Mere watches from outside the OR as Holden crashes. McDreamy removes his mask, and gives Mere a little look like, "No good." They walk together to the waiting room, where Coby is sitting. McDreamy says he'll take care of it, and Mere watches them sadly. Commercials.
Our three Thanksgiving escapees discover each other in the locker room all at once. George says this is beyond bad, because he is terrified of Izzie. Who is sitting at the dining room table, waiting on all her inconsiderate guests. Joe kisses her goodbye, and says he's got to get to the bar. Izzie doesn't want him to go, but he says it's one of the busiest days of the year -- people need a safe haven from the bitterness, loneliness, and quality family time. They leave, and it's just Izzie and Burke. Izzie tells "Preston" he can leave too if he wants. Burke says he's not leaving the table until the hostess does. Izzie says they're not coming. Burke is staying anyway, because he's awesome. Just then, Cristina and George walk in with guilty looks on their faces. George tells Izzie that today he committed bird murder, and was forced to touch his dad's ass, so he should get extra points for showing up at all. Izzie just sits there and grits her teeth. Cristina: "I brought booze." Burke and Izzie exchange a look. Izzie stands up as if to yell at them all really loudly, then thinks better of it and sits back down. "Let's just eat." They do.
Outside the hospital, Mere and McDreamy are sitting together on a bench. McDreamy asks her how she knew that woman was Holden's wife today in the waiting room. Mere says of all the people sitting there hoping for good news, she was the only one who looked like she'd completely given up. That is so depressing. McDreamy turns to go, but Meredith calls out, "Do you love her?" McDreamy walks back over, sits back down, and answers, "I don't know." Well, there's a surprise. Mere tells him he wouldn't be him if he weren't the kind of person who was trying to make it work. "Means I wasn't wrong about you." McDreamy says thanks, and this time it's Meredith who gets up to walk away. "Goodbye, Derek," she says. McDreamy tells her goodbye, too, and she starts a voice-over: "Maybe we're not supposed to be happy. Maybe gratitude has nothing to do with joy." We cut to the Thanksgiving dinner, finally being done like it's supposed to be. Meredith stands outside her door and looks in at all her friends. Alex walks up behind her and asks if she's going in. Mere declines, but tells him to go ahead inside and make Izzie happy. MereVO: "Maybe being grateful means recognizing what you have for what it is."
Bailey finds Webber still at the hospital, still staring at the OR board, still avoiding his wife's sister. She yells at him that he's a surgical junkie, and to GO HOME. He says he's in trouble no matter what, and there's a whipple happening in OR 2. Bailey bellows, "Go home right now!" and walks into the elevator. Webber calls after her, "This kind of treatment is why they call you the Nazi!" Kent, that asshole, is of course just getting off the elevator and witnesses this beautiful exchange. He stops dead in his tracks and turns to face Bailey, who just gives him a little smile and says, "Happy Thanksgiving." His jaw drops as the elevator door shuts in his face, and the entire world cheers.
Cut to Cristina and Burke getting into their car to go home. Burke says he was nice. Cristina smiles and says she noticed. Burke echoes Izzie from their turkey-surgery bonding session and tells her, "You don't ask a lot of personal questions, and you're very hard to get to know." Cristina says yes. Burke: "My mother owns a restaurant in Alabama." Cristina: "I scrubbed in on a foreign body removal this afternoon. A guy swallowed a wishbone whole." Burke, who has clearly decided that's a start, grins at her and starts the car. Mere continues, "...Admiring the struggle it takes simply to be human."
McDreamy pulls up to his trailer. Addison is outside in the rain, waiting for him. "You didn't show. I waited." She's all teary-eyed and sad, and it's not cool the way she's making me like her. She asks him if he's done punishing her, because if not, she's going to need to special-order a thicker skin. Aw. McDreamy sits down next to her, and as Mere voice-overs that maybe we're thankful for the familiar things we know, he leans over and gives her a big old kiss. Mere: "And maybe we're thankful for the things we'll never know." I'll say.
Mere is at Joe's, sitting alone at the bar. A total McDreamy clone walks over and asks her if this seat is taken. Mere: "Do you work at the hospital?" The guy says he doesn't. Mere: "You're not a brain surgeon, or doctor of any kind?" He answers no to that, too. Then, she says, this seat isn't taken, and he sits down next to her. She turns to him and flirtily asks if he wants to buy her a drink; he flirtily answers back that he does. And so, a final MereVO for this excellent Thanksgiving episode: "At the end of the day, the fact that we have the courage to still be standing...is reason enough to celebrate."