Shonda on "Damage Case"
Original Airdate: May 7, 2006
I gotta be honest.
I have no idea what to say in this here, our blog entry for tonight’s episode “Damage Case.”
No. Freaking. Idea.
Because I’m scared I might spill the beans. About the finale. The gi-normous two-night, three hour finale the writers and the cast and the crew have been working their butts off on. I’m usually good with the secrets. I didn’t tell you about Meredith and George. I didn’t let it slip that Dylan was gonna explode. I kept the food-eating contest to myself.
But I’m a tiny bit tired from making 27 episodes of television. And my mind is all crazy because fourteen days from now, it has become clear that everyone around me thinks I’m going to take time off. That I’m going to stop thinking about my friends at Seattle Grace. That I won’t get in the car, drive to the studio and obsess about Meredith and George and Izzie and Cristina and Derek and everybody. That I’m going to…I don’t know…SLEEP. Or see my actual three-dimensional friends who, while lovable, get kinda cranky when I write dialogue and ask them to say it out loud. I’m supposed to go on vacation? Are you serious?
Anyway, my point is, I’m weak. I’m a weak pathetic shell of my former self so my super-hero-secret-keeping powers are not working so good. They are broken. But I will do my best. I will do my best to just chat calmly and quietly about “Damage Case” and pretend those other future episodes don’t exist.
This episode was originally borne of an idea one of our writers Mimi Schmir had about this amazing damage control surgery. I think it was Krista Vernoff who suggested that what would be cool is if our interns are all working on patients from a single family. Which is how I ended up writing “hillbilly” dialogue. I love the big-haired Southern girl and her family. I love the Mama who says “good girl” instead of “vagina” and I love Big Jim who screams “Melly!! MELLY!!!” in a crazy Deliverance way. But what I got the most joy from is humanizing them. What starts out as a funny hillybilly picnic story where you kind of mock this family slowly turns into a story about loss, love and forgiveness. Mama gives that wonderful speech about how a mother should be in on making decisions for her daughter. Big Jim offers a moment of grace to the boy who killed his daughter. And Noah breaks my heart every time when I think of him left with a baby but without the love of his life. I love this family. And I love even more how in the midst of all of their tragedy and pain, we watch our characters struggle through.
“Yeah, yeah,” you’re thinking, “get to that argument with Meredith and Derek!”
I’m getting there. But first I have to make a detour. A detour over to the Land of Callie Peeing. You know I have to go there. This may be one of my favorite moments of our show EVER. It’s right up there with George gets the syph for me. Maybe not for you. But for me…Callie walking into that bathroom topless and peeing in front of Meredith and Izzie was SO GREAT. Because it was SO HORRIBLE. I love that Mer and Izzie respond with all the trauma of having viewed a car crash. And I love even more the very sweet moment at the end where Callie says that she did wash her hands but she did it in the kitchen because those girls were looking at her like…
You know who Callie was in high school, right? You know she was the outsider, the loner rebel chick who didn’t have many friends and wore weird clothes and was just tortured by the cool kids. Callie, as played with Sara Ramirez …dudes, Sara won a TONY AWARD for Spamalot – I saw her in the show and she ROCKED and then we met for breakfast and discovered that we were like best friends who’d never ever met and talked for hours and hours and hours and…okay, I digress. My point is that Sara makes Callie so vulnerable in her kickass toughness. And when I, in near terror, asked her take off her clothes and do a scene where she pees in front of Meredith and Izzie, she was all, “I’m on it” and threw herself into the scene. I am frankly hoping that the ABC shopping site tells us where we can buy those panties she was wearing because those were the best panties EVER next to Izzie’s Season One Hello Kitty panties and I have to own some. I think I would be less angry about going on vacation if I had some cool Callie panties. I would never pee in front of other people but I would be happy.
Once again, I’m losing the point. The point…the point…the point is Callie pees and Izzie tortures her a tiny bit about the hand washing and that made me overjoyed because that’s the kind of thing people do.
The other detour I wanna make is over to Denny-ville. I love Denny. In a dangerous way. Denny is very real to me. He’s no character I made up. He’s DENNY. He’s human for me in a way that makes the actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan nervous when I get within fifty feet of him. See, when Denny gets all depressed about being an invalid, I want to climb in bed with him just like Izzie does. What’s shocking about Denny’s depression is that we are so not used to seeing him angry. He’s so sweet. But being an invalid wears down the spirit – that’s what our doctors tell us, that’s what we all know from seeing it happen to people we know. And I wanted us to see a little of that. I wanted us to see that Denny is starting to despair of ever getting a heart. That Denny is about to give up. Which breaks my Denny-loving heart because he’s Denny and I just want to watch him play Scrabble and say things in that drawl of his.
Okay, last detour: Alex saving the baby. I love that we have a character who can do something wonderful but still be a selfish cranky ass about it. Alex gets to be complex in ways most characters don’t because even though he’s got a moral code, his moral code is totally twisted and dark. But he’s essentially good – deep down inside.
And now, finally, the Mer/Der of it all. He’s so angry. And that anger has been kinda building since all the way back when Meredith told him about George. And it just gets SO much worse when he sees her at Finn’s and assumes she is sleeping with him. The man is jealous. McDreamy is jealous. Beyond all reason or sanity or any rational thought. He’s just jealous. And that fight they have in the stairwell…oh, I was proud of Meredith for standing up for herself. I was a proud, proud Mama. But my little heart was also breaking. Because he’s so angry. And she’s so angry. And then in the next episode…
Oh, yeah, right. No talk about the next episode. But it’s a big one. That gets bigger. And then it gets even bigger. But I can’t talk about it.
I can talk about how cute and hot Finn is and how much I love it when he says “I never said I wasn’t scary and damaged too.” Because he is like Meredith. And that gives her a little bit of hope. It may give you hope too. Or it may give you a seizure because you want your Mer and your Der BACK TOGETHER and you want them back together NOW.
I could tell you so many things. So many. If I could. Which I can. But I won’t.
We’ll talk more later. After you’ve seen the stuff you haven’t seen yet. I’ll explain everything. I promise.
Right now, I have to go and figure out a way to survive the next six weeks without my friends from Seattle Grace in my life. Maybe I’ll form a support group…