Everyone's trying for a fresh start in the new year, and it isn't working out all that well. George gets assigned to a young female patient who turns out to be a hermaphrodite, and battles with his/her parents over telling him/her the news. Izzie's patient, meanwhile, is a charming guy in his mid-thirties who needs a heart transplant. When he doesn't get the heart, they are both -- wait for it -- heartbroken! Alex frets about his boards, but saves the day when he figures out that a kooky writer patient who ate his own novel has mercury poisoning from the paper he ingested. Cristina finally figures out that she didn't really want the baby she was pregnant with, after all, and reveals this to Burke, who is very sweet about it. Addison is crowned queen of the fabled land of Passive-Aggressivo, and pressures McDreamy to get over Meredith already. And Meredith, with Webber's guidance, decides to get her mom into a trial to help her Alzheimer's.
Welcome back, everyone, and happy new year! Previously on Grey's Anatomy:McDreamy told Addison he was still in love with Mere; we learned that Ellis Grey and Chief Webber had a thing back in the day; Cristina got pregnant and miscarried; Alex re-took his medical boards, slept with Nurse Olivia, and broke Izzie's heart; and the Grey House Gang got a dog.
We open to the melodious strains of rock music, over which there is much dog barking and crashing sounds and George yelling. Izzie leans against the closed bathroom door and placidly sips her coffee, ignoring the melee outside in the hall. George bursts in yelling, "Izzieeeeee! INCOMING!" He's clearly terrified of the rabid dog chasing him -- the same one he was sweetly lying next to under the Christmas tree just three weeks ago. Mere voice-overs, "Fresh starts. Thanks to the calendar, they happen every year. Just set your watch to January." Izzie tells George she's thinking about coloring her hair. George says he's thinking about cutting his, which I think is a very good idea, considering his current mop. Izzie agrees that it would look good shorter. They hear Mere talking to the dog outside the door, and cautiously open it to see Mere petting him and cooing, "Such a good dog! Who's Mommy's good boy?" Aw. Mere tells the two fraidy-cats that they're going to be late. George: "We need to talk about the dog." Izzie says that's not a dog, it's a hyena that escaped from the zoo and dressed up in dog clothing. So...they hate the dog. And it hates them. Even though it very recently loved them. I find this ridiculous. Mere reminds them that he's their dog, they love him, and he loves them back. In answer, the dog turns and growls at George and Izzie. Stupid. George complains that the dog tries to mount him from behind. Hee. See? That's love right there.
Shots of nature: deer running over a great big plain, water burbling in a stream, McDreamy's trailer. MereVO: "Our reward for surviving the holiday season is a new year, bringing on the great tradition of New Year's resolutions." McDreamy, decked out in his outdoorsy best, walks into the trailer and announces to Addison that he got a trout. A rainbow trout, and it's for breakfast! Addison is less than thrilled. She's attempting to dry her hair in a tiny space, and keeps tripping over the cord. She doesn't want trout, she hates this trailer, hate, hate, hate. She stomps into the tiny bathroom and slams the tiny door. McDreamy chirps, "No trout for you, then." Heh. MereVO: "Put your past behind you, and start over."
Cut to the home where Meredith's mom is living. She's having coffee with Chief Webber, and reminiscing about their sordid past. Webber tries to change the subject, but Ellis thinks they're about twenty years back, during their internship. She talks about how loud they were in the on-call room the night before. Webber decides it's easier just to play along, and says he hates being an intern. Ellis smiles lovingly at him, and agrees. MereVO: "It's hard to resist the chance at a new beginning; a chance to put the problems of last year to bed." It sounds like Mama Grey and Webber put more than problems to bed, and for much longer than we suspected.
Burke finds Cristina getting dressed for surgery, and starts talking about how, in the name of the new year, he thought she could answer his question about them moving in together. Cristina doesn't have an answer. Burke hits her with, "Then what were you planning to do about the baby?" Whoa. Surgery beckons before she can answer.
Webber addresses all the interns, and tells them that the new year brings new rules: fatigue played too big a role in mistakes last year, so no intern may exceed 80 hours of work per week. He reminds them that the nurses are going to have to work more hours to compensate, and to treat them well so they don't get cranky. Mere gets to go home until noon, and she's all excited. Izzie makes a snarky comment to Alex about cheering up the cranky nurses, then apologizes, saying her resolution was to let it go, and she's going to. She instead asks how his test went; Alex says he won't know for a few days, but feels pretty good about it. Izzie tells him, most sincerely, that they're all pulling for him. George: "We are?" The rest of the world: "We are?" Izzie: "Yeah."
Burke is in surgery, telling Cristina something about the patient's mesothelioma. Cristina asks if she can move a little closer, since she can't really see from where she's standing. Burke barks, "You're fine there." Wow, remind me again who's always yammering about keeping work and personal lives separate? Just then, Webber bursts in the room and tells Burke that they've found a heart for a patient named Danny Duquette. Burke is relieved, as he was worried they wouldn't find one in time. He asks Webber to send Bailey to get the heart somewhere in Idaho. In answer, Webber orders Cristina to leave the OR immediately -- she's exceeded her 80-hour limit. Cristina, stalling, is like, "Uh...okay. As soon as the mesothelioma's dissected out?" Webber ain't having it. Cristina looks at Burke imploringly, but he's no help either. "You heard him." Damn! Cristina leaves all mad.
Bailey greets Danny the heart patient in his room, and says she hopes seeing him here means they finally found him a heart. Danny is played by the daddy on Supernatural, but is much less intense here, and much more with the wit and charm. He tells Bailey he hates hospitals, so it would take something pretty special to get him in here. Bailey asks Izzie what they know about Danny. Danny interrupts, "Capricorn, single, loves to travel and cook." Bailey tells Danny to be quiet, and let Izzie show off. Izzie smiles shyly, clearly already in love with Danny. She gives us the rundown: Danny is 36, and admitted today for a heart transplant, necessitated by viral cardiomyopathy, which means that his heart is unable to fill and pump blood normally. Bailey and Danny are duly impressed, and Bailey tells Danny that Dr. Stevens will be attending to him. Danny is delighted: "Guess I'll be seein' you around, Dr. Stevens." Izzie grins, and Alex gives Danny a dirty look. Hee. Outside the room, Alex says he's got to hand it to Danny, trying to get some action when he's nearly a corpse. Izzie lies that he was just trying to be nice.
Bailey tells Izzie, Alex, and George how much she worked when she was an intern, and she can't believe they're getting it so easy. George says it's good for her -- being this pregnant, she'll get a break. Bailey: "You saying I look tired, O'Malley?" George stutters, "Not tired. No. You look...fresh, spry. You...glow." Bailey sends him off to do an intake on Addison's patient, then looks at Izzie and Alex, who tell her she does glow...like the moon. As a reward, Alex gets to spend all day in the pit.
Addison's patient is a teenage girl wearing a ski cap, who bears more than a passing resemblance to Avril Lavigne, in both looks and attitude. George introduces Addie to Rebecca's parents, who tell the doctors that the girl prefers for people to call her "Bex." Okay, then. George reports that Bex has been admitted for an ultrasound-guided biopsy on an enlarged pelvic lymph node. Addison asks Bex if she can check it out, and assures her that it's a minor procedure. Bex's dad leaves uncomfortably when Addison starts palpating her girl parts. George notices Bex drawing a comic, and tells her she's really talented. Aw, Georgie has a crush on little Avril! Addison tells Bex and her mom that they're going to run a few tests, so they can get some answers. She says there's nothing to panic about, and will keep them posted. George tries to be all charming with Bex, and jokes that he's sorry, but he's going to need her drawing arm to get some blood. Bex totally ignores him. Ha! But there's trouble in Bex-land: when George pushes up her sleeve to take the blood, he notices a bunch of little cutting scars across her arms. Bex's mom