So, it's some period of time after Meredith had her near-death experience and her mother died. She's buried her mother (well, cremated her actually) and is returning to work after recovering from her accident. And who should show up at the hospital? Her father and stepmother, worried and wanting to spend time with Mere. She ends up inviting them to her house for a very awkward dinner. It gets even more awkward when Meredith's father mistakes a memory from Meredith's childhood as being from his other daughter's childhood. Whoops. A blown fuse leads to Mere's dad wandering off in the dark while Meredith hangs out and bonds with her stepmother. The evening ends with Meredith actually finding a new friend in her stepmother and then realizing that her father did love her when he fixes a porch swing. (That last bit made more sense in context.)
Meanwhile, the race for Chief of Surgery heats up when Richard invites a hotshot cardio surgeon to come by and hang out. Even better, he's played by Robin Colcord. And then it turns out that he was (a) Cristina's med school professor and (b) Cristina's med school lover. Which opens Cristina up for all kinds of mockery and throws Burke into a jealous tizzy. Apparently, the fact that Cristina once had a thing with another heart surgeon makes Burke question her love for him, placing their engagement in jeopardy. And the presence of an outside competitor for the top job causes the other attendings to act like hyper-competitive jerks, potentially risking the health of Crush and Derek's patient (an old friend of his, natch).
Finally, Alex has moved into Meredith's house, causing Izzie to feel awkward and uncomfortable. And George finally discovers that the reason Callie can afford to live in a fancy hotel on her resident's salary is that she's an heiress. This naturally leads to a fight between the two of them, and she kicks him out of the hotel. He runs back to Meredith's to do some drinking and get some consolation from Izzie. And console him she does, as they wake up naked and in bed together.
Previously, Meredith came back from a near death experience. Her mother did not.
Izzie and her very perky breasts are in silhouette in the shower. Meredith's voice-over tells us that people have scars. As Izzie moves to exit the shower, I worry that we're going to see some of her scars. Just as Meredith is calling scars "diagrams of old wounds," Alex marches into the bathroom. Izzie, startled, wraps herself in a towel and screams at him. He's pretty blasÃ©, reminding her that he's seen it all before. She's kind of wondering what he's doing in her house early in the morning, and he tells her that he's moving in to Casa Grey. Mere V.O.: "Most of our old wounds heal, leaving nothing behind but a scar. But some of them don't."
Izzie, still wrapped in a towel and nothing else, barges into Meredith's room and yells at Mere and a still-sleeping Derek about Alex moving into the house. Meredith points out that there's room now that George has moved out, but Izzie still doesn't understand why Meredith needed to let Alex move in. Izzie: "What's wrong with where he was living before?" Meredith: "I don't know where he was living before." Izzie: "Probably a whorehouse." Lucky whores. Meredith laughs, and Izzie tells her that it will be too weird for her to have Alex living right next door. She also picks up the bottle of lotion sitting on Meredith's nightstand and starts putting some on her hands. I am not going to guess what that lotion was last used for. Meredith: "People are what matters. Alex is one of our people. We can't leave him out in the cold." Or in the presumably badly furnished apartment where he was living. Izzie notes that Meredith doesn't like people and asks if her newfound kindness is related to her mother's death. Meredith tells her that it's related to her own death and subsequent return, and that she's determined to be more positive. Mere: "People are what matters. Paint with all the colors of the wind." If your wind has colors, you need to move upwind of whatever factory is spewing out those pollutants. Izzie backs slowly away from Meredith, calling her crazy. And as she gets to the door, she stops Alex from walking into the bathroom, telling him that she's still not done. And then she reaches down and pulls up her towel so not one inch of her breasts is showing. Alex tells her that he's not looking, because he's really not interested. Izzie doesn't seem to believe him.
Speaking of people Izzie doesn't believe -- George is sitting on the edge of the bed in the hotel room, eating a lovely room service breakfast. Mere V.O.: "Some wounds we carry with us everywhere, and though the cut's long gone, the pain still lingers." George is calling out to Callie, who's in the next room, complaining about how selfish and self-centered Izzie is. Callie enters the room and flops down on the bed next to him. She interrupts him by asking for a bite of his breakfast. George gives her some French toast, but doesn't take the real hint and keeps blabbing on about Izzie. So Callie takes the direct approach and asks him, "How about we don't talk about her anymore?" George tells her that's a fine idea, and kisses her.