Walking On A Dream
Original Air Date: Jan 24, 2013
Karen Belgrad – Senior Editor
After the past few episodes felt very cluttered, this hour seemed more streamlined and focused. Nearly everyone (sans a couple of interns) was present, but the pacing didn’t feel quite as frenetic as it has been of late. And that is so much for the better.
Meredith and Arizona had to face new realities. Derek had to prove himself. And Shane Ross proved himself to be the new favorite intern, yet again, because he is the new Meredith. And everything was done under the watchful eye of the new physician advisor, who was there to cut costs. So what did she cut?
Meredith: Safely into her second trimester, Meredith is not as worried about miscarriage but now dealing with the reality of pregnancy hormones. As opposed to the other pregnancies we’ve seen on the show, hers was a tidal wave of tears, crying for happiness, sadness, and sex. She, Ross, and Bailey have a pregnant patient in excruciating pain, as it turns out from a failing liver. Her wife/girlfriend is a bundle of nerves, but I have to call out the show for it simply being a lesbian couple, and that wasn’t the focal point of the story and it wasn’t tied to Callie and Arizona. They just happened to be the patient and family. Anyways… Meredith orders Ross to find a liver, which he does, but he destroys the first one during retrieval. Which is why he is the new Meredith… anyone remember back in season five when she dropped a kidney? She doesn’t use the opportunity to pacify him, just to continue teaching.
They do get another liver, but it’s in Portland. Meredith initially balks at flying, while Shane balks at being part of the retrieval after his last screw-up. Bailey goes back to true form and tells him (and indirectly Meredith) that they need to move past things. Meredith does go to Portland, white knuckle flying the whole time. But they get the liver and it’s all a success. I was greatly shocked that (even though he was in surgery) Meredith opted not to even tell her husband that his pregnant, plane-crash survivor wife was going on an airplane. When she told him later and he was proud, I was still waiting for typical indignant Derek reaction. Weren’t you?
Arizona: Months after her amputation, Arizona is suffering from Phantom Limb pain, which is common for amputees. She has horrific pain, as well as nightmares of her leg shattering and self-amputating it during surgery. She doesn’t want to tell Callie, since she’s just moving back from the patient to wife role, so Owen steps up to the plate, and is fairly awesome in his words of advice. First they try mirror box therapy, then virtual reality, and finally, having Alex stab her prosthetic mid-surgery to alleviate the pain. It’s actually effective, and at the end of day, Arizona is able to use her new techniques to sooth Callie after a stressful day.
April/Stephanie: The two ladies of Jackson Avery are put together in the pit (emergency room) and to the delight of everyone, the story isn’t about two women being catty. April, after a rocky start where they take too long to treat Alana Cahill, the physician advisor (played by Constance Zimmer), the two find a groove that finds Stephanie taking her job so seriously, she can’t find the time to have sex with Jackson! April is so entrenched in managing patient care, that she doesn’t notice an admiring paramedic (Matthew, played by Justin Bruening) until he actually asks her out. We don’t see her answer, but she seems very flattered.
Derek: Derek’s ready to get back into the operating room, with a long delayed surgery on Jimmy (played by Wes Ramsey). Jimmy has an acoustic neuroma that no other doctor would operate on, so he and his sister (played by Laura Heisler) waited out Derek’s hand recovery. It’s a risky surgery, with lots of possible side effects, including death, but they’re both on board. Derek’s less than thrilled at the concept of Dr. Cahill watching his surgery, so intern Jo pulls a sly move and switches the start time on the surgical board. The surgery goes well, with Jo doing her part well, and when Alana comes in to observe, Derek lays it out than non-necessary personnel are not welcome. I don’t see his stubborn streak working well in the future.
African Orphans: This really ties more to Arizona’s story, but it bears mentioning that the cute orphans are back and Alex is still rocking his program. Cristina is also happy to be on board, as she gets to do rare surgeries that she might not normally be exposed to, but it’s all about patient care, right? (snicker, snicker)
Dr. Alana Cahill: Dr. Cahill spends the hour being everywhere, welcome or not. Due to the massive lawsuit settlement, her job is to cut spending to keep the hospital’s doors open. She doesn’t seem to hover over Meredith and the destroyed liver, but she does pay attention to the orphans, Derek’s surgery, and April’s handling of the E/R. She’s also a bit cold with her former teacher, Richard, for reasons which I am sure will be more clear over time. At the end of the day, she’s on board with the orphans, despite the cost, because of the good public relations it will bring the hospital. But her first significant move is to recommend closing the emergency room, despite the hospital’s level one trauma status. Her reasoning is that half the cases are non-emergent and the surgeons can be better put to use elsewhere. Derek is indignant, but put in his place by Bailey who reminds him that they don’t all have fifteen million dollars to fall back on. Cahill isn’t going anywhere, and staff cuts could happen as well… so what do you think the next suggestion will be?
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