Well folks, we’re on the home stretch—the second-to-last episode of Grey’s Anatomy before next week’s season finale. This week we had hicks, urine humor, and yet another near-miss by our favorite battery-powered guest star, Denny.
In her voiceover this week, Meredith observes that we all go through life like bulls in a china shop, doing damage to ourselves and others. We see her in Finn the vet’s kitchen—seemingly post-sleepover, since he’s making breakfast. Meredith protests that she doesn’t cook, so she doesn’t expect him to do it for her—just some gift certificates to the Botox clinic and maybe a subscription to Self-Pity Monthly would be nice. Finn tells her to sit down, drink some coffee, and try to act for once like she’s not scary and damaged. When Meredith protests that she’s neither of the above, he calls her out: why won’t she tell him about her family? about the last guy she slept with? This shuts her up, thankfully.Later, at home, Meredith is telling Izzie about her conversation with Finn. Apparently it’s grooming day at the household, since Izzie’s whitening her teeth while Meredith plucks her eyebrows and treats her hair to give it that limp, distressed look we’ve come to know and love. Izzie asks whether the sex has been good and is shocked to learn that even after four dates and two sleepovers, Meredith and Finn haven’t even kissed. Resurrecting her trailer-park drawl, Izzie says she feels like a proud mama, what with her little Meredith grown up all frigid and sexless.
Not only are those things sharp, they’re WHITER THAN NICOLE KIDMAN
But this down-home reverie is interrupted by the entrance of our busty Dr. Torres, who spent the night at the house with George. She walks into bathroom wearing only fiery red underwear, with her double-D pechos flying all over the place. And as we’ve seen before, those things can be quite dangerous when unleashed. Callie exchanges an awkward hello with the girls—Meredith and Izzie, not her OWN girls—then pees right in front of them and leaves without washing her hands. Meredith and Izzie start laughing as soon as she exits, incredulous that this just happened.
Gasp! Call the FCC, they showed a woman peeing on television
At the hospital, Izzie mocks Callie in front of George, complaining that she crosses the line. As Alex points out, Izzie knows all about crossing the line since she’s dating a patient. OH SNAPSKY! Cristina, though, is quite jovial this morning, asking everybody what’s up with all the evil misery: she’s still giddy from an esophageal hernia surgery overnight, then getting laid in the on-call room, and now facing the prospect of four bloody car crash victims on the way to the hospital! What could be better? But He-Shepherd sours the mood, snapping rudely at Meredith when she asks how the dog is feeling. She asks whether he’s mad at her, but he says now’s not the time.
Then Cristina’s eagerly awaited car crash victims show up. These people turn out to be the hick family from hell—a young man, his drawling nightmare of a pregnant wife, and two shrill redneck parents straight from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Izzie should feel right at home. There’s all manner of yelling back and forth as Big Daddy and Big Mama and Mae and Gooper all try to figure out who’s hurt and who’s okay. As Bailey notes, it’s a hillbilly picnic. Yee-fucking-ha.
Cristina tells everybody to shut up because she’s trying to hear the unborn baby’s heartbeat. Fortunately the baby is fine. But then all hell breaks loose as the man who caused the car accident—who turns out to be a young medical intern from another hospital—is wheeled in on a stretcher. Big Daddy wants to string up this sonofabitch down at the old oak tree, so he runs headlong at him, and George and Dr. Webber are briefly forced to play defensive line.
Alex, meanwhile, tries to examine Big Mama (character actress Frances Fisher, of basically every movie or TV show you’ve ever seen). But when Alex gets close to the woman’s naughty bits, she shoos him away and says she doesn’t know him well enough to let him see her “good girl.” Whatever lady, we all know you call it your “cooter,” so quit with the high-class crap. Anyway, Alex runs off to get a lady doctor to check Big Mama’s undercarriage. Afterward, he derides the family as “stupid hicks,” but George says that in fact they’re apparently one of the richest landowning families in Alabama. Oh great, old-money yokels. Somebody call WILLIAM FAULKNER to JOT THIS ONE DOWN.
Izzie continues to wheedle George about Callie’s bad hygiene, but Dr. Bailey puts a stop to this by reminding them that the hospital is a place of business. She-Shepherd, meanwhile, chides Alex for failing to stay by the pregnant car crash victim’s side. The most notable part of this interlude is the fact that Alex and Bailey both call her “She-Shepherd.” TVgasm influence spreads! IT’S VIRAL, BITCHES! IT’S LIKE THE GODDAMN AVIAN INFLUENZA. The pressing question of course is when will the royalty checks start arriving at TVgasm headquarters.
Finally, Alex shows up at the pregnant patient’s side, claiming with mock pride that he’s “captain of the vagina squad.” The intern who caused the accident, meanwhile, is all WebMD’ing and reading his own chart to see what’s wrong. He asks whether the family he hit will be okay. Ironically, Izzie is assigned as Callie’s assistant on the surgery for the pregnant woman’s husband. After Izzie leaves, George asks Callie discreetly whether she in fact washed her hands. She says of course she did, and then turns her attention back to the injured intern’s broken arm, which she sets with a loud snap. Haha it still cracks me up that George’s love interest is the busty bonesetter from hell.
Out in the hall, He-Shepherd yells at Meredith to get a CT scan done for the injured intern. Burke, also pissy, ignores Cristina completely when she asks whether he has any heart patients she can cut up. He walks away, but she catches up and finds out he’s angry because she fell asleep during sex that morning in the on-call room. Cristina apologizes, saying she was really tired, and besides Burke should feel proud of himself because the reason she fell asleep was because she had, uh, “reached the highest zenith of her sexual experience” twice already. Burke, ever the altruist, says that doesn’t matter, because HE didn’t finish, and he is PRESTON BURKE, an ESTEEMED CARDIOTHORACIC SURGEON, and Cristina should devote every brain cell and/or erogenous orifice to SATISFYING HIS EVERY SEXUAL WHIM, UP TO AND INCLUDING THE DIRTY SANCHEZ. Whatever, I’m surprised he didn’t just keep on going and let her sleep through it—I believe that’s called “dead-horsing.” Anyway, Cristina retorts that she had just been through a long surgery and that she’s a surgeon first, just like him. Burke retorts that he is a person first. Right.
Meanwhile, whaddya know but Izzie’s heart patient/worldwide hate object, Denny, has collapsed again! If I had a nickel for every time this has happened I’d have like double the Mission: Impossible 3 box office. Apparently Denny, lovechild of Hercules and Paul Bunyan that he is, was doing stairs in an attempt to get his strength back. Burke warns him that the portable LVAD wasn’t a cure and that he still has to take it easy. Commence all manner of whining on Denny’s part about how it’s his life and he wants to go home, followed by worried discussions between Burke and Izzie about the damage to Denny’s “spirit.” MY GOD THIS PLOTLINE IS SO LAME. Seriously, as a reader mentioned in one of our new forums, this guy’s almost died so many times by now that when it finally happens we’ll all be like “oh.”
Izzie’s rush to take care of Denny prevents her from prepping the O.R. as Callie asked, so Callie gets annoyed and wonders where Izzie is. Meanwhile, a CT scan reveals that the pregnant car crash victim has horrendous internal injuries, which she didn’t feel earlier because of all the adrenaline in her system. Bailey calls all the surgeons she can find, while George gets stuck with the task of delivering the bad news to the family. He does this with grace, aplomb, and even a fair amount of bonhomie, IF I MAY SAY SO MYSELF.
“Y’all said what? Y’all outta CHITLINS?!??”
They rush the pregnant woman to the O.R., cutting open seemingly her entire body at once, with about thirty surgeons wielding scalpels, saws, clamps, egg beaters, and other tools. I swear I saw Bob Vila in there somewhere. Alex keeps trying to get a good view of the operating table, but She-Shepherd tells him to sit by the fetal monitor and watch the baby’s heartbeat.
The injured intern who caused the accident says he fell asleep at the wheel: he’d already worked a 30-hour shift but then stayed for a 12-hour abdominal surgery cause he didn’t want to miss it. He muses aloud to Meredith that his decision to stay in the O.R. and save a life might cause a pregnant woman’s death. Uh, hate to break it to you buddy but they would’ve performed the surgery without you anyway, so you lose no matter what. The CT technician tells Meredith that they’re ready to do the intern’s scan, but when Meredith turns back around the guy has vanished.
Izzie surprises Denny with some fancy chocolat from the hospital gift shop. But he’s not in the mood and says Izzie doesn’t understand what he’s going through—that she can never comprehend the sense of loss he feels as a “strong, virile horse of a man” who’s now bedridden. Honestly, who describes HIMSELF as virile and horselike? I can just see his online personal ads: “VGL, lumberjackish, virile horse of a man seeks ditzy, medicated, dagger-toothed intern for low-cardio-impact fun or more. Pics on request.” Anyway, blah blah blah, Denny says he wishes Izzie never had tried to convince him to let a battery run his heart. I’m with you on that one, buddy.
“Save that piece—Tom Cruise called and said he’s making a casserole tonight”
Because the baby seems okay, they proceed to hack up the mother. But the woman starts crashing, so the surgeons decide to take a “damage control” approach—this week’s wacky, obscure surgical technique. So all the surgeons stop working, put down their tools, cover the patient in overpriced Saran Wrap, and move her to the ICU to let her stabilize. They keep talking ominously about the patient being in the “triangle of death.” I looked this up, and it’s just some overblown term for when a patient is suffering simultaneously from low body temperature, blood-clotting problems, and acidosis. Lame. OMG stop the surgery cause she’s facing the RHOMBUS OF DOOM. Or wait, maybe that’s the RIGHT RECTANGULAR PRISM OF PERIL. Sometimes I wish this show would aim a little lower on the cleverness scale and stick to more basic medical situations—they can be just as dramatic and don’t seem as hokey and unexplained.
During the surgery, He-Shepherd glances up and sees that the missing intern who caused the accident has been up in the gallery watching the disastrous surgery transpire. He gets really pissed and immediately runs over to yell at Meredith for letting the patient get so far off her watch. Despite Meredith’s insistence that she turned away for only a second, He-Shepherd shrieks that it’s entirely her fault and she has to take responsibility for her actions for once. He runs off to fume in the hallway.
Bailey explains to the pregnant patient’s parents what they’re doing with this “damage control” approach. Basically, since her body was crashing, they’re keeping her in the ICU and waiting for her body to stabilize and recover—all with her insides gaping completely open under some warming blankets. Alex says it’s a waste of time for him to stay by the patient’s side because she’s already “circling the drain.” Sensitively put! But She-Shepherd insists that that an unborn baby can survive for several minutes after the mother dies, so Alex needs to keep watch.
At lunch, the interns talk about the damage control surgery and empathize with the overtired intern who caused the accident. They all relate their respective sleep-deprivation stories: Izzie once fell asleep on a bench in the parking lot, Cristina of course fell asleep during sex, and Meredith once fell asleep at a restaurant while on a date. Don’t worry sweetie, I’m sure he didn’t notice. Then Izzie and George trade barbs yet again about Denny and Callie, and George storms off angrily.
Callie asks George where Izzie was earlier when she ditched her O.R. prep assignment. George defends Izzie—saying she’d been paged—which pisses Callie off. The pregnant patient’s husband witnesses this and asks what George did to make Callie so mad. George avoids the question and asks the guy whether anyone’s told him what’s going on with his wife. So the guy starts talking about his wife: though originally from Seattle, he went to college down in Dixie and came back with some big-haired, drawling girl, and even though all his friends think he’s crazy for marrying her, he really loves the girl. Ooh George should be TAKING NOTES ON THIS in re: his busty yet unpopular mistress. The patient says he can’t really face the thought of his big ol’ Alabama beauty queen dying, so he wants to talk about something else, like what the hell did George do to piss Callie off. George finally fills the guy in on the handwashing incident, which proves anticlimatic.
Though the accident-causing intern’s CT scan looks okay, He-Shepherd decides to keep him overnight for observation. Meredith follows He-Shepherd out into the stairwell and confronts him, saying she never should’ve told him about sleeping with George. He mocks her for that, as well as for sleeping with the vet (even though she hasn’t yet), and advises snidely that maybe she should sleep with Alex too since apparently he likes to get around. In short, her behavior is unforgivable. But Meredith says she doesn’t need He-Shepherd’s forgiveness: when she met him she thought she’d found the person she’d spend the rest of her life with—no more boys, no more daddy issues, no more coke-fueled threeways with David Bowie and Iman—and then he broke it all by leaving her. How she’s chosen to mend herself is her own business, and he doesn’t get to call her a whore. This appeal doesn’t seem to get through to He-Shepherd, who says definitively that everything is over between them. Yeah, I’d say so.
Seattle Grace’s new chaplain, Sister Mary Shanaynay
Over in the pregnant woman’s room, the surgeons confer secretively about when to start up the surgery again. The woman’s mother gets frustrated with this and says y’all don’t need to whisper, y’all, she can hear y’all anyway, and even though she don’t got no medical expertise, y’all, she’s still the girl’s Big Mama and wants a say in y’all’s decision anyway—y’hear? Actually this scene is pretty touching. So the doctors fill her in. Webber says he thinks it’s time for them to go back in and finish the surgery on her daughter if it’s okay with her.
Unfortunately the second round of surgery doesn’t go well. The mother starts bleeding out, and her heart rate drops dramatically. The baby’s heart rate drops as well, and Alex of all people starts to panic. He runs over to the next O.R. to grab She-Shepherd, but she can’t go anywhere because she’s elbow-deep in another patient’s uterus. If she were ankle-deep in a nostril or waist-deep in a rectum, sure, but sure as hell not now. She and Alex get in a little pissing match that essentially goes: “Hey I’m doing my job.” “So am I.” “Well I’m doing my job MORE.” “No I AM.” SHUT UP.
While the surgery takes place, George remains with the pregnant woman’s husband and parents. Meredith pops her rosy little head in and tells George that the intern who caused the accident would like the chance to apologize to the family if it’s okay.
Alex rushes back to the other O.R., suddenly GIDDY AS SHIT about vaginas and fetuses and OB-GYN. Because the mother’s been crashing for about five minutes already, Alex decides they need to get the baby out. How he suddenly has the authority to declare this while Webber, Burke, and Bailey stand idly by is utterly beyond me. But Alex takes charge, asks for instruction on how to do a C-section, and goes ahead with it. He pulls out the plastic prop baby and proceeds to wash it down with water. The mother, meanwhile, continues to bleed profusely and dies on the table.
The yokel parents accept the intern’s offer to apologize. Big Daddy enters the intern’s room all angry-like, in the manner of a deranged Dennis Hastert after a cycle of steroids and a few Old Granddads. Yet just when he seems about ready to snap the intern’s neck, he gently puts his hand next to the guy’s face instead. The intern starts crying and says he’s sorry, sorry, so sorry, in as many ways as he can think of. Je suis dÃ©solÃ©. Lo siento. Ik ben droevig. Sono spiacente. PerdÃ³name. Sounds like a hit single to me! Actually, this scene is pretty moving—even Meredith sheds a tear or two.
Hell, if I had to spend eight hours with Ellen Pompeo, I’d cry too
As the show winds down with our meaningful musical montage, Izzie goes into Denny’s hospital room, closes the door, and lies down by him. As they start cuddling he asks whether it’s be wrong for him to feel her up right now. Oh you naughty RASCAL, how DARINGLY TRANSGRESSIVE OF YOU.
At Burke’s apartment, Burke and Cristina sit at the table while he eats dinner, reads a book, and generally ignores her. He says she must be tired. She says yeah, and he replies with great meaning that he’s tired as well. Ooh, trouble on the relationship front.
Back at the hospital, the newly widowed young man cries while looking at the plastic preemie baby he’ll now have to raise by himself. She-Shepherd compliments Alex on the good job he did today. But Alex, who enjoys raining even on his own parade, replies that yeah, they really did great work—cause now there’s this newborn kid around with no mother to raise it. Finally, in the locker room, George finally speaks to Meredith voluntarily for the first time, saying he’ll see her at home. Meredith is shocked but relieved.
Still not dead yet? WORK ON IT
George stops by Mistress Callie’s underground sex dungeon, where Callie is still sore about the peeing episode. She insists that she washed her hands in the kitchen afterward—she just wanted to get out of the bathroom as quickly as possible because Meredith and Izzie were staring at her. Well NO SHIT MARIA, what are they supposed to do when you nearly PUT OUT THEIR EYES WITH YOUR GIANT BREASTS. Maybe next time you should run back and cover up before proceeding with the urinaciÃ³n. Anyway, Callie implores George to stand up for her next time. She then cuddles him forcibly, and he succumbs to the tsunami of cleavage.
And finally, at Finn’s house, Meredith is driving him crazy by hovering around the kitchen while he cooks. She worries aloud that their relationship could be a mistake and that if he really knew how scary and damaged she was, he’d run for the door. But Finn replies with some stories of his own: his mother died when he was ten, after a long and painful battle with cancer, and his father’s been propped up in front of the TV with some Scotch pretty much ever since. The last woman Finn slept with was his wife, who died in a car accident. But after meeting Meredith he’s been thinking things were changing. She likes dogs. She likes birthing horses. She doesn’t have a SINGLE wrinkle on her face—it’s amazing! In short, they could be happily codependent in their scariness and damagedness. The prospect of such a thoroughly dysfunctional relationship makes Meredith smile downstairs, so she goes in for a kiss as we fade to black.
Not to be Debbie Downer, but though everybody I talked to seemed to love this episode, it wasn’t my favorite. There were some nice moving moments, but I’m pretty tired of the Denny storyline, and I thought the Callie peeing incident was funny at first but then was dragged out for way more than it was worth. But I did like the hillbilly parents and thought the confrontation between Meredith and He-Shepherd was great.
I’ve already begun a rigorous program of fasting, meditation, and Colon-Blo in preparation for next week’s season finale, which, THREE-HOUR RUNNING TIME aside, looks a bit over the top. From the previews it almost looks like Izzie kills somebody in order to make a transplant heart available for Denny. Or am I on crack? What do we think is gonna happen?