Ah, Seattle. Home of the Space Needle, Pike Place market, the flagship Nordstrom and, apparently, crazed gunmen who like to shoot up a lot of innocent bystanders in one go. Cristina, fresh off of her cathartic fishing trip, decides to take a walk and explore the city but when she sees a line of ambulances scream by, she follows them and comes to a college where a gunman has shot down at least 20 people. She watches the paramedics load one kid into an ambulance and realizes that they need to crack the kid's chest, but they don't seem to be doing it. This seems to be the nudge she needed in the right direction, so she does it herself and plugs up his torn artery with her finger. Owen and Teddy are shocked to see her when they open the ambulance door, but they go with it and she tells Teddy she wants to stay and help with the surgery. When it turns out later that the kid they are working on is in fact the gunman, Jackson decides he can't help anymore, but Cristina decides to stay and seems to be back to her confident, ass-kicking ways.
Everyone at the hospital is understandably distraught about the shooting, some more than others, but it also makes them more able to understand and help the victims and their friends and family. Derek's way of dealing with things is to turn into a jerky surgery robot, and he insults Meredith for repeatedly leaving to update their patient's panicky wife about the surgery. She finally lets him have it by reminding him that she went through a trauma, too, not just him and Cristina, and that being the wife in the waiting room is so hard it caused her to walk in and tell the gunman to shoot her. She storms out and thankfully, it snaps Derek back into being a human again, he apologizes to all of the staff in the OR, and continues with his job. It's a tricky surgery, but the guy survives.
Once the ORs are all full, Owen turns the pit into a makeshift surgical area and puts April in charge of running the place, since she "won" his trauma clinic a few weeks previously. She's able to do it, and she, Bailey, Richard, Lexie, Mark and eventually Alex all work away on their patients down there.
Alex started out the day in one of the operating rooms with Stark, but when Stark decides it's easier to amputate the girl's leg rather than put in the extra work to save it, Alex yells at Arizona, up in the gallery, to intervene. Arizona thought she'd come right back to a girlfriend and a job in Seattle but the Chief had told her he didn't have the money to buy out Stark's contract, and Callie has no interest in talking things over. However, with all of the action, the Chief gives Arizona privileges, so she throws on scrubs and runs into the OR (where Alex has awesomely been putting his wrestling skills to use by physically blocking Stark's path to the patient) and takes over. She has Callie come in to work on the leg and thinks this might be a way to talk to her very angry ex-girlfriend, but Callie is having none of it. They save the girl but Callie tells Arizona that it doesn't mean anything and she still wants nothing to do with her. Fortunately for her, the Chief is more of a softie than Callie and tells her he'll hire her back, though she'll have to work under Stark... and it's not entirely clear if he's joking or not.
After everyone finishes up tending to their patients, they all wind up in the gallery watching Teddy and Cristina work, and Richard congratulates them on saving all of the patients that came through their doors that day. Afterward, Mere finds Cristina and OH HOORAY they actually say hi and seem to slip back into being friends. As they are reuniting, so are Lexie and Mark -- while he works on cleaning up the sutures on a patient, she tells him that she loves him.
Teddy doesn't hang around the hospital when she's done operating but instead goes to Joe's, where she meets up with her new husband. Oh yes, you heard me right -- she really did marry Henry that morning, and she has the insurance paperwork for him to fill out. While she's incredibly down from having just spent the day operating on a would-be mass murderer, Henry is of course charming and awesome and cute, and manages to convince her that she also saved his life that day. Yeah, those two are totally falling in actual love sometime.
Let me begin this week's recap on a serious note. It was rather horrifying to see the news on Saturday of the shooting by a kid named Jared, and to then sit down to write a recap regarding a fictionalized mass shooting... by a kid named Jared. My thoughts go out to everyone affected by the events of Saturday and I just want to say, let's just agree that no matter what, walking into a public place and shooting innocents isn't the way to go about things, okay?
Meredith begins this week's episode with a voiceover that talks about how medicine is both a science and an art. She's grilling Derek about his fishing trip -- we appear to have picked up the very next morning, even if it's been a month in real-world-time since then -- and she refuses to believe that her husband and would-be best friend spent six hours on a boat and only talked about fishing. Derek gets increasingly annoyed as she demands more answers and declares that, "'She caught a fish and cried' is not the whole story." What it really boils down to is that she feels like Derek stole her friend and it's not okay, and though Derek argues that he's only trying to help, Meredith is pissed at all of their hanging-out, buddy time. As they argue they get under the covers and take off the appropriate clothing to get down to some baby-making, but Meredith is so mad she can't look at him. Derek declares, then, that she can just roll over, and, pouting, she does just that. What a way for a tiny baby to be conceived!
Meanwhile, the subject of their argument is much happier in bed with her own husband, and as they canoodle Owen comments happily that Cristina really seems better. Cristina agrees that she actually feels better and amazingly, I actually believe her. It's super cute how happy he is for her though I'm sure he's also relieved that he might have his wife, the woman he fell in love with in the first place, back in his life rather than the broken shell of a person she had become. I don't mean that as any sort of blame, either -- it's a relief for all involved. (Including your recapper.) Cristina thinks that for the first time, she's going to go explore the city since she never had the time nor the interest before. Owen gets a page, and while a blissed-out Cristina gets dressed, he expresses total shock at something Teddy is doing. Meredith continues her VO and tells us that you don't want a doctor who is only about science when the shit hits the fan, you want someone who will follow their instincts.
Mark and Lexie are following their instincts, all right -- things seem to have progressed nicely since they started making out at Joe's, as they are now doing the horizontal mambo in Lexie's attic bedroom. They're both happy and lovey to a nauseating degree; as he pretends to try and go to work she keeps pulling him back to bed.
Not everyone's reunions have been quite as happy as theirs, though. Callie opens the door to find Arizona waiting out in the hallway with coffee in hand. She admits she did leave long enough to shower and grab a few winks but then she came back really early to sit outside her beloved's door. Her beloved, however, isn't impressed and instead tells Arizona she should really just go back to Malawi. Arizona contemplates this chilly reception as Mere tells us, "Extreme measures. That's where science ends and art begins."
Only slightly less awkward together are Henry and Teddy, who are waiting somewhere for their shotgun-insurance-wedding. Teddy's shaking her foot nervously and assures Henry that "he'll" be there; the "he" in question is Owen, who does show up to be her witness but who is seriously confused about Teddy's decision. Teddy is determined to go through with it, though, and even though she gets a page she decides to ignore it so that they can get through the fastest and least sentimental marriage ceremony of all time.
Cristina heads out to the streets of Seattle armed with a map, and while she can maneuver her way through a patient's heart we're to believe she can't find the Space Needle. She stops to ask a cyclist for directions, but as he gives them to her a bunch of ambulances scream by. She's distracted by them and after a moment, heads off in the opposite direction of where he directed her to follow the sirens almost as if she's in a trance.
Arizona has gone to the hospital to talk to Richard about getting her job back but he's only slightly more receptive than Callie was, and that just means he'll actually listen to what she has to say before shutting her down. He points out that he hired Stark on a year contract and can't just eat that money to hire her back. I love Arizona. And clearly, as she is a regular on this show, and her "replacement" is just a featured guest star, she will get her job back somehow, but seriously, did she figure that the job would just be waiting for her when she changed her mind on a whim? You're smarter than this, Arizona! Alex walks by and is totally stoked to see her, and it's a huge relief to Arizona to have someone finally give her the reception she felt she deserved. When the Chief goes to answer a page, she tells Alex to give her all of the dirt on her replacement.
Owen and Teddy walk into the hospital and while he did seem to go through with his witness duties, he's still feeling good and judgmental about her choice. She doesn't want to talk about it and won't answer if this is just right now or forever; she's saved when they realize that all of their co-workers are staring silently at a television on the wall. They are all stunned and some are crying, while a newscaster tells them that a gunman just opened fire on students and faculty at a local college. Owen tries to ask Bailey a question but she seems unable to physically get out an answer and they just stare.
On the scene, it's complete chaos and the newscaster tells us there are at least 20 victims. Cristina walks up to the mayhem, still in a bit of a fog, and just takes in the scene around her while paramedics rush around caring for the victims. As they load one kid into an ambulance Cristina hears all of the pertinent info about his condition and says quietly to herself that they have to crack his chest. When she doesn't get a response to her whispered suggestion, she calls it out, slightly louder but still timid, like she's not used to having knee-jerk reactions to medical crises.
The staff all gathers in the ambulance bay to wait and Owen tells them that 15 ambulances are on their way so far, and will be there in three minutes. That's just enough time for Richard to address them before the chaos hits. He reminds everyone that their trauma is fresh (because the crying and shock didn't already remind everyone of that) and that they are going to have feelings, which is okay. However, they need to be there for their new brothers and sisters in tragedy, so they need to work first and have feelings later. Lexie is the most upset of anyone and though she tries to tell Owen she's fine, Mark insists gently that she go downstairs to make sure all of the supplies are in order and that the blood bank is ready. She leaves just as the ambulances arrive.
Richard takes the first patient, a cop, and riding in the ambulance with him is Officer Graham. He sends April to get the cop, "Faz," inside while Officer Graham explains that Faz was the one who took down the shooter, and he needs Richard to wake him up from his own gunshot wounds so that he can give a description of said shooter, since the eyewitness accounts are conflicting.
Mere and Derek take the next ambulance, and their patient is Professor Sturgeon. The professor helped a bunch of students up onto the roof of one of the buildings but then slipped as he tried to get up there himself and fell four. As they get him inside Owen stops to ask Derek, who has clenched up tighter than Cameron's ass in Ferris Bueller's Day Off (or Cameron's fist, if you're watching the neutered ca