Athima Chansanchai writes: You know that feeling when you ride a bike for the first time? When the training wheels come off and suddenly you’re free, experiencing the high of balance and forward momentum?
Thanks to last night’s “Almost Grown,” we’re glad to say “Grey’s Anatomy” has also kicked off the training wheels for our fourth-year residents.
We still expect them to wipe out every once in awhile, but for now, they’re showing us they’re finally emerging out of their prolonged adolescence and becoming adults. This was the first episode this season to make us feel like that, and that they’re finally finding some kind of new normal post-finale-shooting.
For one day, Richard has promoted the fourth-years to attendings, allowing them to temporarily don the dark blue scrubs and letting them call the shots and do the cutting. It’s not just an exercise for them; Richard wants each of his attendings to focus on competing for $1 million and make a case for each of their departments.
“If you get in over your head, cry uncle,” he tells Meredith, Cristina, April, Avery and Alex. But until then, they’re on their own.
Well, sort of. The attendings still hover, protective of their patients and unwilling to let go entirely of their teaching responsibilities, which is good since it’s only a day. But we all know how much can happen at Seattle Grace in a day.
“Pray, people,” Richard says. “We want God in the building today.”
Luckily, the big guy stays with all of our people. No one dies!
The attendings engage in Richard’s dogfights, with Callie using her gameface and skillfully psyching out her peers – even her girlfriend, who doesn’t think anyone can say no to the tiny humans. Most sabotage themselves. Teddy calls Shepherd a charismatic cult leader and still harbors a grudge for him almost letting her go; Arizona leaks tiny rage and both Mark and Callie take sexual tangents. Even Bailey can’t pass the Chief’s inspiration threshold, even though she makes the most sense to cover the basics.
Eventually, it’s Owen who wins the competition. He pulls out the Charles Percy/Miranda card for disaster training that could have saved the Mercy Wester’s life. Derek eyes him a little warily, realizing neuro is no longer king of the surgeons, even after he pulled the Meredith/Ellis Alzheimer’s card to try to sway Richard his way.
Amongst our newly two-wheel mobile crew, Alex gets the hand-off from Mark and Arizona to do a breast reduction on a 13-year-old boy; Meredith fixes a brain bleed with help from her sister (Neuro Shepherds part deux); and Cristina shakes her sourpuss disposition and digs within herself to successfully fight for her patient to be on a transplant list.
Our Seattle Gracers do good – great, actually – with Alex showing consistency in being able to translate his rough honesty into effective medicine and patient persuasion.
Even Lexie does well, using her Lexiepedia memory to great effect to reassure concerned (if not kind of condescending) patients.
The Mercy Westers, on the other hand, aren’t quite ready for the big show. Avery makes a mistake during surgery (not fatal, at least) and April flubs up in front of the transplant panel.
That’s ok. It’d be weird if all the kids got it right the first time. But you have to resist helping and let go of the handlebars, let them fall. And get back up.
You can watch the entire episode here.