April seems to be holding her own running the show, but Bailey can't believe they are still accepting more critical patients. She goes to take the new one and leaves Alex to do a surgical repair on Chuck's neck there in the middle of the room. Alex can't really believe it, but goes along with things.
Derek's surgery isn't going well, and after an alarm rings he determines he has to take off the other side of the professor's skull as well. As he starts to prep, Meredith says she's going to update the wife, and Derek loses his shit. He snaps at her, wondering when she became so interested in updating the wife and she finally snaps back that it's since she was the wife. She goes the opposite way of Callie and airs all of their dirty laundry out right there for all to see, asking if Derek thinks that he and Cristina were the only ones to go through a trauma? He pouts that she's not to bring Cristina into it, and actually has the gall to say that she's not allowed to act like a spoiled brat like this. Oh, go fuck yourself, Derek. He and Brandon Walsh should get together for a Prissy-Know-It-All-Holier-Than-Though TV Character Summit. I finally start to tolerate Derek a little bit and then here we go again, with him regressing back into one of the most insufferable characters on TV today.
Meredith yells back at him that while he and Cristina were taking care of each other they totally forgot she went through a trauma too. (To be totally fair, she's acting bratty too, but one could argue she's been provoked into it.) (I can't believe I just defended Meredith Grey. Somebody shake me.) She then reminds Derek that she once was the wife, and that it was so hard that she marched into the OR and told the guy with the gun to shoot her. With that in mind, she's off to update the wife, and storms out. All of the remaining OR staff stare at Derek in judgment and he quietly says that he's sorry.
Mere updates Mrs. S, who is still accompanied by the buddy Meredith grabbed, plus a few others, but she doesn't really understand when Meredith says that they're taking off the other half of her husband's skull, freezing it, and then sewing the scalp and muscle back over his brain. I can't really blame her, since that does sound more like science fiction than actual medicine. Meredith tells her she knows that it's extreme and scary but Derek is a very good surgeon, even if he is a petulant man-child who only wants his own way all the time. Okay, fine, I added the last bit.
Across the room, Officer Graham calls out for the family of Jared Sworn, and a woman stands up and worriedly asks if her son is okay. We all know what horror is about to befall her as Graham asks her to step into the other room and Jackson abandons his search for another patient's family to follow and see what happens.
What happens is that Jared's mom starts screaming, freaking out that her son can't be the shooter. While Graham doesn't reach towards her his body language still reads as sympathetic, at least, while in the hallway Jackson just puffs out his chest in anger and storms off somewhere.
In the community OR, Mark is doing stitches on a girl's arm when Owen walks up and unceremoniously shoots a few staples in to finish the job, then tells Mark he's done and to find another patient. Mark is livid and refuses to put his name on the chart since it's what he calls a "hack job." But it frees him up to go help Lexie, who is in tears, calling for another doctor to help with her patient's intercranial hemorrhage. She tells Mark what needs to be done and calmly, he assures her that they can take care of it.
I thought Jackson was going to storm back into Teddy's OR for another argument but he just goes back to the pit, and Alex calls him over to help with Chuck's procedure. Jackson can't help but gripe about what's happening and Alex just tells him that they can't choose who they save. In a voice dripping with attitude, Jackson replies that that is certainly the party line. Alex just tells him that the shooter was sick, since no one in their right mind does this kind of thing. Jackson is unmoved until Alex mentions calmly, like he's talking about the weather, that his brother had a psychotic break and tried to kill his sister, was hurt in the process, but after all that Alex still wanted the doctors to save him because he's still his little brother.
On the other side of the room, Mark makes an incision in Lexie's patient's head but when she tries to hand him the drill, he tells her she's going to be the one to do the holes. She's really not sure but he tells her she'll be the one to save his life, and then he talks her through it. At first she seems alarmingly shaky for someone holding a drill to a person's skull, but she seems to do a good job of it.
Things aren't going so well for Chuck, though -- he starts crashing, and Alex has to start compressions. Bailey notices what's going on and runs over, ordering Chuck not to die as Jackson and Alex get the paddles ready and shock him. Nothing happens, and Bailey gets increasingly desperate as she orders him to come back, even slipping and calling him Charles in a clear callback to the previous Charles who died during a shooting. They shock him again to no avail, and Bailey finally turns her face up to heaven and yells, "You bastard!" and orders the big man upstairs to send Chuck back right now. After a moment, he does, and after she gets a hold of herself, Bailey quietly apologizes for calling him a bastard. See, I really have meant it every time I say that no one messes with Miranda Bailey. Not even God.
Mere seems to be taking her sweet time getting back to surgery, but who can blame her given the abuse she's been taking? She looks pretty beaten down as she walks across the catwalk but then she turns to look out the window and seems confused. She runs downstairs to get the professor's wife and brings her and the others back upstairs to see something -- outside, hundreds of people with candles are standing together and singing. It's incredibly moving, and I got a wee bit teary eyed, as do all of the people standing on the catwalk, watching. A tear runs down Mrs. Sturgeon's face as she tells Mere that they are singing the school's alma mater, but she smiles and is calmer than she's been all day.
As the singing continues, we are treated to a surgery montage, which ends with Teddy thanking Cristina for staying. She tells her protégé that it can't have been an easy decision but Cristina thinks about it for a second and says that actually, it was.
Mere heads back into the OR and of course just then, alarms start to ring because the professor is bleeding too much. Derek works away, clearly worried, but outside at least his patient's wife is doing okay as she cries and watches the people sing.
Later, Derek and Meredith walk out to talk to her together, and after Derek introduces himself he begins to explain how her husband is in a medically induced coma, his skull is on ice, etc. But she makes him go back and just assure her that he is alive, since she obviously was prepared to hear that he didn't make it through the surgery. When she's assured that he is, she grabs Derek in a ferocious bear hug and thanks him, and the doctors both grin happily.
Across the room, Jackson tells two girls we haven't seen that their unknown loved one is going to be okay, or so I assume from their celebratory hugs. He then turns and sees Jared's mom sitting by herself in a dark corner, looking utterly shattered. He pouts and thinks about just walking by but then takes a deep breath and approaches her, asking if anyone has given her any update on her son. With a shaky voice she tells him that the police questioned her for hours, and that they found a suicide note in his jeans, but she tells Jackson that she didn't know anything, and now her whole life until now seems to have been a lie. She's trying to keep herself under control, I think for the sake of all of the others that are there because of what her son did, but she starts to crack when she tells Jackson that she jus