While Richard, Derek and Harper argue about his awake surgery, Jackson is waiting in the hall with Mere and he realizes his grandfather is giving a speech that he heard many times growing up about the wonders of medicine and surgeons trying new things and pushing boundaries. Why, like ex vivo lung transplants? How convenient! Mere thinks that it sounds motivating but he tells her it's cheesy, though he then admits that he heard it enough at the dinner table that he wanted to be a surgeon. Mere can only quip that she had no idea that any world-class surgeons had dinner tables, given her own lack of any true, functional, family togetherness. She feels gypped, but he warns her that she hasn't heard the speech. His griping holds less water now, though, since he has admitted it made him a surgeon.
We then are treated to the end of said speech, as Harper tries to sell Richard and Derek on the idea of being students again and gaining a new perspective. As if he's rallying his troops, he gets louder and asks if this isn't why they became surgeons in the first place? There's a lot of blustering about challenging moments and reaching potential before he tells them to get into the OR and teach the kids. "Teach ourselves what it means to be great." Teach/Be a control freak about your own care... it's six of one, half a dozen of another. Derek smiles but tells him he can't authorize the surgery, however he's interrupted by Richard who says that actually, they can. Harper is overjoyed and snips at Derek that that is how a Chief does things. "Shepherd, take note." Yes, getting bullied by a legend is very Chiefly. Derek just glares at a somewhat nervous-looking Richard.
Derek follows Richard out into the hall and Richard tries to cut him off but Derek won't be stopped and claims that he's the only person looking out for Richard and he doesn't support this decision. He's riding high on his Horse of Righteousness, and poor Richard drops his head and sucks it up to say, "I apologize... Chief Shepherd." Derek asks him if he really wants to do it and when Richard says that he does, Derek finally agrees.
Mark stumbles out of a supply closet/on-call room (I don't know which, and really aren't they all just sex stations at this point?) along with a disheveled nurse and he's totally caught by Callie. She guesses correctly that Sloan hasn't called but Mark blusters that he's moved on; Callie points out that graduating from moping in sweats all day is progress, not sleeping with every pretty thing on two legs that comes through the door. Mark counters, "Well, I wouldn't have to sleep with nurses if you'd put out." I really like her and Arizona together but... man, she and Mark were HOT and I'm not going to deny that I miss their hookups. She reminds him that she's in a committed loving relationship and he brushes it off, having tried it and failed. He can barely walk in a straight line, his head is whipping around to check out any girl that walks by, but he manages to follow Callie to look at a head CT.