A scattered episode touched on the pending plane-crash lawsuit, Arizona's return to Seattle Grace, and Karev's big purchase from Meredith

By Tanner Stransky
Updated November 16, 2012 at 06:00 AM EST
Credit: Ron Tom/ABC

Last night’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy — titled “Second Opinion” — was, simply put, all over the damn place. No second opinion needed on that topic. If the writers were intending to put out an hour of television that touched on nearly all the storylines going on in the show, then they surely succeeded. However, they also surely succeeded in making what was pretty much a totally schitzo installment of Grey’s that ran amok among all the strands of what’s happening at Seattle Grace currently. (Apologies now to star Chandra Wilson, who directed the episode.)

And before you naysay about that commentary, I’ll just admit: No, I’m never really satisfied. I know that I complain when the show ignores certain characters, and then also — in the case of last night’s hour — I complain when they do touch on every character. The only thing I have to believe is that there is indeed a way to weave several storylines together in a smart way. I believe that, mostly, because I know this show can do that. It’s tricky, though. And for the most part, this season of Grey’s has been good — I’ve said as much in several of my recaps here on EW.com. Last night certainly wasn’t the series’ weakest, but it wasn’t the strongest, either. It had it’s good moments, and it’s bad.

The primary storyline seemed to the be the on-going saga about the pending lawsuit that the doctors affected by the plane crash last season — Cristina, Derek, Callie (Arizona’s proxy), and Meredith — are trying to get off the ground. The dirty work began in earnest, as the doctors were told to spill the beans about how they’d been affected by the tragedy. The lawyers wanted to calculate damages. “Almost anything can be helpful to monetize your injuries,” one of the lawyers told the doctors. The lawyers also detailed the formula for how they’d figure out what figure they would sue for — but long story short, it would be huge huge huge.

The one sticking point during the lawsuit discussion was the plane’s pilot, who the lawyers said they’d be going after for damages. “As far as the pilot is concerned,” the lady lawyer said, devoid of any emotion, “you need to stop thinking about him as one of you and start thinking of him as one of them.” It was decidedly strange to do that, though, because the pilot had also been injured and — as it was revealed — was paralyzed after the accident. Another discussion focused on Derek and whether he’d ever be able to do surgery again with his injured hand. At first Callie seemed to want to hedge her answer, then she emphatically said no, and then — after a fight with Derek — she recanted and said she’d do everything she can to fix his hand. She explained why she was all over the place on Derek’s hand: “Because I was scared. Because I felt like I failed you. You should have pushed me harder. We haven’t tried everything. You shouldn’t give up until we do.”

NEXT: The doctors find out the lawsuit will hit closer to home than they’d expected

The biggest revelation of the whole lawsuit tragedy, however, came after the lawyers asked Hunt — who was in the room with them for support, considering he wasn’t on the plane — to step out in the hallway for a bit. Besides the pilot, the lawyers said they had looked at their options and their plan was to go after Seattle Grace itself for damages. Whoa, talk about an awkward work environment: Was having Hunt step out of the room foreshadowing a nasty battle to come between him and these suing doctors? Seems possible — and downright delicious, in terms of story. The lawyers explained that the hospital included “the people who put you on that plane.” Dun dun dun, indeed. To be continued.

Another big portion of the evening — which was teased at the end of last week’s episode — was, of course, the return of Cristina Yang to Seattle Grace Mercy West. She first appeared in the episode catatonic, post the death of Dr. Feeny, but then came in blazing, telling a cranky Meredith (who, remember, the interns have nicknamed Medusa) at Seattle Grace: “You are the scariest one. That was always supposed to be me.” She didn’t ever really get scary, to be sure, but she did get kinda crazy with her two intern charges last night, calling them both Dwarf names (from Snow White). “I will call you by your dwarf names,” she said. “You, ‘Happy.’ You…‘Mousey.’” To which Mousey replied: “There wasn’t a Dwarf named ‘Mousey.’” Cristina hilariously replied: “They saved her for you.” And it wasn’t long before “Happy” became “Dopey.” The whole thing was silly and pointless, but it injected the episode with some much-needed humor.

Truly, Cristina couldn’t have had a smoother transition back into Seattle Grace. The new cardio chief Jeff Russell simply allowed her to take control of the department, which she did in her brash style. That manifested itself in her just taking over one of his patients and performing a risky surgery on him. Owen told her she might have been fired for being so brazen, but Russell just thanked her and then revealed something just totally delicious. “Now I know,” Russell said to Cristina and Owen, “why you pushed so hard for her.” It turns out that it wasn’t Russell who was dying to have Cristina back at Seattle Grace — rather unshockingly, but very sweetly, it was Owen who wanted her back.

What does this mean for their very pending marriage/relationship? Well, it’s completely unclear, but methinks — mostly from reading the logline for the next new episode, which doesn’t air until Nov. 30, the Thursday after Thanksgiving — we’ll find out more then. What is clear, though, is where Cristina will live now that she’s back at Seattle Grace — at Karev’s place.

NEXT: Karev buys Meredith’s house

And that brings us to the next semi-major storyline from the hour of television. There was a running banter between Karev and Meredith last night about her house — turns out that she was selling it in the wake of moving to her new house with Derek. And the buyer? None other than Karev, who had a few requests before he closed on it — he wanted some various things fixed around the house, some things repainted, etc. The two battled the whole episode about what would actually get done before the sale went through, but it wasn’t until very nearly the end of the episode that we learned why Meredith was so resistant to doing any of what he had asked.

It turns out that all the things he was complaining about were the products of her life there: marks on the door jams kept track of her height as a child and Zola’s, too; scrapes on the ceiling were from a Christmas tree she and the other doctors had procured during their intern year, when they all lived there together. It was a sweet moment, and thankfully, Karev agreed to let the flavor live on in the house. Thus, the sale was completed, and — as we saw right at the end of the hour — Cristina moved in with him, despite his desire for no roommates. “I want to rent from you,” Cristina said. It goes without saying that this pairing will be more than interesting.

The last truly consequential storyline from last night was the one that revolved around Bailey and Arizona. It became Bailey’s mission to draw Arizona out of her self-imposed, one-working-leg shell. So she unfurled a plan to get her back into the Seattle Grace fray by teasing her with a case she claimed she couldn’t figure out. The tiny machinations of it aren’t really important, but what was lovely here was Bailey’s dedication to bringing Arizona back into the mix — and the fact that she knew exactly what would do it. It was lovely to see Arizona back on the floor at Seattle Grace. And how strong of her to pick herself back up after falling at her apartment. I’m looking forward to the day when she’s back at Seattle Grace in more or less a full-time capacity.

Otherwise, the night filled with silly storylines: Webber accidentally sent Avery an email intended instead for his mother and that caused drama between them; Kepner continued to have sex with Avery but went into overload guilt mode afterward, which turned Avery off; and the interns had a few little moments of their own.

Which brings me to you, dear Grey’s Anatomy watchers: What’d you think of last night’s episode? Did you also find it sort of all over the map when it came to storylines? Were you impressed with Wilson’s direction? Were you grossed out when intern Wilson kept getting barfed on by that homeless guy? Lemme know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Tanner on Twitter: @EWTanStransky

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

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