It was Valentine's Day on "Grey's Anatomy," and that gave the Seattle Grace doctors an opportunity to do their very favorite thing: use their patients' medical crises as opportunities to explore their own personal lives.
Fortunately, given the number of doctors who have issues, a restaurant collapsed right in the middle of Valentine's Day dinner service, so there were plenty of patients in dire straits.
Meredith is struggling with her new role as the wife of the chief of surgery, so she turned to Mrs. Banks, a woman brought in along with her husband and the head waiter, who had been serving her for years and refused to leave her side. While cynics would think he was angling for a 25 percent tip, it turned out that waiter has been nursing his unrequited love for Mrs. Banks for all 15 years she'd been married to her dullard husband, and then some. (Well, at least the waiter assured Meredith and Alex the husband was a dullard, though in fairness, Mr. Banks was in life-saving surgery and wasn't around to defend himself.)
Mrs. Banks accidentally overheard the waiter discussing his love for her, but she later told Meredith that while she had loved him before she was married, she now loved her husband. Mrs. Banks never had to break it to the waiter, who died during surgery, but her faithfulness to her husband persuaded Meredith that it was very important that she attend a trustees' brunch with Derek. There, she made peace with being referred to as "Mrs. Derek Shepherd" because Post-it notes apparently became legally recognized in the state of Washington at some point.
Those who cannot exploit their patients sometimes have to make do with their blood relatives, as was the case with Mark Sloan when his pregnant daughter, Sloan, returned to town. She wanted to give her baby up for adoption, and when Mark found out, he did the only thing a "Grey's" doctor can do: He made it about himself and his guilt over not raising Sloan. Specifically, he offered to raise her baby, and Callie even spontaneously jumped in and offered to co-parent the baby from across the hall. (This may have been the most poorly thought out decision to have a baby together that has ever been made without tequila.)
Daughter Sloan, however, realized that she couldn't start fresh if the baby stayed in the family, so she left town to proceed with the adoption, leaving Callie to break the news to a heartbroken Mark. (As is necessary on television, the dismantling of a crib stood in for a prospective parent's shattered dreams.)
Lexie saw herself in Frankie, a dishwasher at the restaurant whose arm was severed and who was upset that everyone forgot about him back in the kitchen. Lexie rather tenuously connected this to Mark's forgetting about her back when Sloan came to town. When Owen said he couldn't save the arm because the stump was infected, Lexie talked him into reattaching it elsewhere while the stump healed, at which point they could move it.
Initially, Frankie didn't think waking up with his arm attached to his torso was an ideal outcome, but when Lexie got him to look on the bright side, she felt so good about herself that she made out with Alex in one of the many frequently defiled broom closets that dot the landscape at Seattle Grace.
Fortunately, Bailey stayed out of the personal/professional muddle and, after initially hesitating, managed to say yes to a date with Dr. Ben Warren, the anesthesiologist who saw her across a crowded OR last week right before their patient unfortunately woke up in the middle of surgery.
So while Valentine's Day may have been full of severed limbs and misery, at least somebody is getting dinner out of it.
Linda Holmes is a writer in Washington, D.C.