This was the big return episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Izzie came back to Seattle Grace, and made me wish she’d stayed away. Meredith went back to work. But the big news of the episode is that the Chief’s incompetence is not bad writing — or should I say not just bad writing.
If Only Izzie Had Watched Three’s Company While She Was Gone
Izzie turns up at the hospital. She is not there to reconcile with Alex or get her job back. No, she has brought her high school science teacher, Dr. Singer (the amazing Joel Grey), who has been diagnosed with Alzheimers. She kidnapped him from a nursing home and wants Derek to examine him. Meredith smacks her for coming back for someone other than Alex. I’d have hit her harder. Izzie tells Derek that Dr. Singer was fine a year ago and may have been misdiagnosed. Alex sees her and walks away. Well, that was mature. These people are married! Why are they acting like they are in junior high? Dr. Singer’s tests come back normal. Izzie wants Charles, who she calls a bitch, to do a spinal tap. She doesn’t use the word nearly as well as Christina did last week. Izzie threatens to tell Reed he loves her if he doesn’t help her. He succumbs to her blackmail, because nobody follows proper medical protocol at Seattle Grace. The tap is also normal, but Dr. Singer is magically lucid afterward. It turns out he had a build up of spinal fluid on his brain. Derek can put in a shunt that solves the problem. Dr. Singer can’t afford it. I call b.s. He is 67 years old, which qualifies him for medicare. He was a public school teacher, which usually means he gets lifetime health benefits when he retires. I appreciate the show acknowledging the insurance crisis, but this guy would be covered. Izzie asks Derek if the surgery can be pro bono. He says he’ll do it if she can get the Chief to sign off on it. She reminds the Chief she donated 8 million dollars to the hospital. I wait for him to bring up the 200 grand she owes the hospital for her treatment, but it is not mentioned in this episode. Continuity, schmontinuity! The Chief relents. Alex joins her in the gallery during the surgery. Izzie accuses him of going behind her back to get her fired. She claims she’s forgiven him for a lot. Like what? She’s the one with the Denny obsession. Alex has been a great boyfriend and husband. Alex awesomely points out that she made an assumption instead of asking her what happened. Seriously. She left their marriage because of a misunderstanding that the Three’s Company gang would figure out in 22 minutes. She didn’t give her husband the benefit of the doubt, so he can’t forgive her either. Team Alex! Izzie leaves again at the end of the episode. At this point, I wish it was for good.
The Cardio Goddess
Owen introduces Christina to the new cardio God played by Kim Raver. I am nervous, because I have an irrational dislike of Raver stemming from her annoying character on ’24.’ Her name is Teddy Altman, in the grand ‘Grey’s’ tradition of women with weird, semi-masculine names. She served in Iraq with Owen. Christina finds her academic credentials lacking. She has a short term contract — how meta. Christina complains to the Chief about Teddy. Bailey suggests Christina is the one who drives cardio surgeons away. How? Burke left because their relationship fell apart — and because Isaiah Washington had anger management issues. Hahn bailed because she broke up with Callie. The autistic doctor just plain left. It’s ridiculous to suggest that a resident could make an attending quit her job.
Christina is two steps of Teddy when they do a procedure. She heaps praise on Christina to the other doctors. Teddy realizes Owen recruited her to make his girlfriend happy. It’s about time he did something nice for her. Teddy diagnoses an asthmathic child with cardiac asthma from a brief exam. Teddy lets Christina be her first assistant on the surgery. Christina makes a mistake and Teddy tells her she knows how to fix it herself. Christina defibrilates and solves it. Christina realizes she is a great doctor and teacher.
Teddy asks Owen when he broke up with Beth. It turns out she had a crush on him, and thought he felt the same way. Why is she telling him this? We’ve all been there. You don’t tell him! Of course, this is ‘Grey’s’ so it will make him attracted to her. In real life, it would just ruin their friendship. She says now that she knows she can let it go. Nobody’s buying that. Owen tells Christina that Teddy gave up a position at Columbia to join the army after her best friend died in 9/11. That is both sappy and admirable.
Club Soda Is Vodka
Adele thinks the Chief is having an affair because he is never home. She hilariously acciuses Bailey of being his mistress, pointing out how closely they work together. In the funniest scene of the episode, Callie says they’re just work spouses like her and Mark. No, Callie and Mark are work spouses because they should be dating each other instead of their annoying love interests. Bailey tells the Chief that his wife is suspicious.
The Chief’s gall bladder removal patient turns yellow. Lexie wonders if he clipped the bile duct. Bailey tells them not to make such a terrible accusation. She shows the Chief the x-rays which indicate that is exactly what he did. She promises him no one will find out, but tells him he needs to handle whatever is distracting him. Stop protecting his ass! The Chief reveals to Bailey that he has decided to take a step back from surgery for a while, and wants her to take over his surgeries. Thank God.
The Chief orders a club soda from Joe. Joe pours him a vodka, and asks for his car keys in what is clearly a familiar ritual. I hope there will be a flashback that shows how this code developed. It does not make much sense. The Chief has a flashback to every stupid thing that he has done this season, including getting into the car accident. He was drinking and driving? This is an amazing, logical twist, but I am not sympathetic. He has risked numerous lives and ruined careers because he fell off the wagon. Meredith sees him and seems to figures out what is going on.