The main of the week is as obvious as a Mack truck rolling through the hospital and is only made better by Eric Stoltz's really creepy good acting. Jackson desperately needs a transplant, and Meredith does a test and finds out Eric is a match. Derek is hell bent on saving Eric's life so that he can meet his death at the hands of the professionals scheduled to do it in a few days, so he performs brain surgery that requires the removal of a piece of Eric's skull for a while. Meanwhile, Bailey and Arizona are fighting about the fact that Bailey keeps looking for something they can do for Jackson while Arizona's course of action is to just wait for organs. While they are fighting about which way is better, Alex gets a page that organs are available. He and Arizona go to harvest them and we learn that Arizona is peppy all the time because it's how she gets through the day without falling apart on account of all the kids that die around her. They get back and do the surgery but SHOCKINGLY, Jackson's body rejects the new organs and he ends up with only 24 hours to live unless they find a new set. Meredith decides to warn Eric very specifically about how he needs to care for his open skull so that he doesn't render himself brain dead; once she leaves the room he starts slamming said open skull against the bed. Voila! Fresh organs!
Derek's mom is in town and hanging about the hospital through all of this. Meredith takes Izzie's advice on how to appear peppy and happy but at the end of the day can't do it anymore. She admits that she's a big old mess who has sympathy for a serial killer, which leads Derek's mom to realize she's The One for Derek since she can help show him that life isn't all in self-righteous black and white. [Insert your own "Grey" joke here.] She also has time to spread her awesomeness to Mark and tells him that he should just be an adult and date Lexie, already. She also figures out after one second that Hunt isn't sleeping after his experiences in Iraq, but he's not ready to hear it. He's asked Cristina out on a date to prove that he's not hot and cold, but unfortunately then shows up late and drunk to pick her up. She is pissed at him and it only gets worse when he goes to take a shower in her apartment. But when she finds him in there fully dressed and babbling about his horrific-sounding "favorite surgery," she realizes that his behavior is all about him, not about her and she helps him.
Finally, Alex keeps continuing his journey towards becoming a good boyfriend. In addition to that, Izzie realizes that she likes having a living boyfriend with whom she can actually go out in public. She breaks up with Denny (at least as well as you can break up with someone whose existence seems to be about following you around 24/7) and seems to commit fully to Alex. Fortunately, Denny sits down and says that he and Alex have to talk, giving me, and every other viewer, hope that maybe this means Alex is going to realize that something is very seriously wrong with his girlfriend.
Take a look at the worst storylines this show has concocted, and there have been plenty. Then come back next Wednesday for the full detailed recap of this episode.
We open on nighttime this week. "My mother used to say this about residency. It takes a year to learn how to cut. It takes a lifetime to learn not to." Really, Ellis Grey said that? And to Meredith? I didn't think they had that sort of relationship, but I guess, "Be quiet Meredith, I'm trying to work," wouldn't be so meaningful to lead us into this week's episode. Bailey watches Jackson sleep and then Arizona runs up to answer Bailey's page. Bailey tells her that Jackson's BP is down a bit so they might be able to push for him to be moved up on the transplant list. It's obviously not worth of the 911-page that she used at 2:30 AM. Arizona tells her that they need to let the system do it's job and that they need to both get some sleep, and when Bailey tearily calls that he's running out of time, Arizona says, not unkind but still matter of fact, "They always are. Welcome to peds." VO: "Of all of the tools on the surgical tray, sound judgment is the trickiest one to master. And without it, we're all just toddlers running around with 10-blades."
King of the Toddlers Derek bursts in and hands the guard his briefcase -- is that part of this guy's job, now? Handling Derek's case like he's a secretary? Eric jovially says that he told them not to wake Derek on account of him needing his beauty sleep. I enjoy the sadistic chuckle he gives at that while Derek pouts and looks at his chart. The brain contusions are expanding, so they need to operate. Seriously for only a second, Eric asks if this could kill him and chuckles at the affirmative answer. Given that he's due to be executed in 5 days he wants to just let it roll with the contusions; he figures that the hospital with all the pretty ladies is a nice place to go. Derek comments that he's refusing surgery and Eric points out that he'll die either way. "Might as well do it on your watch." I just love a man who can torture Derek in this way, psycho serial killer or not.
Mark is trying to sneak out of Lexie's room and is not happy that she lives in Meredith's attic and that everyone seems to be awake downstairs. Cleary I missed something along the way because I never remember her moving out of the apartment she shared with George, but here she is living in the attic. I guess when Derek brought her home, it was for good and not just for one night as it totally appeared. Regardless, there she is in the attic and there's Mark with no shirt on (HEL-lo) wondering why the other housemates never sleep. Lexie tells him that they are cleaning the house for Derek's mom, and Mark goes into a weird scary calm freakout about the woman who practically raised him coming to visit while he's sleeping with the 24-year-old banned goods. I think if she knows you that well, Mark, she won't be that surprised to find out that you didn't entirely follow her lessons on right and wrong.