Alex runs into the OR and stupidly expresses surprise that Derek started without him. I've been extra sick of Derek's attitude recently but in this case completely back him telling Alex he forfeited the right to take lead on the surgery by showing up 20 minutes late. My intense dislike for Derek and intense disgust for myself at having to agree with his attitude for once is quickly overshadowed by my delight in seeing that Hot Anesthesiologist Dr. Ben Warren is back! As he and Derek give Alex a hard time, Ben points out that Meredith was never late and I wonder if he knows what's been going on and that he shouldn't use her name. He seems to have been actually gone and not just "working in another area of the hospital where we just happened not to see him" gone, but I'd have to think that with the way gossip travels that the Grey-Shepherd debacle would have been one of the first things he was told about upon his return. Regardless, Derek admits that while Mere is many things, she is never, ever late. Alex, desperate to log some needed non-pediatric surgery hours, decides to use Richard's suggested excuse. Immediately Derek and Ben change their tune and become almost apologetic, and Derek steps aside to let Alex finish up the surgery himself.
Richard finds Mark hanging out on the bridge, rather obsessively watching Owen through the window as he gets his office in order. Richard is letting everyone know that he's looking for cases, but I doubt Mark even hears him due to his focus on Owen, who he claims is already barely hanging on to the job. Derek walks up behind them and he's seriously so much shorter than these two that it looks like he'd have to stand on his tiptoes to really see over their shoulders into the office as well. He joins them in staring as Mark continues to yammer about how scared Owen seems. Finally, Mark announces that when Owen fails at this job, he will be there for the hospital. I haven't seen Mark this jealous since Lexie started sleeping with Jackson. Owen finally catches on to the staring and comes out to let them know that he has to bump one of Mark's surgeries because they just got a call that a ton of patients are on their way into the ER after an accident at the convention center.
The promise of a massive accident is music to Richard's ears and he grills Owen for more details, which unfortunately he doesn't really have. He does offer up the tantalizing tidbit that there was screaming in the background when the call came in, and Richard shivers with anticipation.