The adage “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” is so obsolete, it’s downright idiotic. Whoever coined that phrase was either a lonely, hungry blacksmith, or his mother. Today, it’s a much more complicated journey. For Cristina, who has a raging heart-on for her mentor, Teddy, the way to her pumper is through her scalpel. For Teddy, who’s still stuck on fellow vet, Owen, the way to her heart ran through downtown Baghdad. For exes, Lexie and Mark, the path is short and sweet because their hearts live in their junk.
At home, Meredith walks in on Lexie, who’s waiting seductively for Alex McDeadinside. Rolling her eyes disapprovingly, Meredith warns her little half-sis, “Alex is like me, three years ago,” adding, “Your heart lives in your vagina.” Um, “Eat your heart out” just took on a whole new meaning for me.
For his part, Mark has been spending his time luring drug reps into supply closets, where they gladly give McSteamy free samples of their wares. Arizona and Callie are two of the few doctors in the Pacific Northwest in happy, adult, committed relationships, which makes them both feel magnanimous. Arizona extends the gift of friendship to lovelorn Teddy.
Arizona: I like to fix things, people. I like to fix people.
Teddy: Oh, no, no. Dr. Hunt and I —
Arizona: Oh, don’t — cause then you’re just lying and that’s not good. The point is, you’re staring and you’re sad and I think that you need to be friends with people who are not Owen. And that’s where I come in with the fixing. You’re going to be friends with me.
Raise your hand if you want to be friends with Arizona. That’s what I thought.
If there’s one person Arizona doesn’t need in her life these days, it’s Alex. She’s retroactively pissed at him, having recently learned he stuck his meat thermometer in Callie a million years ago. When he wants in on a possible lung replacement procedure, she tells him, “Oh, no. because you slept with my girlfriend and when I look at you, I want to hit you with a brick.”
Good thing George is dead and Erica Hahn is in witness protection. Mark might want to lay low for a while.
Meanwhile, Cristina meets Jackson Avery’s grandfather the hard way: by suggesting the wrong diagnosis for his abdominal pain. Too bad it also turns out that grandpappy is none other than Dr. Harper Avery, of the prestigious Harper Avery Award.
Meredith reassures Cristina she could still win his eponymous award — if she’s lucky, he’ll die and no one will know she screwed up.
It doesn’t matter if Cristina is the reining dominasian or not, Harper Avery only wants an old school doc whose name he knows. He asks for Ellis Grey. After Meredith tells him her mother passed away, he looks genuinely sad, and then asks for Richard Webber. The good news is Richard is back as a staff physician. The bad news is he has to suffer the indignation of probationary urine tests.
Dude, drink some water.
Chief Derek offers up Bailey, because she’s hyper-competent, no-nonsense and frankly, deserves the honor. However, Harper Avery insists on having Webber operate because you can’t trust anyone under 50. Or five feet tall. Avery’s second demand is to be awake during his operation. He’s so into medicine, he doesn’t want to miss any of the fun. Derek’s mouth says “no” but Webber’s eyes say “yes.” Derek is no match for the seniors and loses that battle. Must be satisfying for Webber to give Derek a dose of his own impudent medicine after all these years.
Callie catches Mark after his latest supply closet poke and asked him to consult on her patient’s CAT scan. He agrees long enough to see an easy fix for the woman’s severe hearing loss, then it’s back to the important work of seducing nurse’s aides.
Before he leaves, Mark brags, “I can fix it. I’m that good.” As long as everyone’s in a fix-it kinda mood, can someone come over and look at my dishwasher?
Later that day, Webber operates on a wide-awake Harper Avery and has to suffer his directing the show from under a sterile drape. Do this, use that. Backseat surgeons are so annoying. Meredith and Jackson get to assist, while Cristina and the others watch from the gallery, wishing they knew the sweet embrace of nepotism. Borny, (bored and horny) Alex leans over and asks Lexie if she wants to “go grab a bite” which is code for you-know-what, but she tells him she’s “full.” The way to her heart is not through stomach metaphors.
Charles, the Mercy West doctor with the Neanderthal brow, casually mentions to Cristina that his motorcycle accident victim from earlier in the day is now brain-dead. She quickly leaves the gallery to call dibs on his lungs, for she has a patient that desperately needs a new pair.
It also doesn’t hurt that the sitch gives Cristina a chance to redeem herself with Harper Avery by attempting a highly impressive and rare transplant procedure, which seems like overkill if you ask me. If Cristina burned some toast, she’d probably cater a party for 100 people.
Elsewhere, Mark happily tells the near-deaf woman and her daughter that he’s going to restore her hearing. The daughter, who’s been screaming at her mom for far too long, looks dreamily at Mark like he’s Superman, David Beckham and Jesus, all rolled into one, and hugs him. Callie says under her breath, “Don’t you dare sleep with that woman.”
“Don’t sleep with that woman” is to Mark, what “Let’s not talk about it” is to a lesbian. It’s so true, it might even be an SAT question.
Later, Charles goes to Teddy and demands a piece of her lung replacement action. Um, lung what? She has no idea what Geico is talking about. Teddy hunts down Cristina, so she can rip out one of her lungs through her nose.
Teddy: You went behind my back! You used my name.
Cristina: Yes, but we followed the protocol. We didn’t tell the patient.
Teddy: You stole lungs, Cristina!
Lexie: Which they were about to throw out. She was — being green.
While Teddy and Cristina go 10 rounds over whether awards and prizes push people to greatness or turn them in to Evgeni Plushenko, Lexie notices their little science project is turning pink.
Disembodied organs. It’s what’s for dinner.
The scheme is so crazy, it just might work! Teddy, Cristina and Lexie convince the young recipient that these lungs are good lungs, and not hand-me-down lungs, as his bossy sister thinks. What other kind of lungs was she expecting, exactly? Most people are using theirs.
In recovery, Harper Avery goes into some sort of distress while scolding his grandson for not taking advantage of all the things the Avery name has to offer: a coveted spot at the top hospital in the country, access to the best training, and a lifetime supply of mailing labels.
Turns out, Harper is allergic to the sutures he told Webber to use while he was backseat operating. Everyone’s happy to be able to say “Wasn’t me,” esspesh Webber, who momentarily considered crawling back into a bottle of Jim Beam. After the sutures are switched and all’s right with the world, Meredith tells Action Jackson to stop denying his family name and legacy.
Meredith: Trust me, I get it. You’re putting up walls and you’re avoiding him, and you don’t want to introduce him to your friends. It was the same with my mother. But if she were here right now, in a room upstairs, I would want to go see her and make things right with her. And I definitely would want to go learn from her. And you still can.
Is there anyone in that place who doesn’t have a dysfunctional relationship with their parents? In Avery’s case, it’s his grandfather, but nevertheless, he joins Meredith, Cristina, Bailey, Callie and Alex in the Joy Luck Club. In the end, Avery takes Meredith’s words to heart and decides it’s time to embrace his name. He brings his work pals in to meet Gramps. Cristina rushes in with the giddy fan syndrome, the kind usually reserved for fetuses like Justin Bieber.
All’s well that ends. Avery has come to terms with his lineage, Webber had a good first day back on the job, Mark had sex three times in one day, and nothing blew up or fell off during Derek’s watch.
For girls’ night, Arizona, Callie, et. al., go to a ball field for some batting practice. And no, the lesbians did not force the straight girls into batting helmets — Arizona wanted to go dancing but she was outvoted. This only happens on television, mind you.
Cristina gives her turn at bat to Teddy and stands with Meredith, admiring her mentor.
Cristina: You know, I’m in love with Teddy. I love her.
Meredith: You’re like Lexie with the inappropriate feelings for inappropriate people.
Cristina: What can I say? My heart lives in my scalpel.
All episodes should end this way: girls drinking beer and reveling in each other’s company.