S8E2: Last week Grey's Anatomy left viewers on quite a somber (and rather bold) note with Cristina actually following through with an abortion, with Owen by her side for support. The bright side is that it looks like their relationship is going to survive this rather depressing and controversial setback, even though right now things are a little awkward in the aftermath of everything. I'm not sure if the same can be said for Derek and Meredith. I admit, I was originally a huge Derek-Meredith (Deredith?) fan in the past, but now I feel like this dead horse has potentially taken its final beating. With Zola gone -- for the time being at least -- the two of them are left trying to deal with the sadness of her departure, while wondering if their marriage can survive this whole ordeal. So with one relationship salvaged and the other one still on shaky ground, you have to wonder what kind of future Shonda Rhimes has in store for our veteran doctors.
To switch over to the actual medical side of the show, April continues to struggle with her new role as Chief Resident, which isn't all that shocking since she really didn't receive much guidance or make any improvements during the first episode. (Where's a Dr. Bailey speech when you need one?) But she ends up making some strides in this episode, so there may be hope for her after all. In other news, the fifth-year residents are all put to the test as they receive their first solo surgery assignments, but there's really no need for them to stress, right? It's only their entire career on the line. And then the Chief makes a decision that shocks everyone at Seattle Grace, although I think we all had a feeling this was coming.
"I will turn this meeting over to the new Chief of Surgery, Dr. Owen Hunt." – Dr. Richard Webber
The Chief of Surgery, Dr. Richard Weber calls a meeting for all attendings where he reminds them that the fifth-year residents will be having their solo surgeries today. He also slips in (as if it’s no big deal) that he is resigning from his Chief of Surgery position and will be replaced by Dr. Owen Hunt. Of course, everyone is shocked by this news, but who seems to take it especially hard is Bailey, who immediately puts on her “don’t mess with me” face. Apparently she still has a lot of resentment towards Meredith for setting all of this in motion. Owen tries to win her over throughout the entire episode, but knowing Bailey, she'll come around when she's good and ready.
All of the residents continue to walk all over April and still don’t seem to be taking her new role as Chief Resident seriously. She assigns each of them days to lead a skills lab, but none of them are willing to do it, so she’s forced to cover it for the day. She also gets stuck playing the role of an intern during Alex Karev’s solo surgery. He seems to have gone back to his Jerk-Alex phase and continually snaps at April for trying to make him talk to the patients in a nice, comforting way. The nerve!
"It's not just life or death April. It could be our careers." - Cristina
All of the fifth year residents are concerned about their solo surgeries since it could affect their entire careers if they mess up. This is their chance to prove themselves, so what better way to practice their procedures than on a dead pig? Meredith and Derek haven’t heard anything back yet from the social worker, so things are still very tense between the two of them. To add even more tension to matters, Meredith’s solo surgery is an aneurism, so that means she’s stuck working with Derek. Nothing like a little marital tension in the O.R. to calm the nerves and keep your hand steady.
Teddy is still on kick to get Cristina to demonstrate that she has a firm grasp of “the basics” so she’s forced to remove on appendix. It seems simple enough given all the others complicated surgeries she’s performed in the past. There's only one problem though – it’s been so long since she’s done one that she can’t remember how to do it. She tries to cheat by using members from the skills lab to remember how to do it, but when it comes down to the actual surgery, she confesses to Teddy that she doesn’t know the next step. So, after Teddy gets done scolding her for not knowing such a simple procedure, we find out that Teddy can’t remember what to do next either, so a nurse ends up having to walk them through the steps.
Callie and April bond at the white board about their failed attempts at being Chief Resident. Callie’s words of advice to April are that she needs to be the person they come to, not run away from. Being Chief isn’t about being liked, but they need to respect her and do what she says. And the advice seems to help since she has a little heart-to-heart with Alex before his bowel resection surgery and realizes that he’s really nervous about performing his first solo surgery and that’s where all the animosity is coming from. She reassures him that he’ll do great and even though the surgery ends up not being very successful, she still manages to give him a little inspiring speech that seems to help. Maybe she can do this job after all.
“I think you should do the surgery because we’re not a team right now.” – Meredith
The other residents are hard at work on their surgeries. Meredith wants to use a larger clip than Derek thinks is necessary, so he commands her to pick a different size clip even though it’s supposed to be her surgery where she’s fully in charge. She insists that he trust her and continues to use the clip that she chose. The surgery is completely successful, but instead of being happy for her, Derek remains upset and when everyone starts applauding her success, Derek only joins in half-heartedly. He seems to have turned into McGrouchy.
Jackson Avery ends up not completing his surgery at all. He wants to do a cleft palate surgery a certain way, but Arizona doesn’t agree with his method and wants Mark Sloane to do it. He ends up performing one on the dead pig, which momentarily convinces her to let him take the reins and do things his way, but that doesn’t last very long. Right before he starts she goes into a long speech about how he’s responsible for this child’s future. If he messes up then he could be teased at school, not go to the prom, not get a girl, etc. It freaks him out so much that he ends up having McSteamy take over for him after all. I think it was a low blow on Arizona’s part. He proved himself to be a great surgeon when he was “The Gunther” during the last episode, so she should’ve had more faith in him. So since Avery lost in his surgery performance by forfeit, April decided that a fun way to decide who would run the next skills lab would be whoever falls short in their surgery duties, so that means it’s Jackson’s turn. Nothing like a little competition to motivate this crowd.
“You are one of the best people on this team and I just want to make sure I have you on my side.” – Dr. Owen Hunt
Cristina and Owen start to have an actual, real conversation (finally) since they’ve been nothing but awkward around each other since she had the abortion. They start to talk, but then have to run to the bathroom because they both ate bad Chinese food. They actually end up bonding while lying out by the toilet and throwing up. I think these two are back on track to being a happy, loving, married couple again. Who knew a bathroom could be so romantic?
Meredith and Derek have a little talk of their own. Meredith tells him that they shouldn’t have been in surgery together today with all the hostility going on between them. They aren’t acting like a team. He yells at her and states that she never suffers any consequences (which she doesn’t) and he can’t trust her at work anymore. She ended his trail, set back his career, destroyed Richard’s career, and almost ended her own. Just to name a few things. But he points to their framed post-it and says that he hasn’t left her because he meant what he wrote on there about loving her even when he hates her. So Meredith decides that their problem is that they just can’t work together anymore. If they want to stay together with or without Zola, then she needs to remove herself from his service. That will be her consequence for everything that she’s done. Let’s hope this new arrangement will help matters or this epic romance might be over with…for good.