Last week’s Grey’s Anatomy featured not one, but two doctors crazy in love. They were so crazy in love that they decided to ask the women that they were dating to marry them. Both of the marriage proposals were very unexepcted, and judging by the initial reactions of the two women in question, I thought that Dr. Torres and Dr. Yang were going to turn Dr. O’Malley and Dr. Burke from crazy in love to shit out of luck. And all of that would have been the most exciting thing to happen in the episode if Ellis Grey hadn’t shrugged off Alzheimer’s and suddenly became more lucid than anybody who can actually stay awake to watch a whole night of The Grammys. Yes, Meredith’s mom is back, and better than ever.The willowy voice of Ellen Pompeo once again greeted us this week, telling us how surgeons must always prepare for the worst-case scenario, because the best just doesn’t happen. Then again, the difference between a best-case scenario and a worst-case scenario is sometimes a matter of opinion. If you are Christina or Callie, does having your boyfriend propose marriage unexpectedly give you a worst-case scenario or a best-case scenario?
And even more strange, if you are Meredith, what do you say about your mother waking up? It’s one thing if there were some medication or a surgery involved because then at least she could have been prepared. Instead, Meredith comes in to find out that her mother woke up, and challenging as it is to live with a family member who has such an aggressive form of Alzheimer’s, it’s not like Meredith’s mother was that easy to live with in the first place. She was a great doctor, but it seemed like she left a path of destruction in the wake of anybody who tried to get close to her.
When Meredith meets her mom, we learn that she has a memory loss, but she only thinks that two months have passed. Ellis starts talking to Meredith, who she believes has flown off to Europe instead of going to medical school. One would think that she would be happy to hear that her daughter is now a surgical intern, but instead, she has some sort of seizure and is rushed to the hospital. It’s almost as if they needed a convenient way for Meredith’s now lucid mother to meet all of her friends and embarrass her. And think about Webber? Now that Adele has dissed him, will he decide to spend more time with Meredith’s mother?
The final piece of big news from last week was that Izzie decided to donate 8 million dollars to Bailey’s new clinic, which was just enough coin for Bailey to name it the “Denny Duquette Memorial Clinic”. This clinic idea is nice, and I like how it can give Bailey something to do, but like I said last time, it is a little bit of stretch. When ER did it, it seemed much more plausible, because people without insurance or a primary doctor often see the ER when they are sick. If somebody doesn’t get their pap smear, they are usually a few degrees of separation away from seeing the surgeon.
To me, it doesn’t seem like it’s a smart use of resources to put surgical residents and interns in the free clinic. Yes, they need volunteers, but if the surgeons are your best doctors, why put them there? It doesn’t take a lot of intelligence to take somebody’s temperature, tell them they have the flu and that they need to drink lots of water. I think a lot of the surgical interns were thinking the same thing when Bailey told them that they would all have to do their time in the clinic.
As for the attendings, they were for the most part still concerned about succeeding Dr. Webber as Chief of Surgery. I think it has to do with that rumor that Webber will bequeath his fine collection of Skittles-colored polo shirts to whoever takes his job. Burke and Shepherd have decided to take an aggressive approach by wowing Webber by planning purchases of increasingly exotic surgical equipment that will help with increasingly exotic surgical procedures. To make sure their greatness is documented, they also suggested putting Peter Jackson and Brett Ratner on retainer. That way, Seattle Grace could have the option of making their surgeries seem unnecessarily longwinded and take place in New Zealand, or fill them up with lots of explosions and look like it was filmed by a low-rent version of McG.
Sloan and Montgomery, on the other hand, are taking a wait-and-see approach. Addison said that she was going to play like a girl, or in other words, let the big boys fight it out and she will pick up the scraps. I am sure she also meant to say, “gossip about them until their boss hates them”, which is the way most of the women in my last office job worked, and let’s be honest a lot of the men worked that way as well.
McSteamy was not interested in playing like a girl, but it is obvious that he was going to have to do something extra if he was ever going to have a chance to become Chief. He doesn’t like Seattle, doesn’t like the weather, and despite his good looks, doesn’t much of a social life outside of taking other doctor’s sloppy seconds. Oh, and he works at a teaching hospital, but hates to teach. Therefore, there is probably only one way for him to get ahead, and that is to kiss more ass than a hooker in Tijuana First order of business? Announce a little too loudly that he is going to go to the free clinic and support Dr. Bailey. The early returns said that he may have done a pretty good job. He said it in such a way that you could almost believe that he actually meant at least half of what he said.
So how was the clinic doing? In terms of efficiency, they were doing better than many other parts of the hospital. Then again, they were still working on finding an actual patient, and Izzie was beginning to worry that her money was going to nothing. She wanted Denny’s money to mean something and up until this point, it was doing about as much good as if she had donated it to the Paris Hilton School of Nightvision Cinematography. I think there would be other things that Izzie would worry about, like maybe she should have donated the money AFTER she had paid her taxes. After all, getting your name on the wing of a hospital is a pretty good memorial. I mean, I guess she could have waited for the money to grow and bought him a battleship or something, but I think he has it pretty good as it is.
And then we got out biggest surprise of the day. George and Callie went to Vegas and got married! To be honest, I thought there was no chance in hell that George was getting married because the way Callie looked at him after his proposal made me think she was not having any part of it. Everybody was so happy and then Alex said, “Hey! You’re Callie O’Malley now!” You gotta admit, that was pretty good, but after all the shit she had to go through in order to win George the first time, Ms. Torres was not very amused. Alex’s line may have been funny, but the real laugher was George’s ring. I know he didn’t have much time to save up and splurge on something bigger, but the ring he purchased had a rock that looked like a couple of grains of sand got lost on their way to the beach. Izzie, who is always sweet, except to Callie said that “at least people won’t try to steal it.” Now THAT’S cold.
The clinic was empty, but being a hospital show, they did have to throw in a couple of real patients. The first is yet another cancer patient, which I guess is a theme this year. I guess they throw cancer around because cancer is serious and talking about a serious subject with serious dialogue would make Grey’s Anatomy seem like a really serious show. Maybe that’s why the writers decided on this free clinic. After a while, it gets a little boring talking about these exotic diseases the genius surgeons are taking care. They must enjoy the artistic freedom that comes with hangnails and flu shots.
Out other big patient is none other than Ellis grey. When Webber sees her, he is very surprised, but is even more surprised when she speaks to him and she sounds like the woman he once loved so much that he at one point was thinking about leaving his wife. He sees Meredith and tells her that he knows that the condition is probably temporary, and that the time she has with her now is very important. That’s very nice of him, but you can see in his eyes that he wishes he could take some of that time away from Meredith and reconnect with Ellis himself.
We all know that Meredith’s mom was a very difficult patient, but part of that irritability was attributed to Alzheimer’s. As it turned out, Alzheimer’s may caused a lot of memory loss, but I was having trouble figuring out how the disease had contributed to her other personality traits. She pretty much said the same sorts of things as she did when she was having her memory loss, except now she can’t blame the disease for being blunt and hurting people’s feelings. Therefore, it is no surprise to find out that of all the doctors she has met at Seattle Grace, she likes Christina the most.
Dr. Burke assigned Christina to monitor Ellis, and at first, she was completely terrified. Christina had heard stories and now she was almost frozen with anxiety that Ellis would figure out they were friends and force Christina to say something she didn’t want to say. Instead, they got to talking about their residency, and Christina mentioned she was thinking about cardio-thoracic, which seemed to please Meredith’s mom. She said that people who specialize in cardio-thoracic are know-it-alls who want to win and won’t let anything get in their way. Sounds like Burke and Christina to me!
Izzie and Alex had resorted to stealing patients from the ER in order to get a few bodies into the clinic, which meant that there was plenty of time to contemplate life’s finer mysteries, like figuring out whether George’s decision to marry Callie was good impulsive or “Meredith” impulsive. You would think that all of his friends would be happy, but it seems like they still haven’t figured out that George wants to be with Callie more than anybody else on the earth. And what the hell is Izzie’s talking about sudden and impulsive decisions? Her greatest move for love was sabotaging the only machine that was keeping her boyfriend alive!
In retrospect, Izzie did score nearly $9 million off of it, what George did, i.e. marrying the woman that makes him happy on the recommendation of his dying father, is positively sane in comparison. And I will say that I believe George wants to be with Callie and only with Callie, but if he wants their marriage to work he is going to have to make sure everybody knows that.
If there was anything that was disappointing from last week, it was that Alex seemed to effectively put the kibosh on all of our wishes for some hot Careve/Montgomery fornication when he told Addison that he wasn’t that interested. I guess I should have realized that Alex’s lack of attention only made Addison want him more, and she can’t help but flirt with him whenever he is near by. I don’t know how many agree with me, but I have always enjoyed the licking of the lips partnered with the coy nibbling of the fingernails method of flirting.
Callie, who I guess we could now call Addison’s best friend, notices Dr. Montgomery taking an interest in Alex, but when she asks Addison about it, she says, “He is the help, and I am not sleeping with the help.” I know it was a joke and everything, but I guess I never thought the She-Shepherd was that stuck up. First of all, it’s not like it’s a bad thing. In Los Angeles, it’s practically a local pastime. Second, it’s not like he was some plumber she called over to fix her shower. Third, even if he was a plumber that had come over to fix her shower, most women I have talked to think Dr. Careve is attractive enough that they would call him over even if the shower was working, just to see if he would want to join. Thankfully, Callie returns with the best line of the night saying, “I married the help. We went to Vegas. I embrace the trashy.” Embrace the trashy, now those are some words to live by!
For a long time, it appeared that Meredith was avoiding her mom. Part of it was because she was afraid of some of the questions her mother had. Her mom seemed so happy to see her and learning Meredith had taken a job at Seattle Grace was a better than surprise than when she heard Webber was Chief of Surgery. But then she settled in a little bit and became the type of mother that Meredith always remembered.
At first, there was just a little bit of nagging about not picking a specialty, but when Meredith said that she was happy, it really sent her mother over the edge? Happy? Why should Meredith be happy? Love? Anybody can fall in love, but it takes a special person to pick up a scalpel and save a life. She had raised her daughter to be somebody special, but instead she turned out to be the type of person who was “happy” with true love. Up until this point, I had wondered why everybody though Meredith’s mom was such a psycho bitch. We all have demanding parents, so listening to Meredith bitch and moan about why she was so messed up really felt kind of empty at times. Then we got to see Ellis in all of her glory, and I really started to feel bad about how I would always make fun of Meredith for being so whiny and difficult.
If there was anything I can say in defense of Meredith’s mother is that she was equally harsh with everybody around her. She had figured out that she was in a special pilot program for Alzheimer’s treatment, and since she obviously didn’t sign off on it, she wanted to meet the doctor that recommended her for the trial. That would be the He-Shepherd, and although Meredith warned him about not getting personal, he did anyway. At first, Ellis kept most of her criticisms centered around the fact that there was still no effective treatment for her condition, but then she heard that Derek was the man her daughter was so smitten over. Not only was she upset that he was older, but she added that McDreamy doesn’t care about the damage that he does to her because he just wants to be admired. WOW! Now that was pretty awesome.
Since I came to the show a little late, I have little to go on with regards to how Meredith and McDreamy fell in love. I spent most of the time wondering why he would leave somebody as hot as Addison to shack up with a whiny creature like Meredith. And that was before I learned how badly she snores! Recently, I have taken note of the chemistry, but wow, did Ellis grey ever keep it real or what? She has no filter. If it wasn’t for that tricky Alzheimer’s thing, I would give her a television show of her own, call it “The Ellis Factor”, and just watch the money pour in as the insults keep flying out.
Earlier, I mentioned that I thought George would have to do a better job of making sure everybody knew how much he loved his wife, but as the day wore on, he seemed to be letting the stress of the situation get to him. While he was sending off some blood work for the cancer patient they were working on, he started shaking. Callie thought that he was letting his “weird and judgy friends” get to him, and when George went to the free clinic to lay down, I thought he was just having one of his overly dramatic reactions to things that happen to people every day. Why did Callie find it strange that he was getting sick over marriage? He mourned his father’s death mainly by keeping Callie on his back. He probably just has his signals crossed somewhere. If they eloped again, maybe he would start humping again; it’s like a game of chance.
When George finally got to the clinic, there were some other people experiencing many of the same symptoms that he had, but none of them had went to Vegas to marry Callie. Obviously something was going on, and George had figured it out. Everybody who was sick had handled the cancer patient’s blood, and there was an operating room full of surgeons that was just about to cut her open. George realized that the blood must be toxic, and tried to call the operating room, but it was too late. Everybody in the room, including Webber and Alex, were lying on the floor.
So what happened? The patient was taking an herbal medication she found on the Internet, and after mixing with the chemotherapy, turned her blood into some strange neurotoxin. Of course, this begs the question as to how she wasn’t affected by the toxic blood. Was the presence of the herb in her body enough for immunity? And she had a boyfriend that didn’t know anything about her condition. Assuming they spent more time together than just holding hands, shouldn’t he be feeling some side effects too?
Whatever the case, George rushed in very bravely and pulled the other doctors out, giving them a chance to recover. They were able to seal off the OR, but they still had to figure out what to do with this toxic patient that could bleed to death on the table. Bad news all around, except for George, who was more than happy to find out that his anxiety was toxic blood and not a toxic marriage! Oh happy day!
Things were picking up for a few other people as well. The clinic finally got their first patient, and although it wasn’t a situation that you would write up in the New England Journal of Medicine, it seemed like the exact reason why there was a free clinic. A girl, clearly mortified, came in with her father. She didn’t know how to use a tampon, and I guess the local Barnes and Nobles was all out of “Tampax for Dummies”. Izzie was mortified that all of this was happening. $8 million and all she had to show for it was a little cotton and some string.
Of course while Izzie was complaining, Dr. Bailey was there to once again show us her softer side. The young girl was not very talkative, and Izzie thought that it was because she was simply embarrassed, but she really was just scared. Realizing that young people might open up when their parents aren’t around, had the girl’s father leave to do some paperwork while she continued. At that moment, the girls started talking. She wasn’t so concerned about using a tampon as she was a pregnancy. She had sex with a boy and now was worried that she was pregnant. And even worse than that, the boy was ignoring her at school.
This brings us to the frantic part of the show. It is nearly impossible for patients in Seattle Grace to recover at different time periods during the day. They all have to have a crisis and then recover/die in a certain time frame. Our first patient in crisis is Ellis Gray. Her tests showed she had coronary artery disease and Dr. Burke wanted to perform a surgery because while the condition may be treated effectively with medication, Alzheimer’s patients are often poor at taking their medications. Ellis decides that she doesn’t want the surgery, and is shocked to realize that it’s her daughter that is making the decisions because she is not legally competent to make her own decisions.
Meredith hears about this and in one of my favorite scenes, stands up to her mother, telling her that she stepped up to take care of her. She was always so worried about her mother’s fragile condition that she would sometimes let her get her way. Not this time. Meredith continued saying that she is unfocused because her mother is in the hospital and is such a pain in the ass. Lots of stuff has happened to her, but she is not going to let “Killing My Mother” get on that list.
That’s very nice speechifying, but Meredith might not have a choice. Not too long afterwards, Meredith’s mom has some sort of seizure once again. I was not paying enough attention to get the explanation, but Christina called to get Burke. He was busy at the moment, but Ellis realized what was going on, told Christina how to fix it, and she did. And hey, near death experiences always inspire people to give good advice. Ellis compliments Christina on being good under pressure, and since they are now BFF, Christina asks if it possible to be a great surgeon and have a life. It seems as if Ellis is about to get back to her old self by telling Christina it’s none of her business, but figuring that the girl just saved her life, relented and told her that it is possible, but she didn’t try hard enough.
The reason why Burke was not available to attend to Dr. Grey was that he and Shepherd were getting ready to sew up the cancer patient. Addison already had to rush inside, sans protection, because the woman was coming off anesthesia and was fighting the intubation as well. Luckily, the hospital had biohazard suits for such an occasion. They were fully sealed and would circulate the air to keep it clean. Unfortunately, somebody forgot to keep the batteries charged, which would give them only thirty minutes inside.
It was all very brave of them and everything, but really, if these suits are supposed to be used in emergencies, why aren’t they plugged in? Isn’t the whole point of preparing for emergencies to avoid situations like this one? I understand it is difficult to remember to charge your batteries sometimes. For example, I hate it sucks to come home from IKEA only to find out you didn’t plug in your electric screwdriver, meaning your new coffee table will have to stay in its box for a few more hours. But you know what I really hate? When I have to do surgery on a toxic patient and I only have thirty minutes left because some idiot forgot to PLUG IN MY BIOHAZARD SURGICAL SUIT.
Let’s let the suspense build in that scenario a little bit longer and take care of some loose ends. Everybody will be happy to know that Bailey put some good sense into Kelly, the tampon girl. She had to tell Kelly’s dad, but she was able to get some scary lines about STDs in there, so let’s hope she can keep her legs shut, at least until she meets a cute investment banker or something.
They tried to scare us a little bit with George and Dr. Torres, but I think these two are staying together. When the cancer patient’s boyfriend was filling out her forms, he realized he didn’t know her middle name. That got George to thinking that he doesn’t know his own wife’s middle name. He still loves her but if you marry somebody without knowing their middle name, some people would say that you rushed it. Personally Callie just hated her middle name, Iphegenia, which I don’t know how to pronounce, but I am guessing sounds close enough to vagina that she doesn’t advertise it to other people. Her middle name, her choice is what I always like to say.
But really, let’s get back to the surgery. That’s why we all watch the show, right? Asking Burke and Shepherd to get the patient ready for transport in thirty minutes was sort of like entering Della Reese into a marathon. There is a chance that she will finish, but there’s also a good chance she’ll keel over well before the end. Burke and Shepherd got really close, but they were having trouble with some swelling in the intestines and soon they ran out of air as well.
I’ll be honest, at this point I would have given up, but they really wanted to save this patient. There were only a few good bodies left and it was going to come down to Christina, Izzie, and Meredith. They would finish off the surgery in shifts. I would have thought that Sloan, being all macho that he is, would have volunteered, but he said it would be irresponsible for him to go as the sole healthy surgeon, especially when we don’t know the long term affects of the toxin. Whatever. I say that he is a big pussy and I’m surprised nobody said anything, and I hope somebody brings it up in the near future. The girls are able to finish it off, and Sloan is happy to take all of the credit for supervising after they are done.
Well, look at that! Another catastrophe adverted. Yet another miraculous save, and I still act like I don’t know it’s going to happen every week. I thought they best pat of the episode was outside of the operating room. After things had settled down and the interns felt like they had finished scrubbing off the entire toxin, George finally stood up for Callie. In front of all of his friends, he told them that she is his wife and they should be happy, even if her middle name sounds like a part of the female anatomy. More importantly, he said if they pushed her away, they were pushing him away as well. Slowly, but surely, George is starting to grow a sack, and I find that he is becoming one of my favorite characters as his part becomes more complex. I like they two of them together, so I’m happy he’s not going to try and ruin it.
That still leaves us with the other unsolved marriage. At one point during the episode, Christina believed that Burke was not scheduling her for cool surgeries because she had not told him yes or no, but she realized that if there was any anxiety in this decision, she was the source. As I’ve said before, Christina is becoming a little more human every week, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to be the absolute best surgeon possible. She says that he shouldn’t expect her to change, but she is going to say yes. Burke looked relieved but after a few minutes, the two of them simply began to giggle, as if all of the shit that they have gone through doesn’t matter any more. Well, either that or they had just seen that online video where that kid farts the alphabet.
But as we know, it can’t all be good news. First of all, Addison had a moment of weakness and got back together with Sloan. And by “get back together” I mean they got naked and had sex in his hotel room. I guess you could call it good news for them, but since I can’t stand him, I’ll say it was bad news. Maybe if he did something about that stupid Q-Tip head of his, I could learn to live with this, but not a moment sooner.
The real sad news came with Ellis grey. We knew it was impossible for her to stay lucid. She had a remarkable day for somebody who had lost five years and barely had control of her life. When Webber was talking to Meredith, he said he didn’t visit her mom because there was nothing that he could say to make her feel better. In the end, he said what she wanted to hear, that they would have had a beautiful life together and she would have been happy. Meredith came in a few minutes later. She realized that the fights might be over, but that she may never get her mother back ever again.
What did you think of this episode?