"I've seen a lot of surgery residents come and go in my time, and they're all addicted... to surgery." This week's voiceover -- more commanding than we've heard in a long time -- is delivered by Richard, and he's better at it than all of the recent guest voiceovers. And he's way, WAY better at it than Meredith. "It comes before food, before sleep, it becomes the most important thing. The only thing." Bailey is in a fuchsia suit primping in front of the mirror, and Dr. Warren comes up and watches her with a smile. She freezes when she notices him and then orders him away, but he just laughs and tells her she looks nice. She orders him away again and he listens, but then she allows herself a happy little smile once she's alone.
"What they don't know is living on that high can eat them alive." Callie has food poisoning? Stomach flu? It must be something horrible as Arizona is brushing her hair while she sits next to the toilet, crying. Oh wait no -- she's terrified of public speaking and hates Derek for making her speak in front of a giant room full of people. Arizona tries to assure her (a bit weary, having clearly been doing this a while -- I guess she's over needing Callie to be sexy and perfect, the stupidest forced character trait all season, at least until now) that all she needs to do is talk about being a great surgeon. This doesn't seem to help, and when she thinks about going on stage Callie leans in to puke again.
"Some make it through, they come out on the other side. They survive with their sanity intact. They become better doctors and stronger people. I didn't. I broke. I didn't kill anybody, and I give thanks for that every day, but I hurt people. And scared the hell out of myself. I am 45 days sober today. I am Richard, and I am a grateful and recovering alcoholic." The people listening all clap for him; we've been hearing him speak at an AA meeting and really sound more in control than he has in quite a while.
He then goes to meet with Derek, and is not hiding his displeasure at the way things are going. He reminds Derek that he was told that if he went to rehab his job would be waiting but Derek, acting like it wasn't he himself who used this as a selling point for rehab, reminds him of Jennings' "Pending board approval" catch. He says he's sorry, not sounding terribly like it, and then tells Richard that he's been authorized to offer him a job as an attending general surgeon. While Derek isn't my favorite person, and I think he's hiding behind the board here a bit -- isn't 45 days kind of soon to jump back in to running a hospital? I would think that would be something Derek could point out, rather than just mentioning that the board might reconsider in a few months. Regardless, Richard is ticked and turns down the offer to work under his former employee before walking out.