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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!

Comments

Jenny

Cool episode, love the show, love the blog!

jujubee

I have dubbed Chris O'Donnell's character McScrew-me. McDo-me would work just as well.

It's amazing how much more enjoyable an episode is when there is almost no Denny. That storyline is bringing down the whole show. We have been given no reason to like him any more than any other patient, and neither has Izzie. It's ruined her character quite a bit in my eyes.

Last night, Cristina proved once again why she is my favorite character. Keep up the good work with her.

Susie

This episode was great! You did a great job with it!

Meaghan

Thank you for the update and the wonderful episode. i think i laughed more in this episode than any toher one. but PLEASE i need information on Mer and Der?? Please lt us know there is still hope!

lauren

Thank you thank you thank you, for this great episode. It was one of the best in a while! I love Christina, she cracks me up, and I was so proud of George for dealing with Meredith's father. It was the first "grown up" thing he's done in a while! That said, I will play along with this Chris O'Donnell thing, just because of the way Meredith started furiously knitting. But I am waiting, waiting for the Mer/Der reunion! The spelling bee kid was touching, and I loved seeing Bailey's soft side. I love these characters, and I thank you for doing them justice this week!

Sara

I really did like this episode for the most part - loved to see George healing. HOWEVER, I did not think the George makeout scene was hot in the least. He is so unbelievably awkward that I can't believe that gorgeous woman is attracted to him.

MiniMarie

Really enjoyed the episode, and IMHO it was the best Webber episode ever, allowing him both great comedy and heavy drama with Thatcher. And nice parallels with Thatcher and George -- Thatcher is the one who let anger destroy his relationship with Meredith, and maybe George is going to be smarter than that.

Preston and Cristina were hilarious, but I'm ready for a more serious storyline for those two. Not that I didn't enjoy this tremendously, but they are by far my favorite Grey's couple and so I want them in the heart of the action.

Glad to see Addison and Derek acting like a couple. Even if they aren't destined to remain together, and I'm sure they're not, we have to believe in the marriage for the characters to work, and I finally do. And I like that the friendship between her and Meredith is gaining some substance, even if it's still definitely at arm's length.

Not sure about Callie. She kinda has a chip on her shoulder, and what's up with living in a storage room?

Pat

Man, do I LUVVV this show!
The Chief's victory dance to Christina is now my favoritist scene from this show. (Beating, of course, the Christina and Burke dance-off in the kitchen).
Ah, the simple pleasures!!

PS, ummmm, when did Chris O'Connell get so hawt!

Love you lots,
Pat on LI

Chrissy

Thank you so much for putting Chris O'Donnell on the show! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I love him so much!

Elizabeth

Once again, an excellent episode! I always know there will be some serious laughs coming when I tune in.

So holy crap! Not only does she have one sister she knows nothing about, Meredith has two! It's a wonder she's not more screwed up than she is. Thanks for the interesting insight into Thatcher's background. It explains a lot.

Kristine Snider

Thank you for last nights episode! Completely enjoyed it. Christina getting back to "basics", George being Cally's McDreamy, Meredith having 2 sisters, and the topper of all toppers - Chris O'Donnell. Hello! Can't wait for next week.

Sylvia

I agree with you 100% about Denny. I'm looking for him in every guy I meet these days. I think this is a problem. I think no one is ever going to live up to him. If I end up an old maid, living alone with cats because no one ever lives up to my ideal of Denny, can I blaim Shonda?

Esther

thank you, thank you, thank you! Such a great episode! George and Callie are so cute and Christina naked in the apartment was hilarious! and of course who can forget the sexy vet. mmmmmmmm. I dont know how you do it but each episode has something amazing in it and the show keeps getting better. keep up the super amazing work!

DT from College Station, TX

The speech from mother to child near the end of the episode was incredible. Thank you for continuing to make this show great!

Spike

The George/Thatch scene should be sent directly to the Emmy committee. Best. Scene. Ever.

Although anything Meredith said this episode was a close second. Thanks for taking away dreary Mer and giving us back the one with a sense of humor and an ability to laugh at herself!

Good job Blythe - and if I remember right - you were the original source of the word "va jay jay" - good going LOL!

Dianne

Wow...seriously, for me, this episdoe ranks right up there with the 2-part "It's the End of the World (As We Know It...)! That is a major accomplishment. =) Granted, this episode wasn't so crazy-dramatic-on-the-edge-of-your-seat-intense, but awesome just the same.

The connection between Meredith "breaking" George, and Ellis "breaking" Thatcher was an enlightened and moving observation to make.

Sandra Oh and Chandra Wilson rock - pure and simple. They're such fantastic actors.

By the way - I'm totally on the same wavelength concerning Denny. I want my own. Denny fans should organize, meet up, and go hospital hopping to find such gorgeous, sexy, sweet, insanely-charming heart patients as Denny. Shonda has me obsessing with a fictional character, so I'm REALLY hoping that he sticks around. ;)

Angel

I also love the character of Denny. Blythe...if you happen to find a real life Denny, I'm sure you'll want to keep him for yourself...but if he has an unattached brother, send him my way!

Great episode!

I especially liked the scene with the dying mother and her daughter. It was also good to see Merideth's story line with a glimpse of hope (maybe a relationship with her father and sisters).

Thanks for all you do. I look forward to every week.

Kim K

Dear Blythe,

I loved this episode. You did a beautiful job. Yeah!! Meredith gets to move on with a hot guy!! I'm so excited, I'm sorry of seeing her sad, drunk, and screwing everything with a penis. I liked the Meredith/Derrick thing but that's NOT the only reason I watch the show and I do like Addison.
I also loved the the think between Richard and Christina. Very well done. He is one of my favorite characters and I'm anxious to learn more about he and Ellis.
Finally, Izzie needs to grow up. Seriously. This constantly saying Meredith 'wrecked' George. Pah!!! He's a big boy.
By the way, Dr. Torres is odd. I don't get her. But, interesting people make for interesting T.V.
Keep up the good work and thank you for sharing your thoughts. Tell Shonda she is adored.

soprano213

Great episode! I was so happy to see George letting go of some anger - seeing how hollow Thatcher seems with regards to Ellis and Meredith - I think that allowed him to see the bigger picture. And hopefully Meredith gleaned a little from her interaction with her father's wife as well. She definitely doesn't want to be responsible for "breaking" George. I love the parallels of these relationships!

And brava to Callie for standing up for George! Izzie has a lot of gall to call herself George's best friend, but to totally demean his choice like that. That's right Izzie, George is her "McDreamy"!

And HOLY CRAP! Chris O'Donnell is the sexiest vet I've ever seen....good luck, Meredith! What a pleasant shock! :)

Cally

Absoultely fantastic episode...

Loved the knitting..

Would love to find a Denny too....

Amy

Wonderful episode! Seriously! Lots of laughs and tears--eager for more and dreading the wait for another one! Hope you guys know we Mer/Der fans are still hoping against hope! Give us a crumb in the season finale! Pretty please!!!

Nicole

Another amazing show! I'm glad to see everyone back at Joe's bar - he's a great character, and I've missed the developments that only seem to happen there. Addison's was as territorial as ever at the bar (under the guise of being Mer's "friend"), but why didn't she question why Meredith was picking up doc from the vet? I know we needed to get Mer to the vet so she could meet hot vet, but I was surprised Addie didn't question it. Loved Alex this episode, and Laurie Metcalf's performance was great. Keep up the great work!

Allison

The show last night was fantastic-thank you so much. I love the fact that I was crying like a baby one minute (Laurie Metcalf with her daughter), then laughing like crazy the next (show me a boob). This show rocks! I think it has passed Lost as my number one show.

Roxanne

oh why why Chris O Donnell? McBORING.

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