'Grey's Anatomy' Reveals the Body's Superhero

Jeanne Sager
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Grey's AnatomyIf you ever doubted Grey's Anatomy fell into the "medical soap opera" category, last night's episode didn't help matters much.

The Seattle Grace/Mercy West gang spent the night debating whether they could survive after a piece of them (Cristina Yang) quit the surgeon's residency program. Seriously, they couldn't have these conversations after they'd moved their little metal pokey things out of a guy's brain and heart?

She's their vital part -- the genius who has always done everything right.

But lo and behold there was an organ donor on the show last night whose liver just so happens to be split in two and must survive that way. Sound familiar? The liver is the biggest organ in the body. It's the one that fights infections, cleans your blood, helps digest food, and stores a form of sugar your body uses for energy.

And now it's cut off? Suddenly there's a mirrored story line, and we've got a soap opera.

We'll forgive them this time. An adult liver was cut in half to give part to a baby. It doesn't get cooler than that, does it?

Maybe it's just me. I was fascinated with the old story of Prometheus -- the Greek god who gave man fire and was sentenced to having his liver pecked out by birds every day. Gruesome, yeah, but the liver regenerated itself every day!

And the real liver does it too. It's one of the few organs that can come from a living donor, where a chunk is cut off and placed inside the body of someone who needs it. For both the donor and the recipient, the remainder of the liver regrows. Even in the cases of a deceased donor, the liver can be split so a large portion goes to an adult in need, a smaller piece to a baby in need. Throw in all it does once it gets back into the body, and it's like a superhero.

Jump to Grey's, where the Arizona Robbins replacement (who "is no Robbins") put one of those smaller pieces into a 4-month-old last night, only to find out it's a tad too big. Enter Alex Karev to the rescue with a sterilized ping pong ball.

Like the liver that regenerates, Karev's genius proves the group will be fine without their superhero. They keep generating new ones. How Yang will survive, however, we'll see next week.

 

Image via ABC


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