Ho. Ly. Shit. If you read this column regularly, you know that I’ve long thought that our dear Izzie on Grey’s Anatomy was a complete mental case. But never in my wildest dreams did I expect the level of validation the show provided last night, in part one of the season finale. So here it is in case you missed it: Exhibit A in Isobel Stevens v. Any Remaining Shred of Sanity.
Meredith’s voiceover is about the seven deadly sins: gluttony, pride, lust, envy… yeah sweetcheeks, we all saw Seven, thanks. Anyway, the interns and attendings are unwinding at the bar after work. Burke and He-Shepherd are playing darts, clearly envisioning Cristina’s and Meredith’s faces right in the bulls-eye. Alex tries to join the interns, but Izzie fends him off by saying that their section of the bar is for surgeons, not gynecologists. They all laugh heartily at this, even though it’s, you know, not funny at all. But then again when one of your friends is a raving psycho I guess it’s best to LAUGH AT HER JOKES.George and his paramour show up, dampening the mood considerably, as the interns barely tolerate Callie. Meredith notes that anger tends to get lost amid the seven deadly sins, maybe because we don’t think it’s that important. Actually, Meredith, in this context it’s technically called WRATH, so you may want to hire a new SIN CONSULTANT.
Hell, if I had to go out with Ellen Pompeo, I’d drink too
The next morning, Meredith and the Shepherds go to the vet, and there’s all sorts of tension in the air. Finn says the dog has bone cancer in its leg, and they can try chemo but may have to amputate. He-Shepherd snaps that they shouldn’t even bother and should just put the dog down, which makes the few remaining movable portions of Meredith’s face quite upset. Back at the hospital, poor She-Shepherd is baffled by the bad blood between Meredith and her husband, who claim that nothing is wrong. They have a tremendously awkward elevator ride and then go their separate ways.
“So, uh… how ’bout them Seahawks?”
Burke likewise is still pissed at Cristina. She approaches him gingerly and says she heard he might be getting a transplant heart from Mercy West Hospital. She asks if she can come along, since she’s done so with Bailey once before. Burke says he won’t be needing her help this time. Damn, memo to anyone who might have sex with Isaiah Washington: DON’T FALL ASLEEP HALFWAY THROUGH.
Then a shitload of patients arrive—victims of an employee at a local restaurant who went postal and shot up the place. Probably a Carl’s Jr., but who knows—I hear morale is QUITE LOW at Cracker Barrel these days. What’s more, the gunman got away and is still on the loose. Among the patients are a young engaged couple: the girl is pissed because the second the shots rang out, her fiancÃ© hid behind her as if she were a human shield. Despite the boyfriend’s entreaties, his girlfriend—the lovechild of Halle Berry and Natalie Portman, incidentally—remains angry.
A busboy from the restaurant has a bullet stuck in his lower leg and is in a lot of pain; there’s also a young woman with a bullet wound to the head. Izzie is stuck treating the restaurant manager, a total dick who keeps saying how he used his macho, “cat-quick” reflexes to avoid getting shot. Izzie reminds him angrily that the other patients have, you know, GUNSHOT WOUNDS, so shut up. She guesses, correctly, that this manager was the intended target of the guy who shot up the restaurant.
It puts the lotion in the basket or it gets the hose again
Alex and Cristina continue to drool over the prospect of accompanying Burke to Mercy West to pick up the heart. Alex follows Burke out to the helipad and begs him to go, since he’s eager to avoid She-Shepherd’s OB-GYN cases and has been dying for an opportunity to kill a patient at another hospital anyway. Burke shoots a look at Cristina and pulls Alex onto the helicopter, and they take off. Cristina is FURIOUS. As Burke and Alex fly off, Burke reveals that the transplant candidate is none other than Denny Duquette. Oh great, I was REALLY HOPING he’d be in this episode. THANK GOD.
Back inside, Izzie asks Bailey if she can prep Denny for the transplant. Bailey says hell no, she can tell from Izzie’s face that she’s way too emotionally attached to be involved. Izzie insists that she knows the specifics of Denny’s condition better than anyone else, and that she’ll be 100% professional except for maybe a quick handjob between CPR cycles. Unfortunately, Bailey gives in to this horseshit. Meanwhile, He-Shepherd can tell from the MRI that the girl who was shot in the head is in very bad shape. George reports that the girl is also pregnant and that her parents are already on their way. In addition, the girl is a National Merit Scholar, a humane society volunteer, and the next incarnation of the Dalai Lama. Since there wasn’t enough pathos already.
The shot-up busboy asks Meredith about the girl who was shot in the head, since they “weren’t friends, exactly” but the girl was “really nice”—read: he was porking her in the stockroom twice a day. The manager keeps talking loudly and obnoxiously, pissing everybody off, but the busboy can’t say anything because he worries he’ll get fired. At this point Dr. Torres comes up and yells at Meredith for socializing with a patient—a surgeon associating with the working classes? God forbid!
Izzie breaks the news to Denny that he’s getting a new heart. In his “sensitive guy voice” he asks her to repeat the news because he wants to savor it. But then the mood is killed when a nurse comes in with do-not-resuscitate papers for Denny to sign. Izzie gets frantic and insists that Denny doesn’t need them. But he’s sick of being bedridden and says that if the transplant doesn’t come through he’s gonna throw in the towel because he believes in heaven and wouldn’t mind a trip up. HEAR HEAR. Izzie is incensed, but Denny signs the DNR papers anyway.
Cristina’s young engaged couple are slowly making nice again, as the boyfriend professes his love and promises weekly shopping sprees at Sephora. But Cristina warns the girl never to believe what men say: they butter you up with sweet talk and then the minute you need something they pass you over for surgery or duck behind you when somebody’s shooting. The girl says Cristina shouldn’t be so bitter.
Apparently Mercy West Hospital is located in the Soviet Union circa 1967, because that’s what the facilities look like. As Burke and Alex arrive, a doctor tells them that there are actually two transplant hearts available (two brothers who were in a car accident together) and that both are a match for Denny. We then meet what appears to be Burke’s nemesis: a Mercy West surgeon named Dr. Hahn, who finished second to Burke in their med school class at The Johns Hopkins University. This Dr. Hahn is wearing flaming red scrubs to indicate that she’s the second coming of Satan.
“Hiya folks! I’ll be your Antichrist today!”
Back at SGH, He-Shepherd scrubs in for the patient who was shot in the head. She-Shepherd stops by, but he barely pays attention. She asks if he’s ever gonna tell her what’s going on between him and Meredith; he repeats that there’s nothing to tell, then leaves. Frustrated, She-Shepherd starts to cry a little bit, vowing to Botox herself to all hell and adopt a gravelly voice in order to win his love back.
At Mercy West, one of the potential heart donors crashes, making the heart inviable for transplant. Burke runs as fast as he can to the other O.R., where Dr. Hahn is about to start removing the other donor heart. He tells her to stop immediately, and the two get into a big spat over who has dibs. To resolve it, Burke suggests that they call UNOS, the organization that oversees organ transplant waiting lists. Hahn says this is pathetic and would prefer just to cut the heart out and play tug-of-war with it til somebody emerges victorious.
At SGH, Meredith approaches Dr. Torres at the board, asking to scrub in on the busboy’s surgery because she’s never done a plates-and-screws operation before. But Callie’s in a foul mood and says the O.R.s are all backed up and all those hijo de puta specialists keep knocking her surgeries down to the bottom of the list. Ever one to pick up on nuances of mood and timing, Meredith chooses this moment to ask Callie about her dog’s bone cancer. Dr. Torres can’t believe Meredith’s worried about McDreamy’s goddamned dog when they have a patient on their hands who could potentially lose his leg.
According to UNOS’s transplant-priority point system, Dr. Hahn’s patient is ahead by just a fraction—what’s more, her patient was admitted to the transplant section seventeen seconds earlier than Denny. What were the odds? Burke’s phone rings, and it’s Izzie checking in. Alex answers and gives Izzie the bad news, saying that Denny might lose the heart to the other recipient. Izzie panics and, on the fly, starts making up a bunch of lies about how Denny’s condition is suddenly worsening by the second. As she keeps lying, Alex realizes what’s going on and refuses to lie on Izzie’s behalf. Izzie requests that he put Burke on the phone instead.
She-Shepherd approaches Meredith and says haltingly that she has to ask her something. After stuttering out some preemptive apologies, she finally asks point blank whether Meredith is sleeping with her husband. Meredith reassures her that she’s not. Though relieved, She-Shepherd remains confused because in the elevator that morning she sensed that He-Shepherd and Meredith were having a lover’s quarrel. Meredith insists that she’s moved on—after all, she’s dating the vet, and they have a HOT non-sex life. She-Shepherd quickly pieces things together, realizes why He-Shepherd is so mad, and leaves the room upset.
With Burke on the phone now, Izzie continues to make up fake stats for Denny. Burke gives her instructions on how to stabilize Denny and then announces to the UNOS honcho (conferencing in via speakerphone Ã la Charlie’s Angels) that Denny may now have the lead in the Great Transplant Derby of 2006. Burke instructs Izzie to get some diagnostic tests done on Denny and report the results back within an hour.
I hope that’s her Klonopin refill she’s calling in
Back at SGH, He-Shepherd pokes around in the head-wound patient’s brain, using big words like “fungating.” The girl’s injury is very grave, and He-Shepherd deems her brain-dead. He and George deliver this news to the girl’s parents, who ask about the daughter’s unborn baby. Though He-Shepherd says the fetus seems okay, it’s immaterial because the daughter is essentially dead and there are still 30 weeks left in her pregnancy. He says he needs the parents’ consent to take the daughter off life support. The parents ask whether they can keep the daughter plugged—or at least on standby—until the baby is born. George advises against this, but the father blows up at him for saying so.
The blowhard restaurant manager brags that he has the highest pain tolerance of anyone he knows. God, if this guy gets out of this episode alive I’ll be shocked. Since the poor busboy can’t say anything for fear of being fired, Bailey yells at the manager on his behalf. OOH. So Bailey tells the manager she’s happy for him that he’s not feeling pain from his minor injuries but that a bunch of the other victims are in a lot of pain, since they have real, manly injuries like bullet wounds and not some cracker-ass little injuries like his, and that all these other victims are praying like mad for him to just SHUT THE HELL UP. Only she says “shut the heck up” instead. Oh come on—this was the perfect Bailey smackdown moment and they watered it down. They can talk about vaginas and broken penises and chronic orgasms but can’t use the word “hell”? WHAT THE HELL IS THAT SHIT?
Cristina and Meredith, meanwhile, whine to each other about Burke and He-Shepherd. Cristina claims that Burke is being a controlling macho dumbass, withholding surgeries from her for being a “bad girlfriend.” She resolves to dump him right away and start screwing She-Shepherd instead. Actually wait, that was Under the Tuscan Sun. At this point Izzie walks up and blurts out frantically that she lied to Burke and can’t figure out what to do. She says there’s a guy ahead of Denny on the transplant list but Denny must get THIS HEART, not the next one. Cristina repeats that as long as somebody else needs the heart more than Denny, he’s not gonna get it. This turns on a nice demented little lightbulb in Izzie’s head, so she thanks them and runs off. Cristina says if she had to pick somebody who would go crazy and shoot up the hospital, it’d have to be Izzie. Youre just realizing this now? GREAT ANALYTICAL SKILLS, DEARIE.
So Izzie pulls a cart o’ heart supplies into Denny’s room and admits to him that there may not be a heart available anymore. Denny’s heartbroken—GET IT?!?—but Izzie insists that there may be a way around the problem. She says in order for Denny to get the heart his condition has to worsen suddenly. He says that seems pretty unlikely, but Izzie counters that she’ll make it happen. She then pulls out a karaoke machine and bursts into “Total Eclipse of the Heart” at full volume, plunging Denny directly into a coma.
Actually, Izzie pulls the blinds and starts rummaging through her equipment. Denny says there’s no need to do anything drastic—he’s waited a long time already and will just take his chances til the next heart comes along. But Izzie gets increasingly frantic and says no, he HAS to do this. Man, she is really getting seriously crazy. Denny shouts that he’s certainly not about to steal a heart from some other guy’s chest, and besides it’d be the end of Izzie’s medical career. Izzie says she doesn’t care about her medical career—after all she could just go back to semi-nudie modeling or horse whispering or something along those lines. She says if Denny tells her any more crap about looking toward the light or being up in heaven, she’ll kill him right now with her ROUGHENED, TRAILER-PARK HANDS, and I DO MEAN PHYSICALLY KICKING YOUR ASS, because even if he’s alright, what about her, huh, WHAT ABOUT HER, because if he goes away up to HEAVEN-LAND she’ll never be able to forgive for MAKING HER LOVE HIM AND HOLY MOTHER OF GOD SHUT THIS BITCH UP.
Seriously, the hysterical crying in this scene is out of control, not to mention eardrum-bursting—I had to turn the volume down. Hey ABC, when I’ve been saying I thought Izzie was “crazy” I was just sort of joking, like “ha ha isn’t she delightfully eccentric,” not like “RUN FOR THE HILLS THIS BITCH NEEDS A STRAIGHTJACKET.” So please, please no more of this. And you know what the kicker is? This shit actually works on Denny. The scene is so over-the-top that it strains believability to begin with—and when you combine that with the fact that I still don’t buy this relationship for a second, I thought it just fell completely flat.
Possibly the scariest face I’ve ever seen in my life
In the hall, Callie reacts angrily when George defends Meredith for being so worried about her dog’s bone cancer. Callie doesn’t get why George would stand up for Meredith, but he insists that he and Meredith started together as interns, so even though she hurt him they’re essentially family. Moreover George says that if Callie wants a chance to be part of his family too, then she better get to work trying to forgive Meredith herself. Ooh snap.
Burke calls Izzie’s phone, impatient for Denny’s “lab results.” Izzie dodges Burke’s questions and just says he should get back to SGH with the heart right away. Burke realizes something is up and asks gravely what Izzie has done. She stalls and says she doesn’t know how long Denny will last once she “starts.” Burke grows concerned and asks what’s going on, but Izzie hangs up because the mothership is on the other line.
Burke tells the Mercy West doctors that Denny appears to be suffering from pulmonary edema, which would mean he now qualifies for the heart. But Burke wants to go back to SGH in person to confirm the results just to be sure. Dr. Hahn balks, but Alex covers up for Burke, saying that he’s is the only SGH surgeon not currently tied up with the gunshot victims. Dr. Hahn relents and tells Burke to hurry back to SGH and check the results. As Burke leaves, he commands Alex to stay and protect the transplant heart and and tackle Dr. Hahn if she goes anywhere it.
Back at SGH, He-Shepherd interrupts She-Shepherd on the stairs and asks if she has a free minute. She assumes he finally wants to talk about Meredith, but it turns out he just wants her to help convince the brain-dead girl’s parents to pull the plug. So She-Shepherd tells the parents it’s a bad idea to keep the daughter alive simply to keep the baby alive—there are too many unknowns and potentially complications. The father becomes angry and yells back at her. At her wit’s end, She-Shepherd blurts out that the problem isn’t the doctors but the fact that the parents basically want to use their daughter’s corpse as an incubator. Oh damn. He-Shepherd apologizes and ushers She-Shepherd outside.
In the hallway, he admonishes her to be more sensitive given that the couple just lost their daughter. She-Shepherd loses it, railing into him about how he pretends to love her but really is just stringing her along. He-Shepherd walks away and refuses to talk, which just sets her off even more. She says that for once she just wants him to care about something she does: he barely batted an eyelash when she slept with Mark Sloan or even when Sloan came out to Seattle and rubbed it in his face. She says maybe instead she should go out on a date with the vet because that apparently sends him into a rage—but even that wouldn’t work, since she’s not MEREDITH GREY. Oh man—good for her for unloading finally. Unfortunately, though, this whole argument occurs in plain sight of Webber, Cristina, and Meredith. Oof. This is awkwarder than, say, Christmas dinner at the Cheney household.
The brain-dead girl’s parents remain undecided about life support. George mentions to them that he has a friend whose boyfriend is dying and needs a heart transplant. (Oh great, since we haven’t heard enough about THAT plotline.) Though their daughter isn’t a match for Denny, George noticed that she did sign up as an organ donor and could thus save a dozen other lives with the heart, liver, kidneys, and all the other giblets she has on offer. George asks them to consider their daughter’s wishes one last time.
Callie, meanwhile, pages Meredith—not to yell at her but instead to show her x-rays of several human legs with the same type of bone cancer her dog has. Meredith thanks her sincerely, and Callie is polite as well. Aww, bonding. Likewise, Cristina’s young engaged couple are by now fully reconciled, as the boyfriend asserts that he’s a changed man and will always think of his girlfriend first whenever in the line of fire. The girlfriend eats this up and advises Cristina to forgive Burke rather than try to hold all her anger in. Cristina says THANKS with a classic shit-eating grin.
The wounded busboy asks Bailey for word about his friend with the head wound—unfortuntely the one who’s now brain-dead. Bailey delivers the bad news sensitively, and the kid starts crying. The prick restaurant manager tries to be nice for once and says he’ll arrange for the busboy to have some time off without risk of losing his job.
Out by the stairs, Dr. Webber lectures She-Shepherd, saying that everybody has tough days at work, but nobody’s allowed to make a scene like she did in front of her peers. But She-Shepherd insists she feels hopeless: He-Shepherd’s not having an affair, not trying to hurt her, it’s just that the only two people who don’t realize that he loves Meredith are, well, he and Meredith. How can she compete? Webber holds her hand tenderly and asks whether she might be interested in a threeway with him and Ellis Grey, just to “lift her spirits.”
He-Shepherd and Meredith, meanwhile, get stuck in yet another tense, awkward elevator ride. She looks incredibly frozen and pale; he is clearly emotional and tries several times to say something but can’t bring himself to do it. They both exit the elevator in silence.
Then, in the locker room, Callie starts running her mouth and blurts out “I love you” while George is halfway done picking out some toe cheese and putting on his socks. Great timing! Callie regrets it as soon as she says it, apologizing for her verbal diarrhea and telling him not to pay any attention. I love how she’s so merciless and bonebreaking with everyone else yet falls apart completely anytime George is around. Anyway, before George can respond, who pops up but Izzie, saying she needs him for something really important right this minute. George is forced to leave Callie hanging, saying he’ll call her later.
After work, Meredith rushes over to Finn’s and asks him to tell the truth about her dog’s prospects; he admits that the cancer is bad and the dog will probably last only a few months. He gives Meredith a hug and says he’s sorry because he knows how much she loves him (the dog), to which Meredith responds that yes she loves him (He-Shepherd) so much. Oh, blink and you miss the subtlety.
Back at the hospital, Izzie has pulled George into Denny’s room. She starts messing around with the tubes on his LVAD machine, and George, initially baffled, starts to realize that something seriously wrong is up. Before she gets started, Izzie says she thinks she and Denny should “say stuff,” so they launch into a big reverie about love and luv and ruv and lurve and a kiss is worth a thousand words and MY GOD, ENOUGH ALREADY.
“I love you too… with all my whirring, diseased, 120-volt heart”
Suddenly, gunshots ring out in the hospital. Everyone panics, particularly the young man who hid behind his girlfriend at the restaurant—in fact he does it AGAIN, which prompts the fiancÃ©e to say they’re through.
George protests that he has a very bad feeling, but Izzie ignores him and says just to make sure nobody comes through the door. Finally he asks flat-out what she’s planning, and she admits that she’s stopping Denny’s heart by cutting the LVAD tube. After all, it’ll be okay because Burke will be back any minute.
BUT—shocker of the evening—as Bailey learns that two people are shot outside on the sidewalk, she runs outside and realizes that one of them is Burke. (Fortunately, the other is the assholish manager from the restaurant. JUST DESSERTS INDEED.) Just as Bailey realizes in horror that Burke is one of the victims, we jump back to Denny’s room and…CUT (literally).
So—going into tonight we have Izzie about to destroy her career, Denny about to go under with no surgeons available to help, Burke bleeding on the sidewalk, and the Shepherds finally on the outs, or so it seems. There’s been some talk in the forum already, but what did people think?