Grey’s Anatomy Episode 1118 Recap: Field Trip To The Zoo

Sometimes I think about how, when I was in elementary school, my class only ever went on field trips to the state capital and the zoo and one time to this dairy where they show you how they make ice cream, and not ever to a hospital that has known pretty much every plague of the lord god himself, and I feel so very, very sad. But this week on Grey’s Anatomy, someone had the bright idea to unleash a half-dozen ankle-biters on Grey-Sloan Memorial, forgetting a that it’s regularly set upon by bombs and shooters and great hungry lions who feast on the flesh of humans. Stellar planning, Board of Education. Absolutely top notch.

If there’s anything good to be said about this plan, it’s that Webber has been assigned to usher the munchkins through their tour. He was the chief for about a million years, and these guys are just like really small interns.

(Anyone else really scared a spaceship is going to crash into the hospital and take out the whole pack? No? Just me? Okay, cool.)

First, Webber takes the kids to Amelia, who talks about operating on squishy squashy brains. She thinks it’s super cool, so they think it’s super cool, which is basically rule #2 of talking to kids. They can smell bullshit (and fear, for that matter) from 50 miles away. So if you’re going to deal with them, you’ve got to be real. Amelia is awesome at it. So is Derek, who walks up and interrupts the conversation to point out that he too is a surgeon of the squishy squashes, and that he works for his sister, Amelia. She gives him the wary look I’m always wearing when he appears on-screen.

(If you’re wondering, rule #2 of talking to kids is if you’re going to teach them to swear, teach them to do it correctly. )

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OHHHHH, who lives in a pineapple under the sea?

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*crickets*

Anyway, yep. Derek is back and Meredith feels so blessed that her husband has un-abandoned her and her invisible children to live in Seattle and behave like a grown up for once in his fucking life. I’m not sure if she’s really thought this through, or if she’s just adrift on a sea of sexually satisfaction—I’m guessing the latter, okay, I know that face—but even Maggie, who didn’t know Meredith in her darkest and twistiest, tells her she’s creeping everyone out and to knock it off.

In the Elevator of All Things, Stephanie is hitting up Tinder, looking for someone to marrt. Speaking of which, do we know where she lives? In Ellis Grey’s House of Horrors? I should probably check on that. Jo thinks Stephanie ought to go for any old dude, but Stephanie is not willing to bang a bro who still thinks it’s cool to wear his letterman jacket when he’s 32. She is, however, willing to bang to bro who has deemed Grey-Sloan Memorial an appropriate place to lose a herd of fourth graders. Not only does this guy have the sense God gave a turnip, but he’s seventeen literal years old. Oh, Stephanie, honey. No. Unfortunately she doesn’t find this out until she spends the whole day flirting with him. I feel bad for her, but we get to see her being flirty and giggly all day, so it’s not a complete loss.

April and Jackson are back at work. Jackson, my darling little Gretchen Wieners, is bombing with the kids. Not like a literal bomb, what do you think this is, season two? No, he’s working his ass off trying to make fetch happen. The kids knock him back in true Regina fashion. April is back in the ER, explaining to the kids what a trauma is when a police car pulls up and a whole heap of bleeding folks are carried in. Three police officers are injured, along with a fifteen year-old shooter. Weber, Maggie, Hunt, and Callie work on the first officer, Pete, who has two gunshots in his chest. The other, Bret, is in the next room with April, Meredith, and Jo, with bullets in his neck and stomach.

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You are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen we should get married and have eleven babies.

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You need to slow your roll before Tumblr murders your ass.

 

Callie notices that the third officer, Pete’s partner Dan, is bleeding pretty profusely from his leg. He’s not keen on getting treatment so long as his partner is bleeding out all over the place, but Callie uses her Power Voice and tells him to sit his ass down so she can sort him out. His leg is GROSS. He’s got muscle torn all to hell and exposed bone. Callie is mad impressed that he carried his partner in on that leg. Is that what you have to do to get that girl’s attention? Not entirely sure it’s worth it, to be honest.

So because of all the blood and bones and people screaming in the ER (an event absolutely anyone with two brain cells to rub together could have predicted) Stephanie has relocated the field trip to the nursery where Alex and Arizona (HI ARIZONA HI HI!) play Rock Paper Scissors for who operated on the cutest baby. The kids HATE Arizona. I’m not buying it. She’s the tiny human whisperer! Come on! Also, she calls the babies Pop-Tarts. Have you ever heard anything more dear in your whole life? No you haven’t.

Ready for some bad news? Pete and Bret, the wounded officers, are brothers. Ha ha ha GREAT. Their mom arrives at the hospital, where Owen has to tell her that both of her sons have been shot.

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On the upside, you did win the inter-hospital femslash fic-off!

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There’s really not enough Emily Fields/Santana Lopez smut, you know?

 

One thing that Grey’s has always done really well is juxtaposition the absurd, the things that are so beyond most people’s everyday lives (inoperable brain tumor, bomb in body cavity) with the heart of the human condition. However outlandish the stories, the people are real, and their struggles are the same as ours. That fear when your loved one is hurt, the abject misery at the loss of a relationship, the heart-fluttering magic of a first kiss, we all know those. So while I’ve never walked in this woman’s shoes, I don’t really have to. I’ve lived her fears; they’re the same as mine.

Derek has imprinted on the scent of trauma, and he comes hauling ass down to find out what’s going on. Amelia didn’t page him, okay, and tells him maybe he could skedaddle back to the kiddie table and clip an aneurism like a good boy. Shockingly, Derek agrees. Amelia isn’t sure that he’s ready to take a step back and not be Derek Shepherd, but Derek has decided to lean into the warm embrace of Not Being An Ass Every Second of Every Day.

Pete arrests on the table. It takes fourteen minutes to get him back, and by the time they do, he’s brain dead. Amelia tells Webber and Maggie to prepare the family.

Bret is stable—for the moment. He’s in surgery with April and Meredith. It seems for a while like he’s going to be okay. Callie tells Officer Dan that he’s got minor internal injuries, and that they’re working on the trachea repair. Then, out of nowhere, Bret strokes out on the table. Their mother has lost two sons in one day. I want to say that I can’t imagine, but the thing is, I can. And that’s the power in this writing. We can all imagine.

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Did you and Derek have sex in the elevator?

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No, that’d be wrong on so many levels.

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Bailey and Ben are stuck with the unenviable task of saving the shooter. He’s fifteen and his liver was destroyed in the shooting. Amelia gives exactly no fucks, which, knowing what happened to her dad, isn’t surprising. Everyone else would also be more than happy to let him die on the table but Bailey isn’t having it. She’s the first with a heart-strings story when she needs something from someone, but she’s also quick to remind everyone that they treat patients, not stories. Her patient needs a liver, and she’s going to get him one.

UNOS doesn’t have anything, nor do any of the local hospitals. Bailey rocks up to Meredith and asks her to ask this mom, who just lost two sons, if she’d direct the donation of one of their livers to her patient. You know, the guy who killed them. Go big or go home, I guess. Meredith is understandably outraged and refuses, but Bailey never met a “no” she didn’t want to turn into a “maybe”, so she crashes in to the room and asks the mom herself. The mom takes her “no” and turns it into a “go to hell.”

Officer Dan doesn’t need surgery, but he does need a splint and to ride a desk for a month or two. Given the events of the day, he’s not at all upset about it. He keeps asking Callie about Jarrett, the shooter kid, and I thought it was because he was waiting to hear that Jarrett had died, but it turns out that he and Bret had been trying to help this kid get his life straightened out. Dan tells Meredith that Bret would call this his Moment. Sink or swim. Fight or flight. Dan wants to help him. He says Bret would want to help him too.

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It’s crazy how much I look like the adult child of Sam Evans and Blaine Anderson, right?

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If you think that’s going to make lesbian fandom like you more, you’re in for a surprise.

 

Meredith pages Bailey, and they take Dan in to talk to Bret’s mom. She agrees to the transplant.

Okay, right. So. Callie. As she’s wheeling Officer Dan out to his car, he tells her that if today weren’t today, he’d want to take her out. Callie is speechless, and tells him she needs to see him back in ten days for a follow up. “Ten days,” Dan says. “Sounds like a plan. See you in ten days.”

So I have a lot of feelings about this. Officer Dan seems like a nice guy, he really does. And he’s distraught and he’s lost so much, and Callie is right there with her face, looking like she does and being as strong and compassionate and as wonderful as she always is. I’m not surprised that he asks her out, and I’m not surprised that she says yes. She’s already dated at least one person (looking at you, Steak Knives) and I feel like through that, the writers were trying to reassure us that Callie is still very much into women, even though she and Arizona aren’t together anymore (…for now).

So often, bisexuality is treated like something stuck to the bottom of society’s shoe. Straight people think we’re playthings. Gay people are scared of us. And TV makes it worse. Almost unequivocally worse. For every Bo on Lost Girl or Kalinda on The Good Wife, we’ve got dozens of trite bisexual characters who trip over every awful cliche in the Big Book of Queer Storytelling.

There’s the fauxmosexal sweeps weeks bisexual who gets a female love interest for a five-minute ratings stunt, and never mentions it again. (The O.C., Heroes, Bones, Melrose Place, 90210.) There’s the depraved bisexual, like, say, Mandy the terrorist on 24, that handful of literal galaxy-destroying cylons and nuns on BSG and Caprica, all those stalkers and vampires from Smallville who were after Lana, The Morrigan on Lost Girl.. And, of course, the ubiquitous bisexual character who just can’t keep it in her pants no matter how committed to her partner she claims to be. Barbara Kean on Gotham, Tina Kennard and DaddyOf2 or whatever his name was on The L Word, Rose on Jane the Virgin. Bisexual women on TV are threesome gateways and sex maniacs and psychos.

Callie has never been any of those tired storylines, and she has been openly bi for a long, long time.

The thing that makes it really hard with Callie is that she was part of one of the most stable and beloved queer couples in the history of broadcast TV. So there’s the sting of ripping off the Band-Aid and seeing her move on with other people. And then there’s an additional sting because under the Band-Aid is decades-old trope burn. Pretty much every bi woman in TV history has relationships with men and dalliances with women. Everybody knows bi women date men. That’s a given. Arizona was not a dalliance, obviously, and Callie has already hooked up with Steak Knives, so we know she’s still interested in the ladies, but knowing that in your head and feeling it in your bruised, often mistreated TV-loving heart are two different things.

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See you in ten days.

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You have no idea how many tornadoes will hit this hospital between now and then.

 

It’s getting better for bi women on TV. We’ve got Kalinda and Bo, like I mentioned above, even though they’re only with us through the rest of this TV season. We lost Brittany S. Pierce this year, too, and she ended up being a great ambassador for the bi community. There’s Brenna on Chasing Life right now, and she’s fantastic, truly. Max and Anne and Eleanor on Black Sails. Oh, Amy on Faking It. A handful of well-rounded bi characters on TV at the same time is more than anyone ever expected, even just ten years ago.

Callie has always been bi, and I don’t think it’s fair to erase that part of her identity. I am still really, really sad about Callie and Arizona, and I’m still hoping for Calzona endgame. The possibility of actual bi representation on network TV does give me a thrill, but seeing Callie accepting a date with a man cracks open a lot of wounds, and I get that too.

I’m going to eat a pie and hope Callie continues to shine as a beacon of authentic and fair bi representation on TV. You want half my pie? We can throw it at Derek. That’ll make everyone feel better.

Jenn is a yoga-loving, tea-drinking, music-obsessed bisexual writer who lives on the outskirts of Atlanta with her husband, her son, her retired greyhound Hops, and two identical white cats called Greatest and Leastie. You can find her on Twitter and Tumblr. Come and say hi! Bring cookies!

Jenn has written 13 articles for us.

27 Comments

  1. I hope nobody is going to throw any organic,rotten tomatoes at me:
    When that study about the poor mental health of Bi-women came out a few months past, a lot of Ladies identifying more on the Lady Loving only or at least mostly spectrum were shocked.I know I was.
    I guess, along with most everyone else, I just figured bi girls were these sorts of chameleons who could weave in and out of both worlds and supposedly had it easier.
    But then there suddenly were numbers and statistics to the exact opposite and I guess we, as a queer community, had to reevaluate ourselves.
    If someone came out as bi, that was great (although not as great as lesbian..), if there was a bi character on TV, great, but we only ever focused on the Lady Loving aspect of them.Once the character or celebrity went on to date or married a guy, they usually dropped out of queer news for the most part, unless they did something particularly gay, like Anna Paquin in that Letterman interview, for example.
    So, what I’m saying, is, that we need to reevaluate ourselves, the way we consume queer media and the way we embrace our bi sisters.
    We need to embrace them fully, because they’re still them, despite whoever they’re dating, and they’re not any less part of our community if they enter into an uhm, traditional relationship model.
    So, of course, there have been abundant tropes that burned and burned badly, and I’m not saying that it’s going to be easy emotionally to see Callie with a guy, but I want to see Callie with a guy, I aim to get over my ingrained distaste of seeing her with such, and I’m going to embrace the shit out of her character and this new relationship, because this is a rare chance for decent bi representation and good practice for me.
    Unless, you know, the officer is an absolute ass.
    Maybe they could at least make him a vegetarian, or own a pair of Birkenstocks and the entire Ani diFranco collection, you know, to ease the transition a bit.

    • Gosh, I’m crying now. Thank you so much for that comment. Really, thank you.

      I can tell you for sure that being a bi lady in a relationship with a boy isn’t easy at all. There’s this line to (auto)straddle of understanding that I DO have a certain amount of privilege by seeming straight and not fearing that I’m going to get accosted simply for holding my husband’s hand, while at the same time feeling cut off from the queer community, which is where I feel most at home. There are times when I feel like it would be easier if I weren’t out at all, and there was a very, very, very long time when I didn’t feel…queer enough to claim queerness. I didn’t come out for years because of it. People who I have loved selflessly became immediately distrustful when I came out to them, sometimes hatefully so. As if being bi meant I was going to start fucking their husbands and wives and boyfriends and girlfriends with complete impunity. Like I wasn’t the same person I always had been. It was awful, and made me feel like I would have been better off if I’d never come out in the first place.

      I completely understand when lesbian people or trans people or POC want a safe space that’s just for them. I totally get that, and I respect it. But sometimes feeling like you don’t have a space at all is really sad.

      • (Well, here’s a virtual hug, if you want it, no need to cry.)
        You guys *have* a place and it’s at our table, I mean it’s not LGBTI for nothing, There is a B in there somewhere, we just need to pull up that extra chair we seem to have forgotten on the porch.Again, sorry about that.
        My evil ex said several times that, “coming out is not a process that I am in need of” and I cannot tell you how messy all of that turned out to be.
        Like, after two years she was the only friend I did not hug “Hello” or “Goodbye” because she visibly shrank away from me in public(we both lived center left of gaytown), while having zero problems making out with me for hours in the next gay bar. And she did not skip any other 1950’s bad movie cliché of bi people, either.
        What I’m trying to say is, that despite it being awkward and disheartening, you did yourself a great favor by coming out, because not being 100% true to yourself is always harmful to your soul and those around you.
        Also, always a mess.
        And yeah, that beast by the name of queer community:That something you’re somehow a part of.That haven you’ve finally arrived at.But also that place that you might not really fit in with 100%.
        Finding your personal, perfect corner in the queer community is always some kind of quest, I guess.
        It’s harrowing to find, but don’t let anyone tell you, that you don’t belong, you will find your space!

  2. I came in expecting the cop to be like Stef from The Fosters but nope =(

    May I ask where you’re getting your references for Lexa and Rose as being bisexual characters? Lexa has only been framed as having relationships with women, and I’m pretty sure Rose admitted that she’s a lesbian but only married Emilio for her con (at least that’s how I interpreted that episode).

    • Just for clarity: My “=(” was because I was excited about lady cops, not that Callie got asked out by a man and said yes.

      And secondly, I want to know if I’m misreading other queer characters on TV. I’ve only ever seen Lexa being referred to as a lesbian outside of the show, and my conflations with Rose’s identity may be based off of Luisa or “lesbian” being a lazy placeholder for anything that is female-queer-slanted.

    • Yep, the Rose story went that she was attracted to women but married Emilio for the con. Part of this was explained in the flashback episode. She never had any feelings for that man and killed him as soon as it was convenient. Luisa had assumed that Rose had married him for his money but it was a much more sinister plan than even she was aware of at the time.

    • Yeah, as far as what’s on screen we’ve only seen Lexa interested in women. Also I believe the show runner confirmed on twitter along with Clarke being bisexual that Lexa is gay. But I heard that from my friend and didn’t see that tweet with my own eyes.

  3. It’d be real shitty of Greys to erase Callie’s bisexual identity so yay cop date, sure. That said, I’m sad that there may not be as much queer-lady-loving content… Also I hope that if Callie does end up dating this guy for a while, they keep acknowledging that she IS bisexual (as they did during her relationship with Arizona) if that makes sense…

    ALSO maybe IDK, introduce more lesbians to the show. Give Arizona a romantic storyline. How bout a trans character that actually sticks around? So many possibilities, Shonda.

  4. I don’t read spoilers ahead of time- so I didn’t know who the cop was before this episode. But the minute him and Callie met, I knew he was there to be her new love interest. What I mean is, he feels just like Meredith’s Vet from Season 2 and April’s EMT from Seasons 9/10. He’s warm, charming, stable, non-uniquely handsome. And as a result, I would wager that he will serve his purpose of getting Callie back on her feet, she will learn some important things about herself while she is with him, and that ultimately he will be temporary. It’s thus far been the Grey’s pattern before now. And I don’t believe that Shonda will disrupt the pattern.

    I saw that with no malice in my heart. As a bi woman, I’m happy to see Callie’s dating life play out on screen. So far, she has been shown to have been hit on/be re-introduced into the dating scene by a woman (the pharmacy rep), then take a man home as a one night stand, then a date with another woman met online (steak knives), and now she’ll probably date the police officer for a bit. It feels like they are being almost purposefully careful with making her dating representations “even”. Which, maybe given how closely both Callie and Calzona are watched by the queer community, the writers have to be that careful. And I personally wouldn’t mind if she dates around some more for a while.

    After seeing the cop in this episode, I became more confident than ever that this road leads back to Arizona. Maybe not this season, but before the show ends. And I say that from the structure of storytelling- I’m not deeply a Calzona fan. All I’ve ever wanted is for Callie’s happiness, whoever she ends up with.

  5. Someone elsewhere mentioned that the fact that this guy being a cop doesn’t bode well for his longevity on the show. This show has never had a regular who wasn’t a doctor and all of the previous non-doctor love interests don’t last very long. I give this guy one season at best. Kevin Alejandro is also already a regular on The Returned(unless they kill him off for some reason) and has shot a pilot for another series as well. Kevin always has like 50 million projects going on. He is one of the most employed actors on television.

    I am admittedly a biased Calzona fan and as already mentioned television has a terrible track record with bi characters in relation to their involvement with men so I’ll just go ahead and admit that I’m not exactly happy about this new pairing. Coupled with the fact that the usual Calzona homophobes who harass Shonda on social media are already overjoyed at the prospect of Callie, whom they never wanted to “go gay” in the first place, is going to be dating a guy. It’s just highly unlikely that I am ever going to like this pairing any more than I liked Arizona with Dr. Whatseverface or Leah to be honest. Hopefully, the writers don’t make this Callie/Dan pairing so unpalatable to me that I end up hating Kevin Alejandro in the process because I genuinely like the dude in everything else. And he really is in everything else on television. That’s the best this show is getting out of me.

    I do think eventually they will put Calzona back together. They are one of the show’s most popular pairings outside of MerDer and have been for years and I can’t see Shonda breaking them up for good. They were also one of the few and quite possible THE only long-standing lesbian couple on television. And that is why fans are so passionate about them. Shonda will still throw us a bone every now and then if only to not incur the wrath of the shippers for an extended amount of time, which is why I think we are still occasionally getting Calzona scenes. However, I don’t think the representation will be equal at the present. Callie will date a guy but we are unlikely to be introduced to another lesbian for Arizona any time soon. I say that mostly because she had Dr.Whatseverface and Leah the past two seasons, as well as Callie. The writers seem to be more focused on giving her patient stories which has actually done wonders for her character development IMO. I want more of that as well as a new love interest(or Callie) going forward.

  6. I have to say I’m a little relieved about how they are handling Callie’s bisexuality.

    For the last 4 years I have been in back-to-back three very serious relationships with women, the first of which was my first relationship with a woman, ever. Being single for the first time ever and being unaffected by the dynamic of a current relationship, I have found myself “queering out” in a way that I hadn’t been before. While I had identified as “queer” I had spent the past four years feeling pretty rigidly “gay.”I do think that it was being in same-sex relationships, that dynamic dominated my sexual and romantic sphere. Being free of that I have found myself noticing boys my age and even developing some crushes.

    Some people have been shocked at my non-chalant confessions about boy crushes and I have almost felt this need to come out all over again, but this time as not rigidly gay. I have had to remind people a few times that I have been identifying as “queer” and had just happened to be in same-sex relationships for the past four years, for some that is longer than I have known them and that’s the only way they know me. For the friends that I had an emotional coming-out to, it’s also shocking for them. And for me it seems simple and that it should be very undramatic.

    Callie’s experiences are the most representative of my own that I have seen on television, ever.

  7. Another awesome recap, Jenn!

    For me, this is pretty easy: Calzona will always be endgame, but Policeman Dan seems like a genuinely good guy, so I’m more than happy to have Callie pass the time with him until her and Arizona get back together.

    I think C.P. above is exactly right – Dan is going to be Callie’s McVet. Meaning, he is going to be the nice, stable, drama-free love interest she could have, but whom she will ultimately leave for her real soul mate, Arizona, despite all the drama that goes with that, just like Mere left Finn for Derek.

    I actually think that the show has done REALLY well in always being faithful to Callie’s bisexuality, so I actually like that she’s (probably) now going to have a relationship with a man. What I REAAAAAAALLY hope for now, though, is for Arizona to also have a new relationship. For me, the silver lining of Calzona’s breakup was the opportunity to see Arizona as a complete character outside of her relationship with Callie, and we’ve had precious little of that since Dr. Geena Davis left the show.

    • I really really really want Arizona to have a (short term and happy making) relationship with another lady. She’s had so much character development lately, but it’s all been sad-making. I want her to have some happys.

  8. Love your recaps, especially when you throw in random screenshots of Arizona—she does have a face like sunshine! Well said in regards to Callie’s bisexual representation, the writers are clearly attempting to balance the field (hello Steak Knives), and if she were to only date women it would certainly not be an accurate portrayal of a bisexual woman (hello Alice Pieszecki). Plus, if she has to move on with a man, at least it’s Lafayette’s dead supernatural lover, RIP Jesus. Hopefully Arizona will get a new lady love interest to turn up the gay—I would love for them to bring back Peyton Sawyer, ooh the drama!

    Keep the Owen bashing coming!

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