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'Grey's Anatomy': You can't pick your family

April 1, 2010 | 10:29 pm
Every episode of "Grey's Anatomy" has a theme of some sort; that's the whole point of the Meredith voice over. Tonight's episode, "Sympathy for the Parents," was a little heavy-handed with the theme, though.

Of course, what I'm talking about is the theme of family. According to the MVO, "every aspect of our lives, all our thought processes and behavior patterns, are the direct result of our relationship to our parents."

After six seasons, we already see the Seattle Grace doctors as a family - a dysfunctional, incestuous family, but a family nonetheless. It's easy to forget that there are actual blood-related people in their lives. I hadn't thought of Alex's family, or what his childhood may have been like, so I was as surprised as he was when his brother Aaron (Jake McLaughlin) showed up out of the blue seeking medical advice.

Since Aaron, a mover, doesn't have health insurance, Alex convinces Bailey to operate on Aaron's umbilical hernia pro-bono. While he's being prepped, Aaron spills the beans about Alex's past. Alex, along with Aaron and their now-17-year-old sister, Amber, spent their childhood in and out of foster homes. Alex had to steal food for his family when he was 11, which landed him in juvie. Though Alex hasn't been home in seven years, he sends money and medicine back every month.

I'm almost glad that it took six seasons to explore Alex's history, because now that all of the long-stale Izzie drama is behind us, we needed a fresh angle on Alex's character. His fight with Aaron was a long time coming, but it revealed a lot about Alex as a man and as a brother.

Meredith and Callie also have family on the mind, but in a completely different way. When Derek suggests that Meredith will have beautiful children, it gets the gears turning in her head. She's freaked out at first, as is to be expected from Meredith, but she warms up to the idea. After losing a patient, Derek tells her that if anything happens to him, he doesn't want her to be left alone the way his patient's husband was. Though they're not going to start on the baby-making right away, it's on the books for later.

I'm not thrilled about that. Meredith as a mother? Really? Hopefully we won't spend the entire next season focusing on her pregnancy. If Ellen Pompeo doesn't want to extend her contract, a baby for Meredith might pave the way for her to leave the show organically, and turn it into "Little Grey's Anatomy."

Callie and Arizona are still feeling awkward about the whole baby thing, too. Arizona, despite being a pediatric surgeon who loves children, doesn't want any of her own, but Callie has always dreamed of having children, and even promised her father grandchildren after she came out. It's still hanging heavily over them. When complications leave one of Callie's patients unable to bear children of her own, Callie realizes that her biological clock is ticking. The baby thing may be a deal-breaker for them.

Elsewhere, Teddy and Mark have finally started sleeping together. He's busy licking chocolate off of her when he gets hit by a baby bombshell of his own - his daughter, Sloan, is back, and she's in labor.

Of course that's where it ends. I'm so happy Sloan is back; it seemed like she disappeared into the ether far too easily, and I was afraid we'd never see her again. I have to confess, I'm still kind of hoping that Callie and Mark have a baby together - even if they're not in love, they care about each other fiercely, and they both want children so badly.

What'd you think of tonight's family-themed episode? Do you think Meredith would be a good mother? How do you expect Callie and Arizona to get over this particular hurdle? Let me know in the comments below, and don't forget to keep checking Show Tracker for all your TV needs!

--Carina MacKenzie (follow me on Twitter @cadlymack)

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Photo: Aaron (Jake McLaughlin) and Alex (Justin Chambers) engage in some long-overdue sibling rivalry. Credit: ABC