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It's fitting that the first Grey's Anatomy episode of 2010 should air on January 14 just when New Year's Resolutions are starting to go bad. People want to change. People try to change. Sometimes they even manage to change, but under times of extreme pressure and stress those changes go out-the-window and they find themselves indulging in bad habits and falling back into established patterns of behavior. They regress.
Exhibit A: Mark Sloan
Poor Mark. The former "manwhore" has really been trying to get his act together. He's in a committed relationship with Lexie Grey and they've taken his newly-discovered pregnant daughter into their home. But trouble's brewing since Lexie is resentful of both the presence and the attitude of mommy-to-be, Sloan. When an ultrasound reveals a problem with the baby, Mark immediately calls top-notch baby surgeon (and former flame) Addison Montgomery to save the day. Addison recommends operating on the bands that could compromise the baby's limbs but in the middle of the procedure Mark reacts "like a parent" and shuts down the surgery. Mark tells Sloan that he and Lexie will help her raise the baby. Too bad he didn't think to ask his girlfriend first. She realizes that "I'm too young to be a grandmother" and tells Mark "I think our relationship just ended", after which Mark (well, technically on Private Practice) sleeps with Addison. Whoops!
Exhibit B: Cristina Yang
Poor Cristina. She just can't catch a break. The girl has been without a "cardio-god" since being left at the altar by Preston Burke at the end of Season Three. Now she finally has a teacher in new arrival, Dr. Altman, and wouldn't you know it? Her new mentor, Teddy, is in love with her boyfriend (and love of her life), Owen Hunt. Ouch! Cristina is elated to finally have her first solo cardio surgery, despite the indecision of the patient who just can't decide which valve she wants: pig or cow? Teddy puts Cristina through her paces, even reading a magazine (!) during the surgery and refusing to help, saying that Yang will save the patient. Yang does save the patient and is flying high after the surgery. She feels alive for the first time in forever. Too bad Owen has bad news. Teddy has decided to leave Seattle after a heart-to-heart with Owen in which she realized that her unrequited love for Owen is compromising the way she teaches Cristina. Cristina, in sheer desperation and panic, rushes after Teddy in an effort to get her to stay, offering Teddy anything she wants. Teddy responds, "I want Owen!" To which Cristina replies, "Fine. Done. Take him!" And there is immediate shock and regret in her eyes as she realizes what she's just said. Whoops!
Exhibit C: The Rest of the Gang
And then there's everybody else. This was a crowded episode with a lot (too much?) going on but here's the scoop.
An angry Alex is convinced that Izzie is never coming back. He toys with Reed, letting her think he's taking her seriously when she seemingly offers sex for surgeries. He's just messing with her and ends up, instead, in a one-night-stand with Lexie (!) telling her "I know a stupid thing you could do...." Whoops!
And there's Meredith. She's been on pretty steady ground with McDreamy since their Post-It wedding, but he's increasingly suspicious of The Chief's odd behavior and Meredith, as in days of old, is being evasive and pretty much lying by omission. To her credit, Meredith finally admits the truth to Derek: The Chief is drinking again.
The Chief, of course, has been drinking for some time. He's fallen back into a habit so bad that it's destroying his life. And Miranda, who doesn't know about the drinking but does know that Richard botched a surgery in a major way, has been covering for him. In the meantime she's dealing with a multitude of changes of her own: her divorce, her newly-found single status, and being a single mother to her three-year-old son Tucker who used to be potty-trained but isn't anymore because of the upheaval in his life.
So what do you think? Will Mark and Lexie reconcile? Does Cristina really mean what she said to Teddy? Will Alex and Lexie's impulsive mistake come back to haunt them? What will Derek do in the wake of Meredith's revelation? And what is next for Miranda? Can people change or are their habits and patterns so deeply ingrained that true change is impossible and regression is inevitable? The next episode of Grey's Anatomy airs Thursday, January 21 on ABC.
-Janalen Riccinto Samson, BuddyTV Fan Contributor
(Image courtesy of ABC)