E: Earlier in the day, I caught pieces of two old Greys‘ episodes on cable, and I was struck by how much the show had changed. Those episodes – dealing with the fallout from Cristina’s miscarriage, and Alex failing an important exam – were funny, but they weren’t overblown or cutesy. They were trying to be realistic, even a little gritty.
And I realized, as I watched, how much I missed that old Greys.
And then I watched last night’s episode,“Superfreak“, which epitomizes everything that’s gone crazy about the show. The cases were so self-serving (which is to say, about the doctors) that I couldn’t make myself care about them. That’s okay, though, because the show didn’t bother too, either! The old episode wasn’t overburdened with Speeches, either. It wasn’t trying to be Desperate Housewives: The Hospital. What it did have was insight and heart. I can’t help wishing that someone would tie the writers down and make them watch the first two or three seasons of this show again.
I’m feeling grumpy about it, so I’ll be brief. Callie and Arizona think that Cristina and Owen ought to move out now that they’re married. Sure, your roommate is in the middle of a horrible break down, it’s the perfect time to make sure she has less company! Way to be an awesome friend, Callie. (Fine, it’s a small apartment for 4 people, but still.) Derek gets a useless visit from his sister, who is also a neurosurgeon and totally hot to trot. She looks super familiar, but I’ve only seen her on one episode of Castle; she a Canadian child star, and she sort of looks like a grown up child star at that. He’s grumpy, because his sister was with him when their dad (minding his store) was shot, and he wants to keep her world safe and doesn’t like to show vulnerability. Which is to say, he wants to be rude to her and pretend he never got shot. Um, okay? That was odd. She brings him a dude with a brain tumor as a present. It’s overly cutesy and impossible to invest in emotionally.
I was much happier with Derek when he attempted to rehabilitate Cristina. He had her assist on the brain tumor removal lil sis Amelia brought him. She stayed, but she wasn’t much good. The rest of the Attendings wanted to downgrade her, but Derek says he’ll quit without Cristina. Owen is weirded out by Cristina having spent the night with Mer and Der in his absence, but Derek understands; I loved the conversation where he tells her he wouldn’t have chosen her to be part of his life (“we wouldn’t chose each other”) but they’re family. I like him telling Owen that Meredith and Cristina feel each other’s emotions like Elliot and E.T., and I like him making her operate on corpses after she freaked out (again) in the operating room.
Cristina has great hair this episode, as good as Derek’s, which is saying something. Otherwise, she’s still a wreck. “I can’t sleep when you’re not there,” she tells Owen, and I believe her. She seems sadder and more desperate and lost this week even than last. As her hostility leaches away, there’s only the terror left behind. I confess; in this case, I’m with the boys. I want to fix her. Perhaps Dr. Wyatt can where Perkins couldn’t?
I wish they’d given an indication that Callie and Arizona did the clothes flinging on purpose to drive Owen and Cristina out. That would have been funnier than any of the attempts at comedy that took place last night.
So, what else? Teddy’s hysterical because the hot shrink is leaving, and she likes him way more than she wanted to. He’s happy to tell her that she only falls for unavailable guys. Aw. Why did they hire a guy that hot if they weren’t going to keep him, and hardly gave him any lines? Oh well. This bit was nice, and the funniest moment of the episode was probably when Teddy tearfully referred to herself as Attachment Barbie. There’s a patient with HPV whose hands are like branches, covered with this crazy horny substance. Wasn’t there a documentary about this on the Discovery Channel? The tree man from Indonesia or the Philippines, or something like that? He’s the official freak of the title, but of course, the point is that we’re all freaks. Whatevs. Freak’s wife leaves him when she realizes that they can scrape the horns off (so nasty), but he won’t get skin grafts to replace them for a year. She’s been living like a hermit for 4 years and she can’t hack it anymore. Her speech about love not being enough inspires Mark (who otherwise has spent the episode pining over Lexie) to sleep with Amelia. Ew. Also, I don’t think his new beard is flattering, or the gray hair. By far the best bit of this whole plotline occurs when a truly enormous spider crawls out of one of the horny protrusions. So nasty! I don’t even want to know how something like that would be possible. Bailey screams like a little girl.
Alex works up a sweat avoiding the elevators, and the Chief figures out why Karev has been stinking up the joint, and rides the elevator with him until he stops freaking out. That’s totally the sort of thing that ought to make me cry, and yet, this episode felt completely off, and I remained unmoved. Finally we have the case Dana Davies (of Heroes and The Nine, hurrah!) shows up as a virgin bride who accidentally aspirates a condom at a bachelorette party (attempting to learn some, erm, fancy party tricks for her wedding night). Of course the guy (who has been understanding of her desire to wait) feels betrayed. Honestly, wouldn’t she just have gotten a friend to take her to the hospital? Or let the docs kick hubby-to-be out of the room so they could tell her in person, like they tried? I feel like this case would have been a lot funnier if the writers hadn’t decided that we should find all this out from April and Meredith, who had to tell the fiance when Dana couldn’t. Not that it wasn’t funny hearing April stumble over the world banana. Still, lame.
This did lead to a funny discussion of how, and with who, the residents first had sex. It comes out that April hasn’t had that first time yet (she’s about as good at faking sexual knowledge as Steve Carrell’s character in The 40 Year Old Virgin). I like the plausible way she explains it; she wanted to be in love, for it to be special, but that didn’t happen (“I think men find me annoying”) and by then she’d waited too long to just have sex to get it over with. She takes huge amounts of crap about it until she finally explodes, over at Joe’s, and starts speaking the truth her coworkers have kept hidden, the stuff she won’t normally talk about because she’s too polite. Alex won’t ride the elevator, Avery cries through nightmares every night, Meredith’s afraid Cristina won’t return to normal, and Lexie complains all day about Mark watching her because he thinks she’s going to break down again, but obviously he’s just in love with her and can’t keep his eyes off of her. That was probably the most satisfying scene in the episode. “April, I’m liking you more and more,” Meredith grins.
(Random connections: April’s virginity issue did make me think of Puck singing “Only the Good Die Young” on Glee this week, and how if I’d been his baby momma Quinn, I’d have smacked him in the face when he got to the bits about “I might as well be the one” – so unromantic, so April’s dilemma – and how Catholic girls miss out on a good time by not getting it on early enough. Because, you know, pregnancy was a really fun time for Quinn. However. I digress. )
Of course, it’s at this point that Lexie slaps on some make up and goes over to Mark’s, only to find him ripping the clothes off of Derek’s sister. So, I guess Lexie’s over being feeling suffocated with him, then? Well, she’s always been a romantic. But as for the other stuff – ick. Ick because it’s his best friend’s kid sister, ick because he told her at the beginning of the episode that she’d always be 12 to him, just ick.
Better luck next week, I hope. The previews did look promising. What did you think? Did you like Superfreak better than I did? Should I just not watch the reruns?