||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (October 2011)|
|Grey's Anatomy & Private Practice character|
|First appearance||"A Hard Day's Night"
1x01, March 27, 2005
|Created by||Shonda Rhimes|
|Portrayed by||Chandra Wilson|
BCB (Booty Call Bailey)
|Occupation||Attending general surgeon at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital|
|Family||William Bailey (father)|
|Spouse(s)||Tucker Jones (divorced)
|Significant other(s)||Eli Lloyd|
|Children||William George "Tuck" Bailey Jones|
Miranda Bailey, M.D. is a fictional character from the medical drama television series Grey's Anatomy, which airs on ABC in the United States. The character was created by series producer Shonda Rhimes, and has been portrayed by actress Chandra Wilson since the show's inception in 2005. Introduced as a resident in general surgery at the fictional Seattle Grace Hospital, Bailey worked her way up to the attending physician level, while her relationship with the five surgical interns she was in charge of - Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo), Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh), Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl), George O'Malley (T.R. Knight) and Alex Karev (Justin Chambers) - formed a focal point at the beginning of the series.
Her colleagues refer to her as "The Nazi" because of her tough personality and blunt attitude. Although often harsh with her interns, she has been shown to provide both support and advice. She married Tucker Jones in 1995, but their marriage encountered difficulties in 2007, due to her commitments as both a parent to son Tuck and to her career as a surgeon. Miranda Bailey is a Wellesley College graduate.
In many episodes Miranda Bailey is referred to as "The Nazi" by most of the interns, because of her harsh attitude. She has "Rules" which must be followed at all times. For instance, one of the rules is that you do not wake Dr. Bailey unless a patient is dying. If she gets there and the patient isn't dying, be prepared for some serious scut work. But underneath she is a compassionate person. Bailey stayed by Cristina during her pregnancy scare and her initial recovery. She cares about her patients and is a committed surgeon. Her son, William George Bailey Jones, was born during a bomb scare at Seattle Grace while her husband was in surgery with Dr. Derek Shepherd, having crashed his car on the way to the hospital (It's The End Of The World/As We Know It, a two-part episode). George O'Malley helped her through labor, and she thanked him by naming her son William George Bailey (although he is nicknamed "Tuck" for his father).
Through the rest of season 2 into season 3, Bailey was seen adjusting to becoming a parent and reconciling this with her desire to continue her career as a surgeon. Her professional confidence was shaken when Izzie Stevens cut Denny Duquette's LVAD wire and Denny subsequently died after his heart transplant; Bailey felt that she wasn't in control of her interns, and that the incident was ultimately her fault. She was criticized for the events at a Morbidity and Mortality conference in Oh, The Guilt, with one colleague questioning outright her competence at juggling career and motherhood. While her confidence has been somewhat restored since then, she still feels bad about not spending enough time with her son, once making a late-night call to sing "God Bless the Child" to him.
Disillusioned by how little she can help patients as a surgeon, Bailey decided to open a free clinic at Seattle Grace in the middle of season 3. She faced initial difficulties getting support from the attendings, but after talking with the Chief, managed to get their agreement to work there. The Denny Duquette Memorial Clinic has since opened, paid for using part of the $8.7 million bequeathed to Izzie by Denny Duquette, and Bailey is satisfied that the clinic will change people's lives for the better. She competed for the post of Chief Resident, but in the final episode of Season Three, she found out she lost to Callie Torres. Dr. Richard Webber indicated that she could become Chief of Surgery in a few years' time.
In season four, Miranda decided to be Callie's "number two," as Torres was lacking of competence as Chief Resident. The Chief saw Bailey pick up the slack, and delegate exceptionally well, and eventually realized that Miranda was covering for Callie. He terminated Torres from the position, and told Bailey that he made a mistake in not giving her the job in the first place. He also apologized for taking Dr. Bailey for granted. At this, Miranda broke down in tears and hugged the Chief. This is an example of the emotional baggage the "Nazi" carries, and shows one of her very rare emotional moments. During season four Miranda helped save the life of a white supremacist paramedic despite his racist treatment of her. When closing his stomach after the surgery, she comments to George that the incision will need to be aligned better, thus ruining the patient's large swastika tattoo on his stomach. During the surgery she declared that she "will not be called the Nazi ever again." Following severe injuries to her son in late season four and several arguments over the state of their marriage, Doctor Bailey and her husband separated because her husband believed that she placed her job at the hospital before her family and that it led to Tucker's injuries. In the finale, she realizes that if she wants to continue with her surgical career, she will not be able to remain in control of the clinic, and so hands over the reins to Izzie Stevens, telling her she has earned it.
In season 5, Cristina confessed to Bailey and Alex Karev that Izzie had skin cancer, was refusing treatment and begged them to help. Bailey, like all the other residents and interns, was devastated to learn of this and set about helping Izzie recover. Bailey supported Izzie through her first surgery, while her friends failed to adequately do so, and through her cancer treatments. Throughout season 5, Dr. Bailey expressed discontentment with the General Surgery program and soon found herself drawn to Pediatric Surgery. Arizona Robbins, a Pediatric surgeon, eagerly encouraged Dr. Bailey to work in Pediatrics, having her work with her on a number of cases, many of which had the opposite effect than was intended and actively discouraged Bailey, as she grew attached to terminally ill children who later died. Chief Webber is unhappy with his mentee Dr. Bailey's decision to leave General Surgery, and discouraged her at every opportunity, giving her an uninspiring letter of recommendation and purchasing a surgical robot to lure her back to General Surgery. Dr. Robbins, however, vows to fight back and shows Dr. Bailey the positive side of Pediatrics, what Dr. Robbins calls "the joy" - when a child lives. This deeply moves Bailey, but she tells both the Chief (who has finally accepted Dr. Bailey's choice to move into Pediatrics) and Dr. Robbins that she cannot accept the fellowship in Pediatrics. Although both are shocked and do not understand why she would refuse such an opportunity, she later confides to the Chief that her husband has given her an ultimatum - either refuse the fellowship in Pediatrics or he will divorce her. Dr. Bailey decides that she will leave her husband herself, but as she will now be a single mother, she will be unable to make the commitment to Pediatrics Surgery and so will be remaining in the General Surgery program.
In Season 6, Bailey starts as an Attending in General Surgery. She has a relationship with Mercy West anesthesiologist Ben Warren during this season. In the season 6 finale, when facing the gun of Gary Clark, she lies and tells him that she is a nurse to save her life. She then attempts to save the life of Dr. Charles Percy with the help of her patient, Mary Portman. However, when the hospital is on lockdown, she can't get him to an OR due to non-functioning elevators. He dies in her arms telling her to tell Reed (who was killed) that he likes her, and that she (Bailey) was his favorite doctor. In the end, she is shown talking to a police officer asking for someone named Reed. Dr. Bailey is shown immediately leaving Seattle with her son to go home to her parents', unable to tell Ben when she will be back. She later tells the trauma counselor that the day of the shooting was the worst day of her life. Bailey breaks up with Ben, stating that she cannot handle a relationship right now and that she is too busy trying to keep it together after the trauma that happened to her. Bailey tries to help Cristina Yang return to the OR, telling her that she is free to even observe and that no one will pressure her. The patient she was trapped with on the day of the shooting, Mary Portman, returns to the hospital to receive the surgery she was scheduled to have that day. Despite it being an extremely quick and minor procedure, Mary does not wake after anesthesia and subsequently dies after being taken off life-support. This is a great personal blow to Bailey, and is further devastated by the fact that Mary's autopsy is inconclusive. During this season she starts dating Eli Lloyd, a male nurse at Seattle Grace-Mercy West.
Dr. Bailey takes Meredith's deceit in the Alzheimer's trial personally, and she takes her anger out on Meredith throughout the first part of the season. When Richard resigns as head of surgery and takes the fall for Meredith's mistake, Dr. Bailey resumes control of Ellis Grey's Diabetes trial. Richard consistently pushes Dr. Bailey to forgive Meredith, and in "Heart-Shaped Box," she finally forgives Meredith, admitting that her anger stemmed from her frustration at seeing her interns stand up for principles at the detriment of their careers (Meredith) and lives (George). During this time, Dr. Bailey breaks off her relationship with Eli, recognizing that she was not interested in pursuing the relationship further, and renews her relationships with Ben the anesthesiologist. As they rekindle their relationship, he continues to push for more intimacy and commitment, while she resists because she is concerned about being hurt. Though she eventually moves in with him and Ben asks her to marry him on a crossword puzzle. However, at the moment she is about to say yes, he tells her he landed a surgical internship in California. They become engaged and her newfound happiness leads to her being dubbed as BCB (Booty Call Bailey) by new interns.
Richard rents Bailey a limo on her wedding day, and catches a ride with her to the venue. Richard received a call alerting him that his wife is in the hospital, and Bailey tells the limo driver to turn back to the hospital, hence delaying her wedding. After performing surgery on Adele, she returns to the venue and marries Ben. She launches a genome mapping program and Meredith is the first one to test it. An investigation on Bailey takes place after three of her patients contracted an infection and died. It concludes that she initially had the infection but that it spread via permeable gloves, which are a new brand the hospital had been recently using. Following that incident, Bailey shuts everyone out for some time, because she feels that she is dirty and contaminated. She blamed Dr. Webber the most for abandoning her and avoids him altogether. Eventually, her husband, Ben, flies to Seattle to get her out of the genome lab. In the first part of the season finale, Bailey returns to work but does not go into the surgical OR. Eventually, with Dr. Webber's stern push, she decides to be on the OR rotation for the upcoming storm along with her intern, Shane Ross.
After feeling responsible for the electrocution of Richard Webber, Bailey takes him on as a patient. Bailey's husband Ben returns for Halloween and states that he has dropped out of residency to spend more time with her and Tuck. Bailey is not impressed by this decision and starts exhibiting some odd behaviors. Ben suggests that Bailey might have developed OCD after what happened with the CDC investigation.
Casting and creation
Shonda Rhimes intended the character of Bailey to be a tiny blonde with curls as "it would be unexpected to have this sweet-looking person open her mouth and say tough things." However, Wilson's audition went so well that she was offered the part, and the character was rewritten. Sandra Oh was initially looking to audition for the part of Dr. Bailey. Of her role, Wilson said: "I thought it was endearing; endearing as the word 'Nazi' can be." Wilson explained how she plays Bailey:
|“||It's a teacher's mentality. The pilot described me as the Nazi, so I had to think about that and try to relate. It's about my demeanor, how I carry myself, demanding respect from my students. Once I have that, I just teach.||”|
|This section requires expansion. (April 2013)|
Bailey has been characterized as "straightforward", "tough", and "quick-witted" by Grey's Anatomy executives. Reflecting on her character, Chandra Wilson said: "I think a strength and a weakness for her is her ego. The strength part is great because it really does make her a really good physician. She's really good at her job and she continues to evolve and she continues to look at ways to be 'value added' at the hospital and is incredibly independent. That independence has certainly gotten in the way of her personal relationships. It's gotten in the way of her being a team player on many occasions."
USA Today TV critic wrote in 2006 that Emmy voters could consider Chandra Wilson because she adds "warmth and humor to Bailey without making her go all squishy." Reviewing the show's fourth season, Patrick Luce of Monsters and Critics found Bailey "one of the most interesting characters to watch" as "she had to deal with losing a promotion to Sara Ramírez’s Dr. Torres; her own marriage trouble; and the continued stress of balancing being a mom and being a doctor." He also appreciated the fact that people got to see "a softer side" of her while she kept "all the biting satire and sarcasm that made the character great." Shawna Malcom of the Los Angeles Times deemed Bailey and Sam her favorite pairing of the Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice crossover, praising: "The grief he gave her about becoming a pediatric surgeon … the grief she gave him for letting ex-wife Naomi go and wind up in the arms of Archer … the fist bump. I say again, the fist bump! Together, Chandra Wilson and Taye Diggs are hilarious and touching and all sorts of fabulous. Here’s hoping this isn’t the last we ever see of this unexpectedly dynamic duo." Fellow Los Angeles Times critic, Carina MacKenzie, welcomed Bailey's "flirtation" with Ben (Jason George) because it was "nice to see her fun, flirty side" presented with a bit of humor after the deterioration of her relationship with Tucker. Margaret Lyons of New York Magazine was happy with the evolution of Bailey and Torres' friendship in the first half of the ninth season, calling it "the one bright spot": "They joke, they tease each other, they offer sage love advice to one another, now that they're both on their second marriages." Entertainment Weekly included Bailey in its list of the "30 Great TV Doctors and Nurses". AOL TV named her one of the 100 Most Memorable Female TV Characters.
Chandra Wilson has received multiple nominations for her portrayal of Dr. Miranda Bailey. She won a 2007 Screen Actors Guild Award for her performance in the show's third season. She has been nominated each year from 2006 to 2009 at the Emmy Awards for "Supporting Actress in a Drama Series", losing in 2007 to co-star Katherine Heigl in the role of Izzie Stevens for the performance in the episode "Oh, the Guilt". She has also been praised for her performance in Grey's Anatomy at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, receiving three nominations along with the other cast members for "Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series" each year from 2006 to 2008, with the 2007 Awards marking a victory.
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