Grey’s Anatomy: ‘I Bet It Stung’ Hurts So Good
By Lisa Casas (@queenofmynerds)
Grey’s latest episode ‘I Bet It Stung’ is a study in how this franchise has kept going year after year, managing strong ratings, all the while adding layer after layer to our favorites and introducing new characters we eventually come to love.
Just last week, I was longing for the good ol’ Grey’s of years past and lamenting that the interns were all blending together in a nameless, faceless vanilla ice cream slush. Well, darn, if Shonda Rhimes didn’t complete some writing surgery and give the interns much needed personality transplants.
The episode begins with Meredith’s voice over introducing this week’s theme – can we have it all? Can a working mother of two be a top notch surgeon and a caring mom organizing princess tea parties? We are about to partake in Meredith’s journey where she spends much of the episode trying to show that yes, in fact, we can.
Cristina Yang receives word that her heart/liver transplant patient is getting the organs she’s been waiting for. Meredith wants in. She says the liver is hers. These two are almost giddy with Meredith ready to get back to it, maternity leave over. The moment is put on hold when Yang notices Meredith grabbing her chest. “You’re holding your boobs,” says Yang. “But were having a moment,” protests Meredith. “Mer, your boobs are exploding. Go pump.”
Meanwhile, Jo is treating Alex’s drug addicted, long lost dad, Jimmy. He flirts with her and in those few minutes Jo decides that Alex and his dad need to make up. Oh, Jo, don’t you know the best way to kill a new relationship is to get into family drama that was happening probably before you were born. She pushes on with her puppy dog eyes (Alex hilariously calls it a dog face) and tells him she never met her father and made up all kinds of stories about the dad she wished she had. Alex isn’t hearing it. He says the last time he saw his dad’s face he was punching it and has no desire to return to that. The contrast of the harsh words he’s spewing out with his tender actions of caring for a sick baby remind us why we love Alex Karev. Let’s hope the writers give him a meaty storyline this season to add even more layers to the man who doesn’t age.
Intern Stephanie becomes an actual character in this episode, showing more personality than she did all last season, and, I can’t believe I’m saying this, I like her. She is now officially Stephanie, not just Jackson Avery’s kinda girlfriend. In the ridiculously funny storyline of the week, Stephanie gets a patient with a swollen penis. Well, swollen may be a bit of an understatement. She says it’s the biggest penis she’s ever seen, adding that she’s seen a lot. At first the patient says he was making a honey sandwich, a peanut butter and honey sandwich. He says honey spilled on HIS little honey attracting the bees, and you get the picture. Later it’s revealed by his wife that he stuck his penis in a hornet’s nest and, apparently, it’s not the first time. She says he likes a little pain with his pleasure, adding that it’s just one thing about him, and he’s made up of so many other things. Don’t know if I have the stomach for all the other things. In an episode all about compromise, this woman has obviously compromised, taking the good with the unusual and making the best of it.
Stephanie’s other storyline shows her facing the wrath of Catherine Avery, meeting it head on, chewing it up and spitting it out. This girl grew some major cahonas over the week. She’s making out with Jackson when Mama Avery walks in. If looks could kill… She spends much of the episode nervously mumbling around her boyfriend’s intimidating mother trying to figure out what to do after being found in such a compromising position. At the end of the hour, she’s at Joe’s, and decides to confront Avery’s mom woman to woman. She slinks into Catherine’s booth and tells her she is a self-respecting woman with five hundred more things to know about her besides what the older doctor saw today. Catherine is obviously impressed and asks her to stay when Jackson arrives.
Callie and Owen are stuck handling the prerequisite sad storyline of the week. A risk taking woman with a seeming death wish is brought in. Her sister reveals that their parents had her as a “donor baby” to save her older sister. The storyline doesn’t bring us to our knees with tears, but it serves as an impetus to help Callie get her groove back. After lecturing the younger sister that she doesn’t have to be spare parts for her sister, she can say no, Callie is dancing, jamming out, carefree and not self conscious at all in her underwear. You go girl!
Near the end of the episode, Karev tells Jo to drop the whole dad thing and NEVER speak to him about it again. He can’t catch a break and ends up alone on the same elevator with his father. Alex eyeballs his dad not saying a word, the tension so thick you can feel it in your living room. Justin Chambers, you don’t need to say one word. You convey hurt, tortured soul as well as anyone else has in nine years of Grey’s.
In an unexpected turn of events, Meredith ends up not getting to do the sexy heart/liver surgery with her person, Cristina Yang. Cristina ditches her when Meredith is called away by Zola’s daycare. Mer’s daughter cut her head on a slide and needs stitches. By the time Meredith returns, Yang’s replaced her with Bailey. In a scene that ponders Meredith’s original question of whether you can have it all, Cristina tells Meredith that she has different priorities. In her role as shark, or rather hornet, Yang tells her friend that she’s not as good a surgeon as her. Ouch, I bet that stung. It’s a painful scene where Meredith has to hear that she’s “let up” as a surgeon. She’s made choices and is in a very different place than Yang.
By episode’s end, Meredith realizes that she has to compromise and something has to give. She doesn’t want to choose between mother and surgeon; she wants both. She comes to the realization that she can have it all, but maybe not at the “all in” level she’s used to. She knows giving a hundred percent may not be possible, and she seems okay with it. Not a whole lot happens in this episode, but it is strangely satisfying. We get to know a couple of the interns in a much deeper way, dare I say, actually caring about them, and even after nine years, we are still getting to know our original favorites. Yes, the Grey’s machine is alive and well as seen in this episode proving that we, too, can have it all.
- Callie calls Meredith her sister wife.
- Catherine Avery has more Yangisms than Cristina this eppy. One of her best, “Well, I find that men often put their penises in places that they don’t belong.”
- Weber is doing much better with Catherine and Bailey hanging over him like two protective mother hens about to smother their young.
- Arizona fears she may have bedded intern Heather last week after her drunken fun In the closet with April. She didn’t, but the interaction between the two endears Heather to both Arizona and the viewers. Long haired Mousy gets a voice…and a name we can remember.
- Jo gets Alex’s dad a 28 day stint in rehab, but he refuses saying he can’t let anyone else down. “That’s how you lose your family,” he tells her, eyes full of raw emotion. We’d forgive you of your past sins, Jimmy, if we didn’t love Karev so much.