Mazda. Though I couldn’t tell if maybe that was a Cadillac instead, not unlike the one being flogged in the first actual commercial break?
At any rate, the ambulances and the pages broke that mood pretty quickly, and soon we learned that the roof had collapsed at one of Seattle’s most romantic restaurants — on Valentine’s Day. (Is it me, or did TV shows across the board tonight fudge the fact that V-Day is on a Sunday this year? In the case of Grey’s Anatomy last night, it could have technically been Sunday… though I’m not sure there’d be a trustees breakfast on President’s Day. Sorry, I think about these things on nights when I watch too much TV, and I was still a little flustered by Liz Lemon’s hilarious, if temporally inaccurate, V-Day root canal over on 30 Rock.) I liked the idea of, as the episode title put it, a ”Valentine’s Day Massacre” on Grey’s — if anyone should know how to wring the angst from the holiday of the heart, it’s our little overwrought Seattle Gracers. And soon enough, they were doing just that: making me love that smooth anesthesiologist whose dinner invite Bailey quickly shot down, making me hate hate hate the idea of Sloan playing Mr. Mom as he blathered on about buying a crib for his newly discovered daughter’s in-utero kid. Oh, and surprising me by making me totally dig Lexie’s new blond hair. ”Blondes are either badass or fun,” Sloan protested. ”And you’re… you’re brunette.” I disagree. (Like Dr. Hotness Monster said: ”Wow, Trauma Room Barbie.”) The new hair somehow made me, inexplicably, like her more, which immediately made me feel like a traitor to my gender/hair color. Watching Grey’s Anatomy brings up complicated feelings.
Speaking of complicated, the most memorable patients of the night gave us a lovely, almost O. Henry-esque tale of star-crossed lovers: An older gentleman waiter at the collapsed restaurant gave Alex $50 to get the bed next to a married lady patron. (She was played by Pamela Reed, who also appeared as Leslie’s mom on Parks and Recreation tonight, also in a long-lost lovers storyline! I am really watching too much TV!) Next thing we knew, the waiter was going on about how she might need a blanket because she ”gets chilled easily,” and that quickly led him to spill the whole story: He’d loved her since she started coming to the restaurant 15 years ago, when she was so adventurous she tried everything on the menu. But he didn’t get a chance to tell her before she met her husband. The waiter even had to put his beloved’s engagement ring in her crème brulee when her hubby proposed! And now the couple still came in regularly, but they barely ever talked and ”now he orders for her, the same thing every time.” Oh! And wait! She was secretly awake to hear his whole confession of feelings, but she pretended not to hear!
Some of Seattle Grace’s steely ladies were resisting love with all their might, too. Bailey grimaced as Arizona prodded her (during surgery on the restaurant woman’s husband!) to rethink her rejection of Cute Anesthesiologist. Meredith protested when Derek’s new assistant — the reinstated Mercy Wester played by Everwood‘s Sarah Drew — kept treating her like the new chief’s wife. Despite the fact, of course, that she was exactly that. But she didn’t want Sarah Drew to bring her pretty wifey clothes so she could accompany Derek to the big trustees’ breakfast the next morning. She just wanted to be a surgeon, dammit.
NEXT: Too pretty for words?