Last night, “Grey’s” had us step into the DeLorean and travel back in time. During the trip down memory lane, we got to see how Callie made her mark at Seattle Grace, how Bailey became Bailey and the beginnings of the Chief’s affair with Ellis Grey. I have to say, I loved every minute of it. When I first heard about this episode; I was a little concerned. I thought the gimmick would be better than the actual episode and we’d get all sizzle, but no steak. Fortunately, the flashbacks did play an important part in the present (especially Richard and Bailey’s).
There was a lot happening last night, so I’m going to skip the long preamble and jump right into last night’s events.
Present day (non-lecture hall scenes):
I guess I was in the same boat as the Chief last night; I thought once he went through his rehab stint, he’d be able to take back the reigns of the surgical department. I knew the board had to approve, but I figured that would be just a formality. Derek made it seem like it may not be as simple as that though. I couldn’t blame the Chief for taking Derek’s attending general surgeon job offer as a slap in the face. In fairness, Richard has no one to blame but himself for this mess though. I also thought his AA speech was very good. It was an honest take on how alcohol made such a negative impact on his life.
Although it was brief, I loved the scene when Bailey was getting ready for her lecture and Ben peeked in and said she looked nice. Hopefully he’ll be around for awhile.
As for the lectures and flashbacks, I’ll start with Callie’s case because it was the least interesting to me. And that’s saying something because I thought her flashback was very interesting. I just liked the other two a little more. Anyway, I was shocked about how nervous Callie was about public speaking. She’s such a confident and outspoken character; I never would have imagined the thought of public speaking would make her sick to her stomach. I guess it goes to show a person’s personality has no bearing on how he or she handles speaking in front of a group. I consider myself to be a reserved man of few words (except when it comes to writing J), but I have no problem speaking in public (I actually spoke at my high school graduation).
I did feel Callie’s pain as she was trembling up on stage and reading, quietly, off of her note cards. I couldn’t believe it was the same person who had that loud, knock-down fight with her dad over Arizona. It was great to see Arizona and Alex step in the help her along with what was an amazing and very interesting medical case.
Callie’s flashback highlights:
-The immediate fireworks between Alex and Callie; that had never been put on display until that flashback. When she was introduced on the show, she starting dating George, hooked up with Sloan and eventually married George. I don’t even think Callie and Alex have had a ton of interaction during the run of the series.
-I couldn’t believe that Alex initially took credit for George’s dramatic elevator save when he met Callie. Anything to impress a girl, I guess.
-I thought the Chief’s first impression of Callie was interesting; since she was privileged, she was arrogant and thought she could do things beyond her ability. I never took the Chief as a guy who judge people before meeting them.
-Not that I was glad to see Callie’s patient have a scare on the operating table, but I did like that Alex’s lie did come back to bite him when he was asked to perform an easier version of “his” elevator save. In that moment, I also liked the Callie gave him the vote of confidence that he could.
-And last, but certainly not least, how about Callie and Alex’s celebration?! I can’t believe they “got together.” By the look on Arizona’s face neither could she. I can’t believe that had never been alluded to until last night. So let the record show that’s three gals that Alex and George have been with (Nurse Olivia, Izzie and now Callie).
When news first came out about this time warp episode, I was the most excited about this one. I couldn’t wait to see Bailey as a timid intern. I was not disappointed either. The glasses, the hair, the name, the low talking in the very back of the group; I couldn’t believe this was the same character who has the nickname that she now has. And I couldn’t believe how tough her resident (played brilliantly by Missi Pyle) was on her, my goodness. I thought Bailey was tough on Meredith and Co. when they started at Seattle Grace, but she was a teddy bear compared to Dr. Baylow. To me, Bailey became her, but with a heart, if that makes sense. I did find it interesting that in the first episode, Bailey called Meredith and friends the same thing that Baylow called her, “interns, the bottom of the surgical food chain.” After the torture her resident put her through, I thought Bailey wouldn’t want to repeat history. I guess she figured as much as she hated Dr. Baylow, her toughness made her the surgeon she was today.
Bailey’s flashback highlights:
-I have to mention again how Chandra Wilson was made up for her scenes as an intern. I especially loved the glasses.
-I loved the “Who’s talking?” scenes with the Chief when Bailey was mumbling correct answers in the back of the group. Bailey’s height is rarely, if ever addressed on the show.
-Speaking of which, I loved the Chief’s pep talk to Bailey about not being a minnow, and Bailey asked if he was talking about her height.
-I can’t let this flashback go without mentioning Joe the Bartender’s hair back then. Absolutely fantastic. I also couldn’t believe there was a time that Bailey drowned her sorrows at Joe’s bar.
-Of course the ultimate highlight was when Bailey finally became “Bailey” and told off her resident. It wasn’t exactly Anakin Skywalker becoming Darth Vader, but it was still pretty good. The icing on the cake was the Chief asking her to come into his office to make it look like he was reprimanding her for disrespecting a resident.
This was my favorite of the three flashbacks because it gave a little more insight into the Chief’s past with Meredith’s mom. Until then, we’d only get bits and pieces about it. To actually see how things began between them was cool. It makes sense how they gravitated towards each other, seeing as they were the lone minorities in their group. It was also interesting to see how AIDS treatment was handled back then; and to see how far we’ve come in understanding the disease. Ellis and Richard were practically in hazmat suits when they were in the room with their patients. It blew my mind that their attending refused to operate on him.
I was also glad to get a little insight into Meredith’s childhood, even if it was brief. I’m sure there were a lot of moments where she wanted to see her mom, but she was too busy with work. That scene makes it easier to see why Meredith has some of the issues that she has. It was also good to see that the balance of power in Ellis and Thatcher’s relationship was the same from the get-go; she really chewed into him about giving Mer that doll before her birthday. Speaking of which, that doll that young Meredith had was “Anatomy Jane” that we were introduced to a couple of seasons ago. I didn’t put two and two together, but some sharp-eyed viewers did.
I always thought the end of Richard’s affair with Ellis drove him to the bottle, but it turns out it was the beginning of the affair that did. I thought that was interesting. I also found it interesting after Ellis told him he needed to grow up and they should leave their spouses, he looked down at his soda pop and the vodka and contemplated which one to go with before taking a swig of the hard stuff. I was waiting for “SYMBOLISM, SYMBOLISM!” to begin flashing on the screen, as the soda obviously was his marriage while the vodka represented his affair. Despite that, I really enjoyed everything about Richard’s lecture/flashback, especially the standing “O” he got after he recited the doctor’s oath.
Two other thoughts about Richard’s flashback:
-I thought Hall & Oates’ “Maneater” was the perfect song of choice for the scene when we were introduced to young Ellis Grey.
-I thought Sarah Paulson did a great job portraying Ellis, but why not have Ellen Pompeo do double-duty and have her play the part? In the first episode of “Grey’s,” Richard told Meredith she was a spitting image of her mom. I didn’t think Paulson and Pompeo looked similar at all.
OK, a few random thoughts and I’m finished…
*Were Sloan, Teddy and Owen all MIA last night, or did I just miss them. It makes sense that they weren’t at the lectures since they’re attendings (if Callie wasn’t speaking, I’m sure Arizona wouldn’t have been there either).
*If my professors handed out chocolates for right answers when I was in college, I would have paid more attention during lectures. 🙂
*Line of the Night: “Make sure you’re a shark and not a minnow.”
*Honorable mentions for “Line of the Night”
-“She’s dong her pee dance.”
-“Flattery will get you to an on-call room in five seconds or less.”
-“Give me candy.”
-“Just because you haven’t, doesn’t mean you can’t.”
*If you have a Twitter account, I recommend following “Grey’s” creator Shonda Rhimes. She’s good about answering fan’s tweets and you can get some good insight about the show. For example, Chyler Leigh (Lexie) is a natural blonde. She asked Rhimes if she could change her hair six months ago, but she told her know. She let her do it recently because it fit in with the storyline. Here’s the link to her page: http://twitter.com/shondarhimes
*Grey’s is not on next week, but will return the following Thursday, March 4. Episode description courtesy of TVGuide.com: Tensions mount between Derek and Richard (and the staff is on edge) when a famous surgeon with a tie to one of the doctors is rushed to the hospital and requests an unorthodox procedure. Meanwhile, Callie and Arizona try to help Teddy and Sloan get over past disappointments. (Joe’s note: is that Sloan the doctor, or Sloan the daughter?)
I think that’s all I have. I hope you all enjoyed the show as much as I did. Have a great day and wonderful weekend.
Joe Dyton is a marketing copywriter in Washington, DC. He is a former assistant editor for The Dealmakers real estate magazine in Hamilton, NJ and a former sports writer and copy editor for The Trentonian in Trenton, NJ. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http://twitter.com/dyton99.