‘Grey’s Anatomy’ recap: Was the Halloween episode a ‘Thriller’?

This week’s episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” had a little bit of everything, like one of those appetizers of many different fried things. Most of it tasted pretty good, but there wasn’t a lot of substance once we cleaned the plate. There was some scary stuff, a little bit of neurotic rambling, a soupçon of self-pitying crying and a drab of genuine sentiment. What it added up to was an enjoyable Halloween episode, if not a memorable one. Also notable was the absence of hot sex. Something had to be cut to make room for the maggots, after all.

While the maggots were real, the other “spooky” parts of the evening were quickly explained. The zombie was a drug addict whose organs were on the opposite side of where they were supposed to be (situs inversus). The “ghost” was just an indigent woman who had asthma and no insurance, as well as an attachment to the late, semi-great Heather Brooks. The kid who was almost “scared to death” has adrenal insufficiency. Glad we could clear all of that up! Spooky stuff always has an entirely reasonable explanation which isn’t half as much fun as you’d hope!

Much of the episode was taken up with these cute one-offs, which was fine. It’s Halloween; I didn’t need a hotel fire or an explosion in the E.R. to hold my attention. The continuing stories were minor beats; a mix of people reaching fragile detentes with one another and, more often, relationships crumbling around the edges. 

On the coming together front, it was nice to see Arizona finally opening up to Leah. Though Leah seems like a mess and probably more work than newly single mom Arizona needs or wants, we know the more mature doc has a soft spot for wounded birds. This is what makes her so effective in treating children, though I think it could run her straight into a wall with this relationship. I have to think Arizona might have had it right the first time in telling Leah she wanted sex and nothing more. 

The more significant truce was between Karev and Jo. While he’s been stomping around like a jerk, blaming her for the wounds his father inflicted, she manages to win him back by showing up at his door in a Tinkerbell costume demanding that a one strike rule apply to their relationship. While I admire her fortitude, and I realize they have a great deal in common, I hope she also takes the time to tell him he can’t freeze her out or use her as a punching bag when he’s unhappy going forward. Karev has long been a sulky, angry guy who could benefit from getting on the receiving end of April’s new approach to people freaking out — shutting it down, pronto. As much as I enjoy this relationship when it works, when it doesn’t it’s unnerving.

Owen may have broken up briefly with his new girlfriend, Emma, but it takes him about a minute to patch things up. While he insists he isn’t ready to move on from Christina in the beginning of the episode, he somehow flips a switch shortly afterward and starts calling Emma’s voicemail like he’s trying to recreate “Swingers.” Given that Sandra Oh’s days are numbered on the show, I get it — Christina needs to find herself more and more isolated in order to make her eventual decision (I’m assuming it will be a decision) to leave (if the Christina leaves of her own accord and doesn’t die in, oh, a bus accident or something random like that) make sense. Owen may be jumping the gun, but I get it from a scheduling point of view, if not a character development one. 

Another peace offering was the one offered by Webber to Meredith. Webber, having rediscovered his will to live, realizes he got it right the first time — Meredith has his best interests at heart, and Bailey is too soft and overprotective to do what he needs her to do. While he apologizes to Meredith for telling her she’s not his family and she should have let him die, I’m not sure that fence can ever be entirely mended. She’ll forgive, yes, but forget? Not likely.

Though Christina and Owen are slowly moving apart from one another (and I am hoping that Christina’s decision to let Shane (Sharky) buy her a drink at the end of the episode was just a rare moment of friendliness and not a potential lapse in judgment), the bigger schism is between Christina and Mer. It’s one that probably resonates with a lot of women, and one that has been drawn with surprisingly subtlety thus far. As people change, friendships change, and not all of them survive. Meredith and Christina have fought to keep their relationship viable, but something definitely shifted when Christina made it clear that Meredith just wasn’t as fabulous of a surgeon as she was. Besides feelings getting hurt, it just underscored the fact that, other than medicine, they don’t have much overlap anymore. They may always be one another’s “person,” but when Christina dropped off the cupcakes and left the party, it was clear that this relationship has fundamentally and permanently changed. 

I’m also a little worried about Bailey and Ben. While he says he just really, really values family, I suspect it’s not that simple. Even if it is, though, Bailey’s admission that she’s “disappointed” in Ben is a big, glaring red flag. There’s a chance Ben might end up working with McDreamy, I think (you don’t just sew butterfly wings for a kid’s costume without bonding a bit), but if not, what will he do? Go back to his old stomping ground? Become a house husband? Design Halloween costumes? I’m not averse to seeing more of Bailey, but I’m not thrilled at the thought it will be because she’s having marital troubles. That would definitely be more trick than treat, if you ask me.

Did you like the Halloween episode? What do you think is going to happen to Christina?