“They started out with so little promise. I feel like I’m witnessing a miracle!” Oh, Bailey, how I love you (more on that later). So begins “Moment of Truth” in which our intrepid residents leave Seattle and head for San Francisco to take their oral board examinations, the test which will either make or break their careers. First came pep talks. “You are a soldier!” Owen insisted to April. “Kick ass!” Teddy hopefully advised Cristina. Mark offered Jackson a wad of cash and told him to only eat fresh salmon lest he lose omega threes. And with a tap of Bailey’s hand on the shuttle bus, they were off.
One in Five People Fail the Boards
I found that rather disconcerting. A twenty percent failure rate for doctors? Yikes! And in one of the worst-kept secrets ever on television we already know that one of our five residents will fail the boards. Ack! Who will it be? Meredith is vomiting her guts out (stomach flu or shocking pregnancy?) and can barely stand let alone take an examination. Cristina is distraught over her situation with Owen. For someone who is supposedly all about the medicine, she is so not right now, despite her “mind over matter” mantra. Alex ends up going back to Seattle because Baby Tommy has taken a turn for the worse.
April gets into a bar fight, with chivalrous Jackson by her side. They do the horizontal mambo (!) after which we find out that formerly virginal April is a Christian who now fears that Jesus hates her. Jackson was feeling ok about both things (the exams and the sex) until he discovered that his mother and Dr. Webber had knocked boots (!) and that April was spooked in the aftermath of their impulsive tryst. Then his lucky pencil broke. Is it a sign?
The Meredith/Cristina scene alternately moved and exasperated me. I get that they are the Twisted Sisters and BFFs and soulmates and whatever (that’s been shoved down our throats for eight seasons) but sometimes that friendship is toxic. Case in point: yes, Meredith should be on Team Cristina. But calling your friend’s husband a “pig” and saying “you deserve better” only works if that’s what your friend actually wants to hear. Cristina’s response was tremendous. She needs Meredith to be on her side. She isn’t Meredith. Owen and the hoochie are not Derek and Meredith (ouch!). Cristina even acknowledged that while Owen did cheat (wrong, of course!) that it was a one night stand when he was drunk. She even turned the situation around and said that if she’d done the same thing she wouldn’t want Owen to leave her for it. She didn’t want an attorney (and by extension, a divorce) and she didn’t want to live with Meredith and Derek and Zola in any sort of house!
Then things got thornier as Meredith insisted that Cristina and Owen got married too quickly (that’s an op-ed piece for another time) and Cristina seemed to swivel back into surgeon mode, insisting that she wanted to leave Owen and Seattle. But here’s the thing: one of these days Cristina Yang is going to realize that medicine alone isn’t going to make her happy in life. Does she need to be a surgeon? Absolutely. But she also needs her husband. Life without him isn’t a life she either wants or likes. There. I said it. I’m intrigued how she’s going to get from A to Z and, in the meantime, could Meredith please just shut up and mind her own business for once? Seriously. Sometimes your job as a friend is to just listen and support your friend without giving advice as they work through what they want to do. Just do that without editorializing!
Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch
In another interesting choice, there was very little medicine being practiced at Seattle Grace Mercy West this week (or, perhaps more accurately, the usual Patient Anvils were lacking and the medical scenes were in the background) as the focus shifted more fully to the relationships between the doctors. Arizona and Alex supported Morgan as Baby Tommy finally died. Mark and Lexie continued to circle around each other, albeit with some witty banter. And Bailey gave Teddy a smack down. Yes!
I told you we’d come back to that. Miranda can be too much sometimes, but when she’s right, she’s right. Urged on by an insistent Callie (whose description of Owen and Teddy’s dysfunction as colleagues was laugh-out-loud funny) and haunted, I think, by the look on Owen’s face as Cristina left for San Fran, Bailey told Teddy what I’ve been wanting to tell her for ages: Doctors sometimes disagree on courses of treatment! It isn’t personal. Owen wasn’t responsible for Henry dying, so stop blaming him for it! Can’t you see the man’s life is crumbling around him? He’s losing his wife! Be a human being, for heaven’s sake! And then a miracle happened.
In an understated scene, Teddy quietly told Owen that Cristina was about to go into her boards. In that moment there was a tacit acknowledgement that Teddy realizes she’s been horrible to Owen and there’s a whiff of truce in the air. Finally. There was also a curious mixture of emotion on Owen’s face. He’s surprised by Teddy’s words. He’s clearly proud of Cristina but also filled with sorrow. He should have been the recipient of that text. And he may very well lose his wife should she choose to accept a fellowship at another hospital…assuming she passes the boards.
The next all-new episode of Grey’s Anatomy, “Let the Bad Times Roll”, in which we will finally discover who failed, airs Thursday, May 3 on ABC.