Stacy McKee on "Kung Fu Fighting"...
Original Airdate: 11-1-07
So – I have this group of friends. It started as just four of us – two of whom I’ve known since I was six years old… They all live in Texas (where I grew up) and I live in California – so we don’t all get to see each other as often as we’d like… A few years ago, we decided to start taking little trips together – just us girls. Nothing too fancy – just happy, silly girlfriend getaways – to Vegas or New Orleans or Hawaii… And (as a joke, really) we started calling ourselves “The Bad Girls.” Mostly because we’d find ourselves in Vegas on a Friday night, totally wiped after airplane flights and crazy work weeks – and we’d be ready for bed, perfectly sober, by 11pm. SO happy just to sleep.
Very sad. So NOT “bad” at all. In any way. And yet… the name stuck.
Pretty soon, all our other friends, our spouses, our parents – they all started calling us “The Bad Girls” too. Us. The most ridiculously tame “bad girls” on the planet – I’m not kidding. Our version of hardcore is getting henna tattoos – because they’re not permanent. True story.
The strange thing is, it’s like we’ve inadvertently formed some exclusive club --- our husbands get jealous of our trips and try to invite themselves along. Some of us have been approached by other friends – they want to be Bad Girls too; isn’t there some way they can join in all the fun? They’ll do what it takes. They’ll get hazed. They can be bad; they can be hardcore… It’s a little like our own private Fight Club or something – only, with pedicures and martinis instead of all the blood and – well – punching.
We’re so not hardcore, and yet… we also kind of are. Hardcore comes in many shapes and many sizes. (And, yes, I know that sounds porny. You people and your dirty dirty minds.)
Let’s talk about Meredith. She ended the last episode by finally putting her mother to rest – by washing Ellis’ ashes down a scrub sink. And now – she’s reeling a little bit. Starting to reevaluate why she is where she is, why she’s being haunted by her past, why – after experiencing death and coming back from it – she’s still too scared to really move forward and go after what she really wants – what she really needs…
Meredith wants nothing more than to be strong and brave and… hardcore. And, in this episode, she comes so close. She’s lying there in Derek’s arms, and she starts to open up – to let him in. And, you can see it in Derek’s eyes. You can almost hear what he’s thinking in that moment – that this is it. He put himself out there two episodes ago, he told her that he wants a future – a real future – and he wants it with her… And finally, Meredith is about to answer him. With something other than sex in an on-call room. She’s about to let him in and admit to him that life is short, so fricking short. She wants that same future with him too. And yet…
She doesn’t. She stops short of actually letting Derek in and – as usual – shuts down. Just shy of REALLY putting herself out there. Almost hardcore, but… not quite. He knows it. And she knows it. Which is why she’s so messed up in the end.
Ah… the end. When Meredith opens the door to find Alex and Lexie getting sexy in the hallway. Love it. In fact, I pretty much always love Alex Karev – like when he’s heckling George or stifling laughter as they all watch the skydiver video. Alex is kind of the epitome of hardcore – he’s a bad ass without even trying. He was with Ava last episode, he’s with Lexie in this one… and he makes no apologies for that. He calls it like it is – no one can say Lexie doesn’t know what she’s getting in to – Alex couldn’t have been more clear. She may get laid, but she isn’t getting a boyfriend. Not from him. Which she is Ok with…
… Or, at least, she must think she’s Ok with it. Lexie’s struggling to be hardcore herself. I don’t know if I’d go so far as to say, perhaps, this kind of struggle must run in the family, but… Okay. Fine. It must run in the family – because Lexie, though she’s very different from Meredith in many many ways, in this one way – they seem to be exactly alike.
Meredith and Lexie both want to succeed. They want to be strong. They want to feel normal. They want, so much, to be whole. But it’s a struggle – a genuine struggle for them. Being hardcore doesn’t come naturally. Sometimes, they have to fake it.
Which, in Lexie’s case, means getting sexy with Alex.
But my favorite incarnation of being hardcore in this episode, of course, comes in the form of the gentleman’s evening. Maybe because it reminds me of me and my Bad Girls. Or maybe because it’s so fun to see Derek and Mark try to figure out what the heck a gentleman’s evening actually is. (Monopoly is the perfect choice, by the way, because this is Richard’s gentleman’s evening. Remember – he’s the guy who brought a selection of soft cheeses with him to ‘rough it’ in the woods on the camping trip.) And maybe it’s because it’s just so great to watch Erica Hahn, on her first day of work at Seattle Grace, walk in, infiltrate the evening, and make the guys squirm.
Now SHE is hardcore. Clearly. A welcome addition to Seattle Grace. It’s been a while since a kick ass female surgeon stepped into the mix to shake things up. And the fact that it’s Cristina’s world she’s going to shake up the most? Even better. This is gonna be fun.
My point is – being bad, being hardcore? It’s all subjective. It’s a state of mind. It’s different for every single one of us. It’s an uber competitive game of Monopoly on Derek’s trailer porch. Or, it’s Lexie deciding she’ll take Alex up on his offer of uncomplicated, no-strings-attached sex. Or it’s George curling up next to sweet, frazzled Izzie, and deciding it’s okay if they just…sleep tonight. It’s staying awake for your own open heart surgery. It’s taking pride in your job, even if today that just means holding a bloody wedding dress, allllll day long… It’s giving yourself permission to take that rare day off of work so you can hop on a plane and spend some quality time with your Bad Girls. Even if the most debaucherous thing you and your Bad Girls do all weekend is fall asleep before 11pm and stay in bed the next morning till noon. That’s still TOTALLY hardcore. It’s not lame at all. Uh uh, no way. Sleep gives us strength. And you can’t be hardcore if you’re all tired and cranky with bags under your eyes and --- Ok, fine. Sleeping till noon isn’t exactly hardcore. Whatever. You guys know what I mean.