The big news is that today is the solo surgery, which will be an amputation. The attendings all voted and unanimously chose Cristina as the winner, but as she was taken out of the running by the Chief, she instead has to choose which of her peers will do the surgery instead. As if that's not enough, Dr. Dixon has agreed to come back to Seattle Grace for one more day, and Richard tells Cristina it's her responsibility to ensure that Dixon wants to be the head of cardio by the end of the day. Interestingly enough, she seems to have an easier time of it with Dixon, who advises Cristina to rank everyone against the same standards and pick the best, no emotions involved. The other residents, meanwhile, all take turns kissing her butt or manipulating her in some way -- that is, except for Alex, who fails at the ass-kissing and instead lays out why he's the most qualified to do the surgery. Because of that, Cristina ends up picking him. But when Mere comes to talk about the fight the two are in and how Cristina's picking Alex was personal, Cristina loses it. She again reminds everyone else that all of their interns were involved too and that she should be the one operating, along with pointing out that she chose Alex because he was qualified and that Mere was the one who just made it personal. Hunt takes Cristina somewhere private so that she doesn't just break down in the hallway, and it turns out to be the basement where she stands on top of an air vent and has all of her troubles blown away a la Marilyn Monroe. I have to think the passionate making out that followed also had something to do with her resulting good mood. Rowr.
Alex is stoked to get the surgery, and immediately runs off to ask Izzie to assist him. She's been busy shunning all of her work to have sex with Denny (It kills me that I'm writing that sentence yet again) but Alex thinks she's just being aloof because she's scared of loving him. He tells her that he loves her, but unfortunately that sends him into a panic spiral right as he's scrubbing in for the amputation. He pages Mere, who talks him off the ledge, and then Izzie shows up at the last minute to grin away and help him out. George is the only one who has managed to see beyond his own life and realize that something is wrong with Izzie, but he's either yelled at or brushed off when he tries to bring it up with her friends.
Mark is doing a state-of-the-art surgery and Bailey asks to be involved, but he kind of loses it when Bailey keeps asking questions, thinking she's stepping on his toes. He's already on edge because he's so attracted to Lexie, and despite his telling Callie to not lust after hot interns (in her case, Sadie, which... ew) he can't seem to keep himself from doing the same. Bailey explains that she's just trying to learn something new and exciting and when Mark realizes she is sincere, he lets her help out on what turns out to be the successful rebuilding of a woman's vocal cords. Lexie, having been clued in by Sadie to the fact that Mark likes her, heads over to his hotel to tell him that the patient finally spoke and proceeds to undress and talk him into bed with her. That is so not going to end well.
Derek spent the day trying to save the life of a teen who had been in a car accident with her sister, and when she dies (brain-dies?) on the table he gets a bit unglued, telling Mere he can't handle all the losing patients anymore. Dixon has also been on the case, and afterward she can't fathom why the family won't immediately let them harvest the girl's organs. Mere manages to eventually convince them, using not just facts but feelings, which seems to rile Dixon since she can't understand that. But what she can understand is manipulation, and when the Chief admits that he was purposefully torturing Cristina that day we see the first awkward smile from her and she tells Richard to have the Board make her a better offer. I feel like she could end up being interesting, and maybe that will help temper my disgust that both Sadie and Denny seem to not be going anywhere anytime soon.
Who on staff is a doctor and who is a high-schooler in a lab coat? Find out. Come back on Wednesday for the full detailed recap.
This week starts with all of the attendings in a meeting, though they don't look like they're being yelled at for the residents and interns being a band of crazy, unprofessional nutjobs. Lexie walks by with a clipboard hiding her face from the eyes down, which is odd as she's not doing any speaking she might need to hide. Mere tells us, "My mother called it the greatest and most terrifying moment in her life." Lexie turns out to be trying to read lips through the window, and while I still can't figure out why that would necessitate holding a clipboard in front of one's own mouth, she seems to see the Chief say "Karev," and runs off to report to the other interns. Meredith's VO has explained: "Standing at the head of the surgical table, knowing that the patient's life depends on you and you alone."
Ryan takes the verbal baton and runs to report to all of the residents gathered in the locker room. Alex is thrilled, but George and the others are surprised (and Cristina just looks like she was punched in the gut) and when they ask Ryan if he's sure, he falters and runs back out. VO: "It's what we all dream about. Because the first person that gets to fly solo in the OR? Kind of a badass." Lexie goes to spy again, this time from behind a computer, and next thing we know Graciella has run into the locker room and said that it's Stevens. Alex demands to know which one of them it really is, and Cristina asks snidely if it's hard for them to depend on the imbecilic interns to find out who won. Izzie, whose ghost sex seems to have given her a healthy dose of (even more) attitude, asks if it's hard for Cristina to watch this, knowing she can't win. We see that Denny has escaped the confines of the house and come to work with Izzie, and he loves her new mean streak. After some more chatter, Two comes in to report that the Chief said Grey. Clearly none of them have a career in lip reading ahead of them. Bailey comes in to get coffee and when Alex yells that this is bogus, laughs that he's only figuring it out. She tells him that they're going to have to just wait and hear when it's announced -- just like she did when she won. Cristina asks the question that Bailey just gave the answer to, and Bailey awesomely tells her she's going to ignore it, because of course she won her solo surgery. She points out all the things she didn't do, like cutting LVAD wires or letting her interns operate on themselves. She toots her own horn for a while until Lexie comes in to say that it's really done, and the Chief sent her with the choice. Alex asks who it was and one of the lamest, cheapest act-outs ever, she points and says, "It's you!" as we fade into the title card.