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‘Grey's Anatomy’: Erica and Callie go out on a date-date

October 17, 2008 |  7:26 am

Callieerica290 First dates are always nervefrackinwrackin’. What if it all goes horribly wrong? Even worse, what if it goes incredibly right? That could potentially lead to date No. 2 and No. 3 and a relationship and love and being vulnerable and trusting and all sorts of terrifying goodness. And really, who needs that?

Looks like Callie and Erica just might. The Seattle Grace colleagues finally braved their first same-sex date, and it was sparky and funny and full of promise. Making it to that dinner, which thankfully did not take place at Joe’s bar, provided the episode with some of its best moments. Like a palpably anxious Callie hilariously oversharing with a surprised Dr. Bailey: “There’s been kissing but no touching and what if I’m not into it? What if I’m horrible at all that stuff south of the border?” And Dr. Bailey’s equally amusing, and ultimately affecting, attempt to later calm Callie’s nerves. (Vajayjay and motherland and Africa, oh my!)

But what I liked most was how the night’s developments rang true for both women. Naturally, Callie would equate their first date with sex. Whether marrying George or deciding she wants to be Chief for all of 2.5 seconds, she’s always been a girl who rushes into things. Erica gently reminded her they could take it slow, and just as quickly proved to us that outside of her burgeoning relationship, she has no intention of going soft. “You lie to me again about your experience and the next heart you see will be your own as I cut it out of your chest with a steak knife,” she warned Meredith. Day-um.

But Callie and Erica -- Callica? -- weren’t the only Seattle Gracers exploring new territory. No-longer-an-intern George, so often wracked with insecurity, proved refreshingly self-assured when dealing with an 8-year-old kid suffering from heart failure. Meredith freaked when Derek discovered her mom’s old diary and proceeded to do a lot of Mer-style whining about it but in the end, she didn’t tell him to pack up his arsenal of hair products and retreat to the bachelor pad-trailer. Instead, she offered to let him make her mom’s den his own. (Wow. Guess therapy really did do some good.)

In a less welcome twist, Cristina became enamored of the dermatology department. Yep, the heretofore unseen dermatology department. I’m always leery when characters who’ve lived, either literally or figuratively, in a place for years suddenly stumble across a hidden nook, cranny or sun-bathed waiting room they never knew existed. It just feels like lazy writing. But I had an even harder time accepting that Yang -- who breathes, eats, sleeps, dreams the fast-paced, cutthroat world of surgery -- would be enthralled, even temporarily, by the uber-chill Planet Lotion, where residents bake each other seven-layer birthday cakes, are treated to massages and leave early to go for facials. When the words “There is no mocking in derm, only warmth and light” were uttered, I had to rewind and make sure it wasn’t Izzie who’d spoken them. “We are not happy, glowy people” -- now that’s a Cristina gem, sold later in the episode, I have no problem buying.

Another line of the night came courtesy of one doc who remained blissfully, unapologetically immovable. “Surgery’s like the Wild West,” Sloan informed Izzie. “You didn’t get your claim in Montana from the bank, you got it because you put a fence around it and shot the ass off anyone who walked by.”

Your turn. Did you think the episode hit the mark? Are you eager to see Callie and Erica tackle date No. 2? What did you make of Cristina’s detour into derm? And, finally, did we really need to see the graphic, bloody removal of that poor patient’s face??

-- Shawna Malcom

(Photos courtesy ABC)

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