My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over. Grey’s Anatomy is back after seemingly decades of reruns. Admittedly by this point I can barely remember any of the characters’ names, let alone major plot points. But never you mind.
Amazingly, this week’s episode starts without the usual voiceover. O dearest Pomp… whither thy throaty croak? How will we survive without it? Ooh, but even better than a voiceover, we’re treated to the sumptuous sights and sounds of Meredith SNORING, in bed with Dr. Shepherd. After a nice throaty grunt and a vigorous chortle, she snaps awake, realizing with dread that Shepherd was watching her sleeping.In the kitchen, Izzie’s $8.7 quadrillion check falls on the floor as George closes the refrigerator door. He implores her to deposit the check immediately, saying that its presence ruins his mornings as reliably as that tramp Ann Curry. Izzie tries to change the subject, then goes into the den to drop some acid and play with her Nerf Crotch Bat.
At the hospital, the interns are dying to know whether Dr. Burke’s hand is better. Cristina informs everyone that she and Burke aren’t speaking, so she has no idea how the hell his hand is doing. Upsettingly, as the interns enter Mr. O’Malley’s room, we see that the entire extended O’Malley clan, from Grandpa Seamus to lame old Aunt Gertie, are shitfaced, cheering, and inexplicably decked out in party hats.
It’s a St. Patrick’s Day nightmare!
George presents his dad’s case for the day, using lots of big words. This impresses the assembled Celtic hordes, as the O’Malleys all cheer lustily. Bailey then ushers all the extended family outside, at which point Mr. O’Malley explains that the party hats were meant to celebrate the last day before his surgery, because his post-surgery chemotherapy might, well, put him in a mood not to wear party hats.
Bailey and Webber warn Mr. O’Malley that the surgery may not be smooth sailing: they have no idea how much his cancer has spread, and if it has indeed spread widely, chemo isn’t really an option. Hmmm, it’s like an hour before surgery and they’re just now explaining this to him? GET WITH THE PROGRAM, MIRANDA.
The next patient is some girl who comes stumbling out of the bathroom, bent full over at the waist like she’s Marilyn Musgrave robbing the graves of our troops. The girl has what might be described as scoliosis to the tenth power, with a spinal column shaped like fusilli pasta. Izzie informs everyone that this is called “VATER syndrome” because it affects the Vertebrae, Anus, Trachea, Esophagus, and let’s not forget Renal system! This disease is like GODDAMN MEGAMILLIONS for the Grey’s Anatomy writers. Anyway this girl is in the hospital to have a few ribs removed, or some such foolishness.
Darth Goiter turns out to be a very angry, bitter young woman. She mocks Izzie and responds with hostility to Dr. Torres, who’s fairly drooling at the prospect of trying a more radical procedure on the girl. Basically, the girl just wants them to fix her spine enough so she can get laaaaaaid. Whatever lady, just get some Botox and wax your cooter and you’ll be all set.
Meredith, meanwhile, presents the case of her half-sister, who you may recall is recovering from an emergency C-section after delivering a baby that had some manner of circulatory or digestive or urinary problem of some sort. Midway through this, Meredith’s dad, Thatcher, walks in, having arrived at the hospital to check on his newborn grandchild. He and Meredith have a horrifically awkward moment, so he leaves nervously.
Dr. Bailey decides to assign Meredith to Mr. O’Malley’s case and gives George an extra day off so he can spend time with his family. George thanks Bailey and implores her to be completely honest with him about his father’s condition as things progress. She assures him that she will—which of course means she’ll probably either start lying or be forced to lie within ten minutes or so.
Izzie begs Bailey to be allowed to scrub in on the spinetastic girl’s surgery, but Bailey refuses, because Izzie still hasn’t deposited Denny’s inheritance check as the hospital psychiatrist has requested. Not only is Izzie refusing to heed the doctor’s orders, she’s also losing thousands of dollars a day in interest! Who knew Bailey was such a crack financial planner? Is she with Charles Schwab?
Speaking of swabs, over in the lab, Cristina asks Meredith whether she’s okay, given her mortifying confrontation with her father a few minutes back. Meredith says she just wants her half-sister’s damn newborn to get better and go home so her father will go along with it. Meredith asks whether Cristina has a father. Denying her robot heritage, Cristina replies that she has a stepfather, but she sees him only at Yom Kippur, and he’s a kvetching nebbishy meshuggener anyway.
Down the hall, Dr. Sloan upbraids Alex for failing to do some retarded menial task. Dr. Montgomery steps in to defend Alex, but Sloan snaps at her to get off her high horse. What is with Montgomery’s hair this week? So fancy! Is it lesbian hair? Or just adulteress hair? Who the hell knows these days.
“I was going for Rosie O’Donnell meets Donald Trump. How’d I do?”
Callie, meanwhile, asks Dr. Bailey what the most effective way is to get through to Dr. Shepherd, because she really wants Shepherd to agree to the risky procedure she plans to propose for twisty spine girl. Bailey advises Callie merely to stare Shepherd down, since he’s such a pansy that one good stare will break his resolve. To demonstrate, Bailey immediately stares Callie down. Haha! IT’S GOLD!
In bitter twisty spine girl’s room, Izzie is preparing her for surgery. The girl says Izzie is way too hot to be a doctor and hopes Izzie won’t be in on her surgery, since all pretty people are dumb. Izzie turns on the sympathy spigot and tells the girl that she went nuts after her fiancÃ© dropped dead a few weeks ago, so she’s not allowed to do surgeries for a while. Weeks? It feels like YEARS. Anyway, spine girl suddenly pulls a 180 and becomes the most sensitive patient ever, apologizing to Izzie for being such a bitch. These two new BFFs then join hands, lurch fully bent to the hospital kitchen, and make an assload of muffins.
Callie takes Bailey’s advice and confronts Shepherd in the hallway. She initially is nervous—babbling that there’s a VATER patient in the hospital, and could Shepherd please let her consult and try some new spinal surgery on the girl, etc.—but then suddenly snaps into a frightening/hilarious stare that initially just baffles Shepherd but then intimidates him into saying yes. Callie is amazed at her newfound staring ability. Who knew she was the second coming of Don Knotts?
“Look deeeeeeeep into my ojos“
Mr. O’Malley queries Webber and Bailey about his survival prospects should they find that his cancer has spread. Webber replies that if the cancer has spread to his other organs they’ll just halt the surgery, close him up, and he’ll have probably a few weeks or months to live. But Mr. O’Malley takes the Fighting Irish thing literally, claiming that “O’Malleys are fighters” and insisting that they take the tumor out no matter what. O’Malley! O’Malley! Mandelbaum! Mandelbaum!
Webber reiterates that they must do what’s best medically, but Mr. O’Malley will have nohing of it. So Webber finally assents and promises Mr. O’Malley that even if the cancer has spread, they’ll proceed with the surgery and cut out as much of it as they can. Bailey is incredulous at Webber’s departure from protocol, asking him whether he expects her to keep his decision confidential. Webber replies that Bailey is indeed bound by doctor-patient confidentiality and she cannot tell George. See? Now she gets to start lying to George!
Back in bed at the end of the day, The Pomp is snoring once again. She suddenly snorts herself awake to find that Shepherd is watching her sleep… again. He finally admits to her that no, he doesn’t in fact sleep very well around her, seeing as she snores like a GODDAMN FREIGHT TRAIN. Her Royal Pomposity is shocked, shocked! at this revelation and retorts that Shepherd has terrible morning breath. Not to mention droopy eyelids and herpes.
At the hospital, Alex brings coffee to Dr. Sloan, who’s coughing up a storm and whining about the rainy weather like the huge flapping vagina that he is. He also hates the coffee and says if Alex can’t bring the right kind of latte he clearly can’t handle being a plastic surgeon. Nice logic, Sloan! Good luck on your LSATs!
Dr. Burke, on the other hand, LOVES the rain—and apparently syphilitic nurses as well, since he’s hanging out with Olivia. She attempts small talk, but it quickly becomes clear that Cristina sent her as a syphilitic emissary to collect intelligence about Burke’s hand. Burke catches on and shoos her away.
Yeah, I’d look great too if I had a personal dramatic lighting assistant
following me around at all times
Back in spine girl’s room, Shepherd announces that he and Torres think they really can do something to help the girl’s spinal curvature and get her standing up straight. Callie explains that they’d simply remove the curved part of the girl’s spine and replace it with a titanium mesh cage to fill in the space between vertebrae. Why not polonium? THAT POLONIUM IS SO HOT RIGHT NOW. Anyway, case studies have been successful, but if the surgery is botched the girl could die or at least become paralyzed. This horrifies the girl’s mother, but the girl opts for the surgery immediately because bitch is in heat and wants to get her sexytime on with some hot Seattle-area lumberjacks. Or maybe Seattle soft cheesemongers.
Izzie begs Bailey to let her scrub in on spine girl’s surgery. But Bailey remains firm and demands to know whether Izzie has deposited her check, which Izzie confeses she hasn’t. To my (admittedly non-MD) mind, this whole scenario strains believability. Anyway, Bailey laments that Izzie could’ve made $400 in interest in the time they’ve spent talking about this stuff. I really love this Bailey-as-finance-whiz motif. Fuck Ben Bernanke—Bailey for Federal Reserve chairwoman!
Pre-surgery, Mr. O’Malley confesses everything to George that he can think of. Last episode he confessed that he had girlie magazines hidden in the garage. Now he confesses that he ran over George’s dog with the car a few years back and then lied to George that the dog had run away. After the commercial break, he’ll confess to murdering Jimmy Hoffa, inventing Crystal Pepsi, and rigging the 1996 Oscars balloting to enable Juliette Binoche to win over the clearly superior Marianne Jean-Baptiste.
Anyway, Mr. O’Malley says that Georgie is a good boy, though a little sensitive. He declares that George would be crazy to let that Callie Torres get away, since Callie “gets” George better than his own family ever did. George implores his father to cease this morbidness and go into surgery with optimism. They then return to playing cards and seem actually to be bonding for once.
“Georgie, hold on to that Callie.
Those are the best birthing hips I’ve ever seen.”
As Meredith, George, and company wheel Mr. O’Malley to the O.R., Thatcher Grey retardedly chooses this moment to butt in and say hi to Meredith and all her friends. This guy really should just be euthanized for his own good.
In the surgery, Webber and Bailey open up Mr. O’Malley and discover that his cancer has indeed spread—to his stomach, lymph nodes, liver, and elsewhere. Basically, it looks like Edward R. Murrow’s lungs in there. Meredith assumes that, given the cancer’s spread, they’ll just close Mr. O’Malley back up—she’s confused when Webber decides to proceed with the surgery. Webber states that the patient asked them to proceed, even though his odds are very slim. Also, he warns Meredith not to tell George about any of this.
Dr. Montgomery, meanwhile, goes to say hi to Dr. Burke, who’s still recuperating in his room. He complains that he and Cristina still are not speaking: they’re basically playing a game of chicken since they’re each too proud to end the ridiculousness and break the silence first. Montgomery says such power/pride games are pathetic, but Burke insists that he did nothing wrong. Mature! At this point I notice that Kate Walsh officially has the reddest hair on TV these days. Take that, MARCIA CROSS.
Callie approaches George, who inexplicably is all alone during his dad’s surgery, pacing back and forth in a waiting room. She reassures him that he can talk to her anytime that he needs to. He remains reluctant, which prompts her to try her newfound staring technique again to bend him to her busty, bellowing will. But the staring merely frightens George, who runs over into the arms of his new bosom friend, Ellen DeGeneres.
LocaÂ®… by L’OrÃ©al
Bailey finally arrives in the room and delivers the bad news to George. Afterward, George tells his family to prepare themselves mentally before they go visit Mr. O’Malley post-surgery: he’s not in good shape, since half of his stomach and esophagus are out, not to mention his spleen, liver, lungs, heart, and tonsils “just for good measure.” George’s brothers, predictably, are impressed with their dad’s giant scar, while the more sensitive Georgie is hit hard and can’t believe his own father is in such bad shape. Meredith goes to comfort him, and they have a nice, bony moment.
Once back at home, Meredith snores away in bed once again but then awakes with a start, realizing that Shepherd is not next to her. She goes and finds him crashed asleep in George’s bed, which angers her. Shepherd confesses that Meredith’s snoring is so bad he typically sleeps over on the couch and sets the alarm for early in the morning so he can be back in bed when she wakes up and not hurt her feelings.
Izzie, meanwhile, is still staring at the goddamn check from Denny. Finally, she goes to the bank and starts bawling uncontrollably in front of the baffled teller, who nearly calls security to have the silly ho escorted out. Katherine Heigl is a peach, I’m sure, but her acting in this scene is just awful. Seriously, like Heather Graham awful. It’s the whole half-laughing-half-crying thing. Anyway, the teller finally figures out that Izzie means to deposit the check as she suddenly snaps out of her bawling to shriek “CAN YOU JUST DEPOSIT THE DAMN THING ALREADY.” Hahaaaa this is horrible acting at its finest. Well done.
Why does she get collagen lips every time she cries? I’m FASCINATED
Back at the hospital, George debriefs Burke about his dad’s surgery. Burke says the biggest risk Mr. O’Malley faces is multisystem organ failure, so George should watch his kidney function closely. George asks how Burke’s hand is doing, and Burke says he’ll tell George, but only if he doesn’t tell Cristina. Honestly, with all these secrets and lies, they should’ve entitled this episode, uh, “Secrets and Lies”—and then they could’ve had a cameo appearance by the great Marianne Jean-Baptiste!
Meredith observes with jealous anger as her father bonds with his wee, underdeveloped grandchild. Just then, Alex notes that the baby’s stomach is a little distended, so they decide to page Dr. Montgomery. Meredith then goes to Shepherd to whine about her father’s presence and insists that because she has abandonment issues, Shepherd MUST actually sleep with her in the same bed from now on. Needy is so HOT!
Izzie announces triumphantly that she’s now officially cleared by psych because she deposited Denny’s check. As if on cue, a few feet away the spine girl’s mother starts shouting at someone on her cell phone—it turns out to be the insurance company, which is refusing to cover her daughter’s proposed procedure because it’s too experimental and costs $200,000. Dang! If only the poor woman had access to a flighty $8.7-millionaire who’s so guilt-ridden about her fortune that she’d pony up $200,000 for a surgery in a heartbeat! But then again, the odds of that are pretty slim!
Meredith’s half-sister’s little baby turns out to need another surgery, but Thatcher mumbles and stalls and isn’t sure whether he maybe might or might not be qualified to sign the surgery consent forms. God this guy sucks. Anyway, turns out the baby has some manner of stomach erosion. Hey, maybe don’t feed the baby JALAPEÃ‘O PEPPERS IN ITS FIRST DAY OF LIFE.
Up in the gallery, Dr. Webber informs Meredith that her father is pacing in the hallway and asks whether she might give Thatcher an update. She declines, saying her father’s not a big fan of hers—but Webber says Thatcher likes him even less, what with the whole porking-Thatcher’s-wife-for-years thing. Webber declares, though, that Thatcher was a good man and may have a side that Meredith doesn’t know about—it’s simply that Meredith’s mother was such a huge force of nature that she subjugated Thatcher’s soul to her own cruel will. Or something like that. Meredith remains dubious.
Callie enters Mr. O’Malley’s room, where George is down on his hands and knees examining his father’s catheter bag and THRILLED that his dad has produced 130cc’s of urine in four hours. His brothers are horrified and begin to wonder whether dear Georgie is perhaps a water sports enthusiast on the fetish circuit. Callie, however, totally understands his excitement, and they do a happy little rain dance—urine dance, I guess?—in celebration of Mr. O’Malley’s kidney function. Halfway through, George suddenly grabs Callie and plants one on her. His mother and brothers, witnessing this, are speechless. Ellen DeGeneres is simply baffled.
In the hall, Montgomery approaches Sloan and says she’s sorry if he’s hurting. I’m sorry, but what with this guy’s assholey, bedhopping nature I just don’t buy the notion of their “emotional relationship” at all. Sloan spurns her, so Montgomery goes into the room where Alex is watching Meredith’s half-sister’s baby in the incubator. OH GREAT, now they’ll probably get all up in each other’s business right in front of the baby. Montgomery and Alex start talking about the different emotions involved in plastics vs. obstetrics—plastic surgery patients volunteer for painful procedures, whereas innocent babies don’t deserve any of the medical problems they’re saddled with. Montgomery says it sucks watching babies struggle, and it never stops sucking. She’s certainly saying “sucking” a lot—I wonder whether SOMETHING IS ON HER MIND.
Anyway, Alex confesses to Montgomery that he messed up Sloan’s coffee order on purpose, since he overheard Sloan being rude to her earlier that day. How chivalrous! You’re a veritable Mike Tyson! Anyway, Montgomery is so bowled over by this chivalry that she leans in to kiss Alex, and they get about thisssss close until someone of course walks in on them and they stop. Alex leaves nervously, prompting Montgomery to sigh in self-recrimination and slam her hands right down on the baby’s incubator. When she realizes what she’s done she rolls her eyes again—hahaaa, little details like this are why Kate Walsh and I are like BFFs.
We then move into the final musical montage, accompanied by a wonderful song by Travis that was originally featured in Moonlight Mile, that 2002 movie starring… THE POMP. Ooh, maybe The Pomp’s iron-fisted domination of this show extends to its soundtrack choices as well? Anyway, even though this sequence consists of just a bunch of shots of the various characters sitting alone and being pensive, I think it works really well. It’s a sign of a show with great characters if they can just film them saying and doing nothing for two minutes and have it still be good television. Anyway, we see Meredith avoiding her father, Webber and Bailey thinking about Mr. O’Malley’s surgery, Alex and Montgomery thinking about what just happened between them, and finally Izzie comforting George and taking his hand. If my heart weren’t made of coal, I’d be moved.
“Hmm, choosing between two heiresses is tougher than I thought”
“Three hairstyles in one episode? What was I thinking…”
Unfortunately, this poignant interlude ends with a shot of Meredith, back in bed, wearing a BREATHE-RIGHT STRIP NO LESS, yet still snoring. So much for medical technology. Anyway, this episode is a two-parter, so it’s all to be continued next time. I thought it was a great week except for the Izzie subplot—the bank scene was ridiculous, and the coincidence they’re setting up in which she’ll inevitably try to pay for the spine girl’s surgery is pretty outlandish. But I enjoyed it a lot overall. What did we think?