On ''Grey's Anatomy,'' the hospital's chairman comes in with a parasite that's a metaphor for what's ailing pretty much everyone on staff
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”Grey’s Anatomy”: The best disease ever

The voice-mail arrived in my voice-mailbox at 9:09 p.m. EDT last night.

”Hi, Greg! It’s Mom. I know you’re watching Grey’s Anatomy. So am I. The guy with the grapefruit testicles has epididymitis. Just thought you’d like to be the first to know!”

Wrong, Ma, wrong. Why, if you are Shonda Rhimes, would you give Grapefruit Testicles epididymitis (whatever that is, meh) when you could ratchet up the wow factor and give him penisfish? He had ”penisfish.” I think this was my favorite wacky medical case of all three Grey’s seasons. Can’t stop marveling at it. Grapefruit Testicles — who was actually chairman of the board of Seattle Grace, and thus the guy who gets to pick the new chief or surgery — checked in with testicles the size of grapefruits.

A big reveal of sorts followed, and it was scarring. We were treated, just before the opening titles, to a shot of Grapefruit Testicles dropping trou for the docs, with the camera planted upward between his legs. At the very top of the frame, just for an instant, we glimpsed a splotchy, mangled, beehive-y giant boysenberry that could only be a pair of diseased supertesticles! Disgusting! I had to play my DVR back a half dozen times — which, I assure you, I did only for research purposes for this column — before I realized that that globby pustule at the top of my screen was just the bottom of Grapefruit Testicles’ scruffy head, and not his actual grapefruit testicles. But I think by that point the damage was done.

Thanks to that fake-out alone, none of us will ever micturate straight into the Amazon for the rest of our lives. A penisfish, it turns out, is an actual fish called a candirú that swims upstream — that is, up the stream of one’s urine — and lodges in your urethra. We saw one at the end of the episode, when the docs pulled out the big fella from inside Grapefruit Testicles: It was as fat as a night crawler. Yuck. Naturally — and this was where the Grey’s writers earned their big money — the penisfish was George.

Let’s hear it from lovelorn Izzie.

”You’re my penisfish,” she told George at the end of the night in what, we can only hope, was also the launching of the next great American catchphrase. ”You’ve crawled in and latched on, and now I can’t move or talk or think or even pee without the nagging feeling that something is eating through my organs.”

So Izzie is in love. George is eating through her organs. I still don’t completely buy it, even though every other medical case tonight — the guy with the stuffy nose turned brain drip, Grapefruit Testicles’ mistress — also had metaphorical moments meant to show us that these two belong together. Subtle, it wasn’t. But overall the week was an entertaining reprieve from last weeks’ episode, which I found fundamentally botched because it dared to bring back Izzie’s lost kid, who should’ve stayed ghostly and lost, at least until the girl turned up in season 8 as a smoking-hot 19-year-old medical prodigy. I’m all for the focus on Izzie this season, but in last week’s episode we once again witnessed Izzie getting blown up too big, and she finally popped like a balloon. A little less drama for this baby mama! Appropriately, the writers took it down several notches this week (”eating my organs” speeches aside), and Izzie was effective again. You were so worried she was gonna say something stupid in that fine scene in the elevator where Callie demanded she give her her husband back, but Izzie kept it zipped. And that scene at the end over wedding cake when Izzie confessed that she slept with George to Burke — because Burke’s ”a vault” — was affectingly played by Heigl, who’s still an excellent actress. That said, two questions: (1) What was up with Izzie’s League of Their Own hairdo this week? And (2) where’d her kid go? A one-episode arc is all the little baldy is good for for now?

Elsewhere on Grey’s, I saw a little more clearly why so many of you hate Meredith. For one thing, she compared Addison (or the Addison who came to Seattle to win back Derek, anyway) to a penisfish. For one more — well, that might be it. It’s not nice to compare Addison to a penisfish, but otherwise Meredith remains all right by me. I don’t hate her for walking away from Derek for a while, then sidling back up to him this episode. But now I do hate this new development where he’s second-guessing the relationship because supposedly it hurts his chances to be Chief. I wanted to be moved at the end of tonight, when Derek professed that he’s not sure about Meredith anymore because she didn’t fight and swim when she fell in the drink back in those stupid ferry episodes, but the way it was set up was all wrong. Given the Chief stuff, Derek didn’t seem to be baring his soul when he wondered about her will to live; he just seemed to be lying. It played as if he were making up another reason to toss her out, one that sounded heavier and less asinine than ”I just wanna be Chief, and it ain’t gonna happen with you around.” Guys like Derek lie all the time during a breakup, but it isn’t the stuff of great drama.

Meanwhile, Addison ended the night with one foot out the door, didn’t she? And we didn’t necessarily see that coming. Midway through the night, she couldn’t resist sensitive Karev’s warm-bath bedside manner with Ava the amnesiac any longer, so she pushed him off into the sex room, and that was that. They finally hooked up. Her deal with Sloan was off, those two were done, but then Karev at the end of the night played super hard to get — is he in love with Ava (who cleans up nicely, I admit) or just playing tough with his boss? — and so Addison walked out of Seattle Grace alone and presumably (based on the clips from next week’s show) straight onto the set of her spin-off. After their season-long flirtation, will it be cold, hard Karev who sends Addison off to another show?

And will that show be called Mercy West? That’s a good title. It’s also the name of the hospital that George announced he was transferring to at the end of the night, to get away from Izzie. But we all know he isn’t going anywhere.

Or is he? What do you think? And is penisfish the best Grey’s ailment of all time? What’s your favorite flavor of wedding cake? Did you like that great scene where Sloan, whilst crying on the inside, preemptively broke up with Addison? And was it just me, or was that bit where Addison and Callie gabbed at the nurses’ station in front of Ava the girliest moment we’ve seen on Grey’s in a while, capable of shrinking even the largest of grapefruit testicles down to size?

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Grey's Anatomy

Meredith. Alex. Bailey. The doctors are definitely in on Shonda Rhimes' hospital melodrama.

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