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Grey’s Anatomy “Man on the Moon” Review: Baby Trumps Sheep, Narrowly

By on December 6, 2013
(ABC/Richard Cartwright)


The last episode of Grey’s Anatomy left long standing relationships in such a state of turmoil, it seemed there would be no way back for some of them.  “Man on the Moon” shows there may be hope for some of our favorites while other couples look like they’ll remain D.O.A. This wasn’t a jaw dropping episode where we’re cursing the writers for playing with our emotions, but it was a strong one with moments of humor tempered with the feels we love from this show.  It was Meredith, Cristina, and Karev heavy, and you can’t really go wrong with that combo.  They are the triple threat we love the most.

The episode opens with Yang in bed with Shane showing what an overeager little thing he is.  He so wants to please, but he has all the charm of Eddie Haskell trying to make the moves on Mrs. Cleaver.  He says he wants to be graded an A + .  Leave it to Yang to give out a bedroom report card.

Back at the hospital, Yang is performing a high risk, innovative surgery on a sick baby. She created a 3-d printer conduit to be implanted in the baby and Shane looks at her with a little hero worship in his eyes.  All the doctors want to get in on this one and it’s standing room only when Yang and Karev perform the surgery.

Meredith and intern Stephanie have their own revolutionary surgery.  They’re going to implant a 3-d printer vein in a sheep.  No one is around to watch when they perform their surgery.  I guess sheep can’t hold a candle to sick baby.  Just doesn’t have the same appeal with sick baby trumping sheep every time.

Meanwhile, the Kepner/Matthew wedding is still moving forward with April’s three witches, I mean sisters, in town to throw her a shower. The sisters are all Kepner perkiness with their red hair, squeaky voices, and constant chatter although by episode’s end, we can picture them around a cauldron chanting something about double, double, toil and trouble.  They are April squared and not the kind of thing anyone should be exposed to for longer than 15 minute increments. They call April “Ducky”  but not in a cute, 80’s movie kind of way.  We find out later it’s short for ugly duckling. Kepner reluctantly takes her sisters on a tour of the hospital.  They meet Arizona and one sister immediately breaks the ice by saying she has a dog that lost a leg. “Every time I see him hopping around, I think that is real courage.” Oh, all your crazy neurosis makes such perfect sense now, April.


(ABC/Richard Cartwright)

Another family member making a return visit is Alex Karev’s deadbeat dad, Jimmy. The last time we saw him, Alex was punching him out.  Jimmy shows up at the hospital asking for Jo, saying he’s trying to get clean.  He collapses and Jo is on it.  When Jo tells Alex his father is back, we see all the pain of his childhood return.  He says, “Kick him out!” He rushes in Jimmy’s room and says get up and get out. Of course, it’s Alex we’re talking about, the peds surgeon who is always more bark than bite, so he can’t do it.  Later in the episode, we get a glimpse into what Alex went through as a child with this man.  As Jimmy detoxes, he hallucinates and seems to go back in time, yelling at little kid Alex and really chastising him.

Yang and Karev perform the groundbreaking surgery on the baby with the entire thing being live-streamed at Shane’s suggestion.  Things start to tank and Cristina has to pull the plug on the cameras leaving distraught parents wondering if they’ve done the right thing.  The baby’s in critical condition with Yang and Alex not sure if he will live.

Meredith and Stephanie have initial success with their sheep surgery.  Shane’s a real jerk about it telling Meredith, “You win. We lose.” He acts as if it’s a race and not a baby’s life he’s dealing with.  Shane has definitely turned into more of a shark than we could’ve ever imagined.

Bailey’ struggles continue with Owen benching her from surgeries until her OCD is under control. He’s assigned a mental health specialist to shadow her taking note of all her OCD tendencies.  Bailey spends the day trying to convince this woman that she’s fine and needs to return to surgeries. When her little shadow assigns Bailey to do five sutures without demonstrating any OCD symptoms, Bailey begins to realize that all may not be well.  Richard Webber, who’s been released from the hospital, shows up bored out of his mind at home.  He takes Bailey under his wing, again, and convinces her that she needs help.  Webber says he’s an alcoholic that’s why he’s not home. When he’s bored he wants a drink. He tells her he has a disease that can’t be cured.  “Accept that you have a disease. Accept help,” he tells her.  Bailey grabs the pills prescribed to her and takes them.  Recovery through medication.  We’ll accept it if it means we’re getting the old Bailey back.


(ABC/Richard Cartwright)

In a twist of fate, Meredith’s sheep dies while Yang and Karev’s baby improves.  Meredith takes it in stride encouraging Stephanie and saying they’re not giving up.  Progress takes time and many failures.  Meredith talks to Yang and we feel like this actually may be the big makeup scene we’ve all been waiting for.  Meredith questions her former best friend, asking if she thinks Ross is different. “He doesn’t seem like the same guy who delivered my baby. He’s aggressive and mean. Do you think he’s trying to be like you?” Ouch!  Yang asks, “Are you saying I’m mean?”  They argue and the point is made that these two are in completely different places on the life spectrum. I just don’t see them ever making it back to being each other’s person. I guess it’s a necessary separation given Sandra Oh’s exit at the end of this season, but it’s sad nonetheless. Yang has the line of the night and tells Mer, “His focus is on being a doctor not a flight attendant.” Play nice, girls and just kiss and make up.

Jimmy is having a hard time with his hallucinations.  At one point he gets up and slams Jo against a wall.  Alex shows up pinning his dad against a wall and yelling at Jo to leave. He looks like he’s ready to kill.  He puts him in bed instead asking Jo if she’s okay.  “I started running interference with him since I was six. It’s like riding a bike,” he explains.  Karev, please get some happiness and make it snappy.  If anyone deserves it, this man does.

April’s shower is the funny disaster we imagined it would be. She finally blows, really letting her sisters have it. She tells them to quit calling her “Ducky.”  She says she’s not an ugly duckling anymore; she’s a swan, a surgeon, a kick ass surgeon. She also throws in that she’s had sex before.  She tells them she’s ditching all of them for Meredith, Arizona, and Cristina. These are her people now. April is the next shark?

The final scene shows Alex checking on his dad.  Jimmy is mumbling something. Alex knows these words. The elder Karev says, “Get your ass in the car before I give you something to cry about.”  Alex is saying those those words in unison with his dad.  Heartbreaking.

This episode continued this season’s trend of weaving the story lines of series’ originals with the latest batch of interns.  The focus was on our old reliables with Bailey and Webber on the road to recovery. Calzona showing signs of life.  Meredith and Yang continuing to struggle and growing farther apart.  New pairings were strengthened with Shang circling the water looking their latest victims while Jo and Alex didn’t let the re-appearance of Alex’s father tear them apart.  I’ve heard grumblings that Grey’s has gone on for too long and it’s outstayed its welcome.  I can’t agree.  As long as the writers keep me caring about these characters, as long as I reach for a Kleenex once an episode, and as long as the story telling has me Googling for spoilers, I’ll be coming back each week.


Random Notes

  •  Jackson and Matthew have to work together to save a victim with Matthew performing an emergency tracheotomy. Jackson is less than thrilled with the cut because apparently being the hotter dude is not enough for him.
  • Derek implanted brain sensors in a super grumpy patient. He doesn’t give up and finally sees success when she can move a robotic arm to touch her husband.  It’s one of the touching moments of the night (that Kleenex reaching one).
  • Yang and Ross do a happy dance complete with little kicks when the baby takes a turn for the better.  It’s cute, but I can’t picture these two sharks having a choreographed dance.
  • Calzona’s struggling throughout the episode with Callie irritated with Arizona. Near the end of the eppy, they are arguing, really going at it.  In the throes of their yelling, they kiss. “Talking may be the problem,” says Callie. They smile and kiss some more. Marriage counseling through less communication.  Sounds promising.