Spoilers for last night's "Grey's Anatomy" and "ER" coming up just as soon as I work up a sweat...
Interesting that both shows did stories about the surgical residents not being interested in teaching their interns, only to have the stories resolve in divergent ways. On "ER," Neela gets chewed out -- and rightfully so -- for not wanting to work with young Andrew anymore. On "Grey's," the secret cutting society is treated as entirely the fault of the interns, even though it started up because Yang, Karev and the rest couldn't be bothered passing on any lessons to the young pups. If we hadn't watched several seasons of the show with the main characters as interns, and saw how much Bailey let them do and how much they learned, I might just accept that this is an intern's lot in life. But it's not, at least not in the universe the show created in previous years, and to not have the Chief lay at least some of the blame for this on Meredith and Cristina for treating the interns like indentured scut servants and little more was galling...
...albeit not as galling as a character (in this case, Alex) once again being forced to justify Izzie's continued employment in the wake of the Denny/LVAD fiasco. How many times do I need to say this: if Shonda and the other writers would stop trying to defend the Denny thing and just ignore its existence, we might be able to let it go. But in having yet another character claim it was kinda sorta okay, and in bringing Denny back from the dead somehow to rock Izzie's world, it makes it really hard to ignore the single worst storyline in the show's history.
And speaking of this supernatural sex marathon, Shonda shot down the most obvious speculation by telling Ausiello that, as Ahnuld once said, it's not a tumor. A tumor would have been a soap-y explanation, but at least it would have worked within the framework of this show. Actual sex with a solidified ghost? Blurg.
If you can somehow ignore all the Izzie/Denny stuff -- I know, it's hard, but at least most of it didn't involve the other characters and was therefore fast-forwardable -- and accept the disposition of the appendectomy disaster, then there were some good things here, like Sloan's heart growing three sizes as he helped the sleepwalker's daughter, or Bailey and Callie talking about their lousy years and their love of surgery, or Joshua Malina making a non-Sorkin appearance to give his wife some, uh, poo. And even the appy subplot worked up until the writers and the Chief let the residents off the hook for it, as it was as creepy and scary as intended. But where the early episodes of this season featured really strong material marred by the occasional bit of silliness, the stupid parts are starting to overwhelm the rest.
Getting back to "ER," I was surprised by how well Brenner's confession of abuse worked. They'd been telegraphing all episode that he had been molested as a kid, and Brenner in general is a character I have little use for, but David Lyons put his all into what could have been standard sweeps/awards show bait, and intercutting it with seeing the music teacher show his true colors had the desired effect. Plus, it helped that Brenner was confessing to Archie, as Scott Grimes tends to make every scene he's in better lately. (The best thing in last week's episode was Archie's stunned reaction to learning that Banfield had chosen to work in the same ER where her son died.)
Also, I have a phobia about stuff touching my eyes (it's the reason I never got contacts), and so watching Andrew and the others work on the guy's eye was one of the more squirm-inducing "ER" traumas I can remember.
What did everybody else think?