George has become the love doctor, chasing after Callie like a dog in heat. This freaks Izzie out, because she thinks he's not dealing with his grief. (It freaks Callie out, because she's getting kind of sore.) But in dealing with a patient and her best friend, she realizes that she can't force George to deal with things the way she does and that she has to let him go a little bit in order to help him. Meanwhile, the rumor is flying that the Chief is retiring, setting off a race among the attendings to land the job. Derek learns that the Chief had offered the position to Burke, and he becomes bitter and jealous. Addison also decides that she'd like to go for it. And Mark changes his plans to move back to New York once he learns about the opening. By the way, the rumor turns out to be true, but the Chief declines to name a replacement for the moment.
In other news, Bailey has decided that Seattle Grace needs to open a free clinic. She spends most of the episode running around trying to get each of the attendings to sign off on the idea, with little success. And then she finds her inner Bailey and kicks their asses into giving their support. To top it off, Izzie offers to provide initial funding for the clinic. We also see Addison doing her damnedest to avoid Alex after their unfortunate kiss. He finally confronts her and tells her that he'd rather be her surgical intern than her boyfriend. And Cristina and Burke are still not speaking to each other -- at least not until the shocking final moments of the episode.
And shocking those moments are. First, the Chief returns to his wife to tell her he's finally retired -- only to find that she's already moved on to another man. Cristina finally caves and speaks to Burke -- and he responds by proposing to her. And George runs into Callie's apartment, and when she tells him she can't take any more sex, he responds by proposing to her. Neither of the proposals is answered this week.
I don't know if there were no previouslies or if my recording started late. If you want to know what happened in previous episodes, I guess you can go read the recaps.
Bailey stands still, looking pensive, as a thousand people rush around her in the hospital. Mere V.O.: "No one believes their life will turn out just kind of okay. We all think we're going to be great." If Meredith is suggesting that Bailey is anything less than great, I would suggest she think again. Meredith tells us that surgeons especially think they're going to be great. They expect it in fact -- hence the title of the episode. Sometimes I think the writers of this show are competing with the writers of Desperate Housewives and Heroes to see who can use narration to drive the show's theme home in the most ham-fisted fashion. In any case, based on the look on Miranda's face she's just realized that there's something wrong with her great expectations. Or that her copy of Great Expectations is overdue at the library.
We pan across the Seattle skyline to find that Burke and Cristina are having Meredith and Derek over for dinner. Actually, it looks like just Burke is having them over for dinner; Cristina is sitting on the counter eating cereal or crackers out of a box. Burke offers Meredith seconds. Ha! As you might expect, Meredith turns him down but suggests that maybe Cristina would like some of the dinner. Burke tells her that he only made enough for three. Meredith's no dummy; she points out that Burke just offered her seconds, indicating a surplus of food. It's all very awkward, as Derek notes. Meredith offers to leave so that Burke and Cristina can talk. They each shout out, "We're talking!" But Meredith thinks they should really be talking to each other and not to the poor unfortunates they've dragged into their domestic mess. Meredith calls Burke's apartment the "International House of Silence," and tells him that he has to feed Cristina because she will starve otherwise. I think she may be smart enough to order takeout, but what do I know. Burke asks them to please talk about something else. Derek decides to make things even more awkward by telling Burke that he's heard a rumor that the Chief is retiring. Burke nearly chokes (poetic justice) and then tells Derek that it's not a rumor. In fact, Cristina tells Derek that the Chief already asked Burke to take over the job. Cristina takes the opportunity to point out that Burke is being an ass by blaming her for his screw-up. Derek doesn't care about their domestic squabbles; he's much too upset by the fact that the Chief offered the job to Burke. Didn't they establish that they were in competition for the job a long time ago? Yeah, I thought so. Burke tries to avoid the entire messy conversation by offering everyone dessert.
Back at Meredith's, she's brushing her teeth while McDreamy unmakes the bed. Meredith is talking about Cristina and Burke's ongoing competition to be the worst mate in the world. Derek is still freaking out about the Chief offering the job to someone who isn't him. At one point, Meredith wanders across the bedroom asking, "How can two people be in a relationship and not talk?" Well, it's pretty much the same way two people can be in a relationship and not listen.