Grey’s Anatomy. begins tonight with an opening shot of the beautiful Puget Sound. Meredith’s voiceover and the title of the episode indicates it’s all about saying you’re sorry. All of Izzie’s friends are crowded around Izzie’s bed, sampling chicken skewers for her as part of the wedding preparations. She might be having surgery today so she is not allowed to eat anything, so she has to depend on everyone else’s taste buds in order to pick the appetizers. Everyone is driving her nuts, though, because they say things like, “The chicken tastes like chicken.” Izzie is anxious to get the menu nailed down so that she can put it on the wedding website that she set up for Meredith and Derek. (Meredith is all, “What, now? There’s a website??”) Derek emerges from the bathroom wearing his morning coat, clearly uncomfortable.
Cristina accidentally bumps into Hunt, but he evades her by saying, “Take care now.” This confuses her, so she goes to tell Callie about it, but Callie has her own problems. Since she is now cut off from her family’s fortune (because she came out to father as a lesbian), she can’t afford rent anymore. Um, what? How’s that, now? I mean, sure, maybe she’ll have to change her lifestyle a bit, but she still has a job as a senior resident. It’s not like she’s destitute or anything. Cristina suggests that she lie to her parents and say that she broke up with Arizona just so she can get her trust fund back.
Mark cheers up Callie by bringing her a patient who is totally messed up by falling out of a tree. The patient’s name is Karen, but since she is a tree-hugging hippie, she goes by the name Willow. She was living in a tree which she named Kylie until the corporation that owns the property where the tree was bulldozed the tree down with Willow still in it. Thus, the multiple injuries.
Thatcher Grey, who is 29 days sober, meets with Richard. They observe that alcoholism is another thing that they both have in common. Thatcher is on a 12-step program and he wants to make amends with Lexie and Meredith, so Richard pages them, stat, to his office. Meredith tries to make excuses because she doesn’t really want to hear her father’s apology, but Richard pleads with her. Thatcher awkwardly reads his apology to his daughters from a script. Meredith stands up and very coldly says, “Thank you, congratulations and good luck,” and leaves the room. She looks back through the window and sees Lexie hugging her father. Later on, Lexie tells Mark that her father is back and sober, and she’d really like for them to meet. Mark would rather not meet, however, because fathers generally do not like him at all.
Cristina, George and Owen meet a trauma patient who has just been brought in by ambulance. The man was shot 17 times with a gun by his six-year-old daughter, Maddie. From Cristina’s perspective, Hunt shows favoritism toward George by allowing him to do all the work. She is feeling miffed, especially in light of the weird “Take care now” from earlier.
As Arizona examines Maddie, she sees a cut on her face and asks how she got it. Maddie’s mom, Kate, jumps in and says that the cut was from the kick-back from the gun going off. She explains that her father does target practice in the backyard sometimes, and he put the gun down for a second which is when Maddie got her hands on it. This is suspicious because Arizona says that the cut doesn’t look like it was from the gun. It gets even more suspicious when, after Meredith says that they’re all trying to save the girl’s father’s life, but Maddie asks, “How come he won’t die? I shot him lots of times.” This kid’s delivery is creepy, in that precocious child-actor kind of way. When the police show up, the mom explains tearfully that Maddie wasn’t trying to kill her father; she was only trying to stop him from hurting them. Kate, who herself has her arm in a sling, speaks fluent battered-wife-ese.
A bit later, Richard tells Kate that they are taking her husband into surgery right away. But she doesn’t want them to take him into the OR before Maddie apologizes to him and tells him she loves him. Meredith steps in, yelling at Kate that she will not allow Maddie to apologize to her father. She berates Kate for not protecting Maddie and for not being as strong as Maddie is enough to stand up to an abusive husband and father. Richard tries to talk to Meredith about her behavior, alluding to the resentment she harbors for himself and her mother, but Meredith wants him to treat her like any other resident. So he gets angry and says that she is not allowed anywhere near Kate or Maddie, and if she disobeys him, then she will be suspended from the hospital.
Outside, Derek talks to Meredith and tries to get her to calm down. Meredith says that Richard is not his Cristina, and she does not want Richard at her wedding.
Tonight’s Grey’s Anatomy is not only about saying sorry, but it apparently is also all about family. Izzie’s mother, Robbie, played in white trash glory by Sharon Lawrence, pays Izzie a visit. Interestingly, Sharon Lawrence plays practically the same character as the one she played on Privileged. She runs into Alex and flirts with him shamelessly before learning that he is Izzie’s beau. Oh, the dramatic irony. Izzie isn’t terribly happy to see her, and it’s clear why not. Much to Izzie’s disappointment, Robbie gets on the phone with her psychic and is relieved to hear that skin cancer is treatable if found early. Nobody has the heart to tell her yet that Izzie is dying.
Willow’s sister Julie (played by Kellie Martin) is a non-hippie type who insists on calling her by her real name, Karen. She wants Willow to make a deal with the company who bulldozed her in order to avoid a lawsuit, but Willow is all, “Hell to the naw!” Callie interrupts Julie berating Willow and says that even though trees may not be her thing, she does concede that Willow was really frickin’ brave to stand up for what she believes in, despite the risk of bodily harm that she incurred. Instead of appreciating the understanding, all Willow says is, “How can trees not be your thing?” Suddenly she starts coding.
In the wife-beating gunshot wound victim, Hunt continues pushing Cristina to the periphery, but allows George to practice all of the procedures. There are too many bleeders than they can handle, so Cristina offers to do something. Hunt tells her to run to his truck and go and fetch a green bag in the glove box. She indignantly says, “Dude, I’m a surgeon, not a gopher!” but she goes and gets the bag anyway.
Cristina returns with the bag that contains a white powder. Hunt tells George to pour the powder over the bleeders. It’s not an FDA-approved substance, but it replicates the blood clotting process and buys them more time. All during this scene, Cristina runs around the operating table trying to see what’s going.
Izzie’s mom is still perpetually chipper, reading Izzie’s palms and inferring things about her and Alex’s sex life. Izzie begs Alex to take her to get CT scan so that she can get some kind of respite from her mother, so leaves to see what he can do. Alone, Izzie tells her mother that she doesn’t just have a cancerous mole, she has stage 4 melanoma. Robbie realizes that Izzie might die, and starts weeping inconsolably.
Before the scan, Bailey optimistically says that if Izzie’s mets have shrunk down, she’ll just go in and remove it. Izzie says that the scan has to give good news, otherwise her mother won’t leave. Bailey confesses that she was the one who called her. She would want to know if her child was dying of cancer. But she realizes that the reason why Izzie didn’t want her mother to know was because she was protecting herself, not protecting her mother.
When the results of the scan are back, Bailey lies to Robbie and says that all of the mets have shrunk and that she is cured or something. Robbie rejoices, but Izzie knows that it’s bad. With her mother out of the room, Izzie asks for the bad news, which is that although the mets have shrunk slightly, there are new ones that have just formed in her small bowel. Bailey still insists on going through with the surgery and promises that she will take everything out.
Arizona pops in on Callie’s surgery. She admires how caring Callie is and she loves how much she cares about her patients. She says that she’ll keep on loving her, even if she decides to lie to her parents about it.
Derek tries to talk to Richard about how Meredith is doing her best. Richard says angrily that his friendship with Derek is the only reason why he hasn’t fired her yet. He tries to claim the he doesn’t look at Meredith like a daughter, but Derek calls him on his father-figure shit, saying that Richard always behaves in a super professional manner except with Meredith. Meredith approaches the battered woman and her daughter in the waiting room to apologize about mouthing off earlier, but she wants to say once more that she has to do something to protect her daughter and be her advocate. She can’t let this be Maddie’s story. Richard tries to stop Meredith, but instead, he listens to her whole speech and something inside his heart is moved.
After surgery, Callie tells Julie that Willow lost a lot of blood but she’s stable. Julie says sadly that the bulldozing company weighed the cost of killing Willow versus letting her stay in the tree. Obviously, they didn’t think much of the value of her life, since they got into a bulldozer and knocked her down. When Willow wakes up, Julie tells her that she filed a lawsuit against the company for $10 million, which could plant a lot of trees. This inspires Callie to stay true to herself and not lie to her parents in exchange for a trust fund. (Also, Jesus Christ, Callie is an orthopedic surgeon. She really doesn’t need to worry about money, especially since she doesn’t have any student loans to worry about. Unless her father is making her pay him back for her educational costs, but that wasn’t stated explicitly in the episode.)
Richard finds Meredith. He starts out talking angrily, but soon softens and acknowledges that he saw the damage that Ellis was putting Meredith through. He let himself off the hook about the neglectful childhood Meredith had by telling himself that he wasn’t her father and he didn’t have to be her advocate. He didn’t fight for her the way she fought for little Maddie, and he apologizes to her. She rests her head on his shoulder as he continues to whisper his apology. I totally tear up. Parental stuff always gets me.
Robbie wants to know if Izzie wants her to stick around, but they both agree that, even though they love each other, they are best when they are apart. Izzie’s mom says that she always knew that Izzie was too good and too smart for the trailer park.
At night, as Cristina leaves the hospital, she runs into Hunt and goes off on him about what the hell he was doing all day, ignoring her in surgery and instead giving all his attention to George. Oh yeah, and what the hell is up with “Take care now.” Sandra Oh kills this scene, by the way. In response, he shows her a piece of paper on which is written a bunch of three-word phrases such as “Hey there, now” or “Take care now” that he and his shrink have come up with to replace the three words he really wants to tell her. He wants to tell her that he loves her, but he knows that wouldn’t be fair to her because he can’t go around looking longingly at her when he can’t be with her. So instead, he has to say things like, “Take care now.”
Meredith is working on some paperwork as Kate walks into her husband’s room with Maddie. She tells him that they are leaving him and they won’t ever see him again. Maddie says, “Good-bye, Dr. Grey” to Meredith.
Mark shows up late to Lexie’s dinner with Thatcher, but the important thing is that he shows up. Lexie has trouble saying that he is her boyfriend, but from the looks of it, the dinner goes smoothly.
Alex finally indulges Izzie by describing the three appetizer choices in flowery detail. Izzie laughs, and Alex kisses her right before Bailey wheels her into the OR for her surgery.
At the end of the episode, Meredith is at home packing up her mother’s journals. Looks like she finally some more closure on her mommy issues. She doesn’t need the journals anymore, and decides to give them to Richard since he might want them more than she does. She tells Derek that they’ll need to move up the wedding so that Izzie can attend. You know, before she croaks. Also, she says that they can re-invite Richard if he wants. Next week’s episode is the 100th episode of Grey’s Anatomy. It’s the big wedding episode. Meredith and Derek will be walking down the aisle!
-Debbie Chang, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of ABC)