The episodes this season have fallen into two categories.

Category A are the episodes that think outside the box. They mix things up and they take the characters to new heights and they’re insanely, insanely good. Category B is phoning it in Grey’s: the show we’ve been subjected to for the better part of two years–and on many occasions before that.

People sleep together. People agonize over the sex. Cristina is delightfully snarky. Interns stare wantonly at open bodies. We have to listen to some unimportant guest star cry over how much they love their child/wife/surrogate parent.

I will give Chandra Wilson’s props though. She takes one of those B episodes and very nearly turns it A. But the woman, as gifted as she is as a director (I’m STILL upset she didn’t direct the musical) can only do so much with a B episode script.

Like take the Intern Izzie subplot. As Cristina renames her interns so have I renamed Jo, because she is Izzie. No, no, don’t argue it. Yes, she’s younger. Yes, the actress playing her also plays Lara Croft (and really well too). But guys, she is Izzie. I’m pretty sure after being dumped by her husband for valid reasons Izzie murdered a young med student and stole her face Face/Off style and has returned to the hospital to reclaim her lost love using their playbook circa seasons 2 and 3. IT IS THE ONLY LOGICAL CONCLUSION.

Ha ha. Intern Izzie got vommed on.

But her subplot was about cyclical vomiting, which while near and dear to Chandra Wilson’s heart probably doesn’t need fifteen minutes devoted to it. The whole reason this season has been good is because of the focus and smart use of the show’s big budget and bigger cast. Taking a D-teamer and giving her a whole story where she gets thrown up on (okay that was okay) is not A-story material.

It’s even worse when it turns Alex into a colossal idiot even as his primary story is about him trying to grow up and be a better person. If you don’t want to be the asshole cousin of Matthew McConaughey in Dazed and Confused then props to you Alex, but don’t then be a jerk for no reason to an intern.

I can’t wait until they bone. I hope it happens and Alex looks up at the ceiling and realizes he hasn’t changed in the least even though she makes him feel good in the penis and he stumbles from her bed (festooned in Rainbow Brite memorabilia) and out onto the street and into the arms of a love interest who isn’t his subordinate. Because all the guys banging women who work for them and never banging equals is a real problem of the show and it sketches me out.

Instead of banging Alex spent the hour being an asshole to Izzie and trying to get Meredith to fix her house so he could buy it. Then Meredith pulled the friend card and forced him to take it as is which is totally awesome because you know there will be a termite problem and he’ll have to eat thousands of dollars in repairs rather than bitch at Meredith.

And those, folks, were two of the main stories of the hour.

See what I mean? B-episode!

This show has been short on lovin’ lately so any lovin’ gets screenshot. It is known.

Some of the other stories worked. Not the Japril stuff where she cried about God and he walked out because man, I did not need so many scenes of that. Or the part where Jackson admitted his feelings for her and April aborted a baby in her uterus right there at the sound of it (that sentence just lost us readers). Or the part where Jackson sexted his mom and told Webber about it so he could forge a relationship with New Dad.

I mean, they worked as stories, and they were better than all the focus on the interns and Alex’s weird mindsets. Yet they were kind of bland (except for the love confession because DAMN).

The good stuff in this episode turned back around to the crash victims. Derek and Callie had a massive fight over his hand and were incredibly adult and friendly about it. Thus cementing my new BrOTP. Derek is such a jerky self-righteous angerball on a pedestal (I actually love the character) and Callie is so, so, so almost flaky (I love her too). As friends they really shouldn’t work. They should drive each other up the wall. But they’re both tremendous surgeons and between the crash, the lawsuit and Derek’s hand they’ve developed a real bond that could pay some awesome dramatic dividends down the line.

Cristina finally returning to Seattle was also great stuff. The worst student of the interns has now become the best teacher. She tells Meredith she’s jealous of her reputation and smiles when the interns insult her, but the bigger smile is reserved for when she sees the interns learn from her and respect her.

Cristina Yang does satisfied but doesn’t want you to know it better than anyone.

Mr. Feeny really did help shape her into the racehorse the show has always promised us. Surprising no one more than Owen. He doesn’t know her. Doesn’t understand her. He still loves her and secretly begs his own employee to hire her, but he tries to treat her like as a hardass boss and constantly expects her to go off the reservation and put the hospital in danger.

Maybe, finally, after seeing the Cardiothoracic attending praise her, Owen realized that she’s grown up. She’s a fully formed person. And he’s the guy living in the woods and being a shadow at work and having absolutely nothing or no one…holy hell that’s depressing. Someone give that dude a hug!

Also GIVE BAILEY AND ARIZONA HUGS FOR SEPARATE REASONS.

Bailey gets a hug for calling Arizona a little bird and tricking her out of the lazy component of her depression (as a sufferer of depression I can say that’s, like, the only part of depression one CAN be tricked out of).

Arizona gets a hug for all sorts of reasons. Like her lazy depression at home where she’s so busy not being anything that she can barely be bothered to answer the phone. And then she walks. She flipping walks across her apartment and she falls and she breaks something and she realizes she’s been manipulated and rather than fall back into the malaise she channels all that anger and gets busy.

I don’t know what was better. Her squashing the anger when she tripped, or her unleashing it when she slammed the door.

And after all that she still shows up at the hospital on a cane and sporting a fabulous coat and being a surly and younger Dr. House.

Unf. She can never share a scene in her House regalia with a shirtless Jackson. Televisions would explode.

And makes her wife smile. Giving Callie hope after months and months of being beaten down. Pulling that hopeful Callie back into Derek’s sphere so she could announce her plan to save his hand just worked. Watching Cristina and Owen fall further and further apart just worked.

The “shocker” of an ending?

It did not work.

It did not work at all.

I have no idea how the lawsuit will play out now that it’s about suing their own employer instead of a righteous crusade to protect people from poorly manufactured planes, but I worry it will be some B-episode malarky.

Notes

  • Dwarves Happy and Mousey shouldn’t become regulars, because the show doesn’t need more, but they should become special guests forever because they are my favorites. It takes a lot of guts to talk about your boss’s mental breakdown to her face also she has social anxiety and sex helps her communicate and he loves to listen.
  • What was up with the teenage patient who looked 40. A haircut and a shave doesn’t knock THAT many years off one’s life.
  • Jackson baby, April doesn’t love you as much as Jesus. It’s sad. Come over. We’ll talk.
  • April baby, as much as I love Sarah Drew and find her to be an incredibly engaging actress you need to stop being an asshat, because you’re about to squander all my Sarah Drew goodwill.
  • Bailey is magic.
  • And Chandra Wilson played that magic all while directing. Woman is a MACHINE.
  • In Two Weeks: Arizona returns to work! April may or may not be pregnant and if she is I’m drop kicking a stuffed animal in annoyance! Something shocking happens in the final five minutes. I hope it is the return of real Izzie (she will rip of Jo’s flesh mask and reveal herself with a bloody faced cackle). If it is anything less I’m gonna harrumph.
  • Alida

    Oh, Alex Cranz. You never disappoint me. This is perfection: It takes a lot of guts to talk about your boss’s mental breakdown to her face also she has social anxiety and sex helps her communicate and he loves to listen.

  • cyntotoche

    Indeed, perfect review.