A new policy at the hospital makes the staffers list their sexual partners, while Meredith and Derek continue to deny their feelings; plus, Cristina still isn't over Burke

By Jennifer Armstrong
Updated May 09, 2008 at 04:00 PM EDT

”Grey’s Anatomy” recap: Forced confessions

Ha ha ha ha ha. ”Date and tell.” That’s all I can really say. Loved this conceit — that all of Seattle Grace would suddenly have to ”register” the ”sexual relationships” they’ve had with other staffers, thanks to nurses’ complaints against Sloan. Loved the live return of Adele as the nurses’ spokeswoman to liven up the Chief again. Loved the non-live cameo of Isaiah Washington via a press clipping about Burke’s achievements to get under Cristina’s skin, sending her into a cadaver-cutting, ”Like a Virgin”-singing psychotic break. We’re looking good heading into the final weeks here.

Grey’s Anatomy has now even done the impossible: made me care about Meredith and Derek again, even though it’s through this tumor-fighting-virus bit, which started off a little clumsily. I credit the actors, not the introduction of this clinical-trial conceit, but that’s all in the past now. I’m willing to forgive, just as these star-crossed lovers are…willing to forgive…each other…or something. Mostly they just have really hot sex and look cute together and maybe even remind me of my own McDreamys, and don’t we all want to think we could end up with our McDreamys? Just as when we’re watching Sex and the City, we want to end up with our Bigs? (I’m starting to see now that I was a little emotionally vulnerable tonight. Be gentle with me.) Anyway, the point is, they had to be precisely in sync in order to get this virus-injection thingy to work. Because Mer and Der’s in-syncness is obviously more important than some dude’s brain tumor.

The big medical story of the episode was this lady who was waiting for a heart but whose antibodies were so elevated she had to be kept in a plastic isolation bubble. She was having the first Big Emotional Breakdown scene of the night, freaking out because, well, she’s being kept in a bubble, when Hahn gave her the good news that a heart was finally on the way. The Chief, meanwhile, made some progress of his own when he convinced Adele he might really be changing by announcing that he’d gotten himself an intern. That was right before he went and got himself an intern, who turned out to be George. His first task: passing out the forms on which staffers would register their sexual liaisons. And during this process, young George uncovered an interesting tidbit: Derek’s ”girlfriend” or ”date” or ”whatever,” Rose, did not need one, as they apparently hadn’t gone to ”the highest level.” Because I’ve now started projecting my own life into the Mer-Der situation, I say yay to that. My jury is still out on this Hahn-Callie coupling, on the other hand, but I did enjoy the weird love-triangle tension between the two of them and Mark, who was now, um, ”registering” with Callie on a regular basis.

NEXT: Don’t ask, don’t tell

And from the obvious-parallel front came a gay soldier who needed brain surgery — you know, ”don’t ask, don’t tell” and all that. BTW, did the Grey’s Anatomy writers just get a memo that homosexuality exists? Because with all the sex on this show, never once has it come up before (despite the show’s having endured a behind-the-scenes gay-slur controversy). And now suddenly we’ve got lesbians and closeted soldiers? Or is this part of a larger contest among all network shows to suddenly outgay each other? Because it’s pretty hard to top Gossip Girl‘s ”gay bomb” episode this week. Not that I’m complaining. I’m all about the very gay sweeps! Ugly Betty better ramp it up. Who knew it would ever be behind in this category?

Sloan, meanwhile, did nothing to make straight guys look good. And I say this with love, as I have no problem with man whores as a concept and kinda dig McSteamy at times. But he cannot go around saying stuff like he said to Rose, no matter how much I’ve irrationally decided to dislike her: ”I hate women like you,” he snapped when she wouldn’t help him smooth things over with the nurses. ”You string guys along like sex is some prize when really you’re just afraid that when you give it up, he’ll lose interest.” It’s like he took over insensitive-jackass duties from Alex this week. Again, though, I’m emotionally raw today, so maybe it’s just me. Or maybe it was just a plot ploy, as a few scenes later, Rose was asking George for a form (in front of Meredith, no less) — the implication being, of course, that there had been some sudden intervening supply-closet action with Derek. Which we can assume was cold and mechanical and not half as good as Mer-Der sex. No panties-left-behind action, to be sure. Rose definitely doesn’t seem like the kind of girl who would leave her panties behind. And to be clear, in our crazy dream world, we like girls who leave their panties behind. Though we don’t like men who are mean to women who don’t (theoretically) leave their panties behind. We do, however, think it’s kind of funny that Alex ”forgot” to list Lexie on his date-and-tell form — and he forgot while she was sitting right there.

Speaking of Alex, he came down with a magical fever — not too severe but just enough to get him off the heart surgery and onto babysitting duty while Cristina took over as Hahn’s right hand. That, of course, led to a heart-to-heart about Burke between Cristina and Hahn — or at least a monologue in which Hahn talked at Cristina in a sort of empathetic way: ”You actually helped him with all that research,” Hahn said. ”He didn’t even mention you in the article.” Perhaps Meredith and Derek should’ve taken that as some kind of cautionary tale about performing surgeries with people you’ve slept with, but instead they continued to stare longingly at each other while injecting viruses into people’s brains. ”We’re standing on the moon, Dr. Grey,” Derek said in that cute whispery way he has. Of course, the patient kicked it, but whatever.

NEXT: Hahn opens up to Callie

Hahn then gave yet another great kinda-monologue — is she trying to be the new Bailey or something? — when she dressed Callie down for not telling her she had been, ahem, registering with Sloan as of late. ”I don’t make friends easily,” she intoned — twice, for emphasis. Hell, I felt guilty by the end of her speech, and I was just eating fruit salad (which is healthy!) and minding my own business. I was even more bereft, though, when Derek clearly wanted to spend the night (no, literally, not in the hooking-up sense) at the hospital with Meredith to keep an eye on their patient, and Meredith urged him to go home with Rose instead. I was kind of proud of Meredith, in a way. That took nerves of steel. But I really wanted him to stay, with his eyes, and his hair, and everything. As is typical, though, the people who were both in the hospital and could easily have had sex didn’t. ”Sex. Let’s go. Now,” Callie said to Sloan. But Sloan, in an emotional breakthrough, was too sad because his surgery had been canceled. ”You’re useless,” she barked, and was on her way.

Alex, too, was having an emotional breakthrough of sorts, breaking into the bubble lady’s bubble to save her as she flatlined. He did, and he looked hot doing it, but there was a downside: Her exposure to him did bad things to her antibody levels (or something) and meant she couldn’t get that heart she was due. She’d have to wait for another one and stay in isolation. Then the sad news continued: The gay soldier didn’t make it, either. And somehow sadder than all of that — thanks to Sandra Oh’s brilliance in another Big Emotional Breakdown scene — was Cristina’s despair over Burke popping back into her life as she was forced to turn in one of those forms documenting their relationship. ”I am the unseen hand to his brilliance,” she told the chief and Adele. ”I was his hand, and now I’m a ghost.”

As if Chandra Wilson were like, ”I know you’re giving me a good monologue, too, because that’s all I really do here,” she got the goods as she ”defended” Sloan to the nurses: ”Dr. Sloan is a whore. He has always been a whore, will probably always be a whore….He’s nasty, but he’s a doctor here. So let us all close our knees and get back to our jobs so he can get back to his job and help the people who really need it.”

I’d leave it at that, except that Amy Madigan as Meredith’s shrink had some even better closing words. As Meredith waxed on, voice-over style, about how it was a ”good day” because people had loved and lost and learned things, and she had been okay with letting Derek go off with Rose, the doctor’s doctor broke it down: ”That is a load of crap.” Amen to that, indeed.

What did you think of this episode? Are you back to caring about Meredith and Derek? Were you surprised Cristina was so upset about Burke? And how do you think Alex is going to find out about Ava’s non-pregnancy?

Episode Recaps


Grey's Anatomy

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

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