Wow. What a difference a week makes. After a very disappointing episode last week with "Hook, Line, and Sinner"
, Grey's Anatomy
came roaring back this week with a stellar outing, "How Insensitive". Written by one of my favorite GA
scribes, William Harper, this episode had all of the components that work together for good: a focus on the core cast, exploration of relationships (professional, friendships, romantic,) through both humor and drama, and patient stories that feature compelling personal and medical issues while drawing parallels to the lives of the characters we know and love.
Patient #1: The 700 Pound Man
Did we get an abundance of riches from this case or what? Bailey's sensitivity training, a snarky cafeteria scene with our Fab Three plus One (Meredith, Cristina, Alex and Lexie), and residents dropping like flies as they tried (and couldn't seem to manage) to follow Bailey's guidelines of how to behave when dealing with patients. Ironically, after being trained to be completely objective, unreadable, and neutral in bedside manner, our doctors discovered that in this patient's case that approach was making things worse rather than better.
I loved it when Alex used the patient's desire for humor and jokes to get through to him and convey the message that he needed to try to get better ... for his wife and unborn child if not for himself. And how much do I love Alex Karev? It's great to see Alex finally thinking enough of himself to let Izzie go and move on and build the life that he deserves, perhaps with Lexie, which I'm kind of digging by the way.
Patient #2: The woman having a heart attack and her nine-year old daughter
Kudos to Grey's Anatomy for choosing to show how heart attacks affect women and how both symptoms and treatment are very different for women than for men. I have the feeling that lives will be saved because of that storyline.
The focus of this story wasn't really the mom, however, but her daughter, whose story paralleled the personal history of Cristina Yang. I really loved how Cristina rose to the occasion in this case, going so far as to give up surgery to stay with the little girl. I also loved her manner with the child. She managed to be kind and understanding while also being completely straightforward and honest. She demonstrated such respect and care for that girl that I really think it illustrates that should she choose to go down that path, Cristina would make a great mother one day: devoted, loyal, and protective to a fault.
The situation really took its toll on Cristina, though, and by the end of the day she was losing it. She sent Jackson packing, however, and even spurned Meredith asking, instead, for Owen. He came at once to comfort her and there are really no words to describe how great that scene was. My heart broke as Cristina cried out, "I miss my dad!" and Owen just held her. The love and understanding and acceptance between them rang so true to me and the connection and chemistry they share is palpable. This is the appeal of the Owen and Cristina love story at its core: two people loving each other and facing life's challenges together.
Owen gets bonus points, too, for going into that room with no hesitation whatsoever. Given what had transpired that day between him and Meredith, you just know he was anticipating the worst, but he put Cristina's needs ahead of self-preservation because he loves her so much. That is true love, friends. Putting the one you love ahead of yourself, no matter what the consequences.
Patient #3: The widower's lawsuit
So technically the patient in question here was from a few episodes back. Derek had to honor a women's advanced directive and take her off of life support, despite her husband's objections. I really felt for Derek as he had yet another Day from Hell as Chief. The man can't seem to catch a break lately. I sympathized with him as he confronted the grieving man in the conference room. It's not easy being the chief. You have to make unspeakable choices. You have to try to satisfy both your patients and your staff. And you often have to do all of these things in a vacuum because there's no one to talk to about it without repercussions: not a work and not at home. No wonder Derek finally decided to call it a day and hit golf balls off of the roof with Mark. Sometimes you just have to cut your losses and try again tomorrow.
Patient #4: The flirty girl with the injured knee
So it was pretty clear that Callie wasn't seriously interested in this woman. Not really. Yet, as she told Arizona later, the woman represented an alternative version of Callie's future ... a future that included a baby. Thus, Callie and Arizona are at an impasse and have, at least for now, broken up. I really like them, but this is a difficult issue because neither of them is wrong for wanting what she wants. They simply want different things. Can they find their way back to each other and is compromise even possible in this case. Unfortunately, sometimes love isn't enough.
So what did you think of this episode? Did you like it as much as I did? How are you feeling about Alex and Cristina and Derek and Callie? What about Lexie and Owen and Meredith and Arizona? Sound off in the comments and in the poll and then join me again next week as I review "Shiny Happy People" airing next Thursday, May 13 on ABC.