With the Boards right around the corner, the residents are all heading off to various hospitals around the country for job interviews. Cristina is by far the most sought after of everyone, to the point where she's getting cookie and fruit baskets sent to her from her various suitors. Teddy tells her to stay but her effort is pretty half-assed, and she freaks out later when she realizes that her protégé might really actually leave. She goes to Owen and tells him that he has to fix things with her to make her stay but Owen finally grows a bit of a spine and tells Teddy that as she made so clear, they are not friends, so she's not to try to talk to him like one and if she wants Cristina to stay, she has to convince her to do so herself.
April, Jackson and Alex are all having a hard time in their own ways and are also being complete jerks to one another, insulting each other and generally being as selfish and unsupportive as possible. April is too overeager and is scaring off potential new employers. Jackson's well-known complex about his very famous family is causing him to get into trouble, like when he walks out of an interview because the woman was obviously hoping that through Jackson she might forge a connection to Harper Avery too. Alex is having the worst time, though, because he can't seem to get any interviews except at tiny hospitals in the middle of nowhere. He finally confronts Arizona when he realizes that she's being a crappy mentor and not making any effort to get him good interviews. She actually admits that it's totally true, because she wants him to stay in Seattle, but Alex manages to convince her that it's better if he stays because he wants to and not because he has to, which would make the chip on his shoulder -- and consequently his bad attitude -- that much bigger. Okay, fine, so I editorialized that last part a little, but that's the gist.
Cristina is being a jerk to Mere for pushing her own interview at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and mocks her for possibly wanting to stay in Seattle. Mere has a pretty legitimate reason to postpone, though, when a teenage patient named Holly is brought in and they quickly realize that she's a girl who was famously kidnapped 12 years earlier at the age of 6 and was held captive and tortured. Mere realizes she is traumatized and is kind to her, so Holly latches on to her immediately and is only really able to talk to Mere and not to the psychologist or her parents. It's difficult for all of the doctors as they realize, through Holly's horrific injuries, what she has been through but Bailey seems to take it the hardest and it appears to haunt her every thought. When she thinks Tuck has gone missing from daycare she has a complete meltdown (he turns out to be just fine) and no one seems quite what to make of one of their toughest doctors coming completely unglued. She seems to pull herself together to help Holly out, though, and nothing else is said about her outbursts so I'm not sure if this was just a one-off thing or a sign of something bigger going on that we'll see later.
Owen is thrown into a difficult situation because he has to wrangle the press, the girl's parents, the police and everyone else interested or involved in the case, and he feels completely in over his head. He and Cristina have a moment of truce when she runs into him at the apartment picking up extra suits for press conferences, and this turns into a couple of other of very tiny moments for both of them.
Richard gives Owen advice on how to handle everything and he's obviously much more used to this than Owen but he can't help out too much because he's busy with Adele, who has fallen in love with another Alzheimer's patient at Rose Ridge. He tries to fight it and to separate the two of them but he finally realizes that it's a losing battle and he makes the heartbreaking decision to give her some space to be with her boyfriend since she has no recollection any more of anything about their life together.
Owen, in a moment of weakness, finally admits to Cristina that he's in completely over his head but she (who has been nothing but an asshole to all of her coworkers and even sort of to Meredith) actually gives him a bit of reassurance that he's doing the best he can and later, when it's revealed that the girl is okay enough to be discharged, she actually joins in the applause for the good job he and the rest of the team did. He looks so pleased and hopeful when he realizes this but in a flash, she's gone, so it doesn't look like there's going to be a big change in the interactions between the two of them anytime soon.
And while it seems like Cristina is just being a jerk to everyone because it's what she does, especially if she's going through a hard time, she seems to have read Mere correctly after all with regards to her maybe not wanting to leave Seattle after all. She needles Mere into finally going to Massachusetts for her interview (Derek is also totally supportive and reminds Mere that they can always move if she gets some awesome opportunity outside of Seattle), and Mere admits to the woman there that Brigham is her top choice. So, basically we wind up with everyone and everything very much up in the air as we barrel towards the end of the season.
Mere kicks off this week reminding us that as kids we always wanted things to stay the same, and surgeons are just the same in that they want the same hospital, nurses, dreamy-haired neurosurgeons, hot dirty plastic surgeons, etc. which makes things awkward when, at the end of your 5-year residency, you are supposed to find a new job. She is at the airport and notices Cristina also on her way out the door. They are both on their way back from job interviews and Cristina laments that wherever she was in Dallas, she is already a better surgeon than anyone there. She decides that she's sick of this traveling and from now on she's going to make the hospitals come to her. Mere looks great, by the way -- motherhood really does agree with her. And I kind of want her skinny jeans/blue top with sparkly stripes/sweater hoodie/ankle boots/scarf outfit but worry I might not look as effortlessly marvelous in it as she does.
Mere is supposed to head to Boston later that night for an interview with Brigham and Women's Hospital but admits she's thinking of canceling and Cristina immediately calls her an idiot for canceling an interview for a crazy prestigious hospital such as that. Mere stops listening to her, though, both because she seems to want to and also because her cute husband and cuter daughter are waiting for her, and Zola even has a balloon for the occasion. Mere starts to ask if Owen is picking Cristina up and catches herself just as it's too late; Cristina briefly makes fun and then gratefully accepts a ride home. But she then turns to Derek and tattles on Mere for wanting to cancel her Brigham interview. Derek agrees with her and exposits for us that you don't cancel on the best general surgery program in the country. Mere points out that he's almost done building the house and that he has a good job but he counters that there are jobs and houses to be had elsewhere. Cristina is happy he's on her side and then picks up Zola as they all make their way to the car.
Richard is visiting Adele at Rose Ridge and as they sit down to enjoy coffee and a croissant she giggles that she has a secret, and makes him promise not to tell anyone. Good naturedly he agrees to this and is in no way prepared for the bombshell she doesn't know she is dropping: she's in love. And it's not with Richard, but with some other dude sitting across the room, wiggling his fingers hello at her. Poor Richard can't help but look completely devastated.