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- Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson, Justin Chambers, James Pickens Jr.
While everyone else is worried about the contest, Owen couldn’t care less. He’s too busy saving lives and fingers in the ER while being assisted by Casey Parker, the trans male intern who saved the hospital’s entire computer system. Though he’s not a proposal/contest type guy, Owen proves savvy enough to make Meredith realize that she needs a very expensive patent in order to execute her idea.
With the contest in high gear, things slow down again as Kimmie’s surgery is sadly unsuccessful. Amelia and Karev test areas of her brain before figuring out that if they remove part of the tumor, she will lose her ability to speak. Hearing a child with an inoperable brain tumor say, “Maybe this time I’ll win” when you know that it’s virtually impossible for her to do so is the rare somber moment of this episode.
Speaking of somber, Harry’s game ends, though as Meredith tells Webber, it was he who inspired her to come up with her idea — so in the end, he really did help people.
Webber is taking salsa lessons as his surprise birthday gift to Catherine, and he’s enlisted the help of Maggie. While they’re waiting for the teacher to arrive, they talk about the upcoming one-year anniversary of her mother’s death. She tells him when she was little she had a stick that she would pretend was a magic wand, and when her mom got sick, she wished she still had it.
They also dish about Maggie’s dating Clive, the stockbroker. And while Maggie tells her dad that she’s having a lot of sex, when we see her out with Clive, it’s clear they have zero chemistry. To make matters worse, his reaction to her having to leave their date early makes it apparent that he has no clue about living the surgical life. I’m putting money down now: Be prepared to say goodbye to Clive.
April isn’t the only one still on a low from the episode where everyone died; Arizona is still feeling the effects of the loss of Karin, the wife of April’s ex-fiancé, who died from preeclampsia. She funnels her frustration about maternal mortality into a contest proposal to change the fact that the U.S. has one the worst rates of maternal mortality in the developed world. Later on, she asks Carina to “be her partner” on the study, and Carina coyly replies, “Only on the study?” Their kiss shows that clearly this partnership is back in business.
Everyone’s in high spirits as they gather at Joe’s bar after work, and it’s there that we learn that Webber’s idea for the contest involved a medical magic wand of sorts, as well as the specifics of everyone else’s proposal (Jackson chose to go with his mom’s idea). As Webber impresses Catherine with his hard-earned dance moves, we also find out that everyone except for Amelia and Karev will be advancing in to the next round of the contest.
And though it doesn’t play again, when you see the disappointment in Amelia and Karev’s eyes, you can almost hear the heartache in Liza Minelli’s breathy voice as she sings, “Maybe this time…” No matter what, the optimist in us still needs to hold on to something.