This was a sneaky little episode. There wasn't a train crash or a ferry boat accident or a shooter in the hospital to monopolize our attention in "That's Me Trying." Instead, in what was pretty much a normal day at Seattle Grace Mercy West, almost every character was dealing with a lot of baggage, both personally and professionally. Confusion and anxiety were in the air as our friends were filled with doubt. Many questions were being asked and I found myself surprised again and again as the answers given were much different than I had anticipated.
Owen Hunt: Surgeon and Mentor
Much as I love the Owen and Cristina relationship, one of the pleasures of this episode was seeing Owen Hunt in his professional role as head of trauma. Hunt is an excellent surgeon and teacher in his own right, and it was great to see him putting the residents through their paces in a grueling trauma certification drill. Unrelenting in his approach, Owen managed to make an impression on Jackson (what's up with him lately, anyway?) that quitting is not an option, no matter what your personal circumstances (more on that later). I also enjoyed one of many twists of the episode: April has a natural inclination for trauma surgery! I'll be interested to see if Owen (who seemed very excited at the prospect of having another student to mentor ... RIP George O'Malley) can persuade her to leave her dreams of neuro behind and pursue trauma instead.
Callie and Arizona: At an Impasse
While it was sad to watch Calzona break up, I can't say that I'm surprised. Here's the thing: Sometimes love is not enough. Callie and Arizona love each other. They also want very different things out of their lives, and they both tend to gloss over these differences. First there was the whole issue of children which, in my view, is far from resolved. Now there is this professional conflict as Arizona, understandably, wants to accept a prestigious grant, move to Africa and work with tiny humans in the developing world. Unfortunately, Callie (who has the tendency to be both needy and too accommodating in my view) was only going along for the ride because it was what Arizona wanted. Don't get me wrong. I happen to love Callie, but Mark hit it right on in a moment of pithy clarity. You have to get a boob job for yourself, not because your girlfriend likes a big rack. And by big rack he meant Africa. So Arizona is going to Africa and Callie is, presumably, staying in Seattle. Can they find their way back to each other (and would that even be in their best interest) or are they truly over for good?
Derek, Bailey and Cristina aka Distraction, Anxiety and Paralysis
It was startling and heartbreaking to see three of my favorite characters so undone. Derek is so freaked out by the worry that Meredith will get Alzheimer's disease that he couldn't string two sentences together for his grant proposal. Bailey is both devastated and haunted by Mary's death, and she gets no relief when the autopsy results are inconclusive. Cristina (oh, my poor Cristina) is managing to function in the hospital, although she has yet to operate, but no longer finds any joy in her work. Instead, she is consumed by fear and lashing out at her best friend whom she blames, at least in part, for her unraveling. Why is Meredith "fine" while Cristina is "ruined"? Personally, I'm not even sure that Meredith IS fine and that Cristina IS ruined. The answer is much more complicated than that and I believe that this is far from over. In fact, we're just now getting somewhere on that front, but that's a discussion for another time.
So what was the immediate result of these developments? Well, Derek and Bailey managed to set each other straight. I love their friendship and it was good to see it again. Interestingly, they essentially told each other the very same thing: Pull yourself together and move on, friend. You're not doing anyone any good obsessing like this! It's fascinating how we can see so clearly what others need to hear and yet be so blind to the same situation in our own lives.
Meanwhile, Cristina makes a decision that took me completely by surprise. She quit the program. As she told Owen, she knew she could do what she needed to do, but she no longer wants to do it. I'm not sure if I totally believe her, but I think she needs to step back from surgery for awhile to find out for herself without the pressures of the day-to-day work. So, again, questions remain: Will Derek get the money to start his clinical trial? Will Bailey be able to put Mary's death behind her? Is Cristina really done with surgery forever or is this just a temporary situation? I've no idea, but things are getting good. The next all-new episode of Grey's Anatomy, "Something's Gotta Give," airs Thursday, Nov. 11 on ABC.
(Image courtesy of ABC)