What 'Grey's Anatomy' Hid Behind the Music: The Real Story

Jeanne Sager

Sara Ramirez Grey's AnatomyThe Grey's Anatomy musical episode has come and gone, and I have just a few words for the writers: thank God that's over. One of the best episodes of the season was hiding beneath a bunch of overwrought melodrama, but all anyone is going to remember is how silly it was to have doctors singing Snow Patrol while one of their own was on the table.

So let's ignore that, shall we? Really, the meat of the episode is what Americans of all types need to take with them: write down your medical wishes, PRONTO. Because next time it could be you in Callie Torres' place.

Just to catch you up, Torres, the pregnant ortho doc played by Sara Ramirez, was in a car accident. She'd taken off her seatbelt to get something out of the back seat, then forgotten to put it back on because her girlfriend, Arizona Robbins, had asked her to marry her! But then a truck came out of nowhere, Robbins couldn't stop, and you know the drill -- woman without seatbelt is sent flying through the windshield.

Make that PREGNANT woman without seatbelt. Rushed to Seattle Grace/Mercy West, Torres has got a team of doctors who care about her and her baby, but none so flustered as Robbins, her girlfriend, and Mark Sloane, her best friend and father of her baby. Which is where all this gets mighty tricky. Torres doesn't have a darn thing written down about her wishes, leaving Sloane and Robbins to argue over who gets to advise the doctors on Torres' wishes.

It offered a horrible reminder of what life is like for gay couples in America: often left without any real legal standing to weigh in on their other half's medical issues because they're not ALLOWED the legal standing. As Robbins said at Callie's bedside, "I feel like your wife, I feel like our baby's mom." If they had been married, Washington State is one of the few that would have granted her the same rights as any other spouse (in an ironic twist, JUST yesterday the state's Senate approved recognition of out-of-state same-sex marriages although it only offers domestic partnership rights in-state at the moment!).

But with no marriage, and nothing written down, Robbins and Sloane were left to argue: She'd want the baby saved! No, she'd want HER life saved. No, no, save the baby!

And back and forth it went, like a big reminder of what it's like when your grandma ends up in the hospital and all your aunts and uncles converge in a pissing match over who knows mom best. Enough, already, America!

What you were missing under all that singing was a potent reminder that anyone can end up in a hospital bed in a coma. ANYONE. Not just your grandma, but a young, healthy woman like Callie Torres. Thinking about it and writing down our wishes is like facing our own mortality. We'd prefer to put it off on the elderly, but we do it at our own peril ... and we leave our family members fighting when they need to pull together the most. 

So ignore the melodramatic singing and take the real message of Grey's Anatomy's musical episode to heart: chart your own medical destiny. It could save your life.

Did you watch the episode? Did you miss a lot of the nitty gritty because of the singing?


Image via ABC

Read More