This second episode back after the shooting was all about lingering in recovery — often in denial of needing recovery — which seemed only too appropriate. Meredith was feigning emotional-breakthrough to Dr. Men in Trees Guy, who still refused to clear her for surgery. “Do you need a tissue or a hug or something?” he asked, instead of clearing her. “Go hug yourself,” she huffed. Alex was insisting on keeping the bullet lodged in his chest.
Cristina wasn’t cleared, but Owen leapfrogged the chain of command to give his wife a little honeymoon present: one of Seattle Grace’s “once-in-a-lifetime” surgeries (i.e. surgeries that happen there every week), this one a heart reconstruction that involved removing atria and cancerous cells. He insisted that “the fear of going back in is worse than actually doing it,” and apparently figured forcing her back into the OR quickly could help her muscle past any shooting-related PTSD. (He should know a thing or two about PTSD, after all.) It turned out — clearly unbeknownst to Owen — that the patient had originally been treated by Dr. Burke, with Cristina helping. “You were getting married, weren’t you?” the woman asked, referencing her last visit. This is why everyone who works in the hospital should not just date and marry each other. It would reduce the likelihood of a former patient bringing up your failed engagement in front of your new husband.
The other major medical case of the night showed up in the form of multiple burn victims — an eight-member flag football team who’d been struck by lightning. They were all guys, save one named Carrie, whom several of the dudes were asking about with concern — clearly they all were crushing on her. But she was asking after only the one named Warren, whom she clearly secretly loved. Three of the guys rushed in to check on her, but the mood was broken when Warren split up tarry-looking blood or something equally gross. He had a perforation in his bowel, in case you were wondering, which I wasn’t. Sometimes I very much don’t care about the medical stuff. This was one of those nights — probably because they had a pretty lame back story.
And yet it continued, with the two non-Warren guys at poor Carrie’s bedside as Warren got his bowel fixed. “Warren’s bald, Carrie,” one of them said by way of convincing her to choose him instead. Finally she’d had enough, and she theorized, “I’m a girl who’s down with flag football, so you think you love me. Plus we got struck by lightning.” One of the other guys responded, “Warren’s a good guy, he could probably get a hairpiece or something …” And then Carrie started bawling, only further upsetting them. “She’s crying because everything’s changed,” Lexie admonished them, obviously talking more about herself than Carrie. Because that’s how things go at Seattle Grace: When they're not confusing their patients by dating and marrying each other, the doctors are picking through the tangled strands of their patients’ personal lives for metaphorical resonance with their own personal lives.
NEXT: Carrie takes her rightful place as a stand-in.