S8E3: Grey's Anatomy has always been a female-centric show. The women tend to dominate a vast majority of the plot throughout the entire series -- I mean, it's even named after one of the lead female characters, Meredith Grey. Sure, the men get talked about and always seem to have things to say, but let's be honest, do the women ever really listen to them? Meredith has a hard time listening to anyone, let alone a specific gender and Cristina is a force unto herself that continues to put work before her husband, Owen, time and time again. It's not a bad thing, it’s just how the show tends to work. The guys are mostly meant to be seen and not heard (I'm looking at you McDreamy and McSteamy).
But all of that changes during this episode and we actually get to see things from their point of view. The title says it all: it's all about the men and I have to say, I was really loving all the male bonding. Derek is frustrated about Meredith; Avery is frustrated that Sloane won’t ever let him perform any surgeries; Ben is upset about Bailey having a new boyfriend; Owen is frustrated with some Chief of Surgery issues; and Sloane is worried because his baby isn’t crying. On top of all this, a crisis emerges at the hospital when a comic book convention goes awry. And here the men always say that women are the ones full of drama!
“There are distinctive differences between male and female brains.” – Derek
Things between Meredith and Derek are still lacking in just about everything but resentment. Apparently now they’re sleeping in the same bed, but they might as well be miles apart for all the good it’s doing their relationship. So Derek spends most of the episode either brooding about that or harping on Alex for being late to his surgery. Granted, Alex seems to be a little too concerned with how many hours he’s clocked in for particular surgeries and doesn’t really seem to be savoring the joy of saving lives, but after a little lesson from ex-Chief Richard Webber (I love that Alex keeps calling him Chief even though that’s not his title anymore -- adorable) he learns to take a step back and appreciate the work that he’s doing.
Meanwhile, Arizona and Callie leave the baby with Daddy Sloane while they go to a conference, so it’s just him and the baby. Everything is going well until the baby rolls off the couch, which causes an overprotective McSteamy to take her to the hospital for an unnecessary CT scan. The baby ends up being fine, but Sloane remains concerned about the fact that the baby has gone a long time without crying, so that must mean something is wrong. Nope, turns out he’s just a good father that makes his daughter very happy. Who knew?
“She said his hands had a kind of tenderness.” – Derek
A bunch of eccentric characters who suffered injuries due to a stampede at a comic book convention soon overtake Seattle Grace. So of course this means that the patients are in full-fledged comic costumes including: zombie nurse, Star Wars characters like Darth Vader, and a brave little man who told Karev that he was a hobbit. He develops a crush on April Kepner and even tries to be the hero when a patient tweeks out and becomes violent with the doctors. The guy ends up beating him with his own crutch and the hobbit needs surgery afterwards; but it’s the thought that counts, right? Owen -- who is now Chief of Surgery -- sees that the patient is out of control and immediate clocks him in the jaw. Problem solved.
Another guy even lost an ear after being run over at the convention. Luckily, they end up recovering the ear, but Sloane still is refusing to let Avery do anything but observe. He joins Webber in the skills lab to work on his stitching technique on some grapes (green grapes if you were curious). While they’re in there, Webber tells Karev and Avery that they need to “feel the joy” and embrace the obstacles they encounter. Alex first finds it to be a load of bull, but Avery sticks with it and continues to work on his grape.
Dr. Ben also returns in this episode and learns that Bailey has moved on with the hot male nurse, Eli. Derek accidently lets it slip while they are chatting by the nurses’ station. Shepherd even goes on to imply that they regularly make visits to the on-call room (wink, wink), which leaves Ben very jealous and upset. And they say girls are the gossipy ones.
“Feeling the joy yet?” – Richard Webber
One of the best parts about this episode is the fact that whenever one of the guys is feeling frustrated or upset, they head over to help Derek work on building his deck for his dream house, which was meant for him and Meredith. When Owen is asked to apologize for punching the out-of-control patient in the jaw (which he totally deserved), he's frustrated, so he goes over to Derek’s and hammers a few things to feel better. When Sloane continues to give Avery a hard time, Avery goes over to Derek’s to use the chain saw. When Ben needs an outlet to express his growing jealousy about Bailey’s new boyfriend, he goes over to Derek’s to help out too.
By the end, almost all of the guys (except Richard) end up at Derek’s construction site. Even Sloane shows up and accuses Derek of trying to steal Avery away from him. It turns out he's actually jealous and worried that Avery would choose to work with Derek rather than with him. And all this time we thought he truly hated him; just like a guy to keep that bottled-up.
In the end, all the guys end up doing more talking and less construction, but it's just such a perfect concept. Men don’t always like to express their emotions, so they find some other way to channel all those pentup feelings, normally by means of some outdoor activity. The deck ended up being a little crooked, so they shouldn’t trade in their scalpel for a hardhat anytime soon, but their male bonding session was rather cute and helped fans to realize that these guys deserve more face time in future episodes. They have more to offer than just pretty faces (although that definitely helps).