Debora Cahn on "Wish You Were Here"...
Original Airdate: 1-8-09
Cristina and Meredith are fighting. I hate it when they fight. They’re so damn miserable. You’d think maybe they’d enjoy it. Worthy opponents, squaring off. Throw down of the century. But no. Not even Cristina, who usually relishes the opportunity to tear anyone a new one, seems like this is just eating away at her soul. Where’s the sense of fun? Of sport? Can’t they try to get into the spirit of it? No. They both look kind of oxygen deprived. And that’s really what it’s like. You go through something like surgical residency – it’s a program designed to almost kill you. Like boot camp, but it goes on for years. How do you get through it? For Mer and Cristina, you survive by having a person by your side – minute by minute, trauma by trauma. Someone who will make you laugh when you have part of a dead person’s lymph node in your hair. Someone who will tell you your attending’s a brainless chinless douche bag when he’s just spent twenty hours explaining why you’re a moron. Someone who’s in it with you. And without that someone – it’s just torture. The days are grueling. The work is relentless. The satisfaction is nonexistent. It’s miserable. Without your other half… it’s like breathing without the oxygen. But Mer’s got Derek, shouldn’t that help? Not really. It’s not the same kind of other half. He’s there for her when it’s all over, but he’s not in it. He may remember what it was like to be a resident, but probably it’s like women who go through labor. It sucks just badly enough that something in your brain makes you forget. It’s hazy for Derek, the days in the trenches. He’s probably grown a little nostalgic about it. He can’t remember what it was really like.
And Owen… wouldn’t it be great if Cristina had Owen to turn to? Sure, he’d be like Derek – not a replacement for Meredith, but still. He’d be something. Wouldn’t we all feel a little better? So why can’t he get his damn act together? Why is he so damn hot and cold all the time? Why? He’s big and strapping and gorgeous and brilliant and capable and strapping and gorgeous, why is he such a basket case? Cristina doesn’t trust people. She just doesn’t come to it naturally. But here he is, holding out a hand, or at least a cup of coffee. She decided to let him in… and every time she comes to him in a moment of need, he’s totally checked out. Don’t you want to just smack him upside the head?
And while we’re smacking people upside the head… CHIEF RICHARD WEBBER. WHAT THE @#$%? I think that’s the real problem, for everyone, on this particular day. The Chief has checked out. He’s on strike. Gone. It’s like the center of gravity stopped pulling, and everyone’s about to slip off the face of the planet. Bailey, for a change, is the only one who really notices what’s going on. But there’s not a whole hell of a lot she can do about it. He’s known his hospital dropped to #12 for weeks. But he never really looked at it. Never really felt what it meant. It was a number somewhere on a chart. It sucked, but it didn’t change anything. Right up until Jordan Kenley dropped dead on a patient’s bed (that poor traumatized child) and the Chief discovered no good pediatric surgeon wanted to come here and take his place. Devastating. The Chief’s never experienced anything like that. He never had to ask, never mind beg, surgeons to come to this hospital. They were clamoring at the door. And now… people don’t want to work here? Add him to the list of people who are trying to walk the halls without oxygen. Except he had the good sense to lie down, in a dark room, and put a Do Not Disturb sign on the door.
And Derek. Saving the life of a serial killer. When all he can do is look in the guy’s eyes and imagine the face of the man who shot his dad.
And Mark Sloan… Mark Sloan who could always find happiness, or at least some brief gratification, in an on-call room, with pretty much anyone, but certainly with Callie, Mark Sloan is falling, hard, for the Littlest Grey. And his conscience, which has always been buried pretty deep, won’t let him have her. He betrayed Derek once. It was a biggie. And he can’t do it again. Despite the fact that Lexie’s trotting around him like a happy puppy. He can’t go there. Won’t. Talk about lack of oxygen…
People are having a really crappy day.
Except Izzie. Who couldn’t really be happier. So she hangs out with a dead guy, it’s a detail. She’s got the two loves of her life by her side. And they’re kind of getting in a pissing contest with each other, where the best way to win is to impress her in the sack. Or in an exam room. Really anywhere with a horizontal surface. So she’s a friggin whack job, she’s having a great time. And Alex, who thankfully has had enough crazy women in his life that Izzie’s confession about seeing dead people strikes him as pretty close to normal… Alex is cool with it. That’s the nice thing about being raised by a boozer and a junkie, it takes a lot to flip you out.
So… to the skeptics… to those who wonder why we let this woman spend her time with a dead guy, A DEAD MAN, WE SAW HIM DIE, WE’RE REALLY QUITE SURE HE’S NOT THE KIND OF PERSON YOU SPEND TIME WITH… It makes her happy. And she’s the only one who is. She wished he were here. And her wish came true. That’s supposed to make you happy. It often doesn’t. Be careful what you wish for, and all that. But sometimes it does. Sometimes it makes you really happy. So he’s dead. Why get bogged down in the details?