Woooooo! Hot Major Hunt is BACK! Hooray for hot new men on my Thursday nights. Wait, what's that you say? There were 40-something other minutes of this episode too? Okay, fine, here you go.
The Big Surgery of the Week is a project Bailey has been working on -- a six-way kidney transplant. Guest stars galore abound at Seattle Grace, and it seems only Bailey and Lexie can really remember who is getting whose kidney. (No matter, everyone is color-coded during surgery.) One of the donors is a girl who seems to be donating out of the goodness of her heart, but who bristles every time someone tells her what a good deed she is doing. She finally loses it and begins yelling at the recipient of her kidney, who happens to be the married man she's been seeing for the last three years. His wife, who is one of the donors, gets so angry that she pulls out of the surgery, which means the entire thing falls apart. Bailey, not allowed to coerce anyone into donating, instead just has a talk with the woman in her awesome Bailey way, and so she decides to do the right thing and participate after all. Everything is going like clockwork until Meredith drops one of the donor kidneys on the floor. It's pretty bad timing for her, since she's been really angry at Derek for getting all of the credit from their brain tumor clinical trial of last season. Fortunately, the kidney ends up working fine after all, the Chief tells her to forgive herself, and Bailey convinces an righteously indignant Derek (who thinks that, as the attending, he has a right to all of the credit) to just thank his girlfriend for coming up with the trial in the first place and helping him... so he gives Mere a glowing kidney in a jar for her bedside table -- that means true love.
One of the patients is paying his son to donate a kidney, but everyone is passing it off as a "Christmas gift" instead of reporting that since there are so many other people depending on the surgery. The father and son have a complicated relationship, so naturally Izzie gets too emotional about it while Alex's daddy issues bubble to the surface, which then of course leads to another big, screaming fight. That night, however, Izzie tells Alex she cares about him and she's not going to stop caring, and after saying it to him ten times or so, he finally stops ordering her out of his room and kisses her instead. I would have been so happy about this development two seasons ago before Izzie became such a pain in the ass.
In the non-surgical story of the week, Callie and Erica "Do It," and Callie realizes she might not be that into "It" after all. After spending the day trying to talk to Mark about it (who wants nothing to do with the conversation), she realizes that she might not like it just because she likes being the best at everything she does, but in this case she is a fumbling beginner. So she enlists Mark, cunning linguist that he is, to teach her some tricks of the trade so that she can give it another try with Erica.
Finally, George is having a hard time getting respect from any of the interns except for Lexie, who spends the day running around after him like a puppy. Mere, Alex, Cristina and Izzie all have to give him one of their interns and they spend the day trying to figure out who it will be, but when Bailey and the Chief realize what's up, he's just assigned interns and that's that. Lexie is pissed that George didn't request her and that he doesn't notice her, so she yells at him and storms off, which is kind of a relief because she was getting too pathetic as is. While deciding who to jettison, Cristina entertains the idea of sleeping with one of her interns (it's been a while since Burke left) but eventually realizes she wants a real man and no one at Seattle Grace currently fits the bill. Thank goodness Hot Major Hunt walks into Joe's that night and orders a drink, telling Joe he starts a new job tomorrow. Mmm-mmm good.
"I am a rock. I am an island." No, I'm not dancing around my living room playing Simon and Garfunkel loudly after a breakup. Mere is just voicing over as she sits in bed and reads her mother's journal with a little penlight, with Derek sleeping beside her. "That's the mantra of pretty much any surgeon I've ever met.
"We like to think we're independent, loners, mavericks. That all we need to do our jobs is an OR, a scalpel, and a willing body." Hahn and Callie come in from what looks like a date -- both are all dolled up -- and as Callie grabs glasses and pours wine, Hahn asks if Cristina is on call. She is, much to the clear delight of Erica. "But the truth is, not even the best of us can do it alone. Surgery, like life, is a team sport." Callie hands Erica a glass and tells her that the taking it slow was the Best. Idea. Ever. Hahn grins manically as she agrees that it takes the pressure off and they clink glasses. "And eventually, you've got to get off the bench and decide, what team are you batting for?" Anyone that has ever played or even just knows anything at all about team sports knows that this is a horrible analogy, given that once you're on the bench, you are already on a particular team and can't then change your mind during the game. But if we followed actual sports rules, that wouldn't have been a clever pun there, would it? Having decided what team they are batting for, Callie and Hahn rush at each other and start making out and grabbing at each other's clothes.
The sun rises, and Mere runs into the kitchen where Derek is already eating. She runs through and grabs some toast, and Derek calls after her that one of the bonuses to living together is eating breakfast together. She can't, though, because Bailey paged the gang in early. Too bad, then, that she doesn't have time to read the article about Derek and the brain surgery procedure for which they ran the clinical trial last season. The cover of Distinguished Medical Journal Today, is a shot of Derek looking tough in his scrubs. Mere grabs it to look at it excitedly, but her face drops when she reads about this new method, "The Shepherd Method," and comments on the picture of just him. He notices she's now making a face, but she assures him that she's not and she loves the picture before bolting. Because he's been turned into a completely self-centered moron this season, he seems to take that without question.