‘Grey’s Anatomy’: The best-laid plans

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Well, “Grey’s Anatomy” peeps, if we didn’t already know that the end of the season was near, last night’s episode should’ve clued us in. Meredith and Derek are gearing up for marriage and ‘cancery’ Izzie is getting sicker, which would seem to check two stunts -- a wedding and a death -- off the May sweeps list. That just leaves a baby. Thank goodness Ellen Pompeo announced her pregnancy this week.

In any case, “Grey’s” is heading into the final stretch of Year 5 on more solid ground than perhaps any of us would’ve expected midway through the season. I’m cautiously optimistic for this final handful of episodes, even as rumors swirl of Denny’s reappearance in the upcoming 100th. Maybe he’ll just pop in to give Izzie his blessing to marry Alex? Mer-Der nuptials seem too obvious, at least at this point. Wouldn’t it be just like “Grey’s” chief Shonda Rhimes to instead give Izzie, who’s dreamed of a wedding her whole life, that very thing before she dies? At the same time, it would also provide Alex -- who pointed out to George last night that he caves under pressure -- the perfect opportunity to prove he’s capable of coming through in a crisis after all.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Before anyone gets hitched, preparations must be made, and last night Izzie was working it like an IV’d Martha Stewart. The doc-turned-patient made Meredith -- the girl who leaves her diamond ring on the nightstand table when she goes to work, the same girl who wants a simple ceremony far, far away from a church -- try on a parade of poofy white dresses. Dresses that Izzie, hilariously, was not above playing the cancer card to have delivered to her hospital room. She pored through bridal magazines and let loose tears to successfully guilt Derek into ballroom lessons. She even whipped up an entire wedding site for the happy couple. Guess that’s one way to try and forget the body-wrecking chemo.

Not that Izzie was alone in her denial. In fact, “denial” seemed to be the operative word at Seattle Grace last night. Owen met with Mer’s ex-shrink (the always-welcome Amy Madigan) but refused to face the extent of his PTSD. Callie found the courage to introduce new girlfriend Arizona to her dad, who was in town for a visit, but he had a hard time dealing with the fact that his little girl is now into girls. Enough so that he tried to pay off the Chief(!) and yank Callie back to Miami like she was an errant 15-year-old high schooler who’d gotten trashed at the Spring Formal. In a torrent of rapid-fire Spanish, he gave his daughter an ultimatum: Leave the city of Seattle -- and the state of Dr. Arizona -- or lose the cushy trust fund set up in her name. Guess which option she chose?


The bigger surprise was how well Bailey handled losing her latest pint-sized patient. She took it better than those at my place did. Yeah, we were warned in advance that 6-year-old Jessica -- she of the big eyes and little knit cap -- was terminal, but that didn’t make it any easier to see the doc rock the poor kid to sleep in her father’s absence. Clearly, Bailey’s tough enough to stick it out in pediatrics; I just don’t know if I’m tough enough to watch.

What are your thoughts on the episode? Who do you think will wind up tying the knot this season?

– Shawna Malcom