‘Grey’s Anatomy’ recap: The storm leaves tragedy in its wake

The storm that hit Grey Sloan Memorial (sorry, but it will always be Seattle Grace to me) at the end of last season was a doozy, and of course we had a nail-biter of a cliffhanger. Dr. Webber decided to go into the basement to check on the status of the generator and ended up getting electrocuted. This officially makes working for this hospital only slightly less dangerous than working on an Alaskan crab boat. 

The tension is, of course, that no one knows that Webber’s sitting in a big puddle of electricity, so much of the first part of the show is made up of people asking, “Where’s Webber?” then shrugging. When Webber is finally found by intern Brooks (Tina Majorino), she stupidly steps in the water and goes down like a pile of dirty diapers down an apartment garbage chute. It’s an unexpected twist, but a promising sign. Though Brooks may pay the ultimate price, nothing bonds “Grey’s Anatomy” staffers like a good tragedy, and heaven knows these fussy, cranky interns have needed some bonding.

As it becomes clear that Brooks’ fate can only wobble between bleak and bleaker, Leah, Jo, and Stephanie are finally given an opportunity to have the same chummy sharing session that made Christina, George, Izzy, and Karev so close all those years ago. Unfortunately, the dialogue sounds almost exactly the same; less their individual voices shining through than perhaps Rhimes. But still, we’re finally getting something from these characters that doesn’t sound like it’s been ripped from “The Paper Chase” and indicates they may eventually evolve into more than filler. 

Of course, Brooks won’t have to worry about that, as she bites it by the end of the episode. Webber, on the other hand, opens his eyes just before the credits roll. But that doesn’t mean all is well at the hospital. The quest to keep Webber alive takes all kinds of twists and turns, not the least of which is that, without telling her, Webber named Meredith his next of kin. I suspect there’s some creative writing in this, but fine, it gives Meredith something to fret about from her hospital bed other than breast feeding.

While she’s busy wondering why he’d do such a silly thing, Bailey and Christina are tearing out one another’s hair debating whether or not Webber needs surgery. Bailey says yes and says she’s the boss, while Christina says no and she owns the hospital, so there! Ha! When they meekly cede the floor to Meredith, Dr. Avery has to come stomping in to throw her weight around as a super surgeon and Webber’s girlfriend. In the end, Bailey gets to say “I told you so” after she rips the guy open and finds a wad of necrotic tissue. It’s not the best “I told you so” ever, but I’m glad to see Bailey get a win to start the season. If Christina or Dr. Avery really wanted to win the argument, they could have poked holes in a pair of surgical gloves and chased her around with them, but I guess no one thought of that. 

The episode has plenty of life-or-death drama, but, because this is “Grey’s Anatomy,” there’s also a lot of screwing around and fighting. On the fighting end, Callie is still pissed about Arizona cheating on her, and while Arizona, in her candy hearts and unicorn stickers way, thinks everything can be fixed, Callie ain’t that kind of girl. No, she takes the kid and moves into Meredith’s house, which is getting pretty crowded since Christina is also living there. After Callie drunkenly whines about how everyone she’s ever been with has either cheated on her or died, or cheated on her AND died (way to go, George!), you’d think she’d be in a forgiving mood. Instead, Callie’s hurt calcifies into something even unicorn stickers can’t break through, and (for the moment) it seems Callie and Arizona are over. 

On the happier side, Kepner finally realizes she’s mooning over Avery instead of the guy who gave her a flash mob wedding proposal not because Avery has dreamy eyes and is exceptionally hot (though he is) but because she’s scared to be with a guy who really loves her. It’s fairly shocking (and encouraging) that Kepner fixes the mess she’s made and gets re-engaged with minimal fuss, as this seemed like the kind of storyline that could be milked for heart-wrenching and eye-rolling drama for at least another season. 

In the happy-sad category is the last gasp of Owen and Christina’s relationship, in which they have some break-up sex before finally realizing they are never, ever going to be able to just stay friends. While much of this episode seemed to stray into too cute territory, robbing the emotional moments of any real impact, the moment when Christina and Owen realize it really is time to say goodbye sets the stage for Sandra Oh’s exit from the show and is genuinely poignant.

In the too cutesy category falls Karev and Jo’s struggle to find someplace in the hospital where Karev hasn’t already had sex with someone else. Given that the two hour episode had some heavy stuff to deal with (I mean, Brooks died, for crying out loud), it was surprising how much of the show was spent with silly banter and goofy C plots like this one. The look on Brooks’ mom’s face when she walked into see the other interns drunkenly laughing and goofing around sobers them up quickly. I just wish she could have shown up in the writers’ room.

What did you think of the episode? Do you think Arizona and Callie are really over? Do you think Webber is okay?