From Derek's prep to propose to Hunt's seduction of Cristina to Mark and Lexie's maybe-relationship, Seattle Grace is all about taking things to the next level

By Jennifer Armstrong
Updated February 06, 2009 at 05:00 PM EST
Randy Holmes/ABC

Grey's Anatomy

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So we’re Denny-free now, which is progress…though we’ve still got some dead weight bouncing around Seattle Grace, not to mention some hit-and-miss story lines. Here, the good and bad of this week’s Grey’s Anatomy:

Good: Derek’s impending proposal Sure, it was a little out of character for Meredith to offhandedly remark, after observing a couple who’d just checked in (the lovely Jennifer Westfeldt as a pregnant woman and the husband she’d just accidentally run over) that they’d have cute babies. ”Not as cute as ours, but…cute.” But it’s nice to see Mer progress, and I do think it’s cool that she and Derek play the role reversal — he wants to settle down, she’s scared — so well. And the bit where all the boys were talking about how he was going to propose, and then they had to play it off like they were talking work (”Not if you don’t want a…hematoma!” followed by a bellow of laughter) — pretty cute, really. Meredith subsequently freaked out because she could tell he’d been acting weird since the baby comment, and she wondered if perhaps he just didn’t want to have babies with her: ”My babies will have Alzheimer’s and suicidal tendencies and split ends.” Of course, that wasn’t the case — but you’ve gotta give Mer credit for self-awareness, at least.

Bad: Izzie running tests on herself — with the help of clueless interns — to figure out why ghosty Denny was trying to tell her she was about to die Would’ve been a little better if she’d found out she was more than anemic, or found out something, or advanced any story at all. Granted, I doubt we’ve dropped this just yet, but this whole plotline was a total dead-end, no thanks to what’s apparently the worst class of interns in all of medical history. They cut each other open? Laugh in the face of a guy who comes in after a, ahem, sex-related accident? (More on that in a minute.) Grossly under-utilize Melissa George’s character? And now apparently run tests without question on a woman we’re sure is dying, but find she just needs iron supplements? No wonder this damn hospital is No. 12.

Worrisome: Bailey’s career Could not love a character or an actress more, but I fear for her future. Great, the chief wants to promote her to an attending in general surgery. And she’s torn between that and the grueling nature of pediatrics, which requires doctors to watch children die. Sounds like an interesting personal essay for O magazine (with a sidebar on bedazzling heart-monitor backpacks!), but I’m not interested enough to watch this dilemma played out for weeks on my soapy doctor show.

NEXT: The Hunt is on

Bad: Seriously, Dr. Dixon is still here? She’s the new Denny! How many chances does a brilliant heart doc with Asperger’s Syndrome get, when she’s constantly scaring the crap out of patients and having meltdowns? I feel for her, but it just seems like maybe this job, which requires constant contact with distressed people, is not a great fit. Also not a bad O magazine essay, and also not anything I need taking precious time away from hookups in the on-call room.

Middling: The medical cases these days Eric Stoltz as a death row inmate the last few weeks posing huge ethical dilemmas as well as interpersonal tension for our docs? Great. But this season has also featured a preponderance of ho-hum cases that don’t push the characters’ buttons or resonate with their personal lives like they used to consistently do. Cases in point this week: the massively underused Westfeldt, whose character sorta just had a seizure and then a cute convo with Derek about proposing to Meredith, and that’s about it; and the dude with, um, something stuck inside of him after he and his wife tried something from a magazine article called ”20 Techniques to Reignite the Night.” Cute and funny, but could’ve been more intertwined with the regulars on the show. (Ew, no, not that intertwined.) Points off for imparting the information that it would require a ”manual extraction.” P.S. How many emergency-care-requiring sex injuries happen? Because we’ve had them two weeks and running on this show, after Mark’s penile fracture last week. Should we be more worried about this sort of thing?

Upside of Sex Injuries: Fun cafeteria humor! Though I would’ve liked more from our victim of night-reignition, he did provide fodder for that very Grey’s exchange over lunch that sent Alex and Izzie off to try ”No. 16” — with a warning from Lexie not to do it ”too fast” — and Cristina’s final word: ”Do you know who likes a good 12?” she asked, knowingly pointing at the diary she’s been reading…about Meredith’s mom’s affair with the Chief.

Good: Cristina and Hunt I’ve made it pretty clear how I feel about them as a couple, but they bring it every week. And slowly, which I like even more. That full 40 seconds of silent sexual tension as they walked down the hallway was bliss (and all the argument I need for workplace romance). Later, when she held him through his panic attack, then let him fall asleep on her in the in-call room — that even redeemed Dixon’s existence a bit, since Cristina had learned about the medical benefits of touch while helping her calm down. And I don’t redeem Dixon’s existence for just anyone.

NEXT: The ghost of T.R. Knight

Wearing thin: Callie’s emo phase I am enjoying her new bangs, and I actually liked the lecture she gave Mark: ”Don’t spend all your time wondering what you are or who you like or whether it’s right for you or wrong for you. Just let yourself be happy before you find yourself lonely. Or celibate.” (If folks at Seattle Grace took that advice, there’d be no show!) But she’s also starting to sound like one of those annoying friends who starts whining about her lack of romantic partner seven minutes after dumping the last one; yeah, that Hahn thing sucked, but it wasn’t that long ago. You are not celibate, sweetheart, you are simply between partners, like a very normal single person. And by the end of the episode, Arizona was kissing her in the ladies’ room at Joe’s out of nowhere anyway — which was awkward and forced, if you ask me, but certainly solves Callie’s ”celibacy” issue…and kinda makes her complaining more annoying.

Bad: T.R. Knight’s virtual invisibility Are they fading him out gradually so that perhaps we just don’t notice when he stops showing up? He had literally one appearance in this episode. ”I see a crazy person taking expensive tests for no reason,” he said to Izzie when she was having the interns run brain scans and such on her. So…a few weeks back he was the only one noticing signs she might be sick, and now he’s berating her for checking for problems? Because they pretty much just give him whatever leftover lines need to be said but aren’t so much attached to a specific character? Is this some kind of budget-cut issue? What?

Jury Still Out: This new intrigue surrounding Derek’s almost-proposal Just after Mark finished helping him bedeck the bedroom with tons of roses (aww), he got a cell phone call that seemed indeterminately distressing. By the time Meredith got home, the roses were gone (would’ve been no easy task, mind you, to clear those suckers out) and so was he. Though she did find one stray petal underneath the pillow. Hmmm.

What do you think? What’s on your Grey’s Anatomy best and worst lists? Should Derek pop the question already? Is Izzie really sick? Would Meredith really have liked all those roses — and that giant stuffed teddy bear — anyway?

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Grey's Anatomy

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

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