It’s that time of year: Thanksgiving plans and dinners are the lead-in for Christmas and Hanukkah madness, which barely give you time to catch your breath before you’re drinking your face off on New Year’s eve and making resolutions that have a snowball’s chance in hell of lasting through Presidents’ Day. I really am going to write my movie about lesbian vampire mimes next year. Really. I mean it this time.
It’s also a time for self-reflection. The Chief tells Meredith that 20 years ago, he misdiagnosed himself as an alcoholic. Now that he’s enjoying the delicious taste of vodka once again, he sees he actually suffers from “situational depression.” Or as I like to call it, “life.” He casually asks if she’s mentioned his drinking to anyone else. When Meredith says she hasn’t uttered a peep, not even to Derek, he rewards her by giving her private surgical tutorials.
Cristina and Owen are in an on-call bunk, getting in some furtive humping time between rounds. To see the same kind of action with Callie and Arizona, you can try writing to Santa, but he’s very busy this time of year. Then again, at least one person got what they wanted: Christmukkah came early for nominally Jewish Cristina, who received Teddy, her cardio gift from Owen. Mid-grope, Cristina gets a page from Teddy. She pushes Owen away, and rushes off to meet up with a woman with great hands and pretty hair, thereby re-creating my sophomore year of high school.
In the OR, Teddy and Cristina remove a young woman’s defective heart. Not knowing what to replace it with, and too far from Oz to ask the Wizard for a new one, they hook her up to some pumps and tell her not-quite-a-boyfriend she won’t be going dancing with him any time soon. When he finds out the woman he’s dating doesn’t have a heart, he decides to stick around anyway, thereby re-creating my junior year of college.
Elsewhere, Callie overhears Bailey on the phone with her mom and quickly deduces that Bailey hasn’t told her parents about her separation and pending divorce. Incredulous, Callie asks Bailey how she can leave them in the dark about something so important. Bailey shoots back, “When you started dating women, how long did you keep that secret from your family?” Pot, kettle, black.
A young Daryl Hannah look-alike walks into the ER, looking for Mark. She finds him working on a burn victim, introduces herself as Sloan and says, “I’m pretty sure you’re my dad.” Mark goes numb. Callie and Alex’s eyes almost fall out of their heads. Lexie walks in, just missing the bomb dropping. What’s up? Eyebrows — that’s what’s up.
The only one not wigging out under his surgical cap is Derek, who knew Mark back in the day. New Mark goes home for dinner and is good to his girlfriend. Old Mark met one woman for dinner, a second one for drinks, and ended up leaving a third woman’s apartment at 4 a.m. with his bra in his pocket. Oh wait, that was me.
Derek and Arizona try to operate on a little boy who’s slowly bleeding to death through his nose, but find their clunky, grown-up-sized instruments are too big. Meanwhile, Callie administers blood tests to Mark and Sloan to confirm that her name is really Sloan Sloan. Oh boy. I knew a guy named David David. The point is, what seems like a good idea in the moment may not be so clever 18 years later.
Instead of giving thanks for having impressive jobs, good looks, and somewhat normal names, Meredith, Cristina and Alex sit around making an Unthanksgiving list: the merger, the Mercy Westies, and well, that’s all. Meredith shows Alex what the Chief has taught her.
Ladies and ladies, please welcome the Grey’s Anatomy Three Stooges: Marry, Bro and Surly.
It’s Thanksgiving Day, and Lexie, Callie and Arizona are cooking. Lexie chops celery while Arizona and Callie share a kiss. Not really a full-blown smooch, more like a peck. But a little more than a peck. A smeck.
Mark wanders in with his 18-year-old daughter in tow. He announces that not only did the blood test prove she really is his progeny, she’s going to live with him and Lexie for a while. Instead of slitting her throat like her brain is telling her to, Lexie promptly cuts her fingertip clean off.
Fast-forward a month to Christmas Eve. The Chief is still giving Meredith private lessons, but he’s not ready to kiss and make up with Derek. Lexie “Stubbie” Grey and Mark “Johnny Appleseed” Sloan are wondering if his dopey daughter is ever going home. Bailey’s dad shows up at her door because he found out she’s getting a D-I-V-orce, and Cristina checks to make sure the girl with no heart is still the girl with no heart.
Habit, I guess.
Cristina cheers her up in true Yang style: “You know what? You just need to hang on ’til New Year’s Eve. There’s a lotta drunk driving, a lotta brain death. It’s Organpalooza.” Cristina is a glass-half-full kinda gal.
While Derek tries to MacGruber a device to operate on nosebleed boy’s tiny child parts, Callie introduces herself to Bailey’s dad, Bill. They make small talk about the stupid accidents people have during the holidays while they watch Bailey repair a hernia.
Say what? Callie explains to Bill that her family had a hard time accepting it, but they came around. Maybe he can soon accept that Bailey is getting a divorce? And by the way, Bailey is a good person and rocks. Much as Callie tried, it’s not enough. Later, Bill tells Bailey he was more proud of her oboe recitals than her using her surgical skills on fat men and their fat hernias. Working on Christmas Eve, to go home to an empty house without so much as a Charlie Brown tree, is a failed life, in his eyes.
Unless someone wraps themselves around a lamppost next week , heartless girl may never go home. She wants to feel the snow on her vampirish face, for what could be the last time, so Teddy wheels her outside. This reminds Teddy about the time Owen brought holiday snow to the desert for his homesick GI’s. She regales the story to Cristina and Avery, beaming at the memory of it. Owen could crap in a helmet, and little Miss Poker Face would think it was magical.
Outside, winter wonderland time is cut short when the girl collapses. Turns out, she’s rotting from the inside. They scoop her up and bring her back inside. She needs surgery but isn’t strong enough to be put under general anesthesia. Bailey decides to work around this by numbing her with some Icy Hot cream and a Jonas Brothers CD.
By Christmas Day, Bailey is desperate to show her dad that she has a sense of family and prove she’s not a lonely, workaholic loser. She asks Meredith and Derek if they can crash their Christmas dinner.
Of course they’re room for two more. Lexie and Sloan can sit at the kiddie table and talk about nail polish and boys.
Mark, Arizona and Derek find out the Chief has nixed their project to manufacture surgical tools small enough to operate on nosebleed boy. There’s no money. They go to him and offer to donate their bonuses, only to find out there are no bonuses this year. Merry Christmas, muthafuckas.
They look expectantly at Mark.
Sloan Sloan may not be college material, but there are plenty of other things she can do. There’s beauty school, or professional karaoke singer, or Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska. Whatever color her parachute is, you can be sure it will be pretty. And possibly involve glitter.
Dinner at the Grey-Shepherd home includes most of the Seattle Grace orphans. While they wait for Miranda, Cristina and Alex to get off work, Bill and Arizona croon “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” with Owen accompanying them on guitar. Over by the Christmas tree, Lexie is arguing with Sloan. She gave Sloan money to buy Mark a present and wants her change back, but that money’s long gone to lip gloss and Miley Cyrus downloads. Ah, family.
In the kitchen, Mr. Grey confronts Meredith about the Chief’s drinking. One drunk recognizes another like gaydar. Swayed by the attention being lavished on her, she defends the Chief with that “situational depression” hooey. The ability to believe any crap we’re fed when someone is doing for us is a mindboggling good time.
Back at the hospital, Bailey is operating without anesthesia. To take the girl’s mind off the pain, she commands everyone sing Christmas carols. Cristina says, “No. I don’t… I’m Jewish.”
No one says “no” to Bailey, so Cristina weakly warbles, “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…” Frightful.
But it gets worse. At dinner, Bailey tells the table she spent the better part of the day saving heartless girl’s bowel. Unaccustomed to bowel talk over green beans and potatoes, Bailey’s dad scolds her in front of everyone for her indelicate dinner conversation. Awkward. More turkey, anyone?
Bailey doesn’t take guff from anyone, not even her dad. She launches into a scolding of her own about being judged for getting a divorce.
Tragic, the gathering.
Sloan tells Mark she’s preggers and has nowhere to go. Heartless girl has made it to New Year’s Eve and waits anxiously for a drunk driving accident to save her. in the ER, Cristina catches Owen watching Teddy. Owen catches Cristina watching him watch Teddy. Owen grabs Teddy and drags her into an empty room. His face twisted with emotion, he asks, “Why now?” Teddy breaks down and admits she’s loved him for years.
Moments later, Cristina tells Teddy there’s a brain-dead 18-year-old car accident victim that’s a perfect match for heartless. She’s amped up to do the transplant, thinking this is the Best. Day. Ever. Teddy drags Cristina over to the room where the brain-dead girl is being mourned over by her distraught father. One person’s gain is sometimes at the expense of someone else. Just ask Stedman Graham.
After a successful heart transplant, formerly heartless girl gets an even bigger surprise when four-date guy proposes. No fool, she accepts. Anyone who does anything they can for you, even after only four dates, is a keeper.
Outside, Cristina tells Owen that although she’s insensitive, she’s not oblivious.
Cristina starts to offer if he wants to be with Teddy… Owen grabs her and kisses her before she can finish that sentence. Teddy may be awesome and a fellow vet, but it’s the Asian for the win.
In other happy endings, Bailey’s dad returns from visiting the soon-to-be ex-son-in-law and grandson. He’s OK with the state of the union, such as it is for his tiny daughter. Too bad the Chief is having a less auspicious start to the new year. Meredith finds him drunk off his ass at the bar.
Drunken fathers and father figures are the new black for 2010. Happy holidays, lesbians!