Sooo… episode 11 of the Grey’s Anatomy season opened less dramatically than I expected, given last week’s cliffhanger in which a woman had just given birth to a set of very high-risk quintuplets. I figured the first few minutes of this week would be a veritable playground of shrieking and placentas, but alas, we open with the five babies already in incubators, enjoying their little baby-size oxygen masks and baby-size iPods. Baby Lucy, who has brain swelling, has appropriately been assigned to enormous-headed intern George. Charlotte (lung problems) is Meredith’s; Emily (heart defects) is Izzie’s; Julie (the most fun one, organs outside of her body) is Cristina’s. Kate, the baby who’s doing pretty much fine, is given to Alex, which seems unwise since he’s lazy as shit and will probably kill the damn thing anyway. How COINCIDENTAL that there are five babies for five interns! And one for each surgical specialty! Bravissima!!Speaking of Alex, he comes up to Izzie because he wants to talk about last week’s incident in which she walked in on him, oh, bonking the syphilis-bearing nurse, Olivia. Izzie tells him in so many words to F off. Angry and embarrassed, she goes on and on to the other interns about how upset she is and about how mindblowing she is in bed. Yeah yeah yeah, you were an underwear model. Congrats! Anyway, the others say Izzie dodged a bullet and is better off without Alex. Izzie says they aren’t being supportive. So Meredith, attempting to be a true friend to Izzie, says, “What it is, girlfriend! You’re totally right! What could be better than getting hitched to a slimy, syphilis-carrying asshole who failed his medical boards and thus will be unable to provide you with the luxurious lifstyle to which you’ve become accustomed? OMG could I be your maid of honor??!?” Actually, in her voiceover, Meredith declares that the whiny/philosophical theme of this week’s episode is loneliness. This is bound to be a hoot.
Boundless loneliness ensues. Cristina, after staying over at Dr. Burke’s for the night, avoids him in the morning, declines the breakfast he prepared, and rushes out the door without saying goodbye. Back at the hospital, George asks Meredith tentatively about maybe going to get a drink later, but she clearly isn’t listening cause she’s distracted by the sight of the Drs. Shepherd arguing. IIIIINTERESTING.
First patient of the week is a guy who had melanoma and is having circulation problems on the areas where he had reconstructive surgery. Elementary, my dear Watson, let’s put leeches all over his face to thin his blood and drain it out. Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton LOVE this episode. Next we move back to MOST ANNOYING PATIENT EVER from last episode, the thirsty, delusional, whiny guy with a pituitary cyst. Alex basically killed this guy last week by giving Olivia, the syphilitic nurse, some incorrect dosing info that essentially shriveled up the guy’s brain. Dr. He-Shepherd kicked Alex off the case as a result.
Back in the preemie patch we learn that external-organs Julie needs another operation, brain-shunt Lucy is cruising, heart-defect Emily is in serious trouble, underdeveloped-lungs Charlotte is having trouble breathing, and just-peachy Kate already left the hospital to go shopping at Baby Prada. But WAIT!! We have a new patient! It’s guest star Rosanna Arquette, a prisoner from the local jail who just got herself out of solitary confinement by swallowing a bunch of razor blades. Never mind how the hell she got all those razor blades in prison, WRITERS. Anyway, this crazy combative bitch won’t tell Cristina and Dr. Bailey how many razor blades she swallowed—somewhat understandably, though, since she’s losing her mind in solitary confinement and wants to extend her stay in the hospital as long as possible. Apparently she’s in prison because she murdered three people. In related news, Billy Bob Thornton wants her number.
Meanwhile, nurse Olivia is having trouble getting the leeches to attach to melanoma guy’s face. Apparently the leeches are nervous. Well no shit Olivia, they can tell you were once VIRULENT WITH SYPHILIS. George, though equally acquainted with the crotch rot, has no trouble getting the leeches to stick. Hmm, this guy might have a promising career in leech husbandry. That would make a great sitcom. Anyway, post-leeches, Izzie and Olivia get stuck in the elevator together. Seriously, this place has more awkward elevator rides than a high-rise sperm bank. Overly apologetic Olivia talks herself silly trying to make it up to Izzie, but the more she talks, the worse it gets.
Back in low-birth-weight land, the babies’ mother is suffering from some severe postpartum depression. Izzie, ironically, wasn’t the SUPPORTIVE FRIEND that the woman needed last week, and it’s clear that Izzie’s judgmental words about the mother’s use of fertility drugs got under the woman’s skin. As Cristina walks into the nursery, she catches Dr. Bailey bonding with the preemies and babbling to them like a damned fool because she thinks nobody’s watching. But Dr. Bailey insists that her own pregnancy hasn’t made her soft. Sho thang, sista. Meredith takes the opportunity to display her sensitive side, comforting the babies’ mother and bringing her into the nursery so she actually has a chance to spend time with the infants. But as soon as the mother comes in, baby Charlotte stops breathing and has to be resuscitated.
“And I name YOU Oprah.”
Emily, the baby with heart problems, undergoes surgery, but it turns out her aorta is so underdeveloped that the doctors can’t really do anything and have to halt the operation. Izzie gets upset and thinks the doctors aren’t doing all they can, but Dr. Burke and Dr. She-Shepherd smack her down. Cristina and Dr. Bailey, meanwhile, have discovered that the woman from prison swallowed FOUR razor blades, so they have to perform dangerous emergency surgery to make sure she doesn’t suffer a perforated intestine. The melanoma patient, for his part, is getting attached to the leeches—emotionally, not just physically—and has given them names. He even named one after George. If I were George I’d think that was some creepy shit. In another voiceover, Meredith goes on and on about loneliness. Oh yes, Meredith, water water everywhere and not a drop to drink, etc. Woe is you.
Since Alex has the easy preemie, he’s using the time to study and try to find out anything he can to help the patient he almost killed last week. Meredith senses that he’s lonely and feeling shitty about, well, having basically fried his patient’s brain, so she sits down and offers to help. COINCIDENTALLY, Izzie walks in just at that moment and sees Alex and Meredith together, immediately thinking Meredith is trying to shoplift her non-erectile pooty. When Meredith protests that there’s no way she’s sleeping with Alex, Izzie retorts, “Why not, you slept with everyone else.” Whoa, Izzie, judgmental streak… why don’t you DROP IT LIKE YOU DROPPED YOUR PANTS FOR THE LINGERIE SHOOT?
Cristina, meanwhile, tells her murderess patient that her recovery will take only 36 hours. The patient is really lonely—I’m sensing a theme here—and admits that she was high on meth (ooh, how current!) when she killed the three people. Moreover, the whole thing was started by her then-boyfriend, who had planned a robbery and said he would leave her if she didn’t help. So essentially she killed the three people in an attempt to avoid loneliness. Cristina, pretty much the most jaded, unfeeling person in the intern corps, doesn’t want to talk about it so leaves the woman alone. Back in leechville, Olivia and George have a little spat in front of the patient. Olivia blurts out that George’s crush on Meredith is obvious to everyone in the hospital except Meredith herself, which should tell him something. In front of the patient, George retorts that Olivia gave him syphilis. Ooh SCHWING! A good STD comeback is the royal flush of the joke world.
Drama is building back in obstetrics, where Dr. She-Shepherd is telling Dr. Webber that she’s about to give a lesson to Izzie that Izzie isn’t gonna like. Through the cafeteria window, Meredith sees Dr. She-Shepherd giving what appears to be very bad news to the quintuplets’ mother. Dr. She-Shepherd, as she leaves for the day, informs Izzie that she has to stay overnight at the hospital again—she already stayed the previous night—and that the baby better be alive in the morning when she gets back. I’d insert a Sleepless in Seattle joke here, but I’m saving it for a later episode. Trust me, when I come out with it it’ll be GOLD, JERRY, GOLD!!!
Now that Izzie is pretty much screwed, the psycho murderess in Cristina’s room starts seizing up because she’s choking on something. Oh great, turns out now she swallowed a LIGHT BULB. I sure hope it wasn’t one of those GE Reveal bulbs, cause those things are expensive. Anyway, she’s choking, bloodily, so it looks like it’s emergency throat surgery time, which Cristina has never done. Call Dr. Burke!
Rosanna Arquette wasting valuable scarce energy resources
Izzie’s baby Emily keeps crashing and needing resuscitation, foreshadowing impending baby doom. The babies’ mother, unable to deal with all the problems her infants are having, wants to leave the hospital, though Meredith tries to get her to stay. It suddenly dawns on Meredith that the babies are lonely—no shit Meredith, it’s the theme of the episode—so she decides to move baby Charlotte into one of her sisters’ incubators so they can be together. Apparently preemies often benefit from such cobedding, and it works again this time, as Charlotte improves markedly. But Izzie’s baby keeps crashing, and Izzie gets increasingly frantic because she’s running out of treatment options.
Meanwhile, the leeches, like Will & Grace, are still sucking. As George finally removes the last leech, the (married, male) patient hits on him unabashedly—the second time that George has been hit on by a male patient. Shortly after he leaves the patient’s room, George happens to catch Meredith and Dr. He-Shepherd having a personal moment. He seethes, like a leech in jealousy.
“George, please be a husband to my leeches.”
We then see Izzie in obstetrics looking drowsy as all hell. It turns out she fell asleep and baby Emily died while she was sleeping—since Dr. She-Shepherd had instructed everyone not to wake Izzie up. Dr. She-Shepherd calls Izzie into her office and says that the baby’s death wasn’t her fault, since she had virtually no aorta. So why did she make Izzie stay the night when it was futile? Dr. She-Shepherd says that the whole thing was intended to teach Izzie to get some distance from her patients. Ooh IRONIC given that this episode is all about loneliness.
While Dr. Bailey is officially impressed with Meredith for cobedding the preemies, Izzie sits utterly miserable in the intern locker room. Meredith suddenly has an idea and takes Izzie out of the hospital. Dr. He-Shepherd, meanwhile, talks to Alex, this episode’s offical bench-warmer. Dr. He-Shepherd tells Alex the story about the first patient he ever killed (as a second-year resident) and says that it happens to every intern. He tells Alex to go home, but Alex puts on the puppy-dog face and says that nobody should die alone. It’s amazing how they manage to wring pathos out of this asshole. Wait—pathos, asshole, does that sort of rhyme? “I’m a poet / And I don’ t know it!” AS IF ON CUE, the show immediately goes poetic, with Meredith reciting John Donne’s famous lines about how no man is an island. Ooh, maybe next week Dr. Bailey will recite the opening lines of The Canterbury Tales in authentic Middle English.
Psycho murderess has seemingly recovered from the light bulb incident, and Cristina tells her that her recovery will take about ten days. But Cristina keeps too much distance from the patient and won’t comfort her or even hold her hand. Jesus, doctors are supposed to have distance but also not have distance? No wonder they’re highly paid. Fortunately, Cristina realizes she’s being a little callous and comforts the patient a little bit.
The episode ends with a sweeping montage of loneliness and attempted loneliness-alleviation. Dr. She-Shepherd tells Dr. He-Shepherd that she’s lonely. Cristina and Dr. Burke hang out in his apartment and look to be actually bonding a little bit. Cristina even eats the toast that he made for her. OMG SHE ATE THE TOAST!! Meredith and Izzie adopt a dog from the pound. In a subtle nod to realism, next week’s episode will show how the dog, despondent that its owners spend 99% of their waking hours at the hospital, runs back to the pound after three days.
“I could really use some Pinot Noir to wash this down.”
All in all, not my favorite episode from this season, but not bad. What did everybody think?