So there’s good news and there’s bad news. Which do you want first? Fine. I’ll pick. (More on that theme later). The bad news is that there was no Owen Hunt on this week’s Grey’s Anatomy. Zilch. Zero. And that makes me very, very sad – not to mention irked. What is the point of GA without my Owen? That said, the good news is that this was an excellent episode – at last – for Alex Karev who, somewhere along the way, has become a damn fine pediatric surgeon and an even better man. Indeed, in “I Choose You,” Justin Chambers finally got some significant screen time as Alex took center stage.

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Sophie’s Choice

I knew we were in for bad time the moment Arizona had Alex paged “911.” Newborn twins, a boy and a girl, were born with an aggressive form of cancer. Yep. Happy times all around at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. Bottom Line: the babies needed liver transplants ASAP if they were to have any hope at all for survival. Dad was a match, mom was not, and the likelihood of UNOS (United Network for Organ Sharing) finding a donor liver in time was not good, so a choice would have to me made and quickly. Shutting down the distraught parents in one stroke, Alex explained that it would not be their choice to make, but his. The baby with the best chance for survival would get Dad’s liver. 

I complain all the time that GA doesn’t showcase Justin Chambers nearly enough. One could argue that Alex Karev is the show’s most underused regular and yet he is, in my opinion, a MVP. I don’t always care for Arizona Robbins but her mentor-ship of Alex over the years has been fantastic. I loved the way this episode mined GA’s rich history as Arizona recalled her first meeting with Alex and spoke with obvious affection and pride as she acknowledged what a remarkable doctor he has become. Even Karev himself talked about how he had beaten the odds. He wouldn’t have bet on himself, given the chance. But the brash, abrasive intern has transformed, over the course of twelve seasons, into the capable, compassionate pediatric specialist who evaluated the situation, chose which baby should get the liver (Emma), but tried to save the other (Daniel) anyway. It was, as Bailey said, a Hail Mary. It didn’t work. Yet that is almost beside the point. Of all of the Original Five interns (Meredith, Cristina, George, Izzie, and Alex) one could make the case that Alex has come the farthest and, like Arizona, I am so proud of him.

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Baby ‘Bait and Switch’

Speaking of Izzie, the ABC Promotion Department was working overtime this week in hopes of convincing viewers that Jo was pregnant. In truth, however, she has found some paperwork revealing the existence of some frozen embryos Alex had made with Izzie years ago (back when they were married and she had cancer). This caused Jo to go bananas and she picked a fight with Alex, accusing him of wanting babies with Izzie and not with her. An exhausted and confused Karev made things worse by basically telling Jo that it wasn’t her business (kinda harsh, but kinda true) but by episode’s end the Jolex ship was righted again. Alex was in a better head space (having saved Baby Emma despite losing Baby Daniel) and, overlooking her neediness and instead focusing on her vulnerability, he assured Jo that he was in this relationship for the long haul. He even offered to make a baby on the spot, which she promptly dismissed as a horrible idea given her residency and his job demands. But they might get a dog. First steps.

In Other News 

* In yet another deft use of history and exposition, we learned that Ethan the Radiologist (remember him?) had dated Maggie for six months(!) in the “blink and you’ll miss it” fast-forward in the GA time line last season. Despite his niceness and his hotness, they broke up and after she received an invitation to his wedding(!) (When Harry Met Sally much?) Maggie went into a bit of a tailspin. So much so that she put the moves on intern Andrew DeLuca at the bar. Major making out. Followed by (per next week’s promo) a major hook up! Did not see that one coming.

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* Japril continued to unravel as April wanted to fight for her marriage while Jackson was determined to let it go. He threatened to kick April out of their apartment and change the locks but, in the end, he was the one to move out as a devastated April returned home to discover all of Jackson’s things were gone.

* Meredith, whose kids remain MBNS (mentioned but never seen, which I find pretty lame and ridiculous) discovered that the offer for her new job as Chief of General Surgery was way too low. Miranda insisted to Richard that it was Meredith’s responsibility to speak up for herself and renegotiate for more money, which she did.

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Memorable Moments and Quotes

Meredith: “Are you naked?”

Maggie: “Oh my god.”

Amelia: “I won’t be in five minutes.”

Maggie: “Don’t you wear panties?”

Amelia: “No way. She likes to breathe.”

Meredith: “Please tell me your naked butt is not on the seat of my brand new car.”

Arizona (To Alex): “You’ll be a good dad. Your babies will be so foul-mouthed and dirty and cute.”

Maggie (Describing sex with Ethan): “First prize in the talent competition and the long jump – if you know what I’m sayin’…”

Jo: “So…you wanted to have babies with her (Izzie).”

Alex: “I don’t know. That was seven seasons a hundred years ago.”

Miranda (To Richard about Meredith): 

“It’s not my job to be giving away money when it’s not asked for. She needs to rise.”

Alex (to Jo): “I’m not going anywhere.”

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Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays on ABC.

(image courtesy of ABC)