After a great Thanksgiving episode, Grey’s Anatomy was back in good form again this week. Moreover, George Dzundza fans the world over were delighted at the spectacular amount of screen time he was given. It was like Basic Instinct all over again! Anyway, on we go…
The episode opens with an ominous aerial pan over Seattle. Drama! Indeed, the first scene is at the nursing home, where Ellis Grey is freaking out about Dr. Webber going back to his wife. As she rants frantically, Meredith looks miserable. She tries to get Ellis to understand that all the events she’s worried about happened a long time ago… back when men were men and Shelley Long was a bankable star. At first it looks like Ellis is finally understanding Meredith’s words, but then she snaps back into dementia, exclaiming that Webber left her because she had a daughter, so she should never have had kids in the first place. Ooh, this would’ve made a great Mother’s Day episode.
“How’s my puffy RenÃ©e Zellweger look? I’ve been practicing.”
At the hospital, a whole crowd of doctors is in Dr. Webber’s office. And may I just say Webber is wearing a GREAT sweater. Love that cranberry, chief. Bailey is royally pissed, demanding to know what punishment Webber has in store for Burke and Cristina. Webber claims there’s “no definition of justice within the four walls of a hospital”—please let’s not overwrite, WRITERS—and technically and legally Burke and Cristina did nothing wrong, and besides nobody died. He orders Cristina back on rounds with Bailey, which prompts all manner of protest from our favorite Nazi. She finally assents sassily and leaves with Cristina. Webber then pressures Shepherd to do another surgery to fix Burke’s $2 million hand. Burke says he doesn’t want Shepherd’s help.
“And yes, my first solo album will be titled Cranberry Playa“
George goes to visit his dad in his hospital room. Mr. O’Malley laments that his other boys aren’t very responsible, so he tells George that his life insurance papers are in his nightstand and his “magazines” are hidden out in the garage. Initially George has no idea what his dad means, since when George thinks magazines he reflexively thinks of CosmoGIRL and Ladies’ Home Journal. But then he FINALLY gets it just in time for Callie to walk in and overhear everything. George makes his way out, refusing to say hi to Callie even though his dad asks him to be nice to her. Mature!
On one of those spectacular floating walkways at the hospital—who designed this place, Richard Meier?—Shepherd laments that he could’ve done some tests on Burke’s hand had he only known that Burke had a tremor. Burke says he doesn’t want another surgery, since Shepherd caused enough damage with the first one. Great, now he’s officially blaming Shepherd for the tremor—what a douchebag.
In the locker room, the interns backstab Cristina and drool over her seemingly imminent downfall. Meredith tries to defend her by saying Cristina merely made a mistake. Cristina finally arrives, and the others shun her, particularly George. After they all leave, Meredith asks Cristina how things are with her and Burke. Cristina says the two of them are existing in total silence. She rebuffs Meredith’s other attempts to be nice and caring, since she hates people fawning over her. Bailey comes in and angrily collects them to go on rounds.
Dr. Montgomery asks whether Meredith might be interested in her case—it’s Meredith’s long-lost half-sister Molly, who’s in for an emergency C-section. Meredith tries to distance herself, saying Molly isn’t really family, but then Meredith’s stepmother comes over and tries to make nice. My word, Mare Winningham AND George Dzundza in one episode? It’s simply too much.
Back in Mr. O’Malley’s room, George’s mom lays out breakfast for the interns. Unfortunately, George’s brothers arrive suddenly and devour the food like hyenas, leaving only the bones, which Dr. Torres crunches with glee. Dr. Hahn asks for an intern, so Bailey assigns her Cristina. The other interns are shocked, since they figured Cristina was firmly on the punishment track.
But Bailey leads them out in the hall, smacks them all silly with her bejeweled handbag, and says if they don’t stop whining she won’t show them what’s behind the door to patient room #2. When she opens the door, it turns out to contain a pair of adult conjoined twins. The interns now understand that Cristina certainly got the most boring case of the day.
The conjoined twins are two whining, nebbishy fellows who bicker constantly. Because the separation surgery involves both neuro and plastics, Shepherd and Sloan will have to work on the case together. Aww. The way this show is going recently, they’ll probably not only rekindle their friendship but end up making out before the end of the episode. Anyway, the twins want to be separated because one of them has fallen in love with some hooker and wants to get married. Well not necessarily a hooker, but since the woman looks a lot like Tara Reid, I just assumed. Anyway, on cue, this woman enters, and oddly the other twin gets a lovelorn look on his face. Hmm, implied conjoined-twin incest and we’re not yet ten minutes into the episode. Can’t WAIT to see what’s next.
“And if you’ll do anal on the first date, there’s an extra five bucks in it for ya”
Bailey assigns all the remaining interns to the case—except Izzie, who of course can still only watch but not touch. Somehow that sounds vaguely dirty. Anyway, Sloan requests Izzie’s help because he thought she might be fun to look at while he’s working. He also requests a scone and a cappuccino. Thankfully, Izzie refuses to put up with this and suggests that get coffee himself in the ever-popular SGH quasi-outdoor cafeteria. This sass gives Sloan a huge boner.
Webber, meanwhile, is pacing around his secret underground lair drooling over x-rays of the conjoined twins. He can only imagine the great press that Seattle Grace would get if they could pull off this operation successfully. It would be like the equivalent of an SGH sex tape! Shepherd, newly insecure thanks to Burke, says the operation is too risky because both twins could die or be paralyzed. But Webber insists that since the patients want the operation they’re moving forward.
“Hmm, what do I need… ah yes, a giant ‘LASER’”
Montgomery needs to start Meredith’s half-sister’s C-section right away, so she needs and intern. Meredith grudgingly agrees to help—not because she’s quasi-family but because it’s her job. The stepmother assures her that Molly, the half-sister, still doesn’t know Meredith’s identity, since Meredith’s dad has requested they not tell her. Great, way to marry into a family full of assholes, MARE WINNINGHAM.
Back in Mr. O’Malley’s room, Cristina explains that it’s good they’re doing his valve replacement today, because he’s showing some heart irregularities this morning. George bursts into the room, grabs the chart from Cristina, and demands to know about his father’s potassium levels, because apparently George noticed earlier they were a little off. Exasperatedly, Dr. Hahn tells George they have everything well in hand, and Cristina suggests gently that he step outside. George yells at her not to talk to him like that, which prompts his brothers to make fun of him. George whines that Hahn has no right to kick him out of the room, since he hired her to replace Burke in the first place. Wow, he’s really being a bitch.
“I’m so angry, I literally just shit my pants. It’s method acting at its finest.”
Montgomery, meanwhile, is already well into the C-section on Meredith’s half-sister. But when Meredith cuts the umbilical cord, they realize the baby isn’t breathing or responding. Mare Winningham begins to panic, and Montgomery testily commands Meredith to help talk the patient and her mother through this. Meredith finally does so, reluctantly, and without a dose of sensitivity. Later, Meredith apologizes for freezing up in the O.R., but Montgomery says she doesn’t want her in on the newborn’s surgery. Instead she wants Meredith to keep the mother and grandmother updated and check in with her every hour, since the surgery will be pretty long.
In the hall, Dr. Bailey rails into George for the little fit he threw, reminding him that he’s performed zero valve replacements to Dr. Hahn’s, well, two billion. George insists that he has special privileges because the patient is his father. Bailey rejects this with a firm MHMM and commands that George stay fifty feet away from his father from here on out.
Down the hall, Burke asks Hahn how things are going with the O’Malleys. She says George is a real pain in the ass, but Cristina is a spectacularly capable intern, and she heard Cristina studied under Burke to boot! Burke assumes his standard ancient-Eastern-mystic demeanor and says yessssss, Cristina is very… professional. Ooh, he’s like the PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE DALAI LAMA.
Burke runs and hides in a lounge, where he queries Webber about a few renowned neurosurgeons. Webber asks why he’s so focused on other surgeons when Shepherd is far and away the best—is he blaming Shepherd for his hand? Uh, no shit chief, you NARRATED the “previously on Grey’s Anatomy” intro to tonight’s episode, TRY WATCHING IT. Anyway, Webber says til now he hasn’t yelled at Burke because he wanted to support him, but now he’s yelling VERY LOUDLY because he wants to retire so he can go ROLL IN THE SACK WITH LORETTA DEVINE and he passed the torch to Burke and Burke BLEW IT OUT. Ooh this is like the male version of Oprah’s Legends Ball. I just hope they invited David Alan Grier. Anyway, Webber demands that Burke stop acting like a boy and let Shepherd fix his hand.
Ooh, things get ugly when you piss off the CRANBERRY SENSATION
Speaking of, Shepherd is practicing the conjoined-twin separation on some surgical dummy. Turns out it’ll take no less than 22 surgeons to perform the operation. Shepherd remains pessimistic because the surgery is so risky, but Sloan insists that they’ll be able to pull it off. But Shepherd insists that the twins don’t even need the surgery to survive, so it isn’t worth the risk. He walks out in McFrustration.
Meredith goes to update her half-sister and stepmother about the baby’s surgery. Molly freaks out, but Mare Winningham uses her winning(ham) touch to calm her down and assure her that her father’s on his way. Molly says she needs to call her husband, who’s currently on duty in Iraq—ooh, how current! The overflowing familyness of all this is simply too much for Meredith, who leaves the room.
The twins—one of them, especially—are now pretty psyched about the surgery, since they’re so sick of being conjoined. Apparently the last straw was one night when one of the twins and his Tara-Reid-esque girlfriend were in the sack, and the other one “accidentally” touched the girlfriend in one of her happy places. The girlfriend tries to play this down, saying she thought it was “kinda sweet,” but her boyfriend realizes that in fact she actually LIKED the other twin touching her. Kinky!
The girlfriend confesses that she’s indeed in love with her boyfriend, but sometimes after he falls asleep she has heart-to-heart conversations—god knows what that’s a euphemism for—with his brother, which she really likes too. Honestly, they’re just getting to these revelations now? I mean I know this is the same network that still thinks George Lopez is a viable sitcom star, but PLEASE, a little realism, people. Anyway, this woman is apparently SO INSATIABLE she just needs two men and can’t choose between them. This wholly unrealistic drama prompts the twins to get in an awkward fistfight. I guess they really are beating themselves up over whether to get the surgery or not. HAR HAR HAR.
Over lunch, the interns continue to persecute Cristina and ask how she managed to fuck up so badly but not get kicked out of the program. Izzie says bitterly that Cristina gets to scrub in only because none of her patients died. Cristina leaves to go eat somewhere else, annoyed both at the wheedling and at Meredith’s attempts to stand up in her defense.
George goes to his dad’s room and is annoyed to see Callie already in there. Mr. O’Malley says George should “make nice with her” and says he can’t believe how angry George has gotten. He notes that George seems to pick fights with practically everybody these days, when deep down the only person George is really mad at is his own father. Mr. O’Malley admits that he didn’t take care of his health and now he has cancer to show for it. And he realizes that George is annoyed he has to take care of him now. But Mr. O’Malley tearfully says he’s mad at himself too, since the last thing he wants to do is die and leave his boys in charge. Aww, George Dzundza with the acting chops. I smell an Emmy! If you haven’t gotten the message already, WE LOVE GEORGE DZUNDZA.
“Whaddya mean, ‘Dzundza doesn’t roll off the tongue’?
It’s GODDAMN MELODIOUS, like ‘Hargitay’ or ‘Tripplehorn’”
George’s mother and brothers come in, and the brothers instantly start making fun of George since he’s not supposed to be near his dad and will get in trouble. George can’t take it anymore, bellowing that his name isn’t Georgie but Dr. O’Malley. Admittedly he does go by the name “Luxury Divine” when he’s onstage at The Plum Smuggler on Tuesday nights, but for the most part it’s Dr. O’Malley. Anyway, the stress of all this arguing causes Mr. O’Malley to start hyperventilating and descend into some manner of heart malady. George scrambles to treat the situation, but when Burke comes in he says George’s treatment is wrong and will cause more problems than it solves. Burke takes control and stabilizes Mr. O’Malley until the arrival of Dr. Hahn, who orders everybody out of the room.
Sloan pages Izzie solely to get him another cappuccino. Izzie protests, but Sloan lays down the law, warning Izzie that if she wants to get assigned to his good surgeries she has to learn to fetch and stay and heel, not to mention master the art of hot oil massage. Izzie finally assents but retorts that she doesn’t respect Sloan and if he wants her to respect him he has to do something worth respecting. Like lie in bed in a lumberjack outfit all day and do crossword puzzles until his heart gives out.
Shepherd continues to practice on the surgical dummy and remains frustrated, telling Bailey he can’t do the surgery. Bailey says she herself feels insecure sometimes ever since the whole Denny debacle and the M&M. She encourages Shepherd, saying that if Burke had been honest about his tremor there’s no telling what Shepherd could’ve done to prevent it.
“Damn, had I only known there were dummies like this,
Addison and I might really have reinvigorated our sex life”
As Mr. O’Malley is wheeled into the O.R., Mrs. O’Malley breaks down and wails about how lost she’ll be if he dies. Seeing as his mom is so upset, George asks Bailey to be excused from the conjoined twins’ surgery so he can stay with his mom. Bailey, still wallowing in estrogen, says this is the right call.
A few minutes into the twins’ surgery, Sloan for once shows a little sensitivity and asks whether Izzie can scrub in so she can observe the operation from a better vantage point. Webber hesitates, since Izzie is “without privileges,” but Bailey retorts that Cristina messed up too and she’s now slashing up a newborn in O.R. #2. Webber gets the point and lets Izzie scrub in, much to her delight. And Shepherd, despite lingering doubts even halfway through the operation, gets encouragement from Sloan and Bailey and decides to proceed all the way through the surgery.
George and Burke linger in the scrub-in area next to Mr. O’Malley’s O.R., though neither of them technically is allowed to be there. George can’t bear to watch his father’s surgery, so Burke narrates exactly what Hahn and Cristina are doing at the moment—play by play, just like the Golf Channel, only with more blood and less plaid.
Back in the other O.R., the conjoined twins’ surgery continues until they’re both finally separated. And then the nerve impulse readings indicate that the twins do indeed now have four separate, functioning legs. The O.R. bursts into applause like this is the State of the Union address or something.
Meredith informs her half-sister and stepmother that Molly’s newborn needs some recovery time but otherwise should be fine. The stepmother hugs Meredith and reminds her that the new baby is technically her niece. But Meredith pulls away, saying Molly and her mom are very nice and all, but she doesn’t know them, and they’re certainly not her family. When she needs sisterhood, she’ll read back issues of O: The Oprah Magazine, thank you very much.
Midway through Mr. O’Malley’s surgery, Hahn tells Cristina that she reminds her of what she herself was like as an intern: focused, intense, cold, trampy—all in a good way of course. Hahn says that dating, friends, family, and so on are all overrated. HA! I knew she was a lesbian. Anyway, the surgery is going well until Hahn suddenly notices more bleeding than normal around the suture line. Gasp! An “unforeseen” complication! I would never have foreseen it.
Hearing the beeping and commotion, George finally turns around to watch his father’s surgery. As Hahn puts Mr. O’Malley back on bypass, Cristina steps in and furiously starts doing her infamous running whip stitch, since apparently that fixes everything from tachycardia to leaking mitral valves to constipation. Hahn compliments Cristina on her “beautiful work”; Burke, watching through the window, starts drooling uncontrollably at Cristina’s “professionalism.” Burke then knits some yarn about how every person’s body is different and you never know how someone will respond to a specific surgery. Hmm, opening up a little I see.
At the end of the day, Bailey continues to struggle with the fact that Burke and Cristina are escaping punishment. So she confronts the chief again. He says Bailey needs some perspective and that it’d be pointless to fire them, since they’re good surgeons. Bailey bemoans the fact that she’s in charge of not one but two interns now who have made big mistakes.
Webber reminds Bailey that being a resident is just like raising children. Sure, some kids make mistakes and disappoint you—think George W. Bush or Donald Trump Jr.—but other kids turn out just fine. Doesn’t Bailey realize what kind of strength it must’ve taken Cristina to come confess to Webber? Doesn’t Bailey see how much Cristina has grown? Especially in the bustline? Anyway, in our awwwwww moment of the evening, Webber says that you raise interns like children and then some of them turn out exactly like you, Dr. Bailey! AWWWWWW.
Meredith winds down the episode with a voiceover about how we try to keep distance from others and pretend not to care when we’re actually dying for closeness. Of course she fails to take her own advice: Mare Winningham asks whether Meredith wants to see the new baby and suggests kindly that she and Molly could be her substitute family if she wanted, Meredith merely walks away. Biyaaaaaatch.
And then back in the locker room, Meredith finally blows up at the other interns, saying she can’t take their harsh judgments of Cristina anymore. She demands that they let Cristina off the hook, citing examples of times when Cristina stood up for each of them in the past. The other interns finally relent. Afterward, Cristina begs Meredith just to mind her own business, but Meredith insists that Cristina is the closest she has to family. Barbara Walters then bursts in, places a tender hand on Meredith’s knee, and they all have a good cry.
It’s a surefire ratings smash!
And in the hall, George runs into Callie again and is actually civil to her for once. Cristina and Meredith run into Burke and Shepherd in the elevator. Meredith steps off, but Cristina decides to stay behind for some hot triracial action—leaving Meredith, once again, alone.
So Meredith goes to the nursing home, where her mother continues to freak out. Finally Meredith quits with the emotional distance thing and finally HUGS her mother for once. Ellis at last calms down and, for once, finally seems to recognize briefly who Meredith is. Where’s Barbara Walters to document this?
Anyway, I liked this week. The twins’ story was pretty dumb, I thought, but it was a great episode overall. Thoughts?