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Recap and Review of Grey's Anatomy Season 6 Episode 4, Tainted Obligation

Grey's Anatomy Rundown, "Tainted Obligation"

The title of this week's second episode of Grey's Anatomy says it all. Meredith finds herself between a rock and a hard place when her dad enters Seattle Grace in need of a liver transplant and she's the only viable donor. Meanwhile, the Chief is still trying to navigate the merger and Izzie continues to struggle with the transition from patient back to doctor. So, let's get this recap underway, shall we?

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  • So, married life isn't exactly typical for Alex and Izzie, between brushing their teeth in the kitchen sink and the bears greeting them in the morning. The turning point for Alex comes in one of the episode's funnier scenes: he finds a tick in his ear over lunch. Though Izzie defends trailer life at first, I'm glad she finally comes around by the end of the episode—those two have enough problems as it is.
  • Thatcher makes a grand entrance into Seattle Grace, immediately puking blood all over Meredith's sneakers. At first Mere is back to her typically gloomy self, half hoping her father will die and continuing to hold her lifelong grudge. I felt for Meredith, but after Lexie's heartfelt begging and pleading, I was happy that Mere finally grows up and casts her selfishness aside by giving up part of her liver. Three seasons ago Meredith would never have dreamed of putting Lexie first—her offer to get to know her dad was an even bigger milestone.
  • Doctor Sloan has a lighter case on his hands, though it's still a family matter. He handles an aging man who desperately wants a penile implant. Appalled, his adult children try everything they can to talk him out of it, but their father wants nothing more than to be with the new love in his life. I love that some of Lexie's pain transfers over to Mark, as he gets all emotional about the sanctity of life and death. And of course his homage to Lexie: "And there's nothing wrong with dating a younger woman. It keeps you young and that's my professional opinion!", is priceless.
  • Cristina spends most of the episode puttering about and trying to do anything she can to scrub in on a surgery. When Owen refuses to play favourites, she tries batting her eyes at any surgeon willing to give her a look. In the end she finally gets to help out—though she's less than thrilled to be part of Sloan's "penis pump" surgery. As her confidence continues to break down, Cristina eventually explodes at the Chief. Personally, I'm enjoying the more vulnerable side of Cristina.
  • Izzie is back to work, but she understandably can't separate her life as a doctor from her past as a patient. She quickly develops a rapport with another cancer patient and his girlfriend and insists on trying a risky surgery to try to save him. When she loses the patient, it becomes clear to Owen that she's not ready yet—and unfortunately, we already know that this ends in her getting fired (looks like next week). I'm not sure what fate lies for Izzie just yet, but I'm glad the writers are handling her recovery responsibly, rather than having her bounce back from melanoma as if it never happened.

Overall, I'm finding this season of Grey's a bit lacklustre, but what about you? Were you surprised that Meredith gave in to Lexie and Thatcher? Are you looking forward to the new influx of doctors next week?

Photos copyright 2009, ABC, Inc.

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