“Most people hate hospitals. But not the interns. For them, a hospital is a magical place. It’s poetic, the rhythm of the machines, the crackle on the trauma gown, it’s a place full of promise, excitement, surprises. It’s a place where dreams can come true.”

“Love Turns You Upside Down”

Grey’s Anatomy 9×08

Posted by Kim

Did this almost feel like a pilot episode to anyone else?  Cause it sure did to me.  One of the things a long running show needs to do every once in a while is integrate new blood, especially when cast members leave.  Shows like ER and Law and Order tended to do this pretty seamlessly, but Grey’s Anatomy has had mixed results with this in the past.  Several examples: out of the five or six interns from Lexie Grey’s intern class, Lexie (RIP) was the only one who stuck.  And do we need to discuss to debacle of the merge with Mercy West?  Honestly, that is still a sore subject for many Grey’s fans.  Jackson and April are the only characters to survive that, and if you read message boards you would know that many people would be perfectly happy if April wasn’t on the show.  So even though we’re supposed to be bonding with this new class of interns, I can’t help but wonder…who do I *really* need to get invested in?  Which of these characters will eventually get upgraded to full-time cast members?  For me, there are three obvious candidates.

Yep.  Those three.

Much like the pilot “A Hard Day’s Night”, this episode revolves around an overnight shift for the new class of interns.  All of our familiar and beloved characters, as they are all at least attendings now, take a back seat in the episode.  Which made this episode a bit frustrating, depending on how you feel about the interns.

For me, the story line with Smash Williams…erm…Shane Ross.  His name is Shane Ross.  I WILL stop calling him Smash.  Once he gets upgraded to full-time cast member.  Shane spent his shift on April’s service, which was “lump and bump” day.  Since she is not board certified, April often gets saddled with the grunt work, so Shane was none too thrilled to be stuck examining various gross growths while his fellow interns got to be on cool surgeries.  But what makes Shane cool is that eventually he came to realize that he WAS learning from April.  April tends to have a good bedside manner, and while she was often grossed out by what she was doing, she stressed the importance of treating the patient like a human being and calming any fears they may have.  Shane took this to heart and it paid off for him later in the episode when Callie and Jackson called all the interns in to choose one to assist on Derek’s nerve transplant.  Shane was the only one to treat Derek as a patient and NOT as a cool surgery…so he got chosen.  And it was all because of what he learned from April…which made him come back to assist her a second day, even when he wasn’t required to.

“I’m here because I want to be. All I ever wanted to be was a surgeon, and now, Torres has chosen me to scrub in on one of the coolest surgeries I’ll ever see because of you.  You gave me 27 solo procedures yesterday — at least one of them saved a woman’s life. I’m grateful for this job and I’m grateful to you. I’m hardly slumming it. So I’m going to glove up and help you with your lumps and you’re going to like it.”

I know some people are going to ship Shane/April after that, but I don’t.  But I do think that they could be great friends.  April needs friends.  So…please keep it platonic Shonda.  For me.

One relationship that is definitely NOT going to stay platonic is Alex Karev and Jo Wilson.  Many fans have complained that Jo is too much like Lexie/Izzie.  She is obviously compassionate and gets too emotionally involved with her patients, so yeah, the similarity is there.  But Alex and Jo is happening, people.  It’s only a matter of time.  And it’s not just because I am a shipper and I just want to see all the pretty people making out.  I’ve been watching Grey’s for nine years.  I know how the show works.  Alex may treat her patronizingly now (calling her “Princess”), but mark my words.  They’ll be making out by February Sweeps.

Alex and Jo were on a case involving a rather horrid teen mom and HER mother.  Horrid teen mom gave birth to a baby with many health complications, but throughout the episode HTM was more concerned about getting to a party that her best friend was throwing for her (and HTM’s Mom was just encouraging the behavior).  The episode ended with HTM abandoning her baby at the hospital, which puts the baby into the foster care system.  Jo tried to stop them from leaving, but Alex had to stop her and let HTM and HTMM go.  They had no right to keep them there and this sends Jo into an emotional meltdown.  Turns out, Jo is not the privileged “princess” that she seems to be.  She was abandoned by her mother, grew up in the system, and only got where she is today by busting her ass to make something of herself (and having the support of a wonderful high school teacher).

Okay, fine.  Jo IS Izzie.  They’ll still be making out by February.

Tina Majorino (okay, fine, Dr. Heather Brooks) spent most of this episode being Meredith’s lackey.  Derek has finally agreed to do the surgery on his hand, and while he wants to use a cadaver nerve, Meredith knows that a LIVE nerve will be Derek’s best shot.  So she charges Heather with calling Derek’s four sisters…essentially throwing her to the wolves, because the last thing Derek wants is to get his family involved.

Derek’s relationship with his sisters has always been complicated.  They are strong women, the Shepherd women, and in typical male fashion, he tends to avoid their drama by just not talking to them.  Which of course gets them more riled up.  We met his older sister Nancy way back in Season Three when she showed up right after his marriage to Addison ended.  Baby sister Amelia is over on Private Practice, though she has crossed over to Seattle Grace a few times.  Heather doesn’t have any luck with them, and is unable to reach Kathleen.  But she DOES get Lizzie…who as you can see is played by Neve Campbell (SCREAM THREE REUNION YOU GUYS).  We’ll see more of Lizzie next week, as she showed up in the closing moments of the episode.

I think the reason Heather is working as a character as she doesn’t seem to be the shadow of a former character.  She’s awkward, yet feisty and clearly very smart, just not very good at asserting herself yet.  If anything she is echoes of pre-“Nazi” Miranda Bailey.  So I like it.  Majorino played being caught in the middle of the Shepherd family drama perfectly.  And the moment when she accidentally revealed Meredith’s pregnancy in Callie’s presence?  Priceless.

I haven’t even touched like what felt like the A storyline of the episode.  Mainly because it involved the two interns I care least about: Leah and Edwards.  They were both on Cristina’s service and in a very early Cristina/Meredith way without the “you’re my person” love they were super competitive to get their attending’s attention.  There were two babies in the NICU that needed heart transplants and in typical Grey’s fashion, their single parents had bonded and maybe even fallen in love.  While one baby was ready to go home and wait for a heart, the other was going to GET one that day.  When the one that was supposed to go home got sicker and therefore got bumped up the transplant list, it effectively STOLE the heart from the other.  I won’t deny that this was sad, and I did get choked up a bit, I didn’t care as much as I don’t care about Leah and Edwards as much as the other three interns.  While Edwards edged out Leah for the transplant, they fought over another cardio patient (who literally needed to be held upside down to remain conscious.  Hence the episode title) and nearly killed her in their eagerness to please Cristina.  This resulted in them being banned from the OR until future notice and being told that in order to become extraordinary, they needed to learn to work together.  Like I said, I have seen this story before.  And Edwards and Leah are NO Meredith and Cristina.  While the episode ended with Edwards grasping Leah’s shoulder in a sign of support, they have a long way before they become the Twisted Sisters.

I DID love how the episode ended with the interns observing the Attendings saying “I can’t believe they used to be us”.  Quite frankly, I can’t either.  Meredith, Cristina, and Alex are all grown up and raising interns on their own, much like Bailey did for them.

And now I feel incredibly old.  HOW HAVE I BEEN WATCHING THIS SHOW FOR NINE SEASONS?!!?!?