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Grey’s Anatomy’s “Thriller” was a Perfect Halloween Treat

By on November 1, 2013
Patrick Dempsey

(ABC/Richard Cartwright) PATRICK DEMPSEY

By Lisa Casas (@Queenofmynerds)

Grey’s Anatomy’s Halloween episode “Thriller” was sweet and strange and weird and perfect for a night of ghouls, ghosts, and trick or treating.

Grey’s even jumped on The Walking Dead bandwagon (hopefully, not the shark) and included zombies for the first time ever.  Well, not those real zombies on Dead, but fake zombies that can be as scary as the real thing.

The episode began with a “what the heck” moment almost Lost worthy.  Leah is waking up in Arizona’s bed.  Is this some kind of flash to another dimension?  Nope.  They slept together. Arizona, did you forget that you love Callie, that you want her back? Leah is all awkward and uncomfortable.  She walks out in a “rush of shame” that makes me somehow like her so much more.  Her vulnerability in this episode is making me commit her name to memory and stop calling her Heather or Mousy.  Heather is dead, Leah lives.  Got it.

The first scene with Alex and Meredith confirms that he is not over the whole ‘my dad is an ass and doesn’t care about me at all’ from last episode.  When Meredith asks if he got everything ready for Halloween since they’re coming over with Zola and having a small party, he replies that he got the keg.  Typical season two Alex. He’s on a downward slide, the only thing missing is the hoodie.

Cristina finds out about Meredith’s little get together and the banter between these two best friends is so uncomfortable.  Meredith says Cristina should come; she should have invited her. These two used to finish each other’s sentences.  “You complete me,” was part of their schtick.  Now, they can barely wrangle up a sentence to say to the other.  Sandra Oh is leaving after this season, so could this be Shonda Rhimes’ way to wean us off Yang, and make the loss more bearable? What am I saying?  This is the woman who let Mark Sloane survive the plane crash only to kill him off the beginning of the next season.  Meredith and Cristina breaking up must be part of a bigger plan.  We can only hope Yang has a send off worthy of the incredible character she’s become over the past nine seasons.  For now, it just shows us that Calzona isn’t the only relationship on ice.

Intern Stephanie shows up looking great in spite of the birth control glasses/goggles she’s sporting.  Oh wait, that’s Jackson on her arm making her look like a supermodel.  The new glasses are a result of the lasik surgery she’s just had.  Most of the episode is spent with her running into walls and doubting her decision to mess with her eyes.  Note to Steph – the eyes are kinda necessary if you’re going to be a surgeon.

Callie and Arizona continue their bickering, this time arguing about what their daughter Sophia will be for Halloween.  The acting is almost too good; they are making us forget that they ever loved each other.  Callie gives in and says Arizona can take their girl trick or treating.  She’s done arguing, for now.

Bailey’s husband Ben shows up proclaiming that Halloween is the best holiday ever!  He’s so cute and enthused, you can’t help but fall in love a little.  Bailey seems less than impressed.  She’s completely focused on Webber’s recovery, and doesn’t have time for any costume ridiculousness.  Bailey, you’re going to be light one husband if you don’t loosen up and invest a little in this relationship.



In a ‘perfect for Halloween’ storyline of the night, a victim comes in with a good chunk of his face missing.  Apparently, a zombie tried to snack on his cheek.  You would think this was the “gross out” moment from this episode of Grey’s, but no, it gets better.  Right after zombie victim is wheeled in, the zombie perpetrator comes in with crazy eyes .  The victim spends most of the night worrying that he is going to turn into a zombie. The attacking zombie is not a zombie at all but a guy who’s been shot.  As Leah tries to treat him, he decides he may be a zombie after all and bites her neck in a vicious attack.  Leah recovers but is left wondering with Stephanie if she’s got HIV.  Stephanie worries that she’s going blind from the lasik.  Both women decide they are screwed.  “So screwed.”  This is how Meredith and Cristina are supposed to be.  Don’t tell me Stephanie and Leah are the new “it” couple on Grey’s.

Alex and Jo treat a cute kid in a witch costume brought in by her father.  This is another couple on the rocks; Jo keeps trying to talk to Alex, but his monosyllabic responses stop her dead (pardon the Halloween pun).  Alex let’s her know it’s all business between the two, focusing on the sick patient. This little girl picked up some rare disease while out of the country that affects her adrenaline production, and she could literally be scared to death. Apparently, going to Brazil can be hazardous to your health, and I’m not talking about the heart attacks that can occur from the hoards of Gisele Bundchen lookalikes.  And FYI, dad let her watch a scary movie the night before.  Way to go dad.  Didn’t you think of this killer Brazilian illness?

Now, the gross out scene of the night is one of Grey’s most disgusting, ever.  A mom is brought in by her grown up son; he’s concerned about her leg hurting and wants to get it checked out.  The mom clings to her son a little too closely, and you can tell the son has never had a date in his life.  Well, unless you count mom.  When the dressing on her leg is peeled back, a bevy of squirming maggots are swimming in a disgusting wound of red flesh and pus.  That Halloween candy is coming up just thinking about it.  Maggot mom needs surgery now, but all she wants is to leave.  Meredith uses her newfound ninja mom skills to talk the lady into the OR and into getting all that disgustingness removed.

Intern Shane had the kleenex moment of the night.  He treats a creepy old lady who looks like she could be the zombie perpetrator’s mom.  She’s got one blue eye and one brown.  If that doesn’t say possession, I don’t know what does.  She keeps asking for Dr. Heather Brooks. She will ONLY see Dr. Brooks.  Shane doesn’t come clean and tell her that he killed Heather in the first episode.  Instead, he lets her roam the hospital almost scaring that little girl who has the Brazilian scaredy cat disease to death.  Finally, he admits that Heather is dead.  He realizes that Brooks was trying to help this lady, offering her free treatment and free medicine for her asthma.  He tells her, “When you run out, you find me.  I’ll be your doctor now.”  When the lady asks if he’s as good as she was, he replies, “No, but I will be.” It’s good to see Shane isn’t 100% shark .

Richard Webber is back, and he is definitely 100% shark.  Webber wants one of the 2nd year interns to perform his surgery, telling Bailey he only feels a sense of purpose when he’s teaching.  He tasks Bailey with picking the intern for the job.  When she says none of them can do it, none are ready, Richard fires her from overseeing his care.  The mean Richard who  berated Meredith a couple of episodes back seems to be here to stay as he tells Bailey she’s off his case.  He tells her to walk out.  The look on her face speaks volumes. She’s shocked devastated. How can he be doing this after all she’s invested in seeing that he lives?   He doesn’t skip a beat when he calls for Meredith and tells her she’s now in charge of his care.  He apologizes for his past behavior saying he does have a reason to live, and she must pick an intern to do his surgery.  Meredith’s face says that all she wants is to get home with Zola and Derek and maybe attack that waiting keg.  Instead, she takes on the task and quickly picks Jo by default when Shane was busy with Heather’s former patient.

Jo tries to get Alex help from Meredith, but she’s not biting.  She tells Jo, “My plate is full.  I can’t handle a broken Alex right now.  You can do it.”  Meredith realizes having career and family requires some sacrifices.  Friendships might be one of the casualties.

At the Halloween party, Cristina decides to make an appearance, cupcakes in hand.  She walks in and sees a Norman Rockwell portrait of family happiness.  Zola prancing around in her fairy wings with Meredith and Derek doting over her, Calzona taking a break from the fighting to enjoy their daughter.  Yang isn’t even noticed.  She is the outsider looking in.  She sets down the cupcakes without a word, turns, and leaves.  Cristina knows she doesn’t fit into this equation.  My heart is breaking.

The episode’s final scene has Jo showing up in full Tinkerbell outfit knocking on Alex’s door.  He answers and she launches into an “I’m stupid for the whole dad thing, but you have to give me another chance” speech.  He stares at he for a couple of seconds before letting her in saying, “Get in here before the trick or treaters think I’m home.”  Aw, Jolex is getting another chance.

This episode was Halloween silliness personified, but cute, spooky, and enjoyable nonetheless.  It served to move along a couple of important plot points and made us ready to face whatever tragedies are coming our way (and you know they are a comin’).  Weber is back kicking ass and taking names; Leah actually has a name and an interesting character to go along; Meredith and Cristina broke up; Calzona may end up being civil to each other; and Alex may get a little, teeny, tiny speck of happiness. Can’t wait to see where Shonda takes us in the weeks to come, but for now we’re left with a satisfying episode just right for a Halloween night of ghouls, ghosts, and gore.

 Random Notes

  • Meredith says they need “namebrand” candy. None of those Smarties or candy corn.  Truer words have never been spoken Mer.
  • Owen and Emma are over already.  He says he’s not “ready.”  But then he realizes it had been 15 minutes since he broke up with Cristina and calls Emma by episode’s end.  I guess we’re not through with the new girl.
  • Ben (Bailey’s husband) and Derek perform emergency surgery on Zola’s halloween costume – a set of ripped fairy wings.  It is cute the way the two dads are more worried about a child’s costume than any patient.  Ben later tells Bailey that he’s there because he quit his job; his family is more important.  The look on her face is a little tragic, like she has no idea how that feels.
  • Leah doesn’t have HIV or hepatitis, and she doesn’t turn into a zombie.  Whew!