So even though Alex knows that James Remar is his dad, he doesn't want to actually talk to him or re-introduce himself. Princess is James' doctor and when James expresses one bit of regret for letting down everyone in his life she becomes adamant that Alex have a heart-to-heart with the guy. Alex has zero interest in this, but Princess is making it all about herself since she never had a father, and she's imaging some big, beautiful, transformative reunion, I guess. She winds up going above and beyond trying to get him into rehab, despite the fact that he can't afford it and also isn't super interested. James also finds it kind of weird that she's so invested, but he just chalks it up to her being young and overeager because who could guess the reality of the situation? She does eventually score James 28 days in a facility, and when he tries to bolt she talks him into staying and going to rehab because she's just that good. Alex winds up in an elevator with him and keeps shooting him sideways glances like he's finally considering talking to him, but ultimately keeps his mouth shut for now.
Mere and Derek are finally going back to work, though Mere is adamant about being home on time so that she can have a princess tea party with Zola. Cristina has a heart/liver transplant scheduled for a patient Mere worked with before her maternity leave, and Mere talks Cristina into dumping Bailey and letting her do the liver portion of the surgery. At the same time, Derek is doing some fancy brain surgery for a bunch of fancy visiting neurosurgeons so he's in the OR all day out of contact. Zola ends up bumping her head in daycare and needing a couple of stitches, Mere rushes to be with her since Derek is tied up, and since she is gone when Cristina needs to start the surgery (and also had been too busy with various family matters to do all of the prep Cristina had requested, Cristina re-hires Bailey to do it. Afterward the two of them get in a big fight when Mere says she's just as good a surgeon as Cristina, but Cristina counters that she's not because she chose to slow down so that she could focus on her family. She is quick to point out that she totally supports that choice, but that it has put them in different places now. This then leads to Mere yelling at Derek later for not answering his phone, and sets us up for a whole lot of angst on her part as she potentially tries to be everything to everyone to prove Cristina wrong.
Mere and Derek are also in for quite a change, because Callie finally moves out. She and Owen (who is apparently dating Emma now, though we don't see her this week) have a patient who, they discover, needs a kidney. The patient's sister is there and it turns out she was a donor baby, born because her older sister was diagnosed with cancer as a small child. Her sister eventually went into remission and became a daredevil so the poor girl has given marrow, part of her liver, a number of other bits and pieces, and pretty much her life in general and hasn't ever been able to do anything for herself. Callie coaches her that she can learn to say no, and she seems to give the girl an epiphany, though later she does offer to donate her kidney after all. But Callie takes her own advice to heart and tells Arizona she wants the apartment back. That night, after putting Sofia to bed, she sees her iPhone and decides it's time to finally dance in her underwear again, and it's awesome. Arizona, for her part, finds Leah being super nice to her and fears that they might have Done Something the night of the gala. Eventually, she just learns that Leah went to check on her since she was so drunk, and then took her inside and made grilled cheese sandwiches and they had a nice time hanging out and watching surgery videos… which Arizona doesn't remember at all. But Leah offers that Arizona can move in with her, and maybe also is kind of flirting? That part is a little unclear, as is if Arizona actually moves in or not.
Catherine has come back to town to check on Richard, and finds that he's not recovering as quickly as she would like. The reason for this is basically that Bailey won't be stern enough, and all of the interns are too scared of him to really treat him like a regular patient. She tells Richard she wants to take him home with her, presumably so that he will get better care. Eventually, when Leah comes in with some so-so test results, Richard orders her to examine him like a regular patient, and then coaches her through what she needs to do to treat him. He tells Catherine that he's going to stay and that the interns will learn from this and will take good care of him.
Jackson has decided to finally introduce Stephanie to his mom while she's in town this time, and Stephanie picks out a special blouse and everything so that she'll make a good impression. Unfortunately she's not really in said blouse when Catherine walks in on them getting busy in the on-call room. She immediately writes Steph off as a gold digger, and Jackson won't really stand up to his mom because, he insists, if he tries to argue about how great Stephanie is it will only turn his mom off more. It's hard to imagine that, though, because she loathes Stephanie and things only get worse when Stephanie needs a urology consult and Catherine just so happens to be the only urologist in the vicinity of the hospital. But that night at Joe's, Stephanie sees Catherine sitting alone and goes over to give a speech about how much she likes Jackson and respects Catherine, etc., and that finally seems to win Mom over… at least for the night.
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Four days into being back at work, Mere and Derek can barely peel themselves out of bed in the morning, but they still have Callie there helping out and making coffee, and they figure that is the only way that they are surviving. Once they are up, the three of them work together to get the kids up, fed, and ready to go, and Mere VO's that being a surgeon is a commitment, because it requires the most focus and dedication of any specialty… except, possibly, for being a mom. Mere tells Zola that she will pick her up from work and then they are going to have a princess tea party and as Derek gets her out the door and kisses Mere, she stops to congratulate all of them at being very good at this routine. Callie calls after Mere and then hands her the breast pump that she forgot and as she takes it, Mere kisses Callie too. Both pause, a little confused about what just transpired, and Callie admits they might actually be TOO good at playing house like this.
It's very convenient that James Remar's character name is also James, though he tells Princess flirtatiously that she should call him Jimmy, and lop a few years off of his age to put him back in his 40's. Cristina tells him he's going to do a treadmill test so they can see how his new valve is holding up, but just then she gets a page that there might be an organ available for one of her transplant patients. Princess is put in charge of the test.
It seems that no one but she and Alex know James' secret identity, James included. Princess insists on calling him, "your dad" but Alex tells her to cut it out and adds that he took his mom's last name specifically so he'd have no connection to James whatsoever. Princess does not want to let it go, though, and whines that Alex should re-introduce himself because, after all, he changed, so maybe his dad did too. I'm not sure this is the best idea and neither does Alex, who pointed out that the last time he saw his father he was punching him so hard he could have killed him, and he's worried that he could easily wind up picking up where he left off so many years ago.
Mere hears about Cristina's heart/liver transplant and excitedly reminds her that the patient, Samantha, was Mere's patient before she went on leave and Mere was the one who diagnosed what sounds like a rare liver condition. Cristina is surprised to hear that Mere wants in on the transplant, while Mere gets extremely touchy that Cristina didn't think of her immediately. Cristina thought Mere would want to ease back into surgery but Mere insists that she's someone who jumps in the deep end, so Cristina starts to consider the idea. She asks Mere if she read a particular article on simultaneous heart/liver transplants blah medicalese fancy procedure blah, but Mere didn't and asks if it is different from a regular old heart/liver transplant. Cristina just gives her a look and Mere immediately agrees to read it. Bailey then walks up, all excited because Cristina had paged her to do the liver portion of the surgery, but Cristina tells her she doesn't need her any more. Bailey is thoroughly miffed at Mere for stealing the surgery, but Mere just sing-songs that she named her son after Bailey, so Bailey can't be mad at her. Bailey did not get that memo, and just charges that Lil' B, "drinks the milk of a liver thief!"