Tonight’s Grey’s Anatomy opens with Meredith’s voiceover musing about death, a common occurrence on Grey’s Anatomy, actually. It’s early morning and Cristina (Sandra Oh) wakes Meredith up by calling to discuss Ellis’ old diaries, which are the Harry Potter books Cristina never had. Derek (Patrick Dempsey), who enjoys not getting woken up by a phone call at the butt crack of dawn, is annoyed to no end by Cristina. Later on at the hospital, Derek asks Mark (Eric Dane) to seduce Cristina to keep her occupied.
Everyone is late for work today, even Bailey who is arguing with Tucker about marriage counseling.
In skills lab, Richard introduces the residents to STAN, a state of the art animatronic robot for the residents to practice on. Operating on STAN will help Richard decide on which of the second-year residents will get to do their first solo surgery. Of course, the news of solo surgeries whips all the residents into a competitive frenzy to see who will get the first one. Just another day at Seattle Grace. Richard (James Pickens Jr.) asks Major McHottie (Kevin McKidd) to observe the residents to help him decide.
STAN is oddly omniscient. When Alex (Justin Chambers) ditches the skills lab, STAN taunts him. Only George (T.R. Knight) sticks around to “save” STAN’s life. He works on him all day, but everything that could go wrong is going wrong. And the reason is because Richard, from his office, is controlling all of STAN’s bodily functions and speech. He’s having a grand old time dicking around with George, actually, by making arteries explode willy-nilly. George does eventually figure out that it’s the Richard pulling the strings, but it takes him all day to realize it.
Izzie (Katherine Heigl) and Meredith are on Hahn’s (Brooke Smith) cardiothoracic surgery service. Unfortunately for Izzie, their patient is the guy who would have gotten Denny’s heart transplant if she didn’t steal it away from him all those years ago, although technically in Grey’s Anatomy-time, it was less than a year ago. The doctors explain to the patient, whose name is Mike, that they will induce a heart attack to do some kind of medical mojo. In the middle of explaining, Izzie hallucinates and sees Denny alive and walking the hallway. Good to see you, Jeffrey Dean Morgan! I wonder what John Winchester would do to you right now, you know, being dead and still walking around and all.
Not knowing anything about LVAD-gate, Hahn purposely chose Izzie because she connects well with patients, but obviously, this is one patient she’d rather not connect with. As they do the procedure, Izzie freezes up and can’t talk Mike through it because Denny’s specter is hovering over the bed. She leaves the room, pissing off Hahn. Meredith explains that Izzie’s had a relationship with Denny Duquette.
Derek and Bailey’s patient is an old woman named Rose who doesn’t want to be kept alive by extraordinary measures. She says good-bye to her husband before the surgery as if it’s the Final Good-Bye, but that’s just their custom for surgeries. They say good-bye before surgery, and then they say hello again afterward. They are the Holy Grail of Marriage. Unfortunately, the surgery doesn’t fix everything, and Rose might not make it through the night.
Cristina is working the pit with Lexie (Chyler Leigh) supervised by Major McHottie. Their patient is a battered John Doe who was likely thrown off of a bridge. Major McHottie rides her hard, but not in the good way, for her shortcomings as she treats the patient. Meanwhile, Mark makes a humorous attempt to flirt with Cristina, but his efforts go completely unnoticed, probably for the first time in his life.
Lexie catches her fellow interns in the basement, practicing putting IVs in each other’s arms because Cristina won’t let them do anything. This is so very Flatliners. I wonder if their old ghosts will materialize to haunt them. Lexie flirts up the morgue attendant and gets her hands on a whole bunch of cadavers for them to practice on instead. Unfortunately, Alex and the rest of the interns sniff out the cadavers and take over them for their own practice. Alex even brings Izzie down to cheer her up from her crappy day. It’s like a bouquet of corpses!
Hahn learns from Callie (Sara Ramirez) about the whole heart-stealing, LVAD wire-cutting incident that Izzie was involved with. Echoing everyone in the whole goddamn universe, Hahn demands to Richard to know why Izzie wasn’t kicked out of the program, and how the heck Seattle Grace can still be accredited after a stunt like that. Richard doesn’t want to dredge all that stuff back up and yells at her to stand down.
Izzie, wracked with guilt about stealing her patient’s heart and seeing Denny’s ghost everywhere, hides out in the x-ray room. She begs off of Hahn’s service, but Hahn wants her to be there for everything, including if he dies, because she was responsible for him being in this situation. They try the procedure again. This time, instead of freezing up, Izzie tells him to fight. As Denny looks on beatifically, Izzie tells the patient to fight and breathe, which he eventually does.
Derek and Bailey’s patient is really not going to make it, and now the patient’s husband is reconsidering her Do No Resuscitate order that she signed. It’s really, really sad when she flatlines because the husband calls her name softly and pleads with her to stay with him. So sad! He keeps her heart beating with CPR. Bailey gently takes over the CPR, even though this is expressly against her DNR orders. Eventually, they all stop doing CPR, and Rose dies.
Back in the pit, Cristina and Alex fight over the battered John Doe patient, while Lexie finally gets the courage to speak up and tell Cristina that she won’t learn anything unless Cristina lets her do stuff. I guess that Richard’s new teaching protocol hasn’t really sunk in yet with Cristina. Major McHottie yells at them all for not treating the patient with respect and for picking over him like vultures. Since when is Major McHottie so sensitive? I thought that Grey’s Anatomy had been portraying him as a complete badass. Well, I guess being a badass and treating people with respect are not mutually exclusive.
Someone else who demands that they treat people with respect is Bailey who finds the cadavers and unleashes her fury on Alex and Lexie. She orders them to close them up and put them where they belong. This leaves Lexie no other option but to join her fellow interns to practice on each other in the secrecy of the basement.
Mark makes one last-ditch effort to flirt with Cristina, but to no avail. That is the last straw, so he asks her why she won’t respond. She just guffaws.
Major McHottie tells Cristina that she is a good surgeon who can win all kinds of contests and jumps through the hoops that Richard puts them through. He assumes that Cristina didn’t bother to ask what the patient’s name was when his wife came to identify him. But you know what happens when you make assumptions, don’t you? Cristina tells him the story about how her father died when she was a little kid. He was in a car accident, and she had to keep him from bleeding out with her own hands until the paramedics got there. She felt his heart stop beating. That’s why she became a doctor, and plus, she does know her patient’s name. It’s Tom. Oh snap! This earns her respect in Major McHottie’s eyes. He now realizes that she is like a fine single-malt scotch.
At the end of the work day, Hahn decides to report Seattle Grace to the medical board, but Callie tells her that she can’t do that because then the hospital would lose its accreditation as a transplant center and it would ruin Izzie’s career. Their argument evolves to include how you can’t just be kind of a lesbian – you either are or you aren’t. I don’t know, but I think I’m torn. I think Izzie and the chief should be reported for LVAD-gate, but I also think that you can be bisexual. Anyway, they sort of break up. Hahn does the “I don’t know you” thing.
Izzie, alone in the on-call room, sees Denny with her again. But she wills him away because she has to move on. Denny disappears and Alex takes his place, wondering if she’s OK. She says she’s fine, but as soon as Alex leaves the room, Denny reappears and asks if she’s sure she’s OK. Huh, maybe Alex’s streak of having crazy girlfriends isn’t going to end anytime soon.
-Debbie Chang, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of ABC)