A bus accident makes the staffers -- especially Bailey -- confront their teenage selves; plus, drunk Daddy Grey plays Meredith and Lexie

By Jennifer Armstrong
Updated November 18, 2007 at 05:00 PM EST

”Grey’s Anatomy” recap: Back to high school

The trouble with TV’s addiction to voice-over narration is that it takes a lot of the magic out of these recaps. I mean, wouldn’t it be so much more fun if right here were the first time you were hearing that this week’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy was all about the doctors reliving their teen issues through a high school bus crash? But, no, Meredith ruined that for us. ”Do we ever really grow up?” she asked just after we watched dorky Dr. Sydney hit on presumably cool kid McDreamy (though it’s hard not to also think about Patrick Dempsey’s star-making turn as the totally geek turned totally chic Ronald in Can’t Buy Me Love). ”There comes a point in your life when you’re officially an adult,” Meredith also told us, contradicting most of what we’ve seen on this show. Which, yes, I get it, is exactly the point.

Keeping with the we’re-all-just-kids theme, Meredith and George were blatantly avoiding Derek and Izzie. Bailey was making like a new teacher and lecturing: ”The locker is for changing, not for crying; the on-call room is not for anything that requires a locked door.” And Cristina was playing teacher’s pet by pleading for — and getting — Hahn’s cardio service. Dr. Hahn still wasn’t impressed, telling Cristina she could take a cue from the more attentive and caring Dr. Stevens.

Enough with the analogies, though, on to the real high schoolers: One girl was all worked up about talking to a plastic surgeon; naturally she turned out to be the pom captain, because God forbid we should experience too much subtlety in our teen characters here. (Sorry, are my own teen issues showing here? Go figure. Judge me at will.) ”Oh, my God, hot cheerleader ass,” Sloan whispered to Karev upon learning she had a broken tailbone, both getting back to his skeevy roots and blatantly misusing jargon. (She was a pom, not a cheerleader, which means she dances, as he himself had explained.) Made me feel far less bad for him later when some girls who were eyeing him in the cafeteria told him he looked like one of their dads.

Some poor kid elsewhere had a pencil jammed into his eye, but far more interesting was the teacher chaperone for the trip, who turned out to know one ”Mandy” — that is, the woman we know as hard-ass Bailey. There she was, giggling and flirting with good old D.B. Woodside (who looked relieved not to be pretending to run a country, à la 24, or entertaining the prospect of singing, à la Viva Laughlin), a track star she used to tutor in high school. ”I was certainly not a blithering idiot today or any other day in my life,” she, um, blithered when Hahn called her out on her behavior later.

NEXT: Adult children of an alcoholic

Totally off theme — but on second thought, not so much — Daddy Grey came into the hospital for care, thus providing our weekly dose of Father Issues and our quota of staffers’-family-member appearances. ”Should I go get Lexie?” Meredith stammered upon first encountering her drunken paternal figure, who’d put his hand through some glass. Which is exactly what I’d ask if I were in her situation, too, but, no, she’d have to deal with him on her own. She got her (sorta) reward when he told her he thought she was a ”very impressive person.”

Derek was dealing with his moving-on issues, clearly — though he didn’t know it yet — when he had an exchange with a suspiciously cute nurse in the OR about how she thinks the hospital is ”clique-y,” just like high school. But then he was right back on a bench with Meredith afterward, telling her about how his patient, pencil-eye kid, was in a coma he probably wouldn’t come out of. And Meredith was asking, ”Is it weird that I like my drunk dad more than my regular dad?” When Derek said that was, in fact, weird, he showed us one thing: Whatever his high school issues, drunk people weren’t part of them.

Gossip was the issue for George and Izzie. In fact, Izzie was standing about two feet away when she heard one intern gasp, ”Wow. O’Malley and Stevens are done. They didn’t even last a week.” Lexie, too, wasn’t too keen on folks talking behind her back, particularly Alex telling Meredith their dad had come in drunk for treatment. ”So you run to Meredith? The one person in the world I ask you not to tell?” I ask one thing of Lex from now on: Could you please say one line that doesn’t involve your obsession with Meredith? Please?

Cristina was resisting being seen as a brownnoser, though I’m not sure why — since when did that bug her at all? And Izzie was resisting her general ”prom queen” image, which the coma kid’s best friend tried to throw in her face. ”I wasn’t a prom queen,” Izzie said. ”I was the girl in the cheap clothes who got pregnant.” Hard to believe, but I’m actually like 8 percent closer to feeling sympathy for her again. Still 92 percent away from full-on sympathy, but we’re getting there.

As we started to wrap things up, the nurse from OR 2 showed up again to smile beguilingly at Derek, Cristina got comfortable with basically being Hahn’s bitch, and Lexie dropped the bomb on Meredith that Daddy says nice things to all the girls when he’s tipsy: ”He probably came in and told you how wonderful you are.” Ouch.

George snapped some sense back into our Dr. Mandy after watching her kowtow to D.B. Woodside: ”You know what he deserves? A long speech.” Of course, she gave the speech to McDreamy instead, (wrongly) assuming he was a high school hottie. Good old Ronnie set her straight, though. ”In high school I was 110 pounds and I hadn’t quite figured out hair product.” McD without hair product is like…well, really, too terrifying to contemplate. Kinda like high school itself.

What we do clearly need to look out for now is this nurse chick, Rose. Once you get a name on Grey’s Anatomy, and multiple audiences with Derek, you know you’re in for something. Meredith and Derek may have left Joe’s bar together once again, but don’t count on that happening for much longer.

What do you think? Did you like Mandy? Do any of the other characters’ backstories make you sympathize with them more or less? And would you also have preferred no narration with this episode?

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Grey's Anatomy

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

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