‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Callie and Richard Pretend to Be Married. Seriously.

by | February 8, 2013 at 10:07 AM | Grey's Anatomy, Recap

Sara Ramirez on "Grey's Anatomy" (Danny Feld/ABC)

This week on “Grey’s Anatomy,” the doctors of Seattle Grace prove how dedicated and awesome they are by subjecting a juvenile patient to substandard medical care. Also, these genius doctors have never seen an iPad. Here are the highlights.

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The Most Rebellious Surgery Ever: It’s the first week without the E.R. April (Sarah Drew) goes on a ridealong with hot paramedic Matthew (Justin Bruening). They encounter a kid with serious injuries who won’t make it to what is now the nearest trauma hospital, so April decides to bring him to Seattle Grace. This seems like it would be more likely to be an issue in a rural area than Seattle, but let’s just assume that since Mercy closed a few years ago, Seattle Grace is the only trauma center in the city limits. With the help of  most of the other characters, they sneak the patient into the closed E.R. and operate on him. However, since the E.R. has been shut down and is in the process of being turned into a hernia clinic, they have trouble finding the proper equipment or even getting the medication that they need. Basically, they are putting his life at risk and giving him substandard treatment by operating under these conditions, but the show is treating it like the doctors are a group of inspirational Norma Raes, rather than completely irresponsible. Everyone works to keep a group of visiting employees from the potential hospital buyer, Pegasus, from finding out what they are doing. Eventually, they get busted by Alana (Constance Zimmer) and Owen (Kevin McKidd). Avery and Alex take responsibility, saying they were doing the right thing. Alana tells them that Pegasus would have backed out if the kid died, and the hospital could get sued again. She seems less concerned about the fact that a kid would have died. She points out that the hospital will cease to exist without a buyer, and a hospital with no E.R. is better than no hospital.

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It’s Called a Touchscreen: Alana wants the doctors to use tablets to create patient files, and go through a checklist of items on each screen with every patient. For some reason, none of these young doctors, who live in a high tech mecca, seem to know how to use tablets. It doesn’t have much bearing on the plot, but it’s kind of ridiculous. Also, unlike a lot of the cost cutting stuff, it seems like a good idea. Why is everyone so against it?

Callie and the Chief go Undercover: Weber (James Pickens Jr.) and Callie (Sara Ramirez) are worried that Pegasus will destroy Seattle Grace. They decide to visit another Pegasus hospital to see what it’s like. For some reason, they haven’t bothered to come up with their stories in advance and end up pretending that they are a married couple and Richard has chest pains. They even use fake names, but unfortunately nobody goes with Art Vandelay. A doctor sees him after barely any wait, which seems like a good thing. He uses a tablet with screening questions which they don’t like because it limits their freedom to practice medicine as they see fit. The doctor admits he is only allowed to spend 15 minutes with a patient. On one hand, that is often not enough time to make a diagnosis. On the other, I can’t recall the last time a doctor spent longer than that with me. Also, Richard is not sick, so it’s not going to take a doctor very long to figure that out. Weber comes up with a better idea. They claim to be Pegasus reps and talk to the doctors who have numerous complaints about micromanagement and a bottom line oriented philosophy that prevents them from doing research or working on challenging cases. Now those are legitimate complaints.  Afterward, Richard tells Callie he is considering early retirement.

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Finally, the Obvious Happens: After spending the day at Pegasus, Callie assembles the rest of the plane crash survivors and says what I have been saying since they all became multi-millionaires. They need to buy the hospital themselves. I hope this does happen because there could be so much great story from them having to balance their desire to practice medicine on their terms with the administrative realities of running a hospital.

Who is the Hottest Doctor  at Seattle Grace?: Alex and Avery compete to be named the Face of Seattle Grace and appear on all the brochures. They are both hot, but only one of them had a website devoted to the premise that he should be cast as Finnick in ‘The Hunger Games.” The competition entails having photographers follow them around. I thought the photos would be significant to the plot, but they were just a sight gag. After performing the secret surgery, both lose interest in the gig. Derek ends up becoming the posterchild for the hospital.