Since all of the episodes of this show generally revolve around the angst of Meredith and the other ladies, we switched it up this week to get a look at things from the boys' point of view. Derek is looking for a new resident now that Meredith has taken herself off his service. He has Alex help him with a surgery but when it turns out that Alex is just looking to earn some neuro hours he needs, Derek gets mad and kicks him out of the surgery completely. When he and Mark wind up working on a patient at the same time, Derek sees that Jackson both has some good ideas and is being given no opportunity to actually do any surgery with Mark, so Derek tries to poach him and Avery is suddenly faced with the problem of deciding which world-class surgeon he wants to work with.
After Alex is cut adrift, Richard takes him under his wing a bit. Richard has a lot of extra time on his hands because no one is used to him just being a regular old surgeon and so they don't want to demean him with routine surgeries. A belligerent drunk is brought in to the OR and when he becomes a threat to April, Alex's dorky patient decides to stand up to the guy and has the stuffing beaten out of him. Once Alex and Richard get him to the OR Alex tries to bail since these aren't the type hours he needs, but Richard orders him to stay and to remember the joy in just doing surgery, period.
In honor of this being the Good-Lookin' Dude Hour, Dr. Ben Warren, Hot Anesthesiologist is back. He's working with Derek, who accidently spills that Bailey has moved on to Hot Nurse Eli. (In case there is any confusion, I am the captain of Team Ben.) He nearly gets into a fight with Eli over a patient and that's before he knows that Eli has taken over romancing his former ladyfriend, so I think when the inevitable showdown arrives, it will be a doozy.
Owen, meanwhile, is trying to adjust to being Chief of Surgery and like Derek before him, he can't handle being stuck behind a desk doing administrative chores while people run by with cool all sorts of various cool traumas. He finally decides that he'll have a mobile office in the form of an iPad, so he's nearby when the drunk guy goes crazy. He manages to both protect his staff and let off a little bit of steam by punching the drunk and breaking his jaw to end his boozy run of terror. Of course the legal department tells him he has to apologize to the guy but instead, Owen goes to see him, closes the blinds, and menacingly warns him that he's glad he did it and he thinks he was totally justified, so the guy is welcome to sue if he wants to. Why do I think this may not be the last we see of him?
Derek has a good outlet for working out his frustration, and he invites first Owen, then Ben, then Jackson to join in: they all wind up helping him build the deck at his house in the woods and there's a lot of therapeutic hammering and sawing that goes on amongst them. The next night, Jackson then brings Alex up there so that Alex can apologize to Derek for being flippant about the surgery. The others are already there, hammering away, so to round things out Mark then shows up (with Sofia in one arm, since he's been left to babysit her all weekend) to accuse Derek of trying to steal Jackson. He claims that he's been carefully teaching Jackson all this time, which is something he never does so it sounds like he considers letting his student not actually perform any surgery to be a great honor. After seeing Jackson work with Derek, Mark realized that Jackson does good work after all and comes to steal him back from his friend. Faced with having to make a decision, Jackson decides to stay with plastics. The therapeutic hammering and sawing eventually turns into therapeutic beer drinking and hanging out, and then to mocking Derek when they realize that the deck he just built isn't actually level. All in all, a good (looking) evening for the men.
Why are the ratings for Grey's Anatomy so low this season?
Meredith and Derek are coming along: they have graduated to both being under the covers in the same bed at the same time. But their uneasy truce is broken when she nonchalantly asks him about that day's surgery and what technique he is going to use. He replies patronizingly that he's not going to play this game, and then reminds her that she was the one who left neuro. Well, yes, but she did it to save her marriage to you and not because she actually wanted to do it. But he warns her that he's not going to play the "game" where she gets sad about all of the cases he is working on. But Derek, if she's sad that means she is being punished, and I know your priority is making the woman you are married to suffer as much as you can. She defends that all she was doing was trying to make conversation; he throws it back at her and tells her to talk about something else. But she can't, because the only other thing they can think about is the big empty crib in their room, of which we are treated to another lingering shot, just in case we forgot already that they are Sad, Empty People without their daughter to hold them together. With the number of shots of forlorn baby paraphernalia in the last few episodes, I'm surprised they haven't yet figured out a way to work the empty crib into the logo for the show. Or intertwined it with the ABC logo in the corner of the screen so that we can see it for every second of the entire episode.
To illustrate that this week's episode will be dude-centric, the boys take turns delivering this week's voiceover. Did you know that there are differences between the male and female brain? Women are usually better at retention and memory. That makes it all the more tragic that Richard is at home, packing a lunch for himself and making one for Adele which he puts in the fridge with a note identifying it and reminding her to eat.
April walks into the kitchen where Jackson and Alex are eating breakfast, and lectures Alex that while she'll do his laundry (because she knows if she didn't it would never get done) she refuses to wash the unmentionables belonging to his flavor of the week. With this, she uses a pencil to hand over a tiny thong. Cool as a cucumber, Jackson says that it is Lexie's and takes it, much to April's eternal embarrassment. After she flees, Jackson tosses them at Alex's head because they were in fact a flavor of the week souvenir and he was just doing his roomie a solid. He also approves when he hears that the flavor is Lauren from radiology. Well, with a name like that, I heartily approve too.