Previously on Grey's Anatomy, Meredith's mom was brought in as a patient; Cristina was pissed about how Burke broke up with her and she hasn't told him that she's pregnant, but then she collapsed (and the subsequent surgery sorta let that cat out of the bag). Meredith yelled at Derek to stop talking to her, Addison kissed Derek, and then...so did Meredith.
Meredith's VO gets us set to receive this week's Big Lesson. "The key to surviving a surgical internship is denial." Izzie is at the bar looking cute in a pink shirt, and watching Alex play darts while trying to not look entirely like she's watching Alex play darts. "We deny that we're tired, we deny that we're scared, we deny how badly we want to succeed." Alex grins at her and then goes back to his darts, which makes Izzie antsy as Joe hands her a drink. "And, most importantly, we deny that we're in denial."
Izzie joins Mere and George at a table and George eats peanuts while he tells the girls that Cristina said she was okay. Izzie, having a shred of intuition, thinks that no one can go through what she did and just be over it. Meredith, surprisingly, sides with George and they say she's fine, but Izzie maintains that she's TOO fine. George, still dense as to the complexities of human feelings, maintains with awe that Cristina's just hardcore. "She's got ice in her veins." Meredith has stopped chiming in, seemingly somewhere in between the two opinions and with a dash of my-boyfriend-is-married thrown in, and morosely stirs her drink. Izzie reminds them and all of the viewing audience that Cristina lost a baby and a fallopian tube. She's now indignant at Cristina's lack of emotion, clearly ignorant herself of the tendency on the part of people who insist they're fine to break down in spectacular flaming fashion at some point later. Izzie says that Cristina is her friend, but she has no soul. George admiringly adds, "God, she's gonna make a great surgeon." I see this conversation as a good illustration of Callie's comment to come about this hospital being like high school with scalpels.
VO: "We only see what we want to see. And believe what we want to believe. And it works. We lie to ourselves so much that after a while, the lies start to seem like the truth." On cue, Derek walks in. (This is clearly the only place to go for a drink in all of Seattle.) Meredith gazes at him as he bellies up to the bar next to Bailey. He wants to talk about the girlfriend-/wife-kissing action, and predictably, she wants none of it. She asks the bartender, "Joe, do I look friendly to you?" He tells her, "Oh. Yeah, you're a tiny little kitten of joy and love." She glares at him and he defends himself, pointing out that Derek saved his life. She tells Derek to sit near someone who cares, and he smiles at her gruff exterior. Meredith's VO concludes, "We deny so much, that we can't recognize the truth right in front of our faces." Derek repeats to himself and Bailey that everything will be fine when Addison returns to New York and, I guess, Meredith comes happily prancing back to him, forgetting all about the little "secret wife" issue they've had. Bailey, the only one who seems to understand how human beings act and interact, tells him, "You so damn stupid." Naturally, he looks confused.