October 14th, 2011
03:28 PM ET
After the requisite Seattle skyline shot(s), last night's "Grey's Anatomy" opened with Meredith folding baby Zola's clothes, partly because it gives her comfort, and partly because she knows that by the time she and Derek get the little girl back - IF they get her back - she'll have long outgrown them.
"The human body is designed to compensate for loss," says Meredith. "It adapts; so it no longer needs the thing it can't have. But sometimes the loss is too great and the body can't compensate on its own. That's when surgeons get involved."
Lexie breezes through the house, luggage in tow, to deliver her scant few lines in this episode. Seriously, where has Lexie been? Are the writers waiting for her bad-choice bangs to grow out before they give her story lines again?
Apparently Jackson doesn't want to subject Lexie to the scrutiny of his toxic, meddling, boundary-less mother. A famous surgeon - just like Meredith's mother - Ellis Grey and Catherine Avery weren't so much mothers, Meredith interjects, but "surgeons who procreated."
While Meredith and Derek are coping with the separation from Zola, Ryan, a 28-year-old patient at Seattle Grace Mercy West, is coping with another loss - that of his penis.
Dr. Catherine Avery, played by the fabulous Debbie Allen in a guest Emmy nomination-worthy performance, is the world-renowned urologist who wants to select a few residents to perform the country's first penis transplant.
When the residents practice on raw chicken vessels, Catherine nearly dismisses Kepner as "too tense," telling her "this isn't wood shop," and sparing us (or not?) the obvious off-color wood shop/penis-related joke.
When Karev's pager goes off during the residents' chicken vein practice penis surgery, we learn that he and Arizona are the only ones privy to the fact that Zola is having a seizure, and if Meredith and Derek get involve it could further botch their nearly railroaded adoption proceedings.
Ryan, meanwhile, is getting his pre-op brief from Katherine, Meredith, and Jackson... but... his big brother Chad is waaaay more concerned with Ryan's new penis than Ryan is. He wants to know all about size and function.
Not that "Grey's" has ever been called "realistic" (Ghost of Denny Duquette, anyone?), but Katherine's being able to tell that chief resident April Kepner was a virgin was a bit of a stretch. In the words of Jerry Seinfeld, "It's not like spotting a toupee."
And so last night's episode focused on loss and fear of loss: Ryan and his penis, Meredith and Derek possibly losing Zola, Meredith losing out on specializing in neurosurgery in order to save her family (and Derek's sanity); Arizona's fear of losing baby Sophie to the child's natural parents - her wife Callie and Mark Sloan.
And the subtle, but powerful, scene with Owen broke my heart as he watched Cristina play with and care for baby Zola so naturally and lovingly, then left the room because he couldn't take it, recalling Cristina's recent abortion. In a lighter, but still poignant storyline, Miranda faces the loss of both her boyfriends - Eli the male nurse and Dr. Ben Warren.
And how cute is it when later that night at Joe's Bar, Catherine plays matchmaker and arranges to have a drink sent to Ryan - a first post-penis surgery cocktail, if you will - compliments of Kepner?
"We're so hopeful at the beginning of things," says Meredith in her voice over closing. "It seems like there's only a world to be gained - not lost. They say the inability to accept loss is a form of insanity. It's probably true, but sometimes it's the only way to stay alive."
What did you think of last night's "Grey's?" Let's talk about it in the comments section.
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