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Grey's Anatomy: Death Is Everywhere

If you haven’t kept up with your Grey’s Anatomy watercooler chitchat then you’ve missed some major news. Just when Callica was starting to make some headway in the relationship department, they’ve been ripped right out of the GA script pages. (At least Erica Hahn X-ed.)

It was as much news to Brooke Smith as it was for the viewers who heard whispers last week that Hahn would be leaving Seattle Grace. With a surprise visit from Denny Duquette (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) as well, I was wondering how this unexpected entrance and exit would play out.

Gone was the flighty fun for which Grey’s is so well-known. This episode had everything from a dying true love to Izzie seeing dead people to withering new relationships to an abundance of unclaimed cadavers. In short, there was a lot more gloom and much fewer laughs this episode.

The central focus was on Izzie and Hahn. Izzie was one of the residents to aid in a procedure that would buy one of Hahn’s long-time heart failure patients a little more time on earth. Things start getting creepy when Izzie realizes that this is the patient from whom she stole a heart for Denny in the season two episode “Deterioration of the Fight or Flight Response.” It’s crazy to think we’ve been on this roller coaster of love for so long. Izzie finds it hard to deal with her feelings of guilt, at having to face the patient who might be a healthy man today if she had done things differently, and the remorse she feels for her lost fianc√©. It doesn’t make matters easier when he’s put in the same room where Denny passed away.

Denny appears everywhere, haunting her from beyond the grave. He doesn’t say much, but with those caring eyes and that soulful smile, he says enough. Hahn is infuriated when she finds out what Izzie did and that the Chief didn’t reprimand her or Bailey, her after-the-fact accomplice. She’s so enraged to the point that she wants them put before a judicial board and the hospital’s transplant capabilities revoked. Apparently, someone, anyone has to pay even if it doesn’t help her patient in the slightest.

It becomes clear as the episode unfolds that these two characters are being pushed to their professional and personal brinks, and it all makes sense how Denny’s appearance and Hahn’s exit work in tandem. Denny appears to give Izzie a chance to move on with her life when she finds the strength to help the patient fight through his hard procedure, and Hahn is so fed up with how the Seattle Grace is run that she can’t continue working there or dealing with her up and down relationship with Callie. As she says, “There is no gray area here. You can’t kind of think this is okay. You can’t kind of side with Izzie Stevens, and you can’t kind of be a lesbian…I don’t know you at all.”

This was an incredibly abrupt exit, and Hahn may have gotten a little short-changed since she didn’t seem like the type to go out without a fight, but truthfully, her character was never likeable. And the moments we started to like her and understand her, her relationship started to annoy us (not the lesbian part but the “we suck at this relationship stuff” part.) Due to the writing, it was always a lose-lose battle for Brooke Smith.

WHAT ARE OUR OTHER FAVORITE DOCS UP TO?

Hunt chews out Cristina, nitpicking at every little thing she does and says regarding their patient. When he breaks the final straw by professing his disappointment that she doesn’t even remember her patient’s name, she tells him a story of watching her father die and feeling his heartbeat stop. It’s emotional but also subtle. This is the reason she’s a great doctor, and she proves to him that she does know her patient’s name. Hunt, finally, sees her in the way he saw her the first time they met. One step towards lovemaking at a time, right?

Lexie proclaims that Cristina never teaches her interns anything and goes so far as to “claim” a ton of cadavers for their medical education. She really has become the leader of the interns.

Bailey and Derek see, first-hand, what non-dysfunctional love really looks like, making Bailey wonder about how far marriage counseling will really take her and Tuck. It’s the typical tearjerker storyline that only Chandra Wilson can do with such grace, dignity and truth. It’s never over-played and always gets you where it hurts.

George uses every medical procedure known to man to save Robo-patient Stan, a computerized surgical model. The tiny, endearing amount of comic relief the episode has is put mostly on this storyline, but the episode needed some kind of respite.

Also leaving us with some laughs is Sloan, who at the behest of Derek, attempts to woo Cristina and separate Meredith from her partner in crime. Now that Momma Grey’s boundless journals have been uncovered, Meredith and Cristina spend their evenings gushing over them during late night phone calls. Derek starts to miss some Mer-Der time of his own or just a little sleep. While Sloan is so unsuccessful it hurts, Derek accepts that Cristina will always come with Meredith. They’re a sardonic two-some.

Quotables:

“They’re like the Harry Potter books I never had.” – Cristina

“Your bedside manner is what sucks.” – Stan to Alex

“Bow to me. I am the queen of the interns. I’ve assembled an army of the dead to teach us things.” – Lexie

Season 5, Episode 7: Rise Up (originally aired November, 6, 2008)

Don’t agree with Inisia?¬† Read I’m Crying Again! by Tanya Lane here.

For more on Grey’s Anatomy, click here.

Thursdays 9/8c on ABC
Photographs courtesy of ABC

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