The first episode back since our long holiday break starts innocuously enough -- Seattle's pro quarterback is brought in after getting injured in a game, and a whole slew of doctors are on his case. Since Bailey is busy with him, Derek helps her out by taking one of her patients -- none other than the guy who the Chief accidentally nearly killed a few weeks prior when he was operating drunk. Derek's suspicions are raised by the fact that this guy has had six follow-ups for a supposedly routine procedure, so he starts digging around to find out what could be wrong. After Bailey tries to throw him off the scent by saying she has a thing for the guy, he eventually goes to Meredith, and she finally admits to him that Richard is drinking again. At least this revelation doesn't cause them to break up -- they're one of the only couples that make it through the hour unscathed.
Sloan is still there and to my surprise is actually pregnant. When Lexie performs an ultrasound (and while Lexie tries to gently suggest that Sloan might like getting her own apartment) she realizes that something is wrong -- it turns out the baby has amniotic bands wrapped around its legs which could ultimately cause amputation. Mark calls Addison down to help out with the surgery to remove them, but it turns out more complicated than she thought. She wants to proceed as she's 95% sure she can do it with no harm to Sloan, but Mark is adamantly against it and orders her to quit. Addison points out that he's really become a father, and that is also why he'll not be allowed in the OR again for another of Sloan's surgeries, if there is one. Mark then talks to his daughter who pleads with him to let Addie do the surgery, and as he relents he also offers to have Sloan move in and raise the baby while living with him and Lexie. He didn't actually talk to Lexie about this first, though, and as she didn't sign up for anything of the sort they get into a fight over the situation. When Mark tells her not to make him choose between the two women, Lexie realizes that he would choose Sloan over her, and that is a pretty clear sign that their relationship is over. She of course heads back to Meredith's with her suitcase, finds that Alex has moved back in too as he also has completely given up on his own relationship, and he convinces her to partake in a little bit of rebound sex. He was considering doing it with Reed, who was considering it too, to the point that she kinda-sorta offered it up if he would let her help with a surgery. But when Alex calls her bluff she relents and backs off. Obviously, however, she left Alex in the mood.
Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to just break up Lexie and Mark so abruptly; Cristina and Owen seem headed for serious trouble too. Teddy offers Cristina her first solo cardiac surgery, and after dealing with a difficult patient who can't make up her mind about what surgery she really wants, Cristina finally makes it into the OR on her own. When the surgery takes a turn for the worse, she finally asks for Teddy's help but Teddy keeps reading a magazine and assures Cristina that she can figure it out on her own. Owen realizes what's happening and flips out, going into the OR to yell at Teddy, but Cristina throws him out and then of course manages to pull out a successful surgery in the end. Afterward, Teddy defends herself by saying that Cristina needs to be pushed. That may be true, but Owen prods her to admit that she also didn't want to help Cristina for personal reasons, and Teddy's face cracks enough to totally give away that his suspicions are correct. Owen tells her she has to leave Seattle, but when Cristina finds out she runs after Teddy and tearfully begs her to stay, saying that Teddy believes in Cristina more than she does herself, and that she needs that. As she keeps asking what Teddy wants to stay in Seattle, Teddy finally blurts out that she wants Owen and Cristina, without thinking, says she can have him. After it slips out of her mouth she seems stunned, but she also doesn't take it back, and we're left hanging until next week to see what the fallout might be. All I know is that Grey's is back to its old ways -- no couple can ever actually be functional and happy for any real amount of time. Derek and Meredith, you'd better guard that post-it with your lives!
Find out what happens with Sloan's grandkid and his annoying daughter in our Private Practice recap.
Previously on Grey's Anatomy, I totally thought Sloan Sloan was lying about being pregnant in order to get Mark's sympathy, and it turns out I was totally wrong on that one. The Chief got drunk and nearly killed a dude in surgery, Mere covered it up for him, and Teddy is in love with Owen who's in love with Cristina. Welcome to 2010, dear readers! I hope your holidays were lovely.
"We assume the really serious changes in our lives happen slowly, over time. But it's not true. The big stuff happens in an instant." Probably not the instant we're seeing, though, which is Mere watching old surgery videos with the Chief, who is miming the actions on the screen.
Meredith accidentally wakes Derek up while she's getting ready for work -- she's going in early to get her stuff done so she can watch more videos that evening. Derek points out, not very happily, that they've been watching videos every night this week and pointedly says he thought last night was the last time. He sounds totally accusatory, as if Meredith is pouring booze down Richard's throat while they watch, even though Derek still doesn't really know what's going on with his former mentor. It turns out that the Chief never made it to their video date the night before, and Derek says he saw Richard sleeping in his office. Meredith makes some lame excuse that honestly really should by now have tipped Derek off to what is going on, but instead Derek remains in the dark, knowing something is wrong but not exactly what.
Lexie and Mark are lounging in bed being schmoopy and he asks her for a favor, which is to give Sloan an ultrasound. Lexie is less than thrilled at the prospect and wants someone else to do it, but Mark says Sloan likes her. Mark, saying it a bunch of times is never going to make it true, and you're old enough to know that even with your lack of parenting skills. Lexie climbs on top of him for some nookie, and that's just when Sloan waltzes in blabbing about them being out of something. She yelps and runs out, totally grossed out by what she's just seen. Mere VO's: "Becoming an adult, becoming a parent. Becoming a doctor. One minute you're not and the next, you are." I don't think this is a seminal "becoming a parent" moment for Mark, but he does run out and apologize. Lexie asks why he's sorry since Sloan didn't knock, but the Sloans ignore her and Sloan Sloan whines that they have no cereal. The girl is a complete brat and Mark clearly thinks parents shouldn't have spines and left his at the door, as he's become a complete pushover. He gives Sloan money for breakfast and when she whines and says she needs lunch money too he forks more over. He's actually helping Sloan take advantage of him by putting the words in her mouth about her needing the money, too. Lexie is unimpressed and goes to take a shower, but Sloan claims the bathroom for her inevitable morning vomit.