E: Okay, you’re going to think I’m crazy, but this week the writers did a bunch of things I normally would not be a fan of, and yet I kind of feel like they pulled them off. We got the inkling of new pairings, all in our tight group of coworkers, and I’m normally inclined to insist they get an EHarmony membership. We got no fascinating patient characters, which I’s usually be peeved at, but actually found kind of great. Teddy saves the Middle East peace process by herself, which, again, is something of a stretch. There was a lot of bad behavior going on this week, and you know, I kind of liked it. It wasn’t terribly showy bad behavior (looks like some of that is on tap for next week) but still, it can be really interesting to see smart people do dumb things, and this week, there were quite a few.
So, Cristina. Cristina’s dancing the death disco, and sitting amidst boxes in her new historic firehouse. Cristina goes to the mall. Leaving aside the fact that she’s totally patronizing about the lives of regular folk (they eat pretzels! they walk instead of run! they shop!), I was at least relieved to see Meredith’s twisted sister doing something other than mope. I mean, hey, she cut off Callie’s hair. She bought a whole house full of furniture for the firehouse, which has gaping holes in the walls, and unfinished floors. She threw a spontaneous housewarming party. The Attendings decided to attend her party for the sole purpose of cornering her and talking her back into going to work: Derek, who has been through his own hiding phase, helps her escape to her picturesque roof, where they have a hilarious discussion about the moral imperative of refinishing one’s existing original oak floors. It’s not our Cristina, and I’m weirded out by that, but at least she’s someone. Better mistakes than paralysis!
Speaking of paralysis, when is Callie coming back to work again? Why is she not there? Webber made it clear that he wanted her back. She’s sublet her apartment so she has no place to stay (except, we saw her moping around someplace that didn’t look like a hotel, so where was that?), she’s drinking, she’s desperately hoping Arizona will call. She doesn’t. And it sounds like Callie’s going to move in with Mark until she can figure out what to do about the subletter. Yeah, that’s going to be a good idea. Happily, Callie’s hair (once an actual stylist got his hands on it) looks smoking hot. I could not love the blue more. Do you suppose the other mothers would look at me funny if I had chunky blue bits in my hair at nursery school pick up?
I have to ask. Why is Derek being such an ass to Teddy? He nit picked and challenged her in public and was unforgivably rude all day. This might be problematic enough when he’s calling her out in the Patient Profile talk she gave on lung transplant recipient Ray, (Don’t even get me started on what an unprofessional idiot Mark was, stopping the presentation so he could call Callie to talk – in front of a hundred people – about Cristina.) Then he’s called in to fix a brain bleed in a politician from an unnamed Middle Eastern country, whose heart also needs to be fixed by Teddy thanks to a car accident during secret talks. (Loved all the docs speculating on who was getting the secret surgery with all the security. “Is it Bono?” Bailey asks the Chief. So cute!) I started to wonder if Derek cared more about being self-righteous to Teddy than saving his patient’s life. (Thankfully, Owen keeps everyone in line, the guy lives, and Teddy has a lovely moment with a secret service agent “who was never there.”) The man is being unnecessarily mean and heartless. Can he be blaming Teddy for Cristina’s mess, truly? I do not buy that. It’s nonsensical. He need a better reason. He needs to consider that the last time he was cold and heartless, he got himself and a lot of other people shot.
So Avery’s crushing on Lexie? That seems to have come out of the blue. I do love his line about it. He’s rightly cautioned April not to even think about Karev (“don’t go there – don’t even go there”) but then can’t keep his eyes off Lexie as she sashays away. When April responds in kind (don’t you go there!) he tells her “I’m a guy – I live there.” Hee. That’s just cute. It’d be fascinating to see Lexie with a peer, who is actually a good guy. He’s smart, funny, kind, and oh yes, ridiculously gorgeous. Seriously, Avery seems like great boyfriend material to me. Is that one no one has snapped him up? Why doesn’t he rate a McNickname? I don’t know. Maybe it’ll be good for them to go there.
Oh. I didn’t mention, did I? Poor Avery thinks no one wants to work with him, and he loses a pancreatic surgery post op patient of Bailey’s. Bailey’s looking to revolutionize pancreatic surgery to prevent fistulas, and she wants to bring Avery in on it. He doesn’t know that yet, though, and is feeling pretty unloved.
And that brings us to the evolving story of April and Alex, of Kepner and Karev.
Both AKs were on the service of one Dr. Stark, a new pediatric surgeon played by Peter MacNicol. Ah, we think, that lovably scamp from Ally McBeal and Numb3rs. What a perfect pediatrician he’ll be! Alas, no. He turns out to be the anti-Robbins. Now, he does seem to have a decent manner with his patients (when he talks to them) but he’s dreadful to the residents, and pretty contemptuous of the makers of the tiny humans. He refuses to answer the questions of internet researching parents of a 4 month old in need of a new liver (gulp). The donor liver (half of an adult liver) is too large, and so he decides to leave baby Lisa open (open!) until it fits better. Alex and April are apoplectic over the risk of infection, but Stark doesn’t care. Then he lies to the parents about it and tells them everything has gone beautifully. Yes, he makes us really miss Arizona – whose name still appears in the credits, by the way. Hmmm.
Alex, who’s been having a pretty rotten day (we see his car break down; he gives the impression he’s been in Vegas), calls Stark on his failures. But – inspired by a little bad seed/children of the corn type with a gun, he has the genius breakthrough that a ping pong ball can hold the liver in place (huh? I’ll take their word for this) which will allow them to closer Lisa up. Hurrah! Or you’d think so, anyway. Stark reams Karev out, saying he’s going to complain to Webber about Alex’s bad attitude and inappropriate focus, then steals the idea and invites Webber into the surgery to brag. Thankfully April’s scrubbed in, and she forces Stark to admit to an admiring Webber that Alex was the true originator of the ping pong project. April finds a sleepy, angry Alex hiding in the on call room and tries to cheer him up. At which point, he kisses her, and starts ripping her clothes off.
Oh, April. Honey. Whatever were you thinking? I loved what you said to Alex at first – that you wanted him to know someone noticed his effort and good work – but did you really want to have your first time in the On Call room? With the door unlocked? Ugh. The best we can say for Alex here is that when she reminds him she’s a virgin, he asks if she’s sure she really wants to do this. And she is. (No! Dummy! Don’t do!) She doesn’t have the chance to hate herself in the morning, though (or not in the same way) because when she asks him to slow down, Alex rips right into her. Do you want to screw or not? Because he’s not going to hold her hand and walk her through it. She stiffens in horror and he leaves the room in a rage. It’s dreadful.
This going to sound loony, but I think that played out in a realistic way, and sort of in a good one. I mean, I felt awful. I feel awful for April. What Alex did was pretty hideous. But it was consistent with his attitude (especially with women) and I think it would have been far worse if she hadn’t spoken up for herself, or if they’d made it slightly more romantic and she’d slept with him only to be tossed away afterward. I knew they were going to go there, and given that, I think this is the best way it could have played out. I don’t think the situation is remotely done, though. And the more I think about it, the more I feel like removing sex from their relationship is the most romance-inducing thing that could happen to Alex. Is it completely insane that this whole set up makes me wonder if Alex and April could make a great couple?
Yeah. Probably insane.
April arrives at the firehouse and starts crying when she explains to Owen she hasn’t had time to get them a housewarming gift. I want to cry. Avery sees her, and hustles her away, and she clearly unburdens the whole story, because when Alex shows up (hopefully looking to apologize for his completely beastly behavior) Avery beats the crap out of him. Which was quite satisfying, really. Lexie gets ice and a towel for Avery’s hand, and tells him April’s not his only friend (leading to even more crushing). The Grey sisters seem to be in charge of emotional clean up: Meredith takes Alex outside to yell at him, where he confesses that he’s just been home in Iowa, where he was forced to commit his brother to a mental institution, because the brother (Aaron, right) has attacked their sister (Amber?) because he’s now schizophrenic, like their mom.
So of course, we’ve been mad at Alex, and now we feel bad. Not that he had any right to do what he did to April. Not that it’s justified in any way. And not that someone being nice to him ought to mean they’re fair game for a quickie in the On Call room. What’s the line in the trailer for that movie Love and Other Drugs – that sex is a distraction – “finding an hour or two of relief from the pain of being you.” But that was a bad weekend, and he was already pretty filled with self-loathing, and so he did something else he pretty much knew was vile. Maybe he wanted to be the one in control, or maybe he just wanted to be irresponsible. But he can acknowledge to Meredith that he did the wrong thing, and that April’s feelings matter. I’m hoping, in the evolution of Alex, this is – or will lead to – a step up.
And that’s pretty much it. What did you guys think? Meredith and Cristina still aren’t speaking, Cristina is sill off her rocker, and April is thankfully still chaste. Even if two out of the three are bad, I was still pretty pleased with my night at Seattle Grace.