There was a lot going on in this week’s Grey’s Anatomy — some indirect dealing with the ever-plaguing abandonment issues, coming to terms with family (or the idea of it), annoying patients, hospital sex, odd couples, and George and Izzie. On a scale of 1 to great, I give it a fair to middlin.’ But I will give credit where credit is due: some things are playing out touchingly, while others seem to be getting the ick factor they deserve.

It’s all about chemistry. And spoilers. Which are coming right up…

Let’s just deal with the giant pink elephant in the room, so I can move on. George and Izzie. Apparently the chemistry they had when they were busting up George’s marriage just isn’t there any more. The sex is, in a word, "horrible" — they’re trying too hard, Izzie’s bending her legs in a way they shouldn’t bend, and kissing George is like being pecked by a chicken. Fair enough. If you ask me, anyone who sets up an expectation for "perfect sex" is either reading too much Marie Claire or just has it coming when reality doesn’t live up to expectations.

The best part about this revelation was the way George and Izzie confessed their lack of sexual chemistry to Meredith — and the horrified/nauseated look on her face was pure greatness. I feel your pain, Meredith. I don’t want to hear this stuff either. Seriously — she survived a married boyfriend, having her hand on a bomb in a body cavity, drowning, her mother’s death, her stepmother’s death, and her father’s re-abandonment. Does she have to put up with these two too?

Thankfully that storyline claimed only a small amount of the action. Much more interesting things to focus on. For one, the patient who came in cradling her baby in her arms, worried that she’d seriously hurt the baby in a fall she took — and then hit the deck with a collapsed lung and internal injuries. Among other things, it gave the great Brooke Smith even more opportunity to shine as the fantastic Dr. Erica Hahn, whom I have now christened McHardcore.

Hahn’s determined to push Cristina’s face in it, and rather than keeping Yang on her service, she takes Meredith, making for some interesting tension as Meredith tries to thread the needle in pleasing Hahn while not alienating her friend too much. Most satisfying, however, was the way Cristina and Sloan bond (just a little bit, and not in a dirty way) over how difficult they find Hahn. And of course Sloan’s more than a little turned on — so McSteamy’s mclovin’ McHardcore. She so fabulously puts him in his place by the end, telling him he only thinks he’s into her. I’m ready to start printing up Erica Hahn/McHardcore T-shirts right now.

The patient’s husband, convinced he is unable to care for their newly adopted baby, is determined not to raise her should his wife die. Lexie champions the baby’s needs, while Meredith, of all people, talks the guy down off the ledge by reminding him that as little as he thinks he knows about his new daughter, he knows her better than he thinks — things no one else knows. And that bonding seems effortless for some people, but takes longer for others. Geez, can anyone tell what they’re really talking about here?

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Actually, to be fair, one of the things I’ve always found charming/irritating about Grey’s is the way that characters address their issues through conversations about third parties — a surgeon will be talking about her own problems through a patient’s case, or a patient’s comments will address someone else’s neurotic inner (or outer, for that matter) monologue. Sometimes it’s as subtle as a sledgehammer. Sometimes it works. This was one of the good times — and big props to Ellen Pompeo and Chyler Leigh for making that happen. We’re starting to see the occasional glimpse of Meredith opening up, as she did with her stepmother, and we’re beginning to see a slightly darker edge to Lexie — particularly at the end, when drunken Thatcher stumbles out of the house and Karev sees what she has to contend with at home with her father.

Best of all, so far the writers are resisting some miraculous flip-flop — Meredith isn’t suddenly a gung-ho sister and able to function in a relationship, and Lexie hasn’t rented a place on Bad Girl Lane. It’s touching that she keeps trying to reach out to Meredith, and even more so that she asks Karev not to tell Meredith about their mess of a father. I hope this pacing and this arc continue, because they’re working.

Meanwhile, Dr. Bailey was in fine form, finally finding a way to make her move after biding her time and waiting for her opening. A couple of weeks back, Bailey and the struggling Dr. Torres decided to team up on chief resident duties — and this week, while Callie was in back-to-back-to-back surgeries, Bailey stepped up and ran the joint. That’s the Bailey we know and love, even if she is being less mean than when we first loved her.

The Chief, apparently coming to grips with his own inabilities to cope with all of the routine tasks of his life by annexing Derek as a kind of trailer-next-door roommate, finally concedes that Bailey was born to be chief resident and should’ve had the job all along. Uh, yeah, Chief — where’ve you been? Plus you do a horrible Robert DeNiro impression. The one real problem with the scene, however, is that Bailey bursts into tears and hugs the Chief when she gets the gig. Sure, these people are more than co-workers, and it’s a much-needed validation after a terrible disappointment and her feeling distraught and at loose ends. But Bailey shouldn’t be crying. Seriously.

How do you feel about Emotional Bailey? Will Hahn and Cristina ever bond? Will Cristina get a decent storyline this season? Will George and Izzie last?

Posted by:Lisa Todorovich