Original airdate: 4-26-07
Desire. It can wreck your life. It can be, as Izzie rightly says, your Penis Fish. It can crawl up inside you and… yeah, you pretty much know the rest… So that’s what I’m gonna talk about in this blog. Desire and the metaphor we came up with to represent it. The Candiru. Or Penis Fish. I won’t call it a Candiru. I’ll call it a Penis Fish because that’s a lot funnier to say than Candiru. I’m not sure if Penis Fish should be capitalized, but if you had one in you, you’d probably think it’d be worth capitalizing. In fact, ALL the letters in it probably deserve to be capitalized. PENIS FISH. However, I don’t want to be accused of sensationalism so we’ll just keep it at Penis Fish.
First some background. My personal desire has been to do this story for a long time. In fact, it’s been the whole writing staff’s desire. We actually had the story in a couple of previous scripts but it never quite worked out. It either didn’t work with the theme of the episode or we’d just done a show with someone having penis troubles and we didn’t want to do penis overload, as it were.
Second, the Penis Fish is a real thing. It’s more of a parasite than a fish. It likes to swim up the little eddies created by a fish’s gills. Then it stops and latches on to the insides of the unsuspecting fish. The unsuspecting, unlucky fish. And then it, well… feeds. Yeah. Very yucchy. It’s found in South America. However, unlike, say, telenovellas, it’s not coming to America anytime soon. You will not find it at your local swimming hole or the YMCA. It’s strictly Amazon. But it does exist. Look hard enough on the Internet and you’ll find a picture or two of the thing. It’s thin enough to get in your urine stream, slippery enough to avoid capture and agile enough to work its way inside you. Where it gorges on your blood or tissue. And gets bigger. So when the Chief pulled it out at the end, that’s about what it really looks like. Hey, we do our research. The Discovery Channel even has some web site where they do a re-enactment of the thing swimming into some poor guy. Even that fake re-enactment gives you the willies. At least I hope it’s fake.
So George and Izzie make the mistake of thinking they can somehow quench their desire. That by ignoring it and saying it’s not there, they can simply move on. Be best buddies again. It’s not that nothing happened. Something did. But they think they’re strong enough and wise enough to deal with it. It was a one time thing. A simple mistake that can be rectified by their own determination to put it behind them. The trouble is… their desire keeps getting in the way. And that’s why George has hit upon a new way to deal with it. Go West, young man. In this case…Mercy West.
It’s not just George and Izzie that suffer from this affliction. All our couples in this episode suffer with some form of metaphorical Penis Fish – a desire that’s hooked into you and won’t let go. Look at Derek and Meredith. They got what they desired. Each other. But once you get what you want, is it really what you want? Because, unfortunately, love isn’t just about desire. At some point it’s about other stuff, too. Getting through the day to day. Putting up with your partner’s snoring. Wondering if they have, well, some kind of death wish…
Those things tend to complicate relationships. Eat away at them. Make you wonder if you’re getting out of it what you put in. How many problems can you take before the taking gets too hard? Derek tells Meredith he doesn’t know if he can keep breathing for her. It’s not just costing him the chiefship, it’s also…wearing him out. She’s his Penis Fish. Does he want to get rid of his Penis Fish? That’s impossible, right? It’s Meredith and Derek. It’s just a bump in the road. Or is it? Well, all I can say for now is stay tuned…
Addison and Alex have been desiring each other for what seems like forever. And we finally pay it off with a tryst in the on-call room. How about that? THEY FINALLY DID IT (now that deserves all capital letters). We’ve never done a tally of the various places where our people have done it in the hospital. I have to think the on-call room leads the way, with storage closet a close second. But Alex clearly has major issues with girls who like him. So he detaches himself pretty quickly from any possible entanglement. He won’t let Addison be his Penis Fish.
And finally Burke and Cristina. Burke wants his relationship with Cristina to work. He wants her to choose that wedding cake. We know what that cake means to him when he sits down with Izzie in the conference room at the end of the episode. This cake. For this day. With this woman. And in the end, Cristina does choose a cake. The red one. The red velvet. And Burke has hope again. He’s wanted this wedding all along. And he’s thinking, hell, maybe now she’s finally on board. Maybe she finally wants this thing just as much as he does. Maybe, just maybe, they’re finally heading in the right direction. The question, of course, is does Cristina feel that way? She loves the guy enough to have made little compromises along the way (see Stacy’s great episode last week). But is this whole wedding thing her Penis Fish?
Okay, even though I said this blog would just be about desire and the Penis Fish, I lied. Only because I really liked the scene at the end with Bailey and the Chief. Where he’s leaving for the night and he runs into her filling in surgeries on the OR board for the next day. And he’s told her earlier in the day that she has to delegate and she just can’t. SHE CAN’T. It’s not in her. And, truthfully, it’s not in him either. The question is, will Bailey suffer for that?
The answers to that question and a lot more will be coming up in the next three weeks. I promise, it’s going to be a GREAT ride. Next week’s our two hour episode and it’s moving and funny and all things Grey’s Anatomy. And that’s not even the finale. In the meantime, if you find yourself in the middle of the Amazon and you have to take a pee, stifle whatever desire you have to go in the river… and just find a nice thicket of trees or a large bush. And that way, you can avoid being what no one desires – being another odd medical story on the Discovery Channel.