E: I’m not going to go so far as to call this a bad episode of Grey’s, but it wasn’t very exciting. But then, maybe that’s because the most effecting part? Was totally plagiarized.
Other than Derek’s study, and the misery of randomized drug trials for the people who get the placebo, they stole the Alzheimers plot wholesale from the luminous, Oscar nominated Canadian film Away From Her. The whole thing about an Alzheimer’s patient forgetting that they’re married to one person and falling in love with another, who also fails to remember their own marriage? Yeah. That. That actually makes me livid, and for me it wasted all the lovely work of the actress playing actual wife Allison. If you were moved by the plot, and you like that sort of thing, rent that movie. It’s amazing, absolutely amazing. I am glad, however, that Alex told Derek that he couldn’t hack lying to the patients, and that Meredith was the person to assist him. I loved the conversation that Meredith had about giving her senile mother the gift of meeting her where she was, even if she had to lie (in that case, about her identity).
Something which was both fun and tiresome was the baby quadrangle drama. Since when is Callie ready to get back with Arizona? Was she only mad at Arizona for leaving because she was freaked out about being pregnant? I felt like I missed an episode when Callie calmly asked Arizona if she was in, and said she wanted them to raise the baby together. So weird. Arizona being freaked out seemed pretty reasonable: “You slept with someone else. And I’m even madder that that person had a penis.” Hee hee!
I loved Mark throughout this. I loved him for his refusal to be the “cool uncle,” as Callie put it. I hated Callie freaking out over spotting (even though spotting is totally terrifying) because they only played it for laughs, and carried it too far. It’s a genuinely scary thing, but it doesn’t make you hide in the ob’s office all day. It seemed, I don’t know, weird. I know Callie is this odd mixture of screw up and super competent, but this episode was too full of both sides. (BTW, I was all prepared to be mad that they could say penis on the one hand, and then not admit that Callie would have to have an internal ultrasound in order to see the baby’s heart beat. But if you notice, even though they didn’t say it, she was pretty clearly having an internal because there was no wand for the second ultrasound, just a sheet wrapped around Callie’s belly. I didn’t feel like we got to see the beating all that well, though, and it is one of the great miracles of a modern woman’s life, seeing that tiny speck actually beat. )
And while I feel for Lexie, I totally do, I couldn’t help but laugh when she stormed out tearfully in the middle of adding tarragon to her dinner, because Mark had done it to her again! Leaving aside the fact that he didn’t actually do any of it TO her, it’s hilariously awful, because damn it, he’s knocked up someone else again! (I liked Derek’s grouchy response to the pregnancy, I liked Mark’s reply – “Sloans are unusually fertile – and I really liked the whole mighty oak bit. Awesome. So at least there was that.) It really is quite a lot to expect this poor girl – who just wants to have a normal boyfriend, for heaven’s sake – to be all about raising her boyfriend’s baby with his ex-girlfriend and her lover. (I loved the way Callie broke it all down for the new ob, though: lesbian partner, baby daddy. Cute.) Ah, poor Lexie. I know you love him, but that’s the trouble with falling for a guy that much older than you are. He wants different things.
Do you think they’re grooming the new ob as a love interest for Jackson? Because really, how could they have a man that delicious on this show for so long and not have him even kiss somebody? Seriously!
Speaking of Jackson and Yang compete to perform a complicated surgery on a sweet little old lady, Martha. She’s played by veteran character actress Angela Paton, and she looks more than a little like she could be Richard Griffiths’ relation, and I can’t think why she seems so familiar (Groundhog Day, maybe?) but she does. Mostly, I found their competition annoying and repetitive except for two things. First, it was lovely to see Cristina with an actual bedside manner. She didn’t used to be able to fake being nice and sympathetic, and not only did she fake it, she actually WAS it. Crazy. She convinces Martha that she really needs to have the operation, rather than having a few months death watch without it.
(But there was one part of that which made no sense. You could have twenty more years, Cristina tells her. You know, that brought a tear to my eye, except how the heck old is that character supposed to be? The actress is 80, and looks it. I loved the bit about being at the grandchild’s wedding, but I thought it was just a touch overboard.)
The other thing is that Jackson calls Cristina out on not having a lot of practice lately, and Cristina hides and pretends to be hysterical, so that she can steal the surgery. That was all kinds of awesome.
And, finally, the Chief discovers twitter, and gets addicted to it. You know, the idea of tweeting surgeries is kind of amazing, as a teaching tool, but also (as the Chief rightly observed before getting sucked in) total lawyer bait. I can’t imagine that Miranda really could have had her patients sign consent forms without first getting legal to draw them up, and legal would have pitched a fit the size of the grand canyon. I loved the way it played out to create a revolutionary surgery (of course) with ideas and offers of help from all around the country. People working together in real time to save a life? Now that’s good stuff.
So there it is. It didn’t really feel like much, but perhaps if I hadn’t seen Away From Her, it would have. I did like the general idea that surgeons don’t care so much what happens to you after the cutting is over; even though that’s not completely fair, it’s at least partly true. I just thought it could have been carried out better, and when the episode doesn’t really fit the voice over theme, I get disgruntled, too.