‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Good Dad, Bad Dad

Patrick Dempsey of "Grey's Anatomy" (Photo: ABC)

Thursday night’s episode of “Grey’s Anatomy“, “Map of You,” was, according to Derek’s voiceover narration, about the connections that the brain makes and how they impact behavior. Actually, that’s the biological description of thinking and therefore the subject of every single work of fiction ever. This was really an episode about good and bad parenting.

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Alex Has the Worst Dad Ever

Alex (Justin Chambers) ignored Jo (Camilla Luddington) so he could spend his free time watching his Dad (James Remar) play the guitar in a dive bar. Finally, he bought his father a drink. His dad recognized him but only because he recalled seeing him while he was a patient at the hospital. He was impressed when Alex revealed he was a pediatric surgeon, because when his son was two, a pediatric surgeon saved him from a life-threatening allergic reaction. Alex felt like his father cared about him, and perhaps unwittingly, subconsciously inspired his career choice, so he accepted his invitation to jam with him. Afterward, his dad showed him a picture of his son, a boy in Florida named Nicky. He had a second family that he also abandoned. Alex, enraged, told him to stay away from Nicky because his presence would only make his son’s life worse. Then he punched him. That jogged Bad Dad’s memory, since Alex also hit him the last time that they were in the same room together. It’s the dysfunctional equivalent of a father-son fishing trip. Alex stormed out, then unfairly blamed Jo for encouraging him to spend time with his father.

Meredith Feared Being a Bad Mother

After Cristina (Sandra Oh) called her out about slacking off last week, Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) was determined to find a research project. One of her options was a portal vein study that Richard told her Ellis worked on before she got sick. The last thing Meredith wanted was to be like her mother, but she realized that she could use 3D printing to map the veins, or turn them into a “Project Runway” collection. She was cold to Cristina throughout the episode. Finally, when Cristina ranted to her about the various problems in her life, Meredith blasted her for shutting her out of a surgery last week, accusing her of not having time for people who want different things than she does. It’s at once true and the opposite of what Cristina actually said to her, which is what makes this such a realistic falling out between two friends.

Derek Is the Best Dad Ever

Derek (Patrick Dempsey) and Callie (Sara Ramirez) worked on a project that used electronic sensors to stimulate the brains of quadriplegics to increase their mobility. Derek realized that the quadriplegic also had a brain tumor, which seemed like an unfair amount of bad luck until the man revealed he became paralyzed because he drove drunk and killed two teenagers. He wanted to have risky surgery and continue participating in the study in the hope that his life would have some redeeming qualities. Derek wanted Shane (Gaius Charles) to assist him, but Shane, who still blamed himself for Heather’s death, did not want to take her place. Derek insisted that he thought Shane had the makings of a brain surgeon and apologized for discouraging him last season, like an encouraging dad. Shane claimed he did not want to work with Derek. After Meredith and Derek left Zola at daycare for longer than they intended, Derek came up with a solution: He would scale back on his workload, so she could focus on her important second year as an attending physician and Zola would get all the parenting that she needed. Every working mother in America turned to her significant other and demanded, “Why can’t you be as supportive as Derek? Also, why don’t you look more like Derek?” 

Watch Thursday Night’s New Episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” Below:

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Richard Is Runner Up for Father of the Year

Richard (James Pickens Jr.) continued to use his medical problems as a teaching tool for the interns, criticizing Jo about her attempts to diagnose his shoulder pain until she figured out that it was caused by a pancreatic pseudocyst and he praised her like a proud papa.

Non-Parental Storylines

Murphy (Tessea Ferrer) stalked Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) after they hooked up last week. She wanted to be her girlfriend. Murphy seemed oblivious to the potential problems of dating an attending who is still legally married to another attending. Although, that was how Meredith and Derek got together. Alex warned Arizona about how clingy Murphy got when he slept with her. Arizona bluntly told her it was just one night stand. Then she sent her a booty call text. Pairing the two most unlikable characters on the show is sort of genius.

Owen (Kevin McKidd) was still dating the doctor he met at the gala. Cristina was hurt when she discovered that Owen did not tell her that they used to be married.

Shane came up with the idea of using a method used to treat brain tumors on a heart tumor. Cristina appreciated his creativity and initiative, perhaps signaling a new direction for his career.

“Grey’s Anatomy” airs Thursdays at 9/8c on ABC.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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