E: Okay, this was definitely better than last week. We had good patients, even if the writers were way, way obvious about them. I like good patients. We get McBaby news (now, don’t get all excited, not that kind of news) and we get to see Doctor Hotness Monster’s abs. And those abs, they are impressive. We also get some serious questions; how much would you choose to know about your future, if you could? Does your biology determine your life, or can you choose otherwise?
Big case of the week: old lady (Six Feet Under‘s Frances Conroy) drives her car into a laundromat and injures her husband and a random girl named Lila (Diane Farr of Roswell and Numb3rs). Lila tells Meredith she can’t die in the laundromat – she has to go to Brazil next week, and sleep with gorgeous Brazilian men. But she’s not a slut, you see; she has Huntington’s, so she already knows how she’s going to die; in the 5 good years she might have left, she’s going to live, damn it. She wishes she could get a piece of Avery while she’s in the hospital. Um, lovely. Teddy (who finds cardiac wanna be Avery a pale substitute for Cristina) does the surgery; Avery uses this sincere flirting technique to mesmerize her into allowing him to scrub in. It’s not as obvious or gross as I thought it would be from the way it’s been advertised and buzzed about. And we did get to see his abs, which, like I said, are impressive. Not to mention him batting his pretty, pretty eyes. Eventually Teddy justly put him in his place.
April and Lexie, who are bickering because Lexie’s now sleeping in the attic and slicing up her legs in the bathroom because April and Jackson moved in, and also because Lexie is jealous the residents now seem to prefer April, who has also become Mer’s confidant, are on the old lady’s case. Lexie orders every test she can think of to see why the old lady blacked out; we find out instead that the husband had left his wife for a younger woman in their church choir. When Mrs. Scorned saw him doing this woman’s laundry (something he’d never done in the 38 years of marriage), well, she loses it. I felt for her, but I have to say, the most interesting part was having Lexie and April explain that you can’t confess an attempted murder to doctors, because doctor/patient confidentiality only applies to your medical information. You’re thinking of lawyers, they say. Ooops. That was an excellent scene, don’t you think?
Callie and Arizona’s happy couple problem of the week? Arizona doesn’t like Mark, because he stares at her boobs when he’s talking to her and has abs where his heart should be. That last line gave me a great chuckle. Alex and Callie being all “you have great boobs, so you shouldn’t care” was really kind of a gross answer. I’m annoyed with the show about that. Really, Greys? You need to defend the boob starers out there? Whatever. Arizona agrees to try and get over it – especially when Alex adds that Mark saved his life despite Alex dating Lexie. (Okay, I know Mark isn’t heartless, but he IS a doctor and so it’s not so very much a virtue that he didn’t let Alex die so as to get back in Lexie’s pants. Seriously, people, how low are your standards?)
The other big case of the week, one which fits neatly into the titular concept? A young ballet dancer, with an amusingly enthusiastic Dad (because big burly men aren’t supposed to like ballet, right?) has cancer in his leg. The chemo hasn’t worked, and the best thing to do would really be to cut it off, but dance is this boy’s life, yo. He even dances for the staff so they can see how integral it is to him. Now, the actor is a dancer – so why, I ask you, did they not give us a clean view of the dance? This was really annoying. The heads of the audience block our view. The camera focuses on his face, rather than his full body. And even when we get most of his body, we don’t get to see his feet at the same time. This was supposed to be an ecstatic scene, fully expressing his joy in movement. So what the heck? I found this really annoying. Why bother to do it if you’re not going to show it?
At any rate, Alex figures out a very cool, crazy, risky way to help. Take out the section of bone, blast it with radiation to fix the cancer, put it back, and monitor him closely to make sure the cancer doesn’t come back. Burt Hummel – I mean, the dancer’s dad – agrees to anything that might let his boy dance. And it works, at least for now. Go Alex! And go April, for suggesting it.
Cristina and Owen, by the way, have started house hunting. In the beginning of the episode, a real estate agent takes them a tour of an abandoned fire house. How completely awesome is that? Cristina’s bored – bored today. Until, that is, Christian Clemenson (who you must recognize from half the shows on tv, but will always be Abel Koontz to me and mine) shows up at the clinic with a belly full of worms he’s been living with for a year in the hopes of synthesizing enzymes to defeat his asthma. Bailey’s unable to save the worms when the man’s bowel ruptures (gross! super gross!) but Cristina does her damnedest. The rogue researcher gives an impassioned speech about how he’s found the purpose of his life, and how he’ll never give up something he’s that good at even if it could cost him his life. Cristina, do you get it yet? Can the writers knock you over the head any harder? At any rate, when she gets off shift Cristina buys the firehouse for Owen. Because, you know, you can do that – pass papers just like that, at night. Perhaps Cristina regularly carries hundreds of thousands of dollars and a notary in her pocket? At any case, she makes the grand gesture, champagne bucket and all. “I don’t care where we live,” she tells him, ” but you love this place, and I love you.” I still can’t believe she wasn’t thrilled by the firehouse – you get your own fire pole! perfect for getting paged in the middle of the night! not to mention the big red metal doors – but at least we get to see a really passionate kiss.
I think I was slow on the uptake here, because until Meredith burst into the Chief’s office, I did not get that the writers were using Lila’s Huntington’s disease to make a point about the sword of Alzheimer’s hanging over Mer’s head. My mind just did not go there. Mer gets Cristina to stick her in the arm so she can get tested. Should she even try to have a baby if she’s going to pass on the Alzheimer’s? The ob Mer and Der saw at the beginning of the show told her she had a “hostile uterus,” which might be more responsible for her miscarriage than the shootings, and she might have trouble carrying another McBaby to term. Why are women’s health terms so pejorative? The establishment can change stuff to make impotence sound less limp, but women still get to be told they have advanced maternal age and hostile uteruses. Lovely. I’m a bit surprised there wasn’t more funny to be had from that term, but no, no memorable lines emerged. It was, however, nice to see April and Meredith bonding (and April good-naturedly joking along about her untouched uterus and perky ovaries). And it was nice to Meredith talk Lexie down, even though if Mer hadn’t ignored her in the first place, it wouldn’t have been necessary.
In the end, Derek asks Meredith not to get tested. Let’s not let biology determine our future. Let’s live like we want, and do the things we would normally do (ie, not backpack the world bopping handsome strangers, being afraid to put down roots) and let whatever happens, happen. I’ve been debating in my head whether I think he’s right or not. I guess I mostly do. On the one hand, if you DON’T have the gene, it’s a profound relief, but what if you do? Do you change your behavior for a death sentence? We’re all under a death sentence, anyway, even if we mostly pretend we’re not. It’s another version of “live like you’re dying”; be sure that where you are is where you want to be.