As the docs go through the holidays, Bailey deals with her father, Sloan meets his daughter, and Owen makes a choice
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Greys Anatomy
Credit: Danny Feld/ABC
ELLEN POMPEO

Last night’s was our last Grey’s Anatomy until 2010, and they packed it full of holiday goodies, didn’t they? Alcoholism, miracle surgeries, and lots of great Cristina-Owen love. Let us walk through the winter wonderland of hospital drama:

Thanksgiving

The Chief explained to Meredith that he’d once suffered from ”situational depression” and had ”diagnosed” himself with alcoholism back when he was entangled in an affair with her mother. ”She escalated my drinking, too,” Meredith quipped sympathetically. In a lovely paternal moment, he observed that she’s got the potential to be as great a surgeon as her mom was. ”Maybe you would like a mentor,” he said. ”Maybe I can teach you some things.” God knows she could use a Father Figure, so she happily accepted.

Cristina and Owen, meanwhile, gave me reason to be thankful for on-call-room sex with some hot and heavy action. (Oh, how I’ve missed you, on-call-room sex!) But then, of course, Teddy paged Cristina, throwing cold water on the whole operation. Then again, it was for good reason: Cristina’s new cardio goddess asked her to scrub in on an operation to remove a bad heart transplant — and, um, then put the girl on a machine that would pump her blood for her until a new heart was available. Worse, this turned out to be the really unfortunate end to what appeared to be a pretty darn good fourth date. Poor guy stuck around though.

We also met another patient, a kid with a cluster of blood vessels in his brain, and … look at that, Sloan’s super-hot, blond, 18-year-old, long-lost daughter. Apparently long-lost daughters can just walk right up to doctors while they’re examining patients, because there’s nothing better than giving a guy a life-changing shock while he’s poking at someone’s burned flesh. (Is this another budget-cut thing? No security? No privacy curtains? 2009 is rough.) Callie quickly offered to administer a paternity test. (Advantage to finding out someone claims to be your daughter while in a hospital: Easy access to supplies.) It was positive, and he was stuck with her — and thus facing his own mortality. ”It’s like death has come to call,” he told Derek. P.S. Her first name is Sloan! Get it? But I can’t call her that here without confusing everything. Darn TV writers never think of how their decisions will affect the recappers!

Anyway, yeah, so, that kid with the blood vessels in his brain. Derek couldn’t operate because it was buried too deep; he’d have to go through the sinus cavity, but his instruments weren’t small enough to do that on a kid. Things looked bleak all around.

As the residents dug into their Thanksgiving lunches in the cafeteria, mopey Alex suggested that instead of the traditional say-what-you’re-thankful-for, ”We should do the opposite and say everything we’re not grateful for.” (That is so 2009. I say we all do it this year.) Their list consisted mostly of the merger, the merger, and the merger. (I have to agree. Though I enjoyed that first episode introducing the Mercy Westers, I’m finding them a tad superfluous now. The way Teddy has been introduced — immediately hooking her deep into established characters’ lives — worked so much better. I think the only one we saw this whole episode was Dr. Hotness, and all he did was skulk around the very outskirts of some surgeries.)

When the time for the real Thanksgiving dinner — at Callie and Cristina’s place, our new favorite haunt — we learned that Sloan’s Daughter Sloan would be moving in with him and Lexie. The news caused Lexie to promptly chop off her own fingertip while slicing celery. Happy Thanksgiving, Lexie!

NEXT: Presents for everyone

Christmastime

Mark still barely knew what to say to his newfound daughter a month later. Lexie urged him to get to know her, trying to convince him she was likable before giving up: ”She’s a vapid, vapid girl. But she’s your daughter. So try.” Suddenly Sloan’s Daughter Sloan revealed herself to be awesomely horrible; as he approached her timidly to start a conversation, she whipped around and spat, ”What are you looking at, you old perv?” Ah, karmically, that seems like exactly the kind of daughter Mark should get. Even more so because he knew the girl’s mother was pregnant, and he gave her ”a couple hundred bucks” then skipped town, assuming she’d get an abortion.

The heartless girl was still hanging on, and noted how weird it was to have no heartbeat. (That really, really would be creepy and weird, no?) ”You just need to hang on ’til New Year’s Eve,” Cristina told her. ”A lot of drunk drivers, a lot of brain death. It’s an organpalooza.” Heartless Girl’s unfortunate date was still sticking by her, and he told her it was snowing to cheer her up — then, suddenly, she wanted to go outside to see it in case she died. Seemed like a terrible idea for her health, but we knew they’d do it if only because it would make one hell of a TV scene. As they wheeled her out, Teddy told a story about Hunt ordering a snowmaker for his guys back in Iraq during Christmastime. (This prompted Dr. Hotness’ one moment of the night, when he quipped, ”Ooh, Hunt. Hunt’s so delicious when he’s tending to bloody soldiers. Love me some Hunt.”) Once they got outside, the dreamy Hunt showed up, complete with that never-fails move, draping a jacket around Cristina’s shoulders to keep her warm. But then he ruined the moment by dropping a, ”Teddy’s always been a sucker for Christmas.” And the heart patient reveled in the falling snow … then collapsed. The next scene, we saw that she was okay — but her part of her bowel had died, indicating trouble ahead.

In the Derek’s Miracle of the Week department, he and Sloan were inventing new equipment to do the blood-vessel kid’s surgery. There was, however, no funding for this new project. Derek, Arizona, and Mark offered to use their bonuses to cover the cost — duh, there weren’t going to be any bonuses this year. (Really, they were still expecting bonuses? What year were they living in?) Derek and Arizona promptly offered to write checks to cover it anyway, then awaited Mark’s response. ”I have a teenager,” he said. ”What if she wants to go to college?” Arizona’s cold (funny) retort: ”Have you met her?” He was in, too.

Miranda’s apparently ageless father showed up, mostly because she’s one of the few main doctors whose parents we haven’t seen — but it was ostensibly to talk her out of getting a divorce. Or scold her for getting one. Callie, who was in full comic supporting player mode after facing down her own daddy issues a few weeks ago, went and had a talk with him as he watched Miranda do a hernia surgery from the gallery. First Callie was blathering on about a guy who came in with two broken wrists from a Christmas light electric shock, then segued right into, ”Anyway, I’m dating women. My family had a really hard time accepting it.” The little talking-to didn’t seem to work, though, because next thing we knew Daddy Bailey was deriding his daughter for wasting her time on a ”fat man’s hernia” (and showing that her penchant for speechifying was genetic): ”For the first time in my life, I felt ashamed of you. This is what you do on Christmas? For this you traded your husband?” Harsh.

NEXT: It’s a new year

Finally, everyone ended up at Meredith’s house for Christmas dinner, resulting in a holiday tableaux that felt like a sort-of weird Grey’s Anatomy dream sequence. Arizona and the Chief were duetting on ”Baby, It’s Cold Outside” while Owen played the guitar and Teddy made eyes at him. And Asher was there? Oh, right, Meredith gave him that organ and he is Lexie’s dad. Fine. Not all was perfect, though. He told Meredith the Chief was an alcoholic in denial, but she got all snippy and asked him if he was drinking when he abandoned her as a child. When he said no, she shot back, ”Well, then, we can’t blame the world’s evils on alcohol, can we?” Miranda and her father then arrived, after she’d successfully fixed Heartless Girl’s bowel problem. But Daddy Bailey scolded her when she proclaimed her joy over the surgery at the table (complete with the dinner-unfriendly word ”bowel”). She delivered a classic Bailey monologue — long, awkward pauses and all — defending herself: ”Part of my happiness is the fact that I got to repair a woman’s bowel and save her life tonight. That is God’s work.” Now pass the green beans!

New Year’s

Lexie pushed Mark to talk to his daughter about leaving — ”talk to her right now or no more sex for you” — and, of course, Sloan’s Daughter Sloan revealed she was pregnant and had nowhere to go. Happy New Year’s, Lexie! Please keep all your appendages intact this time!

Derek got his instruments and performed his Miracle of the Week … just as midnight struck, and everyone kissed each other in celebration through their masks. The Cristina-Owen-Teddy triumvirate celebrated with some fireworks of their own with a great succession of scenes. First there was that bit where Cristina saw Owen and thought he was looking at her with affection only to realize he was watching Teddy that way. Then there was Owen’s wonderfully direct way of dealing with that, by immediately pulling Teddy into a vacant room and confronting her about her confession of feelings for him last week. ”I have loved you when I was single,” she told him. ”I have loved you when I was coupled up.” Then her worst nightmare (and our best dream) happened: He said he loved Cristina now … just as Teddy got a page from Cristina. She’d found a heart from a brain-dead patient and was rejoicing: ”That is why New Year’s Eve is my favorite holiday.” Teddy took out her own feelings on Cristina by showing her a man sobbing over his dying daughter to bring home the fact that this wasn’t all good news for everyone. But, joy, the Heartless Girl did get her heart — and that guy she’d gone on four dates with proposed! ”We went through a war together,” he said, winning the Heavy-Handed Dialogue of the Night award. But hey, I’ll take anything that leads to what came next — Cristina confronting Owen about Teddy only to be thrown up against a wall, and kissed passionately while they declared their unwavering love for each other.

Miranda finally made up with her dad and Meredith had to rescue the drunk Chief at Joe’s, but let’s just savor that kiss for a little while longer to get us through the holidays, shall we?

What did you think? Did you like the whirlwind tour through the holiday season? Did you, too, swoon over that Cristina-Owen embrace, or do you like Teddy better for him? How did you feel about Mark’s daughter? Did you hate her as much as everyone on the show did?

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ELLEN POMPEO
Grey's Anatomy

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

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