Bailey's marriage reaches the breaking point when a bookshelf falls on her toddler son; plus, George's mother learns about his adultery, and Derek woos Meredith with a house

”Grey’s Anatomy” recap: Bailey’s family crisis

This week on Grey’s Anatomy, we learned all about faith — in, yes, slightly heavy-handed but still entertaining fashion. In fact, maybe it’s just that this was the last pre-strike-drought episode, but it got me thinking about my faith in this show, which I still have despite all the grumbling throughout the past two seasons. I felt the same way about this episode that I did about the show overall this crazy season: emotionally manipulated but still satisfied; skeptical through 75 percent of it but crying at the end; psyched to have my Thursday nights free after this but sad at the prospect of being without my Grey’s.

Okay, okay, enough with my own voice-over narration there. (Speaking of which, I didn’t love Bailey narrating. Her no-nonsense attitude only points out how silly the voice-over is. This is not a woman who pontificates in metaphors; she saves lives, y’all.) Anyway, I did like being back at Seattle Grace; it seemed eons ago that Seth Green was spouting blood all over the place. I was sad to remember that he was dead but happy to see Callie and Dr. It Puts the Lotion in the Basket all girlfriendy and stuff. Both of them need friends, and that totally works for me.

Unfortunately, Hahn was also back to dissing Cristina, which is almost as old as Meredith freezing out McDreamy. Callie, on the other hand, had the surprise visit of the week from a staffer’s family member to contend with: Mrs. O’Malley showed up knowing nothing of Callie and George’s split and bearing baby outfits — ”hand-stitched unisex baby clothes,” as Callie described them to George. ”They’re yellow and green, and they go up to toddler sizes.” Oh, hey, and guess what! Derek and Meredith found a new way to demonstrate her lack of commitment! Fun! He wanted to build them a dream house; she claimed there were ”about 100 steps” between now and building a dream house. She insisted they would be ”fun steps and sexy steps.” I wanted to know which women’s magazine she was reading that week. Mostly because I would like to shred it into 100 pieces. Fun and sexy pieces.

Speaking of fun and sexy, I’m sorta almost warming up to this McSteamy/Lotion in the Basket flirtation. Well, I’m maybe 37 percent warm now, when I used to be at zero. Mostly I liked that she called him out as a ”crass, predatory ape of a man who just happens to be a decent surgeon,” and that the Healer Patient Lady asked to be removed from the scene immediately because it was ”really toxic.” Even she could see these two should not be a couple. Or should be 37 percent of a couple.

And we kinda saw the Izzy-spilling-all-to-Mrs. O’Malley thing coming, didn’t we? This is what happens when we let family members roam the halls at a hospital where everyone screws each other. I really want to know: Does this happen at real hospitals? If I am ever, God forbid, in the hospital with a serious illness, should I assume that my doctor’s mother is going to show up and question his life skills? Or my doctor’s mother-in-law is going to trail my doctor, begging her to go to marriage counseling? This is not appropriate behavior. I’m trying to imagine my mother barging into EW and then following me around all day so we can discuss my credit card debt and lack of boyfriend. I’m not enjoying it.

Moving on. As if Mrs. O’Malley weren’t enough family presence, Bailey’s whiny husband showed up with their kid on a stretcher. Turned out the poor, unspeakably adorable little tyke got smashed by a falling bookcase. For a second, when Tucker emphatically declared, ”It was an accident,” I thought it might actually turn out he’d done something to make it happen, just to get his workaholic wife’s attention. Now that would be interesting. But I guess they didn’t want to make him into Satan himself, so instead there was just a lot of fighting about whose fault it was that the kid had busted into a room that was supposed to be gated off. The upshot was that little Tuck’s insides were seriously mashed up. His diaphragm and colon were ruptured, and something bad had happened to his aorta. Bailey was losing her composure and busting into the surgery. Hahn was smacking her down for thinking she could be around while they cut her son open. It was generally a big mess. But Cristina stepped up and proved she had emotions for once, offering to hold Tuck’s hand during the surgery and talk him through it.

And this, of course, was right around the time I started getting choked up, just like I always do. One thing you can say about Grey’s: They’ve got the structure down pat, and it’s like a good, cheesy pop song; this is the key change. Gets me every time.

To wit, Callie and Mrs. O’Malley were having a heart-to-heart, and Callie was saying that she was happy she’d made the mistake of marrying George because, ”for a little while, at least, I got to be an O’Malley.” The Healer Patient Lady was doling out mystical character assessments, telling Alex, ”You were a good, sweet boy. But you’re not a very good man. What happened to you?” (Hmmm, do we think we’re going to find out in theoretical coming episodes?) Miranda was losing her mind trying to remember whether she was the one who’d left the child-proof gate unhitched, thus allowing Tuck to end up under a bookcase.

NEXT: Whose romance is hot or not?

As we learned that we all have to have faith, thanks to Izzy’s speech to Alex about her envy of Cristina’s confidence in her future in cardio, we also were conveniently reminded that Alex and Izzy were once a possible item. That happened just as Seattle Grace’s Most Tiresome Couple came to yet another end. ”You don’t want to build a life with me,” Meredith told Derek. ”You want someone. You want someone who wants the same things you do.” Um, yeah, I think that pretty much describes any successful relationship, don’t you, Mer? Look, I get it: These two do ring true. I know all too well the way two people who love each other can put each other through years of angst before they realize no one ever gets around the problem of wanting different things. But just because it’s true doesn’t make it watchable. I couldn’t be happier to hear a couple say they can’t do this anymore. And I’ll admit it: I love that Derek is taking Rose the Nurse out for dinner. Props to her for snagging such a proactive dude.

Everything built to the moment we’d been waiting for: the Healer Patient Lady joining hands with Bailey and Tucker over their kid’s bed, while everyone else on staff exchanged meaningful glances. I cried, it’s true. And I’m totally fine with the schmaltziness of the kid being saved — especially since the sweetness of that was cut by the bitterness of Tucker and Bailey splitting up at the end. That kid’s wicked cute and needed to live. Tucker, I can do without him.

On the bright side, I liked where we’ll be going with a few things, should we ever get more Grey’s: George told his mom he wants to be ”the guy Bailey named her baby after.” I’m about done with mopey George and ready for fun, sweet, lifesaving George again, too. (Bonus points for the insight that marriage counseling would ”just hurt everyone more.” Amen to that.) Alex and Izzy headed even further toward possible coupledom when the Healer Lady’s friend said, ”She brightens you, that’s for sure.” (And Alex said to Izzy, ”Yang’s got nothing on you.”) And Hahn told McSteamy she’s not into office romance, which not only is ironic at Seattle Grace but also can mean only one thing: It’s totally on. (Okay, I’ve creeped up from 37 to 51 percent on this one.)

Now here’s to hoping we all keep our faith until the writers’ strike ends. Celebrity Apprentice notwithstanding.

Till then, tell us what you think. Are the split-up couples split up for good? Which romances will develop further? And who are you going to miss most?

Episode Recaps

Grey's Anatomy

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

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