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''Grey's Anatomy'': Tough on the Women?

By RD Heldenfels Published: February 13, 2006

I was completely involved in last night's ''Grey's Anatomy'' (which I watched this morning). Loved even some little things, like O'Malley's reaction to Bailey's hand-crushing during childbirth. The shower scene, bringing us full circle, was terrific. And in the moment I was willing to forgive the sometimes considerable dramatic license, such as how prettified Meredith for that meeting with McDreamy; for crying out loud, she had taken the concussion from a bomb blast and had been asleep, and looked almost perfect again when she saw him.

But, as I said, I forgave that. Another part of the episode, I'm not sure about.

Why was mostly women who wilted in a crisis, while the men got to be the heroes?

Meredith almost flipped out before the bomb was removed, and needed an imagined McDreamy to get her through. Yang hung in through the disaster, but you constantly had the sense that she was on the verge of collapse -- she committed a huge gaffe in telling McDreamy about Meredith's situation, and it was McDreamy who ended up saving Bailey's husband (although you could argue that his reaction to Meredith's crisis preciptated the big scene with Bailey's husband). Bailey needed O'Malley to get her through childbirth, something even O'Malley seemed surprised about. (I think he spoke for a lot of viewers when he said Bailey wasn't being Bailey.) Izzie went on a sex bender with Alex to get through. The guest-star paramedic panicked. Addison had a fit over O'Malley's questioning.

And the guys? OK, the Chief had an anxiety attack. But O'Malley saved the day with Bailey, and Burke and McDreamy got to walk off the elevator like a couple of Texas Rangers who've just cleaned up Dodge.

Now, one of the things I like about ''Grey's'' is that it lets the characters be flawed, make mistakes, admit they don't know things -- that they are not always splendid in a crisis. But this episode, while dramatic, seemed to tilt the balance too far toward nervous women and unflappable men.

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