Glue from a broken mug inspires two surgeries; Derek plans to Dad it up so Meredith can study

By Annie Barrett
Updated October 25, 2013 at 05:26 AM EDT
Credit: Randy Holmes/ABC

Episode 5, “Map of You,” was all about the system of connection (and germs) as Derek’s soothing bedtime-story voiceovers accompanied a lone red mug — the Flat Stanley of Fiestaware, if you will — from the dream house to Grey Sloan Memorial and back.

See, all of life’s chance occurrences — a dozen people sharing the same nasty mug in a single day, Alex dashing by Jo to get in the elevator while they were speaking on the phone, the way Leah “Who?” Murphy apparently spent three hours creating loose beach waves before coming in to work that day — are actually orchestrated to compel a specific pattern. These connections determine everything about us. What we love, what we hate, what we say, what we do….

Derek sounds a little stoned, to be honest, but I’m sticking with him, definitely. He’s going places in his mind. I think the lesson to be learned from all of tonight’s mug madness is: Dude, don’t even worry about washing your dishes! A good lap around a festering hospital, complete with a surf session atop a glue-y iPad, is all it needs. Put it back into the cupboard and start the gentle cycle over in the morning.

So, big news: Derek will be stepping away from the surgery table to give Greasy Hair Mer the slack she needs to “make this year count.” She’ll get to be at the hospital more and engage in more tense verbal conflicts with Cristina, while Derek will be the one having more fun — playing with their kids as well as the brain-mapping computer interface system (virtual reality…it’s aliiiiiive!) he developed with Callie. The Lady Torres’ interest in the project had waned along with her interest in Arizona. But then quadriplegic self-hating drunk-driving death-causer hyphenate-patient Mickey basically volunteered his own life in the interest of helping other people… and Callie was back on track.

Did the sudden popping out of Mickey’s entire brain on the operating table take anyone else by surprise?I was just startled a bit. Hey, whatever. Hang loose, man, it’s season 10. Go with what works, even if it doesn’t. Just ease a brain out of a skull and lift it up, Rafiki-style, to be exalted. Admire the trillions of connections! Really think about your last coffee mug. Where is it? Did Smash just smash it? What does that mean?

NEXT: Mer vs. Cristina Part Deux

Meanwhile, Meredith had accidentally (wrong; there are no accidents; billions of neurons!) gravitated toward the same research topic her mom had been working on when she got sick: portal veins. She doesn’t want to be compared to her mother, and she wants to prove to Cristina she can be a research surgeon and a mom. After Meredith acted icy all episode long, the co-“persons” continued their heated argument from last week. Sorry Yang — fights don’t end when you’ve stopped obsessing over the patient of the week.

This time Meredith did most of the talking, firmly reminding Cristina, “This is when I need you. You’re supposed to help me, and last week you pushed me aside because I had a baby.” I like that even when they’re fighting, they acknowledge how strong their friendship is. But Mer didn’t hold back: “You don’t have time for people who want things that you don’t want.” That’s perfect. She’s totally right.

We got just a few seconds of Owen this week — he’s officially dating Emma, an attending at Seattle Presbyterian who was at Sloan Grey observing some surgeries. She had all sorts of compliments — my fave: “I am impressed by your enormous balls” — for Cristina, who was attempting to block blood flow to a patient’s heart tumor with… glue. And yet she had no idea that Cristina was Owen’s ex-wife. He hadn’t even mentioned it! Marguerite Moreau’s hilariously “tempered” reaction to this news — proudly delivered by Cristina as she hoped for major jealousy-driven drama — was my favorite moment of the hour.

Back to this heart surgery/glue mess. Nothing like that has ever been attempted before. And it WORKED. ‘Til at least the end of the episode, anyway. I hope for his sake that the patient’s probably about to get his last living wish and die already.

Ugh, this dumb patient and his ridiculous wife. Assuming he was about to kick the bucket, they blew all their savings on weightless plane rides and thrilling plane fires. It was like that movie Last Holiday, if Queen Latifah was played by Bruce Jenner. “Could I die? Could I die on the table?” Bruce asked hopefully. Yes, absolutely. “Then there’s hope.” Okay, crazy.

Anyway, pumping glue into a man’s ventricle passages like some sort of kids’ art project was Mug Babysitters Club president Dr. Shane’s idea. TV’s Smash had spiraled back into the guilty place after finding a second-year lab coat for the girl he KILLED (in his mind at least), Heather Brooks. His guilt drove Shane to rather obnoxiously refuse to work with Derek anymore — but he found solace in Dr. Yang, who thinks he’s a genius with innovative instincts. Despite the surgical mask, we could see Shane visibly wince as Yang also complimented his “killer instincts.”

NEXT: All the other spare parts (sadly, no connective glue available) Oh, gosh, then there’s the terrible, horrible, no good very bad storyline with Arizona and the clingy Leah. It’s still not clear whether they hooked up. I guess they might have kissed a little? Either way, Leah’s being super overbearing (as Alex warned Arizona over the operating table, “That girl goes from zero to ‘I love you’ in seven seconds”) and Arizona’s embarrassed/not interested.

Well… until she’s propped up in bed, suddenly lonely, with no warm body around to compliment her on her favorite royal blue sleepy time bra. She texts the cling-on: “What are you up to?” This is all very stupid, but thank the lord at least Arizona didn’t use “R,” “U,” “2,” or an emoticon. The octopus emoji, for the record, would have been appropriate and welcome.

Alex has been visiting his guitar-playing dad every night at a local blues bar, much to Jo’s chagrin. She wants to figure out if they’re in a relationship or not, but all Alex wants to do is drink and brood amidst live music. Like father, like son. It turns out his dad has ANOTHER FAMILY he abandoned, down in South Florida. (Dexter?!) Dad almost broke down crying as he told Alex the story of how another pediatric surgeon had saved his son — he’d been talking about a different little boy, who’s now only 12. Alex fumed, punched his dad to the floor, and got kicked out of the bar.

“Thanks. I didn’t know I could feel this crappy again,” he scolds the raven-haired Care Bear, who’d confirmed Alex’s blood relation to this monster. At least Jo had made some professional progress that day — Richard has officially offered up his dying body as a medical obstacle course for the interns, and Jo apparently passed hurdle one: Figuring out the correct diagnosis by merely listing options out loud. That Dr. Webber is one incredible teacher.

Next week: Zombie patient. Wouldn’t it be funny if it was Alex’s dad? (No.)

Did you watch? Are you now afraid to feed your child — or yourself — strawberries?

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