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Mark Wilding on "Let The Truth Sting"...

The truth.  We like to think there’s only one version of it.  Namely, our own.  But then someone else comes along and they insist on giving you their (generally wrongheaded) version of the truth.  The truth is…there’s all sorts of truths.  The varnished truth.  The unvarnished truth.  The naked truth.  Half-truths.  Whole truths.  And what we finally addressed in this episode.  THE PAINFUL TRUTH.  The kind of truth we don’t always want to hear. 

We all have these ideas of ourselves – of how we are – so when somebody else actually weighs in about us, well, it can be a shock.  I’m going to quote the Scottish poet Robert Burns right now because I’ve always wanted to quote him and I couldn’t really figure how to cram this quote into a birthday toast or a Thanksgiving speech or a piece of wisdom I might pass on to my kids – who wouldn’t want to hear it anyway (that’s my painful truth).  Also it might lend this blog a little more class.  “If only God, the gift he gee us/To see ourselves as others see us.”  Yes, even famous Scottish poets wrote about the painful truth.

Anyway, just about everyone at Seattle Grace has to face the painful truth about themselves in this episode.  Bailey when she has to stand in front of Callie and admit that she’s been having trouble with the pecking order of things.  Callie, who is, my God, hiding from the truth because she can’t bear to hear what she just KNOWS is coming.  Okay, she doesn’t know one hundred percent KNOW, KNOW but she suspects and that’s enough to drive her underground – into the Residents Lounge.  Anything to avoid her cheating husband…

How about Lexie and Meredith?  Meredith’s served a painful, unwelcome dollop of the truth when Bailey tells her that she hasn’t said a kind word to her sister since she arrived at Seattle Grace.  And after that fact settles on Meredith, she decides she has to give Lexie the painful truth about her mother.  Meredith has been so cold to Lexie – in Lexie’s mind at least – that it’s even got her to wondering about the level of care that Susan may have received on the last day of her life.  And that scene where Meredith sits down with Lexie and starts to lay out the facts of her mom’s death – where we see Lexie finally getting the painful truth – well, let’s just say it’s one of my favorite scenes in the show.

A couple of my other favorite scenes involve Izzie and Charlie.  Shonda said she wanted Grey’s to go in a happier, lighter direction this year.  And I think this story was the kind of thing she had in mind.  A patient who wants to die, is in fact DETERMINED to die and…it’s funny and kinda heartbreaking.  And here’s a behind the scenes tidbit.  We hired the actor Jack Axelrod to be Old Guy last year.  The idea was that his room would be the place where our interns could occasionally go to study or eat.  We put Jack in a semi-coma so our gang would essentially have their own private lunch room/study hall. 

During the course of last season, we used Jack to lie in the bed and, well…just lie in the bed.  And he closed his eyes and he would shift in bed, make an occasional mouth sound and he was very good at it.  When we decided to wake him up from his year long sleep, we knew Jack was a professional actor, we just weren’t sure how good a professional actor he’d be.  At least I wasn’t.  But, my God, he was a TERRIFIC actor.  I LOVED him sparring with Izzie.  He was funny and ornery and straightforward and yet compassionate as Charlie.  Especially when it came to telling Izzie the painful truth.  That married men will string you along.  That they’re not always in the habit of telling you the truth.  And as much as Izzie didn’t want to hear what Charlie had to say, she came to appreciate him, even seek him out.  He became her friend.  And frankly, Jack was so good in the part that for a brief, fleeting moment, we even thought maybe we should keep him around.  But in the interest of good storytelling, we just couldn’t.  Which really kinda hurt…

Then there’s the subject of their sparring.  George.  Who starts out determined to tell Callie the painful truth about himself and Izzie but his interaction with Connie and her friends – sometimes the truth can be TOO painful – makes him reconsider, then finally dive in and tell Callie that he slept with Izzie.  Wait until you see him deal with the consequences of that next week.  Allan Heinberg wrote a very funny, very moving episode.  So even if you missed this episode, tune in to that one!  It’s great!

Mark and Derek also trade truths with each other.  Mark has to remind Derek about the truth of his relationship with Meredith.  That maybe he’s fooling himself and she won’t ever be all whole.  And Derek returns the truth-telling favor when he scolds Mark and the Chief for being foolhardy in trying a way too experimental surgery on Connie.  Although, he softens the blow in that same scene when he reminds the Chief to tell Adele the truth about why he wants to move back in.  That he misses her, that she’s all he can think about, etc.  Which is, truth be told, vintage McDreamy.

Finally, we get to see Bailey give our big truth-teller, Alex, the truth.  That there’s a reason we don’t listen to interns – it’s dangerous.  And then if finally falls to Alex to unload on the world’s oldest intern, Norman.  Ed Hermann is great in the part (wait until you see him next week, he’s hysterical).  Ed plays Norman as nice and avuncular and such a sweet soul.  However, despite his advanced age, the truth is Norman has a lot to learn.  After all, he’s still an intern. 

And, as we’ve discovered over the last three seasons, what can be more painful than that?



Excellent blog! Loved this episode.

Matthew Rushing

Ok, for all the people who thought that Grey’s had lost it, that thought that Grey’s was lame or weak or not the same; well tonight you were proved wrong. Tonight was brilliant…….seriously, Seriously!!

Great for them to not really focus on der/mer. They have sex and talk some, make eyes in the elevator. Mark has Derek pegged I think. He does think that Meredith will become whole. Meredith showed that tonight, she is not above growing. She is learning to love Cristina in the way that she needs and that is good. She is also learning to care for Lexie, which is a big step for her. Can see how their relationship can grow and help their father; this will also help Meredith grow. I see the progress for them. I think that der/mer should be like this for a while, that way they are not the full focus of the show. This way both of them can grow and find each other along the way. Maybe the rumored potential “love interest” will give Meredith the kick she needs to truly be with Derek. Derek was great tonight with Mark and Richard. I loved that he called them out, it worked out this time, but it could have gone horribly wrong without Derek being there. I think that Derek is getting a little tired of saving people, and liking it all at the same time. When he says, “Sorry for call you an idiot.” I lost it laughing.

George gets called out by Alex and tells Callie. Looks like Grizzie could be here to stay. It also looks like this could really hurt Izzie professionally. Next week looks like another twist in the whole Grizzie deal and I really like it. Plus, Izzie tells someone about George and her and it goes differently that she expects; so the key, what is she expecting? Love that really old guy woke up! It was interesting to see his pushing Izzie.

Bailey is spiritually over everyone’s head. She really comes alive to put people in their place tonight. Loved it! I also liked to see her reach out to Callie. She really is a descent person.

I laughed so hard at Cristina tonight! She was so funny, faking pain and sorrow to get surgeries. I like that she confronts Meredith with her lying. It was good to see them be back to season on, helping each other and talking about McSex! This show is getting so good! I am loving it!

17171717 Izzi

Ok. I love the fact that the grey sisters finally talked. I love the fact that Baily is helping Torres. and finally I love the fact that George finally told Kelly the truth. But what In the word is going to happen next episode? McDreamy and little Grey(Lexie)flirting with each other thats not RIGHT. NONONONONO LEXIE IS A KID AND MCDREAMY IS A MAN no way that can happen. She is her sister. Anyways, what i'm looking forward to is the fight between Torres and Stevens. Thats going to be epic. Now everybody will know and Torres is her boss. well lets see whats going to happen.

I can't hardly wait.....


A much better episode, but Alex is a jerk.


Such a good episode.

I'll admit that I was a little skeptical of the really-old-guy storyine at first, worried that it would be another Holden-season-2-Thanksgiving episode arc. And don't get me wrong-I love that storyline... but I don't need to see it in two different paitents. But, you guys pulled it off--it had a totally different feel, excellent in its own right. Charlie was hilarious; I loved watching the dynamic between Izzie and this guy... especially her speech over the empty bed.

Everyone, everystoryline was just so fun and thrilling this episode: Derek and his little speech over Richard and Sloan's shoulder; Bailey resolving to be #2 as only Bailey could; Cristina faking sad for surgeries; Mer and Derek talking in the on call room; Alex calling out George, and then George's look in his eye...* Everything was just fantastic.

*...and Izzie. George. Callie. Wow. Who knew Callie just sitting, doing paperwork, could so demonstrate her situation? I loved Izzie's line of being a 50's cliche... loved George's look as he got off the elevator at the start of the episode... and, especially, I love that last scene. I've never been so invested in this arc.

Thanks for such a great episode--again, you guys have really returned to the feeling you so wonderfully hit in season 2. But, it's Grey's--so, much though it reminds me of season 2, it has it's own feel, it's own distinction.

Can't wait for Thursday--this hour really is one of the big highlights of my week.

Pam in Janesville CA

Mark, this was a wonderful episode !

Hey Izzie, he wanted REAL lobster. What a great touch.....and so very real. Absolutely loved Jack Axelrod !

Bailey being well, Bailey ! but willing to work with Callie...

And Meredith telling Lexie about her mom's last day, thank you.

My motto, after losing my husband 3 years ago is "live each day as if it is your last". Bailey stating the kind of job, the kind that people die if you don't do your job is so right......struck so close to home.

I had kind of lost hope after the ferry disaster last season, but I am really thrilled to see you writers at Grey's picking up the reins and going for it.........


BTW Ed Hermann is a great addition to the cast....an odd turn in intern addition !

but...... geez...Karev ! That was MEAN !!!!!!! WE KNOW you miss Addison or more likely the leading OB/GYN leader, but really !

Thursday nights once again ROCK !

Pam in Janesville

Mary from Washington

I have mixed feelings right now about the episode I just watched.

On one hand I thought it was great in the lighter side Grey's has decided to take. I loved Cristina's banter and Alex's pigheadedness. Both were missed in season 3.

But on the other hand I tune in to Grey's for all of the relationships. Gizzie/O'Callie got close to half of the screen time while MerDer got around two minutes.

I know you have all heard this before, but we'll keep saying it until it sinks in. The show is called "Grey's" Anatomy, so we obviously want to see Grey preferably with McDreamy.

Now I will say that I really did like the way Mer finally came to terms with talking to Lexie and giving her the painful truth about her mother. But other than that I want to see Mer grow as an individual in her relationship with Derek. I know it will take time, but right now we're not really showing anything. They're just having sex, which don't get me wrong, it's great. It's much better than snoring Mer or an episode lacking in MerDer (i.e. Don't Stand So Close to Me.) And in regard to that, you guys definitely should have left that bedroom scene from the Best Buy extra disk in. We all really liked it :).

But basically I just want to say that I know how hard it is to be a writer. I'm just starting to get into it, and I have great respect for those of you who do it. But I also think it's important to listen to your audience. Something that may sound surprising and interesting in the writers' room doesn't always play well on screen. Your audience craves some balance and it's hard when every relationship on the show appears to be on the way out.

And my last thing I want to say is please don't have Derek date another girl. We've all been reading rumors of a new love interest for Derek joining the show and I just want to say that we're sick of it already. Back and forth and back and forth. Shonda promised us not to be like "Friends" so please have her keep her promise and have MerDer grow together instead of taking weird breaks all the time.

That said, I just want to thank you all for your unbelievably hard work. I love this show more than most things in my life and I do appreciate the people who make it work.

Can't wait for another riveting episode next week.



WOW! Painful to watch but additively wonderful!

Daniel K

Great episode tonight. My friend and I loved nearly every scene, and both held our breaths during the final part. Great cliffhanger.

All I'm going to ask is please don't try to keep George and Callie together in any capacity. They were never good together, and trying to work it through would be a terrible idea in this situation. They both deserve better than what they got from that relationship.

Also, please don't kill the George/Izzie storyline. They could really be an asset to the show, a couple who could consistently be happy and have problems that the fate of the world doesn't seem to hinge on. They have great chemistry, please don't squander it because of a vocal minority that seems to loathe them for no other reason than to loathe them.

Once again, thanks for the great episode.


I envy you guys in US. I cant see the latest episodes in India. Grrr!... This is killing me!...

a fan

This was such a WONDERFUL episode. I really enjoyed every bit of it! I loved all the truths.

I loved that George finally fessed up about the adultry. Its about time. It must have been very frustrating for him to have to keep that end the night before.

I LOVED Charlie. I think he just became my favorite patient. He and Izzie had such a special bond. Katie Heigl and the actor who played Charlie had such great comedic timing. I loved that he gave someone for Izzie to talk to. The poor girl needed that desperately. Her person to talk to use to be George but now she doesn't have that since George is the person she needs to talk about. I loved that Charlie also made her realize that when you have determination that things do happen and you just have to have patience. Such an excellent storyling. You guys did an excellent job!

I cannot wait until the face off between Izzie and Callie next week! That's been a long time coming. It looks like that would have been a fun couple of scenes to film!


Personally, I don't want George to leave Callie. I thought it was great that he ONLY said he "slept" with Izzie.

I hope there is hope. Fabulous episode! Thanks!


Loved the epi!
Well, I guess Alex is back to his old self...but was it really necessary to hurt George that way?
Can't wait for next week :)


So far I am loving this season. Thanks for a great eppi. I am so glad that Mer is starting to be a little kinder to Lexie. I hope she will start to be kinder to Derrick -actually lot kinder. Wow-I forgot how much of an ass Alex can be. I can hardley wait for next week. I am so nervous for Kali. Oh & I love Bailey & am so glad to see she still has it.


This episode was far funnier than the previous ones so props on that ... but how could George actually want to kill Callie? And blaming her for marrying him because his dad died? Hello? He asked her! He's the one who said that looking at her made him feel better!

I hate Gizzie.


NY Greys Fan

Mark - Great episode, the first that I have enjoyed in a long time! I was hopeful when I saw you noted as the writer. Thank you for all the episodes you have written.

I loved Mark/Derek, Mark/Richard, Derek, Meredith/Lexie and all of Really Old Guy's scenes. Also, thank you for making Alex part of the episode instead of like an extra. This episode was balanced, had humor, was light on Mer/Der angst - completely enjoyable.

The episodes that have less Mer/Der are better to watch. Their constant angst drags the show down. Please writers - if we have to deal with it, please keep it to a minimum.

Looking forward to the new love interest for Derek, hoping its true.

Thanks for a great episode and a great blog!


way to post the blog up so early! great job mark, loving this season.


Well, right now I'm watching Grey's because I'm addicted to it. And I'm commenting here because I might be the first post, and I think you read these. But honestly, the quality of the show is going down. And I'm so glad. Because it's kind of too bad that it is going downhill, but it will be easier for me as far as my health issues go if it isn't as good.

So I apologize for the grief that you will get. And I wish you all the best of luck. And maybe someone will read this. But thank you, because I'm sick, and Grey's is my addiction, and you are helping me fight.

So I'm sorry.


Thanks so much for a blog on the NIGHT of the episode!! it makes me so happy!! i loved the episode.. except for alex at the end, man he was a jerk! geez! i can't wait to see what happens next week in the george/izzie/callie triangle!! so excited!!!


Great episode Mark! Love the process that unfolded in the truth telling lessons learned, especially touching was the Meredith/Lexie conclusion, going over the events that led up to Susan's death. I think for different reasons they both needed this talking through action. But regarding Alex, why didn't you mention in your blog, Alex's destructive truth telling about George being a "repeater" in front of all the other interns!? It was a dispicable act! How smug he was, and then turhing to Lexie and denouncing "Interns" (sheesh) Did he forget she was also one? Perhaps he reverted to the flirty thinking look he gave her in the morning in that same elevator. Anyway, whatever goodness (albeit misguided) Alex displayed earlier in the epi, he totally destroyed any points earned by his attempt at humiliating George at the end of the epi. I have more later, but after just reading your blog, the lack of any mention of this event stuck out vividly for me.


I really enjoyed this episode and there is so much to make mention of. Cristina is getting back to being Cristina and I love watching her - Sandra Oh is remarkable! Alex with his older intern was amusing and I like seeing more of Alex, I just want to know more about his backround, more about him as a person and why he is the way he is. I really don't like what's going on between Meredith and Derek, it feels a bit sleazy. I think it's time they go their separate ways. I was thrilled to see George finally tell Callie the truth. It's about time! If this episode was forshadowing an untimely end to Gizzie I will be very unhappy, VERY. I can't express how much I love George when he's with Izzie and how much I don't like who he is when he's with Callie. He follows her like a puppy, like it's his duty or something. Callie is a strong woman and I admire that about her, yet she's somehow become very unlikable now. I think she and Mark would be far more interesting. Once all the mess clears, I hope Gizzie find a way to be together because they're the light of the show now for me. Shonda, please allow a happy ending with them. Would it make any difference if I said "Pretty please with a cherry on top?" ;)


Thank you SO much for putting up the blog so soon! I love that!


Let me just say this: THANK YOU! I have been waiting for so long for George to finally come clean to Callie. I'm sure that both of them will be stronger because of this. Let's just face it, not all marriages are built to last, and event though I love those two to death, they were doomed from the proposal. Next week looks hilarious and I cannnot wait!

I finally feel like Grey's is back to normal. And for that I say Thank You! The show I fell in love with is coming back! yay!

I hope everything works out for George and Izzie, and let me just say that I know it probably won't right away because this is television after all. But people can have it all the career and the love and the family. My mother is a prime example of that. And couples that are meant for each other aren't all boring.

Let the MerDer of it all be happy, let George and Izzie be George and Izzie <3. Hell, let all of the characters get some shot of happiness. That happiness is why I fell in love with the show.

Keep it up, and I trust in Shonda!


Truth be told Derek needs to tell Meredith how much he loves her and what he wants. She might just surprise him. The fans all know she loves him and so do you writers. Let her tell him please FINALLY.

Truth be told. ABC promoted Mer/Der all week on tv and gave us less than two minutes. That's horrible. Fix it and them.

Truth be told.. The writers actually gave Meredith back to the fans at the end of this show (with Lexie) Full of the compassion that makes us LOVE Meredith. Now just have the guts to give her back to Derek (and the fans) and we'll be set.

Truth be told. The promo for next week with that silly Callie/Izzie fight makes me NOT wnat to tune in next Thursday. It's just plain stupid..period.


What a great episode! Funny, sad, smart dialogs and great story development. Thank you so much for our great time.

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