“Grey’s Anatomy” recap (11.20): It’s 5 o’clock somewhere

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On this week’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy, Richard is driving to work with the radio on. As he rocks out to “push push in the bush,” the sun is shining, birds are chirping, people are riding bicycles and OH MY GOD THERE’S A FUCKING PLANE FLYING DOWN THE STREET! The small plane flies right over his car and Richard rushes to work to sound the alarms that they are about to receive a bunch of traumas. Of course, no trauma is too big to make Amelia and Owen shut up about their relationship drama, so they argue in the elevator for a bit and Owen tells her that he’s done with it all. Meredith is trying to track Derek down, when she nearly gets run over by a group of interns running to the ER. When one of them tells her it’s a plane crash, her blood runs cold.

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As she surveys the scene, she starts having flashbacks to that terrible crash that took Lexie’s life, Arizona’s leg, and nearly killed them all. Owen wheels in a woman named Kate who apparently took over flying the plane when the pilot had a heart attack or something. Owen asks Meredith and Steph to help, and Kate reveals that she and the pilot, Sam, were on a first date and she really liked him. Meredith can’t shake the flashbacks so she just walks away and starts searching for the one person who will know exactly what she’s feeling: Arizona. She finds Arizona curled up and trembling in the supply room, and Meredith sits down beside her. Arizona saw a man with his leg torn off at the knee, and the two women just repeat over and over, through tears and nerves, that they are okay.

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We flash to the morning Derek leaves for DC, and he’s just staring at Meredith with a twinkle in his eye. He teases her about her snoring, and how he actually missed it. She whacks him with a pillow, and aww shucks it’s cute.

Alex is running around, looking for Meredith and Arizona, because he may not be the most sensitive guy in the world, but he is a “good man in a storm.” He asks Callie about comforting Arizona but Callie says nope. I know that this got a lot of “WTF” tweets last night and I, too, felt a surge of frustration at first. Can’t you all put your differences aside for a minute, to comfort the person you shared your life with? Then I remember the Ani Difranco lyric, “self-preservation is a full time occupation.” Callie has worked hard to separate herself from Arizona’s emotional needs, and by offering comfort now, it could all come tumbling down and that’s something Callie cannot do.

Alex finds Arizona who has busied herself working with a prenatal yoga class who was involved int he crash. Panic can wait. There are a bunch of stressed out moms and babies to attend to.

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Sam the pilot, has somehow survived a heart attack and a plane crash, and all the guy can talk about is how smitten he is with his date, Kate. Steph comes in to check on him and tell him that Kate’s been asking about him. He mumbles something about marrying her and then passes out. Now, I’m a sucker for true love but I’m a little concerned that Sam doesn’t seem to be at all concerned about all the people he maimed and nearly killed, not to mention the civil lawsuits he’s going to face. Sorry, I can be such a pragmatist.

Steph takes Kate to get a CAT Scan and she’s still gushing about Sam. She’s sprung, and thinks it’s fate. She’s even got the cynical Steph feeling the warm fuzzies.

Bailey and Meredith are getting ready to operate on Sam, when Callie comes in. She sees Meredith and checks in with her. She remembers how Arizona would have nightmares for a year after the crash, and was always worried that something had happened to Callie even if she was a few minutes late. You know, PTSD. The PTSD that we didn’t really get to see or watch her get help for, which is one of my biggest beefs with Grey’s. That is the storyline that I wanted. The struggle, the pain, and ultimately, healing. Alas. Meredith tells Callie and Bailey that Derek’s sort of missing, and she’s starting to really stress out about it.

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Flashback to Meredith telling Derek how she slept without him around. Derek assures her that one more trip to DC and he’s back for good. Meredith comes back to reality because she’s in the middle of surgery with Bailey and Bailey can see very plainly that Meredith is distracted. Bailey understands, Meredith’s been through a lot, and it’s ok if she wants to sit this one out. Bailey tells Meredith that if she doesn’t hear from Derek by five that day, then she can panic. Until then, get your head in the game Mer.

Steph and Amelia are looking at Kate’s scans while Owen hovers in the doorway. Amelia says, “in or out, Chief?” which make me laugh for some reason. They bicker and it’s getting real old, real fast.

Steph and Owen take Kate up to the OR, now that Amelia has confirmed that she doesn’t have a brain bleed. Steph goes on and on about the love story of Kate and Sam and Owen snaps at her to be quiet. Steph, perhaps channeling her mentor Amelia, snaps right back at him. “I have a right to learn, and instead you are silencing me. I’m being silenced. It’s unprofessional.” Just because he’s feeling all rejected-like, doesn’t mean he can stop being a teacher. Boom.

Richard is regaling Maggie, Jo, and April with his earlier near death experience. The rumble of the plane, how it nearly took off the roof of his car. When April questions him about the details, he makes an excuse to take off. Alex comes in and April asks him how Arizona is holding up. He in turn ask about Meredith and Maggie gives them all a quizzical look. April says that they had a rough time involving a plane a couple years back, and Maggie takes this to mean some bad turbulence. She goes off in her Maggie way about a bad flight she took, with broken air conditioning and sitting on the tarmac. They quickly realize that Maggie has no idea about the crash so April breaks the news. 

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In Meredith and Bailey’s OR, Sam is having another heart attack, so they page Maggie. However, Maggie is learning the awful truth about the plane crash that took the life of Lexie, Meredith’s other sister who she didn’t know about, and caused Arizona’s injury. April explains that it was Callie that took off the leg, but Alex makes shifty eyes because in actuality, he’s the one who removed Arizona’s leg. No one knows but him and Callie. She gets the page and Maggie makes it to the OR just in time for Sam to start gushing blood all over Meredith. Meredith has to plug the hole in his heart with her finger. I mean, it’s no bomb, but whatever. She can handle it.

Owen and Steph check on Kate who is recovering from her surgery. All is well with her except that she’s lost her short term memory, and can’t remember her epic first date and the plane crash. Steph is crestfallen because this love story is giving her life. When they consult with Amelia, she thinks the memory loss is temporary, but Owen prefers to question if she did her job correctly. Good talk.

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