Norm is recovering, and Alex comes in and apologizes for not listening to him or answering a page. Norm answers by telling him about how he chose to go into surgery when he was nearing 60 and queasy at the sight of blood. He'd originally planned on psych because he likes to talk, and ALex agrees, smiling. But Norm had a voice in his head telling him to go into surgery, "as if my Mary Beth was whispering in my ear." Of course his wife's name was Mary Beth. Because he's not actually 60; his mannerisms show that he is from another century entirely, time-warped into 2007 for our amusement. He concludes that in hindsight, "I think I was about to have a massive stroke, and my Mary Beth wanted me to be surrounded by world-class surgeons when it happened." Alex asks him what he's going to do now, and as if it's a crazy question Norm replies he's going into psych, because the surgeons, "You're all just a bunch of little children running around in your scalpels and your severed feet and your inappropriate sex in inappropriate places. You all need a good shrink!" Alex has the good grace to nod as he laughs; he knows it's true. Bye, Norm. I will definitely miss you and your comic old-timey ways.
Mere is working on Ryan's chart after surgery, and tenderly greets him when he wakes up. Ryan skips all greetings and instead tells Meredith that he had a goldfish and that when it died, he flushed it down the toilet and back to sea. She's amused and not sure where he's going withthis, but he calls her closer and whispers to her, "Back to the sea is better than your cubby," and nods at her knowingly. I just hope she doesn't take this too literally and send her mother down the toilet -- just imagine how disturbing her dreams would become after that.
Richard's hanging out in the lobby, and when Derek asks if he's okay, he admits he can't take the hotel any longer. Derek slumps into the chair next to him, so Richard asks what's up and he admits, "I have to start dating." How this came about from just telling Meredith he'd wait for her unless someone showed up in his life, I'm not entirely sure. But then again, I'm also not entirely opposed to it, especially if it makes her hustle towards fixing herself up to be able to be happy with him.
The end of the ep is near, for Meredith's VO announces, "It isn't just surgeons. The truth is, I don't know anyone who's not haunted by something. Or someone." Alex busts back into the now-empty on-call room and finds only Ava's shirt. He picks it up, buries his face in it, and inhales deeply. Yeah, yeah, it's sweet and all, but I cannot stop wondering just what she wore to leave the hospital if she decided to leave the only shirt she was wearing on the bed. Meredith continues, "And whether we try to slice the pain away with a scalpel or shove it in the back of a closet, our efforts usually fail."