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This week was yuge for Grey’s Anatomy. Just yuge. The show hit several notable milestones: 1) the much-coveted post-Superbowl timeslot; 2) its first-ever TO BE CONTINUED…; 3) lesbian shower fantasies; 4) new heights of suspense; and 5) even loftier heights in the suspension-of-disbelief department. All unreality notwithstanding, it made for a great hour of television and brought ABC its largest entertainment show audience in twelve years.The episode begins with a closeup of Meredith’s eyes, along with a voiceover in which she says that patients get a certain look, a certain scent, a certain—how do the French say—I don’t know what. Anyway, there’s a particular aspect that patients get when they sense that death is imminent. Meredith sheds a lone poetic tear but fortunately doesn’t go into the fake-crying hysterics like last week. She finishes with a rhetorical question—if you could do one thing before you died, what would it be?
Apparently Meredith’s final wish is hot lesbo action, because we cut immediately to a scene of her and Izzie together in the shower, soaping each other up. Then Cristina enters the shower as well, and the whole scene is baffling until it becomes clear that THIS MUST BE GEORGE’S DREAM. Which, indeed, it turns out to be. As the dream continues, George hops in the shower with all three women. Izzie says breathlessly that George is “the strongest most masculine man I’ve ever known;” Meredith purrs out that she’s always been in love with George and always will be. HA, good show good show, this is hilarious. George lets his towel drop as he closes the door behind him, revealing a beaut of a Brazilian wax.
Just as the bosoms start heaving, George wakes up with a jolt and falls out of bed. Izzie storms into his room and complains that he keeps clogging the toilet. Gross. In the next room, Meredith’s dressed and ready for work but has gone back to bed, whining that she wants to stay home. Izzie and George insist she has to go to the hospital—after all, maybe there’ll be some big fun horrific accident with lots of blood and DEATH. But even this appeal to Meredith’s good side fails, so Izzie and George call in the big guns—Cristina “Seoulcrusher” Yang—to roust Meredith out of bed.
Meredith has some vague feeling that she might die, so she still refuses to go in. She goes on and on about how the man she loves has a wife, and chose her over Meredith, and then the wife took Meredith’s dog to boot! BITCH YOU GAVE HER THE DOG YOURSELF, so quit your whining. Anyway, Meredith continues that Dr. She-Shepherd now has her McDreamy, her McLife, so what does she herself have left? Not much, sweetie, aside from A NICE WARM GLASS OF McSHUT THE HELL UP. Meredith says she needs something, some sign, some hope, some reason to go on—til that arrives, she’s staying in bed. Thankfully, Cristina, showing no empathy whatsoever, jumps onto the bed and literally kicks Meredith out.
At the hospital, Dr. Webber observes that the patient board is very quiet, which in his experience means trouble. Yeah, I saw the previews for tonight’s episode, and when Christina Ricci crashes your show, the end can’t be far away. Dr. He-Shepherd, meanwhile, confronts Dr. Burke about why he won’t ever call him “Derek”—after all, they’ve known each other for a while and should be on a first-name basis by now. Dr. Burke declines, and not even respectfully!
Cristina arrives at the hospital with Meredith and laments that she hasn’t been in the O.R. for two days, so her bloodthirst is dangerously unquenched. The other interns complain that the last couple replacement residents overseeing them have sucked. Boooo, does this mean that Dr. Heron from last week won’t be back? I was counting on her ballsy nuttiness—nutty ballsiness?—for at least a couple more episodes. Meredith once again says she has a bad feeling—hmmm, I wonder if something bad might happen this episode—but Dr. He-Shepherd says she should just wait and it’ll go away. Izzie, ever one to stay on topic, tells Alex that though she’s forgiven him for cheating on her, her legs are “closed to [him] now.” “Backdoor action,” however, remains a possibility.
The patient board remains so empty that the interns go outside and salivate like rottweilers at the ambulance arrival area, waiting for some fresh meat to cut up. Out of nowhere, Dr. Bailey shows up to inform them that she’s PISSED—they’ve run off two replacement residents already and have earned such a bad reputation that nobody in the hospital wants to work with them. George runs up and inexplicably hugs Dr. Bailey, which instantly causes her water to break all over his shoes. Damn, nothing puts a subordinate in his place like the good old amniotic fluid. Well played!
Uh-oh, here comes an ambulance, which I imagine contains whatever manner of malevolence and death the commercials for this episode have been hyping. The interns open the ambulance doors to find a woman covered in blood and screaming her head off, which is understandable because she’s standing next to Christina Ricci. The actual patient is lying on a stretcher with a giant hole in his chest, which Ms. Ricci has generously offered to remedy by PLUNGING HER FIST INTO IT. A veritable Florence Nightingale.
Christina Ricci, though I don’t trust the bitch for a second, says they found the patient unconscious and bleeding with a large chest wound, but since the guy’s unhelpful wife won’t stop SHRIEKING—I mean really, the silly ho hasn’t stopped for a half second—they have no idea what caused the injury.
Back inside the hospital, Dr. Burke complains to Cristina that she was gone when he woke up that morning and didn’t leave a note. She apologizes perfunctoriliy and says she “had a thing.” Right. Dr. Burke says that he’s sick of how everything’s always fine each time they go to bed and then when he wakes up in the morning she’s gone crazy. Whatever man, didn’t you see Sideways? Wait and see what happens when you try to dump her.
The doctors ask Christina Ricci—fine, her character’s name is Hannah—why she, um, has her hand inside the patient’s chest. She says it was the only thing that would stop the bleeding—even SNOOPY Band-Aids wouldn’t work. The patient’s wife, meanwhile, is still screaming like a banshee, so Dr. Burke sends Cristina to shut her up.
Before you can say “opportunistic,” Cristina pawns the screaming woman off on Alex, who finally gets the woman to stop shrieking by screaming right back in her face. When he asks her how her husband sustained the chest wound, she just starts crying again. God, they should set this woman up with AndraÃƒÂ© from Project Runway—they’d make AWESOME knitting-circle buddies.
George, meanwhile, reveals his creepy side by watching giddily through the window as Dr. She-Shepherd examines Dr. Bailey’s cervix. Before long, not only George but Dr. Webber too is staring through the window, witnessing the miracle of the divine feminine that is Dr. Bailey’s lady-region. Dr. Webber says it’ll great to have Dr. Bailey back, since it’ll restore “balance” to the hospital. Not to mention “sweet, sweet flava.” When Dr. Bailey comes out, George and Dr. Webber ask whether they can get her anything. She asks only for a new vagina. Fortunately, George is willing to lend her his for a few hours, so crisis averted. Dr. Bailey wonders where her husband is, since he was on his way to the hospital and should’ve been here by now. George offers to call Mr. Bailey’s cell phone.
Izzie is assigned a newly arrived patient, a man who’s just suffered a severe head injury in a car accident. Incidentally, this new patient is black. Since there’s no better forum than TVgasm to trade in stereotypes, let’s just go out on a limb and assume—theoretically—that this black guy might be Dr. Bailey’s husband. I mean from what I know of Seattle, about 80% of the city’s black residents are part of the cast of this show. And hell, I’m just playing the odds, folks.
In the O.R., the black patient’s cell phone starts ringing, and Dr. He-Shepherd tells Izzie to go answer it. Whaddya know, it’s George, calling from Dr. Bailey’s phone. Blast, so now we have Dr. Bailey in labor, her husband in brain surgery, and CHRISTINA RICCI on the premises. Right about now Dr. Webber wishes he had one of those Easy Buttons from Staples.
Hannah tells the hospital personnel that she knows nothing about medicine—it’s only her second week as a paramedic—but she does have syphilis, which certainly qualifies her to be a medical professional at this hospital. Out in the hallway, Dr. He-Shepherd notices that Dr. Burke calls his wife “Addison” yet still won’t call him “Derek.” Once again he asks why. Dripping with condescension—I mean literally, it’s running down his nose, somebody get a tissue—Dr. Burke says he likes Dr. She-Shepherd but NOT He-. Oh snap. Back in the O.R., though, Dr. He-Shepherd gets a much-needed self-esteem boost when the mumbling Mr. Bailey says that Dr. Bailey has always really liked him.
Alex, meanwhile, determines that the screaming woman is probably in shock due to seeing the gaping chasm in her husband’s chest. No shit. Once the woman is finally calm, Alex asks again what happened. The husband’s best friend, who was present at the time of the accident, shows up. It turns out that he and the woman’s husband sometimes get bored and head to the back yard to reenact stuff from World War II. Oh great, REENACTORS—maybe next week we’ll have MIMES. Anyway, the two buddies decided to build a replica of a WWII-era antitank bazooka, put on period uniforms, and tried to shoot the gun off in the backyard. It didn’t work but instead decided to go off right when the woman’s husband was standing in front of it. Alex asks whether there was an explosion after the round went off. Hmm, lemme think… nope! Great, so the guy in the O.R. has a LIVE ROUND OF ANTITANK AMMUNITION in his chest.
Alex sprints to the O.R., where Dr. Burke is on the verge of cutting into the patient and asking Hannah to pull her hand out of his chest. He isn’t pleased to be interrupted, but Alex insists and pulls him aside. Once Dr. Burke understands the situation, he returns to the table and asks Hannah whether her hand is touching anything hard or metallic. She shouts “Yes!!” and triumphantly rips out the guy’s pacemaker and still-beating heart, which bursts into flame in her hand, to the accompaniment of pagan chant and a brief cameo by a scantily-clad Kate Capshaw. Actually not really—Hannah just says yes, so Dr. Burke asks her to keep her hand completely still. He instructs Meredith to leave the O.R. and tell the head nurse that there’s a “Code Black” in the hospital and then have the nurse call the bomb squad. Meredith and several others refuse to obey Dr. Burke’s command that they leave the O.R. Alex, however, thinking wistfully of the legions of syphilitic bastard children he might have in the future, says he’s heading out.
Back in obstetrics, Dr. She-Shepherd continues to examine Dr. Bailey’s undercarriage. Dr. Bailey refuses painkillers and says she should’ve just had the baby at home. George is still lingering around, way too interested in the placental proceedings. Suddenly, Dr. She-Shepherd’s pager goes off, and she leaves the room. In the O.R., Dr. He-Shepherd’s pager goes off—ooh, it’s like that scene in The Siege. Cristina announces to the O.R. that the hospital wants everyone to evacuate, but Dr. He-Shepherd thinks it might be only a drill. Besides, he has Mr. Bailey’s skull open on the table and can’t just leave the guy lying there, because brains go stale pretty fast.
In the elevator, George asks Dr. She-Shepherd accusatorily whether she wants him to lie to Dr. Bailey about the fact that her husband is in surgery. Okay, soapbox time—I get that George can’t lie to people, but it’s getting annoying as shit. He needs to just shut his mouth and suck it up. If he can keep his thing for Meredith a secret for this long, I have a tough time buying that he’s, you know, ADDICTED TO TRUTH-TELLING. Now that my soapbox is safely away, Izzie comes into the elevator and says that Mr. Bailey’s injuries are worse than initially expected. Izzie and George ask what a Code Black is—they obviously didn’t read Screenwriting for Dummies—but Dr. She-Shepherd avoids answering.
Back in Dr. Burke’s O.R., Hannah is pretty nervous at the fact that her hand’s touching live unexploded ammunition. They shut down the patient’s ventilator and start respirating him manually because the flow of oxygen “posed a danger.” Well, duh. Hannah asks if she could just pull her hand out really quickly, but Dr. Burke insists that it could cause the ammo to shift and explode. Okay, sorry to piss on the parade again, but Hannah said earlier that she’d taken her hand out a few times and put it back in because the bleeding wouldn’t stop. We’re hanging by only the slimmest thread of believability here, writers.
The scene, nonetheless, is very tense—they’ve even conspicuously abandoned the background music that we’ve all gotten used to as a near-constant part of this show. Dr. Burke tries to boost Hannah’s confidence and assure her that the bomb squad is on its way. Prick though he may be, he really is good in these sorts of situations.
Dr. Webber announces that most of SGH’s patients are being rerouted to other hospitals. Though the danger is confined to the surgical wing, all hospital personnel are free to leave unless they want to stay. He starts to say that all the O.R.s have been evacuated, but then Izzie interrupts to inform him that Dr. He-Shepherd’s is still occupied, mid-surgery. Finally, the bomb squad arrives, led by what appears to be Ron Livingston meets a young Charlie Sheen (sans hookers, unfortunately).
Back in intern self-absorptionland, Cristina is annoyed that the explosive patient wasn’t assigned to her. George and Izzie lament that they are ineffectual people, confined to the sidelines while Alex and Meredith and Cristina are “doers.” Izzie says that she needs to get “proactive.” Izzie honey, your skin is fine—and Vanessa Williams is just a snake-oil saleswoman anyway. Izzie pulls out a hand puppet and gives herself an inspirational speech about how she needs to be a doer, to fight for what she wants. She then runs straight to Alex in the supply closet, rips off her top, says she hasn’t had sex in eight months, and basically yanks Little Alex out of Alex’s pants. I guess when she said she admired “doers” she literally meant BITCHES IN HEAT. Alex is a little taken aback at first, but they get it on amid the syringes and latex. Though it’s left unclear, we can probably assume that Alexcito finally functioned for once.
The leader of the bomb squad tells Dr. He-Shepherd that he has to leave the O.R. He refuses, what with Mr. Bailey’s brain still exposed. Though the bomb squad says the chief of surgery authorized them to shut everything down, Dr. He-Shepherd says he’s way more afraid of Dr. Bailey than he is of the chief of surgery. Speaking of, over in obstetrics, the Queen of Soul herself is complaining that she’s dilated to 9cm and just needs that one last centimeter. Yes but WE didn’t need to hear about it, thanks. Dr. Bailey can sense that Dr. She-Shepherd is withholding something from her, so she asks point-blank exactly where her husband is. Dr. She-Shepherd finally fesses up that Mr. Bailey had a car accident and is in surgery.
Even after viewing x-rays of the live-ammo patient’s chest, the bomb squad still doesn’t know what to do. In the O.R., Hannah is still holding out, keeping her hand completely steady inside the patient. But the anesthesiologist Dr. Milton (who’s been pumping the patient’s manual respiration bag) apparently didn’t inhale enough of his own happy gas, because he goes into a long, disturbing reverie about what happens to people who are killed in explosions: the human body turns into “pink mist” and that often there’s nothing left of a person but liquid, not even a finger, etc. He goes on and on—”One minute you’re a person, the next, bloody rain,”—wow, this guy is awful. After his soliloquy, he shows Hannah how to use the manual respiration bag, hands it over to her, and flees the room, saying he has kids to take care of. I’m sure you do buddy, but next week you’ll also have a new asshole courtesy of Dr. Burke, who is gonna be PISSED LIKE YOU WOULDN’T BELIEVE.
In obstetrics, Dr. Bailey, still mired in contractions, tells George she’s packing her bags and going home because, in light of her husband’s accident, she refuses to have the baby now. She plans to hold it in, even if it takes duct tape and a shitload of Krazy Glue. Commence the emotional scene of the episode, as Dr. Bailey breaks down and says she can’t possibly go this road alone—she needs her husband because once this baby starts crying and crapping all day there’s no way she’ll have time for a career without his help. This scene really does hit home, since it’s the first time we’ve really seen Dr. Bailey in a situation that’s actually beyond her control.
Meredith and Cristina peek into the O.R. and see that Hannah is doing everything by herself—respirator bag with her left hand, ammo stabilization with her (increasingly shaky) right hand. They should call in Britney Spears—she could do all this while driving. By this point Hannah’s sweating bullets and is clearly about to crack up—she says she can’t hold her hand in any longer and is going to take it out. Despite Meredith’s attempts to calm her down, Hannah starts shaking and hyperventilating.
The situation gets almost unbearably tense until Hannah suddenly pulls her hand out of the guy’s chest and bolts for the door. Everyone in the room hits the deck except Meredith, who stands in front of the patient with the dazed expression that she seems to wear about 90% of the time these days. Before anyone realizes what’s happened, Meredith has put her hand in the guy’s chest in Hannah’s place.
So… to be continued. Suspension of disbelief aside, I thought this was a great episode. So what will happen next week? My prediction: since Meredith loves whining about her trials and tribulations so much, she’ll go for the holy grail of self-righteousness—MARTYRDOM—but will stay on in the cast as a beyond-the-grave voiceover Ã la Mary Alice in Desperate Housewives.