This week is a bad one for children at Seattle Grace -- well, ultimately good for most of them, but bad that they are all patients to begin with. Hunt pages Callie in the middle of the night to help treat a teenage girl who, while tripping on mushrooms, fell off the roof of her house and broke 52 bones. Okay, so technically it's 52 breaks, so I suppose that some could be bones with multiple fractures but the bottom line is, she's a sack of twigs now. She's also a complete pill, as the docs witness her talking back to her parents when they find out about the mushroom component of the fall. She brags about how she's the perfect child except for this, and so they should be happy, and once in surgery, Cristina admits that she could get away with doing or saying almost anything since she was also a crazy high achiever and perfect student. Avery seems to like this since he was the same way, and he likes it even more when in the middle of surgery, Cristina goes against protocol and Hunt's direct order to take care of a cardiac complication. Hunt goes ballistic, but Avery finds it so hot that he gets drunk and tries to make out with her. She's so mad at Hunt and her ego is so stoked that she's into it for half a second, but then decides better of it -- you see, Meredith earlier said he might have a point to be mad and that also his being mad proves he loves her. Cristina seems to really absorb this, and so she goes to talk to him and actually apologizes, and they go home together.
Avery isn't the only one with a thing for their merger buddy -- as set up last week, Reed has the hots for Alex. He's still upset about the Izzie situation, which goes from bad to worse when the Chief gives him her outstanding $200,000 hospital bill since no one can reach her. His patient is a preemie who he expects to die, but between the baby's mother freaking out at the idea that she could die before she's ever held (Mom has just had her own surgery and can't be moved to see her baby) and Alex having essentially nothing left, he's moved to pick up the tiny baby once he's alone. Bailey finds him and realizes that his touch is helping the baby's vitals, and has him take off his shirt so he can give skin-to-skin contact. I promise this is an actual medical thing -- Kangaroo Care -- but it's also a good excuse to get Alex out of his shirt and send Reed (and I'm sure a good amount of the viewing audience) all aflutter. By the end of the day, when Alex is out of fight and admits he's got control over nothing but sitting there and holding the baby, he seems to allow Reed to sit with him for a little while.
But the main story of the hour is Arizona and her awesomely cute and sweet 10-year-old patient Wallace. He has a terminal condition and was expected to die but under Arizona's care got a couple of extra years out of his life. His wealthy parents are so thrilled that they tell Arizona, Richard and Jennings that they are donating 25 million dollars to the hospital. When Wallace takes a turn for the worse, Arizona realizes that this time his life really is nearing its end, but his parents want him to have another surgery if it could buy another couple of months. Arizona is adamant that Wallace isn't strong enough but Richard, blinded by the dollar signs in his eyes, urges her to move forward with it. She does the surgery, and Wallace lives... only to go into septic shock a few hours later. Arizona rushes back into surgery, where she gives the Chief an awesome telling-off for his money-hungry idiocy, but she can't save the boy, and she opts not to be the one to tell the parents since she knows she'll admit they never should have done it, and invite a lawsuit. Jennings and Richard chase after the parents and kiss their asses, but as they are packing up Wallace's things Arizona comes in and speaks to them after all. Richard even tells Jennings to shut it when Jennings gets worried about what she might say. Arizona gives the couple a chance to say goodbye to their son, and they are so moved by her genuine caring that the dad tells them all he's still donating the money, but solely because of Arizona and not because of Greedy and Greedier. It's a nice end to what turns out to be Arizona's (and Wallace's) birthday -- much nicer than the unwanted and ill-timed surprise party that Callie tried to throw -- and when Arizona comes home that night to find Callie, knowing she was dumb and really sweetly all ready to celebrate along, the two finally exchange "I love yous."
Find out why we think the show has taken a turn for the better lately.
As has been popular this season, this week's episode starts during a Seattle night. Derek and Meredith are asleep when his pager goes off, and after Mere groggily hands it to him he reads the screen, sighs, and gets up. Mere is back on voiceover duty and begins, "It's impossible to describe the panic that comes over you when you're a surgeon and your pager goes off in the middle of the night."
Arizona and Callie are also asleep when a pager goes off, and Arizona sits up in confusion and panic, then quietly begs for it to not be hers. Mere: "Your heart starts to race. Your mind freezes. Your fingers go numb. You're invested. They're someone's mom, someone's dad, someone's kid, and now it's on you, because that someone's life is in your hands." Arizona is happy to see that it's not hers, and when she wakes up Callie, she literally rolls out of bed and crashes onto the floor out of surprise. It's a dumb slapstick moment because seriously, how many people above the age of, say, four, even do that? Of course as Callie is checking it, Arizona's pager then goes off too.
Once at the hospital, Hunt sends Arizona to Alex, and takes Callie with him to see a 15-year-old who fell off a roof. On their way to the room the girl's mom stops them and begs to know if her daughter will be okay. Hunt brushes her off as politely as possible to keep talking to Callie, who is annoyed that she was called in at 4 AM for some broken bones. Hunt, like he's presenting her with a gift, gleefully tells her it's more like 50 bones, and opens the door to show a girl with a bone sticking out of her wrist, and legs that look as bruised and lumpy as a sack of stones. Just how tall is her house?? Because while I'm sure you can get hurt badly by falling off of a roof, this seems a little extreme. Mere reminds us, "As surgeons, we're always investing in our patients."
Alex and Arizona, meanwhile, have a patient named Laura who is 30 weeks pregnant and was in a car accident. She appears to have a subdural hematoma and Alex says that Derek is on his way in, but these two need to take care of the baby right now as it is in distress. Arizona directs the ultrasound and realizes that the baby's brain is hemorrhaging and they have to do a c-section right away while Derek works on the mom.
"But when your patient is a child, you're not just invested, you're responsible." Really, you aren't responsible if the patient is an adult? That seems extreme. Callie and Arizona both run out with their patients on gurneys, heading for the only ready OR. They argue about who is more urgent but Arizona wins by default when a nurse opens a door and Callie nearly runs her patient into it. I guess it's not like she could break any more bones, right? Fortunately they don't actually crash, and Callie orders the nurse to get another OR ready. Mere finishes her thought so that doctors seem a little less biased towards just saving the lives of children: Responsible for whether or not that child survives, has a future -- and that's enough to terrify anyone."