Okay, peeps, I had to actually take a break and call a friend to decompress after this episode before I could sit down and write about it. I have no idea how writing the actual recap is going to go, but it's going to involve lots of Kleenex. We pick up exactly where we left off in November -- Henry has died, they can't tell Teddy because she's elbow deep in a heart, and Alex and Meredith are staring at what I thought were bodies in the road after a vehicle hits their ambulance. It turns out that actually, all but one of those bodies are actually still alive, though some just barely. It is a family -- Mom, Dad, Grandma, and three kids, and everyone is injured except for the oldest daughter. Unfortunately, Grandma dies at the scene. Oh, and the younger daughter has a GIANT PIECE OF GLASS THROUGH HER EYE. Help finally arrives and they get everyone to the hospital.
Once there, Alex is totally manic as he tries to help Arizona treat the baby they had been transporting. She recognizes that he is exhausted and needs to be examined since he was in an accident, and tells him that he did an amazing job in the field and now needs to hand the case over to her. Alex fights it but she puts her foot down. He leaves for a little while but finally can't take it and goes back; when she finds him he points out that he's just been through a ton to save this baby and can't just walk away. She finally agrees to let him back on the case, they do surgery, and baby does great. Afterwards, Alex freaks out that he forgot a step in the surgery but Arizona reminds him that he actually did it, and if he can't remember it he really, truly, needs to go rest.
As for the family, Mom winds up dying pretty soon after they arrive at the hospital and her eldest daughter, Lily, sees the whole thing happen through a window. Meredith tries to comfort Lily and keep her updated on what's going on with all of her other family members. Because they need an extra set of hands, Mark calls his girlfriend (the one Lexie hit with a softball) to help him and Derek get the glass out of the Lily's sister's eye. She comes in and takes charge, and awesomely manages to do the impossible and save the eye. Lexie assists with the surgery and hates every moment of it but afterwards, when talking with her, is bummed to find out that she's actually really nice and likable. Bailey, Meredith, and Dr. Ben are working on Lily's brother, whose legs were crushed. He has some sort of horrible reaction to the anesthesia, I think related to hypothermia, though don't quote me on that. Ben immediately realizes what is wrong and saves the day, to Bailey's annoyance. After the surgery, though, the two finally talk, she apologizes for snapping at him, and they sit together and are totally awesomely adorable. Oh, and they did save the little boy. Lily has been sitting with her father while all this is going on, and he keeps coding and needing his heart shocked back to life. She and Meredith have a talk about extraordinary measures and how her father is pretty much slowly dying. Lily reveals that today is her birthday (good grief) and she is now four hours into being 18 years old. This means she is now the head of the family, and she signs a DNR so that they can let him go peacefully.
Because all of this wasn't enough of a laugh riot, we also have Teddy, still working away on the heart that Jackson accidentally shredded. Things keep going wrong and she tells Owen that she has to have Cristina's help to save the woman. Owen protests but finally gives in, though it takes some begging and finally ordering on his part to get Cristina to agree to it. The surgery winds up turning even more complicated, and Cristina has the absolutely horrific task of assisting Teddy while acting like she's excited to do some fancy procedure. She manages to keep it together but the second they are finished, she tells April to close up the patient and pulls Teddy into the scrub room. There, she immediately tells her mentor what happened during Henry's surgery and informs her that he died. It's awful. AWFUL. Owen then finds Cristina, who looks pretty much like an empty husk of a person at this point, and when he finds out that she told Teddy, kind of freaks out and insists that was his job. Cristina cuts him off to tell him that it didn't matter who told her, that she doesn't want to hear all of these protests from Owen and that Teddy won't want to hear them either.
Fortunately, to save me from crawling into bed and never coming out again, one single good thing happens at the very end of the episode. And it's a pretty awesome good thing. Meredith and Derek are home, finally, and after 39 hours awake Mere is starving and barely able to stand so she orders pizza. When the doorbell rings she goes to answer it, and winds up just staring at whoever is there in shock. Derek hurries over to see what is wrong but what he sees is Janet, holding Zola, and she hands the baby over to the happy parents and tells them, "She's yours." It doesn't make up for the complete horror of the rest of the episode, but it's a good start.
Happy new year, my gorgeous readers! Are we ready to jump back in to the downer-fest that this show has become? Let's get right to it! Previously on Grey's Anatomy, a lot of bad shit happened. Henry died. Ushering in this episode is an arty shot of rolling, dark storm clouds, just in case you weren't sure of the tone. As we are treated to slow-motion, head-cracking scenes of Meredith and Alex's ambulance accident and Cristina's horror at learning that her dead patient is Henry, Meredith's VO explains that victims of sudden impact are the hardest to treat. That's because of everything that comes after the initial collision: being thrown around in an ambulance, your inner organs being tossed like a salad, etc. There's no way to know how much damage has been done until all that stops.
Back on the dark, wet and windy road, Alex runs over to try and help the people that have been thrown out of the van. Mere is kind of helpless as she is holding the intubated baby and keeping her breathing by squeezing the bag valve mask. One of the victims is a man calling for his wife, who isn't responding. A teenage girl, Lilly, climbs out of the wreckage, banged up but generally fine, and she starts to freak out when she can't wake up her mom. Meredith tries to calm her down and winds up handing her the baby and instructing her to count, "One, two," and then squeeze to keep her breathing. Lilly is freaked out at the idea but Mere tells her she has to do it so that Mere can go try to help her family. She instructs the girl to count out loud so that Mere knows she's still doing her job, and warns her not to stop no matter what happens.
As Teddy continues to work on Laura, her husband Griffith is getting more and more upset. Their son drew is sleeping next to him and is smiling broadly in his sleep so that we can reflect on the sweet innocence of youth as contrasted with the absolute horror in this sweet child's mother having her heart ripped to shreds by a wayward screw, or something. Griffith is on the phone with Laura's mother and when he sees Jackson he finally puts him on to try and give her an adequate update on her daughter's surgery.
Bailey, Owen, and Richard are having a powwow about whether or not it's time to tell Teddy that her husband has died. Bailey finds it pretty heinous that they are waiting, but Richard points out that there really isn't a good way to handle the situation. Given how absolutely horrific it is already, he thinks that they should at least take the course of action that might save another patient's life and let Teddy finish up her surgery first. Rather lamely, Richard tells them both that Teddy will understand. Owen, who so far has just been heaving troubled sighs, asks if Richard really thinks so -- no one has an answer for that, it seems.