Jenna Bans on "There's No 'I' In Team"...
Humor me. Just for a minute. Look around you, and find a someone – husband, wife, friend, dog, goldfish, anyone. And ask yourself – would I give a kidney for this person? You have two – you only need one to live. Seems like a no-brainer, right? But it’s a loaded question. It’s major surgery. You could die. More likely, you’d just be a little sore for a few days, but still. Major surgery. I’m looking at my husband right now. He’s sitting next to me, having no idea I’m blogging about him, eating a turkey sandwich that he made with cinnamon raison bread. Gross, right? Who does that? At this moment, I’m so offended by the cinnamon/turkey combo, it’s a hard decision…but in the end, yes, I’d probably give him the kidney. You kinda have to when you’re married to someone. It gets trickier when it’s a stranger. Giving a piece of yourself to someone you have no connection with, no shared history, no obligation to – and suddenly forming a bond that rivals family. Forming a team. With a stranger. Would you do it? We talked about this a lot on set during filming. And the consensus we came to, after the director lovingly promised the script supervisor that she was next in line for his kidney after his baby girl, was that choosing your team, choosing your peeps, choosing the ones who you want to have your back forever isn’t a choice to be taken lightly. It’s a huge decision. And we watched a lot of our characters struggle with it in this episode.
Especially Derek and Meredith. What I love about “The Shepherd Method” (how awesome was that American Neurosurgery magazine – props to the props people!) is that both Meredith and Derek have completely valid arguments. Meredith, as Bailey points out, did work her ass off on that clinical trial. And it was totally her idea. However, Derek is the attending and in the medical journal world, would absolutely get the credit. So it’s a classic professional standoff – complicated by the fact that these two people share a bed. Now if Meredith did the clinical trial with say, Erica Hahn, could we see her getting all riled up about the credit? Think about that. Not a chance, right? (Not like anyone in their right mind would ever pick a fight with Erica Hahn anyway) So it’s not just about the medicine, it’s not just about the principal of the thing, it’s also about Mer’s hurt that Derek never even said thank you. There are major miffed feelings involved. Big picture point is, when you fall in love and move in with your sort of boss, the personal bleeds on over into the professional, and it gets messy. And happily for us writers who are constantly looking for ways to exploit the Mer/Der drama, there’s no easy way out of that. As Bailey tells Derek in the end, he’s gonna have to learn to live in the mess. It’s not simple. But it’s fun to watch. And if anyone can wade through it and make a kidney in a jar look all fun and sexy, it’s these two.
Izzie and Alex, huh? I don’t know about you, but I’ve felt that kiss coming on for weeks. Like a good flu. Iz takes a huge leap of faith tonight – telling Alex, I’m on your team and I’m not going anywhere. That’s a brave lady. ‘Cause saying that to someone who is as emotionally traumatized as Alex…watch out. There is a very good possibility he will slam the door in your face. And he tries - but Izzie doesn’t let him. Not tonight. You can trust me, she says. Which we know is not something Alex does easily. Especially after the saga known as Ava/Rebecca. But the truth is, Izzie’s always had his back – even when he’s down in the dumps and treating her like a pile of poo. So, to me, it was high time that that guy man up. And that kiss? That was some good man-ning up.
How incredible was Lexie in this episode? Chyler Leigh just kills me. She’s been quietly on George’s team for weeks now, just waiting for him to notice her. And when it finally becomes too much she explodes on him in the locker room. One of my favorite moments in the episode. That “you don’t see anything” speech is sort of what I wanted to say to every boy I quietly loved from afar in junior high. But never did. I’m proud of Lexie for finally having the cajones to tell George it’s not okay to treat her like an invisible doormat. And the look on George’s face is pretty priceless – that guy has no idea what’s been going on under his own roof. Granted, he’s been all wrapped up in catching up to the others, becoming a resident, and getting his own interns. But dude needs to get a clue. ‘Cause even though Lexie seems like the kind of girl who’d wait around for him forever, I think somewhere deep inside she has more backbone than we give her credit for.
So the Callie/Erica saga got a little interesting, hmm? I have to say, Shonda and I got more a little crap for “The Sloan Method” – or as some people interpreted it, the idea that Callie Torres had to go to a man to learn how to please a woman. But that wasn’t the intention at all. Here’s the thing. To Callie, Mark Sloan is not just a magic manwhore, he’s a person. He’s her person. And who do you go to if you’re going “down there” for the first time and you’re freaking out and you need some good old-fashioned sex advice? You go to your best friend. Which for Callie, HAPPENS to be Mark Sloan. Who HAPPENS to be a man. A man who HAPPENS to have an excellent reputation between the sheets. That’s all it is, I swear. We’re all pro women getting down with women over here at Grey’s. We’re pretty much pro anyone getting down with anyone. Yay, getting down!
You know who’s not getting down? (segue…) Cristina Yang. And Cristina Yang…I gotta be honest with you, Cristina’s feeling it these days. She’s lonely. Really lonely. And can you blame her? Meredith’s all happy and relationshippy with Derek, her roommate Callie’s hanging out with Erica Hahn 24/7…I have a feeling that for Cristina, there’s been a lot of drinking alone at Joe’s lately. And that’s okay. Somehow it makes me feel better as a human to know that even someone as strong and steely as Yang isn’t above throwing a little pity party for herself sometimes. There’s no shame in it. And then just as she’s about to throw a Molotov cocktail at Joe’s and take out all the “lame interns and weird lab techs” in a fell swoop …Kevin Mckidd as Major Owen Hunt walks in! Blink and you’ll miss him – it was practically a cameo. But I love that look on her face at the end – it’s like a combo platter of yay/oh, crap, I’m in trouble now. Which she totally is, by the way. In trouble. Oh, it gets good…
One last thing before I go. To me, this was Bailey’s episode. A love letter to Bailey. Because with all the different kind of teams you may find at Seattle Grace – I believe Bailey is the ultimate coach of all of them. This domino kidney swap, this was her project. Her baby. In her final scene with the Chief in the conference room, we ended up cutting a couple lines for time that for me, epitomized Bailey’s journey in this episode. I will re-enact them for you now. It went something like this: Chief: “Oh, and Dr. Bailey? You’re not gonna drag us all the way back from number 12 by yourself. But you did a hell of a job trying today.” And Bailey says “Thank you. Sir.” Translation, this number 12 ranking thing hasn’t just rattled the Chief – it’s rattled Bailey too. Deeply rattled. But at the end of the day, it’s gonna be okay cause Bailey knows the Chief’s got her back. And Richard knows he’s got Bailey on his side, in his hospital, working her little heart and soul out for him. They’ll get through it. With each other. Which brings me back to the point - we all need our team. To give us kidneys. To make us feel better when we drop kidneys. To push us on when life becomes humiliating and painful. Or just to greet us at the door with offensive turkey sandwiches. I hope you all have a good one in your corner, rooting you on. Thanks for watching!