Hunt and Arizona approach Alex outside Beth's room and compliment him for his catch. Hunt tells him the Chief is definitely going to hear about it, and Arizona tells him that it was very impressive for a resident and that if he fixes his attitude, "You could be the future of this hospital. The one to watch."
While he managed to keep cool when they told him, Alex then runs to find Izzie, completely jubilant, and tells her about the compliments. He reminds her, "I don't rise, okay? I sink to the bottom. And now I'm getting all this respect." It's both fantastic and completely heartbreaking at the same time, because it really feels like this is the first genuine encouragement he's ever received, and that's all he really needed to become a great person. He then tells Izzie that she needs to stop wasting her time with Patient X and get back to being a doctor, but it's with the best of intentions -- he asserts that if they see her as weak then it will be over. He thinks she could be great and he wants her to realize her potential because he doesn't want to be the future of this hospital if she's not there with him. CLUNK. Oh, I'm sorry, I nearly got hit again. As he walks away she calls after him, but instead of confessing that she's mortally ill, she just kisses him before he leaves and her smile then fades.
Bailey and Richard are still in the conference room, and he tells her he can't believe she called his wife. She points out that since he stopped speaking to her, she had no other option. She then challenges him, asking if he'd be as pissed if he left general surgery for neuro or cardio? He doesn't follow so she asks if he thinks peds is a "soft" specialty. He brushes it off, but she points out that when she did things like have a baby, take any time off to spend with her baby, or worked with babies, he got angry. Her opinion, which he doesn't want to hear, is that he is afraid that he himself has gone soft and that's responsible for the decline of the hospital. He's totally exasperated but she goes on and informs him that this attitude isn't doing any good and maybe he needs to try being soft, and to get in touch with his feminine side. I don't get her reasoning at all -- he's afraid he's soft, so try being soft? But while that makes no sense I agree that he needs to change his attitude and just fix things. He seems to take it but he maintains that Bailey shouldn't have ratted him out to Adele, and she admits she's sorry. Amazingly, he does too.