Is Grey's Anatomy's Alex A Felonious Punk?
Alex gets hit with a felony charge, Meredith remains ride or die, and everyone else chooses sides.
Early in the latest episode of Grey's Anatomy, the camera lingers on Alex giving Avery a dap congratulating him and April on being able to take baby Harriet home. All things considered, do we really need more imagery of Alex making a fist and punching something? Even in congratulations?
But that relatively good mood is shattered soon after at Alex's arraignment hearing, where he is informed that he is being charged with a felony rather than the misdemeanor charge he was expecting. Alex rather numbly pleads not guilty as Meredith, DeLuca, and Jo look on with varying degrees of shock, anger, and woe.
This scene sets the tone for Alex's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. It is nice to have Alex front and center in an episode that focuses on his own issues, even if those issues are of the criminal sort. But hey, at least he isn't just being trotted out to serve as Meredith's sounding board.
With Alex's story at the center of it all, the rest of the crew spend most of their time reacting to him. Most of them are either busy talking to Alex about his beat-down of DeLuca, talking about him to each other, or just trying to act as normal as possible.
There isn't a lot of plot happening for anyone else, but there is a lot of talk. So let's collect the punchiest lines.
- "You can't wash the stink off trash."
In the aftermath of his hearing, Alex is despondent. He is exactly where he never wanted to be, having tried so hard to distance himself from his less-than-humble beginnings. Lamenting to Meredith that so many of the people he grew up with are dead, on drugs or in prison, he'd thought he'd made a successful escape by becoming a doctor. But now he's just like them, with the possibility of a prison sentence looming.
I can't blame Alex for his doom and gloom. He has to be aware that being charged with a felony for assaulting a co-worker is not something to be taken lightly. But Meredith is in his corner. She is the one who bailed him out of jail. She is also his sounding board, for a change, and attempts to get him to be a little more positive. And don't even get me started on her attempt to speak to DeLuca, which comes off as a thinly veiled intimidation tactic. Not a good look for Meredith.
But the hits just keep coming as Alex's distraction over his legal situation and Jo's refusal even to look at him cause him to miss some dangerous warning signs of infection in a young patient. Bailey yanks him off the case and gives him a tongue-lashing in the process.
It is the closing scene of Alex sitting with the child's mother in the waiting room that really sells the toll this is taking on him. Justin Chambers imbues in Alex a weariness and regret that makes it hard to really stay mad at him.
- "Yes, your toddler is dead, but here is a bill for a quarter-million dollars anyway."
Bailey is also weary and regretful -- weary that she has to deal with attendings punching out interns, and regretful that, as chief of surgery, she has to take the time to explain to Alex that she has bigger problems to deal with than his mess. She gives Alex the requisite stern talking-to, although truthfully, it is hard to take it too seriously given the history of malfeasance by the doctors on Grey's and their lack of consequences.
However, Bailey gives it the old college try, threatening to suspend Alex. But faster that you can say "But Izzy cut the LVAD wire," she decides instead to reassign Alex to the Denny Duquette clinic. Although he is relieved not to be suspended or outright fired, Alex is less than pleased with the assignment. If disdain were a font, Alex's pronunciation of Denny's name would have been written in a 24 pt. version of it.
- "We all want to punch interns, but we resist."
Stephanie proves she is a much better friend than Jo probably deserves as she asks Amelia to take Jo on her service in Steph's place so that Jo won't have to work with Alex.
In the meantime, Jo is wandering around the hospital with a perpetual upset-face. She is obviously worried still that somehow her past is going to surface because of all of this. She reacts suspiciously to an innocuous remark of Amelia's about kicking a tumor's ass. The patient has named the tumor in question Wilma, and Jo takes umbrage that they are using violent language toward something with a woman's name.
With her demeanor, Jo is leaving us more clues that she was abused by her husband. And she is probably equally horrified by the violence that Alex is capable of. But I wonder if she would have been as upset if the tumor's name had been Wilbur?
- "Some mama bird who smells good and bonds with my baby."
Baby Harriet has received a clean bill of health and is able to be released from the hospital. However, April's incision needs further care, and she can’t go home with the baby yet. This leads to a lot of tears and blubbery analogies about farm animals and baby birds. Look, I didn’t pay a lot of attention here because honestly the April/Jackson stuff feels like nondescript filler at this point. They have a baby. That baby is fat and sassy. April is sad. Avery wants to help out. April cries and sings. Whatever.
- "Your butt looks like an apple."
This comment from Amelia to Maggie has to be the most interesting thing about the ill-conceived "love triangle" among Mags, Meredith, and Riggs.
Maggie is still channeling her inner twelve-year-old and can't stop talking about how much she likes Riggs. In a statement that feels very unaware of the irony inherent, Maggie proclaims she is a "grown-ass woman" and is just going to ask Riggs out.
In a move that actually makes Meredith the absolute worst in this situation, Meredith intercepts Riggs, spills the beans about Maggie's feelings for him, and tells him not to go out on a date with her if she asks. Riggs is, understandably, a bit mortified.
They all descend on Amelia and Owen's housewarming, a get-together that seems designed solely to put them all in a room together so that awkwardness can ensue. And it does!
Later on, Maggie drums up the courage to ask Riggs out. He declines very nicely. I actually like Maggie's response as she looks both crestfallen and a little embarrassed to have her overture so completely rebuffed. But she smiles gamely, takes the L, and walks away.
So to sum up: Maggie is little heart-bruised, Riggs is embarrassed, and Meredith is the worst.