Bailey and Yang clash while trying to keep Richard Webber alive; Callie shuts out Arizona

By Annie Barrett
September 27, 2013 at 03:04 AM EDT
Danny Feld/ABC
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We can all relax. Someone we were meant to care about died tonight — it wouldn’t be a Grey’s premiere otherwise — but Dr. Richard Webber lived. Thank God! I need a hug like you wouldn’t believe. EW reader, I know you are not a hugger, but I NEED YOU TO HUG ME BACK.

The chief (heh) power struggle in this two-hour-long season 10 premiere was between Yang and Bailey — with almighty drama queen Catherine Avery butting in/thrashing against the OR glass near the end. Bailey, still guilty over telling Richard he’d disappointed her years ago, felt in her gut that there was some problematic tissue left…somewhere in Richard after Yang kept his aorta from rupturing. Bailey wanted to operate, but Yang insisted his heart was too weak.

“Letting that tissue die is like taking a gun and killing him!” Bailey yelled. But he’d coded four times. “You sound like a family member who Googled ‘electrocution’ and is trying to remain optimistic,” said Yang, who couldn’t help throwing in an “I own this hospital. You work for me” in there. That’s how we’re playing it now.

But surprise! Richard had designated longtime daughter-figure Meredith as his power of attorney. After Adele died, he’d revised his directive for extraordinary measures. Catherine may be his girlfriend, but according to Richard’s living will, Meredith was his family.

So what’ll it be, Mer? “I was just thinking that I wish my mother could have seen my kids. But you know what that is. That’s delusional thinking. Because my mother would make a horrible grandmother. Because she was a horrible mother.” Good God, woman, we’ve heard it all before, get to the point!

“I’m delusional. And hormonal. And I can’t trust my delusional thoughts.” Meredith let the labs determine Richard’s destiny for the time being — so to the OR he went. Twice. “You always taught us when you know, you know,” Meredith recalled to her mentor Bailey, who ended up screaming the same line in triumph once she’d found necrotic tissue (I cannot believe I Googled that and it worked) under Richard’s pancreas.

The episode’s best moment for me was right in the middle, just before Bailey made her incision on Richard as the *sexy operating dance remix* threatened to overtake us all. I started crying during Richard’s voice over, as what he said could apply to all of the other characters — and let’s be honest, all of us: “We’re all gonna die. We don’t get much say over how or when. But we do get to decide how we’re gonna live. So do it. Decide. Is this the life you wanna live? Is this the person you wanna love?” My entire life flashed before me, too, and I don’t even own a white jacket. All of that as he’s being wheeled into surgery by one of the people who love him most.

NEXT: Soooo… who did die?

Richard didn’t die from electrical shock. But someone apparently had to, so get this: It was one of the interns. Pick one. Any one! Do you remember any of their names? I know Smash and Tina Majorino, but there are three others: Used to Bang Alex (Leah), Banging Avery (Steph, who got pooed on tonight, major plot point), and Currently Banging Alex (Jo). I wouldn’t have missed any of those three, but Tina Majorino was the one who had to die. “Mousy,” Yang called her. Heather Brooks, you’ll remember, was Derek’s special pet mouse because of that one time she caught an instrument Smash/Shane Ross dropped during surgery. He’s resented her ever since, and now — after directing her down to the wet, static-y basement to check on Webber — he gets to feel responsible for her death. That’s a lot of anguish for one full heart.

We did see some character development with the still-breathing interns, at least: Stephanie Edwards went to college on a cheerleading scholarship and is much more engaging with no glasses and a spirited demeanor (who knew? it’s that easy, ladies!). Jo Blo told everyone she was a gutter rat, but not the Oliver Twist kind. And finally, the unlikable Leah Murphy piqued our interest with the news that she got into the program because her mom, “like, dated Mark Sloan a hundred years ago or something.” What?! Who? My mind leaped to Addison because they have somewhat similar huge, flat cheeks and dead/deadly gazes. But that’s impossible; Addison very clearly never had kids, despite wanting them, on Private Practice. I’m being silly.

And so was Leah: “My teeth have stuff growing on them,” she complained to Owen, as if that would convince him to let her go home after her shift. Pretend you didn’t just read that.

Christina, a challenging person, and Owen, a fellow sex fiend, got back together! Sexually, at least, after sharing a not-fond-enough memory of their last physical encounter — on Wednesday, when they knocked a plate off the counter and he had to rip shards of glass out of her foot. How awful! Really, though, how hot. I know their marriage won’t work, but it cannot be denied these two have an amazing chemistry.

“After the kind of run we had, it’s just a shame…” Owen trailed off as they stared at each other violently, all alone in the dark. It reminded me of something Bailey had said re: Webber earlier in the episode: “HIS GIRTH IS INCREASING AS WE STAND HERE.”

Wrapped up in each other’s arms something fierce after round two, the pair decided they couldn’t just be friends — the sex will keep happening. There’s true sorrow here along with the passion, which keeps their dynamic so intriguing to me. “Just because I’m the one who said it was time doesn’t mean this is easier for me,” Cristina said slowly, soft sobs creeping into their muscle-y embrace. “This is not easy for me.”

NEXT: Maybe Arizona should move to her namesake Callie had an epiphany of sorts (the solemn, dead-eyed kind) while holding magical Baby Shepherd and remembering how Richard caught her dancing in her underwear while she was living in the limb room as a resident. “I don’t dance in my underwear anymore!” Callie realized as the walls of her current world — which ALSO could be characterized as “a limb room” as she’s essentially trapped under Arizona’s prosthetic leg — came crashing down.

This wasn’t working! Callie is not having any fun anymore. She’s got a cheating wife, that less-than-ideal-looking baby, and a home address. It’s awful. The only solution was to remove Sofia from her home and take her to Meredith and Derek’s so she could drink all of their wine.

Arizona eventually caught up to her wife and child and — at Cristina of all people’s behest — got five minutes on the porch with Sofia. Callie’s not budging on this moving-out thing, and no shakily drawn broken bone metaphor or even Alex’s suggestion for Arizona — “I’m sorry I’m such a slut” — would have fixed this. “Everyone I love either cheats on me or dies,” Callie whined to Derek in a stealth effort to get him up to retrieve her another bottle. It all hurts so much. I’ll have a glass of red.

April and Jackson witnessed a hospital-room wedding between firefighters Brian and Sasha after the doctors alerted Sasha she was about to die. It was kind of sad, but they were mostly plot devices for Hottie McGreen Eyes and Born Again Virgin to confront their will-they-won’t-they status head-on. Jackson officiated the marriage himself (after trying in vain to find a chaplain…they’d have taken anyone — yep, “even a Catholic”) as April choked up as she always does, in general, at his side.

“That’s what it’s supposed to look like, you know,” he reminded her as the docs reeled from the marriage ceremony in another room. “I mean, they can’t even imagine not being together. It’s not ‘Oh, I think I’ll marry this guy. No, that guy, who I banged in the bathroom when I was flipped out over my boards, but when he was into me, I couldn’t handle it, but suddenly when he almost dies, I can’t live without him.” Yes! Speaking in run-on sentences just like someone is a very good way to get through to her. Good action, Jackson! Something that is real scares the crap out of her, he told April. “Marry this guy because you want to make a life with him, or don’t. But none of this has to do with me. This is entirely about you.” YES.

Flummoxed, April ran right back to her fiancé, that tall, fine drink of EMT Matthew, to accept his proposal in private. Ugh. Bad. “I think you need to think some stuff out,” he warned her, because at that one moment he was smart. And she talked her way out of it! “Okay, yes. I have feelings for Jackson.” (!?! how do you keep standing there if you’re Matthew !?!) “This is all new to me. I was never the girl who got picked at the dance. I’m indecisive. I see eight sides of everything. That’s what you’re picking when you pick me. I thought nobody would ever want that. But I want you. I wanna marry you. So will you marry me?”

And instead of saying “No, because you just said 80 different clichéd things and obviously are not really in love with me,” Matthew picked her up with, like, half of his forearm. And she giggled.

What did you think of the premiere? Do you ever worry that you too will end up like

Sharpie Lady (Veronica Cartwright)? Did you choke up hearing the George/jello shots anecdote again, or were you just annoyed at the interns for not coming up with their own damn story?

What do you want to see from Cristina in Sandra Oh’s final season?

And why are you standing next to me if you smell like feces?

Discuss!

Follow @EWAnnieBarrett

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