Last night's episode of Grey's Anatomy
, I thought, was the best one in a long while that we've gotten from Shonda and Co. So much plot development happened, instead of a rehashing of the same old stuff. Izzie's (Katherine Heigl
) Crazy Cancer finally has a diagnosis, giving her a five percent chance of survival after chemo. And Derek. Oh boy. If anyone ever had doubts about his mental health, I think last night's episode proved that he is most certainly NOT OK. But I'll get to that in a bit.
My favorite part of the episode was probably the least consequential part. It was the introduction of Dr. Jim Nelson, the poor, mousy man who might be a solid surgeon, but just isn't sexy or flashy enough to get noticed by anyone. The fact that nobody even knows that Dr. Nelson exists is just another way in which Seattle Grace is exactly like high school.
I didn't really get what the point was to introduce him. Was it to show how self-involved the main characters are? Yeah, I think we all know that. Mark (Eric Dane
) seemed to be making progress in becoming more inclusive – he mused to Callie (Sara Ramirez
) that just because the man doesn't have creepy, perfect hair like Derek's, doesn't mean that he's any less of a man – but the lesson didn't stick because by the end of the episode, Mark didn't even remember his name anymore. (The funniest part about Dr. Nelson is that the actor who played him wasn't even listed in the official ABC press release for this episode. It's kind of like, the creators of the show forgot about him too.)
It bugged me a little bit that Callie found it amusing that Dr. Nelson is so invisible, always playing second fiddle to the Shepherd the Great. I seem to remember that she didn't like being excluded from Izzie and Meredith's cool clique during her unfortunate relationship with George (T.R. Knight
). Maybe she was ostracized because of the bad karma she accrued from not noticing other pariah-types.
In a way, however, I am glad that the episode didn't turn into an after-school special, kumbaya moment in which the doctors learned to appreciate all of God's creatures, big and small, without regard to their social status. It would have felt forced and clichéd and it would have given the main characters way too much credit. None of them is capable of seeing past their own specific melodrama of the moment to even notice anyone else around.
Some people's melodramas are, of course, very serious. Like, Izzie's cancer, Meredith's verbally abusive relationship with Derek, and Cristina's relationship with a mentally unstable war veteran.
Although it was disconcerting to me that Cristina (Sandra Oh
) lied about how she cut her arm to hide the fact that Owen (Kevin McKidd
) was responsible, I don't think that he is abusive. That said, however, if unintentionally hurting her like this isn't a wake-up call that he needs to get treatment for his PTSD, like, yesterday, then we might have a problem.
As for MerDer, it was very difficult to watch Derek being verbally and emotionally abusive to Meredith (Ellen Pompeo
). We've seen time and time again on Grey's Anatomy
that when his life goes to pot, he lashes out at Meredith for no reason. He had no right to call her a whore when she slept with George, he had no right to bitch her out when the clinical trial wasn't going well, and he certainly had no right to call her a lemon in last night's episode. She has come a long way toward becoming whole and healed, and while she is not there completely, at least she has admitted to herself, at Dr. Wyatt's urging, that she needs help. Admitting so was the first healthy thing she did, and it's something that Derek needs to do about himself as well.
I'm guessing that we'll never see Dr. Nelson again, but given all the multitude of ways in which the cool doctors at the hospital are broken and unhealthy, maybe Richard (James Pickens Jr.
) should consider hiring more people like him.
Read the Grey's Anatomy: Episode 5.17 “I Will Follow You Into the Dark” Recap here!
Best In Show
, commenting on Derek who is wallowing in filth, self-pity and children's cereals: “Whatever. Sylvia Plath is picking out all the marshmallows. They're the best part!”
, to Band Geek Beth: “I know you can't help the epilepsy, but nobody made you join the marching band. It's like spreading nerd on nerd.”
“Have you heard of a Dr. Nelson in neuro?”
“Oh yeah. Shadow Shepherd.”
“Yeah. He's a solid surgeon, but sort of the JV player to Shepherd's varsity. The B team to Shepherd's A, the bricklayer to Shepherd's architect.”
“Just ‘cause the guy doesn't publish fancy clinical trials or take on flashy surgeries or have creepy, perfect hair, he's less of a man?”
, to her interns: “You think every time you diagnose a patient, hand someone a death sentence, there's a prize? The prize is, you didn't screw it up this time. The prize is, you people actually did something right. The prize is, you were doctors. You were doctors. That is the prize.”
“We fixed her. Epileptic bone.”
Seizure Patrol Girl:
“There's no such thing as an epileptic bone.”
, yelling: “Are you a doctor?”
Seizure Patrol Girl:
“So she's, like, totally normal now?”
“Dude, none of you are normal. You're freaking band nerds.”
The best scene has to be after Arizona Robbins praises Alex for a job well done in saving Band Geek Beth's life. He runs excitedly over to Izzie to brag about it, and it's absolutely the cutest thing ever. It also absolutely broke my heart that all of his positive, upward momentum will most likely be derailed by Izzie's illness. Man, can't this guy catch a break?
-Debbie Chang, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of ABC)