“Grey’s Anatomy,” the show that goes out of its way to eschew the traditional trappings of television romance, tackled Valentine’s Day with the episode “All You Need Is Love.” The results were sweet, funny, and, yes, actually romantic. As always, the struggle to find time for anything other than work wreaked havoc with everyone’s plans for the day. Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) and Bailey’s (Chandra Wilson) plans got postponed while they searched for a microscopic ovarian tumor. Lexie volunteered to babysit Zola so she would feel better about not having a date. Christina (Sandra Oh) and Owen’s (Kevin McKidd) problems were dramatized with typical Grey’s subtlety when a car nearly crashed into them. Teddy (Kim Raver) gave Owen the ultimate anti-Valentine’s Day when she confronted him about his decision not to inform her that her husband was dying because she was performing surgery at the time. She not only told him that she hated him, but that she wished he had died in Iraq.
But there were happy endings. After locating the tumor, Meredith showed the diseased ovary to Derek (Patrick Dempsey). Happy Valentine’s day, honey! Callie turned Derek’s trailer into a luxury suite so she could have a romantic evening with Arizona. Owen and Christina reunited at their special place, the vent. But the most romantic Valentine’s Day moment belonged to Bailey and Ben (Jason George). After she repeatedly postponed their dinner reservations because she was still in surgery, he surprised her with a romantic meal at the hospital, complete with a waiter. He revealed that it was his plan all along, because he knew she would never be able to leave work at a decent hour.
What was so refreshing about this scene is that it turned all of the fictional stereotypes about women and work on its ear. Usually, women who work long hours are portrayed as uptight shrews who need to learn that love is more important than their career. A scene that involved a woman blowing off a man on Valentine’s Day would usually be the moment the man realized he was with the wrong woman. Instead, Ben supports Bailey’s ambition. He is willing to accommodate her crazy schedule rather than the other way around. Though the show is usually thought of as a fluffy soap opera, it is one of the few shows on television that portrays women who care as much, if not more, about their professional life than their personal life. For every female viewer who has had difficulties in her relationships because she’s not done with work by six PM every night, a respectful, understanding man is the ultimate fantasy. Watch the clip and see if you agree that Bailey’s found a keeper.