Grey’s Anatomy Recap: The Old Switcheroo

Ellen Pompeo as Meredith. Photo: Richard Cartwright/ABC
Grey's Anatomy
Episode Title
Odd Man Out
Editor’s Rating

Guess what? Grey's is back! As you may recall, I wasn't feeling last week's venture into extreme medicine. The surgeries were cool — and I guess they're just leaving Human Pogo Stick like that — but where was everything else? For a patient story to really connect, there needs to be something juicy to hold on to as lives inevitably hang in the balance.

Turns out I'm basically Oprah because I put that wish out into the world, and in return, "Odd Man Out" gives us not one, but two a-mah-zing guest stars (Happy Endings' Casey Wilson and the legendary Rita Moreno) to carry some great patient stories.

The impetus for "Odd Man Out" is Webber's Resident Scramble. He's dismayed to see all of the residents safely paired off with the attending in his or her chosen specialty. Comfort breeds complacency, and no doctor should be complacent. To force the young doctors into broadening their education, he forces each one to randomly select an attending's name from a bed pan, and voilà, they're put on that doctor's service for the entire shift.

In true Grey's fashion, our star residents either get stuck with the specialties they have no interest in — Stephanie pulls Peds — or with the doctor who will cause the most problems. It was a given that Jo was going to get paired with Meredith. Ditto that Penny would be forced to work with Amelia, who still won't talk to the woman she blames for Derek's death.

Before we get to the drama, let's talk about the pleasant surprise that Webber's Bed Pan of Truth gifted us: Warren gets a stint in fetal surgery. Ben Warren, whose bare-handed McGyver surgery last week seemed to have few lasting repercussions, is good with the moms, you guys. Real good.

Arizona's been working hard to keep her patient, Courtney (Wilson), as far from the delivery room as possible. She's pregnant with quadruplets and she's been put on bed rest to keep the babies from arriving early. Bed rest is just fine with Courtney, who's an accountant enjoying some time away from clients during tax season. She's still taking phone calls, of course, along with bedside consultations, so it would seem.

Warren finds Bailey asking the mom-to-be-times-four for some tax advice, what with her new promotion and all. Now that Bailey makes, well, a whopping 200 percent more than Ben, Courtney has some ideas for how she should file. Are you asleep yet? Please don't be. I swear this all comes into play later. Shondaland is a magical place in which even taxes can make you feel.

Meanwhile, Ben demonstrates how not to announce the results of an ultrasound by blurting out to Courtney and her lovely husband Doug that he only sees three babies. Thankfully, Arizona quickly locates the fourth — baby C — and he's already on the move. Courtney is in labor.

Arizona wants to get Courtney in the OR to try and stop the labor. As she's rushed in, Courtney tells her doctors that she and Doug have given baby C the name Charles, and I tell Courtney that it's a horrible idea to name your unborn child before going into surgery because HAVEN'T YOU SEEN THIS SHOW BEFORE?

Arizona's Plan A does not pan out — Charles is on his way and there's no stopping him. She does, however, believe that she can deliver Charles without having to deliver his three sisters. It's never been done before, and Alex is completely against it, but Bailey gives it the okay. She believes in her people. Or something like that. Honestly, she's pretty easily convinced for Bailey.

Charles's birth and the surgery that immediately follows to save the other babies is … not pleasant. Luckily, Courtney has Mom Whisperer Ben Warren at her side. He calms her down by holding her hand and asking her for more advice on his taxes. When Ben mentions Tuck (he lives!) and Courtney realizes that she now has a son now, too, well, all that tax talk was worth it.

Ben's prowess in the delivery room doesn't go unnoticed. Bailey informs her husband that Arizona has requested he be put on her service for the foreseeable future. She also informs him that she's hired Courtney to do their taxes, since, you know, there's been so many changes in their financial situation. Ben is not enthused. My excitement for the possibility of Casey Wilson returning — she does have three more babies to go, after all — is quickly marred by the thought of a rift building between Bailey and Ben. Do not take them away from me, show.

So Webber's experiment goes smashingly well for Ben and Arizona. Amelia and Penny's pairing does not go quite as smoothly. From the moment Penny tells Amelia that she's been assigned to neuro, Amelia wants the resident to get lost. Repeatedly. Penny does her best to stay out of the way, but as she's reminded by Riggs — I love him more with each passing minute — she's a very capable doctor, and Amelia needs to treat her as such.

The three doctors are working on a case in which a 75-year-old man named Griffin has suffered extensive brain trauma. By Griffin's side is his wife, Gayle (the fabulous Moreno), and his mistress, Lena. Lena's been in his life for over a decade, but because Gayle's set to inherit a cool $30 million upon her husband's death, and because he's kind of a jerk, she's refused to grant him a divorce. She's waiting him out, and this might finally be her chance to stick it to the side piece.

What Gayle did not account for, however, is that Griffin's head injury would cause an amnesic episode that erases Lena from his memory. He wakes up and only has eyes for his wife. When Gayle realizes that she finally has the man she married back, she's not so eager to collect her money. Moreno transitions from humor to heartbreak so seamlessly that it's a shame her story line isn't longer.

Oh yeah, so her husband ends up dying. Sorry, Griffin. We were all here for Moreno anyway. One nice thing is born from the tragedy, though: Amelia and Penny perform Griffin's (unsuccessful) surgery side-by-side, and Amelia begrudgingly realizes that Penny is a natural neurosurgeon. It's Amelia's duty to take Penny under her wing. Amelia's not terrible today!

Surprising no one, Jo still is. Sure, Meredith treats her like dirt — even Callie and Maggie have to tell Mer to ease up — but Jo is asking for it. When your two BFFs put a time limit on your bathroom-vent session, you know you're partially at fault for the situation. Things are pretty bad when a character is being belittled so often, but you still side with the bully. I'm just not into Jo.

She does finally get some backbone and stand up to Meredith. It's awkward and harsh, and mostly about Meredith cock-blocking her life with Alex, but it does the trick. Meredith, whose stoic "are you finished?" is just the best possible response to Jo's hysterics, eventually apologizes for how she's been treating her. Mer's very protective of Alex, especially since she's had to watch woman after woman leave him. (Remember Crazy Rebecca?!) She doesn't want to see him get hurt again. She'll ease up, as long as Jo agrees not to sit there and take crap from people anymore. As a nice parting gift, Mer admits that she's rooting for Jo and Alex to work out.

You guys, wait a minute. Was Webber's plan all along to get the attendings to learn something new?

Laughter Is the Best Medicine, Except for Real Medicine:

  • "One litter to another. Peds is weird." Never change, Edwards.
  • Sorry not sorry, but I laughed out loud when April compared Alex and Arizona (rightly) nagging her about telling Jackson and getting fetal genetic tests done to … the Supreme Court imposing laws on women's health. And I guess this is a reason people take issue with April. Not so funny, though: She was finally ready to tell Jackson, only to find Arizona couldn't wait any longer. Not cool, AZ.
  • An episode that's light on Maggie Pierce is never a good thing, but the glee with which she and Callie urge Meredith to "turn her ringer on" and call Thorpe back more than makes up for it. I almost wish they were standing at the window when Thorpe confuses being a stalker with being romantic and shows up at Grey Sloan to force Meredith to stop ghosting him.

The Sob Scale: 4/10
One point for each baby!