E: Derek and Owen have kidnapped Meredith and Cristina, hoping to take them out to dinner for Valentine’s Day. Don’t we remember where Cristina and Burke’s failed date went – that they had nothing to say until some guy almost died in the dining room? Dinner is not what these girls like. Nice gender role reversal, folks.
Happily for them, the roof collapsed on Seattle’s best fictional romantic restaurant, and there are at least dozen wounded headed to Seattle Grace. Yay blood and guts, boo Italian food.
This week’s episode offers a buffet of emotions and incidents: some humor, some romance, some tears, a crazy surgery, surgeries gone wrong, death, life, some growing up and some acting out. The action is spread pretty liberally among the cast, too. All in all, good stuff.
Once he arrives at the hospital, Derek is immediately trapped; he wants to dive into surgery, but instead, he’s forced to give a statement to the press (which, what could he possibly say?) and organize everyone and do paperwork. He’s not enjoying his new role at all. In addition, he’s got a breakfast the next morning with the hospital board, and he’s cravenly delegated returning Mercy Wester April Kepner (Sarah Drew) to take care of the arrangements, which include picking up a dress for “Mrs. Shepherd” to wear. Seriously, why didn’t you hire back the Chief’s secretary? The look on Mer’s face is priceless. “I’m going to be in surgery. I’m not the Chief’s arm candy. I’m not going.”
Lexie has decided to shake herself up out of her romantic doldrums by dyeing her hair blonde. It’s an… interesting experiment. Mark walks up from behind, not knowing who she is, and hits on her. Of course he does. That goes about as well as you’d think. Later, Alex calls her out on the color change and Avery calls her Emergency Room Barbie. Seriously, when will they stop wasting that clever beautiful man and get him together with someone? Now he’d be a better bet for boyfriend material, Lexie. Mark went on about how she’s too stable to be blonde (though he doesn’t say it as a compliment); I wish she’d start acting like it, though. Stable. Not brunette. That part’s just silly.
Chaos reigns in the emergency room. A very sweet, shy dishwasher has lost his left arm, and begs Lexie not to let him turn into a freak. He can’t stand the attention. And of course there’s a couple, the Bates, out for Valetine’s Day. She’s banged up, and he’s immediately rushed to the OR because he’s got some scalloped, decorative glass sticking about six inches out of his abdomen. Yikes.
Hey! Mrs Bates? That’s Pamela Reed, Arnold’s partner from Kindergarten Cop! Such a family favorite, that movie. She’s also now on Parks and Recreation, which I don’t think any of us has seen. The maitre d’, Emile, tips Alex fifty bucks so he can sit next to Mrs Bates/Detective O’Hara. Gross. On the part of Alex, that is. By the way, Emile is played by Brian George, who seems to have made a career doing voice over for video games and cartoons and playing Middle Eastern doctors, particularly on cult shows like The Big Bang Theory, Star Trek Voyager and The X-Files. His geek resume is pretty amazing. Avatar: the Last Airbender, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Samurai Jack, Batman Beyond – he’s done them all. Anyway, Alex makes a bet for the fifty with Meredith that Emile is in love with Mrs. Baker, and in her pro-marriage high, Mer accepts.
Heh. Bailey snubs Dr. Warren when he asks her out. That is just how I acted in high school when I didn’t want a guy to know I liked him – rude. Yes, I was highly evolved. Like this is a surprise? I love Arizona and Callie (who now have matching necklaces, hee) catching on and Bailey trying to prevent them from interfering: “See, it’s all that, that giggling, and the OMG…” Excellent. Bailey’s off to operate on the impaled Mr. Baker, and Arizona comes along just so that she can suggest to Ben that Miranda might go for him after all. It’s very cute, but if I were Mr. Baker, I would so not appreciate it.
I have to add – I like Dr. Warren immensely, and I’m not sure I really have enough information on his character to do so. We know he’s cute and smart, kind of charming, and that he likes Bailey. Jason George is adorable, and has a wonderfully expressive face. He can somehow swagger without seeming arrogant. Should that be enough? His character on Eli Stone was so morally upstanding; I’m convinced that my good feelings for that character (Keith Bennett) are carrying over.
Speaking of interesting men, Jackson Avery and Lexie have an interesting bonding moment preparing the dishwasher’s arm for surgery (Hunt and Sloan having made off with the rest of him). “I’m pretty,” he tells a stunned Lexie, in a hilariously embarrassed – and embarrassing – fashion. “My eyes… this whole thing… You should see me with my shirt off, it’s kind of ridiculous.” Snort. It seems that everyone in his family is smart, and they didn’t know what to do with him being pretty, and so they never pushed him or expected anything more from him than being pretty, and that made him push himself to excel instead. What an interesting – and rather baffling – dynamic. It’s not about what you look like, or what color your hair is, he tells her. You have to own it. You have to be bold.
Nicely done, Jackson Avery. Weird, but nicely done.
Back in the ER, Emile confesses to Alex that he’s been watching Mrs. Baker (now sleeping in the next bed) for 15 years. “She used to try anything we put in front of her. She went through the whole menu, one week at a time. It was the best part of my week,” he sniffles. “Then she started to bring him. When he proposed, I put the ring in the creme brulee. And now he orders for her, the same thing every week, and they don’t even speak… And now her husband – I just want her to know – she’ll never have have to be alone. Not if she doesn’t want to.” Alex and Meredith are stunned and moved. And so is Mrs. Baker, who is not asleep, and stares up at Meredith with wide eyes.
Teddy, meanwhile, surprises Hunt in the scrub room and tries to chatter about her life. He’s all clenched up, and won’t even look at her. I honestly thought he was going to scrub the skin off his knuckles. So intense, Hunt. He says he can’t talk to her anymore, not after she’s said she loves him. She cries out that she misses her best friend. I love Kim Raver. I can’t help it, I want her to be with Owen. I’m sorry, I just do.
As Alex and Cristina make crass remarks about how marriage destroys love, romantic Meredith assumes Mrs. Baker is about to confess her love to Emile and goes to eavesdrop – just in time to realizes that Mrs. B can’t breathe. It’s up to the ICU for you, young lady.
Meanwhile, girl Sloan shows up to get an official clean bill of health for her baby. Callie sneaks her in for an ultrasound, playing ball until she find out that Sloan’s planning on giving the baby up for adoption. Mark, oblivious to the seed that Addie planted, has already bought a crib, and Callie’s supposed to help him put it together. Sloan doesn’t plan on telling Mark. Callie, struck dumb by patient/doctor confidentiality, fumes.
Meredith tells Derek that she doesn’t want to do social duty as the Chief’s wife, and he’s perfectly cool with it. Why did he sic April on her, then? Derek calls April off pestering Meredith. Turns out that April was a little overzealous because she’s terrified of doing anything medical. I appreciate that you rehired me and everything, she says, but I don’t think I can do this. I’m the person who killed someone’s mom, and I’d rather do THIS (the managerial work) than operate.
When Avery and Lexie arrive at the OR with the arm, Hunt tells them that the stump isn’t ready and by the time it is, the arm will be dead. They’re just going to have to finish off the stump. Lexie starts sputtering about an unusual procedure, and Jackson pushes her forward with the injunction to be bold. She pleads for them to temporarily attach his arm to another part of his body, keeping the arm alive until the stump is healed. How Frankenstein is that? Owen looks at Mark. “You ever done one of those?” “No, ” says Mark, intrigued. “Neither of you can say that after today,” proclaims Lexie, trembling and victorious.
So much for patient/doctor confidentiality! Callie essentially forces girl-Sloan to tell Mark that’s she’s planning on giving the baby up. Let me have the baby, he begs. I’ll help, says Callie – after all, I live just across the hall. (Um, you might want to run that one past Arizona, don’t you think?) Okay, says little-Sloan, I’ll consider it. You know what I wish he’d said? I wasn’t there for you, and I should have been. Let me be there for you now. Let me take this burden away from you. Karma, right? How do you let your flesh and blood go, when you can possibly stop it? He has a big debt there, and this is a time when it makes sense for him to pay it.
Alex asks the ever present male nurse where Emile has gone, as the bedcovers are thrown open and he’s not in evidence. Probably checked himself out is the unconcerned answer. Not so. Alex finds out, by accident, that Emile is seizing on the floor on the other side of the bed. (How he fell out and undid the covers on the other side, I’ll leave it to you to figure out.) Derek and April are finally called into surgery. Alex is beside himself, but Derek says no, this sort of bleed is undetectable until it’s too late. Is it too late? I don’t know yet, Derek replies. It’s just at this point that Mr. Bates goes south with unexplained bleeding, and we head into commercials with both of Mrs. Bates’ loves endangered.
Meredith has a heart-to-heart with Mrs. Bates after, as she worries for both men. I never knew, she says. She always liked Emile, but she never said anything, and she does love her husband. It isn’t what Emile thinks. He orders for me because he knows what I like, and sometime, it’s nice not to have to talk. You can see Meredith taking it in.
Callie runs into little Sloan, who is running away from Mark’s apartment. I just wanted money and a place to stay, she said, not all this. (Meaning, of course, that the crib freaks her out.) When Callie pleads that if Mark adopts the baby, Sloan could still know her son, Sloan explains that’s precisely what she doesn’t want. And I get that. That’s makes all the sense in the world. It’s a gut-wrenching decision, giving up a baby, and I can see why you wouldn’t want to be constantly reminded that you had responsibilities which you were, essentially, bailing on. Of course, she hasn’t had any relationship with Mark most of her life, and there’s nothing that says she needs to keep having one. Is he really going to let her sponge off him now? “My father had a clean break from me,” she finishes tearfully. “Don’t I deserve the same thing?”
Woah. I hate this show when they get into the whole entitlement crap. So wait, are you saying that you’re glad Mark walked away from your mom and never made sure she had the abortion and just let the two of you flounder without a backwards glance? That it was the right thing for him to do, something you want to emulate? And the show, and the audience, should stand behind you doing the same thing? Now what’s she’s doing in putting the child up for adoption isn’t remotely as awful as what he did. Hard on her, hard on her son in some emotional ways, but even in her selfishness she’s thinking about him and providing him with a better life. That’s a beautiful gift. That’s so not what Mark did. So why look to Mark as an example? Mark was not a good example! Mark was not the moral high ground! What’s she saying – I should get to have no responsibility because my bio-dad didn’t? That pisses me off.
Callie, on the other hand, empties her wallet and cautions Sloan to take her prenatal vitamins and go to all her doctors appointments. And then she takes the crib apart, and tells joyfully burbling Mark when he comes home. Poor slutty playboy Mark is trying so hard to grow up, and no one wants to let him. It makes me sad; in many ways it’s his own fault, but it’s still sad. Give this man a grown up (and, er, straight) love interest already!
When the dishwasher wakes up, he’s shown the arm now attached to his groin, and he understandably freaks out. In fact, he may even have under-reacted, all things considered. Lexie coaches him to value the miracle that’s going to give him back his arm. You’re not a freak, she emphasizes, you’re special. (C: Oh, that helps. E: It did seem to. Her intensity is catchy.)
Bailey has saved Mr. Bates. Dr. Warren follows her out to the board and tries to ask her out again. “I can’t talk to you,” she says. “No, I mean, I really can’t talk to you.” She confesses that he makes her nervous because she likes him (again, that was so me in high school – well, and most of college, who am I kidding), and that she’d like to go out to dinner and attempt to talk to him sometime. He’s charmed. How’s tomorrow, he asks? I’ll probably have surgery, she warns. I’ll probably have it with you, he replies, so, after? Yep. Sounds good. Damn, they are so cute! I just love that.
Alex finds Mrs. Bates (resting now next to her husband) and tells her that Emile didn’t make it. There’s something so formal about the fact that we never learn her first name; it makes it all so much more Victorian. She cries silently into her pillow, her grief dreadful to watch. Back in the scrub room, April bursts into hysterical tears. I can’t stand it, she says. I’m not cut out for this. “If you didn’t feel this, ” Derek tells her, “if this death didn’t matter to you, I wouldn’t want you on my staff.” He goes on to confess that he nearly quit himself, and emphasizes for her the value of her emotional investment in her work. She chooses to stay, at least for now.
Meredith starts a voice over about how we all have our choices. And hers? Is to go to the schmoozy breakfast, which will introduce Dr. and Mrs. (!) Shepherd to the hospital trustees. That was a really sweet – and really “healthy Meredith” – thing to do. Derek doesn’t like the schmoozing, either. In fact I’m pretty sure he hates his new job, and he could use the support. I’m with her in general about not getting caught up in that part of his job, but especially for this first time, it was really nice of her to do.
In order to go, Meredith has skipped out a valve replacement she was assisting. “Could you give it to Cristina?” she asks Teddy (who still seems to be blacklisting Yang). So Teddy hunts down Hunt and Yang, who are jauntily heading out, their arms around each other, and she lays it all out on the line. “Things haven’t been the same since I told you I loved you,” she says, and then won’t let the hideous uncomfortable Cristina leave. “I take it back. I am unringing this bell. I have a great job, and a brilliant student, and a cottage with deer, and I just want my best friend back. And you,” she tells Cristina flatly, “have a valve replacement with me in ten minutes.” Cristina skips off to scrub in. Owen’s eyes crinkle as he observes: “You can’t unring a bell.” “I know,” she answers back, shaking her head defiantly, “but I’m going to do my damnedest to try.”
Lexie’s “choice”? Sex with Alex in a broom closet. Whatever. That’s not bold, that’s safe. Alex is easy, and they don’t have an emotional relationship, and they never will. That’s not risky and it’s not meaningful (and it’s not swoony-worthy, either) so why are we supposed to be celebrating this again?
Bah. So, um, does this mean Izzie is gone for good? Shouldn’t we have heard more definitively somewhere? At any rate, it was a really good episode. And we got to see everyone, basically, except the Chief (off in rehab) and the annoying Mercy Westers (off annoying someone else). Good stuff!