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October 31, 2007 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | October 31, 2007 |

For those of you who have been watching “Grey’s” slide downhill for two years or so, sticking it out anyway blindly hoping that they’d show a morsel of what was once decent about the show, this week’s episode featured a three highlight that actually made the whole hour damn near worth sitting through.

The first such highlight came within the show’s first three minutes, a scene featuring a cold, pale Meredith Grey in a morgue. Sure, you knew it was a dream sequence, but — for that brief moment before she startled awake — how much did it warm the embers of your cold, cold heart to think that The Herp might have been swimming with fishes, a murderous casualty of viewer indifference? Of course, before The Herp awoke from her nightmare (or beautiful dream?), even her corpse was chanting, “Pick me, choose me, love me.” See: Even in death, Meredith Grey is an insufferable, self-involved twit. As Tracy Jordan might say, asking her to be anything else, even in death, is like asking a tiger not to turn back into a Chinese dude at midnight.

Moving on: It’s a Halloween-themed episode, and you know what that means, right? Wacky hijinx! Douchebag madcappery! Ah hell, I can’t believe I’m still writing these recaps.

The Subplots

Meredith and her Goddamn Ashes

So, The Herp is under the delusion that her mother’s ashes, which have been hidden away in the back of her closet since last season, have been haunting her, a realization she makes coincidentally on Halloween! I suppose Halloween is also “Bring Your Mother to Work Day,” too, so she puts Mom in a Glad bag and brings her to the hospital, which is a great place for cremain soot — mix it with a little Bactine and you got one helluva salve.

At one point, The Herp bumps into McDreamy and spills the ash on the floor, which OK: 1) This bumping into each other is classic (as in, classically annoying) “Grey’s” bullshit — they really ought to put a moratorium on clumsy bump-ins (there are two in this show alone); and 2) Mom’s in a baggie — why is she spilling out all over the place? Red and Blue make Green! Seal that bitch up — that’s what the color-safe zipper is for. Damn — nobody listens to Tom Bosley anymore.

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The Meredith subplot bleeds into another one — about a boy who is trying to get his Hallmark moment. He wants free ears, so Meredith — showing that fighting Halloween spirit! — spends much of the episode recruiting doctors and nurses to perform the free-ear operation. The little kid runs around with a damn Halloween bag and says trick-or-treat to all the doctors, and then asks them for ears in his cute-little-boy-with-no-ears sort of way. I tell you what: If I were one of those doctors, I’d have half a mind to rip off one of my own ear and throw it in the bag just to prove to the kid that you can’t go to hospitals and panhandle for body parts. Sheesh — and here I thought the teenagers on “My Super Sweet 16,” had entitlement complexes. But, since I’m not one of those doctors, and Grizzledouche is, the boy gets his ears(!)

Meanwhile, after a heart-to-heart with ear boy, in which ear boy tells Meredith about the time he flushed his goldfish down the toilet, Meredith has an epiphany and realizes where her mother’s remains ought to be disposed of: A hospital sink, of course. Because old lady Grey not only loves the feel of hospital drains, but commingling with sewage on her way to the ocean. It’s an unbelievably asinine moment, but sue me: When the Chief rattles out, “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust,” I got a little misty, though it was probably just the Kendall Payne song — she had a couple of songs on “Felicity” that used to do the same thing to me. And before you make fun of me for watching “Felicity,” keep in mind that you’re reading a recap of “Grey’s Anatomy.”

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George and Blondie

Early on in the show, before rounds, Callie tells Blondie that she’ll have to answer to Dr. Bailey from now on, instead of her, then reveals why: “Because she’s been sleeping with my husband!” Amazingly, despite the fact that this subplot has been running now for what seems like eons, this is the first that most of the other doctors have heard of it. They’re blank-faced. This revelation leads to a showdown between Blondie and Christina, with Christina making judgments about Blondie’s decision abandon the sisterhood and sleep with a colleague’s husband — you know what? A nice Wendy’s hamburger might solve all their problems!

This little strand winds up with Bailey giving George an “it takes two speech,” as in, “it takes two to destroy a marriage.” Actually, if we’re going to be honest about this, it only takes one to misplace his wedding tackle inside another woman. Meanwhile, Bailey also gives her sob speech about how her husband is all upset because she skipped out on her first son’s Halloween to help a boy get his ears. The nerve! Terrible speech — but, man: That Chandra could sell a line to an oval. Who was it that won the Emmy? Oh yeah, the Blonde doctor who can’t be taken seriously because she used to model panties — and because she kills patients she falls in love with. And speaking of underwear, do your boys hang low?

Transplant Man and his Daughter

At the outset, a woman in a silly costume is 17 kinds of pissy because she doesn’t think that her Dad, who is due for a heart transplant, is getting the type of care he deserves. A few minutes later, the woman returns to the hospital in a stretcher after a Halloween goof goes awry — some damn kids threw a brick through her window and kilt her brain. But you know what’s great about brain-dead folks? Their hearts still work: So, will her father-in-need-of-a heart take it or not? Would you accept your dead daughter’s heart in order to save your own life? Well, I would — but only after George gave me a “I know what it’s like” speech. Mother. Everyone on this show “knows what it’s like,” don’t they? Because if they didn’t actually have a heart defect, they had a really bad yeast infection that made them feel like they had a heart defect, so they totally know where you’re coming from.

(Holy Shit — Was that Lark Voorhies?)

But, the great thing about this plot development is that it introduces what looks to be the next steady character on “Grey’s,” a spectacularly bitchy cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Hahn, who replaces Dr. Burke. And if you watch television at all, you’d know who this woman is: Brooke Smith, who was on this season’s pilot episode of “Dirty Sexy Money,” has an arc on “Weeds,” and now looks to be a new regular on this show. Let the countdown until she sleeps with one of the doctors and devolves into a whiny, petty little fuckwit begin. In the meantime, enjoy her joyous bitchery while it lasts.

The Man and His Leg

This subplot is the second highlight to the show; a man in a suit — a banker, no less — comes in complaining that his foot doesn’t belong to him. That he can’t control it — it just goes tap-tap-tapping all on its own, which probably makes for a lot of uncomfortable misunderstandings in airport bathrooms. It’s like a metatarsal version of Oliver Stone’s, The Hand. He asks Dr. Bailey if she wouldn’t mind, you know, amputating it. She tells him to jump up her ass. Then, cut to a later scene, where a dude who cut off his digit carving a pumpkin with a chainsaw misplaces his chainsaw and wicked awesome: The man with a weird foot is behind a curtain sawing it off. Man —if this show only featured patients who came in and amputated their own body parts, it’d be the best show on television. We could call it: “Cut that Meat.”

Alex and Ava

OK — so, really, I have to admit to a certain amount of joy for this plot turn, this week’s major highlight: Ava — the mysterious pregnant woman with amnesia who was facially recreated last season, and with whom Alex fell in love — returns. And, though I know that a pregnant woman with amnesia who gets a complete facial reconstruction hits all the sweeps high notes, Ava still endeared herself to me last season. Perhaps it was because she wasn’t beyond-the-pale self-obsessed. But, whatever: The Sound of Music face-crushing kiss between her and Alex was kind of sweet, even if it did mean that Alex abandoned Norman the Elder for the day, the very day Norman decided to have a goddamn stroke (thus ending Edward Hermann’s story arc). He didn’t die, of course — he’s a Gilmore and Gilmores do not die. He just decided, after realizing how childish and oversexed the surgeons are, that he’d be better off in psychiatry. However, before he goes back to Stars Hollow, he’s got a speech of his own about how the spirit of his late wife told him to go into surgery, which saved his life. “I think I was about to have a massive stroke, and my Mary Beth wanted me to be surrounded by world class surgeons.” Oh, Norman — that wasn’t your wife. That was a group of tapped out television writers trying to write 12 episodes in the two weeks before the writer’s strike.

Anyway, after his talk with Norman, Alex goes back to the supply room — where he and Ava were canoodling — and finds that she’s left him a shirt, something she wraps around her newborn to calm him down on account of the shirt smelling like her. Sure — it’s straight out of Brokeback, but who doesn’t fall for the scented shirt just a teensy bit? Whatever. Shut up. It’s that goddamn Kendall Payne song again. Go to hell.

Is your baby fussy? Well, try new Luvs Deluxe. Nothing is better on leaks.

Dustin Rowles is the publisher of Pajiba. He lives with his wife and son in Ithaca, New York. You may email him, or leave a comment below.

Don't Get Mad. Get Glad!

Recap of "Grey's Anatomy" (S4/E5) / Dustin Rowles

TV | October 31, 2007 |

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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