The Chief’s alleged million-dollar surplus that kicked off events in this episode seemed suspicious from the beginning. Weren’t they just merging with another hospital and slashing staff to save money a mere year ago? Weren’t we tortured with annoying new residents only to have them killed off by the finale just so Seattle Grace-Mercy West could deal with fiscal woes? It appeared, by episode’s end, that such skepticism was warranted — there was, in fact, no million-dollar surplus, and we’re not sure why the Chief thinks there might be. Though we have a good guess that it’ll be coming in thanks to the post-trauma documentary being filmed at the hospital in next week’s episode, which I have on good authority is a doozy. Great news, since this was one of those less-than-thrilling filler weeks bound to happen in a 22-installment season.
At any rate, we, along with the eager doctors, were led to believe that one department would get this supposed million dollars. This meant the attendings would be spending their day proposing grand plans to the Chief, and the residents would be the attendings. In other words, it was not exactly the day you wanted to check into Seattle Grace. Here’s something you don’t want to hear from the Chief of the hospital you are checking into: “Pray, people. We want God in the building today.” You also don’t want to come in with massive headaches due to a build-up of fluid in your skull that will require a shunt, only to be told by Dr. Derek Shepherd that you shouldn’t sweat the residents doing your surgery because, hey, “At some point we have to let them operate. That’s how we make new surgeons.”
Know what else you don’t want? To have to get breast reduction surgery. When you’re a teenage boy. Somehow Arizona could see this and still voice her opinion that teenagers shouldn’t get plastic surgery. The only actual good news in this situation was that we got to learn the fun word “gynecomastia.” The kid’s mom started having second thoughts about the surgery. “You said after my Bar Mitzvah, I would be a man, and I could decide,” he complained. “If we all cut off the parts we don’t like, we wouldn’t have anything left,” she countered. Because Alex had become the point person on the operation, Mark blamed him for not taking control and making it happen.
Another patient was very unfortunate for a very different reason: He could barely breathe, he needed new lungs, and he had no family there to support him because he was estranged from his daughter. April wanted to convene a transplant panel, but didn’t seem too sure of herself. Cristina, her partner on this case, was no help; she was still clearly suffering from PTSD and could say little more than, “I don’t know.” It’s no secret that I adore Cristina (and her gifted portrayer, Sandra Oh), but, man, was I starting to grow tired of this mopey thing. I’ve been going along with it because I think it’s absolutely realistic — PTSD can last years, decades even, so I don’t think a couple of months is crazy. But it’s rough having to watch it weekly.
NEXT: Brace yourselves for some million-dollar ideas, folks!