Ellen Pompeo as Meredith, Kevin McKidd as Owen, Martin Henderson as Riggs.
Wanna peek at my chart? Recapper presented with symptoms including: incessant eye-rolling, audible sighing, and the inability to stop asking her television things like, “Why?” and “Really?” and “Oh, okay, so we’re still on this?” Diagnosis: severe boredom. Treatment Plan: continually view photos of Dr. Karev in teal scrubs, steady diet of #Japril YouTube videos.
You guys, I’m bored. “Falling Slowly” finds several surgeons ragging on Alex for living in the land of scut work down in the Denny Duquette Clinic. But you know who really had to deal with scut work tonight? Us. The audience. If you didn’t have time to scour the interwebs for a definition, scut is menial, mindless work like collecting lab results, drawing blood, having one adult repeatedly lie to her sister because she thinks her plan will totally work and not blow up in her face even though we already know it most definitely will, et cetera, et cetera. It is all very tedious. Even the #Japril stuff feels like a retread. (I know, blasphemy!)
We already knew April living at Jackson’s place would complicate their increasingly complex relationship, and obviously they don’t realize they are MFEO. Although I’ll probably replay the “I don’t want you to move out”/”I don’t want to move out” moment a few dozen times, it doesn’t make for much of a dramatic moment. We knew where the story was headed before it even started.
Not everything was a total snoozefest — a teenager pops her dislocated shoulder back in by herself! — so let’s start with the good stuff. This season of Grey’s is really treading water with the whole “Will Alex go to jail?” thing, but in the meantime, Justin Chambers is doing pretty stellar work. Alex Karev isn’t thrilled to be down in the clinic, the whispers of cut LVAD wires are enough to drive any man insane, but he’s trying. Or, at least, he’s trying to try. His boss, Nurse Tamir, isn’t making things easy for him. Nurse Tamir makes him open the clinic each day, constantly reminds him that he’s no longer a surgeon, kicks Meredith & Co. out during group lunch, and he even takes credit for Alex’s victories. In short, Nurse Tamir is a goddamn delight and the perfect antagonist for Alex Karev. More Nurse Tamir!
While trying to avoid the wrath of Nurse Tamir, Alex gets handed a repeat customer: Emma, a teenager who has been branded an alcoholic. She comes in once a week in need of IVs for what seem like hangover symptoms. She swears she doesn’t have a problem, but Alex doesn’t want to let her go so easily. He enlists Webber for a little good-cop-bad-cop action and it is glorious. Alex goes in hard, screaming at Emma about the destructive path she’s put herself on, and then Webber swoops in with an empathetic ear. We really don’t get enough Alex and Webber tag team storylines on this show.
As entertaining as it is for us to watch, Emma sees right through their scheme and gets up to leave. Webber reaches out to get Emma to come back and whoops, Emma’s arm pops out of her socket. She calmly puts it back in its place — this happens all the time, you guys! — and both audience and fictional doctors alike are nauseated.
Something’s not right, but Alex is getting crap from Nurse Tamir in addition to a hostile surprise visit from Jo, who immediately goes into Let’s Yell At Alex Even Though I, Too Have Made Mistakes mode. So Alex hops on a bus and heads to a meeting with his lawyers. But prison be damned! Alex puts on his thinking face (it’s very tan) and has an epiphany. Emma is telling the truth about not having a drinking problem.
Alex immediately hops off that bus and tells Webber that Emma must have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. It’s real and it sounds awful. Alex is adamant that Webber be the one to tell Emma there’s a reason for all of her ailments, otherwise Nurse Tamir will think Alex is stepping over him. Alex needs this job more than he needs the credit for a big diagnosis. Webber’s never been more proud of Alex. None of us have! Look at him, being a good man and a great doctor and stuff. He ends his day smiling. He may be relegated to scut, but he’s still saving lives, damn it!
The other nice moment in “Falling Slowly” comes from Owen and Amelia, believe it or not. Yes, Amelia is excruciatingly Amelia-y throughout the episode, but the payoff is worth it. Okay, almost worth it. She is pretty annoying.
Amelia suddenly realizes that she and Owen did a hasty thing by rushing through a two-week engagement. They know very little about the details of each other’s lives, and Amelia spends most of the episode frantically stressing about it. Owen spends most of the episode saying charming things like, “I love her and it’s exhausting” and “You know you can tell me anything.” Doctor Hunk strikes again!
Owen didn’t watch Private Practice like the rest of us, so he doesn’t know that Amelia’s been through some pretty dark stuff. She’s scared that Owen will run off once he hears the full extent of it. To be fair, Owen’s past isn’t all sunshine and sparkles either. After he’s inspired by his patients (who are total snoozefests, which is pretty remarkable considering their story involves glider-plane accidents and permanent paralysis), he reminds her that he loves her no matter what. She musters up all of her courage and tells him how Ryan overdosed and died next to her in bed while she was high. Owen confides in her about the time he woke up and was choking Cristina after a PTSD episode. Like I said, dark stuff.
The moment is then abruptly ruined when they decide it’s time to have a baby. So that should be fun.
Speaking of ugh, Meredith is still under the impression that lying to Maggie about her previous tryst with Riggs and also lying to herself about how much she actually likes Riggs will work out just fine. Seriously, can this just blow up in her face already?
After their non-relationship relationship starts interfering with patient care, Meredith once again tells Riggs that nothing can happen between them. They are strictly work colleagues. Riggs thinks they should at least try to be friends. When Maggie overhears part of this conversation, Riggs covers by telling Maggie they were talking about her; she’s been awkward since he turned her down and he wants to be friends. Maggie does her best to be a mature human adult about the whole situation and then she thanks her sister for talking to Riggs about everything. SHE THANKS HER.
For the love of Shonda, someone please clue this girl in. This storyline needs a shot of adrenaline, STAT.
Laughter Is The Best Medicine, Except For Real Medicine:
- I can’t explain why, but I found the fact that DeLuca bought two cheeseburgers for himself incredibly endearing. You know he didn’t want to give Jo that second one, but, alas, he’s a gentleman. If boring Jo puts her boring face on his face, I will have some things to say.
- More Owen and Meredith elevator vent sessions! Sure, you can call Meredith mean for not letting an obviously stressed Owen talk things out with her, but who really wants to hear about how frustrating Amelia can be for more than a minute? Tell us something we don’t know, Owen.
- This week’s edition of Stephanie Edwards Still Works At This Hospital: She has to put up with April’s on-call room snoring and shut down a marriage proposal from Amelia. I still think Stephanie should reconsider the latter. Those two could be great together!
- How about Owen and Riggs having an accidental girl chat? There’s hope for them yet!
- “I would, but I don’t want to.” She’s just being Meredith!
Sob Scale: 1/10
Emma’s relief after learning she is in fact not crazy, and Webber commending her for sticking to her guns, was a nice cap to the storyline. Other than that, I felt nothing. Am I dead inside? Someone check my pulse and add it to my chart.