Note: Do not read on if you have not seen Season 10, Episode 6 of ABC's "Grey's Anatomy," titled "Map of You."
"Grey's Anatomy" is to television what Pinterest is to the Internet.
It's lines from this episode, like "Make this year count!" or "Invest in your brand!" and "Let it go!" that make me think of the sort of JPGs with paisley backgrounds and serif fonts my mother (whom I adore) attaches to her emails.
— Jasmine Esqueda (@jazzy_esqueda) October 25, 2013
But that's in the DNA of the show, which has opened since forever with a character making broad generalizations about life. You can always get a general vibe of an episode by who narrates the cold open and Derek, though many things, is usually a voice of philosophic calm.
He starts with the idea of patterns and putting things together, watching Zola draw and working on his project with the quadriplegic getting physical with a computer. Each character tonight -- doctors and patients and civilians -- was dealing with their own patterns. Some stick with them, some break out of them.
First, Arizona is handling Murphy falling in love with her. Leah doesn't get that Arizona's aloof attitude means disinterest, and not a conspiracy to keep the "affair" a secret. Karev tells Arizona that Murphy " goes from zero to in love" in a minute. Arizona calls her out on it and humiliates her. While Leah may have some issues to work out in therapy, Arizona has her own issues. While coming to terms with lying in the bed she made, literally and figuratively, Arizona sort of booty-calls Leah, indulging in her own pattern of not really empathizing with the people that care about her, along with her need to have her cake and eat it, too. A bit of a tease, right?
Karev spends the entire episode avoiding Jo, who is freaking out at his absence and their future together. Karev hasn't been seeing someone else. He's going to a dive bar to watch his Dad play. Alex and his dad share a drink, and then have a mini jam session. He shows Alex a picture of a second family he abandoned, after teaching a different son the same song, and Karev punches him. We see his father's eyes flicker, but we don't know if he's put all the pieces together, yet. Karev, though, continues the patterns of his father. He goes home to fight with Jo about their relationship and throws a glass at the wall. It makes sense that Arizona and Karev get each other. The scene where he tries to make a joke about her affair only serves to illustrate their bond as the kind of people who just can't connect. "What, we're not joking about this yet?" he snarks, and she smiles. But they just don't get that their actions can hurt people, even though they've been burned in the past, too. It's fitting that James Remar, of "Dexter" fame, plays Karev's dad, who has some sociopathic qualities.
Finally, Meredith tries to find a research project to declare for her grant and stumbles upon the same topic her mother was researching before her diagnosis. She finds a new hook -- 3D printing, of course -- and runs with it. She's back.
Cristina tries to reconnect with Meredith, who is able to forgive, but not forget. Yang interrupts Meredith at her desk to hash out her crazy surgery involving glue (again with patterns and putting pieces together) and her feelings about Owen's new girlfriend. But Meredith just wants to have her say about having it all. She calls Yang out for not having "time for people who don't want the things" she wants. Ouch.
All that after Cristina spends the day watching Owen's new girlfriend Emma observe a surgery at the hospital. Even worse for Yang's ego is that there's mutual respect between her and Marling, in a professional sense. Marling told Owen as she came in that she likes to keep personal and professional separate. When she finds out that gutsy, glue-gun wielding Cristina is Owen's ex-wife, she balks. Yang and Marling are almost carbon copies of each other, but Owen wants things that Cristina doesn't want, that's why she left him. It'll be interesting watching her grapple with their relationship and we find out if Emma wants what Owen wants or not. Did you notice how when he asks her about labels and talking about the romance, Emma says, "I would," as in "I would tell people?" Why isn't she? Plot twist?
Derek steps in to solve Meredith's mom-problem and decides to devote his time to research with Callie and in effect, have more time to be with the kids. Cue the gag-worthy cliches, but I'm in. While some characters are falling into their worst selves, others are stepping out. Callie's rebranding herself, Shane stands up for himself and Owen's letting himself go ga-ga for a new girl.
Although that could just fall apart next week. While sometimes the show is soapy because they all come together, this season it looks like everyone is moving forward by "investing in their brand," as Callie so aptly puts it. Everyone has to look out for numero uno.
Best line tonight? What is this, bring your girlfriend to work day?
What do you think about Marling? Karev and Jo? Who are you rooting for in Arizona vs Callie?
"Grey's Anatomy" airs Thursday at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.