Later, ladies! Seattle Grace is a man's world in this week's bro-centric episode

By Breia Brissey
Updated October 07, 2011 at 06:40 AM EDT
Vivian Zink/ABC

Grey's Anatomy

S8 E4
  • TV Show

Earlier this year, Grey’s creator Shonda Rhimes promised an all-boys episode was in the works. And she, along with her leading men, delivered with last night’s “What Is It About Men.” Derek, Owen, Alex, and the other male cast members took center stage as we got a glimpse into Seattle Grace from an all-male perspective. Even Dr. Bailey’s ex, Ben, was back in the picture. The episode came complete with male voiceovers, usually supplied by Meredith, and a noticeable absence of the regular females. They were there, but only in brief. Essentially, this meant lots of male bonding, construction work, and penis jokes. (Now we know who Dr. Mayfield is….)

The go-to traumatic event this week was a human stampede at a Comic-Con-esque convention. The ER was suddenly filled with the traditional comic convention frequenters — a storm trooper, a zombie nurse, and a hobbit, natch. But the two main victims of the stampede (also men) suffered varying injuries. The hobbit (whose name I didn’t catch, so he will henceforth be referred to as “the hobbit”) only broke a few toes, but stayed around at the hospital because he had a crush on Kepner. He later suffered much more serious injuries when a drunk, belligerent patient beat him up. The other patient, Keith, lost an ear and damaged his spine, all in the quest for a Dr. Who TARDIS, which his friend eventually sold. (I’ll stop you now to let you know you did indeed watch Grey’s Anatomy and not another Thursday night show on CBS.) But thanks to the skills of the male doctors, he survived. So without further ado, let’s chat about the men who made this all-men episode possible.

NEXT: Let’s all take up construction!


In his opening voiceover, he said about men: “We can talk about our feelings, it’s just most of the time, we’d really rather not.” He should have amended this statement to say, “We’d really rather not…unless we’re building something!” Derek, still in his unshakable grumpy phase, was busy taking out his anger at Meredith by constructing a deck at his new home. Who knew Shepherd was so handy with a hammer? By the episodes end, he had recruited all the main men to help build this deck. Apparently, an all-boys episode required that all the men partake in the most manly activity ever. construction work! Grunt! In the end, the deck was deemed uneven, just like this weird, stereotypical story line.


Left alone with baby Sofia for the weekend — Arizona and Callie were shipped off to some convention because they are women and that didn’t fit with the theme of tonight’s episode — Sloan learned what a great dad he is. Really, I love watching Sloan with that little girl. After she rolled over for the first time (AKA rolled right off the couch and onto the floor) he made Karev stop everything to check her out, convinced that her lack of crying was a signal of some major brain injury. As it turned out, Sofia was just a happy to be around her dad. This, I thought, really fit in with the traditional Grey’s dynamic. Much more so than Derek’s hammers and power tools.


Clearly a little unsure of how to act in his new not-the-chief-role, Webber spent the episode trolling for cases and practicing skills on grapes. But “once you’re the President, you’re always Mr. President.” So he spent some of this extra time dolling out wisdom to Karev and Avery. His words of advice? Those two needed to feel the joy again of being surgeons. Not The Chief Webber even heeded his own advice and showed of his own joy with his surgery playlist. Boys just want to have fun, right?


Karev was definitely not feeling the joy. He got kicked off of Derek’s neuro service, and had to work on his Africa paper. They never really specified what the purpose of this paper was, but it was 19 pages long. I spent enough time in school to know that one page of anything you don’t want to write is one page too long. But by the end of the episode, he took Not The Chief’s advice and started feeling the joy again. He even got to join Derek’s deck-construction male bonding crew.

NEXT: Owen lays down the law as the Chief…


As we’ve already seen him attempt in the last few episodes, Avery spent another hour trying to get in the good graces of Sloan. Still having no such luck, he found that Derek, now without Karev, was in need of some help on neuro. So with his options wide open, Avery decided to join Shepherd because at least he could take the lead on a surgery. And it was the right move. Turns out, Sloan really likes Avery and got jealous of his new loyalty to Derek. Sloan rushed over to construction central to take Avery back. “Pick me. Choose me. Love me,” Sloan shouted. (No he didn’t.) But he did make his point clear about wanting Avery on his rotation. And Avery gladly accepted his offer. I think those two are going to make it.


Similar to Not The Chief, Owen was struggling to find his place in his new role at Seattle Grace. He gave up his office to prove that his office could be wherever he is, but he was still clearly unsure of himself. That was until that aforementioned drunk patient went on a rampage in the ER. Hunt walked right into the room, punched the man, and broke his jaw. This led to my favorite line of the night from Sloan: “You know you’re the Chief not the sheriff, right?” Hunt later went to tell man with the broken jaw that he wasn’t sorry about what he did. And with that one speech, Owen proved that he was already more confident in his role as the Chief.

As Derek said in his voiceover, “there are distinct differences between male and female brains.” And since I have a female one, maybe that’s why I found this episode entirely underwhelming. While I enjoyed the extra time to look at the beautiful male doctor population at Seattle Grace, I can’t help but long for Meredith, Cristina, and Bailey in regular doses. What did you think of “What Is It About Men?” Did you like the change of perspective? Or did you, like me, find yourself wishing that the ladies were back to balance things out?


Breia on Twitter

Episode Recaps

Grey's Anatomy

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

  • TV Show
  • 16
  • TV-14
stream service