I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from tonight’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Last week’s promo had me dreading yet another Teddy/Cristina smack down. The sneak peeks alluded to Derek going off the rails and the still photos revealed that there would be a lot of…softball? Happily, “Put Me In, Coach” proved to be a fun, light, and quite delightful hour in which almost all of our characters had good things happening to them. At the same time. Which is kinda spooky. Downright eerie. Something’s got to be wrong with this picture, right? Right?

Medicine and Mentors

Let’s be honest. GA is a drama about relationships, so much so that the couples, triangles, and even the friendships it showcases often come to the fore even as the medicine recedes to the background. This week, however, was all about surgery: actual surgery, preparation for surgery, and the complicated teamwork successful surgery requires.

From day one this show has been about the training of surgeons, so what a treat to see that aspect explored in spades. Consider Meredith, Miranda, and Richard. Meredith was Miranda’s intern. Miranda was Richard’s star-student and right-hand. Meredith is also the closest thing Richard has to a daughter. Meredith and Miranda are now at odds, ostensibly over the diabetes clinical trial, but really it’s about Meredith messing with the Alzheimer’s trial and Richard stepping down as Chief of Surgery. The result is layer upon layer of subtext as things finally come to a head on the ball field.

Speaking of which, Teddy and Cristina have been going around and around for months in what has been a convoluted and unevenly written storyline. Don’t get me wrong. In theory, Teddy has a point: Cristina, while brilliant, needs to learn teamwork and to put the needs of her patients above her own ego or professional advancement. Alas, the story has been executed so erratically that I’m at my wit’s end. Regardless, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that last week’s promo was wildly misleading. Cristina wasn’t in trouble yet again. Instead, having finally put others first (and showing some fine teaching skills in the process, I might add), she was rewarded with “graduation” and Teddy’s “gift” of making a bucket list of every surgery she could possibly want to perform. I’m not sure I entirely followed or bought this development, but if it moves Cristina out of professional Groundhog Day at long last, I’m all for it.

Going Out on a Limb

Anvil of the Week:  Sometimes we need to push our limits.  Hence, Callie rebuilt that guy’s hand, Derek found a way to remove a young girl’s brain tumor, and Alex intervened in Zola’s adoption case. In a stunning turn of events, all three outcomes were successful! No way, you say? Way. I love Badass Callie. She rocks. Non-whiny Derek also works for me. He rocks, too. Best of all? Alex Karev not only had something to do in this episode it was something good and noble and kind and I mean that in the best possible way. He risked a federal offense to help his friends. Is he off the hook now?

Play Ball!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:  I love Owen Hunt as Chief. Not only do we get more Owen on our screens, but the move has breathed new life into Owen, Richard, and the hospital at-large. It was a fun twist to have the Seattle Grace Mercy West staffers facing their arch-rivals Seattle Presbyterian on the ball field. Hunt was in full chief mode as he recruited, strategized, and coached his players. In a terrific speech, he got it exactly right. They are fantastic surgeons and people, but really awful ball players! Demerits for having Teddy pitch (so very bad) but bonus points for Richard the Cut-Off Man (“Hunt, what the hell?”) and the too-adorable-for-words duo of Owen and Henry. Seriously swoon worthy.  

Trouble on the Horizon

Uh, oh. With so many good things happening, one could almost forget that this is Grey’s Anatomy. No worries! There were a few flies in the proverbial ointment. Take Lexie, for example. Mark apparently has a new girlfriend and Lexipedia is miffed in a big way. So angry that she treated her really great boyfriend like crap. Poor Jackson. I fear for you, dude. You’re so much better for Lexie than Mark, but she can’t see it. She’s so blinded by jealousy that she hit Mark’s girlfriend with a softball. Hard. Trying to steal second? I think not. Ay yi yi!

And Henry. Adorable, kind, sweet, makes-Teddy-almost-tolerable Henry. Why do I deeply fear that you will soon die? Shonda, I know you regret killing Denny Duquette. You regretted it so much that you brought him back as a ghost. I shudder at that memory, but I digress.  Remember the immortal words of Owen Hunt: mistakes are how you learn. Don’t make that mistake again. Please, please, please don’t kill Henry! Keep him as a recurring character. Let Henry and Teddy be happy. This can either be onscreen in small doses or they can move far away from Seattle together. Either option is acceptable. But don’t kill him! No good will come of that, which is probably why you’re going there. Prove me wrong, Shonda. Prove me wrong.

The next all-new episode of Grey’s Anatomy, “Heart-Shaped Box” airs Thursday, November 3 on ABC.

Best Quotes from this Episode

Photo AlbumGrey’s Anatomy – 8.07 – “Put Me In, Coach”

Janalen Samson

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV