Joe Dyton

“Grey’s Anatomy” recap: “Heart-Shaped Box”

In Grey's Anatomy on November 5, 2011 at 7:29 pm

By Joe Dyton

Like the last couple of episodes of “Grey’s”, I thought last night’s wasn’t bad, just weak in terms of story content. There was nothing that really took me to the edge of my seat, or had me anxiously awaiting the return from a commercial break. It was a serviceable episode, but it would have been nice if there was just one hook during the 60 minutes.

The crown jewel of the episode of course was the return of Mama O’Malley. It wasn’t so much what she did, but her presence helped remind me of how good the show was. I enjoyed Mer, Cristina and Alex (sort of) reminiscing about great George moments like when he flew solo in the elevator. Mrs. O’Malley’s also gave us the great scene when Bailey admitted she had been so hard on Meredith because her behavior, even when she was doing the right thing was, “maddening”. Bailey telling her what to wear to her court hearing was a nice touch. We also got Alex to admit he only called George a creep because he reminded of him of Izzie, which made Alex sad. An Izzie mention? How about that? And of course, I can’t forget the comical scene when Callie freaked out when she saw her ex-mother-in-law and introduced her wife to her as Dr. Robbins. My favorite part of the episode came when Callie went full disclosure on her life and all Mrs. O’Malley wanted to see was a picture of Sophia. That storyline saved what was more or less a mediocre episode.

I also got a kick out of the Chief playing Jiminy Cricket to Cristina and Jackson, but rather than telling them to let their conscience be their guide, he told them to look to the heart in the box. I was wondering how the Chief was going to stay relevant now that he’s not technically the Chief anymore, but it looks like he will be more of a guidance figure. Until the writers realize the show’s at its best when Richard’s in charge and give him his job back, of course. The Chief’s advice seemed to work though; Cristina came up with a quality wish list, and Jackson realized learning from Mark was more important than being with Lexie. I can understand why Jackson did what he did, but I feel like the writers missed an opportunity by rushing the break-up. It would have made for much better theatre if he continued to date Lexie while learning from Mark and then something ends up happening between Mark and Lexie. Then there’s a great inner-conflict; could Jackson still want to learn from the guy who messed around with his girlfriend? That’s better than what we got; Jackson deciding whether or not he could learn from the guy who his girlfriend still pined for.

The rest of the show didn’t interest me very much. I felt more was going to happen with the peds fellowship interviewee Arizona was dealing with. She kind of came and went, and just happened to mention on the phone that Arizona kept going on and on about Alex while he was in earshot. I felt there was going to be more there; maybe an actual encounter with Alex or something. Did they really just bring her in so we could find out Alex is the frontrunner for the fellowship? I wish I could be more interested in Teddy, but I can’t. Her and Henry arguing about him going to medical school? Zzzzzz Honestly, I thought it was a cool ambition on his part. There was some drama at the end when he was coughing up blood, but it’s hard for me to emotionally invest in the husband of the show’s third-string head of cardio (behind Burke and Hahn). The writer in me found the storyline with Lexie and McDreamy’s patient somewhat interesting (plus Alfre Woodard was excellent). Of course the love triangle in the books paralleled what Lexie was going through; she had the right a guy, a nice guy, but she can’t fight the pull towards the flawed one.

OK a few random thoughts and I’m finished…


*The heart in a box was a cool apparatus, but watching it beat on its own freaked me out a little bit.


*Sorry I didn’t get a chance to write about last week’s show. Overall, I felt the same way as I did about this week’s episode; not bad, but not engrossing either. I will admit, ABC’s promo department got me good. The prior week’s preview had me thinking we were in for another Cristina-Teddy blow-up and break-up. All they did was reshuffle their conversation to make it look like Teddy was saying Cristina was done in a negative way. In reality, she was graduating her! Good job, ABC, you got me hook, line and sinker! I also wanted to give Alex a thumb’s up for his efforts to get Meredith and Derek’s adoption case in front of a judge. The softball scenes were very funny; although I can’t believe in that big of a hospital, Owen couldn’t put together a team of 10 staff members who could actually play. I did especially like Lexie pegging Mark’s new girlfriend with the ball, even if that was what led to Jackson and Lexie’s downfall. And, during that episode, there was a “Private Practice” promo that called it, “TV’s most provocative medical drama”. Umm…did “Grey’s” pass that torch and I just missed it? Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but that felt like a slight on “Grey’s”.

Line of the Night: “She let a starving person loose in a grocery store.”

*Honorable mentions…

-“She’s all dressed up with no place to go.”

-“The Plastics Posse!”

-“I’m picking Mark.”

-“I have a reputation for arrogance.”

-“Want me to drop a note in his locker?”

That’s all I’ve got for this week. I hope you enjoyed the show. Next week’s episode looks pretty tense, but I thought the same thing about last week’s, so don’t take my word for it!

Joe Dyton is a marketing copywriter in Washington, DC and a freelance sports reporter for the Frederick News-Post in Frederick, MD. 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 Follow Joe on Twitter at

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