I have to start out by saying this: Thank you, Shonda Rhimes. Thank you for bringing Grey’s Anatomy full circle, and back to the show that I fell in love with four years ago.
Early on, we get a little update on each of the characters. Meredith is revealing to Dr. Wyatt that her mother once slit her wrists in front of her, yet Meredith ironically is the one to cheer up the still funk-ified Cristina by giving her the sparkle pager. Derek tells Sloan and the chief that he is selling his land, Alex is still caring for the near-catatonic Ava while Izzie covers his shift. Next we see Callie and Sloan, um, enjoying each other’s company in an on call room. Callie appears to be enjoying herself until Sloan dirties up the encounter with talk of bringing Erica into the equation. Luckily for Callie (and my eyes), her pager goes off because of a trauma, and they had to cut things short.
After an awkwardly amusing conversation in the hallway where everyone agrees that Callie is acting weird, several of the doctors head into the pit to see what the trauma is, and for the first time, I think everyone in Seattle Grace was speechless. Their patient, a 19-year old young man, was entirely encased in gradually hardening concrete after being dared to jump in by a group of his “friends.” (Some friends, I say.)
They finally begin chipping away at the concrete, and Bailey promises the (justifiably) terrified young man that he will live. By far, the best part of these scenes were the stolen glances between Hahn and Torres.
Elsewhere in the hospital, Derek and Meredith are preparing to treat their last two patients of the trial when they discover that the two teens not only know each other, but are in love with each other. It seems that Beth (brilliantly played by Jurnee Smollett) and Jeremy met in their chemotherapy support group, much to Beth’s parents’ distaste. But, MerDer throw out the book on parents’ wishes (as well as the one on ethics) and help Beth and Jeremy sneak into an empty room to lose their virginity. Seriously.
George told Lexie how helpless he felt being so close to power without actually having any, and that somehow led to her breaking into the chief’s office to steal employee files. I don’t really know why exactly she did that, but armed with the tainted info, she gave George the guts he needed to stand up to the chief, and ultimately, George will be given another shot at the intern exam.
Predictably, Jeremy (the first of the lovebirds to go into surgery) doesn’t make it, and Ava finally hits rock bottom by splitting her wrists with a butcher knife. Alex still doesn’t seem to get the severity of Ava’s psychosis, and Izzie has to physically restrain Alex to make him realize that he is in over his head and cannot take care of Ava by himself. (Oh, and did I mention that during the course of their exchange, Alex reveals that he had to care for his psychotic mother when he was a child? It seems as though Alex is much more damaged than we all thought — poor guy.)
One of the most satisfying moments of the entire episode came in the operating room this time: Cement Boy is on the table, and there are complications — something is wrong with his heart, but there isn’t time to page Hahn, so Cristina volunteers to cut in, and the chief gives her the green light. Just after she starts, however, Erica walks in and starts berating Cristina for doing things wrong when Cristina’s missing hard shell finally reformed and she snaps, “Shut up and let me work!”
Meredith (who spends more time these days as a patient than she does as a doctor) finally has a breakthrough with Dr. Wyatt, and finds peace with the fact that her mother didn’t actually want to kill herself — she just wanted Chief Webber’s attention and wasn’t “extraordinary” enough to simply ask him for it.
Beth survived her turn on the operating table, and Meredith and Derek’s clinical trial finally has their first success story, which I surprisingly find quite fulfilling and gratifying.
As the season comes to a close, Bailey hands over the clinic to Izzie because she cannot handle all of her duties and motherhood simultaneously, Cristina embraces her teacher role by showing Lexie how to suture, Alex asks Izzie for a consolation-shag, Chief Webber successfully goes home to his wife and Lexie blushes at a platonic kiss that George plants on her in gratitude.
But the real surprise came in the form of Dr. Mark Sloan. Leaving the hospital, Callie tries to get him back in bed, but he recognizes where her head’s been all day and encourages her to go talk to Erica instead. But after berating a teenage girl for not showing her real emotions for Cement Boy, Callie must have realized the need for her to express her own feelings, because she heeds Mark’s advice and heads over to Erica. What happens next is why TiVo was invented:
Let’s count a few of the possibly less obvious things I love about that kiss: 1) The fact that Sloan just walked away and let them be, 2) the realism of Callie’s nerves leading up to The Kiss (kudos, Sara Ramirez), 3) Callie’s smile when she broke away, and 4) the fact that it was on one of the most watched hours of television this year. Can I get an amen?
Lastly, after searching all over Seattle for each other, Meredith and Derek finally meet up on the land behind Shepherd’s house, where Meredith has somehow had the time (and supplies) to lay out a rough blueprint of their imaginary house in candles. For the first time in about two years, I actually cared about the viability of their relationship, and yet I couldn’t get past the unfeasibility of what Meredith accomplished in such a short time.
So what did you all think? Will the Callie/Hahn storyline progress or get painfully dropped? Do Izzie and Alex sleep together? Will George pass his test this time around? Will Meredith be less annoying in Season 5 now that she actually seems happy?
Well, whatever happens, I cannot wait to see what Shonda has in store for us next season.