Grey's Anatomy: Ron Tom/ABC
Gregory Kirschling
September 29, 2006 AT 04:00 AM EDT

”Grey’s Anatomy”: The Nazi is back!

So to hear it from these message boards, all you Grey’s Anatomy freaks in Canada saw last night’s Grey’s last week, instead of the season premiere. That’s bonkers. How does that happen in this modern age? EW should’ve done a story on that; heads should’ve rolled. But hey, you Canadians were blessed. The second episode, finally seen last night across this half of the continent, was a hefty improvement over the season premiere, don’t we all agree?

We knew it was gonna be good early on, because immediately the show was moving fast again, no time to spare. (No time even for the old credits sequence, gone for a second week now.) I took it as a very positive sign that in the scene after the first commercial break, Derek found Meredith in the hallway of the hospital and tried to assure her she’s not a homewrecker, and then he stuck his head in close and started going up for a nuzzle, and it was exciting, only you could hardly see anything in the close-up because suddenly there were all these names popping up on screen, blocking the view, name after name of Grey’s supervising producers and consulting producers (a lot of producers on this show). It all suggested that this ep would have sexiness to spare, so much sexiness that the show could just blow some off over the opening name crawls because more was surely on the way! I knew then: Grey’s is back for real now.

Where to after that? Izzie is upright again and compulsively, catatonically making muffins. Cristina climbs on top of Burke in her underwear, and that’s when — as anyone would’ve guessed, because when people wanna have sex on network TV, someone always has to walk in, or else they’d really be having sex on network TV! — his ”Mama” and ”Daddy” walk in. Addison, having posted Meredith’s panties on the bulletin board and given up all for lost, is going drinking. Callie benevolently claims those panties as her own to take the heat off Meredith (although she can’t resist shooting Mere that irked sidelong glance that she favors, and is annoying). And George, just for a moment, is a dead ringer for Marty McFly, when T.R. Knight sidles up to Callie to ask about the panties and gives a very Michael J. Fox-y reading to the line ”I’ve got a lot of work to do.”

Best of all, as Cristina puts it, ”The Nazi is definitely back!” One thing I didn’t have the space to write about last week was how ill-served Bailey was by that season premiere. As a bunch of you pointed out, tough-as-spikes Bailey went missing last week. Or rather, she turned into a wailing mush puddle of goo, banging on the glass in the door (although I already can’t really remember why) at the guy who was in Diary of a Mad Black Woman. (And also The Practice — thank you, people!) It seems they tried to explain it at the end of last night’s show — when Bailey went, kinda touchingly, to try to bring Izzie back to work — by blaming it all on her new baby, who’s apparently wussifying her, but so far her mood swings are too out of whack. Let’s give it time. Bailey — old Bailey, at least, at full power — is a top 3 character on this show.

I mean, Chandra Wilson owned what was maybe last night’s best scene. We come back from commercial halfway through the show, and boom — we’re moving fast again. There’s this kid who gets hauled out of the ambulance and he has a tree in him, a big piece of branch hanging out of his belly after a street-luge accident, and everybody’s going nuts and the kid’s father is calling the kid an idiot and before we even know it, Alex slams the dad into a wall to get him out of the way, and Bailey just goes off. It’s so swift! And, in the night’s best riff, Bailey hollers at Alex that he will not get physical with another human being on her watch ever again, or question her authority, and — here’s the kicker — ”you will not defend your little girlfriend” — Izzie, duh — ”for killing a man.”

Alex’s answer is priceless. Priceless! ”She’s not my girlfriend,” he says adorably, as if — this is almost too obvious to point out — he were in the third grade. And that’s the end of the conversation. It’s this week’s Representative Scene of What Makes Grey’s Grey’s. As I was saying last week, the heavy-duty blends so delightfully with the soapy and ridiculous on this show.

(My other favorite line of the night, more of a throwaway, hit when the Chief was in the OR digging into the kid who had the tree in him. He simply points to a loafy, silent guy at the end of the table and says, ”You, with the saw….”)

Anyway, I’m approaching my suggested word limit and I gotta get to the ep’s juicy close. (I have only this very little aside to wonder who put poor Kate Walsh in that awful hat for Addison’s drunk scene; she looked like Andy Capp.) So, as some of us knew because the Canadians gave it away on the message board last week, Meredith decides not to choose between Derek and Finn; instead, she decides to date them both. I approve! It will give us lots of ammo in the coming weeks; I can’t wait to talk about Meredith. Namely: Do we like her? It’s a hot-button issue: EW apparently hates her. Not me. I love her. She, too, is a top 3 character on the show. No room this week to explain why, but at least I’ve got, like, 20 more episodes this season to make the case for her.

The big, big finish this week was definitely satisfying. In the last scene, Derek heads to a hotel room to dissolve his marriage with a sobered-up Addison. ”You deserve better,” he says. For the second week in a row, this guy’s lines are not good. (I note it affectionately! Derek is the third top 3 character on the show.) He says he’s sad, but he doesn’t look it. Then, a door bursts open, and a naked Olympian emerges, as if newly sprung from a cryogenic freezing chamber, backlit in a well-lit cloud of…steam. (Ha-ha, get it? Steam!) This, of course, is Derek’s old best friend and Addison’s old lover, and he just gave Derek his easy out, and his name is…Mark. Okay, I had to look that up. As we all know, this guy goes by another nickname, but I gotta draw the line somewhere, and so I’m just gonna call him Mark. I mean, I’m a straight guy, and I dig emotions and all that, and I love this show, but Grey’s Anatomy is not the first thing I start to talk about when I’m out with the guys, you know? And it’s just too much to call Derek by his girly (albeit popular) nickname, or this dude Mark by his, either. So for the rest of the season, as long as I’m in charge, they’re Mark and Derek. Uh-huh.

Anybody got a problem with that? Or anything else in this episode? Did you like Callie’s underwear dance? What’s with all the underwear on this show? Is Cristina going to keep deferring to Burke’s strong-willed mother? And do you think that the fact Meredith wore a red sweater and Finn wore a green one means that they are complementary, and destined to be together forever? (Red and green are complementary colors, right? How does that work again?)

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