Last week, we were left with two very big questions, and one is answered right away when George and Callie come back from Vegas as George and Callie O'Malley. That's right, it really does sound that funny, which Alex points out. The Denny Duquette Memorial Clinic is now open for business, but as they only dreamed the thing up eight days previously, it's not yet bustling with patients. Izzie can only think about the money being wasted and eventually has herself excused, but Bailey sticks around to help their one patient, and is able to make a difference in the girl's life, which makes the whole endeavor worth the effort. Though that's the only actual clinic patient, some of the other beds are used by George and some other members of the staff. George realizes they're all sick because one of their patients' blood is toxic, but before he can warn her surgical team, they've all passed out in the OR after cutting her open. Eventually she's patched together enough to get her out of the OR before she comes out of anesthesia for a second time (which -- thanks, Grey's, for actually showing one of my greatest fears, in an episode I get to watch over and over again), which is finally accomplished by some daring breath-holding and dashing surgery by the female interns.
This week's heart-wrenching, however, comes courtesy of Meredith's mother. She wakes up lucid, which is a not unheard-of but temporary condition for an Alzheimer's patient. Meredith has to break it to her that she has the disease, and the stress causes her to collapse. She's taken to Seattle Grace, where it's discovered that she has heart disease and needs surgery. Cristina takes care of her and befriends her, since the elder Dr. Grey sees a kindred spirit in the intern. Unfortunately she doesn't see that in Meredith, and when she finds out Meredith is happy and in love, she lays into her for being a giant disappointment. It's no wonder Meredith had been avoiding having a real conversation with her mother, however little time they might have together. When Mere finally ventures back into her room at the end of the day, she finally, emotionally and honestly tells her mother she hopes they can get to know each other one day, only to find out that she's slipped back into her mental prison.
Oh, there's something else that you want to know? Some other question was asked last week? Well, Cristina realizes through the day's events that she wants to be a kick-ass surgeon AND have a life, and she finally gives Burke an answer, which is yes.
Previously on Grey's Anatomy: Bailey wanted to open a clinic, and Izzie happened to have 8.7 million dollars stuck to the fridge and a dead fiancÃ©e's memory to honor. All of the attendings wanted to be chief since Richard announced he was stepping down. Meredith's mom had Alzheimer's and no internal filter to keep her from telling her daughter something like she never should have had any children. And there were two marriage proposals.
Meredith's voiceover is back, and I'm surprised to find that I missed it. Over a beautiful shot of a ferry boat (natch), she announces, "As surgeons, we live in a world of worst-case scenarios. We cut ourselves off from hoping for the best because too many times, the best doesn't happen. But every now and then, something extraordinary occurs." At this moment, that thing is Cristina staring at an amazingly beautiful diamond ring while she sits on her bed.
George and Callie are in the elevator together, looking nervous. They take hands, seemingly to gird themselves for something, and walk out the doors together as Meredith adds, "And suddenly, best case scenarios seem possible." Time apparently has a different meaning in Seattle than the rest of the world, and it seems it's only taken eight days and eight million dollars to ready the Denny Duquette Memorial Clinic.
This instance of organizational miracles is eclipsed by one more event, one that Meredith leads into by adding, "And every now and then, something amazing happens." Mere is at the nursing home looking at her mom through the window, where she paces as we've seen her do many times. However, this time is very different as the nurse tells her that Ellis woke up lucid that morning. She explains that they don't know why it happens in patients, but occasionally it does, and it's a gift. Apparently Ellis has all of her memory back except for one tiny little piece known as the last five years. She also doesn't know she has Alzheimer's, and the staff thought letting her know would be a nice task to hand over to Meredith. Apparently, her mother was asking for her. Her VO finishes, "And against our better judgment, we start to have hope."
Back at the hospital, Burke and Derek are kicking off the morning with a nice, warm mug of ass-kissing. Burke asks the chief for the helicopter to bring in some amazing heart surgery from Denver, and Derek wants some sort of robot. Be careful, Derek -- if the Super Bowl taught us nothing else this past weekend, it's that some robots get clinical depression and will throw themselves off a bridge. Do you really want to bring something robotic into an environment with that much water? Addison and Mark watch from afar, and when he asks if she's going to get in and compete, she replies confidently that she's going to fight like a girl. "I'll let them kill each other, and then I'll be the only one left standing." Mark claims that he'll be standing, and she underestimates him, but she merely clarifies that she doesn't underestimate him, but rather just doesn't think about him. Mark walks over to join in the fun and announces that he's going to visit the clinic to support Bailey, which impresses the Chief, who leaves to go with him. Derek has to admit the smoothness with which this was executed with a "Nice" as they walk off.