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Grey's Anatomy Explores The Fundamental Ignorance At The Base Of All Science

Derek_sheperd DEREK SHEPHERD IS SUCH A TOTAL BADASS. He makes your brain surgeon look like a little school girl with a plastic green stethoscope like my daughter has. DAMN, I loved this episode. All I want to do is write "damn" and use caps. Burn your self-help books. Quit your 12-Step programs. Shepherd taught you everything you need to know about life in ONE episode of Grey's Anatomy. DAMN!


The show begins with a monologue by Derek, which is already a huge plus because Meredith's monologues are so whiny. He talks about how must surgeons are drawn to surgery for the rush, for the thrill of the cut. But not Derek. He was drawn to surgery by... the quiet.

"The operating room is a quiet place... All the world's noise and all the worry that it brings... disappears. A calm settles over you. Time passing without thought."

Is Derek Shepherd totally cross legged on a mountaintop with a long white beard spouting nearly incoherent wisdom about dissolution into thoughtlessness and a lack of distinction between one's self and time? It's like Zen and the Art of Brain Surgery. There is Derek and the scalpel. There is no Derek and no scalpel. There is both and neither. Ho! Ha! Shazam! The OR is empty and yet full of smoking hot nurses. Who can penetrate this enigma? A stone flower weeps in the Emergency Room. Kapow!

Here's the deal. All you need to do is adopt Derek's intensity while he's performing brain surgery and apply it to all your mundane daily tasks and all your problems will be solved. Go forth from here, wiser, and more intense.


So this Pakistani guy, Isaac, shows Derek an MRI of this HUGE tumor all mucked up in a spine. There's no way to remove the tumor without botching up the spinal cord, leading to paralysis. But Derek says "Whoa! That's a completely badass tumor." (or something). Then Isaac's all "SURPRISE! It's my tumor. And I want you to take it out." See? It was a test. Where many, many doctors failed, Derek was the flower that bloomed in the sunlight of surgical challenge.

ISAAC: "They looked at the tumor and they were defeated, but not you. You were inspired."

Derek wants to try to remove the tumor. The Chief won't let him. FUCK THE CHIEF. Derek goes rogue to attempt an extremely risky surgery while risking his job in the process. Derek thrives on the razor's edge of iffy gambles because that's where all the action is. Rolling the dice. Life or death. Possible unemployment.

He just don't give a fuck.


But then he starts giving a fuck because it really is a crazy tumor with all kinds of blood vessels wrapped around the spinal cord and it's hard to tell which vessels feed the tumor and which ones are necessary for shit like walking and turning door handles.

ISAAC: "There is always a way. When things look like there's no way. There's a way. To do the impossible. There's always a way... Today, if you become frightened, instead, become inspired."

Derek goes to his quiet place and starts muttering shit to himself like some kind of mystical oracle type thing in Greece but, in the end, even all Isaac's wise smack talk fails him.

There's NO WAY to remove this tumor!

(or is there?)

Later, in bed with Meredith, wavering between fear and inspiration, he confesses: "There was no path." However, the seeds of surgical enlightenment have now been planted in the fertile soil of hopelessness. 


So he tries again. He's in there, cutting spine junk. Machines are beeping. Isaac's almost paralyzed. Then he's almost dead. The Chief could bust in any second. It's pretty stressful.

So what's Derek do? He vomits. BLERGH! It is so gross. I mean really. Don't get your vomit germs in the guy's spine, Derek. Vomit germs are super bad for spines.

But the vomiting, see, is symbolic. It's like Derek needs to vomit up all his thoughts, plans, and brainy ideas. He needs to be emptied. He needs to become an empty vessel in which The Quiet can dwell. It is only from deep within this library like silence that Derek and the spine can unite inside timelessness, etc,

DEREK: "The mistake I made yesterday was that I wanted a plan. But there can be no plan. I just have to pick a point... and cut... I can't tell which one of these vessels feeds the cord or which one feeds the tumor. I have to do a blind cut. If I cut the wrong one, the entire cord strokes out... A or B. I just have to pick one and we're good to go."

Roll the bones, Derek! Flip a coin and CUT!


It doesn't matter if Isaac is alive or dead, paralyzed or not. We mustn't let the outcome muddy the wisdom of Dr. Shepherd. Life is a gamble. Stop thinking so hard. Free your mind. Guess. Make the cut.

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Derek might have also chosen to become a librarian. What a different show that would be. Dewey's Decimal System. HA! Oh, I slay me.


My favorite line of the night was from Christina:

"Izzie had it right: Get fired, run away, die."


I completely agree! I think this episode of Grey's was the BEST episode they have ever done. I just love Derek anyway and the fact that he just calmly looks at the chief and says "sleep on it, we'll talk tomorrow" after getting fired, was priceless. Love this show!


I was excited about it finally coming back around to being a decent show...then I saw the ads for next week. Can we leave the babies out of it, please?!

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