The paranoid schizophrenic patient roaming the halls wasn't the only one battling a fear as the Seattle Grace staff prepped for cuts to come down the pike
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Greys Anatomy Watching Over
Credit: Craig Sjodin/NBC
ELLEN POMPEO

It was definitely what we call a transitional episode this week, an in-betweener, if you will. A we-have-more-than-20-of-these-things-to-get-through-and-dammit-we-just-did-a-funeral-last-week kinda deal. Am I right, Anatomites? (That might’ve been my favorite message-boarder honorific suggestion for Grey’s Anatomy fans after my plea from last week, but I’m going to try out several of your suggestions and see how it goes. Please feel free to vote so we can settle on a final term as of next week. Also, per another discussion I had yesterday, if you have any favorite wines you like to pair with your Grey’s Anatomy, I am open to suggestions on that as well. We decided red made it all the better to weep to, but we didn’t get more specific than that. What do you think? Bordeaux? Merlot? Cabernet?)

At any rate, no major happenings this week, which I suppose makes sense after the two-hour extravaganza of George’s death last episode. However, us having known that was coming, it’s feeling a little…eh, snoozy right now. I could use a little scandale, though I don’t know what precisely that would be. I’d like to be surprised. It’s part of the fun.

Not that there was zero fun in this ep. Cristina-as-pediatric-surgeon was pretty hilarious from the get-go. She strategized to keep her job in the merger with Mercy West by sucking up, as they say, to Arizona — and Cristina can barely interact warmly with adult humans, much less children. ”It’s like the whole body is your canvas,” she gushed to Arizona. ”The fact that it’s a small canvas makes it even more challenging.… I would love to witness your artistry.” She even went so far as to claim, ”I love kids!” when pressed on the issue. Genius.

She wasn’t the only one worried for her job, either. Crazed staffers were showing up in the middle of the night, even when not on official call, to do anything and everything asked of them. And the minute that one nurse said that ”nurses are always the last to know, first to go,” you know, that nurse who’s been around since season 1 — I knew she was toast, even though there are a zillion shows on television all of a sudden, from Nurse Jackie to Hawthorne to Mercy, that claim that nurses are the great unsung heroes of our time who know far better than doctors what’s going on, and furthermore America the Beautiful.… Yeah. Sorry, Nurse from season 1. This show is about hot surgeons.

In fact, I’ve watched so many shows about nurses that this line of discussion bores me. (Not that I didn’t love Nurse Jackie. I love any show that’s about a middle-aged woman who wears no makeup and has a man’s haircut but is still somehow a sexpot. Seriously, I do.) The point is, really: Izzie’s wig. Let’s discuss. I mean, Katherine Heigl even looks hot with her super-short, peach-fuzz, cancer regrowth, so it’s hard to truly judge. And the wig kinda looks like Meredith hair, but neater. And it’s so wrong it’s almost right. But maybe not as wrong as all the characters are acting like it is. I don’t know. This might be the most emotional hot-point of this episode. What do you think? One thing’s for sure: I’m not sure it’s red, like she thinks it is. ”She looks like a Stepford Wife,” Cristina whispered to Meredith. A-ha! That’s it! That is so exactly what was wrong with it. Thank you, as always, Cristina.

NEXT: The ax falls at Seattle Grace

Onto the medical case of the night, which was a 60-year-old woman who lost consciousness and hit a parked car and happened to also have a son who was a paranoid schizophrenic who believed aliens impregnated her. Here’s the thing: That was sort-of interesting, in passing. Like, if I read a story about such a thing in the newspaper (does anyone read those anymore?) I’d pause for a second. But, as much as one wants to poke fun at the medical cases being metaphorically linked to the doctors all the time, well, I could’ve used a little more of that this time. I don’t like when it feels like they randomly selected a new medical case to stick into an otherwise whatever kind of episode’s emotional arc.

Cristina’s venture into pediatrics, in fact, felt like the most remotely compelling plotline this week, and that’s just because she had to wear a fuzzy bear on her doctor-whites’ lapel. And because Cristina said things about Arizona like, ”She’s merger proof. She keeps little kids alive. No one likes a dead kid.” So true. I like the general idea of everyone at Seattle Grace struggling a bit to keep their jobs. Do we not all relate these days? Or are we going to say something snarky here instead about how the Grey’s writers aren’t struggling quite enough? About, perhaps, the fact that no one seemed to still be suffering the slightest bit of repercussions from George’s death, aside from the odd throwaway line (most of which were jokes)? What do we think, Grey-zies? (And what do we think of the term of endearment Grey-zies?)

The lady with the schizophrenic son turned out to have what we (they) in the medical business call a Triple A, apparently — an abdominal aortic aneurysm, which sounds bad to me if only because if you’d asked me before this week, I’d swear all three of those words should happen in different regions of the body. This is why I only play a person who watches people who play doctors on TV. Anyway, it was bad, and she was probably going to die, but they worked it so that she could be treated at the same time as her son, who took a tumble down the stairs trying to get away from hospital security because … do you see what happens when the cases aren’t metaphorically resonant? It’s just not that interesting to get into the details.

I was much more interested in the fleeting fact that Ellen Pompeo, being shot pretty much from the midsection up due to her real-life pregnancy, looked radiant. And Cristina eating the last chocolate pudding, the one her pediatrics patient really wanted, was perfect. So was Hunt’s total denial of Cristina’s plea for him to save her job: ”You have to tell the chief you need me. That George was your guy, but he died, so you need a new guy, and that’s me.”

Then suddenly a baby’s arm was nearly ripped off mid-C-section, and it was official, Greynegades. This was a super disjointed episode. Pardon the pun. Or not. Whatever. I think I needed even a hint of the relationship stuff Grey’s has often done so well. Otherwise I might as well watch E.R. (That was a joke. Please do not make that a topic of actual discussion on the message boards. Unless some of you actually go look up whether it’s still on. Which I bet you will. Thank you for your cooperation, Greynads.)

Here, finally, is what I truly did like about the episode: Sloan saying, ”That’s how I know my job is safe, Dr. Yang. I reattach babies’ arms.” Izzie taking off her Stepford Wife wig mid-surgery. Most of that awful class of interns from last year getting cut, including the pregnant wife of that one guy who kept whining this week. Whatever. That one nurse losing her job, just because I knew it was coming.

But look at that, miraculously, all the major characters were safe. And Arizona and Callie were officially GFs, so Callie can’t move to Portland. And then Cristina was asking, as all of the Seattle Grace couples inexplicably decided to play softball at night, ”How can I drink beer when all my friends just got fired?” Not sure, Cristina — but, honestly, as much as I love a surprise, I’m glad neither she, nor any of our core surgeons, got fired.

But what do you think, Anatomites? Was this kinda a boring episode? What would you like to see to spice things up this season? Do you even care about the merger? What should we call Grey’s Anatomy fans, once and for all?

Episode Recaps

ELLEN POMPEO
Grey's Anatomy

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

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