There’s no question that Valentine’s Day can be a little traumatic for a lot of people, but “Grey’s Anatomy” took it one step further with an awful restaurant roof collapse and traumatic injuries. But the possibility of reinvention — for both relationships and people — saved the day.
Valentine debacle: Derek, Meredith, Owen and Cristina are more or less cheerily on their way to celebrate Valentine’s Day (the fellas are way into it; the ladies, not so much) when they’re paged because the roof of a fancy restaurant caved in, causing a lot of terrible casualties.
One of them involves a woman (Pamela Reed, who also turned up on “Parks and Recreation”) and her husband, both of whom have suffered some rough injuries. He’s having a tough time of it in surgery, she’s faring better but banged up, and in the next bed is Emil (Brian George), the head waiter at the restaurant who’s secretly been in love with her for the past 15 years. He slipped Alex $50 to be able to share the room with her. And when he thinks she’s asleep, he tells Alex and Meredith about how he’s known her for years, watched her with her husband, and loved her from afar. He knows they’re unhappy because their conversation has dwindled, and he orders for her now where she used to be adventurous. He can see she’s scared that her husband will die and she’ll be alone, but she’ll never have to be alone if she doesn’t want to be. What he can’t see is that she’s awake and she’s heard everything he said.
Meredith and Alex take bets on whether they’ll tell one another they love each other, and in the midst there’s a brilliant little scene in which Alex, Meredith and Cristina snark about marriage while eating the chocolates Alex took from a guy in a coma. They’re easy with one another, and it’s refreshing to see Alex be funny after so many weeks of being fraught.
Unfortunately, the wife has complications, and then Emil has to go to surgery with a brain bleed as her husband runs into some hairy complications on Bailey’s surgical table. In the end, she survives and her husband survives, but Emil does not. And though she explained to Meredith that when she chose her husband over Emil she made a choice, and she continues to do so every day in her happy marriage, she’s still heartbroken.
It’s hard work being this pretty: Another of the awful traumas is a dishwasher whose arm was amputated. He desperately wants them to save it, and makes the case to the newly blonde Lexie and Avery. Lexie’s gone “Trauma Room Barbie,” as Avery puts it, in an effort to move on after the breakup with Mark, and he bucks her up and basically pushes her into becoming more assertive so she’ll be treated differently. He does this with a speech about how tough he’s had it, being so good looking that his family never expected anything from him. Aw, poor sap. Lexie talks Mark and Owen into reattaching the guy’s arm even though both the arm and the amputation site were damaged and contaminated and they keep the blood supply flowing by attaching it temporarily to his torso — which understandably really upsets the poor guy. But Lexie talks him down from feeling like a freak — and then goes and sleeps with Alex again. Oh, Lexie. My countdown clock to her reunion with Mark stands at T-minus two episodes.
Bailey and the gas man: Bailey comes into the scene trailed by Callie and Arizona, who are all googly eyed and moony over Valentine’s Day and their gifts for one another — which Bailey totally and hilariously shuts down. They’re mostly forgivable, though, until they see Bailey get all flustered with the cute anesthesiologist (Jason George) when he asks her out to dinner. It continues when Arizona dives headlong into not at all subtle hinting about them dating while they’re all in surgery, and finally Bailey confesses to him that she goes stupid around him because she likes him. And that she’d be cool with going to dinner. Bailey’s dating! Woot!!
Mark and Sloan: Mark’s all excited about being a granddad, and buys a crib. Then Sloan turns up, interested only in getting official proof that the baby is healthy so she can move forward with giving the baby up for adoption, which she hasn’t told Mark about. Callie forces her hand, and she confesses her plans to Mark, saying that she’s not ready to be a mother. He offers to adopt the baby, and Callie pledges her help in raising him. So Sloan agrees to at least discuss the idea and work it out. But Callie catches her sneaking out of Mark’s apartment, and she admits that she only wanted money and a place to stay for a while. She didn’t expect Mark to start caring. She wants the baby to be someone else’s, she says — her father got a clean break, and she feels she deserves the same chance. Callie sends her off with some stern warnings about taking care of herself and a wad of cash, and then has to break the news to Mark about what happened. A good friend, that Callie.
Teddy and Owen and Cristina: Teddy’s trying her hardest, but Owen won’t even look at her — and what breaks her heart is that he’s her best friend and she misses him. So she catches up to Owen and Cristina as they’re leaving for the day and says that even though she confessed her love for him, she’s going to un-ring the bell and take it back. She misses her friend and that — along with the job and the amazing student — is more important. She’ll deal with the rest. She’s going to be fine, and they’re going to be friends, Teddy tells Owen. He looks skeptical, and I’m not seeing how this’ll work, but I applaud Teddy for laying it out there. And I love that the makeup people lightened up a little bit this week and let Kim Raver be beautiful more on her own.
Dr. and Mrs. Derek Shepherd: Meanwhile, Derek’s learning that being the chief of surgery is a lot more than being in the OR. It’s also a lot of administrative work, talking to the press (that seemed weird) and fundraising efforts. He’s rehired April Kepner (Sarah Drew), but instead of doing surgery she’s focused on helping him with administrative duties. Which includes calling Meredith “Mrs. Derek Shepherd” (yeah, that doesn’t go over well) and getting a little too zealous about picking out what Meredith will wear to a brunch with the hospital trustees. She’s really doubting that she’s cut out for surgery, but Derek steps up all Chief-like and gives her a great pep talk about her abilities. Meredith, predictably, gets all twitchy about the idea of having to play Derek’s arm candy occasionally, but does a little manning up of her own and shows up for him. And after she’s appropriately appalled by the placard announcing the reception honoring “Dr. and Mrs. Shepherd,” tells Derek he’s got some serious making up to do — in the sack. “Yes, dear.”
What did you think? Were you surprised at how the Mark/Sloan storyline went down? Do you see a potential Mark-Lexie-Avery situation developing? Do you think Teddy can make her friendship with Owen work? How psyched are you about Bailey’s date?