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US TV Recap

'Grey's Anatomy': 'What Is It About Men' recap

By
Patrick Dempsey as Derek Shepherd
Season 8, episode 4

It was all about the boys on this week's episode of Grey's Anatomy. Meredith and Cristina have had a lot of drama recently, but this was a chance to see things from another point of view. Mind you, with the exception of a few tender moments, there wasn't much progress in a lot of the storylines. Still, it was good fun, and it was nice for the men of Seattle Grace to share the voiceover duties instead of hearing Meredith again.

We start off, as we always do, with a quick update on what's going on. Meredith and Derek are in bed together, but they're clearly still struggling - Derek's refusing to talk about his neurosurgery cases with her because he doesn't want her to be sad she gave up the speciality.

Webber's putting out post-it notes for Adele, Alex is sleeping around (much to the disgust of April, though Jackson saves him when April finds some knickers by claiming they belong to Lexie), and Mark's looking after Sofia while Callie and Arizona are at a conference (loved the little high five between them). Oh, and Owen's coming to terms with being Chief - and maybe feeling a little lost.

At the hospital, Alex is struggling under his mountain of work, but Webber tells him to enjoy himself while he's top of the resident food chain. For his part, Webber's feeling at a loss and is looking for something to do. Anyway, Alex is late for his surgery with Derek and Webber advises him to claim that he had an appointment with Mayfield in 22 that ran long. Derek's furious when Alex shows up late, but sure enough, Webber's excuse works a charm.

Elsewhere, Mark is glowering that Owen's got the Chief job and says he's not cut out for it. Basically, he's mega jealous. Anyway, Owen sees him, Derek and Webber staring and comes out to ask if he can help. And he thrills Webber by announcing that there's been a stampede at a comic convention and they're about to get a lot of cases coming in. Webber is thrilled, especially when he hears there was screaming.

Grey's Anatomy

© ABC



Alex fills in Jackson on the amazing "Mayfield 22" excuse - and we get a glimpse of Cristina - but soon the patients are coming in thick and fast. Webber is desperate to bag one but keeps missing them, until eventually he announces that he'll look after the unconscious sexy zombie nurse. Oo-er. That would all be fine except that it turns out all her injuries are fake. Amazing.

Elsewhere, Alex tends to a patient called Carter who's kind of loving the drama. Turns out he has a few broken toes, but nothing too serious - the crush was all for a limited edition, signed replica of the Doctor Who TARDIS. To be honest, he's a bit disappointed he's not more injured. He explains that he's dressed as a Hobbit - a gentle folk who crave adventure and become heroes when they find it - but he's soon distracted when he sees April. He thinks she looks just like the Dothraki princess from A Song of Ice and Fire and he likes it.

Another patient, Keith, lost his ear during the stampede but his friend Greg was unable to find it. Still, Keith's thrilled that he managed to bag one of the TARDIS collectibles... until Greg points out that actually he got it. A fight ensues, but Mark and Jackson are more concerned about reattaching the ear, while Alex and Derek realise that Keith needs an MRI because he can't feel anything in his legs.

Derek gets paged and is forced to break up a fight between Eli and Ben, who are clashing over a patient treated poorly by one of Ben's residents. Derek sorts it all out but accidentally lets slip that Eli is now dating Bailey, thinking that Ben already knew. Um, oops... Derek wisely gets out of there quick sharp.

Grey's Anatomy

© ABC



Elsewhere, Owen is feeling rather useless as he's got a bunch of paperwork to do and no surgeries - instead, everyone else is bustling about around him. When Derek comes in to find him drinking scotch, he realises things aren't going too well and takes him up to his house where they both take out their frustrations by building Derek's deck (basically it involves a lot of hammering). Owen admits that he used to think Derek was out of his mind for quitting as Chief... not any more. And it's even worse that work is so bad considering that it used to be his escape from home, where he's been walking on eggshells lately.

Back at the hospital, Alex points out Keith's neuro injuries and suggests a plan of action. Derek is impressed, but when Alex starts talking about how this surgery will count towards his future, Derek is annoyed that he's not just thinking about his patient and kicks him out. Alex is furious, but Webber explains that he needs to start feeling the joy of fifth year and relish the chance to perform surgeries while they can. Alex storms off to work on his paper, though.

That night, Mark is talking to Sofia about his surgery (perfect bedtime story, right?) He gets a phone call from her mums who are worried about her but he insists everything's fine. Only problem is, when he turns back Sofia has rolled off the sofa. The next day, he urges Alex to check her out because she hasn't cried since and he's rather worried. Should have kept a better eye on her then, eh Mark? Alex checks her out but she's absolutely fine, so no need to worry. Doesn't stop Mark fretting, though. Bless.

Grey's Anatomy

© ABC



Owen's gone a bit crazy and decided to get rid of all the furniture in his office. Bizarre. Still, Bailey's pleased because it means she can steal a lamp (though she's still annoyed with Owen). Meanwhile, Greg's found Keith's ear (in the lost and found, of all places), but Keith's more concerned about the TARDIS. When he discovers that Keith stole it he is fuming and jumps forward. Bad move when you've got a neuro injury... he can't move his feet or wiggle his toes now.

It's all go in the ER though, because a man fed up with the convention-goers messing up his neighbourhood has thrown a beer bottle at a woman's head. He's in the hospital too and he's, well, a little moody. Carter's turned up again too, mainly because he wants to see April. Alex refuses to admit him, but Carter's a clever one and claims that he has chest pains so that Alex has no choice.

Alex starts "treating" him, as much as he can for non-existent chest pains, but that bottle-thrower's getting rather agitated as April speaks to him. Carter worries for her safety and with good reason, because it's not long before bottle-man is throwing nurses, equipment and doctors out of his way. Carter summons his hobbit strength and decides to intervene on his crutches - but gets knocked out and stamped in the stomach. It takes Owen to advance book an OR for a broken jaw and punch bottle-man right in the face before things calm down. Loved his nonchalant shift of the tie afterwards. Soon, he's the talk of the hospital.

Grey's Anatomy

© ABC



Alex pages Webber so that he can treat Carter in surgery (he knows Webber's been stuck for things to do). Alex doesn't need any trauma hours so he starts to leave, but Webber stops him. As they work, Webber offers Alex his counsel and points out that sometimes you don't see the joyful part of life until it's over. Well, this is it. Hmm, hands in a man's body - not sure that's my idea of joy, but whatever. Anyway, Carter goes into complications and when Alex fixes it he is very happy indeed. In fact, he confirms that he's feeling the joy. Aww.

Meanwhile, Mark and Derek clash over whether to deal with Keith's ear or neuro injuries first, but Jackson offers a solution and impresses them both. During the surgery, Ben complains about Derek telling him about Bailey and Eli, and Derek invites him to his house to take it out on his deck. Nice. Jackson's working away, but Mark tells him to move aside so he can demonstrate a procedure. Jackson's rather frustrated since he's seen it twice already, and Derek uses the opportunity to let Jackson do a bit of brain surgery. Oo-er.

Afterwards, Jackson admits he wanted to help Mark with the procedure but Mark insists he's not ready. Derek notices how frustrated Jackson is, and Jackson asks to come over to the deck as well. Soon, Owen, Ben and Jackson are all venting madly about their various problems - Owen, for one, has been told by the legal department he has to apologise to bottle-man - as they do a bit of hammering and power-sawing. Manly.

The next day, Alex invites Jackson to see Webber doing a special stitch, but Jackson has a skills lab with Bailey and April. He decides to get out of it using the "Mayfield" excuse, but this just makes April ridiculously uncomfortable and Bailey laughs and laughs. When Webber hears about what Jackson says, he's also doubled up with the hilarity of it all. Meanwhile, Alex finishes his paper and Webber snatches it to have a read.

Mark's still worrying about Sofia's non-crying but Alex insists she's fine and says she's just happy with her dad. Sure enough, when he pinches her she starts to bawl. Phew! Meanwhile, Jackson's torn as he's been offered surgeries with both Mark and Derek at the same time. He asks Mark for permission to leave his surgery early as Derek will let him take the lead and it's a good opportunity. Mark agrees it's a big chance and allows Jackson to sew Keith's ear back on. Change of heart, do we think?

Eric Dane as Mark Sloan
Jesse Williams as Jackson Avery

© Rex Features



Carter's feeling a bit silly for taking on bottle-man, but Alex reminds him that it was heroic. He adds that April was impressed and tells him all he needs to do is say hello - April will do the rest. The thing is, when April congratulates him on his bravery, Carter blurts out that he was a hobbit. Cringe... April walks off in the nicest possible way, saying she doesn't know what a hobbit is. But the girl who was hit by a beer bottle is sitting next to Carter, and there's clearly a spark when she criticises April for her hobbit ignorance. Bless.

Owen has no regrets about punching bottle guy in the face, and tells him exactly that, daring him to sue. It's all rather thrilling, especially when Owen cheerily grins: "Good luck with your recovery" at the end. Meanwhile, Jackson and Alex have worked out the meaning of the "Mayfield" excuse - turns out Dr. Mayfield treats erectile dysfunction. Ouch. Oh, and Webber hands Alex his paper back, saying it's good - but it's covered in red markings.

Elsewhere, Jackson did a good job on Keith's ear, but Keith's still furious that Greg sold his TARDIS. Greg explains that Keith has so much stuff and anyway, that TARDIS was worth cash and Keith will have medical bills soon. He explains he sold it for Keith's sake and they make up and it's all friendly again. Hurrah!

Alex is taking Webber's markings on his paper badly, so Jackson decides to take him up to Derek's house with him. Alex apologises to Derek for being disrespectful, and Derek hands him a hammer. But then Mark shows up and announces that he won't let Derek steal Jackson away from him. It turns out that Derek knew how much Jackson meant to Mark because Mark was actually teaching him, which he doesn't do if he can avoid it. Owen takes Sofia from Mark's arms while they talk things through, and Jackson eventually admits that if he has to pick, he chooses plastics.

Then everyone starts chilling out at Derek's house, with Mark and Derek talking through their issues. This is really sweet, because it's clear Mark feels like his friendship with Derek is being lost due to Owen. He asks if Derek suggested Owen for Chief, though Derek says he didn't. But then Derek admits that he feels like he's losing everything and adds that he hasn't told Owen any of this. Aww, they're besties really. The only problem is that when Owen comes over with Sofia, who needs changing, he knocks over a beer bottle and it rolls down the deck. Turns out, it's not level. Oops...

There we are then - a nice episode. Nothing really happened to push the plot forward, but it was worth it for the subtle moments and the lovely interactions between the guys - whether it was the paternal side of Webber, the macho banter between Jackson and Alex, or the strong friendship between Derek and Mark. And hey, it was nice to see the men in the spotlight for once. But what will come next week?

What did you think of the episode? Leave your comments below!

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