GREY’S ANATOMY Recap: 'Song Beneath the Song' - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

GREY’S ANATOMY Recap: ‘Song Beneath the Song’

April 1, 2011 by  

The long wait is finally over! After months of anticipation, we finally got to see the GREY’S ANATOMY musical episode. Did it live up to the hype?

To tell the truth, it was kind of a mixed bag for me. Not the best musical TV episode of all time (that honor will forever go to BUFFY), but in the end, I’m giving it my stamp of approval, thanks in no small part to the amazingly talented Sara Ramirez. Now let’s get the plot recap out of the way so we can talk about the music!

Obviously, the bulk of this week’s story revolved around Callie, Arizona and Mark. The short version: Callie’s in bad shape after crashing head-first through a windshield. She’s rushed to the OR, accompanied by virtually every surgeon in the hospital (minus Arizona and Mark, who the Chief banishes to the sidelines), and they manage to stabilize both her and the baby. She needs further surgery, though, and the attendings are having a hard time figuring out how to keep Callie alive without sacrificing the baby, or vice versa. All the tension leads to a huge fight between Arizona and Mark where she calls him a sperm donor and he calls her “nothing” – pretty harsh.

Meanwhile, Cristina comes up with a brilliant plan based on a technique that Burke used to do (yes Burke, I had to rewind to make sure I heard right). Teddy vetoes it as too risky, but when she falters during the surgery, Cristina gets the go ahead to do it her way. She does pretty well, but Callie and the baby are still in trouble. Addison has no choice but to deliver the baby, several months premature. Oh yeah, by the way – Addison is there!  And horribly under-used, except for a great little scene where she yells at Lucy, who’s in way over her head. Addison bites her head off for not doing a better job. It’s bitchy as hell, and makes me realize I’ve really missed her on this show. GREY’S has yet to find another character like Addison, who can be totally mean and yet win you over at the same time.

Anyway, Callie stabilizes after the baby is delivered, but the baby’s heart stops beating. Arizona, refusing to stay on the sidelines any longer, jumps into action. Without a hint of panic, she gets the baby’s heart to beat. It’s a girl! A very teeny tiny girl, but she’s alive! With the tension over, Arizona and Mark finally make up.

But there’s one last obstacle to a happy ending – Derek did his best with Callie’s head trauma, but there’s a possibility her brain suffered too much damage and she won’t wake up. Fortunately, with a little help from Soul Callie (more on that in a bit), real-life Callie wakes up with Arizona at her bedside. Her first word? The answer to Arizona’s question from last week: “Yes.”

A couple of other tidbits before we get to the singing: Lexie spends most of her time comforting Mark, and for a while it looks like Jackson’s about to get dumped, but at the end Lexie assures Jackson that he has nothing to worry about. Also, Teddy gets offended that Cristina got to take over during the surgery, and tells Cristina that she can’t teach her anymore because Cristina doesn’t listen. Seems kind of petty to me.

In the background of all these stories is Soul Callie. I’m calling her that because I interpreted her as being Callie’s soul, watching over her body and desperate to be whole again. Feel free to offer your own interpretations here – Soul Callie was purposely a bit ambiguous. More importantly, she serves as a kind of metaphysical framework that allows the singing to happen. Pretty impressive singing, too. I knew Sara Ramirez would be fantastic having come from Broadway, but I was pleasantly surprised to see everyone who sang hold their own. Chyler Leigh did a great job with “Breathe (2 AM)”, and I loved Kevin McKidd’s rendition of “How We Operate”. And a giant “wow” for Chandra Wilson! Can she sing me to sleep every night? Every note out of her mouth was just lovely.

Two songs stood out as my favorites, for completely different reasons. One was “The Story”. Whatever problems there may have been with this episode, as far as I’m concerned that performance makes up for them all. Sara Ramirez is amazing, as were the final moments of the episode in which she sang this song. My other favorite was “Running on Sunshine”. No power vocals in this one, but I liked how it included almost everyone – even Scott Foley got a few lines! And the montage of all the GREY’S couples was cute – nice to see them sharing some happy moments in the midst of the drama.

I think that about covers it! Hard to believe we’ve only got four episodes left in the season.  For now, I’ll leave you with a few likes, dislikes, and final thoughts.


  • The first half of the episode. It didn’t flow quite right. Not terrible – but not up to the show’s usual standards.
  • Was anyone else super annoyed that the dialogue kept drowning out the songs, especially with the first couple of numbers? Musical episodes don’t come along very often, guys – I want to hear the singing!
  • Love Kate Walsh, but I wish they’d chosen another episode to bring her back. They could easily have done this episode without her, especially since she only sang in the chorus. Her character deserves way better.


  • The second half of the episode. The pacing was much better, and they stopped talking over the songs so much!
  • Loved the moment between Arizona and Mark right after the baby was delivered – the look of realization that they just became parents.
  • Another shout out for Sara Ramirez singing “The Story”. I loved everything about it – the passion in her voice, the way it brought the episode together…so much awesomeness there.

Final Thought:

  • Burke is like the Voldemort of the GREY’S ANATOMY world.  You know he’s got his own life somewhere, but whenever someone speaks his name you’re just a little afraid he’s going to show up and start killing everyone.

Make sure to leave your comments below! What did you think of the episode? What were your favorite musical numbers? And which cast member has the best singing voice? Let us know what you think!



6 Responses to “GREY’S ANATOMY Recap: ‘Song Beneath the Song’”

  1. Valerie on April 1st, 2011 9:34 am

    The Story by Brandi Carlile thankyouverymuch! The original artists should be named IMHO, they created those songs.

  2. Tammy on April 1st, 2011 10:12 am

    Sara won a Tony for her performance as the Lady of the Lake in Spamalot. If you have ever seen the musical you will know that Sara still didn’t sing up to her full potential. The only reason I somewhat liked this episode is that Sara was singing and Callie lived. I can’t say I was totally on board with some of the song choices or some of the singing but it wasn’t as bad as some people made it seem on Twitter and Facebook. The Story was probably the best song too.

    Go see if you can hear the Spamalot soundtrack somewhere to here Sara belt out a song. She needs to get back to Broadway.

  3. Rebeccapedia on April 1st, 2011 11:09 am

    I agree, it annoyed me how un-used Kate Walsh was, did she ask to be in the episode or something, because really, it seemed pointless to me, all she got to do was yell at Alex’s new ho of the week, (truth be told I hate her, so I did really like seeing Addison address the fact that she is rubbish! She was so annoying on the hospital roof, two minutes before hand she said she couldn’t cope but then she gets all snotty about Addison coming? JUST NO. She better not be a permanent new cast member.) I wish Addison would come back to Greys. SR could just leave the rest of them as they are for PP. They’re all a bunch of morally reprehensible smug children, and I don’t like what Addison has become there!
    Also, the Burke thing, if they’re all cool to fly Addison in surely if the chief thought Burke could do some crazy special heart surgery he’d try and get Burke back too? It just annoys me that because the actor was involved in a horrible dispute we’re supposed to sacrifice the character?
    I really laughed a lot during the episode though, I know what Shonda was going for, but it didn’t really get there for me, if it really was just Callies vision then they should have gone more full-out-ridiculous and let it all just be Callie’s weird fantasy, but the bits that made sense where people sang but Callie wasn’t in the room just annoyed me.
    And I LOVED The Story, but Callie’s over-dramatic faces kind of made me laugh again.

  4. Tonya on April 1st, 2011 4:06 pm

    I’m still not sure how I felt about it, I think it would have been more successful if the singing was all what Callie was seeing due to her head trauma. Having the characters singing when they weren’t in Callie’s presence came off really cheesy at times (despite some awesome vocal talents), and it all seemed very forced. I also felt that they didn’t really pull off that the character was supposed to be actually singing – and not singing along with a track – particularly Chyler Leigh on Breathe – even though we *know* they aren’t singing live, it should have really looked and sounded like they were. Sarah Ramirez’ tracks were good at this (Glee & the Buffy musical were great at this.) My two cents.

  5. Kate on April 3rd, 2011 9:20 pm

    in my personal opinion, the only time a show should do a musical episode like this is when it is done in jest, like Scrubs’ musical episode for example. No one was a great singer, and they weren’t trying to be. I felt like people were trying too hard to pass as accomplished singers during the Grey’s episode. I also read somewhere that there is the possibility of another musical episode in the future. My response to that: JUST. SAY. NO.

    And I totally agree about Addison. I truly miss her on Grey’s. Even if she didn’t have a future with Mark or Derek, I thought there was truly potential with Alex & Addison.

  6. Cheryl on April 10th, 2011 9:50 pm

    LOVED IT!!!! Stop HATING! Was beautifully done 🙂 Congrats to producers, cast, everyone involved for not being afraid to step out of the box! Real folks singing “real” songs – what could be better!!!

    Thank you Gray’s! Well Done!