While Bailey tries to give six people new kidneys from six other donors, Callie turns to Sloan for some technical advice, and Lexie wises up

By Jennifer Armstrong
Updated October 24, 2008 at 04:00 PM EDT

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ recap: Twelve is enough

I wish I could be all Grey’s Anatomy-voice-over-like and come up with a stretched metaphor to explain why I’m giving you my commentary liveblog style, but…Oh, wait, I got it! See, lives were saved — and, in fact, nobody even died! — so think of this as a celebration of lives…life…whatever. Honestly, I just had a lot of minute-by-minute thoughts on this episode, which was rife with kidney transplants, intern trading, and cunnilingus discussions (something there are far too few of in mainstream popular culture). Apologies if the minute-by-minute is slightly off; I did my best, but please do not synchronize your DVR viewing to this account. Here goes:

9:01 In voice-over Meredith says, “We like to think we’re independent, loners, mavericks….” And now I hate that I’m thinking about Sarah Palin. I hate even more that I’m thinking about her instead of McCain. Even more still that it’s during Callie and Hahn’s lesbian date scene. And even more still that now I’m imagining ABC calling her in for a guest spot — she is quite the little ratings-getter. Ah, no worries, they’d probably send her to Private Practice first, since they need a lot more help.

9:03 The Annals of American Neurosurgery put a big picture of Derek on the cover? With his hair covered by his surgical cap? Do they know nothing about selling magazines? And here we go, they dubbed his and Meredith’s clinical trial from last year “the Shepherd Method.” No Grey. Excellent. A new thing for them to fight about.

9:04 Sloan, looking at the cover shot: “Do you think they airbrushed this? The man does not have one damn pore.” I wouldn’t buy a dude obsessing over pores, except that he is a plastic surgeon. Fine. They win.

9:05 Callie, to Sloan, on her date: “I choked. I couldn’t go down there.” See, now this is interesting, and exactly what I’ve been wondering about with the whole insta-lesbian concept. Sure, you can be really into a girl, and even think she’s hot. But can you be falling so in love with her that you can handle… that? Anyway, Sloan is having none of the girl talk — apparently girl-on-girl is only hot when it’s going porn-style well.

9:07 This just in: I like Meredith’s side braid.

9:08 So it turns out the big medical story of the night is “paired matching kidney donation,” a.k.a. something about dominoes. The point is that a bunch of people get together and swap kidneys so the sick people get healthy. I like that Grey’s is doing this: Please donate your organs. It’s nice and good and helps save people. Thank you.

9:11 Hey, is that kidney patient the cute guy from Adventures in Babysitting and Father of the Bride? Yes, George Newbern! And that other kidney patient is Carl Lumbly — Dixon from Alias!

9:13 Apparently it’s cool to get a kidney in a jar as a souvenir of surgery, but, as Bailey says, and I must agree, “Diseased kidneys are not tchotchkes for your coffee table.”

NEXT: Intern trading

9:16 Awww, Carl Lumbly has to pay his son $10K to give a kidney. This is apparently borderline illegal, which Bailey once again stepped in to explain to Izzie, who had presented this to her as a hypothetical: “As someone who stole an organ not so long ago, you should know your patient would be out of the exchange.” Why Bailey doesn’t just narrate, I don’t know; she’s the one who knows everything.

9:18 Oh, dear, the selfless saint girl who appears to be donating her kidney just to be nice is actually Father of the Bride guy’s mistress. And Bailey looks pretty pissed that this might screw the whole kidney-trade ring.

9:25 Derek and Sloan sparring because Derek now has a published clinical trial and Sloan doesn’t? Hot.

9:26 Poor saint girl says of her married boyfriend, “I’m saving his life too. So then he’ll finally have to choose — her or me.” That really does bring the the other woman’s patheticness to a whole new level, doesn’t it. Also, I really like the Sloan-Callie buddy dynamic these days. And I like that Cristina is now calling Lexie-of-the-photographic-memory “Lexipedia.”

9:28 It’s official: I’m digging this domino thing as a medical plot. In all honesty, I wasn’t so into it from the promos, but they sold me with the drama. I know that’s their M.O. in general, but they really nailed how intertwined humanity can be. Or I’m just thinking deep today.

9:29 The uncomfortable moments between Carl Lumbly and his kid? Priceless. But do people really do this in front of their doctors all the time? I cannot imagine just unloading my baggage while two doctors stood there, even if they were preternaturally attractive doctors who also sometimes made out in their on-call room. But maybe that’s just me.

9:29 “This being a decent guy one second and a total jerk the next, it’s getting really old, Alex,” Izzie is saying. “So who’s it going to be? Pick one.” This might be the exact moment that Izzie crossed over from borderline to cool again. If she can stay off the Denny hallucinations, I’m back on her side.

9:31 Why do I love Cristina so much when she’s a bitch? Her resident teardown is golden.

9:32 Wow, put Derek on a magazine cover and suddenly he has the balls to tell Meredith off? We should’ve gotten this guy a clinical trial two seasons ago. “You don’t deserve it,” he tells her when she demands credit for their work. “You’re a baby. You have the potential to be a good surgeon, maybe a great one. But you haven’t even scratched the surface on what you need to learn.” Attitude adjustment, done.

NEXT: Callie really tries to get it right

9:33 Oh, God, Father of the Bride‘s wife is officially out, and the entire kidney ring is broken. Is some staffer going to give a kidney? Please tell me no.

9:35 This lesbian thing keeps getting more interesting: Callie just broke it to Hahn that she wasn’t that into her — or at least, you know, it. Well played. Well acted. Well done.

9:36 Carl Lumbly is doing an awesome job, but I keep thinking he’s going to reveal that he’s investigating an international terrorist group that uses kidney exchanges to, like, pass microchips from spy to spy. Or take off his face and reveal he’s really Sydney Bristow. Or something.

9:38 Damn, Bailey is good. She’s guilt-tripping the scorned wife into still giving her kidney. Yay, we don’t have to see someone, say Alex, redeem himself by giving an organ.

9:39 Wow, do kidneys really look like that? Ew.

9:40 And now we’ve learned that a “geyser of urine” is a good thing in kidney transplant surgery, a fact I could’ve lived a long time without knowing.

9:41 Whoa, Meredith’s dropped a kidney! And Bailey’s calling five-second rule!

9:43 “I like to be good at things,” Callie explains to Sloan in the on-call room while he’s trying to nap. “And I wanna be good at this. So I need you. I need you to show me….Just because you didn’t publish a big clinical trial doesn’t mean you’re not a genius.” Yes, he’s going to demonstrate how to give oral sex to a woman. Right there. On her. Going bi really does have advantages, doesn’t it? This is totally ridiculous, but I like sex in the on-call room, so I’ll take it when I can get it.

9:44 I really don’t want to ever get a kidney transplant now. This is not what a hypchondriac needs to see.

9:46 The mistress: “He hasn’t called my room. He hasn’t asked for me.…I gave a kidney for him, and he still hasn’t made a choice.” Cristina: “He hasn’t asked for you or called. I think he’s made a choice.” I need her to come talk sense to me the next time I’m all twisted up over some idiot.

9:47 Anyone else think it was hot when Alex yelled at Carl Lumbly’s kid for being an uncaring brat?

9:48 I’m glad Lexie yelled at George for not even thinking to pick her as his intern after all she’d done for him. It made her interesting for like 10 seconds. But I still prefer my Greys emo.

9:55 The kid crying at his dad’s bed is totally making me cry. Daddy issues will always get me.

9:56 Now Bailey’s letting Derek have it: “That girl worked her ass off for you and you got all the credit.” She does have a point. Especially when she goes on about them also living together: “That’s not simple, it’s messy. If I were you, I’d start with thank you. You’d be surprised how far that one goes, especially with us silly, emotional women.”

9:58 Oh, God. Derek’s appeasing Meredith with a kidney in a jar. I’m kinda wishing Derek had stuck with being an ass, and not just because I don’t like seeing kidneys in jars at bars.

9:59 Callie’s in her underwear! This is really a lot of talk about oral sex in one prime-time show!

10:00 Izzie just kicked my ass by insisting on telling Alex “I care about you” over and over until he kissed her. This is so good I’m almost ready to give her one free “dream about Denny” pass. Almost.

10:01 Wait, the hot military doctor is just magically there at the bar when Cristina is horny? Okay. Fine. I’ll buy it. But that’s only because I like his scruff.

So what did you think? Best medical case of the season so far? Should Derek have stuck to his opinion or maybe just chosen flowers? And what about Izzie? Is she back in your good graces?