My TiVo keeps cutting off the first few seconds of all my favorite shows, and this one is no exception. Stupid TiVo. Anyway, Izzie and George are standing about a hundred feet from the hospital entrance, and striking nurses are lined up on each side of the walkway leading up to the door, chanting and waving signs around and being generally strikey. George tells Izzie there's no way he can cross the picket line -- his parents are both union lifers, and if they see him on the news walking into work, they'll outlive him just to pee on his grave. Izzie doesn't see what choice they have, and stands there in her little argyle sweater and her little green coat, looking primly distressed. Mere voice-overs that, in general, lines are there for a reason -- "for safety, for security, for clarity." Cristina runs up behind them and excitedly asks if there's been any bloodshed yet. Izzie frets that surely the nurses know they're doctors, and they have to tend to their sick patients. Cristina volunteers to go first, and walks across the picket line as stoically as she can for someone having edible objects thrown at her by angry nurses. Izzie can't believe they threw food at Cristina, and runs across the line with her head down. George refuses to go, and stands outside with his union compatriots.
Cut to Meredith at the nursing home. She asks a nurse how her mom is, and the nurse says she's great. "She really lights up when Dr. Webber visits!" Mere looks over to see her mother and Webber sitting together, having a big time, and also getting kind of handsy with each other. She sticks out her lips way out in a sort of horrified grimace and walks out. MereVO: "So why is it that the bigger the line, the greater the temptation to cross it?" I don't know, Mere. Why is it that the bigger the problem, the greater your lips become on your face?
Back at the hospital, Webber's assistant tells the temp nurses what they need to be doing. She notices Burke and McDreamy standing around not helping, and barks at them, "You know why I stopped being a nurse? Doctors. Doctors who don't know how to pitch in." The non-pitchy doctors then turn around and complain to Webber about the mean lady and the lack of nurses. Webber says resolving the strike will cost the hospital two million dollars a year they don't have. McDreamy snarks, "Did you look under the couch? I always find spare change under the cushions." Webber is not amused. McDreamy shows himself out.
The interns speculate about who their replacement will be while Bailey's on maternity leave. They soon find out when Kali Rocha (also known as the awesome Halfrek on Buffy) comes bounding down the stairs yelling their names. "Here you are!" she chirps in a total golly-gee-Beav tone. As the interns -- well, mostly Cristina -- stare in horror, Kali enthuses, "You guys look like a great group! Which is awesome, because my horoscope said it was going to be a very challenging day! But no! This is GREAT, we're going to have so much FUN!" Haaaaa. And then she hugs Cristina, which I am not ashamed to tell you makes me have to lie down on the floor. At Cristina's cries of "Ow, ow, ow," Kali asks sadly if she's hurting her. Cristina: "Uh, no, you're touching me." Kali introduces herself as "Sydney Heron," a fourth-year resident, whose philosophy is...heal with love. Heal with love! She asks who they're missing, and Cristina explains that George is cowering behind the picket line like a little girl. Sydney: "Standing up for what he believes in, that's my kind of little girl! Am I right?" Oh, Sydney. You are so, SO right. She then lets them choose where there going to go for the day, and everyone bolts but Izzie. Sydney: "Looks like it's just you and me, Izzie McGee!" Izzie doesn't understand Sydney's strange language of happiness, and gets all confused. She is rescued by Addison, who says she needs her on a consult. Izzie escapes also, leaving Sydney to charm no one but herself. And this here recapper.
Cristina and Alex pull back a curtain in the pit, and find a couple macking down on one of the hospital beds. They unlock lips at the interruption, and explain that they're on their honeymoon. Cristina's all, "Great. Can you...dismount, please?" Hee.
Mere's walking down the hall and stops when she hears an old woman moaning to herself. Her name is Grace Bickham, and she's clearly at death's door. Mere asks Grace if she knows who her doctor is, because she doesn't see a chart. Grace just keeps calling out for someone named Lennie. Mere sees that Grace is having trouble breathing, and calls for a nurse.
George stands resolutely outside the picket line. Nurse Olivia walks over and tells him he can go -- they won't throw donuts at him. George says he's not scared of donuts; his mom was in the teachers' strike of '03. Olivia asks why he doesn't go home. Unfortunately, he can't do that either, or he'll get kicked out of the program. He takes some deep breaths, gathers his courage, and says, "I'm a union guy. Give me that sign." Olivia smiles, and everyone starts clapping as George walks the line holding up a gigantic sign that reads, "Proud To Be A Nurse!" Sucker. Credits.
We return to Meredith coaching a nursing student named Angela through Grace's intubation. The poor girl is about as dumb as she is pretty, which is very. When Mere announces that she's got the tube in, Angela looks at Mere with wonder. "Awesome!" Mere stares her down, and Angela shuts it quickly.
Cut to Addison and Izzie with their patient, a pregnant black teenager (wow, how's that for a stereotype?) named Cheyenne; they tell her that she's got a lot of extra amniotic fluid, but the baby looks okay. Cheyenne's concerned mother asks if that means they can go: it was a long drive to the hospital for them, and she can't afford to miss another shift. Addie explains that a mass on the baby's neck is what's causing the build-up of fluid, and also obstructing her airway and spine. Cheyenne looks terrified, but her mom tells her that they need to listen to the doctor. Addison says they're going to do what's called an exit surgery on the baby, which means that they'll deliver it via C-section, but not cut the umbilical cord until the baby's operation is over. Izzie adds, "It's kind of cool if you think about it. You'll be like your baby's life support machine." Cheyenne looks slightly less scared as Addie asks her how that sounds. Cheyenne's mom interjects, "That sounds expensive." Addison says Cheyenne's doctor at the clinic is a former student of hers, so it's covered. After she leaves, Izzie, well-versed in the ways of the poor, tells Cheyenne and her mom that the hospital gets a write-off for the surgery. Cheyenne's mom correctly understands this to mean that it's not a charity case. Izzie assures her it's not. She asks Mom what time her shift is, to which she replies, "Six to six." Izzie is familiar with the graveyard shift. She tells Mom she'll look after Cheyenne while she's gone.
Mere finds Webber staring at the board, and fixes him with a knowing little look. She says she saw her mother this morning. Webber's all, "Did you? How is she?" Mere says she's fine. Webber briskly says he's glad to hear it, and asks Mere to give Ellis his best as he takes off. Mere responds by sticking her lips out at his back.
The honeymoon girl is at the hospital for a nasty-looking rash on her leg. Cristina has drawn a line just above the rash; she tells the girl that if the rash doesn't cross the line in one hour, she'll get antibiotics and be fine. If it does cross the line, Alex explains, it would mean the infection's aggressive and they'll have to do a muscle biopsy. Honeymoon Girl, whose name is Claire, finds this unacceptable, as she and her new husband are supposed to run a 10K tomorrow. They are a power-outdoorsy-activities couple; they first noticed HG's rash when they were hiking up Mount Rainier the day before. Sydney overhears this as she's walking o