On ''Grey's Anatomy,'' during a nurses' strike, Meredith confronts her mother's possible death, Cristina butts heads with a new boss, and Izzie reveals a secret

By Tim Stack
Updated January 15, 2007 at 05:00 AM EST

”Grey’s Anatomy”: The doctors go it alone

Helloooo, EW.com readers. Since this is my first TV Watch, I beg you to be kind to me, especially since I’m nice and I’ve got nothin’ but love for Grey’s Anatomy — although I do still find the voice-over narration painful and the opening-credits sequences slightly creepy. That aside, last night’s episode, with the hospital staff coping with a nurses’ strike, was another stellar outing. It confirmed why my informal title for Anatomy is That Show on Sunday That Makes Me Weep Like a Little Girl for an Hour.

Besides the strike, the episode introduced us to the new resident replacing the very pregnant Bailey. The chipper newbie is the complete opposite of ”the Nazi,” irking Cristina right from the start. They sparred over the surgical treatment of a patient (The L Word‘s Leisha Hailey) whose leg had become infected with a flesh-eating bacteria. I enjoyed finally seeing a formidable opponent for Cristina, but the most interesting aspect of this conflict was its effect on her relationship with Burke. He seemed bothered by the differences in experience and maturity between him and lowly intern Cristina, after she inappropriately coaxed him to question her new supervisor’s decision. It was also nice to see Cristina fail, in the same way it was always pleasurable to see the star pupil in school get a D on a paper. Maybe I’m not so nice?

Meredith is one ill-conceived dance sequence away from turning into Ally McBeal, so it was refreshing to see her focused on someone other than herself for a change. Her fears that her Alzheimer’s-affected mother (Kate Burton) would die alone came to light as she dealt with an elderly woman’s do-not-resuscitate request. What began as cheesy (Meredith met the patient’s group of Golden Girls-like friends, one of whom was played by Lassie‘s June Lockhart) turned incredibly moving as Dr. Grey realized her mother’s death could be imminent. She also realized that Dr. Webber and her mother might have more than just a professional relationship, after catching them in a rather touchy conversation during a visit to the nursing home.

The biggest news of the evening turned out to be a little background info on Izzie. What was it again? Hmmmm…let me think. Oh, right: She has a daughter! I’m assuming I wasn’t the only person who yelled at the TV following that revelation. Izzie was inspired to reveal this juicy tidbit while treating a young mother who lives in a trailer park not far from the one Izzie grew up in. Izzie’s daughter, named Hannah, is now 11 years old and likes pigs, according to the little information Izzie has.

Is it just me, or is George (T.R. Knight) the most endearing guy on television? Sorry Ty Pennington. But my personal fave wasn’t much of a presence in this episode, sadly. The doof refused to cross the nurses’ picket line because he was raised by two union-member parents. He did, however, have the best line of the night: When Izzie and Meredith hopped in his bed after their respective rough days, George politely asked, ”Anyone wanna have sex?”

And what was up with the lack of McDreamy last night? There were a few good moments, particularly his supply-closet consoling of the upset Meredith, but that was about it. Perhaps he’s too busy styling that perfect head of hair.

The night ended with a teaser for Anatomy‘s big-time post-Super Bowl show next week. While specifics on the plot were rather vague, I caught a glimpse of guest star Christina Ricci and heard someone yell, ”Code black!” With only that to go on, I’m guessing the episode involves a forehead-reduction procedure.

Okay, so I’m definitely not nice, but what did you think of last night’s Grey’s Anatomy? Did you like the new resident? Did you buy the revelations about Izzie’s past? And what are your theories as to next week’s crisis?