Cassandra is completely awesome, let's just establish that up front. Even though that particular challenge makes me a little uncomfortable - you know, the one where they have to answer all kinds of mean questions like "who would you never want to see again after this game?" and "who smells the worst?", ensuring humilation for at least a few people...I'm glad that Cassandra won. She didn't miss a single question, which sounds about right given that she's gotten this far on a combination of luck and an ability to hang back, observing, under the radar. And she played her choices of who to bring with her on the reward spectacularly too.
Immunity challenge #2 was the standard endurance thing; fun to watch but not much to say about it, other than it still shocks me how tough Yau-Man is.
Earl's master plan is FANTABULOUSLY AMAZING. Admittedly, Dreamz and the fact that he switches sides every other week played a key component in this, but still...I kept giggling every time Earl got a new piece of information and flipped things around again. His plan was not only perfect, it had about three backup plans. He is completely in control of the game right now; I love how he's mastered the art of collecting a bunch of ragtag players on the fringes of the group and steadily forming a superpower alliance out of them. Heh, even Stacey decided to jump ship on the Horsemen and cling to Earl's coattails. It was so totally worth it to see the smug smirks on Alex, Edgardo, and Mookie's faces be literally wiped off their face as Jeff read the rest of the votes, where Earl & Co merrily kicked out half the central core of the guys' alliance without a word of warning. They just looked so SHOCKED that I rewound and watched it a half-dozen times in a row, laughing hysterically the whole time. Totally makes up for Michelle getting the boot. I don't like Edgardo's accent that much, after all, and I especially don't like him when his last words are to randomly say how much dislikes Cassandra, which seems to come out of nowhere. The hell, Ed? *smacks him upside the head*
Otherwise, I love how the alliances this season are in a constant state of flux.
Words cannot really express how much I hate Susan. Take my hatred of Callie, combine it with my hatred of Mark Sloan, then multiply it by how irritating Smiley Sydney is, and you get my level of loathing for the vapid Mrs. Grey 2.0. Look, lady, the groceries? They were nice. And I know you have no ulterior motive other than being one of those irritating people who wants to reach out to others at all times, but Meredith DOESN'T WANT IT. Take a frickin' hint. If I hear her mention "family" one more time, I might suffer a complete psychotic break. For the tenth time, NO. Bloodlines and marriage ties do not mean you have a sudden connection with someone. Nor does it mean you should try to form a connection with them. Susan would do better to just butt out. If Meredith wants to reconnect with her father, or vice versa, fine. Leave them be. Leave the two of them alone. YOU - and your daughter - and your granddaughter, for that matter - would do better to just pretend she doesn't exist, because I think that's what Meredith would like to do. At least, that's what I would like Meredith to do.
I think the last straw was when Fake Mommy bitchily reamed her out for being "rude," or in other words, "How dare you tell me to stop randomly showing up on your doorstep!" Speaking of which, Fake Mommy's apparently never watched Everybody Loves Raymond, or she would know exactly how annoying her behavior is. If anything, I don't think Meredtih was rude enough. I saw no need for her to apologize at any point.
I'm calling it right here, right now: I want Fake Mommy to die. I don't care how, I don't care why. I just want her to follow Real Mommy into the afterlife so we never have to deal with her again.
Is Creepy Doc gone for good? Please say yes. I want to smack him hard, too, for making Cristina doubt herself. Ass. And while Cristina's multi-colored nails were funny, that whole act where she was wrapping her hands around Burke's arm and patting his chest while talking to a patient was such a terribly unprofessional display that my skin started crawling. I much prefer Cristina when she rolls her eyes and tells him to shut up. Affectionate snark, that's what they're about.
So Mark decides to be Richard's wingman, and at one point he demonstrates how to flirt by talking to and smiling at a nurse, who promptly becomes noticeably flushed and nervous. The hell? That was flirting? Lady, did you SEE his grin? It is a scary grin bordering on a leer. Every time he smiles, all I can think of is how much he looks like a lion about to eat you for supper. It makes me want to get away from him as quickly as possible, and possibly make sure that my keys and pepper spray are at the ready.
Also, I don't want to see Weber flirting. It is weird and uncomfortable for me and I never want to revisit this storyline again. He's supposed to be married, damn it, and that marriage should have lasted forever through everything, because there are enough characters with relationship problems. Bailey does not need to be the only person in the whole hospital in a constant state of stability.
The Izzie's daughter storyline further induced my rage. In fact, I'm so spitting mad I don't know if I can get my points out coherently.
As a matter of pure principles - this is why people get abortions. So the little brats they never wanted in the first place can't grow up and try to contact them. Or so the little brats can't grow up, get sick, and have desperate adoptive parents contact them instead. It's not that I'm averse to Izzie donating bone marrow, because come on, when you're in a position to give someone help that's hard to come by and time is of the essence, saying no isn't even an option. What I hate is instead of her simply undergoing the procedure and then them both being on their separate ways, it throws Izzie into a freaking emotional tailspin.
This is my usual resentment coming to the surface; you remember that, yes? How irritated I get at the implication that carrying a child to term automatically means you feel some sort of special bond with them forevermore? No. I GUARANTEE you that if for some reason I got pregnant unexpectedly and didn't get an abortion, I not only wouldn't care when they took her away, I *promise* you I would not fall to weepy pieces at the thought of meeting her for the first time 12 years later. *growls and rages incoherently for a while* And for the ten trillionth time, BALDNESS CANNOT BE BEAUTIFUL. Ever. Under any circumstances. End of story. Unless you are Taye Diggs, on whom the look, bizarrely, works. Cancer patients suffering hair loss are ugly, and even Natalie Portman looks hideous without hair. In other words, Izzie's Terribly Sad Issues of the Past did not move me so much as an inch.
But let's set my indignant principles aside, because what I really want to talk about here is George and Izzie's relationship, and how I hate the way it's being handled.
Okay - when George stormed his way into the operating room despite orders to the contrary, outstared Bailey and then crouched down in front of Izzie and held her hand, I was almost overcome by the emotion there. Shocked, I saw the sweetheart George of season 1 and early season 2. And it was such a beautiful display of friendship that it about kicked every instance of Mer/Cristina to the curb.
I love them as friends. I love them so much as friends in ways I didn't even fully realize until the last few episodes. That carried right over into when he was pulling on her scrubs. I held my breath for fear of some horrible sort of forced sexual tension there, but it never came. Not really. There was some fumbling conversation, but I ignored all that (except for the part where Izzie insisted "the sex was NOT tragic," at which point I screamed "YES IT WAS!").
But, see, they didn't need the previously-occurring sex to have happened in order for this moment to be emotionally compelling. In fact, it could have been even better if that hadn't happened. Couldn't you see Izzie breaking down in tears on his shoulder, and George just holding her, rubbing her back, kissing the side of her head? Well, I can. I think that's the kind of guy he is. And I mean this in a truly platonic sense, because there really are guys who are capable of being affectionate friends without thinking about anything more. (Yes, straight guys.)
What I can also argue, if they were so damned determined to pull off Gizzie, is that this could have been that Emotionally Traumatic Event that every couple with UST needs in order to push them together in any sort of solidifying manner. It couldn't have happened in this episode, no. But this episode could have been the spark lit, so subtly you didn't even notice, until it developed further down the road when she realized how much his support had meant to her, and perhaps vice versa. Maybe at the end of the daughter arc, which I'm guessing isn't over. In order for that to happen, however, it would be best if you'd also erased the part where George and Callie got married, because it's just disgusting that all of this is happening where George is not just cheating on Callie, but cheating on Callie WHO IS HIS WIFE. A little respect for the bonds of matrimony would be nice, no matter how much I hate her and still don't feel sorry for her.
I don't really feel like focusing on McDreamy this week; all I can say is that this is the good kind of angst. If couples can't sail along in a state of bliss all the time and need some conflict in order to make for good TV, then this is what I want to see - not cheating on one another or falling for other people, but undergoing conflict from a completely different source. To put it bluntly, having Derek torn between Meredith and his dream job is much better than having him torn between Meredith and his marriage to Addison.
There was one good thing about this episode, other than the Mer/Der hair kiss/hug and Derek being generally brooding and emo (his most attractive state)...and that was Alex and Eva. Which SHOCKS me, and yet...I liked it. I knew right from the start that those wouldn't end up being her real parents, but I was in denial because she looked so happy. Which just made the final reveal that much more heartbreaking. Also, I think I'm kind of an Alex/Eva shipper. The fact that she's pregnant makes that a problem since he would be a terrible father figure even if she DOESN'T have a husband or boyfriend somewhere, but I just overlook that, because this is one of the few times I haven't despised every scene Alex is in.
But overall...wow, this episode SUCKED. And yes, I'm kind of amazed at how much there was to hate in an episode without any sex scenes.
ER: Family Business
[At the risk of offending people who have/had a relative with the disease...I hate Alzheimer's patients. HATE THEM. It grates on my nerves in ways I can't even describe. I turned to my mother and warned her, as I warn her on a fairly regular basis, never to get Alzheimer's, as I simply wouldn't stick around to deal with it. It drives me into a rage when I have to look at old people crumble to pieces like they're children, not understanding what's going on. It's not normal behavior, and I despise deviation from the norm.
So those scenes were absolutely unbearable. The only benefit to that entire storyline was the last scene with Abby/Luka/Joe in the locker room. Oh, they're the most perfect little family ever, always, of all time. So clearly made for each other. (What? I never shipped Carby, what are you talking about? Luka/Sam, what's that? I was always all about the Luby Love! Shut up Voice, stop laughing)
More on the Tony/Neela/Ray triangle this week, while I shake my fist at the sky and wonder anew why they had to kill off Gallant. I wish Ray would just get over Neela already; I don't want to see him eyeing the other two suspiciously every time they talk to one another. What happened to that pretty surgical intern he went on a date or two with? What's wrong with her? How can he possibly sustain this stupid attraction to Neela for years in the first place? I know I keep saying I don't think it's best for her to date Tony, either, but better him than Ray. She has a terribly interesting dynamic with Sarah, somewhere between cool aunt and older sister, and I like seeing them interact.
I'd prefer it not to be about Sarah wanting the HPV vaccine, though. I love Tony's reaction to hearing that; practically tearing his hair out. I don't blame him. I mean, on the one hand, there's no real way to argue against it because it can't hurt and it can only help, but I still hate that thing, because it...it...I don't know, to me it stil sends the message that "hey, we know you're going to have sex anyway, so let me take away one of the risk factors. That's one less reason not to do it!" This isn't like a vaccine for polio or tuberculosis here. It's for a disease that you cannot get if you keep your damn clothes on, which is the most responsible choice of all.
So aside from that minor bit where I wanted to slap her upside the head, Sarah was as usual the best part of the episode. The first scene where she's paying the bills is priceless, and the final scene just about broke my heart. If anyone (*cough* social "fucking busybodies" services) ever takes her away from him, I will...well, ungood things will happen. She's so very deeply attached to him, while he - for all his shortcomings as far as romantic relationships go - is so very protective of her, it kills me. Sometimes I think these two give me more moments of squee than any romantic pairing.