A seemingly happy Meredith considers making a big concession for Derek, while the hospital is literally falling down all around her

By Jennifer Armstrong
October 10, 2008 at 04:00 PM EDT
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‘Grey’s Anatomy’ recap: Soggy returns

Wow, this was kind of a “wackiness ensues” episode, wasn’t it? I mean, we learned important lessons about life and love and the pitfalls of leaky ceilings, plus some people had cancer and serious stuff, but generally, this had all kinds of high jinks. And, naturally, this was the episode I decided to share with my Grey’s Anatomy-virgin male suitor, who had such keen insights as “I hate all of these people.” Of course, even those of us who have hung on every minute of every episode hate all of them, but we do so with love, like hating one’s mother but not wanting others to hate her. Point being, this wasn’t the best sampling of the show to exemplify why I actually do think it’s a damn well-done network television program.

Case in point: I couldn’t even figure out what was really going on the first few minutes, with Meredith blathering in voice-over about “breaking points” and “signs of weakness.” I got that Derek wanted Alex and Izzie to move out of Meredith’s house before he moved in — that crazy Derek, always thinking he lives in a real-life adult world. But beyond that, it was a lot of dithering about nothing. More importantly (though not really, as there’s nothing more important than the minutiae of Derek and Meredith!), the Chief was setting some new rules to bring Seattle Grace’s ranking up since finding out it had dropped to No. 12 last episode. Which meant, among other things, that Cristina was off hearts and onto brains, on deck to help Derek with a patient who’d had a seven-year headache (the always fantastic Daniel J. Travanti, by the way), and might need a frontal lobotomy for it. (I smell an endorsement deal for Advil.)

The new rules also meant, as the Chief said in his rousing speech, that “Personal relationships, personal loyalties, and personal favorites will no longer be a factor in our training programs.” Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Also: “This is a surgical program. Psychiatry is on the fifth floor. Let’s not confuse the two.”

Once the Chief’s comedy routine was over, we learned that George was taking his exams again, finally. And I wasn’t sure if I should wonder why it took so long or why it feels like he’s always doing this or whether I really care anymore at all. Still, George persevered: “I can do this,” he said. “I’m not married and cheating on my wife with my best friend.” True enough. Carry on, Dr. O’Malley.

Derek, of course, was using this special brain-surgery time with Cristina to manipulate her onto his side in the should-Alex-and-Izzie-move-out debate. “If you were me, you’d want them out,” he said as they looked over some sort of brain scan thing. I’m with him on the sentiment, if not the execution. “Now is really not the time,” my date wisely observed. Oh, he so doesn’t understand anything about Grey’s Anatomy. Other things he doesn’t understand: Derek’s appeal. “The hair,” as Meredith explained to her overly happy and overly interested-in-Meredith’s-personal-life cancer patient. “It’s one of the many things that make me happy.” Oh, Meredith, me, too. Me, too.

NEXT: Water, water, everywhere

It’s weird, though, how Alex doesn’t want to cohabitate with Izzie, right? Oh, wait, no. I briefly slipped into Grey’s Anatomy mentality there for a minute. Actually, it’s totally reasonable to not want to live with a gorgeous woman you once slept with when you can’t handle an actual relationship with her for no discernible reason because the writers haven’t come up with one yet. And oh, my God, who cares, the entire hospital is leaking!

Now I was momentarily disoriented again. Ceiling leaks everywhere! That couldn’t be good! And they need an ENT specialist to fix the headache guy? Should I know what that is? Why does Lexie know what that is? Does Lexie know things? Also, someone has a tumor on a liver…oh, that super happy patient who’s overly interested in Meredith’s life. Yeah, still not really caring. Wrong, I know. There are only so many patients I can care about in any given week. I’m sorry. She seems like a nice person, just, no. You know why? Because when she’s dying, she says things like “How good is the hot boyfriend in bed?” Really? This is like Meredith’s ultimate fantasy: a woman on her deathbed caring more about Mer-Der drama than about her own tumor. You know I love Meredith, but sometimes this is all a little too much.

What I’m really wondering is: Is Lexie over her George love now? Oh, wait. Flood! Giant flood! Huge freaking flood through the whole hospital! Oh, wait, now an answer to my previous question, sort of, or at least a reference! “In spite of your unfortunate taste in men,” Sloane said to Lexie, “it turns out you’re not entirely worthless.” He, of course, was talking about her spot-on diagnosis of the headache dude’s problem — to bottom-line it, it had to do with his nose — and not anything sexual, even though everything sounds sexual from him. And I’m pretty sure these two are going to hook up eventually. Or maybe I just hope — it would give them something to do.

Anyway, then our favorite callous doctors once again learned valuable lessons from their patients. The headache patient had lost his wife the previous year and gave an incredibly touching speech about how she was “my favorite person,” which probably was supposed to mean something about Burke or whatever to Cristina — I didn’t care, as I was too busy being generally moved. (Cue text from colleague, Tanner Stransky: “OMG I’m misty.”) And the guy with the bad luck — the one who literally had the ceiling fall in on him while he was open on the table — realized that he should take the chance on surgery, not unlike the way Alex should take a chance on Izzie. Of course, he did, and of course, the ceiling fell in while he was open on the table (hate when that happens), and of course the docs found a tumor they wouldn’t have found otherwise, and of course his life was saved. Fortunes turned around.

Fortunes turned around when Cristina burst in on Meredith’s shrink, too — and completely inappropriately, I might add. Cristina didn’t think Meredith should kick her roommates out. The shrink thought she should. Go, shrink. Honestly, what grade are we in? And it turned out Cristina was clueless in another department as well: She didn’t even realize Izzie had wanted to live with her. She made the deposit on the house herself, thinking Izzie had just been sharing a promising listing with her. Oh, Cristina. Oh, Izzie. You’re so going to live together. And Mark is so going to sleep with Lexie. And is Hahn ever going to sleep with Callie. “I think I just hate him because he’s seen you naked,” Hahn told Callie, flirtatiousy, of Mark. Okay, I think so.

But Derek simply refuses to man up when it comes to Meredith. “They’re my family,” she whined to him about her roommates. “You can’t just assume I’m going to kick my family out.” My date made an excellent point: If it were her actual family, like parents or siblings, she’d kick them out to live with her chosen one, yes? “This show is for women,” he grumbled. He, of course, was right.

What do you think, TV Watchers? Bad example of Grey’s goodness, or just a normal day at Seattle Grace?

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