Grey's Writer Mark Wilder on 'Superfreak' Episode

This week’s episode was one that began to bring some closure to the events of last season, as the characters in some small ways, work towards their recoveries. Here’s an exerpt from the Grey’s writer blog.

I think one of the worst things you can tell a writer is write what you know.  Or a close corollary of that – write about your life.  If you put my life on a movie screen, the audience would demand their money back.  They wouldn’t just walk out of the theatre, they’d stampede the ushers in their rush to the exits.  Unless the ushers, bored to death themselves, had already quit their job and gone home.   As much as I really enjoy my job – I feel EXTREMELY fortunate that I get to work with a lot of fun people every day – my life itself is relatively boring.

Little bits and pieces of my life do occasionally show up on Grey’s Anatomy.  Derek’s taking up golf.  I lobbied for that.  I also suggested he and Mark hit golf balls off the hospital roof last season.  I didn’t suggest the Derek storyline with his estranged sister – that was Shonda’s idea — but it was an easy story for me to identify with.  I have a little sister who’s ten years younger than me.  We’re not estranged, far from it in fact, she’s great.  But, like Derek and his sister Amy, our dad died when I was 15 and she was five.  He wasn’t shot.  He had a heart attack.  And ever since then I’ve wanted to protect her from what’s out there in the world.  After all, that’s what older brothers do.  Protect their little sisters.  Because the world doesn’t always make you feel good about yourself.  In fact, more often than not, the world makes you feel like you don’t belong.  Like you’ve missed out on the joke.  Like you’re, yes… a freak.  

Yup, that was the theme of my episode.  Freaks.  Because basically we are all Treemen.  Physically, we may not have the warts but metaphorically we sure as hell do.  Especially when I go to these damn school functions where nobody talks to me.  Nobody!  And, by the way, it’s not like I don’t make the effort – I DO!  I ask the other parents about themselves and their wonderfully accomplished and oh so brilliant children (I’m never this sarcastic with them, I promise) but, even then, even with all the effort I’m putting into the conversation, they start looking around like they want to talk to someone, ANYONE, but me!!  THEY CAN’T LOOK AT ME.  Yes, suddenly I’M A TREEMAN!!  At a PTA Meeting!!!

Emotionally, the story plays on Mark when Mrs. Treeman wonders if love is enough to keep a couple together.  That even though you desperately love someone, you’re at such different points in your life, it just can’t work.  Which is a very sad realization for Mark when it comes to Lexie.  

Meantime, Lexie’s doing her very best to empathize with the Treeman.  After all, she’s been in his shoes.  For the first couple of episodes she was the one everybody in the hospital was staring at.  We never comment on Lexie’s state of mind until the end of the episode but, after being committed, Lexie thinks the world sees her as kind of a freak.  Or as she puts it – “a psycho running naked down the hallway.”  But even her empathy for freaks can’t prevent her from having a thing about warts.  By the way, when we were coming up with the story in the room, one of the writers was so grossed out by even the mention of warts, we had to call them puppies.  Which, yes, made this writer a little bit of a freak.  And yes, this writer has given me permission to use her name.  This writer was Krista Vernoff.  You know how Bailey jumped ten feet back when she saw the spider?  That was Krista every time we mentioned warts.  Sorry.  Puppies…

The nice thing about having a big cast is that you get to mix and match the characters in a hundred different ways.  You don’t often get to see Derek and Cristina together in a story line – they’re not tremendously fond of each other – but she did save his life.  We hadn’t played any of the fallout from that yet this season.  We got our chance to do so in this episode and it made me wonder why the heck we don’t have these two actors together more often.  Patrick and Sandra were FANTASTIC together.  Of course, the sad part of the story was that despite Derek’s best intentions, Cristina is nowhere near healed.  At this point she might, in fact, be the biggest freak at Seattle Grace.  Her PTSD is crippling.  The question remains –will she ever come back from what happened?

About the author

Beth Hodgson is a freelance writer and editor ( based in the Greater Toronto Area, Canada. Writing to keep the public informed is her passion; and who doesn't love Canadian TV?
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