'Grey's Anatomy' Cliffhangers Make Us Crave Medicine

Jeanne Sager
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Grey's AnatomyGrey's Anatomy knows how to work the cliffhanger ending. With a big long holiday hiatus in the works, they sent Cristina Yang fishing with Dr. McDreamy.

Did you just say WTF? You know it's going to be a weird one when the prissy rich girl goes out on a lake, in the cold of Seattle, in November. And they continued the weird character couplings (Torres and Karev? Meredith Grey and Hunt? Teddy and some random patient played by Scott Foley?) throughout just long enough to give you an idea that something is up ... with no resolution, naturally.

Thanks heavens for the medicine.

Miranda Bailey has been running around complaining about fistulas for weeks, and we finally got somewhere with this surgery complication that's been killing patients. Pardon me for not keeping count of how many times she brought it up. I lost track somewhere after five.

Not that they told us what the heck a fistula is (hello, confusing medical drama). According to the National Institutes of Health, it's "an abnormal connection between an organ, vessel, or intestine and another structure." They're usually the result of an injury -- 100,000 women develop them every year, mostly in third world countries from poor obstetric care during labor or sexual trauma -- or surgery.

And the way Bailey sees it, they're her ticket to stardom; via the interns doing her scut work, natch. After weeks of emotional Bailey, can I just say that seeing a return of the fire-breathing totalitarian resident who started the show way back when warmed the cockles?

She even dangled a major prize for Avery, Kepner, and Little Grey to get them to create the best fistula-preventing post-op procedures. Yay, creepy surgeons competing to cut into someone! And grab your barf buckets because the winner gets to remove a patient's gallbladder through their mouth (and yes, they showed it being done -- if that's anything like real life, gallbladders are tiny ... and blue).

Avery's great fistula prevention plan is to get people up and moving around quickly after surgery while Little Grey is focusing on the usual routine, albeit with a checklist to ensure everything is actually getting done. Kepner's grand scheme is a mystery; she's too busy trying to throw Lexie off her game by psyching her out, and her patient develops the dreaded "abnormal connection."

Then comes Little Grey's new arch nemesis: sexy new nurse Eli who apparently isn't so new. He's been at this for 12 years and has no patience for interns on his turf. He yanks her patient's post-op drain without checking with her first.

Her procedure checklist shot to hell, she tries to talk McSteamy into talking sense into sexy nurse, which only gets her roped into having a drink with the plastics guy in exchange. When McSteamy gets nowhere with the nurse (not that he really tries), Little Grey brings in the big guns: cranky Bailey.

She fast discovers that Eli doesn't play when it comes to fistulas (there's that word again!). Turns out removing the drain on the third day is Eli's MO, and he's got a post-op record that's worthy of a medical Heisman. Yanking the drain is protecting the patients from infection. Woohoo!

So Bailey, in typical cocky surgeon form, rushes into the middle of a meeting Chief Webber is having (does no one knock on this show?) with Teddy and a review board about her new BFF Scott Foley to declare herself a superstar who has cured fistulas. She's not going to write Eli up for ignoring a doctor's orders, she's going to steal his work. See what I mean about cocky?

Eli doesn't care. He asks Bailey out. Teddy asks Foley to marry her (she's got great insurance, he's going to die without treatment). Lexie and Mark get their date -- and make out. And Cristina survives the fishing trip. Oh, and Arizona Robbins is back, but just for a second because Torres slams a door in her face.

In fact, we have to wait until January to see how every other blessed thing works out, but at least they didn't leave us hanging on the medicine.

 

Image via ABC

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