Wow. Way to go from zero to mindblowing, Grey’s Anatomy.
After a brief, post-grieving-George’s-death nap, the show was back, all ablaze with interpersonal conflict and snappy one-liners and speeches — dear God, the speeches — and big stuff actually happening.
And it was all thanks to Seattle Grace’s merger with Mercy West. What had been mostly an administrative drag the past few episodes — necessary set-up, to be sure, but not exactly a thrill — exploded with the arrival of orange-scrubbed personnel infiltrating those familiar hospital halls and angling for the jobs. There were still cutbacks to come, as evidenced by the HR rep showing up to give the Chief a standardized speech to read while firing people. If the episode was anything, it was a lesson in creative problem solving. How to delineate the home versus away teams, our guys versus the invaders? Put the new kids in orange scrubs and explain it away with a line of dialogue about how the blue ones hadn’t come in yet. How to cover up Ellen Pompeo’s growing real-life pregnancy? Put Meredith in a hospital bed recovering from giving her father some of her liver for a transplant. How to deal with Katherine Heigl’s real-life baby leave? Well, we’ll get to that in a bit.
Besides the new orange-versus-blue conflict, we also saw the re-emergence of an old, unresolved clash: Callie’s dad (the perfect Hector Elizondo) returned to deal with Callie’s embrace of lesbianism — with the family priest in tow. As Callie said, quoting the bumper-sticker slogan, ”You can’t pray away the gay!” Nonetheless, Daddy Torres was willing to try to.
As the docs got down to business on the patients of the week, the script skillfully dealt with the new cast additions in neat pairs, teaming each of the Mercy West residents (or the ones we care about, anyway) with one of the regular cast members. So in that spirit, we’ll look at rundown of the major battles of the night:
Lexie vs. April: I sigh with affection every time I see Sarah Drew, a.k.a. Hannah from Everwood (and more recently, Kitty, Salvatore’s unknowing beard wife on Mad Men). She was so sweet as bookish Hannah, but holy Moses, was she a passive-aggressive little thing straight out of the gate at Seattle Grace as Dr. April Kepner. ”Of course, you were here when that psycho intern cabal was marching around chopping out each other’s organs,” she cooed in mock innocence to Lexie, when they were paired up. ”That must’ve been scary.” They worked together on a guy who came in wearing handcuffs — he’d broken into someone’s house, then got caught and beaten by a golf club. April acted all clueless, then offered up an I-don’t-really-know-what-I’m-doing-but… suggestion that Derek actually took instead of Lexie’s. The oddly attractive, wise burglar offered Lexie some advice: ”Find her open window. Everyone has one.” Then he kindly took it one step further later by stealing April’s prized little red notebook and giving it to Lexie. Of course Lexie didn’t want it at first, but then couldn’t help but look, and found such embarrassing mantras as ”I am the future of medicine.” Then our little Lexie tried out being a bitch, and it worked — perhaps a little more than she’d have liked. ”She’s the future of medicine,” she said pointedly of April to Derek while April stood by, shocked and embarrassed. Later, though, Lexie gave back the journal and apologized, and we were left with hope for Lexie and April.
NEXT: Cristina shows her heart while talking about not holding hearts