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Steven Culp on "Grey's Anatomy"

Episode: 9.05 - Beautiful Doom

"GREY'S ANATOMY" - "Beautiful Doom" - In this Meredith & Cristina-centric episode, the two friends continue to cope with life after the plane crash and their ever-growing responsibilities at their respective hospitals. As Meredith juggles taking care of Zola with a case that hits close to home, Cristina assists Dr. Thomas on a challenging heart surgery, on "Grey's Anatomy," THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8 (9:00-10:02 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.

Guest cast for "I Saw Her Standing There" includes Ethan Embry as David, Steven Culp as Dr. Parker, Trever O'Brian as Bryan, Gaius Charles as Intern Shane, Tina Majorino as Intern Heather, Tessa Ferrer as Intern Leah with William Daniels as Dr. Thomas.

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Summarizing thoughts of the storyline Steven's character was involved with

(, by Tanner Stransky)

Last night's episode, however, wasn't all about the death of Cristina's old-man friend. There was a little bit about her sex friend, Parker, too, but not too much. (Cristina's interaction with Parker, however, did produce another great line for her, when she told the cuddly guy, in bed: "I'm not a spoon. I'm a knife, and I'm going to stab you in the eyeball." That's genius on so many levels.) Mostly, though, Parker just wanted Dr. Feeny to quit the hospital, and Cristina wasn't going to stand for that.

(, by Nicole Rojas)

The Mer-Christina-centric episode followed the two doctors as they dealt with family, work and their relationships. The episode kicks off with Meredith failing to toilet train daughter Zola and Christina in a bad mood despite being in bed with "sex buddy" Dr. Parker (Steven Culp).

Over in Minnesota, Christina gets a ride to work from Mayo Clinic buddy Dr. Thomas (William Daniels), who shows her their next cardiothoracic case-a complicated two-surgery aneurysm. Before the two scrub in, Parker attempts to convince Christina to take a case with him but is quickly turned down. Parker, who hopes to get Thomas to retire, then spends the entire episode thwarting the elderly doctor's work on their patient Katie.

Thomas and Christina successfully perform Katie's first surgery, although with a slight bump in the road. The incident causes Parker to tell Thomas that he is a liability to patients and that he will now be signing off on any future patients. Like Meredith, Christina is forced to watch her patient overnight to ensure her survival.

Despite Parker's disapproval, Thomas decides to go ahead with Katie's final surgery, knowing full well it could mean the end of his medical career.

Although Christina is forced to finish the final surgery on Katie alone after Thomas collapses during surgery but cannot be revived by Parker.


Cristina catches a ride from her pal Dr. Thomas when her car is buried under a mountain of snow. We'll call the old guy her "carpool buddy." He's not to be confused with her "sex friend." That would be the Mayo Clinic's head of cardio, Dr. Parker. Cristina's sex friend has been striving to get her carpool buddy to retire for some time now. But Dr. Thomas isn't going anywhere without a fight. He's also planning to take out a huge aneurysm around a woman's heart. Cristina is psyched to scrub in with him.

Cristina gets a little panicky when the aneurysm blows during the surgery. Dr. Parker orders Dr. Thomas to put the patient on bypass. That's not gonna happen. Dr. Thomas calmly works to fix the problem. He saves the woman's life, but it may not be enough to save the veteran doc's job. A follow-up operation is needed assure that the aneurysm doesn't return.

Over in Minnesota, the surgery continues to go smoothly until Dr. Thomas suddenly stops operating. He looks up at Cristina before collapsing to the floor. CPR efforts to revive him are unsuccessful. A short time later, Cristina lets everyone in the lobby know that her patient is going to be fine. The sadness in her eyes is because she knows that, from here on out, she'll be riding home alone.

(, by Michael Ausiello)

Cristina's Story: Meanwhile, at the Mayo Clinic, Cristina had her hands full trying to stop her "sex friend" Parker from firing her "old man friend" Thomas. At issue: How to best treat a woman with a "honeycrisp"-sized aneurism. Thomas wanted to proceed with a risky surgery, while Parker wanted Thomas to proceed to the nearest retirement home. "You're a danger to our patients," Parker told the golden oldie. "Surrender your license. Go out gracefully. It's time." But Thomas stood his ground and, with his trusty sidekick Cristina by his side, moved forward with the operation. "If I'm going," he told Cris. "I want to go down fighting." And boy, did he ever. During the operation — shortly after he basically told Cristina that she was the daughter he never had (squish squish) — he collapsed and died. The tragedy hit Cristina hard, so hard that she high-tailed it out of snowy Minnesota and back to Seattle.

(, by Karen Belgrad)


Patient: Cristina is still not having a great time in Minnesota. Still sleeping with Dr. Parker, she's less than emotionally involved, and more focused on how to save Dr. Thomas's career. Her feelings toward the area are also dampened by a huge snowstorm, burying her car. Her friendship with Thomas deepens as he picks her up, brings her a Danish, and offers her the chance to help operate on a huge aneurysm and vascular ring. The patient and her husband are doomsday preparers, and you can see Cristina relieving the plane crash as they talk about preparing their bug-out (survival) bags. The surgery is risky and complicated, and only hampered by Dr. Parker second guessing Thomas and ordering him to retire. Cristina begs Parker to let Thomas finish out his tenure with dignity, but Parker is determined to get him out of the hospital.

During their time together, Thomas reassures Cristina of her gifts and talents. He reminds her that she is gifted, and has already proven herself, so no need to be crass to appear tough. He teaches her not to hold her breath during sutures, to relax and concentrate. She laps up all of his aged wisdom, including the part about not looking for friends as much as a future protégé. It's a good thing she was paying attention, as during their final surgery together, Dr. Thomas freezes up, collapses, and dies, from either a heart attack or stroke, I'm guessing. Yes… they killed Feeney (those bastards!). And while Cristina has proven herself by finishing the aneurysm repair solo, she has clearly had her fill of winter. The hour ends with a drunk Cristina showing up at Meredith's Seattle door and the two friends embrace.

Issues dealt with: Proving self, fear of flying

(, by Jenny Pickard)

Meanwhile in Minnesota, Cristina (Sandra Oh) was given a rare opportunity to team up with Dr. Thomas (William Daniels) and remove a giant aneurism. But Dr. Thomas chose to carry out the surgery in a different manner than Dr. Parker (Steven Culp) wanted, which led him to be put on probation.

Cristina and Dr. Thomas' big heart surgery involved a second surgery to ensure the patient's future health, and although Cristina begged Dr. Parker to take Dr. Thomas off probation so he could join in her the surgery, Dr. Parker denied her request.

OK, back to Minnesota: Dr. Thomas and Cristina decided to defy Dr. Parker's orders and performed the second surgery together. During the surgery, Dr. Thomas suddenly stopped operating and fell to the OR floor. Doctors rushed in to perform CPR on Dr. Thomas, while Cristina was forced to finish the operation. Unfortunately, only one person in the OR was saved - and it wasn't Dr. Thomas. After an emotionally draining day at Seattle Grace Mercy West, Meredith was settling in at home when an unexpected guest rang the doorbell - Cristina! After losing a mentor and friend, her time at the Mayo Clinic was up.

(, by Sarah)

Meanwhile, Cristina is thinking that she's frozen to the spot and can't move when her boss says next to her she's a big spoon in a tiny spoon. Cristina says to herself, she's not a spoon, she's a knife, and she's about to stab him.

In Dr. Thomas and Cristina's OR with the aneurysm, Dr. Parker turns up to see how it's going and Thomas says he's only doing it to see his demise. The aneurysm bursts and he decides to scrub in but Thomas says Cristina will tell him he's been doing it since the Jurassic period!

Parker is ticked at Thomas even though he saved the Katie's life and when Thomas won't back down by stepping down, Parker decides to take over saying he's signing off on all patients he sees now. Cristina – take Thomas and run back to Seattle!

Mere and Cristina call each other as they both have to leave their patients. Mere says maybe Cristina could offer more sex in return for not firing her new old friend but Cristina says she's not a prostitute.

Cristina tries to get Parker to take Thomas off of probation but he won't do it, saying he's holding her down and she'll see it when Thomas is gone. She finds Thomas outside and tells him she's not ready for him to go. She'll leave! Thomas tells her she's afraid to fly, she's not going anywhere, and he'll go down fighting. Buck up!

As Cristina and Thomas finish up things are going well until Thomas becomes unresponsive and looks up at her with wide eyes as he falls back and passes out. MR. FEENY?! But on another note – what is the procedure for that? As Cristina tries to save Katie, Thomas is on the floor. No pulse, shocking him isn't working, and Parker comes in to start CPR.

Cristina saves Katie and she overhears Thomas telling her to breathe. Don't be crass. Mediocre surgeons will see her and feel themselves wilting in her shadow. Don't try to console them (as she walks right past Parker in the hallway where everyone has gathered).

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