Welcome to season 8, dear readers! I hope everyone had a good summer -- I spent mine moving from one coast to the other, so now I watch Grey's three hours earlier than I used to. I live in the FUTURE. Because of everything that went on with my summer, when this episode started with Mackenzie Astin eating a bowl of cereal I had a moment where I worried that I had completely forgotten some new character already. I mean, it seemed a little weird for the opening shot to be of some random new guy. His name is Danny, and his wife Susannah walks into the room and they bicker about his not buying groceries. It seems that Danny is out of work. Once I realized that I wasn't suffering memory loss and that these really were two random people I expected something horrible to befall one or both of them, but they just argue and Meredith starts her voiceover about good marriages that fail: one minute you're on solid ground, and the next you are not.
At the Broken Home for Wayward Doctors, Zola starts to cry and Mere jumps right out of bed, saying she'll get the bottle while her bedmate changes Zola's diaper. Her bedmate isn't her husband, though -- it's Cristina, and the two of them seem to have their system pretty down pat so it's unclear how long this has been going on. Mere voiceovers about how there are always two versions of the story of a breakup: yours and theirs.
Speaking of "theirs," Derek and Owen are doing some kind of stonework at Derek's house. I think maybe he's building a big backyard grill? Which might make more sense if he'd made any more headway on getting actual walls put up in the actual house first? Derek asks Owen how Meredith is doing but Owen hasn't actually spoken to his own wife and insists he doesn't care. Make a note of the moment when Derek asked that question, because it will be the only moment that he seems to genuinely be concerned even a tiny smidgen how Meredith is actually doing. Owen asks, too quickly, if Derek wants him to ask but Derek says he doesn't care, and while Owen is clearly trying to convince himself of his hardened feelings, Derek seems to mean it quite honestly.
With the sound of Zola's crying come from the next room, a sweaty and naked Lexie gives up on the sex she was trying to have, insisting she can't do it with a baby from a broken home in the next room. I like the idea that she could totally do it if Meredith and Derek were still getting along, though. She and her kicky new bangs fall back into bed beside Jackson. He's got no problems with crying children and manages to use his sexy voice and gorgeous eyes to convince Lexie it's just the two of them and they get back down to business.