To be honest, I've been dreading tonight's "Grey's Anatomy" since the promo aired after last week's episode. For lack of a better term, the idea of waking up in the middle of invasive surgery... freaks me out. Luckily, that part was over within the first few minutes of the episode, titled "State of Love and Trust," so I could take my hands off of my eyes and sit back to enjoy Derek's first day as chief of surgery.
The major issue in tonight's episode was, of course, the fall-out from Derek turning Webber in. While Meredith is still angry about Derek's decision, she puts her own feelings aside and does her best to support him. I think that deep down, she knows Derek did the right thing. Webber, on the other hand, doesn't appear to be ready to forgive Derek any time soon. He gets Derek to admit that Derek wanted to be Chief, but Derek also makes it very clear that if and when Webber gets sober, he can have his job back.
You'd think that when faced with the choice between rehab or surrendering his medical license permanently, Webber would choose rehab without question. It speaks to how far he's fallen that he feels the need to "think about it." I wish that his wife would have made an appearance in this episode; he really needed an ally. It was reassuring when he finally admitted to Dr. Bailey that he's an alcoholic. Admitting you have a problem is the first step toward recovery, right?
It wasn't exactly smooth sailing on Derek's first day in his new position. Leslie (Chastity Dotson), the patient who woke up during Dr. Bailey's surgery, remembers everything about those horrifying moments, much to the dismay of Derek, Bailey, and the new Mercy West anesthesiologist, also known as "The Gas Man," played by Jason George. While the mishap winds up being unpreventable, the result of a rare condition, the patient still refuses to let Bailey anywhere near her, so Meredith has to perform the follow-up surgery. It does, however, allow an initial connection to form between the anesthesiologist (whose name I couldn't figure out) and Dr. Bailey. After a rocky divorce and some family trouble, I hope that connection turns into something more meaningful for Bailey.
Cristina and Owen's relationship was really front and center this week. Showtracker readers have frequently commented on their roughness with each other, so Cristina's "sex injury" this week - a burn from the grates in the boiler room - shouldn't have come as much of a surprise. Still, I was glad to see Cristina finally confront Owen about their obvious issues, just as I was glad to see Owen demand information from Cristina about Burke. In a show where no one seems to be able to say what they mean, Cristina and Owen have the worst communication issues of anyone. Now that it's all out in the open, perhaps they'll be able to connect on a deeper level.
Elsewhere in the hospital, Arizona was exploring something we've all known for years: Karev is great with kids. I do think that he's going to be an excellent pediatric surgeon once he gets his hair-trigger temper under control. He made it very clear that he works well under pressure, and considering what's been going on at home for him, it's great that he can leave that behind and do his job to the best of his ability. Speaking of his problems outside the hospital... I expected to see Izzie again, but she wasn't back this week. Katherine Heigl's name is still in the regular credits, but there are guest stars who have appeared more frequently than she has this season.
I have to say, I'm thrilled that Derek hired back April (Sarah Drew). She was my favorite of the Mercy West insurgents and I can't wait to see more from her character.
How do you think Derek's first day as chief of surgery went? Let's discuss it in the comments below, and don't forget to come on back to Showtracker after next week's new episode!
--Carina MacKenzie (follow me on Twitter @cadlymack
Photo: Derek (Patrick Dempsey) addresses the hospital as chief for the first time. (Credit: ABC)
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