There are five stages of grief: Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. And you can bet your catheters we’re going to go through all of them in this first half of the two-hour season premiere of Grey’s Anatomy, which picks up right where it left off last season. Izzie makes the kind of miraculous cancer recovery usually reserved for daytime soap operas, and George is brain-dead, succumbing to chronic Creator Ignoria, followed by a fatal case of Actorial Quitius.
Lexie judges the hamburger lying on the table to be taller than George, causing mass confusion and a tiny swell of false hope. The gang confronts Meredith, The Girl Who Cried George, and demands to know how she’s so certain it’s their friend. “He wrote in my hand!” she tells everyone.
Not good enough. Ex-wife Callie knows about a freckle shaped like Texas and goes into the room to check. I wished to God the freckle was located on his penis but that’s probably why the ABC writers’ room doesn’t return my phone calls.
Anywho. The freckle is on his hand and as soon as they see her reaction, they know it really is George.
After a pointed moment of silence, a few pagers go off. Everyone stands there, numb. The Chief gives a speech about how if George can jump in front of a moving bus to save a stranger’s life, they can answer their damn pagers. I want to know why they still use pagers.
George’s mother shows up and tells Callie that as far as the church is concerned, they’re still married and she should decide what to do with George’s organs and 401K.
Out in the ambulance bay, Cristina and Owen take charge of a speedboat accident victim. She’s lost both arms and a leg to the propeller. As they rush her inside, two thirds of Charlie’s Angels jump out of a car and hand over (heh) the girl’s arms. Someone order wings?
In the ER, Arizona is treating a teenage boy with mysterious back pain as his mom, played by the awesome actress, Martha Plimpton, watches with concern. Callie comes by and Arizona stops what she’s doing to tell her girlfriend she’s sorry to hear about George.
Arizona: Go home. You need to go home and cry and scream and when my mother died, I ate doughnuts. I ate a lot of doughnuts and that helped some but God, I don’t know what to say.
Callie: His mom wants me to decide about his organs. They lost his wallet in the accident. They don’t know if he’s a donor or not. His mom wants me to decide and I can’t. I can’t tell her “no’” but I can’t decide. I mean, we were only married for a few months.
Arizona: OK. But during those months, you were the most important person in George’s life.
Callie: No. No, I wasn’t.
Callie runs off to ask Important Person Izzie what do to. Alex hasn’t exactly told her his wife that while she was staying away from the white light, George was going into it. In the corridor, a hospital board member is plotting a coup d’état and offers Derek the Chief’s job. And Martha wants to know who she has to screw to get some service around here.
Elsewhere, the Owen and Cristina are working feverishly on the boating accident girl, trying to reattach her arms. Her “friends” don’t really know her, having just met on a plane, so when Cristina asks for her name, they’re not sure. What do you call a person with no arms and one leg, floating in the water? Bob. Thank you, I’ll be here all week.
Cristiana dubs her “Ceviche.” (I like mine better.) A week later, Ceviche will be awake and making Lexie type fake vacation updates to her mum in England.
Callie and Alex catch Izzie up and ask which body parts should be harvested. Izzie states the obvious, “George would give everything.” She dons the universal wardrobe of the infirmed, i.e., a cardigan, and wheelchairs over to say goodbye to George for the last time.
After the organ party, where Bailey insisted on knowing that the George parts were all going to good homes, there’s a funeral. The priest recites from the Book of Ecclesiastes, as made popular by The Byrds: “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. A time to be born, and a time to die…” Izzie finds the whole 60s flashback hilarious and walks, laughing with Meredith, Alex and Cristina in tow.
Putting the jocularity aside for a moment, I have a question. Who in casting is in love with redheads? Seriously. Owen. Ceviche. The chick that George saved. It’s Gingerfest ’09.
After the funeral, Lexie goes to visit George’s locker to stare at his belongings. Mark sits down next to her.
Mark: This may be bad timing, but I gotta ask. What did that guy have? I mean, he wasn’t much to look at. But, you, Stevens and Torres? Tell the truth. Was he, ya know, hung?
Lexie: That’s —
Mark: I know. I said bad timing. But seriously, he was kind of a dorky little dude.
Lexie: Stop. Stop talking.
Love that Mark.
Ceviche tells Owen and Lexie she can’t tell her mother she lost a leg and her arms are being held together with taffy and baling wire because her mother’sfav expression is “I made you from scratch .” Whereas my mom’s fav was, “You can’t possibly be mine.”
Callie finds out that the Chief isn’t going to promote her to attending. Oh no he d’int. She yells, “I am excellent! I am excellent and any other hospital would be thrilled to have me!” Not just hospitals, doll.
Derek and the sneaky board member are in the corridor talking about the soon-to-be-ex Chief’s job when muy caliente Callie comes storming through, roaring about being a “superstar with a scalpel!” And then, she spits out in front of everyone, “You will rue this day, Chief Webber! Dat’s right. I said ‘rue.’” Another job well done, Chief-o. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.
Before the Chief hangs up his stethoscope up for good and takes up gardening, he goes to ream out Arizona for ordering an expensive test for back pain boy that no one’s going to pay for. Mark pays Callie a visit because between her ex-husband being dead, the Chief thwarting her career trajectory and Arizona sending her a dozenDunkin Munchkins every hour on the half hour, she’s not having a very good night. Mark’s visit pays off for him too, because he’s just eyed a vacant apartment across the hall from his old f-buddy.
Lexie tells Ceviche how lucky she is to be alive, but when you look like a giant Q-Tip, the only thing that feels lucky is a big ear.
Up next, Part 2!