From Blythe Robe, writer of "Name of the Game"
Original Airdate: 4-2-06
Typical. Leave it to life to know just when you’ve sworn off the game. Just when you’ve decided to be alone, have your Mary Tyler Moore phase and “make it on your own,” made your vow of celibacy, then -- POOF! -- out of no where comes a sexy veterinarian with a whole “ooh look at me I’m saving your dog’s life, and I also routinely saves the lives of innocent puppies and am no doubt a good person and clearly irresistible!” thing. It’s like the universe can smell the fact that you are completely content about flying solo and decides to throw a big old sexy distraction your way in some sort of twisted joke, and you, of course, are powerless because, well it’s the universe, and it’s a guy, and so you have no choice but to play yet again. Just typical.
Having gotten that off my chest I would also just like to say… Well, hello Chris O’Donnell! If anyone’s going to pull Meredith out of the McD rut, he just might be up for the challenge. But, I suppose we’re just gonna have to wait and see about that…damnit!
So, tonight’s theme was “the games we play.” The reason I love this theme so much is because games are so much a part of this show. It goes all the way back to the very beginning when Shonda introduced their internship as “the game.” The competition, striving for excellence, and the surgeries themselves are all a part of it. But it’s also the emotional game – fueled by the interns’ relationships with each other, with their patients, and with the hope of somehow, some way finding the time in their absurdly busy lives to get laid, (and maybe even find love in the process.) It’s quite a complex game - like Shogi.
But it’s mostly fueled by their obsession with being “the best,” and no one is more obsessed than Cristina. After losing the night’s battle of Celebrity (perhaps Isaiah/Burke at his funniest) she becomes a woman in need if a good victory. Like a success junkie – she needs her fix. So, when she gets to the Laparoscopic Lab Tutorial, there’s nothing that will stop her from being the prize pupil - even if it means beating out the Chief. My favorite thing about this story is the fact that Cristina has such a one-track mind that she loses sight of all social tact and inappropriately tries to school the Chief. I love her for this. And I love that Richard falls into it as well – (Jim Pickens is so great and he did such a hilarious job with this storyline!) But in the end it’s the Chief who teaches her the most important lesson about never underestimating the power of the basics, one that she (ahem) uses to get George out of her apartment, and thank god!
Yes, George seems to be moving on and I’m so happy for him!
George is really put through a lot in this episode. He’s been playing the angry game for so long now that it’s started to eat away at his entire being. He’s “broken,” like Izzie says, and has allowed his anger to overrule the fact that he still cares about his friends. As a defense mechanism, anger is such an easy and natural trap to fall into, and it can sometimes take extreme circumstances to pull you out of it. So, when Thatcher (the incredible Jeff Perry) and family (holy crap, Mare Winningham!) show up at the hospital, he’s forced to take a step back from the situation and see that deep down maybe he doesn’t hate, hate Meredith. And when he chooses to tell Thatcher about Meredith’s good nature, he in turn is taking a teeny baby step towards healing, and I think no one will benefit more from his forfeiting the angry game than George. Just look at Thatcher.
Shonda has created such an interesting parallel between George/Meredith/Derek and Thatcher/Ellis/Richard. For Ellis, Thatcher was her George and Richard her McDreamy. In their story Ellis spent her life pining over Richard, while nearly ruining Thatcher’s in the process. Her neglect scarred Thatcher so deeply that it spoiled his relationship with his own daughter, a regret he will have to carry for the rest of his life. Again, the angry game is one of the toughest to beat. But you know what helps? New prospects. Prospects like sexy Vets and Ortho Docs.
I’m SO relieved that George finally made out with Ortho Doc! And it was so sweet and actually kinda HOT – Go George! In the immortal words of Alex Karev “get yours!”
Speaking of getting some, why why why doesn’t Denny exist in real life!? I want him to be real so desperately I’ve actually entertained the thought of cruising ICU’s for a damaged heart guy of my very own….Damn you Ms. Rhimes for creating that “beautiful, beautiful man!” I admit, I love him, too. I love that he can be sensitive and dirty at the same time. But most of all I love the way Izzie lights up when she’s around him. I love their relationship because it’s so pure and honest and completely game free (save on the Scrabble.) They make me so happy.
Speaking of “game free,” I’m so proud of Alex for standing up for his convictions. I respect his code of honesty with his patients. Now, ordinarily I’m all for avoidance and denial. Denial is one of my favorite human traits. It’s what keeps us ahead – it’s our psychological opposable thumb in my opinion. However, in Beatrice’s (a stunning performance by Laurie Metcalf) case, someone needed to offer her a dose of reality and in those situations it’s usually not the nice route that’s gonna get you there. Sometimes brutal honesty has to be the name of the game.
Like Bailey needing to be honest with herself that it may take a little time to get back in the swing of things. I love that Chandra Wilson can actually break your heart and make you laugh in a single moment.
Several months ago I was invited to play the most extreme game of my life thus far: to write an episode of the incredible series “Grey’s Anatomy,“ and it has been one of the most intense, complicated, stressful and rewarding experiences I’ve ever known. I want to say thank you so much to Shonda Rhimes and Jim Parriott for the opportunity of a lifetime. As well as a special thanks to Krista Vernoff for her guidance, and expertise – also for generally being so awesome (Can you actually thank a person for that? Sure, why not?) I also want to give a quick shout out to all the Homie-scribes of Talmadge – pour some out for me the next round; I miss and love you all!
Finally one last thank you, as I am also a fan of this show, to Shonda for these characters, this world, and for bringing back the sass.
Best game ever!