This week’s “Grey’s Anatomy” featured three different experimental medical procedures. The television rule of threes rules is that at least one must fail. That meant the lives of a baby, a sheep and a robotic arm were all in jeopardy. It was also a family-filled episode. Alex’s father returned and April’s sisters, who were exactly as you would expect them to be, stopped by the hospital. All in all, the episode did a great job of setting up next week’s midseason finale.
Do the Robot
Derek (Patrick Dempsey) and Callie (Sara Ramirez) continued working on their robotic prosthetics. Their patient, Becca, struggled to move the fingers on the robot hand with the sensors that had been implanted in her brain. To make matters worse, she kept sniping at her encouraging husband, in a parallel to Callie and Arizona’s (Jessica Capshaw) tense relationship. Becca admitted she wanted to do something to show her husband she appreciated him, but her inability to move the prosthesis was bringing out the worst in her. The situation became so frustrating that Callie and Derek ending up arguing. Inspired, Derek had Becca stop attempting to move the hand and just think about what she wanted to say to her husband. The hand moved so she could reach out to touch him. Callie was equally inspired and brought home the robot arm to help her communicate with Arizona. Just kidding. She actually decided that she and Arizona should stop talking and start having sex.
Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) was ready to implant her first 3D printed portal vein in a living subject: a sheep. The surgery went well, but a few hours later, the sheep flatlined and died. Meredith assured Stephanie (Jerrika Hinton) this was just the scientific process. They would have a bunch of failures before success.
Cristina (Sandra Oh) took Shane (Gaius Charles) up on his offer to be her boy toy and slept with him before their 3D printing surgery. He presumptuously set up a live stream of the surgery without consulting her. During the surgery, the baby’s blood pressure dropped and nearly died. He ended up back on a heavy ventilator. Meredith told Cristina she was sorry about Nathan. For a moment, it seemed they might reconcile. Then Meredith told Cristina that Shane had changed. She wondered if he was acting aggressive and mean because he’s trying to be like her. Cristina took offense and said that she wasn’t mean, that it was good for a surgeon to have an edge, and that Ross’s personality was not her concern. The baby stabilized; the procedure worked. Cristina and Shane did a touchdown dance. On the one hand, Shane is sympathetic because he still blames himself for Heather’s death and nobody had figured it out. On the other hand, he is acting like an attending and subtly manipulating Cristina. The ambiguity is fascinating.
Miranda (Chandra Wilson) finally sought treatment for her OCD. She needed a psychiatrist to clear her to perform surgery again. She challenged Miranda to do five sutures without any OCD behavior, which Miranda found impossible. Still, she refused to take medication that would help her. Richard (James Pickens Jr.), who was finally released from the hospital, finally persuaded her by pointing out that her OCD was a disease just like his alcoholism and it would always be with her.
April’s (Sarah Drew) three sisters came to Seattle for her wedding. They were small-town women who called her Ducky because she was an ugly duckling. Since April had to work late, they held the shower in the hospital. They gave her lingerie to wear for her “first time.” They talked about how surprising it was that men find her attractive now. She snapped and yelled that she was a swan and a surgeon who has had sex. She fired them as her bridesmaids and tells Arizona, Meredith and Cristina that they are now her wedding party, which was the last thing they wanted.
Meanwhile, Jackson (Jesse Williams) and Matthew (Justin Breuning) witnessed a man being dragged by a cab after his tie got caught in the door and had to work together to treat him. Matthew did a tracheotomy without Jackson’s permission. It worked, but Jackson was not thrilled with his technique and told him he was going to have to fix it. In surgery, April chastised Jackson for yelling at her fiance in front of her sisters and making Matthew seem stupid. Jackson admitted Matthew did a great job and it was just testosterone stuff, but he later told Matthew that he lied to April and it took him eight hours to fix. They managed to forge a tentative peace and Matthew invited him to the wedding, insisting April would want him there. The odds seem slim that this wedding will actually happen.
Alex’s (Justin Chambers) father, Jimmy (James Remar) returned to the hospital and asked for Jo (Camilla Luddington). He said he was trying to get clean. She told him his window had closed, but he passed out. Alex told his dad to leave. Jimmy told Alex he recognized him now and has been clean since they were in the bar. Jo told Alex she would handle him. Jim went through serious withdrawal and flashed back to yelling at Alex as a child. He became agitated and slammed Jo against a wall. Alex pulled him off of her and told her he was used to dealing with his junkie father.