“To really be efficient, you have to eliminate what doesn’t work. You have to figure out what is important and hold on tight to the things that matter most.”
Grey’s Anatomy 9×14
First of all, I must apologize for the lack of recaps. I’ve had a major case of writer’s block with them, and finally my sister yelled at me this week, saying “WHY HAVE YOU STOPPED RECAPPING GREY’S?!”. So here we go. I’m back
Much has happened since we last discussed Grey’s on Head Over Feels. Bailey got married. Adele Webber died. Cristina and Owen got divorced yet are still somewhat together and happy. The Airline crash case was settled, and Meredith, Derek, Cristina, Arizona, and Callie (in Mark’s stead, representing Sofia) are all now $15 Million richer (EACH). The settlement was not covered by the hospital’s insurance because of a technicality, so SGMW was responsible for the payout, bankrupting it. In an effort to save the hospital, efficiency expert Dr. Cahill (who was once one of Webber’s students) has been brought in to streamline operations, starting with shutting down the hospital’s emergency room. And lastly, Meredith has made it through her first trimester and has gone public with her pregnancy. Which brings us up to this week’s episode. Whew.
First of all, Miranda Bailey was EVERYTHING in this episode. I love how she constantly reveals that she is a super pop culture nerd, from loving Star Wars to all the references to The Hunger Games in this episode. This is the Bailey I’ve loved for 8.5 seasons: competitive, snarky, kick-ass and ultimately a big ball of compassion. I’m so glad to have her back.
Even though we’ve seen this surgery competition storyline before with the Chief and Cristina going head to head in the skills lab with new and old techniques (“That’s why they call me the CHIEF!!” Also do you want to feel old? That was way back in SEASON TWO), I still enjoyed it. Bailey, Meredith and Webber were all on fire with their various quips and competitiveness as they fought to win a freaking hoodie for mastering the new and “only acceptable way” to fix hernias.
Of course, Webber would have the most trouble with this “standardization of procedure” as he is the one who clings the most to his old school ways. And the whole thing WAS distressing, especially when the teacher finally exploded at Webber that “the patients don’t even matter”. No one wants to go to a doctor who deals with you like you are customer number one billion at McDonald’s. It’s not a comforting thought and I love how all the doctors in the skills lab revolted at that moment. It shouldn’t be about doing it one way. It should be about each individual doctor operating the best way they know, it’s better for them, and ultimately it’s better for the patient. And while Bailey won the competition, she knew it was a hollow victory for her and the hospital as a whole. And her prized hoodie? It itched.
“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
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.
“Maybe I do believe it, all this ‘meant to be’ stuff. Why not believe? Really, who doesn’t want more romance in their life? Maybe it’s just up to us to make it happen, to show up and be ‘meant for each other’. At least that way you’ll find out for sure. Or not.”
“I Was Made For Loving You”
Grey’s Anatomy 9×07
Asking someone if they believe in soul mates is akin to asking them if they are a romantic or a cynic. It’s a romantic notion that there is one person out there in the world just for you. Why wouldn’t you want to believe in that?? (Well other than the depressing notion that you may never FIND THEM.) We’re told about the mythical “soul mate” from birth and taught that when you find each other that you will live happily ever after with no problems ever.
Well, we all know that’s not true. Relationships, even if they are the soul mate kind, take work. If you don’t care for them, if you don’t compromise for your partner every now and then, if you don’t communicate, then the relationship will die. That’s what many of the characters on Grey’s were dealing with tonight. We saw both the highs (Meredith and Derek, Callie and Arizona) and the lows (Cristina and Owen, Jackson and April) of relationships tonight as many of our characters pondered what it was like to be MFEO (also, can we discuss the fact that Meredith actually SAID “MFEO” in her voice over? SO SO far from her dark and twisty days!). Things will get pretty spoilery from here on out, so let’s put the rest of this recap behind a jump…
“It can be scary to find out you’ve been wrong about something but we can’t be afraid to change our minds, to accept that things are different, that they’ll never be the same, for better or for worse. We have to be willing to give up what we used to believe. The more we’re willing to accept what is and not what we thought, we’ll find ourselves exactly where we belong.”
Grey’s Anatomy 9×06
I have had SEVERE writer’s block in regards to this episode. In fact, I was gonna cry “THANKSGIVING!!” and totally skip it this week until I got an oh so subtly pushy email from my boyfriend this afternoon saying “But how am I going to know what happened on Grey’s Anatomy last week??”
Fine, fine, FINE. I can take a hint.
I think the reason I have been unable to even START a recap is the fact that this episode was ALL over the place. And I don’t mean that in a bad way. It’s an inevitability that in a sprawling ensemble drama there will be multiple story lines going on that are fighting to be considered the “A” plot. Usually it’s easy for me to pick out the “A” story to focus on in my recap, but this week proved troublesome. What was the main story?? Cristina’s triumphant return to Seattle Grace Mercy West? Alex buying Meredith’s House? The ongoing relationship drama between Jackson and April? Intern Jo’s arc with “Santa Claus” and her evolving sparks with Alex (that is SO ON btw)? Bailey pushing Arizona to come back to the hospital in the Bailey-est of ways? Callie’s ongoing guilt concerning Derek’s hand? Or the bombshell that the lawyers representing the plane crash victims plan on suing the HOSPITAL for what happened?
Yeah, I would have thought the last one would have been the “A” plot too, especially considering the fact that we are smack dab in the middle of November sweeps. But it all felt crammed into the last 5 minutes because the episode was SO overstuffed with story. So instead of my normal format of spending a few paragraphs of dissecting the “A” plot and then offering my random thoughts on other plot threads, I’m going to go straight to the random thoughts. That I am sure will become paragraphs.
– First things first. Cristina Yang is back where she belongs. FINALLY. What I loved about seeing Cristina back in the halls of SGMW is that we saw the Cristina we all knew and loved from earlier seasons. Brash. Aggressive. Snarky. And a damn fine doctor. Yet she isn’t EXACTLY the same. There is more of a softness and compassion to Cristina now. You saw this in the small smile when she overheard her interns “Happy” and “Dopey” (great callback to when she called her interns by numbers) saying how much they loved her after she said they could scrub in. The Cristina of a few seasons ago would have never reacted that way. I’m also curious to see how much of a free rein this new head of cardio gives her. I’m going to guess a pretty big one, as I don’t really see them adding yet another member to an already large recurring cast.
“Love the One You’re With”
Grey’s Anatomy 9×03
“I saw the plane. I went to the hangar and I saw the pieces of our plane laid out on the floor like a jigsaw puzzle. Mistakes happen. Accidents happen. We make mistakes that can cost lives, too. We make sure it never happens again And we try to make sure future patients never have to go through that grief. They don’t have to sleep with the lights on every night because the darkness is too much. We just can’t stand by and let this happen to other people’s Lexies and Marks. We have to do something about it. We have to make this right.”
Can you put a price on grief and suffering? How much money would make losing someone you loved okay? These are the questions the plane crash survivors are faced with in this week’s episode. The airline is offering them a SUBSTANTIAL sum to settle (we never see the number, but it’s implied that it would be a life altering one for all of them) but the survivors have to be unanimous in their decision. We see Meredith, Derek, Owen (speaking for Cristina, who is still in Minnesota) and Callie (representing Mark and Arizona, who still refuses to leave the house) struggle with this proposal throughout the episode. After all, no amount of money will bring Lexie and Mark back. No amount of money will cure Derek’s hand or save Arizona’s leg. So why not take the settlement and be DONE with the whole mess? It’s certainly an easier prospect than potentially dragging out a court case for what could be years…especially a court case that could eventually not rule in their favor.
Throughout the episode, it seems they are going to take the money. Callie sees that the money would not only take care of Arizona’s rehab but it would also secure a future for Sophia. Cristina, in her typical avoidance fashion, says that she will do whatever the group wants. Meredith and especially Derek are the ones who are most hesitant. Yes, this money would allow them to stop working and let them travel all over the world with Zola…but as Meredith points out, Zola is really only interested in the Park next door right now. And traveling? Really? Mere can’t even get on a plane to go visit Cristina. Then after Derek has a conversation with Webber about a past settlement, he has a realization. The bigger the settlement offer, the more the company knows that it was their fault. And then he sees their plane and realizes that they can’t take the money. Taking the money would be akin to saying it was okay. And it’s not. And it never will be until the company ensures that this kind of tragedy can never happen again. And that won’t happen if they essentially take “hush money”, no matter how much it is.
I thought the final scene of the episode was magnificent. Much like it has been throughout the history of this series, they make the choice to stand together. Meredith and Owen telling their lawyer to shut up was very reminiscent of early seasons. And Sara Ramirez, who continues to do excellent work this season, delivered “You don’t know, you’re not one of us” so perfectly. I love that the show continues to not tie up this plane crash arc in a neat little bow and move on to other things. While there were more “normal” story arcs in this episode, the crash still hangs like a shadow over them. I assume that it will continue to, and I look forward to it. Will we be seeing a court case later this season?
Other thoughts on the episode: