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Zoanne Clack on "Slow Night, So Long"...

Original Airdate: 11-18-10

“Do not go gentle into that good night.”

“Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary…”

“One night in 1984, 18-year old Libby Zion died within 8 hours of her emergency admission to the hospital.  Her death was attributed to overworked and inexperienced young doctors.” 

Okay, that last one wasn’t any kind of literary saying about the night, but it is a big part of the reason that the 80-hour work-week and night float was instituted in residency programs.  We’ve all done all-nighters, right?  Maybe some of you guys still do.  Maybe you’re doing one right now because you took time off to watch Grey’s Anatomy and you know you have a paper due or a test tomorrow.  My point is, we all know.  Nights are supposed to be for sleep, rest, relaxation.  There’s a reason night exists, and it’s not for humans to work.  It’s for vampires to hunt, and werewolves to change, and demons to roam.  Things change at night. 

And things change in this episode.  It’s not the usual Grey’s.  As a matter of fact, when Shonda first saw my episode in full she looked at me, took a moment of silence, then said, “Zoanne.  Your episode is… weird.  I mean, it’s not weird, it’s… yea, weird.”  I didn’t know quite what to make of that, but I get it.  Our attendings are checking deathat the door along with their coats.  They’re leaving all that life saving stuff behind them and are just out being themselves without the impending doom of potential death looming over them.  Teddy’s talking about online dating for god’s sakes.  For a whole episode.  It’s weird to see them like that – I get that, and I also kinda love it.  They left the life-saving parts for the residents mostly, because let’s face it - residents run hospitals at night.  The attendings let the inmates run the asylum, as it were. 

And crazy things can happen.

Take Callie and Mark, for example.  I’ll just go ahead and apologize to all you CalZona fans first.  Okay, now that that’s out of the way, that the scene where he becomes her sexual sorbet was HOT, right?  And it makes sense.  They’re friends, they’re comfortable, they’re there for each other.  What could be wrong about that?  In fact, there’s so much about it that’s right.  Who could be faulted for being green?  They’re recycling, people!  I’m sure you’d agree they’re doing their part for humanity and for mother earth.  Good for them.

Apologies also to all you Cristina fans who are mourning the loss of the driven, determined Cristina.  Can’t she just have a good time?  Can’t she just … BE?  She’s not losing Owen.  Owen’s sticking.  She was there for him when he was going through it.  She stuck.  So he’s sticking, too.  He’ll hold her hair.  He’ll forgive her transgressions.  He’s going to be there for her, whether she likes it or not. 

And we (i.e., the writers) know Cristina’s supposed to be the strong one.  Hardcore.  All surgery all the time.  We know that.  But sometimes it’s the ones who look like they’re the most together that have the biggest explosion.  It’s her process, and she’s kind of making it up as she goes along.  Trying to feel out what’s right for her.  I totally sympathize with this.  I had a moment in life where I completely burned out.  I was trying to figure out my next move – do something else in medicine (I was/am an ER doc) or pick up everything and move to Hollywood to fulfill a childhood dream.  Well, I’m writing this blog so you can tell what I did.  And people thought I was C-R-A-Z-Y.  And I didn’t even have a gun held to my head.  So all I’m saying is, give Cristina a little slack, people.  She’s been on one road with one destination all her life.  Like Callie said, doctors often don’t get their 20’s to explore.  They’re too busy with the weight of the world on their shoulders as they practice (yes, I said practice) saving lives!  She needs time, she needs space… she needs to figure things out.

Which is what Derek’s giving her.  Last week he talked about floors.  This week he watches her get drunk and go a little cray cray (but not too cray cray… he’s her bouncer, after all).  But that is so true to Derek.  He’s the king of backing off.  Even when Mer was trying to decide whether or not to give half her liver to her dad, he gave her space, let her make the decision.  He uses the same tactic with Cristina.  He knows that direct confrontation ain’t gonna help – he’s been through his own little “breakdown,” and he knows he wouldn’t have listened.  He needed to take the time he needed and that was that.  He’s offering the same to Cristina.

Mer doesn’t understand this tactic.  She can’t fathom just sitting back and doing nothing.  At one point we talked about Mer going to go to the bar to scream at Cristina to no avail, but as it turned out, her story did not allow for that.  She had to save a kid’s life.  Probably wasn’t so hard to go against Stark, since Stark is such, excuse my French, an ass.  It’s not that he doesn’t know what he’s doing, he does.  He’s not a bad doctor, he’s just a lazy doctor.  And lazy might as well equal bad.  So it’s up to Mer to save the day.  Mer and Alex.  Can you believe they’re the only two left of our original fab five?  Funny how the years change things.  They’ve stuck.  And they’re going to keep sticking.  Together.  Do you guys remember the Chief’s speech from the first episode?  “Eight of you will switch to an easier specialty.  Five will crack under the pressure.  Two of you will be asked to leave.”  Ahh, memories…

Jackson wasn’t there for the Chief’s speech, but he might’ve been in the category of “cracking under the pressure.”  Who knew he was still reeling from the effects of the shooting and losing Charles?  As it turns out, his coping mechanism is to keep things bottled up and then just release.  His release on Alex last week helped him get rid of some of the anger and frustration he’s been feeling.  But it wasn’t about Alex, it was about him.  It didn’t stop the screaming in his sleep, but in this episode he is able to redirect his energy into work (and he kicked ass and took names in that surgery, y’all!). 

And when I think of kicking butt and taking names, I think of one person.  Usually.  Maybe not this particular night.  Bailey.  How much do I love drunk BAILEY?  If you say you didn’t, I don’t know what I’m going to do with you.  She is hilarious to me.  I love the way she enunciates.  Every.  Word.  Like what she’s saying is holds the answer to the meaning of life.  Her advice to Virgin April is priceless.  And even though drunk, she is quite wise.  April knows Bailey is right.  Alex is not the right guy for her.  All this time and effort she’s spending hating Alex is time better spent just focusing on what’s right for her.  Which is not him.  Which she realizes.

I love those two moments at the beginning and the end in the car and in Meredith/Derek’s bedroom.  The change of energy in the car in the end vs. the beginning is lovely, and the interaction between Derek and Meredith speaks volumes to me.  Even on conflicting schedules, even if they don’t get to see each other as much as they want to, even if they are two ships passing in the night, they’re still going to make it work.  Meredith’s elation at him getting his grant and Derek’s simple gesture of closing blinds for Meredith tells me that they’re going to take care of each other.  It’s not all about sex for them, it’s about mutual respect and companionship.

I always like to give little tips at the end of my blogs, and my tip for this one is:  DON’T TRY TO OUTRUN A TRAIN!!  You never get a second chance if you lose, and you lose even if you tie.

Good night, good night, Parting is such sweet sorrow, That I shall say good night till it be morrow. 

Or right now.



What do Alex and April in the future? I was kind of warming up to the idea of them together.

Ana M.

Good episode.

The Attendings going out party was a nice break from the usual drama. Bailey drunk = Best part of the episode. Even Teddy was funny drunk.

Loved, LOVED Derek/Alex/Mer on this episode. They never fail to me.

The 'passing ships' metaphor is good but not enough. The lack of M/D is starting to get tiring. I'd believe more the companionship story if I saw them together more often. As they used to.

The car rides weren't that great. You made me miss Izzie. I loathed Izzie. And now, I miss her and about get struck my lightning for saying that.

Still hate April and Jackson. No use for them.

Why, why, can't the house in the woods be done? I don't like the college dorm style house that M/D have. It's ridiculous.

I want to give praises but this is all I have on my mind now and those details are annoying me to no end. Kind of like April and the college dorm.


Callie and Mark ... SO HOT!!! She wanted sorbet and Mark, being the good friend that he is, gave it to her. It's sad seeing Callie so broken down (AGAIN!). Even though this hookup was for comfort, I still love these two together. One of the best "couples" on the show :)

Drunk Bailey is AWESOME!

Derek, how he's so protective of Cristina, is McDreamy indeed.


WOW! this was a different kind of grey's. but i really liked it!
ok so the sexual sorbet...saw it coming! and i guess i get it, i just don't love it. but it's ok, i'm along for the ride. as for christina, she is breaking my heart. HATE seeing her like this!! though she did make me laugh tonight. laugh in horror, but still....
meredith and alex make a fantastic team. i love them together, they rock. and drunk bailey??? lol.this was my favorite part of the whole episode. she was hilarious. and i loved her talk with april. oh and ps...you guys did the almost impossible, my husband actually paid attention to this "chick show"(his words). he laughed outloud at "sexual palate cleanser", and kept watching after that.so thanks for that too!


I loved the episode and I adored drunk Bailey!

I'm enjoying Cristina's journey. Its heartbreaking at times but I'm curious to see how Cristina emerges and how she is overall changed by the past months. Sandra Oh is fabulous and I'm thrilled to see her finally getting some time front and center to allow her talents to truly shine.

I'm more a Derek fan than ever before. He's been so sweet and understanding with Cristina. I've loved all their scenes together. Its nice to see some of the characters who never had much together interact.

Alex has always been my favorite character and I always wish for more story for him. I'm very pleased that Alex as a strong surgeon is being shown. There's been so much dialog on the show over the years about Cristina or Meredith being the best but in the end it seems to me that its Alex that has proven himself to be the strongest overall.

Mark and Callie could easily become my favorite couple on Grey's ever. I'm sad knowing it won't happen. :(

Can't wait to see what happens next. Season 7 just may be the best season of Grey's Anatomy yet.


I'm not a huge Callie/Arizona fan, I don't dislike them but they also don't do much for me. That being said I find the whole Mark/Callie hook-up really off-putting. It isn't a healthy friendship (to say the least) and has clearly caused both of them problems in their other serious relationships (Mark w/ Lexie and Callie w/ both Erica and Arizona). It's just too much and way too invasive for any significant other to believably put up with.

I wanted Mark/Lexie and Callie/Arizona to get back together but now I think not. You can't just be bff one second and sex-buddies the next like turning off and on a light switch. I don't see how Arizona can get over this considering Mark was her biggest insecurity in her relationship w/ Callie but if she some how does the Mark/Callie "friendship" really needs to take a step back-- they both need to grow up and stay firmly in the friends category if they are ever going to have successful relationships with others in the future.


Having sex is saving the planet? Try over populating it.

I loved Teddy's rambling about Arizona and internet dating.

Also I know I'm not supposed to like him, but Peter McNicole as Dr. Stark is deliciously wonderful. Also would have accepted Dr. Sydney Heron as AZ replacement.


Hands down the best part of the episode tonight was drunk Bailey and drunk Teddy! They were hILarious! I wasn't a big fan of Teddy initially but I'm totally loving her this season.

Otherwise all I could think throughout the episode was I REALLY miss Arizona :( Can't wait till she comes back! Callie and Mark together was just - sad...


So into Callie & Mark! They are my two favorite characters on the show, and I love their friendship. Of course, I love Arizona as well...but Mark and Callie....that's where it's at!


Zoanne: Thank you for a humorous episode. I loved Bailey and Teddy's rants. In fact there was a lot I enjoyed in this episode. But the purpose of my getting out of my bed at 1:30 in the morning (on EST), is to say SERIOUSLY??? "What could be wrong with..." Callie and Mark getting together? I really hope you are being sarcastic because there is EVERYTHING wrong with their getting together! And since you reference recycling - why on God's green earth would it be okay for Callie to get busy with a man who Arizona was already suspicious about...who she reached out to for the sake of understanding Callie and Mark's friendship...who was angry with Lexie for sleeping with Alex when they broke up (very hypocritical)...and I'm sure I could dig some more into this but it's late...for me. I just do not know how we are to see this 'mashing of genitals' as recycling or anything even mildly positive. I'm hoping that Arizona comes back and her first scene with Callie is surprising Callie by stepping into the shower with her so she can be sure Mark's scent isn't lingering. That's how wrong that was for a few of us. Otherwise...nice job, Zoanne.


Enjoyed the episode completely. It was nice to see the attendings out together celebrating. And drunk Bailey? Priceless! I don't want her to have any drinking problem but I want to see her again at least once. Please?!

I love, love, love Mark and Callie. I am so sad that this isn't going to end well for them. No matter who they are with I will always hold out a bit of hope that they will end up together. Their chemistry is off the charts and they have the potential to be a fantastic couple.

Derek Shepherd is indeed McDreamy. His concern for Cristina is has really highlighted what a wonderful and caring man he is. I seriously cannot wait for the fishing trip.

BTW, great blog. I'm glad you made the trip to LA!


Good episode! Different, but good. Drunk Bailey was pretty awesome, and I loved seeing some follow-up with her feelings regarding Ben.

I am really starting to welcome April and Jackson though I personally prefer April even though I think a lot of people still hate her. Someone else already said it but I was kinda warming up to her and Alex too, though NOT the way it was going last week!

Wonder what the chief thought of Stark chewing out Alex and Mer. I liked the two of them doing badass surgery themselves. I love their friendship.

Still want Lexie and Mark together, eventually, and Cristina back, eventually.


If by 'recycling' meaning destroying nearly two seasons of character grownth in mere seconds...yeah...

I'm a fan of C/M friendship, but seriously you had to go there? I thought Mark would have grown enough to know that Callie was really hurting and that he would only be making it worse in the long run by agreeing to sleep with her when she clearly was in love with someone else (Arizona),;someone who Callie felt had abandoned her. She needed a friend more than empty pity/comfort sex, and being her best friend he should have put a kaposh in it. He should have been her shoulder to cry on, but being Mark he continue to do what he always does.

I believe C/M are suppose to be great best friends, but they can't keep switching from 'friend' to sex buddy whenever the going gets tough (ie when one or the other goes through a devestating breakup/heartbreak). It's obvious (beside a possible passing sexual attraction) that they get each other as best friends do, but they are not IN LOVE with each other (ie Callie being unable to sleep and looking remarkably empty and hollow after having so called 'HOT' sex with Mark). The pairing just doesnt work. Callie has never been in love with Mark (nor the other way around). If they were ever supposed to be a meaningful full fledged couple it would have happened seasons ago (with the end of Callie's relationship with George, or even her relationship with Erica) and I find it sad that their friendship is being reduced them becoming rebound sex buddies every time either just got of a relationship. It's not healthy at all. And it makes a mockery of what was a great friendship for friends to 'use' each other like that.


Callie & Mark = YAY! Yes, so HOT!

Drunk Bailey & Drunk Teddy = So great! Funny!

I was kinda starting to get tired of Christina and her craziness, but people just don't get over stuff that traumatizes them overnight, and now I'm enjoying watching her journey. Will she find herself? Will she completely crack? Sandra Oh is acting gangbusters!

Everyone else was really great. I go back and forth on April, but considering how fragile she seems sometimes, I'm kinda surprised she's not in a nut house after tripping over her dead fried and watching Derek get shot. She's a strange one.


Ugh...sorry. Dead "friend" not fried. Guess I'm up too late!


Your intention with this episode was endearing and I want to say that I loved it but I can't. The concept was really good but something got lost in the translation. Maybe in the editing? I couldn't enjoy drunk Bailey because it is so out of character for her. She is no prude. She drinks and has sex but she never loses control. And tonight she did and there was no trigger. After 7 seasons she just got drunk for the heck of it. My favorite scenes were all with Teddy. All her lines were brilliant. I love that she loves Callie's and Arizona's relationship and her drunken rantings were gold. Mer and Alex in the OR, rocked it. Stark is an ass and I would love to see Arizona roll over him with her heelys after the chief kicks him out of SWMG on his ass. Love Mark. Love Callie. Do not begrudge you the sex. I agree that it makes a lot of sense. To the bad...that celebration party should have been fun. It was booooring. If Derek was going to just watch Cristina, it could have been handled off screen. That part of the epi just dragged. And I understand about the PTSD, but first Owen took over last season with his PTSD and now we have Cristina AND Jackson. It's too much. And it's going to take Cristina half a season to recover? Why isn't she in therapy? That makes no sense. I have supported her process all the way but now I have to say, enough. And Jackson's night screams came out of nowhere. We knew something was brewing but the screaming felt over the top. Look, I am a fan. I read the blogs, buy the DVD's, post on boards, dissect storylines, etc. And I want Greys to continue for years to come, but you guys are not making this possible. There is too much going on. Too many characters. Too much PTSD. Too many writers and too many inconsistencies with the characters. The important points are never explored and others are over exposed. Mer's miscarriage was handled in like a minute and a half of dialogue and Derek's response was ultra lame. But Cristina has PTSD for half a season and everybody is sucked into this drama. What a difference it would have made tonight to focus more on Mer and Alex in the OR and trying to save the other young man who died. Instead, we got the attendings looking bored and miserable, with the exception of Teddy who was hilarious, and Derek perched at the bar. It was like watching paint dry. And what is missing with the resident's interactions? Chemistry? They seem disjointed. Like they have been forced together but they just tolerate each other. Thanks for putting up with my rant. I understand most of this is not about writing, it's about other external factors.


I'm going to keep it short this week because what is there to really say except, THIS IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE EPISODES. EVER. I loved the change of pace. I loved drunk Bailey. Hilarious and so lovable. Owen...so endearing holding her hair. It reminded me of the clothes in the shower scene in reverse. LOVED.


I absolutely do not like Mark and Callie as sexual partners. They already have the weirdest friendship on earth totally overstepping all rational boundaries. Letting her use him and letting him allow her to use him is horrible! Just wrong. If those two are ever going to be in a real loving relationship with a good person, this weird and unappropriate closeness will have to stop. I wouldn't touch either one of them until that problem is fixed.
Arizona and Lexie were both uncomfortable about Mark and Callie together. You - dear writers - have a real challenge of making this credible now. Most of the time I get your thoughts about the different characters and how they would react to certain events. This, this I just don't understand.


Good episode i am enjoying Cristinas journey and give her and Owen more screen time. Really they can carry this show.




Season 7 is still holding strong. I LOVE CRISTINA YANG, give me more OWEN and CRISTINA and I will love you foreva


Sandra Oh continues to create the most interesting character on GA.I for one am invested in her journey and am enjoying Owen happily along for the ride


more cristina and owen pretty please!


I thought it was a terribly dull episode. Depressing and boring. Honestly it doesn't feel like anyone but Christina has an actual storyline. Too much focus on the newbies tonight. No mer/der - again. I'm losing hope that they will have a storyline this season. It wasn't bad, but nothing is happening on the show. Too many characters. I'm tired of Christina's storyline. How about giving someone else a chance at the spotlight.


Dear Writers
Here we are at episode 9 and very little has really happened this season for the vast majority of our characters. Why is everything about CHristina? I think the PSTD storyline for her has been interesting - sort of, but now I am ready for the focus to be on other characters. I was very excited at the beginning of the season because it seemed like Meredith was front and center again. Sure she gets screentime, but there has been no more mention of the baby. No more mention of anything to do with her that isn't related to christina. IT IS SOOOOOOO FRUSTRATING. Meredith and Derek have probably had 10 minutes of total screentime the ENTIRE SEASON. We are almost half way done. It gets to the point where I wonder why I bother. I'm just so frustrated and fed up with the show. You have wonderful character, but you don't do anything with them.

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