It was Gustave Flaubert who said, “There is no truth. There is only perception.” In this week’s Grey’s Anatomy, “If Only You Were Lonely”, the doctors at Seattle Grace Mercy West experienced the buckling of truths in the wake of shifting perceptions. Some scenarios were funny, as when Derek discovered that strangers observing him with his African daughter, Zola, weren’t being racist. They were merely aghast at her hair style gone wrong. Some were heartbreaking, as Lexie sought refuge in pediatrics only to long for the good old days of catastrophic brain surgery. And, as in many a GA episode where nothing much (on the surface at least) seems to happen, a lot happened…with many a shocking reveal.
Take One For The Team!
So I really shouldn’t start with Mark Sloan and his attempts to get his “better half”, Avery, some action, but I just can’t help myself. Eric Dane is a master of sly, understated comedy and he was pure gold in his scenes tonight. Whether insisting to his protege that “there’s always time”, encouraging April to become more than a study buddy to Jackson (ok, fine, it could be perceived as inappropriate and crass, but —admit it— it was hilarious), or speaking in Spanish to daughter, Sofia, McSteamy was firing on all cylinders and I was loving every minute of it. Shocking Reveal: Mark discovers that Jackson is still in love with Lexie.
Tommy, the Prizefighter
One of the great joys of this show has been watching Alex Karev turn into a doctor. I’m not particularly invested in this whole Morgan the Intern storyline, but I do love to see Karev shine. Justin Chambers manages to infuse Alex with a humanity and likeability that defines reason or logic, yet it works. I also loved how Arizona is quietly observing her protege and liking what she sees very much. Shocking Reveal: Morgan’s husband actually took the “out” she was offering and went back to Cleveland.
Teddy is in a Tailspin
Regular readers of this column know that I really don’t care for the character of Teddy Altman. I’ve found her to be poorly written from the beginning but I try to temper my exasperation in an attempt to be neutral. I even kind of liked her (well, ok, that’s an exaggeration, but at least I didn’t loathe her) when she was married to Henry. For me, he made her tolerable. Now Henry’s dead and Teddy has gone completely off the rails. I get that she is grieving but if she can’t manage to behave professionally at work, then she needs to move away and find another job (I can only hope…) or at least take a leave of absence to pull herself together. In particular her behavior towards Owen has become unconscionable. Time to grow up, Dr. Altman. Shocking Reveal: Despite completely tanking her presentation, Teddy got her grant. Why? Because Owen put in a good word for her.
“I Have Alzheimer’s, Don’t I?”
Richard and Adele continue to break our hearts as she falls more deeply into mental decline while he can only watch helplessly. Their story opens with Richard getting burned while putting out a kitchen fire and, in a lovely and nuanced scene, Meredith counsels him gently on the reality of his situation. She encourages them to visit Rose Ridge, a facility that specializes in the care of Alzheimer’s patients. Richard is determined to keep Adele at home. After all, he vowed to love her in sickness and in health. But after another scary and dangerous incident, he breaks down in tears. In the end it is Adele who, in a rare moment of clear and present thinking, requests to move to Rose Ridge, proving once again that life isn’t fair. Shocking Reveal: Adele can see that she needs to move out even when Richard can not.
She’s Come Undone
Finally, Cristina Yang is unraveling before our eyes. Feeling more and more disconnected from Owen, she begins to suspect that he is cheating on her, most likely with an attractive nurse played by Summer Glau (Firefly, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles). Putting aside my confusion as to why GA bothered to cast Summer Glau only to not have her utter a single word, let me say that I don’t believe the real point of this story was cheating.
For the record, I don’t believe for a minute that Owen is cheating on Cristina. He’s not that guy. Plus he’s home, having apparently reconsidered his decision to move out of their home in an attempt to salvage the marriage. And one can’t read too much into the on-call room scene. I’m betting that Owen knows better than to fall back into the habit of hiding behind the sex instead of facing their problems. Beyond that, Cristina’s Patient Parallel of the Week was a guy who totally misperceived a situation, so I take that as evidence in the face of utter ambiguity on other fronts that this is all a product of Cristina’s raging imagination.
But, again, it’s really not about cheating. It’s about Cristina realizing how far apart she and Owen have gotten and her facing the very real possibility of losing him. The thought of life without him has her completely distraught. She can not think about anything else and her suspicions, while likely unfounded, are driving her crazy. Shocking Reveal: There was no tangible resolution to this storyline going into a minimum three-week hiatus. Pardon me while I throw objects at my television.
The next all-new episode of Grey’s Anatomy, “Have to Say Goodbye,” will air in March (my best guess is on the 15th) on ABC.
Best Quotes from the Episode