Callie really did quit in a huff and is now an Attending at Mercy West. It's quite a surprise when her first patient is the Chief, who runs a red light when he's distracted about the meeting he's about to have with the board. There's a whole lot of meetings and whispering through the entire episode, but we'll wait to get to that. Interestingly, Richard has the gall to snap at Derek, who rightfully points out that he has had the Chief's back, but things are definitely tense between the two. He relieves himself of any possible tension, however, by having sex with Meredith anywhere and everywhere. It's her way of dealing with George's death since she hasn't cried -- it takes a janitor finally cleaning out his locker for her to break down in tears.
Alex and Izzie are having the opposite problem in that Alex won't touch his wife. They meet with a new doctor, because Izzie's cancer has subsided enough for her to no longer be interesting to Swender, which everyone assures her is a good thing. She'll continue treatment, but there is no real timeline -- they just wait and hope the cancer doesn't start to grow again. It doesn't do much to fix things between the two of them, so at the trailer Izzie finally demands Alex take off his pants and be her husband. He blows up about the matter of her DNR and her dying in his arms, and how he's angry and terrified of that ever happening again, but of course this means they can then make up.
Arizona sends her pain patient from the last episode to Mercy West with a message to get Callie to run the expensive test that Richard forbade. It still doesn't really help, so she goes to Derek; wonder surgeon that he is, he figures out what's wrong and they're able to help free the kid from a life of chronic pain. Between these scenes and the one with Richard at Mercy West earlier, we also pick up that they are having as much budget trouble there as they are at Seattle Grace. What on earth could that mean down the line, do we think?
Lexie is trying to help out her amputation patient, Clara, but Clara is refusing physical therapy and sinking further and further into depression. Hunt finally tells Lexie that she'll have to have Clara committed, which freaks Lexie out enough to yell at her patient that the doctors are referring to her as "ceviche" -- chopped fish. Clara finds this so funny that she bursts out laughing and winds up both doing physical therapy and letting Lexie call her mom in England and tell her about the accident. Lexie is then so moved that she stops balking at the idea of living with Mark and shows up with a toothbrush and a gigantic suitcase in tow, much to his delight. It's just like Friends now, with Mark and Lexie across the hall from Cristina and Callie!
Speaking of Cristina, she goes to a therapy session with Hunt in an effort to show how close they are and therefore, why they should be having sex. It's all stilted and weird and Dr. Amy points out that they don't talk at all about the war or Owen's choking her and until then, they won't be able to actually help fix the problem. Some joking at a later session finally turns into a conversation about the Incident, and afterward it seems they've decided that they have been honest enough that they can have sex again. I imagine she's still going to keep from ever putting a ceiling fan up again, though.
Last but not least, after seeing her storming around for weeks on end like an angry robot, Derek forces Bailey to talk about what's going on. She admits that she's too attached and emotional about her group of former interns and that she needs to stop giving away her feelings and keep them for her son. It's horrible and depressing, but Derek accepts her will and then lets them continue on in the elevator.
So with everyone finally coming to terms with things nearly 40 days after George's death, the Chief gathers the staff together for an announcement: Seattle Grace and Mercy West are going to be merging, and there are definitely going to be staff cuts. It's time to let the real fun begin!
We've now reached Day 20 Post-George. Mere tells us, "The dictionary defines grief as 'keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss.'" Mere walks into the hospital, wearing what I think might be the shirt Derek used to preserve his modesty back on Day 13. As she texts she notices Amanda sitting on a bench outside, and gives her a bit of a condescending look as she texts and walks by. "Sharp sorrow. Painful regret.
"As surgeons, as scientists, we're taught to learn from and rely on books. On definitions. On definitives." Lexie is reading in Clara's room while the girl sleeps, now in big black arm braces as opposed to the shoulder-to-wrist bandages of the previous episode.
"But in life, strict definitions rarely apply. In life, grief can look like a lot of things that bear little resemblance to sharp sorrow." Hunt and Cristina are lying on a bed in the on-call room, fully clothed, just staring into each others faces.
Day 21. Lexie reads to Clara from an "I [Heart] NY" postcard that she's not missing much. "New York smells like pee." Maybe try a different neighborhood, ladies? Clara replies again that she hates them, and grimaces as she talks. Lexie tells her that some test results (presumably about her pain) will be back soon but Clara insists she's fine and also that Lexie can go home and take a break from her round-the-clock suicide watch as Clara is better now. She then points out that she thinks Lexie is just hanging there to avoid moving in with Mark, and says that if Lex moves in with him, she'll let Lexie call her mom. Lexie can't reply to the offer, though, as Bailey comes in to let Clara know that she has an infection in her small bowel and an inflamed colon, and that an abscess has formed and she needs surgery right away. Clara's good mood evaporates and she absolutely refuses to have any more surgery. Bailey stalls for time and says she'll be back in a little while to discuss, but quietly tells Cristina to start her on antibiotics and book an OR.
Once Bailey is gone, Clara asks Lexie and Cristina about her options. As Cristina sees it, it's simple -- she needs surgery to fix this, and as long as everything goes as planned it's simple. Clara pulls out one of the most effective comebacks we've seen in a while, reminding Cristina that her boat ride didn't go as planned, and she wants the worst case. Honestly, I think if she'd asked for a worst-case scenario before she went boating they could give her death, but I don't know that they'd even think to warn her that the propeller might chop off her arms. That's just freakishly rotten luck. Cristina gives her the worst case of this surgery: they would take out part of her colon and give her a colostomy bag. Clara flips out on account of her grandpa having a "poo bag" and yells that she won't have the same. Lexie points out that the infection will kill her but it's not enough to dissuade the girl and she again refuses the surgery.