First let me say, this week's episode of Grey's Anatomy was one of the most heart-wrenching, agonizing episodes to watch; rivaling the two EMTs hanging upside down in the ambulance, or the two strangers brought together by a giant metal pole sticking right through their abdomens. In a season that has even the most loyal fans saying "the show has lost its mojo" I was relieved to see an episode that had me enthralled start to finish.
This week's episode began with Alex narrating (weird, its always Meredith) and he is pacing outside Izzie hospital room while she sleeps. A nurse approaches him to see if he'd like a cot set up in her room, but he declines.
Cut to Callie and Dr. Robbins dancing in one of their apartments. Weird, since we never saw them go on a first date, but a super cute scene none the less. Then we see Dr. Hunt watching a surgery video with Cristina in her bed. As he is talking to her, he turns to find her asleep and caresses her face before laying down himself. He looks up at the ceiling and begins watching the fan go round and round.
The next scene is one of the most horrifying I can remember in Grey's history. After watching the fan, something clearly triggered for Dr. Hunt and he begins to strangle Cristina in his sleep. The camera shows Cristina gagging, trying to breathe and scream while Hunt is on top of her, squeezing with all his force with eyes that look completely catatonic. SCARY.
Thank goodness Callie hears the struggle, busts into Cristina's room and starts screaming at both of them. This wake's Owen from his state, his hands release and Cristina goes running into the bathroom gasping for air and crying. Owen just looks down at his hands and starts muttering in confusion. Callie calls Meredith to come over and when she sees Cristina she insists she is fine, but Meredith gets quite another impression when she sees the huge red marks on Cristina's neck. Owen knocks on the bathroom door pleading to just see Cristina and know she is alright. Meredith discourages it, but Cristina opens the door anyway.
Owen begins crying, saying over and over again "I'm sorry, I'm sorry." Cristina says "Look at me. Look at me. I'm fine. See? Its ok. You were asleep. Its ok" and allows him to hug her.
The next morning at Meredith's kitchen table, Derek and Meredith are sitting down to breakfast (before his first day back at the hospital) and he puts the engagement ring box on the table and opens it. He doesn't say anything. Meredith looks at the ring and says "No, not like this." He picks up the box, gets up and leaves.
At the hospital, Cristina comes in wearing a turtleneck under her scrubs to hide her red marks from the night before. Just as Meredith begins to lecture her about how Hunt is "not ok" Alex steps in and asks Meredith "How about your boyfriend? Is he ok? Because he's operating on Izzie's brain today." Touche Alex.
All of the surgeons gather in Izzie's room to hear about the procedures and treatments she is going to need. Bailey is the resident on her case and will be working with the Chief and Derek on her initial surgery. Bailey tells Meredith, Cristina and Izzie that they are allowed to come into her room, but as friends, not as surgeons. Bailey describes the first surgery and the Chief explains they will also be harvesting eggs. Oh right. In case she lives through this hellish ordeal and decides she wants children. Geesh!
In this same scene was also meet a new doctor, Izzie's oncologist. This women is so cold she makes Cristina and Bailey look like sunshine and rainbows. She proudly exclaims "every surgeon in this room now answers to me. Welcome to the cancer wing folks." Is that right Miss high and mighty? We'll see about that.
Across the floor Dr. Sloan and Lexi are treating a very elderly woman who is likely to pass away in the next few days. They are explaining to her two nephews and niece that they should probably say their goodbyes. The family starts asking exactly what time she might die, since they have flights to catch. Nice, very classy. You are obviously heart broken.
In a rare "Cristina has a heart" scene she tries to talk Izzie's oncologist out of giving her bad news right before surgery. She will have some pretty toxic chemo and Cristina doesn't want her to hear about it until after she successfully comes out of brain surgery. The oncologist disagrees, but Cristina holds her off by lying about Izzie's getting test down in radiology instead of being in her room. I like this softer Cristina. It shocks me, but I like it.
Outside Izzie's room the Chief asks Karev if he wants to fertilize Izzie's eggs, since they have a better chance of surviving the egg freezing process if they are already fertilized. He says "give me the cup." As if your girlfriend having brain surgery isn't a big enough mind f**k, how about you now imagine having children with her, or deciding what to do with your frozen embryos.
Up on the roof a helicopter is landing with a trauma patient and Derek and Hunt are up there waiting. Hunt becomes transfixed by the helicopter fan going round and round. Are we seeing a pattern? As the patient gets unloaded Hunt is paralyzed, staring down at his hands.
Down stairs in the hospital Sloan's patient is flat lining again. The family waits, hoping she will die (morbid, yes). They finally explain to the doctors, she was given one month to live four years ago. They said their goodbyes then, but she made it. That this keeps happening. She gets to the edge, they fly out to say goodbye and she makes it again. They are not being horrible, selfish people, they just really want to know if she is crying wolf again.
Outside the hospital Derek and Hunt are sitting on a bench and Derek tells Hunt he knows about treatments and centers for veterans with PTSD. Hunt goes on the defensive and says "Instead of focusing on me, how you, the man who cut out half a woman's brain and ran away into the woods, takes a minute and looks at yourself in the mirror." Then he storms off. Ok, not a member of team Derek. Got it.
Meanwhile, Alex is in an on call room trying to deposit his "goods" into the plastic cup. Meredith knocks on the door and opens it. She says "You left the door unlocked. That was bold." HA! She asks Alex how he is doing. He starts pacing and yelling, "She told me she was seeing a ghost. I'm so used to all the crazy chicks in my life I didn't even . . I'm a doctor! I didn't even think . . . and now she's . . . this is wrong. This isn't how its supposed to happen. This isn't how Izzie and I were supposed to make a baby." Um, excuse me while I rip my heart out in pain.
In the basement of the hospital Cristina goes looking for Hunt and finds him standing over the vent (Aww, their spot). He starts saying "what if I never woke up? How could I do this? I have no memory of doing that. My own hands. No memory. We have to stop seeing each other." Cristina says again "I told you, I know my limits. I will tell you when its enough." But then something strange happens. He goes in to kiss her and she pulls away. Hm. Apparently she still wants to be together, but doesn't want to kiss yet.
Up in Izzie's room Bailey is checking on Izzie. She finds her knitting a scarf. She starts asking Izzie about how she would handle the surgery she is going to do that afternoon. Bailey says she doesn't want Izzie to get rusty, since she will be back to work after all her procedures. Glad someone is giving Izzie some reassurance since her friends are nowhere to be found.
In another room, Derek is running through Izzie's surgery with his surgical instruments. He is talking to himself and his hands are shaking. Reminds me of when Burke discovered his hand was shaking post surgery. Never a good sign.
All the residents sit down to eat lunch and everyone asks - how is Izzie? They discover none of them have gone to see her since this morning's briefing. Bailey goes to check on her, and finds out no one has come to visit. Sad.
Down stairs in the Chapel Callie is lying on a pew bench telling Dr. Robbins how every day she wished Izzie would die (once she found out George was cheating on her with Izzie). She asks "what kind of a person, what kind of doctor does that?" Dr. Robbins asks, "Are you in here now praying for Izzie to die?" Callie says "No, I am praying for her to live."
Lexi is treating the old lady who doesn't want to die. Karev comes in to shock her, and she lives again. He tells Lexi not to let her bratty family near her. She insists that they be allowed to come in. She says, "They are my people. People keep you going. People are better than no people." LIGHT BULB. You can see Karev connecting the dots. Oh gee, maybe I should have gone to visit my dying girlfriend today.
Derek is outside the O.R. scrubbing in for Izzie's surgery. Meredith brings the Chief Derek's lucky ferry boat scrub cap for him to wear (reference back to episode one of the entire series when Derek tells Meredith he loves ferry boats). Derek sees her leaving the room and follows her in to the hall. He says, "I need to know that at least I have you. No matter what happens in there. I need to know. I need you to say yes. I need to know." Meredith responds "I can't say yes. Not if agreeing to be with you forever will make it ok if Izzie dies. I can't say yes. I love you and you can do this. You can do this. I know you can." Wow, shot down twice in one day!
Cut to Karev racing through the hospital to get to Izzie's room. When he arrives, she is already gone, already in surgery. How will you live with yourself if she doesn't make it? Cut to Izzie on the operating table. She says to Dr. Bailey, "If something goes wrong, the scarf, I made it for you." And I'm crying.
In another room Callie finds George smashing bones. Callie asks why he hasn't been with Izzie all day. He explains that he asked Izzie a thousand times what was wrong, but she never told him. She chose to confide in Cristina instead of him. Callie tries to encourage George to go see his best friend, in case she doesn't make it. He refuses. She says "George, you were my husband and you slept with her. You are the reason I wished her dead. You owe me this."
Meredith, Cristina and Karev are waiting outside of Izzie's O.R. and Izzie's interns come by to ask if they can stay. Meredith tries to shoo them away, but Karev says "They can stay. People are better than no people." Aww, he learned something from the old lady!
Inside the O.R. Derek is cutting, with Bailey as his wingwoman, and the oncologist comes in. She starts second guessing Shepard. Her constant questioning causes Derek to start explaining his decisions, which immediately turns into a returned confidence and he puts her right in her place. FINALLY! Bailey smirks with an "I told you so" satisfaction.
In another room, the elderly woman finally does pass away. There is a moment where it seems she comes back, but Lexi says its just her pacemaker. When Dr. Sloan comes to call time of death, the family's whole attitude changes once they realize its really over. All three of her nephews/nieces begin crying and say they aren't in a rush after all.
Outside Izzie's O.R. Meredith tries to tell Cristina how worried she is about her. She tries to provide a sense of reality by asking "Hands around your neck?" To which Cristina quickly replies, "Ring thrown in your face?" Touche.
Bailey finally comes out to let everyone know Izzie is fine and Derek was able to remove the entire tumor. She says "Your friend in fine, no thanks to any of you. Tomorrow, do better."
The Chief comes to check on Derek, and Derek lets him know Meredith turned him down twice today. The Chief says "So you showed her your dark side, she never struck me as a woman afraid of a dark side." He then goes on to say "Did you know it was Meredith's idea to have Izzie harvest her eggs. She believed Izzie would have a future. She believed in you." The Chief exits and Derek turns on his electric razor and starts to shave his beard. Goodbye shameful, woods Derek! I say again, FINALLY!
As soon as Izzie is back in her room, Karev goes to visit. To my surprise Izzie still has all her hair, and just a big bandage around her forehead. Is it just me, or does brain surgery usually require shaving one's head? Alex takes Izzie's hand. Outside her room, Bailey walks by wearing the green scarf Izzie made. Awww. Love those little details.
Meanwhile Cristina finds Hunt to let him know Izzie is ok. He asks "Can I hold you?" She rushes toward him and they embrace. Then they kiss. Then his shirt is coming off. Then her shirt is coming off. WAIT, WAIT, WAIT!! This is how they are going to have sex for the first time? Post-strangle! No, no, no! But yes, they do. In a rather steamy, very nude scene. Big props to Sandra Oh, who always seems to convey so much emotion through just her eyes.
Its finally the end of the day and Meredith is at the elevator. The door opens and the Chief comes running towards her and says "No! You can't take that one. Take this one." The door opens and Derek (freshly shaven and looking drop dead gorgeous) is in the elevator. The elevator walls are covered in X-ray films, MRI scans and charts. Derek begins "This is the first surgery we ever scrubbed in on together. I kissed you after this surgery. This is the surgery Dr. Bailey kicked you of, for finding us together, naked in your car. This is the surgery where you held the clamp the whole time and never flinched. That's when I knew you were going to make an incredible surgeon. This is the surgery that made our clinical trial a success and you talked me into it. That's when I knew I needed you. This is today. Izzie's scans. See that? tumor free. Because of you. You got me into the O.R. If there is a crisis you don't freeze. You move forward. You get the rest of us to move forward. Because you've seen worse. You've survived worse. And you know we'll survive too. You say you're all dark and twisty. Its not a flaw, its a strength. It makes you who you are. I am not going to get down on one knee. I am not going to ask a question. But I love you Meredith Grey and I want to spend the rest of my life with you." AWWWWWWW. Perfect proposal!
Meredith smiles and says "And I want to spend the rest of my life with you." Begin passionate kiss. THANK GOD! Shonda Rhimes, if you had them break up again, I would not even know what to do with myself! Let's start planning a wedding!
In the on call room, Hunt and Cristina are laying in the bed, post-coital. She says "I don't think . . . I can't handle this after all. I'm sorry. I'm so so sorry, but I am lying here in your arms and I'm afraid to fall asleep." Noooooooooo! I knew sleeping together was a bad idea! Cristina, don't give up on him now! Now he has seen you naked and won't be able to stop thinking about you!
Cut to Hunt on the table, going into an MRI with Derek. Apparently Cristina dumping him was just the push he needed to get checked out for PTSD.
Meredith goes to Cristina's apartment after work. She opens the door and says, "I'm engaged." Cristina, looking up at the ceiling fan says "I broke up with Owen." Meredith crawls into bed next to her. They really are BFFs despite the fact that 90% of the time they aren't listening to each other, they are always judging the other one and always accusing the other one of being selfish. When it really matters, they show up.
In the final scene Alex crawls into Izzie's bed and lays down next to her. She opens her eyes and says "hey" to which he responds "I spooged into a cup for you today." Nice, Alex, nice. He lays next to her, just staring at her, holding her hand. I guess we'd call these gestures better late than never? He is lucky she lived! Hopefully he becomes more attentive going forward.
There were no scenes for next week, but since we know Katherine Heigel is leaving the show, Izzie's death must be coming soon. It will be interesting to see how she exits. Apparently T.R. Knight is leaving the show as well, so we have that exit story line to be revealed as well. Maybe their two characters will be replaced by two new, hotter doctors! Oooo, that just occurred to me! I will think about that until the next episode.