So what Mere, Bailey and Cristina forgot to take into consideration with Richard's surgery is that Catherine would come blowing into the hospital like a screaming tornado, hollering at Bailey to put down the scalpel. She gets in some very low blows about how Bailey is just trying to ease her own guilt about what she said to Richard by operating on him when it's too risky. Owen and Bailey do ultimately decide to close up, but when Bailey talks to Mere, Mere asks her what she feels in her gut, since Bailey taught them all to go with their instincts. Bailey is sure something is in there that is making him sick, so Mere sets up another surgery. This time, Bailey and Owen find the problem, cut it all out and while he's still unstable, Richard is in much better shape. Catherine (who was somewhat calmed down by Jackson) is still making a huge fuss but while she, Bailey and Meredith are arguing at Richard's bedside he finally opens one eye and we realize that he correctly picked who would be his girlfriend and who would be his family and make his medical decisions. And thank goodness, because I was going to have to boycott if they killed him off.
Owen and Cristina -- still full of all their Feelings -- decide they need better Last Time Together sex than what they had a few days prior so they do it in the on-call room. Then later, they decide to do it again for good measure. But after that time, Cristina admits that she thinks they can't be friends since this will just keep happening. Then she completely breaks down in his arms, saying that while this was her choice, it's still ridiculously hard for her. Basically, it's totally heartbreaking. Less heartbreaking and more infuriating is April -- she moons around after Jackson until finally he reminds her that she didn't want him when he wanted her, and that she's wishy-washy and just agreed to marry someone else and needs to actually grow up and make mature decisions. She decides that means she really does want to marry Matthew (who realized Jackson was The Other One and is really not happy about it) and she manages to convince Matthew that this time, she really, truly means it.
Heather, sadly, doesn't survive her surgery, and the interns are all horrified and sad. Derek leaves them to take Zola back to the house and tells them that if Heather's mom arrives before he returns, they are to tell her fun Heather stories until he can return and give her the bad news. We learn that these kids really are as awful as they seem when they can't come up with a single nice thing to say about their colleague. Fortunately, they eventually use the time waiting to try and learn some things about each other and when Heather's mom shows up, they use each other's stories (and one that Mere told about George) to fake that they were friends with Heather until Derek shows back up. Smash hasn't been able to bring himself to utter a word because of all of his guilt, but when he sees injured firefighters going back to the mudslide to help more victims he decides to go along and help. The others think he's crazy until Stephanie points out that they are all each other's People now, so eventually they all go. Presumably, they start to become actual human beings who care about other people from here on out, but I'll believe that when I see it.
Callie decides to move out of the apartment with Sofia, so Mere offers her some room on the McMansion couch for the time being. Arizona has an absolute meltdown when she realizes Callie is gone and this eventually turns into a drunk, screaming fight at the house while Derek plays with the little girls outside to avoid the noise. Later, at the hospital, Callie apologizes for things she said but tells Arizona she's staying there for the time being and they will each take two nights with Sofia until they figure out what the plan will be long-term. Arizona can't seem to believe that this is really happening, and later shows up at the house in tears, asking for just five minutes with her daughter. Callie doesn't want to allow it but Cristina (who is there helping out) finally convinces her to allow it. These guys could teach the interns a thing or ten about actual feelings for others and what it means to be good people going through actual heartbreak.
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The next episode blends right into the first, but Richard's brand-new voiceover gives away the break and this hour he tells us that waiting can kill you. A nod to Bailey's opinion about his needing surgery, perhaps? He then adds that the only thing you're sure of during the wait is that your decision was wrong. Bailey and Owen keep exchanging glances over Richard's body as if trying to reassure each other that they are doing the right thing. In another OR, Derek is still trying to save Heather.
Meredith is still completely confused and annoyed and rants to Cristina and Alex that she's told Richard for years that he's not her father, and she knows he still feels guilty that he broke up her parents' marriage. By the way, knowing what we do now about Thatcher and Ellis, can we admit that that marriage probably wasn't going to make it even if Richard hadn't come into the picture? There are some tension-busting jokes about Richard maybe really being her father, but when Alex leaves Mere's phone rings and Cristina answers and gets updates on both Richard and Heather. Judging by her face, neither is good.
And as if the situation weren't tense and complicated enough, Catherine arrives at the hospital. Jackson gives her an update on Richard and as she glances at his test results, she yelps, appalled at them bringing him back into surgery, and she storms off.
Heather, meanwhile, is getting ready for the Veronica Mars movie so she flatlines on her Grey's Anatomy table. Derek begins doing compressions.
As Bailey and Owen begin to despair that they can't find anything wrong in Richard's torso, Catherine stomps into the gallery, smacks her fist into the PA button, and demands to know what they are doing. Really helpfully, she continues to scream at them from above and completely blows off Bailey's answer when she points out that she wants to find what is wrong before it kills him. Unfortunately, his vitals plummet and alarms start to blare. As Catherine very dramatically pulls The Graduate against the window above, Smash runs in to tell Owen that Heather is crashing. The two guys run off, but in Heather's OR, things are bleak and Smash begins to panic.
Jackson then walks up as Smash runs out and asks how it is going; in response, Smash tries to sprint away from his smothering guilt. Jackson watches him go and then turns to Owen as he walks out, and Owen's face says it all -- she had another job and couldn't stay on this show.