Grey’s Anatomy Recap: Send in the Clowns

SANDRA OH, ELLEN POMPEO, JESSE WILLIAMSYou have a hunch you’re in for a pretty damn good Grey’s Anatomy when the episode starts with Meredith accidentally quoting the theme song from The Muppet Show. And “Puttin’ on the Ritz” — in which half of Grey Sloan (and we) attend Jackson’s fancypants, circus-themed fundraiser — doesn’t disappoint. It delivers yuks (MerDer using their “pent-up surgical energy” to compete for donations), tears (Calzona heartache), shocks (more on those later) and even the unthinkable (a likable April!). Here’s how it all shakes out…

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PARENTAL GUIDANCE SUGGESTED | With the grownup doctors (and Jo) at the shindig, Shane and Stephanie decide to “be rock stars” rather than call for back-up while playing “medical Whac-a-Mole” with an ER full of patients. But, when Shane attempts a particularly risky procedure, Stephanie pages Cristina, who, rather than scold Ross, calls him a shark. (Like her, she notes, “all great surgeons are sharks.”) Then come the surprises: 1. The patient, a middle-aged junky, is the father Alex hasn’t seen in 20 years! And 2. Shane is so high on his accomplishment that he kisses Stephanie… at exactly the moment that Jackson walks in! (Mind you, the lovers patch things up in a matter of minutes afterward.)

PUNCH DRUNK LOVE | As Callie runs around the gala telling anyone who’ll listen that Arizona is dead, Arizona is actually sobbing in a supply closet. (Which is almost as bad as dead, right?) Taking pity on the adulteress, April joins her for a drink — still in the supply closet, it’s worth mentioning. Before long, the two are so wasted that April is slurring to Arizona, “Can I try on your leg?” (Kidding aside, this is quite possibly the most human I’ve ever seen goody two-shoes.)

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FLIRTING WITH DISASTER | Though Cristina’s the one who insisted that she and Owen start dating other people, she cock-blocks him when he gets a little too chummy with party crasher Emma, a pretty — and pretty interested — doctor from another hospital. At the end of the evening, however, Cristina puts her money where her mouth is and facilitates a (likely but not certain) hook-up between them.

CRUEL AND UNUSUAL | Since Richard is still being the patient from hell, Mer argues that maybe he needs to get worse so that he’ll realize how much he actually wants to get better. “The hell with that,” Bailey more or less says. But when she tries to administer treatment, Richard refuses it so violently that he knocks her down (and even hurts her surgery hand!). Then, a miracle occurs: Richard acquiesces after Bailey moves a dying, misogynistic racist into his room. (Should every hospital room come equipped with a dying, misogynistic racist?)

Okay, your turn. What did you think of the episode? Shane certainly seems to have gotten over killing Heather, eh? (Bygones!) Were you happy to see MerDer give up maternity/paternity leave so quickly to return to work? Do you like Emma as a new love interest for Owen? (As if anyone could EVER take Cristina’s place!) And could we please hang on to this April for a while? Please? Hit the comments!

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67 Comments
  1. Karin says:

    Love the episode !! Love all the scenes with Derek and Meredith specially since is the 200 episode and they are such special key to the show. I think Cristina realized she is not ready for what about to happen ( hopefully nothing happens ) with Owen moving on! The April and Arizona scenes were great and funny and Callie was awesome ! Love the episode

    • DarkDefender says:

      Loved seeing the season 1/4/5 Meredith & Derek.. For a minute I thought we were going to get a replay of the season 2 steamy prom scene… April being likable and w/o her usual annoying voice was more of a shocker than James Remar being Alex’s dad. Jo cleans up nice, Callie needs to work out some issues and per usual, Bailey saves the day. As for Cristina – be careful what you wish for… Next week looks good too.. And perhaps the beginning of the end (and a big move) for Cristina to leave Grey/Sloan.

  2. Babygate says:

    I have actually become a MerDer enthusiast. I loved their scenes. Mer really grounds the show and I hope she sticks around until the end. It was a good, solid episode. I totally gasped with the bone thing happened. Like, gross! It was unexpected. Loved the April/Arizona scenes. That’s a pairing I never expected and yet now it makes so much sense. They are so much alike in terms of personality. What I did not like was the focus on Shane and Stephanie. Worst interns ever. Shane gets more and more despicable with each episode. For Christmas I want Shonda to get rid of him. Please. Stephanie is trying too hard to be another Cristina and its not going to work. Plus, she and Jackson make the worst couple ever. They are not compatible. JCap tweeted that this episode would bring a shift. I really hope she wasn’t talking about the interns becoming the main focus because is that’s the case, I will only DVR so I can skip their parts. I’m only liking Jo because of Alex even though the age difference still freaks me out and I don’t think they have any discernible chemistry. But I want my Alex to be happy. And I like Leah because I think that Tessa Ferret is actually a really good actress and she’s coming across as more level headed and mature than the others. And I can buy her as a badass surgeon while Shane and Stephanie are trying too hard and failing.

  3. Olive says:

    Man, Avery and that intern have less than zero chemistry, huh? So much better with Kepner.

    • JD says:

      This. Just YES.

    • Babygate says:

      Yes!!!! ITA! They are completely mismatched.

    • GS says:

      This has been my issue all along (well that and the fact she is boring and annoying). No chemistry but Jackson and April have it in spades! Love them together!

    • Jamie says:

      This, a million times over. I go “ugh” every time I even sense a Jackson/Stephanie scene may be on the horizon.

    • Maria says:

      Am I the only one who isn’t a fan of Jackson and April together? I prefer them as friends compared to lovers because I honestly hated the games that she played throughout the past two seasons. He needs a level-headed woman on his side because his past two love interests have been absolutely terrible.

      • I absolutely and completely AGREE with you. For the exact same reasons you pointed out. Now you did not share your opinion of him and Stephanie, but I was sold on their relationship when they had that confrontation after the gala and he told her he was “tired of games.” Of course he was referring to all the “you took my virginity now Jesus won’t be my friend anymore” hooey April kept slinging at him. He tried to work it out with her but she wanted to “revirginize herself” (that term alone cracks me up.) He never condemned her for that but she seemed to sling everything she could at him. I will NOT watch another episode of the show if Shonda breaks Jackson and Stephanie up, for reasons I think I will keep to myself at this time.

  4. J says:

    Emma is Marguerite Moreau right? I can never remember her name – just that she’s the girl from Mighty Ducks

  5. Moriarty's pocket protector says:

    I can’t believe you said “cock-blocked” :O There are children reading your site you know, shame on you!

  6. cdeno86 says:

    Homestly was not impressed with this episode. Was expecting a lot more. Callie saying her wife was dead was horrible. Seemed like no storyline moved forward in this episode. For a 200 th episod eI was expecting big and exciting, what we got was mediocre at best in my opinion.

    Christina was the best of the night, Stephanie didn’t annoy me.

    • jess k says:

      This. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t exciting.

    • Saabgirlatx says:

      I was disappointed in the party scenes in this episode. Felt like it was directed by two different people when compared to the hospital scenes. Perhaps that was on purpose, but I found ithem to be forced and it was rediculous that Jackson didn’t know what the entertainment was, especially since the party was just down the street. Saw the Alex/father story coming (it was the brooding, and maybe the goatee). I didn’t see Christina facilitating a hook up, instead she just stepped aside…

  7. erin says:

    It’s so hard for me to remember why I hated April so much her first couple of seasons because she is one of my absolute favorites now! “Can I try on your leg?” was my favorite line of the episode. Now if her and Jackson can just get back together already I’ll be even happier..

  8. Jodie says:

    Totally agree Erin!

  9. Alicia L. says:

    I am I the only one who remembers that in sixth season the hospital got 25 million dollars after Arizona’s patient died.

    • madhatter360 says:

      Season 6 was 4 years ago. Hospitals need a lot of money to run. The average salary for a nurse in seattle is $70,000 a year. Assume just one hundred nurses working for the hospital, that’s 7 million in salary alone, and that’s not even including the doctor’s salarys, the custodial staff, the lawyers and accountants, not to mention, oh yeah, the equipment and tools needed to perform surgeries. The cost of electricty and water that the hospital uses.

      Unless of course, you were wondering why they didn’t go to that family for money. In which case, maybe they were invited and we just didn’t see them?

    • Babygate says:

      No. But that was exclusively for research to find a cure for short gut syndrome. Of course, it hasn’t been mentioned again because continuity seems to be overrated with these writers, but yeah, that money was to be specifically allotted to research.

      • LeSo says:

        Actually, half of the money was reserved for research while the other half was for the hospital directly. Either way, as madhatter360 said, I’m sure $12.5 million didn’t last very long!

  10. the girl says:

    Yeah, Shane totally got over feeling guilty about Heather way too fast. I was expecting a different reaction when Cristina said he would do anything because he’s a shark… something that indicated that he killed someone for a surgery, which is a line no one thinks they will ever cross. But there was nothing. He better not get off scot free for that. Whatever next bad thing happens in that hospital should be addressed directly to Shane, cash on delivery, overnight UPS.

    • DarkDefender says:

      I don’t like the Shane character, but I do get that he felt guilty for sending Heather to her demise for a chance at a surgery… But her death was a freak accident, not really his fault, and I also think as soon as he headed out on the ambulance to help the victims of the mudslide that he was immersing himself in his work and going to focus on being a better doctor. Hence the “we can be rock stars” speech to Stephanie this week.

      • Babygate says:

        For a different perspective, Shane and Stephanie have not earned the stripes to tout themselves as ‘rockstars’. They are baby surgeons. They have neither the skill nor the character to be rockstars yet. And they are not exactly in the right path. When Stephanie yelled to everyone in the ER, I busted out laughing. Because it is laughable that they think they can elicit that type of respect or response at this early stage of the game. And whether or not he wants to accept it, he is responsible for Heather’s death. He was out of line when he tricked her into going after Webber. He was being a shark. So, no Cristina, being a shark because you have no character or respect for the profession and your peers is not a good thing. And I think in the premiere he went after the ambulance out of guilt and because he wanted to forget what he had done. But it appears that the lesson was not learned. Sorry for the ranting but I really, really do not like the Shane character and I think that he may actually hurt the dynamics of the show.

        • alyssia says:

          I could not agree more with everything you’ve said. Shane makes me want to poke my own eyes out just so I don’t have any possibility of seeing any of his scenes but then I would miss the Merder goodness. What would have been fantastic is if Shane died instead of Heather cos I actually really enjoyed Mousey.

          • Terry says:

            His guilty conscience will come back to haunt him. I’m sure they have a reckoning planned for him down the road. I’d be very disappointed if he wasn’t somehow held accountable for sending Mousey to her death. Sure he didn’t intend for that to happen but she never would have been in that situation if he hadn’t lied to her.

          • Babygate says:

            I’ve found myself just rolling my eyes whenever he comes on the screen. It’s like a reflex. Whatever he says is white noise to me. Shane as a rockstar or a shark is not a thing. It’s not going to catch on. Shonda should realize that. And sadly, Stephanie just reminds me of a poodle with a big dog syndrome. She can bark all she wants but she can not take on the big dogs. But history shows that Ms. Rhimes pretty much sticks to his guns regardless of opposition or general public distaste.

        • Ed says:

          I completely agree with the Rock star comment. When she said it I flashed back to the Fairy boat episode when Izzie was telling Yang that she was a Rock star for saving that guys life, in that situation Izzie WAS a rock star.

        • BriDeSi says:

          Couldn’t have said it better myself. I never liked Shanes character and especially don’t like Stephanie with Jackson. Hope Shonda gives Shane what he has coming to him.

        • opinions12 says:

          I do not find Stephanie interesting or someone Jackson would be the least bit interested in.

    • Kendall says:

      I get the feeling that he’s on the ragged edge because he still feels guilty. That’s the reason why he’s acting like such a shark now and kissed Stephanie.

  11. md says:

    Pretty good episode. Would have been better if the interns were not around as much although I did like Leah putting Arizona on notice even if she won’t remember it. Kept waiting for the Arizona/April drunk hook up like Izzie and George! As always, Meredith and Derek made the episode for me and looking forward to Alex’s father story.

  12. Babygate says:

    I had to rewatch but now I realize that when Arizona said in the closet “She stared at me too but it felt really, really good”, she was talking about Lauren. And that’s not ok. Either the writers here decided to forgo reason and continuity, or Arizona is forgetting how much Callie was pining after her. How she told her how beautiful she was before Bailey’s wedding. How she tried to get close to her. How she undressed her with her eyes when she tried on the new leg. How she had everyone looking at her backside because the leg made it look ‘pow’. Arizona must have forgotten the look of complete love that her wife gave her when Callie knelt in front of her and asked her to let her help. And how her jaw dropped when she saw Arizona in her negligee waiting in bed for her. This makes it all that much worst because it’s becoming glaringly clear that Arizona did not cheat because of PTSD, but because Lauren made her feel good about herself. It was a deliberate act. Callie was right. It wasn’t a mistake. And Arizona for the first time acknowledges it. Episode #4 and she has yet to tell Callie that she’s sorry…

    • Sara says:

      Babygate she did say she was sorry. Over and over again. Also reason why it did feel good, because to me Arizona did die in that flight. Her spirit and the core of who she was did die. Sometimes it takes other people to do something to “wake you up”. You can’t hear all the stuff that the people who love you say. I have been there myself. You are numb. Does it stink she heard Lauren and not Callie of course but I can see why. I just want Arizona to go through PTSD counseling.

      • Ninna says:

        And in the “wake you up” process we destroy our most beloved one. The one who stuck with us through thick and thin. We first, of course.
        Arizona doesn’t have PTSD, she has lack of character.

      • Jan says:

        Arizona has never yet said she was sorry. Babygate is right.

      • Babygate says:

        Not once has she said she’s sorry. She tried to force Callie to talk and when that didn’t work she tried to manipulate her into going to counseling. That didn’t work either because Callie finally realized that Arizona needs help and she can’t give it to her. Obviously being in the crash was traumatic. Losing the leg is traumatic. But it’s not a license to destroy the people you love. And if you do take it upon yourself to lash out at them, then, they have the right to walk away. Arizona didn’t give Callie this option. She mistreated, ostracized, ignored and demonized Callie and then turned around and still asked her to stay. And Callie agreed. Either because she loves her or because she feels indebted to her or because she’s committed to the marriage, the point is that she stayed. And Arizona re-payed her by cheating on her. BTW, Shonda already made it clear that the cheating is not because of the leg. And Callie made it clear that it was not a mistake. And Arizona admitted that Lauren just made her feel good. So we are not talking about some sort of breakdown that drove Arizona to cheat. The was no build up. She was in full control of the situation. She was well able to walk away and she didn’t. Hopefully the why will be fully explored and we’ll finally have a concrete answer that makes sense.

    • DoctorWhoFanatic! says:

      Well, to be fair, Callie did make out like she was just as much a victim of the plane crash as Arizona. Sure, she had to deal with losing Mark and Lexi, and with Arizona’s leg… but I got really sick of hearing Callie act like SHE went through just as much. Arizona lost WAY more, and instead of receiving ACTUAL support, she kept hearing over and over that Callie was a victim too. So she resents her.

      It doesn’t justify the cheating, but it does show that they are BOTH responsible for the breaking of the relationship.

      • abz says:

        To say that Arizona lost way more is just so disgusting and wrong. Both losses, IMO, are of equal significance and they affect each of the characters in different ways. Arizona lost her leg and had to learn to adjust to a new life. Callie lost her best friend, her confidant and the father of her child and had to deal with a wife suffering from PTSD. At least Arizona is actually alive and surviving and is physically recovering well from her amputation. She needs to work on the PTSD, but that’s a side point. “She kept hearing over and over that Callie was a victim too” –> Well maybe because Callie kept so much of her pain away from Arizona initially after the crash to help Arizona cope with everything. Was Callie not allowed to mourn her loss? Was she not allowed to be upset, sad, angry, disappointed? And please, let’s all not forget that Arizona put herself on that plane because she was acting like a child and threw a tantrum after Alex expressed interest in considering a great job offer. Arizona’s loss is not greater than Callie’s and Callie’s isn’t greater than Arizona’s. They are both individual losses that mean different things to each character.

  13. LaLa says:

    Wow, I was actually impressed with Stephanie and Sloan for a change. I mean, Leah just whined about her rotation. I thought Stephanie and Sloan stepped up to the plate. Jackson seems to have a quiet burn instead of a bright flare-up – don’t know if I like that or not. But I was happy to see him and Stephanie finally define their relationship more, because I don’t think anyone really knew what the heck was going on with them. Not saying I think that he really wants to be with her, but he is trying to move on from April – which is a welcome change from the bed hopping that is a staple of Grey’s. And yay! for allowing a black couple to stay together, which is also a big change from what is normally shown on TV.
    I think it’s messed up that Alex has to do a blood test to be sure that was his father. How heartbreaking is that. Hope Jo is prepared for the sh!#storm that is about to ensue.
    The ep was very predictable for me.I figured one of the acrobats would fall or hang herself. I didn’t see the big bird chick getting hurt as well, but watching that acrobat’s leg break was very reminiscent of the Kentucky b-ball player who broke his leg during the game earlier this year. (Shiver down my spine – that was nasty to watch.) Cristina, Owen, Mer, Der, Callie, Arizona – eh. Didn’t really do anything for me. Even the Bailey and Chief scenes were fairly predictable.

  14. Please, cristina, dont leave says:

    I hate emma. It is too soon for owen to move on! We are not ready, i cried at the end of the episode. Who is better than cristina? But i can see why emma was attracted to owen, he looked hot

    • Gui says:

      I don’t hate Emma. As soon as she takes that jackass away from my screen and starts stacking a ton of kids on top of him up to him drowning in them, off screen, the best.
      I simply find her uninteresting. Definitely not a person who would make me look at her twice. From now on more scenes to fastforward.

  15. MLO says:

    Mmm.. ‘…she cock-blocks him…” Ausiello, are we using that kind of language here now? Something I’d expect from the commenters, but not the writing staff.

  16. pam says:

    Since no one else is going to say it, I will. Love your Ally McBeal reference, Bygones!

  17. mwgrl says:

    I get we’re supposed to see the complicated lesson for Cristina of you might just get what you ask for,fair enough. I also get that we’re supposed to see her trying, and struggling with, being adult and letting Owen move on as it’s sort of what she wants for him. Yet this was a clumsy shift in one epi for Owen’s mind to get him pulled into the first girl who flirts with him just because she flirts with him? I didn’t see much of a connection beyond that so it’s tough to believe this is more than a reactionary hook-up. Is there maybe a lesson in there for Owen too about how simpler isn’t necessarily better, it’s just simpler? Remains to be seen, I guess.

    • Ninna says:

      I felt precisely the same vibe. I see more trouble and pain there for him than hapiness in the future. He already fled from simplier before. I think he was written into a corner. He will always be aching for Cristina.

  18. Glen says:

    Did anyone else notice the continuity error involving Alex’s facial hair? Early in the episode, he has thick stubble (almost beard-level). Later, when he’s watching the surgery on the man who turns out to be his father, he’s clean-shaven. But after that, in both scenes where he’s talking with Jo about his father, the whiskers are back. (I’m guessing that they must have added or re-shot the scene where he’s watching the surgery. And I therefore anticipate that the whiskers will be gone in future episodes.)

    • Pimousse says:

      Unless you didn’t notice, Alex’s facial hair has been changing throughout what seems like every scene starting with the Season 10 premier. I thought I was going crazy after a few minutes of it switching back and forth. There are 3 stages; 1) clean shaven 2) his mustache/wide goatee and finally 3) is full on scraggly beard thing. I’m guessing the switcheroo’s will happen throughout the rest of the season. Should turn it into a drinking game.

  19. Holly says:

    I enjoyed this episode, best of Season 10 so far, in my opinion. Everyone should know by now that Sandra Oh is leaving and that the interns are being given more airtime because of the uncertain future of the series and the originals at season’s end. I thoroughly enjoyed this episode and what seems to be the beginning of new relationships, for example Arizona and April, and Arizona and Leah. I hope the remainder of the season is just as good as this episode or better.

  20. animegirl31 says:

    I like the Emma as a good interest for Owen, she could be good for him. I used to like Shane but now he’s turning way evil and Stephanie just gets on my nerves, I don’t want her around and I think like she’s being shoved into the show.

    I actually have never understood why people dislike April so much, yeah, she has many less-than-stellar moments and she hasn’t always treated Jackson or Mathew right, but I like her (granted, I’ve liked Sarah Drew since her Everwood days).

    As for Callie, it was really awful what she did during the party (which looked very lackluster, btw), and it made me dislike her

    • Babygate says:

      Callie’s actions were unbecoming, but at least she did something that no one else seems to be able to do at Grey Sloan Memorial: by the end of the night she admitted her actions were gross and she was deeply remorseful.

  21. Sheldon W. says:

    Quite possibly the best ep of the last couple years – and with how good Grey’s has been over the last couple seasons, that’s saying a lot.

    As a big Marguerite Moreau fan, I hope Owen sees more of Emma.

    • Ninna says:

      Yes, he’s seeing a plank of salvation. He will be with her because he has no other alternative. This is anything but promising. Very sad for both. She will be always the rebound chick, the second choice. I don’t think she will stay for long. For her own sake is good she doesn’t stay for long. And I hope to see some sincerity on his part about his feelings.
      Beyond that she doesn’t appear to be a very atractive character when compared with Cristina.
      If they want to hook up people again over Owen they have to come up with something better than this because after Cristina and their lovestory everything seems poor and tasteless.
      Pull your weight writers.

  22. vicki rodeno says:

    Listen to the last 30 seconds of the episode. Meredith is talking and she says, “overture hit the lights, this is, we’ll hit the heights. No rehersing or nursing our parts….” It its the theme from the bugs bunny show!

  23. leo21 says:

    Please say that was the last compound fracture of the season!

  24. kimski says:

    I loved the show. I haven’t liked April until this show. The drunk April in the closet was hilarious. I loved the chemistry between Meredith and Derek and I thought there would be a repeat of the Prom triest too. Stephanie and Shane both get on my nerves. Why do they Avery with Stephanie of all people? Christina pushed Owen to move on and what a beautiful person have they placed him with to move on with. I think that this will be what will be the reason Christina leaves along with what I think is going to be a nasty Christina that can’t cope with Owen being with someone else. Her telling Meredith that she is a better surgeon than Meredith was so wrong. Christina is trained in hearts where Meredith has an overall surgical training. Remember the episode where neither Teddy nor Christina knew how to do an appendectomy? The nurse had to tell them. So I think Christina may implode and push everyone she loves away from her. I do think that eventually Callie and Arizona will get back together. Callie did lose a lot due to the plane crash but she was not in the plane crash, she was not in the woods hearing the animals rip and eat the bodies as was described by Christina last season. Arizona lost who she was. The season should be great. I remember a couple of episodes where Alex had to deal with young men with major issues with their Dad’s where he said his dad was a real SOB but he would like to see him again because he was his Dad.

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