It's a lot of little things this week, with no major developments. McDreamy's sister pays an unexpected visit, temporarily leading Meredith to think Derek has another woman in his life. However, even after that mistake is cleared up, McSister's presence complicates things. It seems she loves McSteamy and Addison, and really dislikes Meredith. By the end of the episode, she helps McDreamy realize that he needs to take some time off from women, and he tells Meredith that he needs time and space to clear his head before they can get together.
It's Izzie's first day back at the hospital, and she's not allowed to do anything except follow Meredith around and observe. But she just can't keep from butting in when she realizes that a potential lawyer who burned her hand days before the bar exam actually burned herself on purpose to avoid the exam. It's Izzie's personal experience with failure that helps her convince the self-burner to let herself be admitted for psychiatric evaluation.
George is on the OB/GYN rotation and gets to help Addison take care of a pregnant woman who has two uteruses, each one of which contains a fetus. It turns out that the babies were conceived at different time by different men, leading to some consternation on the part of the mother's fiancÃ©. Alex, who is now doing scutwork for McSteamy, becomes engrossed in the case and ends up stepping into the surgery in which Addison delivers one of the two babies (leaving the other in its uterus). McSteamy is an utter ass, and tells Alex to abandon any hopes of a career in plastic surgery. And the fiancÃ©'s willingness to commit to his babies and their mama convinces George that it's time to commit to Callie. Unfortunately, she's pretty sure she'd rather have George stop chasing her.
Finally, Cristina continues to cover for Burke, even scheduling him to perform an incredibly rare heart surgery, despite the fact that he's not really up for it. Bailey schedules herself to assist in the procedure, but Cristina is too worried that a resident would notice Burke's problem, so she erases Bailey's name from the board. Unfortunately, this just feeds Bailey's own fears that other doctors are doubting her competence after the Denny fiasco. This leads her to pay a little more attention to what's happening with the board, and she ends up realizing that something is going on with Cristina and Burke.
Previously, on Grey's Anatomy, Callie broke up with George and his fun, fun video games, Meredith broke up with Finn and chose McDreamy, Bailey got raked over the coals at the M&M, and Cristina was secretly helping Burke cover up his shakes.
We open on disgusting surgery footage. Cristina is assisting Burke, and there's blood everywhere. Meredith's VO tells us that being a surgeon requires major commitment. Burke gets a hand cramp and Cristina dives right in, grabbing the small saw he was about to use to cut the patient up. Mere VO: "We have to be willing to pick up that scalpel and make a cut that may, or may not, do more damage than good. It's all about being committed. Because if we're not, we have no business picking up that scalpel in the first place."
The surgery is finished, and Cristina is overseeing a nurse who's filling in slots on the surgery board. Cristina has clearly taken complete control over Burke's surgical schedule, giving instructions on which O.R. he should be in, who should be on the scrub team, and what time he can operate. A resident walks up to her and hands her a latte. She takes it, but recognizes that it's a bribe and tells the guy he can't scrub in on Burke's surgery. She rebuffs another resident who makes the same request and tells them to shut up and go away. And then she goes back to nagging the nurse. We do learn that she wants Burke in an O.R. that doesn't have a gallery. The nurse makes a comment about how particular Burke has gotten since he returned to work, and Cristina threatens to rat the nurse out. So the theme of this episode is clearly people not noticing the enormous problem that's staring them right in the face, because there's no way anyone would think Cristina's behavior was remotely normal.
To prove my point, we see that Alex, Mere, and George are spying on Cristina. George and Alex are clearly unhappy that Cristina is running Burke's board, but Meredith thinks that she's just helping him out. Alex thinks that Cristina is taking advantage of the situation, since she's been able to get out of rounds and has scrubbed in on every procedure Burke performs. Meredith continues to defend Cristina until everyone sees Cristina snatch the marker away from the nurse and start writing on the board herself. George: "She's writing on the O.R. board!" Alex: "Maybe I should sleep with Burke." Get in line, buddy.
In the locker room, Meredith, Alex, and George sit (or stand) at one end of a bench while Cristina sits at the other. Meredith notes that Cristina's been busy and then complains that even though it's been a week since she told McDreamy she broke up with Finn, he still hasn't called her. Cristina doesn't really respond, and Meredith asks if she'd like to get a drink and catch up. Cristina blows her off, explaining that she has way too much studying to do to get ready for Burke's surgeries the next day. And then she leaves, still dressed in her scrubs. George walks out, and Alex gives Meredith a look. But Meredith is still defending Cristina, telling Alex, "She's busy."