The doctors of “Grey’s Anatomy” traded in their scrubs for formal wear in the show’s 200th episode, “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” Thursday night.
The occasion was a gala fundraiser for the hospital. Everyone acted like the party was a torturous ordeal that was keeping them from their true love — work. It was appropriate because the show’s overarching theme, despite its numerous romantic storylines, has always been that there is no greater joy than than doing your job well.
The black tie gala featured circus performers, thanks to an overzealous party planner.
Jackson (Jesse Williams) told the doctors that whoever raised the most money would get 10 percent of the take for their department. Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) worried that she could not compete with Derek’s (Patrick Dempsey) natural charm. Callie lied that Arizona died in the plane crash to get sympathy donations.
Cristina (Sandra Oh) encouraged Owen (Kevin McKidd) to use the occasion as an opportunity to practice flirting with other people. He met Emma, a doctor from a rival hospital who was trying to get her own donations while Cristina pulled out all of the stops to charm a wealthy man.
At the end of the evening, Cristina turned down the man’s romantic overtures. He was disappointed that she was just working him for a donation. Owen actually liked Emma, to Cristina’s disappointment.
The event was derailed when one of the circus performers fell on the party planner, injuring both of them. Meredith jumped at the opportunity to return to work, though she and Derek were both officially on parental leave. Jackson realized the perfect way to convince donors to write big checks was to allow them to watch the surgery on the injured people.
Richard (James Pickens Jr.) refused to use a CPAP machine to help him breathe. After battling with him over his refusal to fight for his life, Miranda (Chandra wilson) moved him into a room with an ornery, racist dying man who refused to accept his fate. It worked. Richard started using a different apparatus that would help him breathe.
Alex (Justin Chambers) realized that a drug addict who caused a serious car accident was his father, who he had not seen in decades. It brought back bad memories of his lousy childhood.
After overhearing Callie telling people that she died, Arizona went back to the hospital to drink. April joined her and the two women bonded over their similar experiences as cheaters.
The interns were in charge while everyone else was at the gala. Stephanie was annoyed that Jackson didn’t ask her to be his date to the gala, which does make him a lousy boyfriend. However, she realized it gave her the opportunity to perform difficult procedures.
Cristina praised Ross’s boldness for attempting a complicated cardiac surgery on his own. He was so excited that he planted a kiss on a stunned Stephanie. Jackson walked in on them. She chased him down and swore she didn’t want it to happen. He told her the gala was work, not a party — but, he said, she should have told him she wanted to go.