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So what was the biggest TV event of last week? The Lost “fall season finale”? Brit Hume passing a kidney stone on election night? No!! It was Grey’s Anatomy! Well not really. But The Pomp offered me a pair of her autographed granny panties if I would say so. It was, however, a great episode, featuring trannies and a slapping fight between George and Alex.
The episode opens at Burke and Cristina’s apartment, where Burke is packing to go camping with Shepherd. Cristina is horrified at the prospect of Burke peeing behind bushes all weekend—she’d prefer he confine that to their queen-size rubber sheets, and even then, only on their “special” intimate nights. But Burke is excited for some fresh air and has even packed a giant net, cause he’s gonna go catch himself some gays.
Burke meets up with Shepherd, who’s practically foaming at the mouth at the prospect of the open road and “men being men.” Burke says they do have to make one quick stop—which turns out to be the hospital, to pick up Webber. It’s Webber’s first-ever camping trip, as we can tell from his silly-ass hat. But then the caravan also ends up stopping at Meredith’s place to pick up George. And then to pick up bartender Joe and his boyfriend, Walter. And then to pick up Alex. So much for Shepherd’s plan to get some space roaming in the open pasture.
All this means that it’s officially Estrogen Day at the hospital—aside from Sloan, who admittedly is no great repository of testosterone. Deprived of his customary minion Alex, Sloan requests that Meredith tag along with him instead. Bailey consents, then sends Izzie off to spend the day with a counselor, because she’s dying to get Cristina alone so she can sink her sassy-revenge claws into her.
Even though there are many exciting procedures on the board, Bailey assigns Cristina to some snivelly little kid who ate a bunch of Monopoly pieces and is a dead ringer for Christina Ricci. Anyway, the kid ate like two dozen pieces—houses, hotels, the racecar, even the damn thimble—to spite his older brother, who wasn’t letting him play. Cristina’s task is to keep track of all the pieces and examine the toilet every time the kid takes a crap to make sure the Scotty dog or the top hat aren’t still stuck all up in his business.
When Cristina implies that she’s too good to waste a day combing through shit, Bailey smacks her down and says she’s not getting any surgeries until she explains why she erased her name from the surgery board. Cristina replies that she has “no comment.” Who really says that in actual conversation? Honestly. This isn’t Geraldo.
In the elevator, Sloan puts the moves on Meredith, despite the anti-flirting ground rules she lays down with firm, anorexic conviction. He really is slimy, though once again I’m baffled as to why Seattle’s Most Eligible BachelorsÂ® are all falling over each other’s asses for someone who amounts to Twiggy without the charisma or googly eyes.
Izzie, meanwhile, discovers that her counselor for the day is none other than Dr. Sydney Heron, who if you’ll recall from last year was the insane bubbly resident assigned to oversee the interns while Bailey was out on maternity leave. FYI, we love this bitch. Anyway, Dr. Heron hugs Izzie aggressively, scaring the shit out of her.
Sloan continues to ask whether Meredith and Shepherd are together. She says they’re taking some space, since there’s “a lot of water under the thing, or something… whatever.” Nice to see our girl has such firm command of metaphors.
Anyway, Sloan leads Meredith over to his patient, a mannish woman named Donna. Turns out Donna is indeed a man who’s halfway through the process of becoming a woman. I believe that’s called a “transman,” but I’m not really up-to-the-minute on my gender categorizations. Anyway, Donna is having some penis issues, and Meredith is having some issues coping with the realization that Donna in fact used to be a man called Daniel. She handles the situation with the sensitivity you’d expect from, say, Donald Rumsfeld.
Sloan is planning on doing the sex reassignment surgery that day, essentially flipping the pÃ©nis inside out to make it a vagine. Meredith has barely even considered the possibility of such a surgery, let alone done one—I mean one minute a penis? And the next, *poof*, it’s gone? I mean can you imagine??!? Anyway, Sloan asks Donna whether s/he’s excited about the procedure, and s/he says that “excited doesn’t even begin to cover it.”
Out in the woods, we see that Webber is truly roughing it in the traditional style, brandishing a picnic basket from the hotel concierge and sampling, among other things, pÃ¢tÃ© and a selection of the finest Seattle soft cheeses. Who knew Seattle was known for soft cheeses? Does Ina Garten know about this? George, meanwhile, mocks Alex for not layering his clothes sufficiently. Ooh ZING! Score one for the dorky homo.
Webber then realizes he forgot to bring a tent. Panicking, he implores big gay Joe and his BF, Walter, to share there tent, completely unaware that they’re, you know, homosexuelles. After a few obvious “hints” it suddenly dawns on Webber that he’s in the presence of friends of Dorothy. Truly surprised, he talks about how wonderful it is to see “man-love” and declares himself “hip, Brokeback Mountain, all that” because he has a gay cousin. Haha, awkward Webber is fantastic. Mercifully Burke extracts him from the situation and drags him off to go fishing.
Back at the hospital, Meredith gloats to Cristina that she’s about to turn a patient’s penis into a vagina. Shazam! Cristina cannot believe this shit and says that it should be her doing the surgery—it should be her penis. Indeed! I love the idea of Sandra Oh in a tranny role. It could be next year’s Transamerica! Izzie, meanwhile, is miserable under the suffocating oversight of Dr. Heron, who wants the two of them to “dialogue” all day long. Izzie decides to hide by helping Cristina go through Monopoly-boy’s feces.
The full-figured Dr. Torres, meanwhile, is paged to the obstetrics ward to treat a spectacularly pregnant young woman who fell in the shower and broke her wrist badly. The woman keeps asking whether her baby is okay, since she no longer feels it kicking. Dr. Montgomery assures her that the baby is probably just sleeping, but when she looks at the ultrasound, a pained look crosses her face and she walks out of the room, upset.
Meredith continues to bond with the sex-reassignment patient’s wife, telling her that she’s handling the whole penis-be-gone aspect pretty well. The woman says she was so shocked upon hearing the news that she originally left her husband. She ultimately decided to come back, but she’s “really gonna miss the penis.” Understood. But will she miss the pea-ness? That’s the real question.
Turns out Dr. Montgomery was so upset by the baby’s ultrasound that she’s hiding in a bathroom stall, bawling. Dr. Torres tracks her down and threatens to climb over the stall if she won’t let her in. Now that is a great image. Just as Torres is about to bust down the door, Addison emerges. She has no idea why this dead baby is affecting her so much, since dead babies are practically a dime a dozen in her line of work. But somehow this one has hit her in right in the emotional bullseye.
Out in the great openness of the American West, all the guys are fishing. Webber interrogates big gay Joe about his relationship with Walter, learning that they’ve been together for ten years and are thinking about kids. Walter worries he’d have to raise kids alone, though, since Joe works such long hours at Seattle’s finest—not to mention only—bar. But Joe says he’ll change his work/life balance if he needs to, since he couldn’t imagine his life without Walter. Aww, man-love. This statement gets Webber’s attention, since it’s the same issues he’s dealing with with Adele.
Burke asks George how things are going with Callie. George says he’s finally ready to offer the level of commitment that Callie has wanted from the start. Eavesdropping, Alex scowls judgmentally, since he overheard Callie and Sloan talking last week about all the noncheerful penetration they engaged in. Mid-conversation, George glimpses Burke’s hand shaking as he holds his fishing pole and asks whether Burke is okay. Burke plays it off, saying he’s gonna head out for a bit and see whether he can “get a better bite downstream.” I don’t have my downlow dictionary here with me, but I’m sure that’s code for something quite racy.
Back at SGH, the transman’s routine pre-op tests have revealed a major complication: s/he has breast cancer. Turns out that the female hormones Donna was taking have caused her to develop breast cancer, which is of course rare in men. Oh, the irony. Anyway, Sloan recommends that Donna cancel the surgery, stop taking the hormones, and basically call the whole thing off. Donna’s wife is actually kinda psyched about this, cause it could mean she gets to keep the 8===> in her life.
Drs. Montgomery and Torres, meanwhile, watch the soon-to-be-devastated young couple who don’t yet know that their baby has died. Addison can’t bear to tell them the news because they’re clearly very happy and that of course will all change very soon. Callie begs her to give the couple a few more minutes.
Back in the woods, Alex advises George against getting back together with Callie but doesn’t say why. This prompts all manner of whiny mockery from George. Shepherd, for his part, is really annoyed at how crowded their camping trip turned out, claiming he just wanted some peace and quiet. Burke wheedles Shepherd for having no male friends, whereas he himself is just drowning in male companionship—Carson, Ted, Kyan, Thom… and let’s not forget Jai!
At the hospital, Dr. Heron finally tracks down Izzie, who’s by this point waist-deep in Monopoly-littered feces. Dr. Heron quacks cheerfully that she’ll just wait til Izzie is all done with the poop and then they can dialog again. Izzie looks like she’s about to die. Sloan, meanwhile, continues to hound Meredith, saying that maybe she and Shepherd weren’t meant to be together—after all, Shepherd has been damaged goods ever since his marriage collapsed, so maybe Meredith should just stay away.
Joe and Walter haven’t caught any fish—well no shit, fish can smell gay from like 20 fathoms—so they go for a hike. Just as George is about to ask Alex whether he’s noticed Burke’s hand tremors, Alex interrupts him and blurts out that Callie is sleeping with Sloan. George accuses Alex of lying, and when Alex won’t take it back the two of them resort to fisticuffs.
Webber, thoroughly pacifist yet strangely aroused by the man-fighting, agrees to allow George and Alex to go at it as long as they follow some rules. Since Webber doesn’t want either of them to injure their hands—at this point Burke nearly collapses under the tsunami of irony—he restricts the fight to “open-handed combat,” which most of us would just call a slapping fight. Shepherd predicts George’s quick demise, but Burke insists that George is a “scrapper”—honestly, cool it with the downlow lingo—and might surprise everyone. In any case, he says the fight is harmless cause the interns are just letting off steam.
At the hospital, Donna says she’s dead set on the sex-change operation, and if Sloan refuses to do it, she’ll just find somebody else who will. (Donna, honey: might I suggest “Dr. Enzo” down on Christopher and Seventh—I had great results.) Donna’s wife gets frustrated, says she’s not gonna sit back and watch Donna kill herself, and then walks out.
Once Dr. Torres finishes binding up the pregnant woman’s wrist, Dr. Montgomery finally has to tell the couple the bad news about their baby. Cristina and Izzie, meanwhile, continue to freak out because Dr. Heron won’t leave them alone. When it becomes clear that Dr. Heron is literally gonna wait for them to sift through entire pile of feces, Izzie finally relents and goes off with Heron for continued “dialoguing.” All I can think of through this scene is what type of tools do they use to sift through feces? Are there special feces rakes? Ted Haggard: please fill me in on this.
Monopoly boy, clearly not satisfied that the interns are literally digging around in his poop, decides to rub it in their face as well. He says Cristina is a moron, whereas he’s a genius because his stunt practically guarantees that his brother will be forced to include him in every Monopoly game from now on. Frankly, if he’s so smart they should make this kid rake through his shit himself.
Back in the hinterlands, Alex and George continue to slap each other like first-rate sissies. As the fight continues, bartender Joe and Walter pull in close to oberve/ogle. Just as Walter is claiming he’ll never go camping with straight guys again, Alex and George lunge over accidentally, knocking Walter headfirst into a giant rock on the ground that was placed their courtesy of ABC’s Set Design and Useful Coincidences Department. Nothing like a head wound to ruin a rowdy bout of erotic submission wrestling.
Cristina, apparently finished bobbing for feces, has a heart-to-heart with Meredith. Just as she seems about to confess the coverup she and Burke have been pulling, she halts, deciding that maybe it’s better to keep it a secret. In any case, she’s interrupted by her beeper: turns out Monopoly kid has started vomiting blood because he’s perforated his intestine. Haha! Splendid.
Walter’s cut turns out to be sizable but not that bad. Burke refashions a fishing hook to use as a needle to do stitches, and inevitably the patented Grey’s Anatomy “tense surgery music” starts. Is that available on iTunes? George confirms to Joe that Burke is “really good” at stitches, which prompts an intense glance from Burke and a knowing look back from George. Ooh, tensiÃ³n. Burke cockily states that he’ll “always have it” and looks back at George accusingly.
Bailey rebuffs Cristina’s attempts to scrub into the Monopoly kid’s surgery last minute, repeating that Cristina won’t be doing any surgeries til she explains why she erased Bailey’s name from the board. Cristina’s attempts to play dumb fall flat. Dr. Heron, meanwhile, corners Izzie up in one of the O.R. galleries and suddenly asks her to talk about Denny. Oh great, Denny again. At this point, why not just exhume him? Anyway, Izzie certainly does not want to talk about Denny, insisting that Dr. Heron could never understand what Izzie is going through.
Meredith and Sloan, meanwhile, are in the middle of penis-inversion surgery. When Meredith expresses surprise that Sloan agreed to do the surgery, Sloan says he only does what his patients ask. When they come to fix what’s on the outside they’re really looking to fix what’s on the inside, and he just helps out—he doesn’t hide or “take space.” Ooh Sloan, be careful not to stab me with your pointed commentary.
After Walter is all stitched up, Alex when to Webber about how he didn’t start the fight and was just trying to enjoy some time outdoors. Apparently he grew up literally in a bar and his father never took him anywhere remotely near leaves or twigs. Webber, wisely, ignores this and instead looks over at the gays and notes that they’re such a happy couple. Also, he misses Adele. Especially her button-sewing skills and her encyclopedic knowledge of which wines go with which Seattle soft cheeses.
Burke and George also are having a conversation, though a more indirect one. Burke says George expects perfection from everyone and is too quick to attack when he sees a flaw. Cristina and he, on the other hand, are a team. A team. I love how Burke repeats everything twice. “I am Preston Burke. I am Preston Burke, a renowned cardiothoracic surgeon. I don’t like the gays. I certainly don’t like the gays.” Really gets the message across, without a hint of snobbery. Anyway, George gets offended by Burke’s insinuations and leaves.
Burke then talks to Shepherd about the whole Sloan thing. Shepherd says he’s frustrated because even after out here in the wilderness, three hours from Seattle, Sloan still affects everything. Yep, kinda like Denny. I know just how you feel, buddy. Anyway, all the big mountain men start to lament: Webber about his wife, Burke about the fact that he came on the camping trip to find wisdom, but he “[has] no wisdom. There’s no wisdom here.” You can say that again! Shepherd concludes, rightly, that they’re all just a bunch of idiots.
Back at the hospital, the poor pregnant woman is finally delivering her dead baby and bawling. Oof. This is the saddest moment in this series I can remember.
In the locker room, Dr. Heron approaches Izzie. She confesses that she lost a child patient her first year at the hospital—completely her fault—and that she had a breakdown afterward. After she came back from leave, everybody thought she was fine when her psycho smile was in fact hiding a gigantic inner world of puppet pain. Izzie finally opens up a bit, saying she misses Denny all the time, that she’s not sure she can be a surgeon in this hospital, and so on and so forth.
The transman’s wife also comes back to the hospital, despite her earlier desire to leave. She says that when she first found out about her husband’s sex change plans, she tried to date other men, but over and over she realized that her best friend was Daniel. I mean Donna. (Incidentally, why didn’t s/he pick the name Danielle? It seems the obvious choice.)
Montgomery and Torres sit sadly out in the hall, post-dead-baby. Addison notes that Callie is sleeping with Sloan, an experience she describes a a “hailstorm of self-loathing and misery.” Ooh, meteorological porn. Someone call Sam Champion! Anyway, Addison asks whether Callie might want to get a drink sometime. Ooh, did I catch a whiff of lesbianism? I thought I caught a vague note of it between She-Shepherd and Sister-Shepherd last week, but I figured that was just my intrinsic overeagerness to categorize people as “in the Mary Cheney mold.” Now I’m really wondering though. I mean Kate Walsh does have a history, what with Under the Tuscan Sun.
Burke and George come back to the hospital after their trip. Callie approaches George and says they need to talk—not about Sloan or relationship issues, but about George’s dad, who we see is now lying in an SGH hospital bed. Great, more complications, Although I’ll take any justification for a nice folksy George Dzundza cameo.
As the show ends, Meredith and Sloan are in the bar, with Sloan telling her how she needs to “start fresh.” God this guy is shameless. As Sloan goes outside to answer a page, who should arrive but Shepherd, who introduces himself to Meredith from scratch—”Hi, I’m Derek Shepherd.” Meredith initially resists this blatant attempt at a fresh start, saying once again that there’s “too much water under the thing.” Meredith. The metaphor isn’t that hard. Anyway, before long, they’re swapping saliva. Sloan sees this as he reenters the bar but, in a shocking display of discretion, decides not to confront Shepherd and instead leaves. Shepherd never sees him.
I thought this was a great episode. Cristina was much less caricatured, the scenes with the pregnant mother were very emotional. The slapping fight was pretty unlikely, but Webber’s awkwardness with the gays was hilarious. What did we think?