The Mercy West doctors have arrived, and they are all sporting orange scrubs to make for extra-easy identification. The Seattle Grace residents are all freaked out and acting even more spazzy trying to save their jobs, while the Mercy West docs either smile and act nice before undercutting the others or are just straight-up bitches. One could argue that ultimately everyone is just nervous and it's manifesting in different ways, but on the other hand they say this is how it was done at the other hospital all the time, so it will be interesting to see how it plays out after this initial shock.
For now, though, everyone winds up conveniently paired up so that we can get to know the doctors while they fight away the hour. Alex winds up with a woman who is just about as underhanded as he is. They spend the time acting immature and arguing in front of their patient, until finally his daughter has to yell at them for being unprofessional assholes that don't really care about him so much as about getting each other. They agree to work together, but it only lasts for about a second and I'm certain this rivalry isn't over. Lexie and one of the female Mercy docs are working with Shepherd on a guy whose back was broken by the man whose house he was robbing. Lexie gets totally schooled by her counterpart so the thief steals the girl's notebook so that Lexie can get info and use it against her. Lexie does, but then clearly feels like a heel when she really hurts the girl, and while she maintains that she doesn't like her, she does at least apologize for what she did.
The attendings seem to be able to stay above the fray for the most part, which is good for Callie because she has her hands full with her dad, who has come to town with the family priest to try and "pray away the gay," as Callie puts it. Arizona convinces her to talk to her dad, arguing that he's allowed to be surprised and have a hard time with her new orientation, but when Callie tries it he loses his cool completely (and even the priest tries to remind him that this is not at all the approach they planned to take). Because Callie is awesome she can match him on his religious arguments, but it does nothing to solve anything. Arizona finally goes and speaks to him herself, and after awesomely telling him about her own upbringing and family, he seems to realize that Callie is still the same daughter he knew before, and they manage to make up.
Mere spends the day in her hospital bed, as she's recovering from her liver surgery, and she is just begging for any gossip from the others about what is going on. Cristina is working in the ER and after being rubbed the wrong way by her own Mercy counterpart, steals an incoming patient from him and saves the guy's life -- his manhood was nearly cut off by his best friend for dating the friend's daughter. When the daughter arrives later, the friend tries to attack him with a hammer and the Mercy doc tackles him impressively. He gets all of the credit from the patient himself for saving his life, which rankles Cristina, but the last straw is that while she is eating lunch, the doc found something else wrong and is chosen by Hunt to help with the surgery. Cristina runs to Meredith's room where she melts down and cries about how she hasn't worked on a heart in forever and has been reduced to fighting for surgeries she doesn't even want. She's inconsolable as she admits that all of the joy is gone from her job and she has no idea what she is fighting for at all anymore. She spends the rest of the day curled up with Meredith, watching movies.
Izzie, meanwhile, seems to get along with her own Mercy doctor. After some initial sparring she decides he's not so bad and that they will be friends, but later she overhears him telling his Mercy friends about how she's his "surgical bitch," doing everything for him. He tries to talk to her to apologize while she is in with their patient, a woman about to have a much-needed kidney transplant, but she shoos him away and then angrily gives some instructions to the nurse. Unfortunately, when the patient goes into cardiac arrest, it turns out to be all her fault because she was so angry that she didn't realize she gave totally the wrong instructions and caused the woman to nearly die. After Bailey yells at her (and then goes off to find the woman a kidney in the remaining 72 hours she has before going into renal failure -- to be continued on Private Practice) Izzie gets called into the Chief's office. She walks in to find him and the HR lady, and realizes that she's getting fired. The Chief was warned to stick to a script on account of fallout from the firing emails of last week, but he tells her that both Derek and Hunt expressed doubts about her and says even Alex said something. Unfortunately for Alex, what he actually did was beg the Chief not to fire her, but she doesn't know that. HR shuts Richard up but the damage is done. Meredith and Cristina are still watching movies when Alex shuffles in with a note from his wife in his hand, on the verge of a breakdown because Izzie has left him and he has no idea if she's ever coming back. Oh, a girl can (and will) dream!!
Cristina is sipping a coffee, radiating displeasure as she watches workers put up a new sign for Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital. That's a mouthful. Mere starts us up: "When you get sick, it starts out with a single bacteria. One lone, nasty intruder." Fortunately the nasty intruders are really easy to recognize in orange scrubs, and one guy knocks into Cristina as he runs past. "Pretty soon, the intruder duplicates." Alex gets in the elevator and that same guy jumps in at the last minute, with a second orange-clad doctor. "Becomes two. Then those two become four, and those four become eight."
Meredith watches four of them walk past her room, and one tiny girl with short dark hair gives her a slightly sneering once-over. Now come on, how would she know yet that Meredith is also a doctor? And if she doesn't know that, is she starting out by sneering at the patients in judgment? That doesn't seem like a good idea.
Izzie is glaring at all of the orange docs picking out lockers while she gets ready. Mere: "Then, before your body knows it, it's under attack." The sneering girl puts her stuff in George's empty locker and Izzie tells her not to, because they keep it empty for a reason, and asks her to move. What's about to happen might possibly have been avoided if she explained why they do it, but she doesn't, so Sneery won't do it. Her friend, Hannah from Everwood/Kitty from Mad Men, smirks as she watches the confrontation. Izzie gets pissed and orders her to take it out, prompting Sneery to gripe, "Great, I got the crazy one next to me." She's clearly trying to rile up Izzie but Iz totally bites, and starts trying to fight with her. Alex comes in at that moment and holds her back. Look, I hate Izzie as much as anyone but I do find it a little presumptive that these guys are already acting like they own the place.
"It's an invasion. The question for a doctor is, what if the invaders have landed? Once they've taken over your body..." Izzie, Alex, Cristina and Lexie all lean on the second story railing and look down at a sea of orange below. Izzie tells them that one of them took George's cubby, and Alex rubs her back while they all gaze down. Mere finishes up, "...how the hell do you get rid of them?" We fade to a flash of orange before the usual white. Fancy!
The remaining Seattle Grace residents are all gathered in Mere's room, and while Cristina checks on Meredith's surgery site, Lexie peeks through the blinds at everyone outside. Graciella, Ryan and Steve (fine, I'll go back to his name because Stinky does seem mean if he's going to be sticking around, though it's so nice and easy to remember!) seem to be the other members of Lexie's class that survived the original massacre. Meredith calls the newbies locusts feeding on their surgeries and I have to agree with Izzie when she then gripes that they might have acted like guests for at least a couple of days first. Lexie asks about the orange scrubs, and Mere tells her it makes it all the easier to pick out the new docs, plus it's a kind of aggressive color to make everyone even more on edge. Okay fine, what she really said is that the hospital ran out of the blue ones but they'll be in next week. Cristina is ominously silent as everyone continues to complain -- Ryan suggests that they can just give them their own blue scrubs when they are replaced. Steve chimes in that he doesn't want to be a coroner. Mere tries to keep order and everyone's spirits up, but when she looks to Cristina to back her up Cristina demands to know why bother, "They're here, it's over." Mere maintains that they aren't hosts, and the newcomers can't invade, attach themselves to their faces, and then burst out of their stomachs and slither away while the Seattle Grace docs eat spaghetti. "This is our ship!" Lexie incredulously asks if she's quoting a Sigourney Weaver movie. Hey now! 1. Don't sound so disdainful, that's an awesome movie. 2. Did they not get the rights to say Alien? Mere tries to keep up her motivating speech, but Steve just moans again that he doesn't want to be a coroner. Meredith rolls her eyes, and orders everyone out to go get surgeries before the others do, and then come back with a full report. Cristina stays behind and when Mere asks what's up Cristina argues that she doesn't know what she's fighting for. Mere yells at her that she's fighting for surgeries, and that when a "cardio god" comes to work at the hospital one day she doesn't want to be out of practice. Cristina just clenches her jaw and remains sitting in her fury.