Bailey overcomes her emotions and treats a white supremacist; plus, Lexie learns about Alex's relationship with Ava but finds a possible love interest in Seth Green

”Grey’s Anatomy” recap: Bailey rises above

Attitude adjustments were on the menu this Thanksgiving — and I couldn’t be more thankful. Great life lessons from truly touching patient stories, some more great smackdowns courtesy of Dr. Hahn, and a dash of romantic comeuppance — what more could you ask for?

I had a good feeling about this episode when it began with Cristina dancing. Love dancing Cristina, love being reminded that I can love Cristina. Naturally, Meredith had to do her best to ruin the moment by blah-blah-blah-ing about Thatcher and Lexie and how her problem is she’s ”sleeping with a man who’s dating” and how she’s still not over her issues. Though, in her defense, she did eventually shut up and dance, unlike Izzie, who just huffed on into the next room and ranted to her supposed lover, ”We should be dancing, George. Why aren’t we dancing?” Because you two are a plot device that never should have happened, darling, and the sooner you accept that, the better.

One well-deserving character, however, was getting her plot on in a (mostly) good way: Miranda. How exciting to finally learn that she actually has a house! Seeing that for the first time — along with her adorable kid — was worth having to listen to her husband moan about why is she never home and why does he have to unload the dishwasher and why is he the only one taking care of their kid? Dude, yeah, househusbandry sucks sometimes, deal. Though, again, getting Miranda some dramatic personal material is a step in the right direction, so we’ll go with it, even if it is basically the Chief’s wrecked-marriage story line with gender role reversal.

At the hospital, Meredith was still on about, you know, her family issues or whatever while Derek charmingly, gently, photogenically chided her: ”You talk about them an awful lot for someone who doesn’t care….You care because you’re you.” Aww, what a nice way of saying, ”You care because you’re self-obsessed.” Though Little Sister clearly could use some guidance at this point, given that she was getting all moony over Alex kissing her in the corner before the big morning meeting everyone was talking about.

As it turned out, Sloan had called apparently the vast majority of the staff together to announce that Seth Green was their big guest-star patient for this Thanksgiving — and sweeps month! — episode. Well, that, and to tell them Seth’s carotid artery was probably going to explode any second so they should totally put pressure on it and stuff to stop it if it happened. Which pretty much guaranteed that was going to happen, right? Especially since it sounded so awesomely scary and dramatic. Hey, that would make a great cliff-hanger, wouldn’t it? Oh, sorry, getting way ahead of myself. Perhaps that’s me wanting to get back to my Thanksgiving feasting. Anyway, Seth Green naturally turned out to be the obligatory witty patient of the night as well, using said wit to try to woo Lexie. Clearly bucking for Denny status here, which I’m not totally opposed to. These poor doctors can only meet potential love interests two ways, and God knows getting it on with each other is doing them no good these days. Seth told Lexie his ex was ”a nice girl disguised as a vapid narcissist,” but then ”it turned out she was a vapid narcissist.” But Lexie, bless her heart, insisted that she really did like her alleged current boyfriend, that he really was just ”a nice guy disguised as a jerk.” We saw where that was going, too, but more on that later.

This is a good time to mention that the guest stars tonight, from Seth Green on through, really made this episode — a nice change in focus from the wallowing Seattle Gracers. And no one shined more touchingly than Ray and Stan, those two paramedics crunched under their vehicle together after the ambulance collision. I could barely breathe whenever they were on screen. And I was crying pretty much anytime they talked, no more so than during that conversation about how Stan, the sliced-in-half one who was clearly going to die when they moved him, met his wife with the aid of the song ”I Can See Clearly.” That and the bit about how Stan thought Ray should totally tell chicks in bars the story of how his best friend died so he could ”get some tail.” Here, doctors, are two people who have earned the right to talk about their sex lives during a medical emergency.

As for the much less injured paramedic in the other ambulance who vehemently requested a male doctor, I honestly didn’t see where he was going once he wouldn’t let Bailey or the Chief touch him. I guess that’s a testament to how wonderfully Grey’s has blended its multicolored cast at this point — I actually needed the Chief to tell me that this dude wasn’t so much concerned about having a female doctor as he was about having a black one. Props, too, for dealing with the color issue in some fashion here; such a great, diverse group of folks would be bound to face some kind of racism at some point. I did like Bailey’s solution — getting Yang, who’s neither black nor white — even if it did mean pulling her out of Hahn’s service the one time Hahn seemed totally fine with having her around. ”Someone will be here to save the master race soon enough,” Bailey brilliantly snapped at him while waiting for Cristina. When Yang did arrive and finally examine him to ”give him the best medical treatment” because ”it’s the law,” she found a giant swastika tattoo on his stomach. This, dear viewers, is how you make a medical case interesting without simply making it mirror another silly issue in the residents’ angsty love lives.

NEXT: Meredith momentarily stops obsessing about herself

Meredith was getting a lesson in things that matter outside of herself, too, by tending to the paramedics still trapped in their ambulance — and, harder still, fetching Stan’s wife so she could be there for his last moments. ”In her story, that’s who I am,” Meredith said to the chief. ”That’s who I’ll always be.” What, other people are allowed to have stories? Shocking. Karev was reaping what he’d sown, meanwhile, after letting surprise visitor Ava (doesn’t this woman ever call ahead?) watch from the gallery as he helped on the Hahn surgery. Yes, of course, Lexie sat down right next to her and they chatted. And it may have come up that Ava was there to see her kinda beau, who happened to be one and the same as Lexie’s kinda beau. ”I’m sure what you’re talking about is endlessly fascinating, Dr. Karev,” Hahn said while he and Izzie whispered about his little drama. ”But I have my heart set on saving a life today.”

Lives were saved elsewhere, too: Stan ended up spotting a piece of ambulance jammed in Ray’s back just before he himself died, and Bailey skipped lunch with her husband to perform surgery on the (literal) Nazi. ”I’m rising above,” she told George when he resisted being the token white in the room for the operation. ”And I do not want to be crossed while I am rising.” Side note: Beautiful camera shot of her cutting through the swastika tattoo — one of the few times I’ve been happy to see blood on this show. Bailey gave the whole affair the perfect coda, too: ”No one better ever call me Nazi again.”

And finally, back to that precarious Seth Green situation for a pretty great coda on this entire episode. All the gallery drama sent Lexie running to Seth (he must have had a character name, but I never noticed), and I have to say I like her with him. Maybe it’s just because she hasn’t foisted her family crap on him just yet, but at any rate she’s much more pleasant that way. Before she can go out on a proper date with him and make Alex jealous, though, she’s going to have to fix that whole carotid-artery thing — because it did that exploding thing just when their little flirtation was finally going his way. Gosh these Grey girls are tragic. Maybe there’s a reason they’re so darn self-involved after all.

What do you think? Is there any future for Lexie and Seth? How about her and Karev? How long till Izzie and George stick a fork in it? And didn’t the computer crash in Derek’s OR make your tech-support issues seem a little trivial?

Episode Recaps

Grey's Anatomy

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

  • TV Show
  • 18
  • TV-14
  • Shonda Rhimes
  • ABC
stream service