This week, the plot is centered around Meredith's new 3-D printer and all the cool research she's going to do with it. There were, as always, a bajillion different plot threads going on. I'm going to keep the summary of each one very brief, and then list some pros and cons.
April and Matthew are struggling to decide whether or not to wait until marriage to have sex. Matthew wants to get it out of the way, because he's still hung up on the fact that April has already lost her virginity. In the end, April doesn't want him to break his promise to God, so they decide to wait.
Pros - This was well acted, and I felt like there was real chemistry between Matthew and April perhaps for the first time. Cons - The will-they-won't-they plot doesn't really work so well when you already know they're engaged. The writers may have backed themselves into a corner with this one, because they've already pulled the getting left at the altar card one too many times. Are April and Matthew supposed to be endgame? Conclusion - Not a horrendous plot thread, but certainly nothing special.
Owen's girlfriend Emma comes to interview for a job at the hospital, and Callie gives her a very in depth and personal interview. Emma really likes everyone at the hospital, but she comes to the conclusion that she can't work there because this is Owen's family - if something happens between them and they break up, Emma will be ostracized. Meanwhile, Emma's worries about the closeness of the hospital staff make Arizona realize that she needs to start moving forward from Callie. Her relationship with Leah continues.
Pros - I love how much everyone really cares about Owen. Emma's interview with Callie was pretty funny. Cons - I still don't love the Leah and Arizona plot, although I'm willing to give it room to breath. I guess a part of my heart still can't believe Calzona's marriage is really over. Conclusion - I'm excited to see how the relationship between Emma and Owen advances from here.
Webber tells stories to the interns, which annoys fellow patient C.J., who says she's heard all of Webber's stories a million times by now. While walking in the hallway, C.J. collapses. Webber jumps up and performs CPR, which exhausts him but also reinvigorates him. He wants to get his old life back.
Pros - Webber telling the interns stories is really cute. You can tell they all respect him a lot, even if they have heard the same stories more than once. I also like to see Webber continuing to get stronger. It will be an uphill battle for him, I'm sure, but I'm happy he's wanting to make the climb. Cons - I wish the character of C.J. had been established in an earlier episode so that we could connect more to the relationship between them. I really liked this character, though, and I hope we see her back. Conclusion - I wasn't totally captivated by anything here, but I really do like seeing Webber climb out of his slump.
Derek and Jackson notice the 3-D printer sales rep has an eye twitch, and they decide to fix it. While in surgery together, Derek tells Jackson that he needs to start letting the interns do procedures. Jackson has been monopolizing all of the work. In the end, Jackson agrees to go a little easier and let some things go.
Pros - The mentions of Mark Sloan were lovely. I like the bond between Derek and Jackson, because it's both very subtle and very powerful. I also like that Jackson is learning to let go. Cons - I thought Derek's enthusiasm about the eye twitch was rather strange. Was he just itching to get back in the OR? If that was the message here, it was a bit unformed. Conclusion - This was a very brief thread that barely took up any screen time, and I really enjoyed it.
Bailey is working on a patient who is a food critic. The procedure involves taking a piece of the colon and putting it in the throat. (Miracles of modern medicine, huh?) Ben is back at the hospital and at his old job. He's in the OR when Bailey starts freaking out about the patient, continually insisting that there's a leak. She runs tests multiple times and is overly thorough. Meanwhile at home Bailey is convinced she smells something in Tucker's room. Ben takes this as another sign something is wrong with Miranda, but in the end she does find old mushy apple slices in Tucker's soccer bag.
Pros - The acting is great. Bailey's descent into obsessive behavior is actually very powerful, and I'm excited to see where this will be taking us. I also liked that she was right about the apples, because it shows that while her obsessive behavior is a problem, it doesn't mean she's gone totally crazy. Cons - This conflict between Ben and Bailey is really annoying me. I just don't like how much Bailey is shutting her husband out just because he wants to spend more time at home. It's a very disrespectful way for her to behave, and she's not being at all supportive of her husband. Conclusion - I think this could be going somewhere interesting for Bailey's character, but at the moment I don't like the tension in Ben and Bailey's marriage.
And, finally. Meredith is very excited about her 3-D printer, but the hospital is disappointed when all she has to show them is a fork. Meredith insists that they have to take things slow. The next step is to print out a liver, but it's not real, just a silicon test run. Meanwhile, Meredith and Alex are operating on a teenage boy with a bunch of tumors. While in the surgery, Meredith insists she can go after a particularly difficult tumor, but Alex and Stephanie both tell her she's pushing too hard. Angrily, Meredith gives up, insisting all the while that she could have done it. Alex realizes that Christina and Meredith are fighting, and tells Meredith that she's being a lousy doctor by trying to prove Christina wrong. Christina and Shane, meanwhile, figure out that the can use the 3-D printer to save a patient's life, but they'll have to stop Meredith's print to do so. Christina tries to ask Meredith for her help, but Meredith tells her no. The episode ends as Shane and Christina sabotage Meredith's research to save a patient's life
Pros - I liked that Stephanie stepped up and said what she really thought during the surgery. Her and Alex were the only characters making any sense in this plot thread. I also thought Christina's dilemma was set up pretty well. She seemed genuinely torn. Cons - Meredith is acting like a little baby. I seriously can't believe this girl is allowed to perform surgery on people. She shut down Christina because she's pissed at her, when I firmly believe that if she had just listened, she would have been okay with what Christina was proposing. Meredith wasn't even printing a real organ! By scrapping her prototype, she would have set herself back in research by one day, and a life could have been saved. Are you really telling me that's not worth it, Meredith? Jeez. Also, in the last episode Christina brought cupcakes over to Meredith's house, attempting to reconcile. That was totally ignored. Meredith is acting like a total bitch. I'm sorry, but she is. And then we have Shane, with his manic obsession over his patient. That's fine and all, but I find it strange that, once again, he wouldn't be more reasonable about this. Could the patient's needs have waited twenty-four hours? No? Well then why not put in another synthetic thing while waiting to figure out if the printer idea is even viable? Instead, Shane and Christina betrayed Meredith over a plan that might not even work. I'm really annoyed with both Meredith and Christina. I think their fight is a really cheap way to stir up more drama, and I have firmly decided that I despise this plot line.
Ugh. Sorry for the rant at the end. I suppose you can probably tell that the Meredith plot was not my favorite, and in fact it was irritating enough that it actually made the episode as a whole fall in my eyes. While there were good things going on here and there, I don't think this is one I'll be remembering with particular fondness.