In the locker room, all of the interns have scrubbed every remaining toxin from their body and are chatting when Callie walks in. Izzie totally inappropriately jokes, "Here's the little woman... " and asks about their plans, horrified at the idea that Callie might move in. Callie's fed up and turns to leave, but George shows that the growth of his spine is continuing at a great rate and grabs her hand to stay. "Unbelievable. People, you're supposed to be my friends, my closest friends. Callie's a big -- she's the most important part of my life now. If you want to drive her away, and you're masters at it, you'll do it. But if she's gone, I'm gone. She's my wife! Calliope Iphigenia Torres is my wife." Meredith smiles at him, Cristina looks shocked but also impressed, and Izzie just starts to laugh at the name when George shuts her up. Callie smiles at him, I think finally convinced that things are going to work out.
Meredith's voice starts to wrap things up. "As doctors, we're trained to give our patients just the facts. But what the patients really want to know is, will the pain ever end? Will I feel better? Am I cured?" Addison is certainly free of any pain, instead scratching her itch with Mark, who points out that she said she doesn't think about him. In one of the hottest moments I can remember on recent TV, she tells him slowly, "I don't. I'm actively... not... thinking... about you... right... NOW."
Mere continues, "What our patients really want to know is, is there hope." And the moment of truth is at hand. Cristina gets up off the bed, holding the ring, and walks out to Burke, who is eating Chinese take-out in the kitchen. She announces, "I don't do rings." He puts down his food, and she lays down the ring. "Don't expect me to suddenly change. I'm a surgeon, just like you. And we'll have money. We can hire a wife." He goes from looking pained at her giving back the ring to puzzled, as she puts her hand on his cheek. He finally asks, "Are you saying yes?" She stammers a moment and answers, "Y... Yeah." He stubbornly declares he's still not letting her scrub in the next day, and she counters that she's not wearing a ring, but after a beat, he leaps out of his seat with a happy yelp and a laugh and they both scream and hug. For a couple I've never understood or liked very much, I think this helped convince me that they might really be in love in their own weird and dysfunctional way.
Meredith finishes, "But inevitably, there are times where you find yourself in the worst case scenario." She walks into her mom's room where Richard is standing at the window. He says her name but she plows forward to say her piece. "The reason I want you to have the surgery is because I have this hope, that in a year, or two years, or five, they're going to have a breakthrough. They're going to find a cure for Alzheimer's. And you and I will have another chance. To get to know each other. You'll have a chance to get to know me. To see that I am not even remotely ordinary. So I wish you would have the surgery. But it's up to you mom. It's your life." She stares at her mother while waiting for a response, and Ellis tells her, "You remind me of my daughter." Richard tells her, "About an hour ago. One minute she was here... the next... I'm so sorry." "Me too," she whispers, as her eyes once again well up. "When the patient's body has betrayed them, and all the science we have to offer has failed them, when the worst-case scenario comes true, clinging to hope is all we've got left."