Back at Seattle Grace, Alex looks in on Lil' Lisa and her happy parents watching her sleep. Job well done. Meanwhile, Bailey and Richard are going over what went wrong with Ms. Cortez. Apparently just One of Those Things, neither Bailey's fault nor Avery's. But Bailey's not satisfied. What Avery said about there always being fistulas in post-op pancreas patients has gotten to her -- she wants to know why that's true. There's got to be a way to bring that number down. Bottom line: Bailey needs a win. After Percy and Mandy Moore and now Ms. Cortez, Bailey could use a win. And furthermore: "Yang was the one I didn't have to worry about." Richard says he knows. It certainly does seem like Cristina's absence has created a pervasive unease around the entire hospital. Richard tells Bailey to look into the pancreatectomy patients and see if there's anything that can be done. She asks if she can use Avery -- he was really great today. Aw, somebody go tell Avery that. ...Wait, can I? Richard's happy to hear it, and he in turn beams about Alex saving a patient with a ping-pong ball.
Speaking of Alex, he shows up to the party and immediately spots Kepner pouring her heart out to Avery, who makes an immediate beeline for Alex. Alex makes his first -- and last -- mistake by smirking and saying he can explain, but he doesn't get the chance because Avery WHALLOPS him across the face. YAY! Again! Again! Avery obliges me, a couple times over, obviously letting his fistula-based frustrations carry him away a bit, until Mark and Hunt pull him off. Alex looks like he's going to lunge back, but Callie and Mere shove him towards the door.
Cut to Lexie helping Avery ice down his hand. He asks if she thinks it was hard for Yang to just walk away. "Don't be stupid," she tells him, "you're not quitting." Besides, he might've just gotten himself fired, or at least arrested. Avery says he pretty much had to, since April is the only friend he's got left at the hospital. Lexie, again: "Don't be stupid." Is it me, or was all of Lexie's dialogue this week said twice to mean different things? Also, obvs, these two are going to hook up soon. Approved.
Outside, Mere is icing down Alex's face while simultaneously upbraiding him for what happened with Kepner. He knows he was wrong but ... wait for it ... he has his reasons. Are you sitting down? He wasn't in Vegas, he was in Iowa, tending to his dysfunctional family. Specifically, his brother from last season, who's been diagnosed schizophrenic after attempting to kill their sixteen-year-old sister. Alex was there to sign the commitment papers, and he's wallowing in his own self-loathing for not being able to be there while his family is going to shit. So, yes, we're just going to keep doing this same Sexy Damaged Alex story until it stops working, basically. Yes, at the risk of being unpopular, this recapper is placing the blame squarely on you, the viewer.