Owen and Cristina have finally made their way back to therapy, but so far things aren't looking good. For Owen, everything about their problems comes back to the abortion, and he's convinced that Cristina can't truly not ever want a child. Cristina thinks he's being completely unfair and unsupportive, especially for throwing the abortion back in her face all the time after holding her hand during the procedure. The bottom line is, each of them wants the other one to step up and be their "person" but neither seems ready to actually do that for the other. It probably has to start with each of them admitting that both of them are responsible for the collapse of their relationship, but each of them seems to think that what they are going through is entirely the other person's fault.
So, that depressing horror out of the way, we go back to the hospital for the medical goodies of the week. Derek's sister Amy is back for another Grey's Anatomy/Private Practice Crossover Event (I feel like with all of the promotion ABC has been doing, you have to do jazz hands or some other extra celebration when saying that to really get the excitement across...) to try and convince him to work on an impossible tumor, but he refuses. Amy manages to get Lexie to try and persuade him to take the case but he still refuses. She finally calls him on making this personal because he's dealing with his sister, because this is exactly the kind of impossible case he's been trying to do more of lately and he'd be all over this if Amy wasn't the one asking. He admits he thinks that Amy is too fragile to handle a complicated case like this (she's fresh out of rehab) but eventually he agrees to at least hear her out. Amy convinces him that she can handle it and so the two of them start practicing the procedure together. They finally get a test run to go flawlessly, so Derek agrees to try the actual surgery. We don't know how it turns out yet since they are going to do the surgery during Private Practice for the second part of the Crossover Event. [jazz hands!]
Minus Cristina, the residents are all in crazy studying mode for the Boards, and while some of them have study buddies, Alex has a study lackey: he's gotten one of his interns to write flashcards and follow him around, quizzing him while he works. Her name is Morgan, though he seems to have a mental block that keeps him from remembering that. She starts quizzing him with a list of particular symptoms which turn out to be her own and then passes out spectacularly in the OR. Alex is stunned to learn she's 24 weeks pregnant while Morgan is stunned to learn that she just had a heart attack. She's rushed into surgery and Arizona has to deliver the baby; she tasks Alex with calling Morgan's boyfriend at the Cleveland Clinic and letting him know what is happening. Once Alex finds out that he was the only person in the whole hospital who didn't know 1) Morgan's name, and 2) that she was pregnant, he realizes he's a self-centered ass (...again) and starts to beat himself up (...again). Arizona gives him a pep talk that he's just hardcore like all good pediatric surgeons and like she herself was at his age, but warns him that even when he's being hardcore, he'd better start learning his interns' names.
Jackson and Mark's patient is a woman who used to be Bailey's patient and who had a miraculous cancer recovery under Bailey's care and general surgical awesomeness a few years earlier. She needs another surgery to remove lymph nodes in her arms which have swollen so much she cannot use them, but it's a surgery that she'd asked Bailey about months earlier and which Bailey said was too risky. The woman secretly approaches Jackson and Mark about it and they are willing to do the procedure but when Bailey finds out, she flips her lid. Mark and Jackson finally manage to convince her they might be able to do it, and the woman herself manages to convince her that it's a risk she is willing to take. Once they start the surgery, though, Bailey comes in to hover over the guys and nags and questions every single move they make. Mark finally tells Jackson that he can't ever let himself be distracted because that can endanger his patient, and Jackson realizes he has to order Bailey out of the OR. She takes the suggestion about as badly as you can imagine, and looks to Mark to back her up, but he sticks up for his guy and they force Bailey to leave. The surgery is a success, and Bailey actually seeks out Mark afterward to admit that she was wrong. They have a conversation about how when a surgeon gets older and more experienced, they tend to stop taking such crazy risks, but the residents are around to keep them on their toes and thinking bigger.
And speaking of toes and thinking bigger, Meredith assists Callie with an absolutely stomach-turning case helping out a guy who got his arm stuck in a meat grinder. Richard had suggested to Callie that she might help Mere study for her Boards and pass on her super secret amazing study method. Callie thinks Meredith has to earn it, so she presses her to make every decision when it comes to helping out Ground Round in the hopes that they might be able to keep him with a functioning hand. Meredith gets a little frustrated at first but under pressure is able to come up with a lot of good ideas which culminate in her wanting to use one of the guy's toes to replace the thumb that was too mangled to be saved. The idea is just crazy enough to work, and Mere earns the right to start meeting with Callie every morning at 4 AM to be worked to the bone to get her ready to ace her Boards.
-- Lauren S
Previously: Hey, kids! Last time we met, Callie was dying on an operating table and singing all her troubles away. In the interim, Shonda had a whole lot of big ideas about motherhood spread across her two shows, didn't she? Speaking of which, on a show nobody you know watches, Derek Shepherd's little sister got addicted to Oxycontin and then rehabbed herself up and has now been tasked with saving my beloved Rayanne Graff from something brain-tumorish. Also I guess Cristina and Owen broke up because she had an abortion?
Currently: Cristina and Owen are in marriage counseling, which we all know is a big waste of time, because relationships are repaired through either shared surgical time or sometimes near-death experiences. We don't see the doctor to whom they're pouring out their shared resentments, which gives me at least a little leeway to imagine that it's Amy Madigan as the hospital shrink, because really: it should always be Amy Madigan. After some explanation about their parallel cases of PTSD (which becomes a weird competition over who had it worse), talk soon zeroes in on the abortion. Or, as Owen puts it, "you murdered the child that I wanted." Cristina more than sensibly points out that he sat there and held her hand while she did it and he had told her he was okay with her choice. She, meanwhile, wasn't too wild about him screaming "You murdered our baby" in front of all of their friends. Disagreements! Then the Meredith Voice-Over kicks in with thoughts about seeking professional help. I've discussed my policy with Meredith VO before, but just to re-iterate: unless she's telling us something important (she never is), I'm just going to ignore it.
At Seattle Grace, Amelia Shepherd is trying to convince her brother Derek to find a way to operate on Rayanne's brain tumor. They're staring at X-rays and he's adamant that there's nothing he can do. Lexie's there too, and looking totes uncomfortable, particularly when Amelia recruits her as her backup. But Derek is digging his heels in, even after Amelia sticks a photos of Rayanne's son Mason and talks about her pal Cooper back in L.A. who's going to have to tell Mason that his mom is dead if they don't fix her. Derek seems legitimately angry at Amelia, because it wouldn't be a Derek Shepherd scene if he wasn't being an asshole for no reason, and he makes a gratuitous reference to her being just out of rehab, and he finally tells her to go back to L.A. and get over her dying patient.
The residents gather by the whiteboard as Kepner fills out surgical assignments, and they get to talking about the upcoming Boards. Kepner and Avery are "study buddies," and Mere laments that her own study buddy is in counseling trying to save her marriage. Alex, true to form, has wrangled his Ellen Page-looking intern to quiz him during the day. Meredith brusquely shrugs off Kepner's offer of study help, insisting that she's an excellent surgeon and doesn't need to prove herself to anybody. Chief Webber overhears this and Looks Concerned.