Our title heroine once again bores us with her near-death experience, her daddy issues, and her inability to commit to Derek; plus, Izzie plans perfect sex with George

By Jennifer Armstrong
Updated November 04, 2007 at 05:00 PM EST

”Grey’s Anatomy” recap: Meredith returns

Apparently, one episode was not enough to contain Meredith’s crap, so we had to do Mer’s-a-Mess redux this week. Granted, Cristina did diagnose her with ”severe abandonment issues” within the first five minutes — I love that it took her this long to figure that out, and she still needed to consult a book, but whatever. I guess that warrants a whole second hour devoted to us feeling bad for Meredith. But let me speak on behalf of all fans and say: Honestly, we got it now. Please, let’s move on.

Meredith wasn’t the only one moping, though: Her sometime Prince Charming was up fishing at the crack of dawn to drown his sorrows. Of course he ran into the Chief, who I guess was fishing for a story line and declared that a ”gentlemen’s evening” was needed to help all the guys with their lady troubles and whatnot. Apparently he’d forgotten about the Great Fishing Trip Fiasco of last season, which resulted in both a fistfight and great annoyance among fans who like their Grey’s in the hospital and with girls, thank you.

George and Izzie, unfortunately, persisted in planning their own coed activities. I really, truly wish I could go back to a time (currently just a few short, innocent hours ago) when I hadn’t heard Izzie say to George, ”And now I want sex.” That statement wouldn’t bother me so much if she hadn’t said it (presumably) about George as well as to him. But there it was. Worse still: ”Our perfect sex requires shaved legs.” Way too much multi-sensory imagery for me to work with there. Ugh.

Dr. Hahn to the rescue! Well, not in that specific situation, but in taking my mind off it. ”Do you hire on looks alone, or is skill a factor?” she snarked to the Chief upon meeting some of her fellow staffers. Still funny, even if it raises the question of whether she was temporarily blinded during or perhaps lost her memory after her previous stints at Seattle Grace. Is it now a rule that everyone coming on board at this hospital must have a finely developed sense of meta-self-awareness? Even more pressing question: Is it me, or are the gals all on some kind of rotating schedule for being more glammed up this season? It’s as if they didn’t want to hit you with too much at once, so they take turns: One week, Izzie gets to wear her hair down; another, Meredith gets lip gloss. This week, it appeared Cristina got a wash of lilac eye shadow. I like when they look pretty, so, hey, I’m all for it. Maybe next time two can go at once. Just to see what happens.

I’m also so pro-Sloan at this point that I can barely stand it anymore. Notice that I even used his name instead of any derivative of Steamy; that is how far he has come toward actual characterization this season. Loving that his slight sleaze factor is turning into an asset now — it makes me understand how chicks can fall for him left and right even when he’s not flashing those abs. ”It’s like half my job torturing interns,” he said to Callie upon learning that George was his for the day. And thus George’s sole task for the episode became holding on to a wedding dress that two patients had been severely injured fighting over in a contest to win a $100,000 wedding. ”You’re right, this did cheer me up,” Callie told Sloan. These two are so getting it on soon.

But, no, none of that now — it was (almost) all business this episode, with (most of) our hot docs focusing on professional issues. Cristina and Izzie, for instance, continued to build the tension that started between them last week, this time over Izzie getting a cardio case Cristina wanted. Cristina gave a big speech about how she was married to cardio while Izzie was merely flirting with it, only for Izzie to take it a little too personally: ”You are telling me to stop flirting with your husband. I get it. Cute.” Natch, this did not end with her handing her patient over to Cristina. Dr. Grey: Intern Edition, meanwhile, was hiding in a closet to do her charts because, she told Alex, ”when I’m out there on the floor, I’m just the other Grey who Dr. Yang likes to humiliate.” Jeez, this family likes to dwell, don’t they?

In the land of people with serious problems — i.e., the patient realm — a dude came in having fallen 12,000 feet without his parachute opening. Though he didn’t have too serious a problem: Turned out he just had some scrapes and needed an appendectomy. But, hey, Meredith could relate! You know, because she, too, had a near-death experience once! Remember? She went to heaven and hung out with Denny? Gosh, it’s so hard to recall when she hasn’t mentioned it for, wow, 15 minutes. ”It changes a person,” she wisely intoned to Skydiver Guy. Ugh. Moving on. The cardio patient the girls had been fighting over, meanwhile, actually had it worse than originally believed — he was allergic to the anesthesia they needed for the surgery to remove his blockage. So they’d have to do it without. Yeah, not good.

Across the hospital George was still holding the psycho wedding couples’ bloodied, battered gown. ”So, what, he just stands there and holds a dress?” Cristina asked as a crowd of doctors watched him. ”I know, I thought it was gonna be more exciting, too,” Meredith said, which I enjoyed, because she was not talking about her family issues or her near-death experience or her inability to experience true love….Oops, but I spoke too soon, because there she and Cristina were again, minutes later, back on about how Meredith didn’t use her second lease on life to tell Derek how she really felt. And then Cristina said what should basically be the tagline for this entire series, if not everyone’s 20s and 30s: ”You know, being aware of your crap and actually overcoming your crap are two very different things.”

Quick on the heels of that was the second best line of the night, courtesy of Dr. Hahn. ”Are you two a couple?” she said after Dreamy and Steamy did a little comedy routine asking her if she knew what a gentlemen’s evening might entail. (I did also enjoy when she called them ”Pretty and Prettier” later.) Mainly, it just made me really happy to see the boys getting along so well now that Addison’s gone; they’re doing each other some good, getting out of being so McBroody and McSkeevy. Hahn also showed some serious potential as a troublemaker when the Chief questioned her decision to do the awake open-heart surgery without his approval; she came right back at him with accusations of gender discrimination for his innocent plans with the boys. Nicely done.

NEXT: Perfect-sex night

I’m going to skim right past Meredith and Derek having sex in the back room and then talking post-coitally about (you’ll never guess!) her near-death experience, and go straight to Callie lecturing the Bridezillas. ”You shouldn’t have to fight this hard for a wedding,” she said, winning the State the Obvious Theme of This Surgery Award of the night but also making a good point. ”You fight this hard for a marriage, and sometimes that doesn’t even work….Just freakin’ let go.”

In fact, that was so wise that I chose to go ahead and ponder it to distract myself from the rather disturbing awake open-heart-surgery sequence. Really not for the squeamish (i.e., me). I still couldn’t help paying attention, though, once the guy got all nervous and chattery, thus reminding us all why anesthesia is a wonderful modern invention we should all be thankful for. Why they wouldn’t work harder to calm a guy down and maybe have someone to talk him through it, I don’t know. And is it too much to ask to clear the gallery for this sort of thing? Does he have to be able to see people staring down at him getting cut open? Or could somebody, I don’t know, make out instead? I mean, somewhere else. I’d really just like to watch that instead. But, no, Izzie finally talked him down by having him tell her what kind of birds (’cause he was a big birdwatcher) each of the folks in the gallery would be. Which naturally came with all kinds of incisive character assessments — Cristina was shadowing Hahn’s hand movements, so she’d be…some kind of bird that does that sort of thing; and Derek would be this sad-eyed bird….

It’s no wonder he’s sad, really. I would be, too, if the love of my life refused to be with me and preferred to just whine about not being with me. Especially when she had the nerve to tell Skydiver Guy, who’d just gotten through his appendectomy and, we learned, was secretly in love with his instructor, ”If you never find out how she feels, then that won’t be your only scar.” Meredith’s sister, however, had no problem telling Alex how she felt, did she? Came right out and asked him out. I suppose that just proves she doesn’t have any Daddy Issues, right? That somehow we should feel even more bad for Meredith? And to skip to the very end for a second, why was it such a massive-shock moment when Meredith discovered them together at home? What difference does it make to Meredith whether those two are hooking up?

Wow, but I have so many more questions about George and Izzie’s sex night. First, what was that weird pink bathing-suit-ish thing she was wearing? Cute, but really not sexy. Second, is George going to develop a complex soon about women crying anywhere near sex with him? Because that was a pretty serious breakdown to match Meredith’s legendary crying jag two seasons back. And, um, his hand hurts from holding the dress? That is his reason for putting off sex? How do these people not see that it’s not going to happen for them?

The only thing worse, really, than them and their non-sex was Meredith and her blah-blah-blahing more about how she wants to be with Derek but can’t. ”Does that make me sad and weak and pathetic?” she asked. Let me answer: Yes. Yes, it does.

What do you think?

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Grey's Anatomy

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

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