Ok, when I saw the preview for tonight’s episode of ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ titled “Walk on Water,” I swore I wasn’t going to get caught up in this obviously sweeps-induced ‘ER’ gimmick. An accident takes place in the city that brings all of the interns out of the hospital and right into the thick of a major catastrophe. I went back on my promise the moment the interns stepped out of the back of that truck and stood around soaking in the chaos of the ferryboat accident.

The episode began and ended with Meredith in the water. At the start of the episode, Meredith is soaking in a tub, thinking about everything that happened with her mother. When it all becomes too much for her she sinks down into the tub until she’s entirely submerged. Derek comes in and finds her there and pulls her out. The two have an argument over it in which Meredith swears she wasn’t trying to drown herself. She says she doesn’t need to be rescued. Derek explains to her that they are in the “happily ever after” stage of their relationship and if he’s going to be her “knight in shining whatever,” she has to accept that he’s going to be around saying things to her.

Meredith asks Izzie if she ever feels like she’s disappearing. Izzie answers by saying she feels that way all the time. Her anxiety over the clinic and the acceptance that Denny’s inheritance is gone caused her to eat everything in the fridge the night before, including a tub of butter.

Cristina tells Burke that she wants him to wait for her to tell Meredith about the engagement before he tells Derek. When Cristina tries to tell Meredith, she clams up. She just keeps looking at Meredith, who keeps saying “what!” and then Cristina says “nevermind.” Burke ends up telling Derek anyway and Sloan overhears. Sloan reports the news to Weber who eventually congratulates Cristina. She gets annoyed with Burke for spilling the beans before she had a chance to tell Meredith. Burke turns it around on her though and asks her why she’s hesitating to tell Meredith in the first place.

The interns get stuck doing triage drills with Weber and Sydney (Izzie’s former shrink). Whenever Sydney is on screen, all I can think about is how the actor who plays her once played Halfrek in ‘Buffy.’ In many ways, Sydney is far worse than Hallie, the vengeance demon. Sydney is overly chipper and a little bit scary. She brings up the fact that she and Bailey are both in the running for Chief Resident. Bailey is preoccupied with the triage drills and doesn’t seem concerned about the position.

While the interns are going through the triage drills, the Chief shows up to tell them that there’s been an accident and he needs them to go down to the scene to help with the victims. Everyone but Cristina gets into the back of the supply truck. When the interns arrive, the scene is chaotic. A ferryboat collided with a container ship. There are already casualties. After taking a moment to soak in the scene, Bailey tells them to go help people.

Izzie ends up being lured onto the ferry to see to a man who is crushed under a car. She spends the duration of the episode trying to lessen the man’s pain while surrounded by the man’s friends, a group of burly but concerned mechanics. Izzie sets the man’s arm but there isn’t much she can do for him. The search and rescue team is backed up and can’t get to the guy to remove the car that’s crushing his chest. By the end of the episode, the man is unconscious and Izzie is trying to come up with a way to save him.

George and Callie are trying to balance married life with work. This turns out to be a bit of a challenge for them from the beginning. Callie ends up reprimanding George for not respecting her authority at the beginning of the episode. At the ferry scene, George tries to convince an injured woman to go back to the hospital to be operated on. The woman refuses to go unless she finds her son. George promises to find him if she agrees to go back to Seattle Grace. The woman agrees but the task proves very difficult for George. He asks Callie for help but she says she has to scrub in on another surgery and brushes him off. The woman is prepped for surgery and George arrives looking defeated. The woman asks if he found her son but we don’t get to see his answer.

Alex finds a woman trapped under a cement pylon. She’s pregnant and at first he thinks she’s dead. As he’s about to walk away the woman moves her hand. He pulls the pylon off of her and her face is badly damaged. Alex gets her into the ambulance and assures her they are going to do what they can for the baby and that she just needs to hang on. His bedside manner has really progressed over the last season or so. He seems genuinely concerned about the well being of this woman; a fact that doesn’t escape Addison’s attention when Alex gets back to the hospital.

Meredith comes across a little girl at the ferry scene. The girl isn’t talking and appears to have wet her pants. She doesn’t want to leave Meredith’s side. When Meredith finds a man who pulled himself out of the water, she goes to tend to him. She tries to get a search and rescue guy to take the little girl to the triage area but he ends up running off to help someone and the girl returns to Meredith’s side. Meredith helps stitch up the man’s severely wounded leg. She consoles the little girl all the while and asks her to help hand her supplies from her kit. She tells the girl its ok to not talk because she’s scared. After Meredith gets the man’s leg patched up, he freaks out and tries to get up. He ends up flailing about and knocks her off the dock into the water. Only the little girl witnesses it. She stands there looking off into the water for a moment then turns around and walks off.

Before I close this recap, I should also mention that Weber is dealing with the end of his marriage in his own way. He dyed his hair black to look younger “for the ladies.” Derek, Burke and Sloan all question him about this but Addison scolds them, telling them they need to leave him alone about it.

That pretty much covers the first chapter of the ferryboat nightmare. Will Derek be able to be Meredith’s Knight in Shining Whatever and find her in time to pull her from the water once again? Did George find out what happened to the woman’s son?

Does anyone else wonder if there’s supposed to be some symbolism with the ferryboat accident? Derek has said from the beginning of the series that he loves ferryboats. They’re one of the reasons he loves Seattle. Is there some deeper meaning behind the ferryboat collision that the writers want us to see or is this three-part episode merely a gimmick to draw in ratings for February sweeps?

I still think it was kind of gimmicky and unoriginal for the writers to do the big-accident episode, which has been done in other medical shows before. That said, I appreciated the way they didn’t rely entirely on the chaos of the accident scene to drive the episode. Sure we were treated to shots of injured people and the huge damaged ferry but the episode’s real focus was where it should be; on the interns. In a way, they merely moved the O.R. out to a dock and surrounded the interns with chaos instead of nurses and medical equipment. As long as the interns remain the driving force behind the show, I don’t mind if they throw in a bit of chaos and gore for ratings purposes.

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