Grey's Anatomy recap: Trials and Tribulations

The Chief flouts FDA rules on his own study and urges Derek to bend them on his Alzheimer's trials, while the Arizona-Callie-Mark triumverate faces trials of its own.
Ep. 17 | Aired Mar 24, 2011

The Chief fought to get his wife into Derek's Alzheimer's study while breaking the rules on his own trial.

Ron Tom/ABC

Grey's has been away for a few weeks, and I've been away from recapping it even longer, so let's do a pre-landmark-musical-episode checkup with our favorite docs to see how some of the show's major parts were doing this week:

Sexiness: A

This crucial Grey's element earned top marks from me about 30 seconds in, when I paused my DVR to get situated and saw that it had stopped on Jackson's half-naked torso. But there was plenty more to enjoy: Love him and Lexie together — such a sexy couple! — and love them unnerving poor, virginal April by making out everywhere, including the laundry room. We've been waiting so long for Jackson to get some (and have some serious shirtlessness opportunities). Mission accomplished.

In other hot-couple news, Alex and the hot blond O.B.! We learned he was living in a trailer in the hospital parking lot, allegedly to be close to work so he could make chief resident, but this still seems a little sketchy to me. Though it definitely works well for picking up chicks, because after weeks of fruitless pursuit of the hot blond O.B., he snagged her with a simple trailer-side picnic with fixings swiped from Callie's baby shower. She was even the one who kissed him. Of course, he had a tiny assist from Meredith, who summarized the last few years of his life for the hot blond O.B. (whose name I will totally learn soon): "He had a girl go crazy on him. His wife almost died, and then she walked out on him. And then he was shot and almost bled to death in an elevator." Life's tough on a doctor drama, you know? But hey, it gets you some action.

And how hot was it when Eli stopped Miranda on her way out for the night and told her, after they'd fought over procedures during the day and she pulled rank on him, "Outside the hospital I am the man.... Be at my place in 15." I'm all for feminism, but I liked this taking-charge thing. At least when he did it.

Trials and Studies and Research: B+

They sure have gotten research-y this season at Seattle Grace, haven't they? Who's treating all the regular patients these days, anyway? They've made it pretty interesting, though I'm starting to feel like I know enough about the minutiae of Derek and Meredith's Alzheimer's study to conduct it myself at this point. That said, Adele's early-onset Alzheimer's gives the Chief some interesting drama to play, and brings us more Loretta Devine, always a good thing. Adele didn't want to believe in Mer and Der's Post-it wedding, and she didn't want to believe in her own mental decline either. It was heartbreaking.

But her obvious Alzheimer's didn't mean she could just get into Derek's trials. Another woman was in this week, with a son who'd left his life and boyfriend in London to care for her after the procedure. He wanted to be there for her because she stood by him while he came out. She pulled out of the trial though, once she learned he'd broken up with his boyfriend to be there with her. A spot was now available for the Chief's wife, though there was also a waiting list for it.

Meanwhile, the funding for the Chief's Ellis Grey-inspired trial came through, making him a hot commodity among the overachieving residents. As it happened, a diabetic woman named Clara came in having problems with her insulin after having a tumor removed — a perfect candidate for his experimental procedure. But the Chief didn't have his FDA approval yet and would need a waiver. He went ahead with it anyway, and saved Clara's life — but was he doing it just to prove a point to Derek about bending the rules to let Adele into the Alzheimer's study?

No matter, she didn't make it. She took the Alzheimer's test which determined that she had it, but she was one point shy of being bad enough to get into the study. It didn't seem like Derek had definitely decided against sneaking her in anyway, though the test forced Adele to face her illness: "It's not fair," she said to the Chief. "We're finally happy." Man, I hope she's okay. I like the Chief and having Loretta Devine around.

The Bi-Dream Team (Arizona-Callie-Mark): A

Callie was endearingly excited about her at-work baby shower: " I have bought expensive gifts and played stupid games for every knocked-up nurse in this place," she explained. "Now it's my turn." But it was more than that. She was bubbling over with genuine enthusiasm for every cheesy bit of it. I was bubbling with enthusiasm for Arizona and Mark fighting over scrapbook stations and onesie decorating. (He won, and got both.)

Arizona was having none of this: "You're not the Callie Whisperer," she chided Mark. "And I'm not a monster for finding baby showers annoying." I'll second that. Mark had his own problems though, once he ran into Lexie, who told him she was seeing someone else. "Do I know him?" he asked, oh-so-naively. Where do you think she'd meet someone you don't know, Mark? Soon afterward he spotted her sneaking off with Avery. On the bright side, everyone loved the onesie decorating. Cristina made an awesome anatomically correct heart onesie. Alex made scrubs.

Inappropriate Relationships: B

Darling Scott Foley was back, this time with chest pains after jogging. After they put him on painkillers, he got all confessional and told his "wife," Teddy, why her dates never work out: "It's not your fault. It's mine. Because I'm not the guy on them with you. You're my wife. You're my hot wife. I'm your husband. Let's do it. Let's be together. Look at you. Look at your eyes. I could look into your eyes my whole life." The Chief, witness to this, did not like it one bit. He gave the surgery — removing a mass near his heart — to Cristina, for fear of Teddy's feelings compromising the operation. "Is it wrong that I'm a little flattered that you won't operate on me?" No, it's so right when you look at her with those gorgeous, pleading eyes! (I could look into your eyes forever, Scott Foley!) If she was so worried about him that she had to freak out in the O.R. ("Shut up and stop acting like a scared wife!" Cristina scolded her), why was she so resistant to his charms?

I'm also going to file April and Stark under "inappropriate," though they're growing on me. I wish they'd at least hint still at how absolutely horrendous a human being he was just a few weeks ago, but, hey, maybe falling for April is making him a better man. He was sweet and vulnerable when asking her to come over and watch From Here to Eternity on cable with him. She was adorably startled by Alex's suggestion that "the only way you'll be watching that movie is if it's playing on his bedroom ceiling." There was much speculation among the doctors as to whether Stark was gay or had herpes, since he'd been "dating" April for a month but hadn't tried to sleep with her. I wonder if he's just intimidated by her youth and attractiveness, or if it's something else entirely. They are an intriguing pair, in any case, in this sea of super-sexy couples. It's clearly not over for them yet, even after she told him she wanted to be "friends" (just after calling him "Robert" in front of Alex). She went home and watched From Here to Eternity by herself!

Twists: A–

Owen's now charged with picking chief resident, which leaves Cristina out of the running. Figured as much the minute the Chief decided to delegate. It would have to be either Owen or Derek doing the choosing, and they're both married to residents. I mean, who'd be impartial at this hospital?

Now onto the much bigger twist: Who knew the minute they saw Arizona and Callie speeding toward their B&B weekend in a car that they were going to crash? Pretty much whenever someone fights in a car on TV they crash, right? For a hopeful second, I thought we were going to get away with just Arizona's proposal, but alas. We will yet again be faced with the doctors working to save one of their own.

That said, I'm excited for what I think this development's main purpose will turn out to be: next week's musical episode. This is going to be some kind of near-death, out-of-body experience, don't you think? Do you believe they'll pull this high concept off? (I do. I have faith. I like musicals, I like Grey's. I'm rooting for this to work.) What else did you think of this week's episode? Were the couples hot enough for you? Do you think Adele will get into the trial? Are you for or against the Scott Foley-Teddy and Stark-April pairings?

 

Follow me on Twitter: @jenmarmstrong

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