Pete Nowalk on "Can't Fight Biology"...
Original Airdate: 10-14-10
Here’s something not many people know about me. I’m a good dancer. Okay, that’s a bit modest. I’m an amazing dancer. I went to Juilliard on a scholarship. I trained with the same teacher as Baryshnikov. Currently I perform with a Los Angeles troupe that specializes in a combination of hip-hop, jazz, and disco. I am the head soloist.
That’s a lie. I lied. I’m not a dancer. I just wish I was. I want to be like one of those kids on So You Think You Can Dance. I just can’t dance. Because when I do I resemble Elaine on Seinfeld. In fact I’d call it flailing more than dancing. I even punched a girl in the face when I flailed too hard at a club one time. I blame my parents. They didn’t pass down dancing genes. They passed down chicken leg genes. Yeah, you should see me in a pair of shorts. Legs only good for one thing – running. Not dancing. But oh how I love to bust out my bold moves on the dancefloor... I digress.
Genes were kind of the theme of this episode. Well, biology to be more specific, but genes are part of that. We wanted to explore that age-old question of nature vs. nurture. What makes us who we are? Is it our DNA? Our upbringing? A combo platter??
What better way to explore this question than through Meredith. We’ve known since the pilot that Meredith, like Ellis, might carry the gene for Early Onset Alzheimer’s. She just hasn’t gotten tested for the gene yet. I get it. It’d be terrifying to find out you had an expiration date. Think about it. What would you do? Be like Meredith’s patient Lila and spend the rest of your life travelling and sleeping around? Ditch your job and pursue the dreams you put on hold? Or would you stay the same – setting your alarm everyday, exercising routinely, hoping that some amazing doctors will find a cure before D-day comes? See – expiration dates are a lot of pressure. It’s so much easier to think you’ve got years left to mess around and sleep late and put off carpe diem-ing until tomorrow. That’s probably what Meredith’s been thinking for the last six seasons. But now she wants to have a baby. She has more than just herself to think about. And, of course, now she finds out she has a hostile uterus. MAN ALIVE!!
Meredith Grey doesn’t get many breaks in life. Maybe it’s because of her upbringing, or maybe it’s something wonky about her DNA, but someone in the world has decided to deal her tons o’ crap. Personally, it’s what makes me love her. No matter how many crappy things come her way, Meredith keeps on living and fighting and taking risks. She’s got balls. Derek reminds her that, expiration date or not, there’s no reason to think about it. None of us can know what’ll come tomorrow so why not just throw caution to the wind and be. So those test results? They’ll stay in the lab, out of sight and out of mind. I’m relieved.
Cristina’s got her own set of crap to deal with lately. First up, house-hunting. Biologically, there are two types of people in the world – those that buy fixer uppers and those that don’t. (Okay, maybe not biologically, but I’m trying to weave a common thread through this blog so go with me). I’m not a fixer upper kind of person. My fridge currently contains a bottle of ketchup and three beers. I can barely bring myself to grocery shop so how the hell would I ever manage picking out tile for a bathroom? Cristina’s the same. Still, she buys the firehouse…for Owen. This tells us a lot about where she’s at mentally. She’s lost when it comes to surgery but not with her marriage. Instead she’s throwing herself in deeper. It’s what the worm guy said – when you love something you hold on to it. For Cristina, that’s Owen. She’s becoming a fixer upper person for him. So maybe it’s nurture after all. (Btw, if you want to know more about why someone would eat worms check out Medical Research Meg’s blog: http://abc.go.com/shows/greys-anatomy/medical-case-file)
Let’s pose the nature vs. nurture question for Alex. Dude is a good Peds surgeon. This is a little unexpected. You’d think plastics or trauma surgery would be the specialty he’d thrive in. He’s tough, he doesn’t get emotional, he’s even a little insensitive sometimes. But as he showed with our dancer kid, Jake, Alex has a way with kids. He knew Jake needed to dance for Callie and Arizona, even though he personally couldn’t care less about ballet. In fact, he probably thinks it’s lame. But Alex got that dance is what makes Jake Jake. It’s who he is. Part of his biology. Who knows why he ended up this way, especially with parents so different from him, but he is a dancer through and through. Alex was able to save his leg because of it. So maybe it’s in Alex’s nature to be a good Peds surgeon.
Lexie’s Meredith’s sister. Her biological sister. They share blood. So why the hell is Meredith treating April more like a sister than Lexie? That’s the question running through Lexie’s mind this entire episode. She doesn’t ask Mer this right away though. Instead she gets jealous. And hilarious. I love watching Lexie be mean. It’s probably because I’m the youngest child of three. The youngest always dreams of the day they’ll have the power they never had growing up. I’ll show you, basically. That’s what I feel like Lexie’s doing to April in this episode. She’s had to suffer under Mer and Cristina for years. Now someone else can suffer. That would be April.
Poor April. She tries so hard. I don’t blame her. She just wants to get along. To belong. Her best friend just died and now she’s living in this strange house. A chore wheel is exactly the thing that will bond her to everyone! What I really like about April in this episode is that somewhere, maybe even if it’s not conscious, she gets that Lexie’s anger isn’t personal, that she’s just the innocent victim. Luckily, Lexie eventually admits this and confronts Meredith. Cause who knows what pent up rage can do to you? Hopefully not make you drive into a Laundromat. (P.S. if you’re getting to that point, let me suggest talking to the person you’re mad at. And some therapy. Therapy never hurts.) By the way, how awesome was Frances Conroy as the jilted Eleanor in this Laundromat story? I’m a big fan of Six Feet Under so I was psyched when she agreed to take the part. And that confession scene gives me the chills.
Let’s talk about my favorite threesome on our show. Callie, Arizona, and Mark. As much as we’ve never stated it before I think it’s always been clear that Arizona and Mark don’t love each other. They’re as different as two people can be. For Callie, this bites. No one likes to be caught between their best friend and significant other. Usually these situations end up with the best friend getting the boot. Callie’s not that kind of friend though. Mark’s been there for her through everything. So she pushes Arizona to try to be his friend. The result? Arizona asks Mark on a date. What the hell did they talk about on this date? Callie, I’m guessing. What else do they have in common?
Last but not least, Jackson got shirtless. As you saw, that boy has good genes. Great genes. Not a chicken leg gene in sight. I really have nothing more to say about this except…
Have a great week everyone.