The surgeons weigh the life of a child versus that of a murderer, while Izzie tries to get to the crux of her Denny issue

By Jennifer Armstrong
Updated January 23, 2009 at 05:00 PM EST
Craig Sjodin/ABC

Grey's Anatomy

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I was in denial last week — of Sloan and Lexie, of New Blond Doctor, of Denny’s continued ghostly presence. I think I moved right through anger last week, too (mostly thanks to Denny). Since bargaining is moot in this economy — I’m doing whatever I’m told around here, especially since my job is watching TV. And, on that note, we’ve got plenty of depression to go around, so let’s move straight to acceptance, shall we?

Denny’s here, fine. Got it. In fact, he wouldn’t leave Izzie alone as we started this third of a Grey’s three-parter featuring the dead one, as well as the kid who needed organs and the serial killer. At least at this point, Izzie was as sick of him as we were: ”You are like the guy who graduated from high school and still hangs out on the football field,” she snapped at him. And okay, Lexie and Mark are a thing. Fine. I’d already started warming up to them last week, so I’m dealing with them now. And it was even sorta cute that Lexie ended up, well, breaking Mark. (Okay, breaking his penis.) Cute as in funny ha-ha, as in, we didn’t have much other relief from the relentless death and darkness this week, so we had to take what we could get.

Derek came in all gleeful and full of love for Meredith — even flashing an engagement ring at Cristina for approval, though she was still mad at Mer for …whatever they’ve been fighting about for a while. Of course, while he was flitting about, Meredith was deliberately not telling him that Eric Stoltz-as-death-row-prisoner’s head was bleeding out. Eric Stoltz kept saying he wanted to die and didn’t want Shepherd paged, but even Bailey — who wanted his organs for her prized young patient, Jackson — felt weird at first about just letting him go without trying to save him.

Cristina had her own problems, namely waking up next to a passed-out Hunt after their date went awry in his drunken haze. When he cornered her at work later and tried to apologize, she at first said it was okay and then said, actually, ”It’s not. But you don’t have to talk about it.” Then she scampered away. Talk about denial.

NEXT: The Lost Grey’s experience

Izzie was experiencing a different form of denial — well, more like confusion — as Denny kept following her around and repeating, ”I’m here for you.” I was just as flummoxed, but I’m proud to say I’d accomplished so much acceptance that I even found it somewhat interesting, this dilemma of one person not being able to let go of another, even in death. Which one of them really couldn’t let go? What happens when you don’t have a choice? Doesn’t that happen sometimes even when both of you are alive, that you want to let go of each other but can’t? Or maybe this was about something else altogether: ”I can’t go because you won’t listen to me,” he told her. ”You’re a doctor. Figure it out.” I’m not a doctor, so I couldn’t. (Though part of me started developing elaborate space-time continuum theories that linked to Lost‘s vast web of intrigue. I mean, both shows do have hot leading men who first found fame as teen stars and whose characters now are both named Shepherd. Coincidence? I don’t think so. I also happened to have watched Wednesday night’s Lost premiere 2.5 times. I can pretty much find Lost mythology in a Britney Spears video at this point, so I’m certainly apt to find it wherever dead people are walking again.) I was relieved, in a way, to finally see Izzie’s crazy leaking out publicly, too, as when she snapped at Denny while she was working on a patient with Arizona (yes, I’m accepting that Blonde Doctor exists, has a name, and is played by Jessica Capshaw). I mean, let’s just get this story line moving if we’re going to do it. Even Alex was reaching the end of his patience: ”You wanna do that crap at home, fine.” But yeah, if my doctor talks to spirits in front of me, I might get a little worried.

The prisoner/kid dilemma reached a truly interesting climax, too, when Eric Stoltz suddenly changed his mind and said, ”I don’t want to die.” Of course, that happened just as our little Jackson was fading, with little hope. Things got so bad that Miranda barged into the operating room just as Derek was about to operate on Eric Stoltz — who, I’ll remind you, would be executed in five days regardless — to beg Shepherd to just let him die so Jackson could have his organs. The chief and George were basically going door-to-door asking the families of brain-dead patients to give up their livers and intestines, but who knew whether that would work. Shepherd left it totally up to Bailey, which didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. He’s usually pretty assertive when it comes to work, and here he was ready to bloody up her hands? But I think he knew she’d choose following the Hippocratic Oath and saving the prisoner’s life. Which she did. When Meredith muttered about what a waste it was as they finished up the surgery, Derek retorted, ”We saved a life. That’s never a waste.”

NEXT: Izzie figures it out

Jackson was still crashing, and Izzie stepped out of yet another backroom confrontation with Denny to comfort Jackson’s mom. She echoed Denny’s words that Jackson would always be there for her, or she’d always be there for Jackson, or something like that — and for a minute I thought we’d endured weeks of resurrected Denny just to learn that dead people never leave us in spirit. But the chief stepped in just in time with organs that he’d pushed a not-quite-yet widow to part with, so that wasn’t the lesson after all…or at least that wasn’t the lesson we’d learn from Jackson. He was whisked into the operating room while Izzie stepped outside to finally figure out what Denny was getting at: He was there for her, as in there to get her, and take her to heaven. There was something wrong with her. We were still not clear on what was wrong with her, since she’d had zero symptoms besides the fact she was hallucinating her dead fiancé. But she did say she was sick. And he did seem to disappear. (Strangely I felt more relieved to see him go than worried about a major character possibly having a life-threatening ailment.)

After all of that intensity, it was tough to muster a whole lot of sympathy for the injured Sloan. But while he was under the competent medical care of Dr. Hunt, the interns wouldn’t stop speculating about who’d injured him …until Sadie took the blame so Lexie wouldn’t be found out. Awww. Sadie also sweetly volunteered to stand watch outside Mark’s recovery room while Lexie went in to comfort him and stroke his hair. Awww x 2. Hunt and Cristina finally got a brief sweet moment as well, when he told her he’d like another chance to take her on a proper date — he’d planned to take her to a lighthouse to watch the Northern Lights except that he’d gotten all plastered and stuff. She wisely deduced, ”You’ve got some problems. You’ve got some big problems.” She said yes. And normally I would strongly advise any real-life girlfriend against dating recently discharged military doctors who’ve just come from war and are now drinking heavily, but for the purposes of television, I beg her to go for it. And I think she will.

The drama went over the top even by Grey’s Anatomy standards, though, when Meredith went to witness Eric Stoltz’s execution. I mean, really? I was relieved, however, to see Derek waiting for her outside afterwards — I could not bear to watch this thing tear them apart, especially when he’s yet to give her the ring. He even persuaded Cristina to comfort Meredith when she couldn’t stop crying post-execution — resulting in at least a momentary truce of sorts.

Kinda like the one I’m calling with Grey’s for now.

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Grey's Anatomy

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

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