S8E7: Tonight’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy was all about dealing with a beating heart – both literally and figuratively. The Seattle Grace docs come face-to-face with another medical miracle (yet again) when a harvested heart has no place to go after its intended body is no longer available -- yet it's never stopped beating. Basically, they’ve got a beating heart in a box, which Cristina is assigned to babysit for the day. At first she's none too thrilled with the task, but soon realizes just how amazing the heart is, which helps her decide what should go on her bucket list of medical surgeries Teddy has offered to find for her (although it looks like Teddy's got a few things on her mind at the moment). Anyone else feel like they’ve been transported into the plot of The Tell-Tale Heart? Anyway, Lexie is also dealing with her own heart dilemma of sorts as she tries to figure out who hers truly belongs to: Avery or Sloane. She'd better figure things out soon because her little baseball slip up from last week is still fresh in Avery’s mind, so he's feeling pretty insecure about their relationship for the vast majority of the episode. In fact, it forces him to make a big decision concerning the two of them. Poor Lexie and her triangle of hot men.
Meanwhile, two True Blood alums join the Grey’s cast for the night. Alfre Woodard (Tara’s aunt) checks into the hospital as a renowned author in need of some neuro attention while Vedette Lim (Tara’s girlfriend) becomes the new pediatric doc on the block which makes Alex feel threatened. A familiar face from the past also makes an appearance in the form of George’s mom, who needs help after another hospital botched her previous surgery. Will she be the third O’Malley to die while in the care of these doctors?
“It’s kind of soothing, like sitting in front of a fish tank.” - April
Last week, Teddy gave Cristina the green light to choose a bucket list of cool surgeries to perform. The problem is Cristina’s eyes are bigger than her stomach and she’s got too many items on her list. But she finds answers in an unlikely place: the still-beating heart in a box she’s been instructed to babysit. The heart serves as a semi-oracle to the residents and helps to put everything into perspective. Cristina looks at her list and decides if that surgery is cooler than a heart in a box and if it’s not, it’s off the list. I mean, the donor heart has no immediate body to attend to, so it might as well be giving out advice, right? It even gives out love-life advice -- it is experienced with matters of the heart after all.
“I wouldn’t have taken the surgery if I knew I was breaking up the plastics posse.” - Alex
But the whole “listening to a heart in a box” thing doesn’t fare too well for Lexie by the end of the episode. Avery tried his best to ignore Lexie and Mark all day because he still feels uncomfortable about the way Lexie reacted to Mark having a girlfriend. He suspects McSteamy still holds a deep place in her heart, but he’s having a hard time dealing with it. Mark takes the distance very personally and even coins the term “Plastics Posse” when referring to him and Avery, making this the cutest bromance ever.
Lexie too has a hard time knowing exactly what she wants, but it seems to be spelled out for her in her patient’s novel that Lexie is helping her complete. Like Lexie, the fictional characters are faced with their own love triangle and she just can’t understand why the author/patient makes the girl choose the bad boy as her soul mate. Wait, does this mean that Lexie’s going to eventually choose to be with Mark? Are they soul mates? Oh Shonda Rhimes, don’t toy with us. But before Lexie can make any decision of her own, Avery beats her to the punch and breaks up with her (the heart in a box told him to do it). He chooses Mark because he wants to really focus on his career in plastics and Lexie can’t give him a reason why he shouldn’t, so that’s that.
“George is dead and Izzie is gone and we’re all different.” – Alex
In case you forgot about dear old George and his tragic death, Mama O’Malley was here to remind all of us of what a big whole he left in our hearts. But it also made Bailey realize the number of O’Malleys who failed to leave Seattle Grace alive, so she’s hell-bent on making sure no harm comes to George’s mother. Mrs. O’Malley’s presence takes the gang down memory lane (remember when Alex gave George syphilis and Callie’s name was Callie O’Malley?) and they realize just how much things have changed since then.
Overall, I was pleased with the episode and not just because the plastic posse will live to see another day (although that helps). I liked how Lexie’s relationship developed between her and her patient, even though she was more concerned with the novel than the patient’s actual well-being. It’s better than barely having any interaction with the patient at all, which has become a disappointing theme on this show. But seeing the way everyone attended to and genuinely cared about George’s mom, reminded me just how great and heartfelt this show can be. Let’s hope to see more of this in the future!
Forget Black Swan – Natalie Portman’s real crowning performance is to be found in the romantic comedy No Strings Attached in which director Ivan Reitman asks her to convey sincere unqualified affection for Ashton Kutcher. Portman much to her credit gamely complies and though she may not have the emaciated figure bloody nails and bandaged ankles to tell of her labors the psychic scars must no doubt be just as severe.
Exhibiting strong chick-flick leanings and a rambunctious soft-R comic tone (i.e. lots of F-bombs some menstrual humor and a few shots of Kutcher’s naked ass) No Strings Attached is built around a basic relationship role-reversal: The dude Adam (Kutcher) longs for a deeper lasting commitment; the chick Emma (Portman) insists on keeping matters purely physical. Emma’s motive is a practical one: As a doctor-to-be her busy residency schedule with its 80-hour work weeks and intensive exam preparations precludes a serious relationship. But alas a woman has certain needs (foreplay apparently not being among them) and who better to fulfill them than Kutcher’s non-threatening boy-toy?
Thus a “friends with benefits” arrangement is cemented whereupon the ripcord is to be pulled on the occasion that either of them develops stronger feelings. This does not last long for soon Adam is cloyingly lobbying for escalation. Emma demurs – not out of disinterest we are told but because she’s intimacy-averse and afraid of a broken heart. Why else would she resist a more permanent attachment to someone like Adam?
Perhaps it’s because Adam as played by Kutcher is about as interesting as cabbage. And yet No Strings Attached would have us believe he’s some kind of floppy-haired Albert Schweitzer. This despite the fact that his greatest aspiration in life is to join the writing staff of a High School Musical-esque television series the shallow inanity of which is one of the film’s recurring jokes. In vain support of his cause the filmmakers decorate Adam’s apartment with various props – vintage posters books about 1920s movies a guitar that is occasionally picked up but never actually played – that hint at a depth that Kutcher himself never manifests.
Still Portman sells us on Adam and Emma’s inevitable union with every ounce of her not inconsiderable talent. (And her comic chops are legit – as those who’ve glimpsed her appearances on SNL and Funny or Die can attest.) But she asks too much. And Elizabeth Meriweather’s script while witty and stocked with some keen observations on the evolving nature of relationships in the modern age becomes weighed down by sentiment unbecoming an R-rated comedy not directed by Judd Apatow. In the end Kutcher seals the increasingly contrived deal with the climactic line “I’m warning you: Come one step closer and I’m never letting you go ” (I’m paraphrasing but not loosely) by which time the film's already lost its grip.