So this week, a miracle occurs. Someone finally realizes that the staff of Seattle Grace Mercy West is one of the most insensitive groups of people ever assembled, and that person is Bailey. She throws together a sensitivity course knowing that a patient who needs it is on his way in, and manages to get a few quick pointers in before the guy, Bobby, is brought to the hospital -- all 700 or so pounds of him. Avery and Cristina are quickly dismissed for their comments and so go to work with Teddy instead. They wind up with a patient who is in the midst of a heart attack, and have to rush her to surgery leaving her 9-year-old daughter with no one since they were just visiting Seattle. Teddy has Cristina stay with her, and she spends the better part of the day cranky and praying for someone to take the girl off of her hands. However, when the mom takes a turn for the worse and is rushed to surgery, Cristina sees how terrified the girl is and decides to stay with her. She winds up being rather awesome and when she realizes the girl's mom has died in surgery, she talks the girl through what she might feel and how she can get through it, based on Cristina's own experience of her dad dying when she was the same age. Afterward, however, she finally loses it because the whole thing ripped open all of her own emotional scars, and she winds up sobbing into Owen's shoulder because she misses her dad.
Owen's rather nervous when he finds out she's upset, because he thinks she knows about his trying to have Derek not hire Teddy back. See, Derek told Meredith, who gave Owen such a stink eye that he realized Derek told her, and he's now terrified she's going to tell Cristina. Owen yells at Derek for spilling something he thought was confidential to his wife, and Derek in turn yells at Meredith for not keeping it to herself. (She argues that she didn't say anything to Owen, but finally someone points out that giving someone a Death Stare isn't in fact the subtle unnoticeable gesture everyone there seems to think it is.) Derek's not in the mood to deal with wife or staff problems since he's had a wrongful death suit filed against him and the hospital by the husband whose wife died a few episodes back -- the one whose plug they pulled based on the paperwork she had signed three years earlier. His lawyer has told him to be as impersonal as possible when giving his testimony but Derek is seeensitive with all his upstanding feeeeelings and so he has a hard time doing so when face to face with the weeping husband. Ultimately he gets the job done, but clearly it takes a toll for him not to be able to really stand up for himself and to get the husband to understand him and what a good guy he really is. Back to Owen -- when Mere finds him and tells him that Cristina has asked for him, all upset, he clearly thinks he's walking in to have a showdown about Teddy. However, it turns out that he's really just there because she just needs her boyfriend, at least for now. (Because while Derek ordered Mere to not say a word about anything, I doubt she's really going to be able to stick to that for long.)
Nearly all of the remaining docs are on Bobby's case, and they are all stunned to realize that he has a cute, petite wife who adores him. She catches them all making fun of him at lunchtime and then gives Alex a huge talking-to later when he tries to apologize. Bobby doesn't want to have the surgery he needs because he's got a child on the way and he'd rather die before the kid arrives so that they don't have to grow up to be ashamed of their dad. But once his wife yells at Alex, Alex in turn goes in and talks to Bobby to point out how selfish he is to want to die when he has a wife who loves him so much. Bobby agrees to the surgery and ultimately survives, and Alex celebrates by signing his divorce papers and then making out with Lexie in public in what appears to be the first step to them actually becoming a proper couple.
It's kind of the opposite of what happens to Callie. She's got a really hot patient who spends the day hitting on her and finally writes her phone number on Callie's hand in permanent marker. Callie goes home and shows it to Arizona, who has been happily planning a vacation, and admits that while she's not going to call she can't help but wonder if that girl wants a baby. The two realize that while they love each other they can't stay together when they each want something so different, and they pretty much agree to break up.
"The skin is the largest organ in the body. It protects us, holds us together, literally lets us know what we are feeling." After Mere ushers us into this week's theme -- do you think it will be about having thick skin and all sorts of different feelings? I have no idea, it's all so subtle. Bailey is teaching some sort of class to a very bored group of doctors. Hey! Charles and Reed are still doctors in this hospital. Who knew? No one watching the last few episodes, that's for sure. No one knows why they are there so Bailey explains, rather distracted, that Chief Shepherd thought they could use some brushing up on their patient sensitivity skills and this morning just so happened to be a good time. "Besides, half of you were raised by wolves," she adds, not understating the lack of manners generally displayed at Seattle Grace Mercy West. She tells them to keep their faces impassive no matter a patient's appearance or results and to not make jokes either in front of the patient or in private. Cristina, of course, tries to make a joke and Bailey is decidedly not amused.
Derek and Richard, meanwhile, are discussing an incoming and seemingly difficult patient in really vague terms, all the better to shock us when said patient arrives. They refer to his possibly not being able to fit in a regular elevator but Richard just tells Derek that they will have to figure it out as they go as the patient is five minutes away. Derek doesn't respond, though -- he's distracted by Gary Clark glowering at him as he walks through the hospital, and everything goes slow-mo as Mere continues her VO: "The skin can be soft and vulnerable, highly sensitive, easy to break." Richard recognizes him and Derek mumbles that he's filed a wrongful death suit against the hospital and Derek's deposition is that day. A woman comes up who Derek assumes is a drug rep and he tries to brush her off, but it turns out she is his attorney, Lauren. Hey, I like this woman already! Richard tells Derek he'll handle the mystery patient who might not fit in an elevator.
Bailey tells the class about the importance of observation and listening to a patient. No one is taking it at all seriously, and there's a whole lot of mocking and joking as Bailey then goes through the importance of communication. She's clearly rushing through everything and gets a little bit frantic, so Reed asks her what's up -- today is the day that people actually notice these kinds of things which in the past are sometimes treated like they are incredibly subtle movements that only we the viewing audience are savvy enough to pick up on. Bailey admits as if it's totally unrelated that there just happens to be a patient who could use some extra sensitivity arriving in a few moments. She then reminds them again of "Reaction, Observation and Communication," adding that if they use these three things they will "ROC" their patient's world, and then runs out with the others filing out behind her.