Despite my attempts to ignore them, the interns don't seem to be going away and actually get an episode centered around them this week. Heather is assigned to assist Meredith in the pit all day; since Meredith's hands are busy with a patient, she makes Heather take her phone and call all of Derek's sisters asking if any of them want to donate a nerve for his hand surgery. When Derek finds out he is livid since he wanted to use a cadaver nerve and also doesn't want to ask his sisters for help, and Heather winds up in the middle of a spat with both of them yelling conflicting instructions at her. Oh, and she also winds up taking a call from Meredith's doctor confirming her ultrasound (and Callie overhears that too) but Meredith makes her swear to never, ever mention it again. At the end of the day Heather finally snaps and yells at them both that they put her in a horrible position but her rant is interrupted by Derek's sister Neve Campbell who arrives to give him a nerve despite his protests.
Smash is working with April, who, we learn, has been nicknamed "The Dud" by the interns since she failed the boards. She's in a heinous mood because she's on "lumps and bumps" duty which involves a day full of cutting out glorified pimples and other disgusting small masses from patients, and presumably also because of her breakup. Smash still has no poker face and April yells into him for that and forces him to remember that they are dealing with actual patients with actual feelings. Later, Callie and Jackson call all of the interns into a room and have them compete to see who will help out with Derek's nerve surgery. They systematically shoot each of the newbies down as they take turns examining Derek's wrist -- until they come to Smash. He takes a look at the hand and then tells Derek just what April told one of their patients, which is that he's sure this must be scary but that they are going to take good care of him. That instantly wins him the assist since Callie likes that he was the only one to treat Derek like an actual patient. Smash then goes back to help April with a second day of lumps and bumps and thanks her for teaching him so well about how to deal with patients.
Jo is working with Alex for the day and wouldn't you know that the moment I stop calling her Princess, Alex actually starts. He sees her expensive watch and her Ivy League education and assumes that she must be a spoiled girl from a rich family. Princess Jo helps deliver a teenager's baby; the baby turns out to be really sick and has to be put on bypass to survive. The teen mom is totally uninterested in the child when she realizes that a sick baby is a lot of work and so she and her mom abandon it at the hospital. Jo catches them on the way out and loses her shit to the point where she is wrestling the teen's mom up against the elevator wall until Alex manages to pull her away. She finally admits that her own mother abandoned her at a fire station when she was two weeks old and she lived in a number of foster homes before deciding to just live in her car at age 16. She has one nice teacher who helped her out and that's the one who bought her the watch when she graduated from college. Alex is of course wowed by her hidden depths and they reach a new level of respect for each other that will surely lead to bed.
Stephanie and Leah (LEAH. LEAH. I cannot commit this to memory for some reason. She's just the One Obsessed with Alex to me) are working with Cristina and spend their entire day trying to one-up each other to try and win the chance to scrub in on her surgeries. Leah wins the first round but then Stephanie wins the chance to scrub in on an infant heart transplant and Leah is filled with white-hot rage. When it comes to be time to prep another (adult) patient for surgery, they race into the room and try to outdo each other but wind up so crazed that they make a mistake that could have killed the woman. Cristina walks into the room just in time and is able to fix everything, but she benches both of them. Owen then backs her up and puts them both interns on probation. Later, however, the girls have a bonding moment inspired by the parents of two of their NICU patients from earlier in the day. I am still not terribly moved by their relationships to each other, but I am glad that they all seem to be growing personalities a little bit at a time.
It's been a while since our main doctors have been interns; for them the hospital means broken hearts and too many tragic accidents to count. So we have the current crop of interns to remind us that when you are starting out, the hospital is a magical place. So magical, in fact, that the chaos is seen in romantic slow motion. Well, at least it is for these guys. And what is more romantic than a pair of Converse covered in blood, I ask you?
Mere and Cristina are watching the interns in the locker room like two bitter old crones; Mere can't believe how fresh and shiny they all look compared to the weathered, hardened faces of her contemporaries while Cristina just calls them pathetic. The interns realize that they are staring and so force themselves to keep smiling and act normal until the two elder stateswomen go away. But Mere and Cristina are savvier than they are and just sneak up on them from another direction to tell them that rounds are in four minutes. Once they are really gone, the interns all relax and banter about their assignments for the day. Leah and Stephanie are with Cristina and Stephanie can't help needle Leah about how much Cristina loves her already. Leah would rather swap with Jo, since she's working with Alex and Leah is apparently still obsessed with him, but Jo is a good enough friend to not let her do that. Smash is excited to be doing outpatient surgery with April but the others all start to bash her and call her "The Dud." Smash, proving his unending awesomeness, continues to stick up for her since she's the only attending who is actually nice to them. Heather is in the pit with Meredusa and though she offers to trade, no one takes her up on it.
Stephanie decides to give Leah a sporting chance and allows her to present their first patient, a 3-month old baby named Samantha. Sam's mom Laura is by her bedside and then a man named Noah runs up, worried he missed something. There's some embarrassed stuttering when Stephanie assumes he is the father and eventually they manage to clarify that he is the father of another infant patient, Reece, and that both he and Laura are "doing this alone." Sam has been on the list for a heart transplant for nearly all of her short life. Reece is also on the transplant list, behind Sam, and he's currently recovering from getting a shunt put in. Cristina tells him that Reece can possibly go home the next week since he can safely wait there for a heart, and while Noah is stoked he's also visibly terrified at the idea of not being around doctors and nurses 24/7. Laura is thrilled for him, though, and assures him that he can do it. So, these two are falling in love at some point. When the docs walk away, Leah offers to get Cristina a copy of an article she just read on shunts -- it's brown-nosing at its most obvious but Cristina uses it to light a fire under Stephanie. Leah's dwarf name was going to be Droopy, but now she's going to be Perky or, to Steph's horror, Doc. I get the impression that she's still so green that she doesn't know Cristina is making a point of pushing her buttons to get her to work harder.