According to Meredith, “happily ever afters” are a bunch of malarkey. Then she starts having nightmares about Derek dying, because God forbid things could actually be good in her life for, like, a minute. She spends the entire episode going back and forth, waffling about whether or not she should let Derek move in. It actually drives Christina to tell Meredith to stop whining about Derek, because she can't take it any more. Awesome. I've been waiting five years for someone to tell her to shut up. Then Christina is inexplicably impaled by an icicle. We get a glimpse of future Christina and Meredith still bickering and being co-dependent. After some issues with the bitchy Rose, who stabs him in the hand (she has what Mark calls "delayed rage"), Derek jokingly proposes to Meredith, but says he'll do whatever Meredith wants. Which is moving in together, though it takes two hours and a whole lot of dysfunctional patients in order to convince her of this fact.
Elsewhere at Seattle Grace, the teaching hospital got a bad ranking, which sends the whole place in a tizzy. And their trauma center has been downgraded. Which means they don't get any good cases. But George worries more about his intern exam, and Lexi is more concerned about how George smells. She discovers that her big sis already had sexual relations with George once upon a time and doesn't view this as a huge warning sign. Oh, and it’s snowing.
So Bailey gathers the kids and has them stand outside praying for people to get injured and desperately need their attention. Someone does. It's Bernadette Peters dressed to the nines and driving a limo. In her car is the original limo driver, who went through the window, and is now gushing blood all over Kathy Baker. Mariettte Hartley's the other high-class lady, who has lost her memory. But that's the least of their worries, because their husbands were in another limo that was also crashed because of the freakishly unseasonable black ice. Like MLK, Bailey has a dream that they will get more traumas, even if it means stealing the husbands from another hospital. The arrival of the men stirs up a whole boatload of convoluted relationships between these six people that make a day at Seattle Grace look practically normal. Everyone sees themselves in them in some way or another. Of course. Some things never change.
But along with the husbands comes Dr. Hunk, er, Dr. Hunt. He's an Army surgeon who just got home, was on the scene of the accident and performed a tracheotomy with a ballpoint pen. He's assertive and starts suggesting wild surgeries. The he proves his badassness by stapling his own injured leg shut without anestheisa. Christina is smitten. Can't blame her. He's awesome. Then he is miraculously on-hand after Christina's run-in with an icicle, removes it and then kisses the hell out of her after turning down a job at this nutty establishment. Can't blame him, either.
Neither Hahn nor Callie have ever dabbled with women before. They’re lesbian virgins together. And they are freakin' weirdly adorable. The Chief has clearly been watching too many sports movies and gives the staff a stern pep talk about being better, after he screams at Meredith for sucking. Loving all the Meredith hating going on! Even Izzie yells at her supposed pal for not being able to keep her mouth shut. Though frankly, Izzie really should know better than to tell Meredith any secrets by now. Especially when they involve Alex being a good man. Because Alex doesn't have feelings, and when he thinks that people might think he's gone soft, he starts sleeping around again. Izzie sees him, looks all depressed and then has a random daydream about Denny. Yay, Denny. An Izzie relationship that was good and not totally disgusting or irritating. But maybe Meredith was right. The only people that can live happily ever after are the ones in a fantasy world... or dead. -- Angel Cohn
Soft piano and a close-up shot of one of Mere's candles usher us into season 5, and she VO's, "We all remember the bedtime stories of our childhoods: the shoe fits Cinderella, the frog turns into a prince, Sleeping Beauty is awakened with a kiss. 'Once upon a time.' 'And then they lived happily ever after.' Fairy tales. The stuff of dreams. The problem is, fairy tales don't come true. It's the other stories. The ones that begin with dark and stormy nights that end in the unspeakable." As time passes, Mere stands alone in the house of candles and one by one they are blown out by the wind. "It's the nightmares that always seem to become reality."
Mere bursts into the ER where Cristina and the Chief have been watching worriedly through a window while the Long Beep of Death sounds. Mere demands to know what happened and Christina tells her that "he" tried to avoid an accident in front of him on the road but couldn't, and as Mere shrieks to know how he is, Cristina tells her she has to be strong. Mere runs to the window and begins screaming; behind the glass, a bloody Derek is lying on the table while Bailey and Sloane do their best to try and save him. Bailey heaves a sigh and we can read her lips as she gives the time of death. Meredith understandably freaks out, screaming his name and pounding on the window. However, this being the internet age where any big casting decision makes news -- and Patrick Dempsey leaving the show would certainly be big news -- it's not surprising that Meredith wakes up from a start from her nightmare and runs down the hallway back to work. Her VO concludes, "The person that invented the phrase 'happily ever after' should have his ass kicked so hard."
After a shot of the hospital from outside so that we can see it is snowing, Meredith runs up and joins the others gathered around Bailey at a computer. They're waiting for some sort of results and continue to pester her to "hit the refresh button." Mere and Der sweetly say hi to each other over Cristina's head while she rolls her eyes at them. They're guessing at what the results could show, and while we still don't know exactly what it is, they talk about Hopkins and Mayo both possibly ending up ranked ahead of them. Let's thank Hahn, who exposits that they're waiting to see where they rank as a teaching hospital, and they all assume they'll be somewhere in the top three. In one of the biggest nods to reality this show has ever made, it turns out that Seattle Grace is now ranked #12.