O, happy Thursday night! Not only did tonight's Grey's Anatomy
feature the great Edward Herrmann
, most recently of Gilmore Girls
, as the world's oldest intern (words cannot describe how much I heart this new turn of events), but the episode totally did not suck! It was snarky and funny, light but with some sober moments, all the whininess and depressing stuff was kept at a minimum, and did I mention Edward Herrmann?
The episode opens in the elevator where the new interns openly admire how skilled George (T.R. Knight
) is. Lexie (Chyler Leigh
) knows about his repeater status, but keeps mum. Derek (Patrick Dempsey
) looks at Meredith (Ellen Pompeo
) like the lech that he is, tipping off Cristina (Sandra Oh
) that the two are sleeping together again. Indeed, Meredith and Derek go to the nearest available supply closet to do the wumpity-wump practically as soon as they get off the elevator. McDreamy asks her why she hasn't told Cristina, but Mer says it's because she's afraid that Cristina isn't over Burke yet and wants to be a good friend. Two things: A) Remind me never to go to Seattle Grace Hospital if I'm sick because I'm not sure that the supplies in that closet are sterile anymore, and B) why does Burke get mentioned in every episode and Addison not a word?
Cristina pretends to be sad about losing Burke in order to manipulate Meredith into giving her surgeries. Mer takes the bait, so the two trade places for the day. Cristina gets Meredith's surgery, and Meredith gets to babysit Cristina's interns, little sister Lexie included, in the pit. The paramedics bring in a patient who needs to be intubated, so Meredith gets Lexie to do it. Unfortunately, the patient dies, but Meredith tells Lexie that she did a good job for her first time. Lexie is upset that Mer didn't do more to save the patient. Meredith is a wise resident now and knows that there was nothing they could have done for the man anyway, but it was a good learning experience for Lexie. This leads to a sisterly shouting match, resulting in Meredith sending Lexie to Bailey (Chandra Wilson) in the clinic.
Alex (Justin Chambers) gets a new intern today, and it is Edward Herrmann! Obviously, he looks really old, so everyone assumes that he's a new attending. But no, he's an intern named Norman who is making a career switch after having been a pharmacist for decades. He just transferred to SGH from UCLA, and he's a chatty, old, grandfatherly type of man. Alex doesn't want to deal with him (he says that Norman has a bum hip and smells like arthritis cream), so he brings Norman over to Bailey in the clinic. Bailey will only allow him to stay if Alex examines one of the clinic patients before he leaves. The patient is a teenage boy whose mother thinks he's on drugs. Alex doesn't think so, but Norman interrupts him and tells the boy's mom that she is probably right. They order a tox screen to test him for drugs, but it comes back clean. The boy starts speaking nonsense, which indicates a more serious problem, so Alex orders a CT and a neuro consult. We find out that the boy has hydrocephalus, which means his spinal fluid is backing up into his brain.
The Chief (James Pickens) has a patient named Connie who has come in to get a tumor removed from her tongue. Unfortunately, the cancer has spread to over 60 percent of her tongue, so Richard and McSteamy () are going to have to do something drastic. Her best bet is for McSteamy to do a micro-vascular free flap, but that would leave her without the ability to talk after the surgery. This is a problem because Connie is very chatty. She has two friends with her who are equally chatty. So, Richard thinks it might be better to do a nerve graft, connecting the nerves from her leg with the nerves on her tongue. It's an extremely rare and risky procedure and neither the Chief nor McSteamy has ever done it. But they both want to prove that they are not too old to learn new tricks, so they go ahead with it. There's a chance that Connie still might not be able to speak after the procedure, so George encourages her to tell her friends everything she's been wanting to tell them but hasn't had the guts to before she goes under. So, Connie tells one friend that her pants are too tight, and the other that she has bad breath and needs to update her ‘do, and a whole lot of other mean stuff that she's been holding in.
Izzie's (Katherine Heigl) patient is the best patient of all. It's Really Old Guy, the comatose guy whose room the Fab Five ate lunch in every day when they were interns. He's been in a coma for a year and wakes up today, and he totally rocks. Turns out that he was only semi-comatose, and thus, heard everything they said during their lunches. He wakes up and tells Izzie and her interns that his name is Charlie, but he plans to die today, so tomorrow, they can start calling him Really Dead Guy. He wants to die so much that he tries to pull all the wires off of himself. He actually does go into cardiac arrest and stops breathing, so Izzie saves him with the shocky things. After he comes to, he yells at Izzie to stop saving his life. If he were really serious about dying, though, he should have proposed marriage to Izzie. I hear that's a sure way of getting killed on Grey's Anatomy
. Ooh, snap!
Really Old Guy is actually Really Awesome Guy because he tells Izzie without an ounce of compunction that George isn't going to leave his wife for her. This spurs Izzie to confront George and demand that he tell Calle tonight, even though it was she who didn't want him to tell her at all in the last episode.
Callie (Sara Ramirez) is largely inactive this entire episode because she spends the day doing paperwork in an office. Bailey reports to Callie that the residents are playing musical chairs with their interns, but Callie has no more fight in her left, which is why she is doing paperwork.
Really Awesome Guy is the star of the whole episode. While Izzie is checking up on him, he tells her that he doesn't like her and tries to die by scrunching up his whole body, like he's taking a poop. Izzie, seeing that she has a captive audience, tries to confide in him about her George problems. Later on, the murse tells Izzie that Really Awesome Guy is checking out of the hospital. Izzie goes to his room and sees that he is dressed and in a wheelchair, but facing away from the door. She tells him that he can't go because she needs him to talk to about her problems. I'm actually not annoyed by her for saying this. It sounds self-absorbed, yes, but Really Awesome Guy had already made it clear that he had nothing to live for, no friends, no family, so Izzie was appealing to his need to be needed. Unfortunately, she is a smidge too late, as Really Awesome Guy has indeed become Really Dead Guy.
McSteamy and Richard's surgery on Connie's tongue seems to be going well until they hit a snag that they cannot solve. They've never done the procedure before, so George goes to get Derek. On his way back, George stops to tell Izzie to back off and stop nagging him about telling Callie. It's not something he and Izzie have to get through, it's something that he has to get through with his wife.
The teen with hydrocephalus collapses downstairs. His brain is herniating. Bailey and Alex are on hand to help him, but neither knows what to do. Alex runs to get Derek, but Derek is in the middle of Connie's tongue surgery and can't leave. Is Grey's Anatomy
trying to tell me that there are no other neurosurgeons at all at this hospital? I thought this was supposed to be a prestigious residency program! Anyway, Alex yells at Norman and the kid's mom to get the hell out of the way, and following Derek's instructions, Alex gets the biggest needle that he can find, jabs it into the kid's eyeball, and sucks the fluid out of his brain. At least I think that's what happened. I was too busy screaming and covering my eyes. This worked, and the kid is going to be okay. Alex begins apologizing to Norman for yelling at him, but Bailey interrupts to say that Norman should be yelled at. It doesn't matter how old you are, interns are like teenagers and they need to be yelled in order to learn how to be good doctors.
The rest of Connie's surgery goes well, so Mark and Richard congratulate themselves for saving her to speak. Unfortunately, it went so long that he missed his date with Adele. Derek scolds them about doing a procedure they shouldn't have done. After Connie wakes up, her friends come back and tell her all the mean stuff about her that they've been holding in. Awww, they aren't mad at her!
Meredith finally realizes that Cristina is faking sadness in order to manipulate surgeries away from people. Meredith pretends to be a supportive friend, suggesting that they go home, get into their pajamas and have a good talk. The gig is up: Meredith tells Cristina that she knows she's faking, and Cristina tells Meredith that she knows she's sleeping with McDreamy.
The Fab Five go to Really Dead Guy's room, which is now empty and cleaned, to say some words about what he meant to them. Izzie's says that although Really Dead Guy was a mean and stubborn bastard, he taught her that she has to be determined and patient if she is to get what she wants, namely, George.
After getting scolded by Bailey, Meredith shows some maturity by reaching out to Lexie. She shares with her sister all the details of the day her mother came to the hospital and died.
Bailey also shows growth by telling Callie that she will accept her position as Number 2 resident, and suggest that they work together as a team.
The episode ends with the interns admiring George's skill in the elevator again. Only this time, Alex blows his cover and spills that he's actually a repeater. Then he yells at Norman.
really surprised me with the final second of the episode. George goes home to Callie who tells him to just say it. So he does. He tells her simply that he slept with Izzie. Woah, I totally wasn't expecting this for at least four more weeks.
-Debbie Chang, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of ABC)