Burke has already started on his surgery when Cristina comes in, and he snipes at her for being late. I'm going to have to recap parts of these scenes strictly by sound, as I'm still not so good at watching fictional recreations of a surgery I actually had. I prefer to not think of the details at all, actually, but of course this is one where special effects got to get their hands dirty (so to speak) and really show some slicing and dicing.
Alex is examining Kelly, and as soon as Derek walks in, she turns tomato-red. She apologizes while she's on the verge of tears, but Derek handles it gracefully (kind of the antithesis to his interactions with Addie) and tells her this could be one of the last times that happens. She asks her if she's ready, and she tells him she's been ready since the third grade. He then asks if she went over the literature and knows all the details and the risks of this surgery. Without missing a beat, she's able to rattle off everything. Alex isn't convinced she knows what everything she said means, explaining that a pneumothorax is a collapsed lung. Oh goody, my personal experience spans not one but two patient stories this week? This is like a very bumpy ride down memory lane. He asks her if she wants to risk all of that over "a little bit of blushing." Kelly asks him incredulously if that's what he really thinks she's going through. She says that the interns saw her reaction, and asks what they thought. They thought that she liked Dr. Shepherd, but Alex manages to contain himself and not add that she'll need to get in line. He does tell her, in a kind move, that it's not a big deal, and she has to explain that it's not just what they think. Alex is clearly particularly dense this week what with all the obvious explaining everyone has to do for him. Kelly starts to cry as she recounts that this happens every time she has a feeling for anyone at all. Mere seems troubled by her story as she goes on, "I can't get mad. I can't be happy. I can't feel anything without the whole world knowing. I can't have a secret. Can you imagine feeling that way your entire life?" I do think that Meredith understands, but right now would trade a medical condition for having to see her mother demented and berating the entire hospital staff.
Speaking of, Ellis is out of bed and screaming at George. He sends a nurse to get help, but while he waits he has to listen to the venom spewing out of the elder Dr. Grey. With nothing but rage and loathing she shouts, "Don't give me that look. That sad little soulful puppy pouting, I know it by heart, Thatch! And I'm over it." The help that was called turns out to be Alex, who arrives in time to hear her yelling that she doesn't want to hear about Thatcher's day or his "pathetic life." It's hard to even type out the details of this scene, and it is a testament to Meredith's friends that they were able to handle Ellis and all of these awful revelations about Mere's parents and her home life with such grace. Ellis screams, "My works is what counts!" and continues to detail how she pays for their life and that he needs to leave her alone so she can work. "Meredith may think she needs you but I sure as hell don't." Unfortunately, Meredith has arrived at the room and heard everything. George tries to stop her, but she runs away and into a room, where she shuts the door and collapses against it. She's run into Kelly's room, which seems unprofessional, but then again opens the door for a nice conversation between the two girls, who have more than they think in common. Kelly asks if she's okay, and Mere responds, "That's something I'm supposed to be asking you."