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US TV Recap

'Grey's Anatomy': 'Hope For The Hopeless' recap

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Grey's Anatomy s08e12: Hope For The Hopeless

© ABC

Season 8, episode 12 | Aired Friday, Jan 20 2012 at 10:52pm EST on

This was one of those episodes of Grey's Anatomy that meandered along entertainingly enough - with the required teary moments, of course - until delivering a sucker punch of an ending. The show certainly knows how to play with your emotions...

Setting the scene, it's Zola's birthday, so there's going to be a party later. And that's not the only thing being celebrated - Webber's about to perform his 10,000th surgery and is making sure there's an appropriate celebration in place.

It's a liver transplant, and Meredith's going to help out - but beforehand Owen calls her in to his office and reminds her that she has to choose a specialism, and fast. Everyone suggests general surgery as it's what her mother did. Of course, this doesn't exactly endear Meredith to the idea.

Actually, the liver transplant storyline is quite good fun thanks to the patients - two warring sisters. Karen's the one getting the treatment, but her sister Marcie - who's donating the liver - doesn't miss a chance to be passive aggressive and remind her just how much Karen owes her (my favourite moment is possibly when Marcie is on the phone to her daughter, who's on holiday, and ends the call: "Mommy needs to go save Aunt Karen's life now.")

It gets so bad that Karen decides the liver transplant isn't even worth it, but as the sisters argue, she begins to feel ill. Naturally, Marcie moans that she's a "drama queen"... right before Karen projectile vomits blood. Yeah, they're going to have to do the surgery.

So they're taken in to the OR, and Webber gets his 10,000th surgery picture. But as he begins, he's paged - April finds out that he's needed in the lobby and goes to check it out. When she gets there, she discovers that Adele has arrived, desperately looking for her husband. As April talks to Adele's neighbour, though, she walks off...

Grey's Anatomy s08e12: Hope For The Hopeless

© ABC



April finds her in Webber's old office, but Adele's confused since Webber's stuff has gone. She becomes convinced that he's decided to leave her and becomes more and more distressed. Unsure what to do, April takes Adele to the gallery so that she can see Webber performing surgery... but it doesn't help, as Adele sees Meredith and confuses her for her mother Ellis.

April puts on the intercom so Webber knows the situation, but Adele continues yelling at Meredith. Meredith offers to scrub out, but Webber needs her, so she advises him to remind Adele of a happy memory - it worked for her mother.

Webber begins singing 'My Funny Valentine', and Adele calms down and joins in - it was the song at the first dance on their wedding day. Adele is in tears but Webber tells her that he loves her, and it's all sorted. April - also devastated - hugs her and the situation is resolved. Loretta Devine truly was wonderful this week, and deserves a whole bunch of credit.

Anyway, Webber's not really in the mood for a 10,000th surgery party after all that, but at least the liver transplant was a success, allowing those sisters to continue their arguments for years on end (though Karen threatens to reveal Marcie's secrets if she ever asks for another thank you). Hurrah!

Grey's Anatomy s08e12: Hope For The Hopeless

© ABC



Elsewhere, an 11-year-old boy called Wes comes in with a tumour, but it's pretty much inoperable. Still, after flipping a coin, Derek and Lexie decide to go for it. It turns out that there's only a 5% chance of success, and every other surgeon has said no. But Wes's mother knows the risks - and he'll be dead soon anyway - so Derek says yes.

The only thing is, Wes's mum hasn't told him he has a tumour - she doesn't want to burden him with impending death. Instead, he thinks he's in for back ache. But does he really? After a scan, Wes asks Lexie about his tumour - he overhead doctors talking at another hospital. But he doesn't want his mum to know that he knows - the only time she's happy is when he is.

Heartbreakingly, he asks if he's going to die, but Lexie promises that Derek's the best. And, after some tears from his mum, it's time for the surgery. The only problem is that when they open Wes up, they discover there's nothing they can do. Lexie urges Derek to do something - so much that he's forced to send her out of the OR.

Later, Derek informs Lexie that they can't even tell Wes they didn't do the surgery, because of his mother. But Wes is a smart kid and figures it out when he hears that he's going to be released from hospital. His mother is in tears but tells him he'll be alright, and Wes says the same, adding: "I'm going to be with dad in heaven."

Oh, Grey's Anatomy. I know you're manipulating me, and yet you still get me. I know you're full of cheese, and yet I still cry. (To be fair, so do Lexie and Derek.) Anyway, Lexie's naturally devastated at how the whole thing turned out, but that's not going to put her off risky surgeries. In fact, it's the opposite.

Grey's Anatomy s08e12: Hope For The Hopeless

© ABC



Meanwhile, Teddy's distracting herself from Henry's death by doing a lot of surgery, and Cristina's only too happy to help. But Owen's getting worried about the pair, who have been up for about 48 hours straight. And when a new patient comes in, he gives the case to Alex and Dr McQueen instead.

Well, Teddy and Cristina aren't going to stand for that, so Cristina goes to see the patient's wife and drops some not-so-subtle hints about how Teddy is the head of the department and should really be doing her husband's surgery (it is brilliant. I love sneaky Cristina.) And, of course, she keeps it all a secret from Owen.

Teddy's still mad at Owen, by the way, and he's desperate to make it up to her. But she won't talk to him. So when he finds out that Cristina and Teddy are doing the surgery, he's extra furious. He storms into the OR to shout at them, but there's not much he can do - they're in the middle of a complex procedure. When he leaves, though, they burst out laughing and he hears it all.

The surgery's a success and Teddy decides to stay with the patient, telling Cristina she'll be fine and to go to Zola's party. Webber makes it after putting Adele to bed and tells Meredith that she's nothing like her mother - he's seen that today. She shouldn't waste her gift by trying to avoid being like her - in other words, choose general surgery.

Grey's Anatomy s08e12: Hope For The Hopeless

© ABC



In return, Meredith sweetly scrapes "Zola" off the birthday cake and presents it to Webber as a 10,000 surgeries cake. It's all going quite well, then, until Owen and Cristina decide to have a 'chat'. Cristina apologises, but Owen's still fuming and announces that he's taking Cristina off Teddy's service. What's more, she should be grateful - he could have fired them.

Cristina shoots back that she operated on Teddy's husband and now he's dead, so Teddy gets whatever she wants, no questions asked. But the argument continues as everyone else tries to celebrate Webber in the other room. It quickly becomes impossible as they hear the shouts, so Meredith goes to calm things down.

Unfortunately, it's still going on, and eventually - inevitably - it comes down to the fact that Cristina had an abortion. She begs Owen to move on but Owen screams: "You killed our baby." And then he sees Meredith, and all the other doctors are stock still, listening. It was such a powerful moment - Cristina's horrified face, not knowing what to do. Where do they go from here?

Medical Notes
  • April, Alex and Jackson are setting up their own home now that Derek and Meredith have Zola. It's about time...
  • Also, April wins the episode for: "You're gross, a pig, a skank magnet and you leave your dirty boy socks everywhere. Keep going this way and you'll end up alone, wandering the streets with an ancient form of syphillis."
  • The little snippets of Mark, Callie, Arizona and Julia - about how Mark won't say: "I love you" - were good fun. Do you think it is just too soon for him, or is he really pining for Lexie?
  • Webber asking if there's going to be something to mark his 10,000th surgery (faux-humble "I don't want everybody making a big deal" and all) and Bailey revealing the entire party plans was a great moment. Chandra Wilson aces the deadpan.
  • Cristina suggests possible specialisms for Meredith. "Trauma?" "I've had enough trauma for one lifetime." I'll say.
  • Just to reiterate, Loretta Devine's performance as Adele was incredible this week.
  • Meredith being all stern with the liver transplant sisters ("shh!") was great.
  • Let's be honest, child stars can be both annoying and a bit rubbish. So congratulations to Ryan Wynott, who played Wes - he was superb in a really tough part.
  • I know it's based on something really awful, but Teddy and Cristina's relationship is kind of lovely. I particularly like the "widow casserole" stuff they've got going on.
  • "She's very busy these days. Saving lives."
  • Owen's supposed to be a good guy. I get he's upset about Cristina's abortion, but saying that she "killed [their] baby" was really, really, really awful.
What did you think of the episode? Leave your comments below!

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