During our last visit to Seattle Grace, we saw Izzie manically latched onto Meredith’s wedding plans; a distraction from the fact that she won’t be alive to dance at the reception. Owen had left Cristina because he’s afraid he’ll beat her to a pulp in his sleep. Callie, her family, and their money, are all estranged now after learning she’s dating a woman named after a state that doesn’t recognize Daylight Savings Time. Nobody likes a holdout.
This week, Izzie is still holding court in her room on the oncology floor. She makes Derek try on tuxedos while the others are forced to gnaw on meat skewers and tell her if they taste like chicken.
Later, Owen bumps into Cristina, mumbles an apology, says, "Take care now," and walks away like he barely knows her. Newly poor, Callie tells Cristina that she doesn’t have her half of the rent and furthermore, her dad is still not speaking to her. The silent treatment has spread to her mother, her aunt and sister, Aria. Calliope has a sister named Aria. I think it’s safe to assume there is no sibling named Jane in the Torres clan. Also ignoring Callie: her other sisters, Isis and Chlamydia, and her half-brother, Bastardo.
Cristina gives Callie an action plan for dealing with her family.
Cristina: Why can’t you just tell them you guys broke up? I mean it’s no one’s business who you go out with anyway.
Arizona: [in a you-better-not tone] And I will leave you to ponder that.
Callie: You really think I should lie?
Cristina: I really think you should pay rent, but ya know, whatever. Take care now.
To distract Callie from her financial and familial woes, Mark presents her with an orthopedic surgeon’s wet dream: a passionate tree-hugger named Willow (or Karen, depending on who you ask,) who was pitched from her perch while trying to save a forest of oaks from the evil-doers who plan on building ski condos in the area. All her limbs are pointing the wrong way. Now she looks like a tree, too.
It’s family day at the hospital. Meredith and Lexie’s drunkard dad has dried out and returned to Seattle. He checks in with the Chief to ask about his kids, and to reminisce about having bumped uglies with the same lady: Meredith mom. Gross.
Meredith and Lexie are dragged into Mr. Grey’s 12-step program, Step 9: making amends. He apologizes for not being there, letting them down, and oh yeah, running naked through the neighborhood, singing, "Bad Case of Loving You."
Lexie gives her dad a hug but Meredith, who had it much, much worse, tells him good luck with the sobriety and by the way, eff off.
Meanwhile, the awesome Sharon Lawrence blows into town as Izzie’s white-trashy mother, Robbie. She hits on Alex, finds her way to the oncology wing, and gives her daughter a big hug with her cougar paws.
Robbie soon learns that Izzie has more than just a cancerous mole, despite what her psychic told her, and her own amateur diagnosis, based on research she gathered from an episode of Tyra.
Outside, Cristina waits for an ambulance carrying a gunshot victim and wonders who’s this guy?
Does anyone remember his name? He looks so familiar.
Owen runs the trauma, while continuing to ignore Cristina. The shooting victim was shot several times by his own child. Meredith assures the tot that the accident didn’t kill her dad. The little girl asks innocently why her daddy "don’t die?" Kids say the darndest things.
It soon becomes apparent that the father uses his family as sparring dummies. And since her mother is about as useless as a bag of hair, the little girl took it upon herself to stop the insanity and shot him 17 times. Seventeen! I admire a child who knows how to reload.
Bag o’ Hair tells her daughter to go tell Daddy she’s sorry and loves him before his surgery. But something about shooting him 17 times tells me the little Brave One isn’t all that sorry. Meredith ends the Stockholm Syndrome by telling Moms off. And because I absolutely love a good smackdown speech, here it is for your enjoyment:
No. she will not go apologize to him. You should be apologizing to her. I understand you’re a victim here, but there is no room for you to be a victim when your 6-year-old is on the line. She’s stronger than you. Your 6-year-old is stronger than you. At least she did something. She stood up for the two of you. Which is more than you did for her.
So, OK, Meredith is taking her own parental issues out on this stupid woman, but she still gave her a great ass-kicking.
For her trouble, the Chief calls Meredith into a private meeting behind a thin treatment curtain. He starts telling her she’s just upset about him and her mom. She tells him to mind his own bee’s wax and he’s abusing his power (woo, breaking news.) In response, he loudly threatens to evaluate her mental fitness to be a resident. The Chief storms off in a sanctimonious huff, leaving Meredith standing by the curtain.
Meredith tells Derek the Chief is so not invited to the wedding. Derek agrees, rather than go 10 rounds with Meredith, and bonus, saving money on their reception headcount.
Meanwhile, Kellie Martin, who was on ER a gazillion years ago, returns to the hospital set as the sister of Willow/Karen. More a career-lover than a tree-hugger, she tries to tell her eco-nut sister to let her bring in the lawyers, but Willow wants nothing to do with it. Callie, with sister issues of her own, pipes in that Willow is brave.
It’s uncanny how every medical case conveniently mirrors some aspect of the doctors’ personal lives. I mean, what are the odds? I can’t wait to see what Callie and Arizona’s storyline will be on the day two women walk into the ER with a parthenogenic pregnancy.
Douche bag dad has too many gunshot wounds to keep up with, so Owen sends Cristina out to his truck to get a bag out of his glove box. In the bag, there’s a magic powder that clots like magic. Who cares if it’s not FDA-approved, or sterile for that matter?
In another operating room, Callie is patching Willow Mossyrock back together. Arizona pays Callie a visit and tells her she loves how much she cares about her patients. And will keep loving the little things about her, even if Callie decides to tell her family that she was kidding about being with a woman.
Bailey brings Izzie her CAT scan results. After learning that Robbie wasn’t a bad mom, just a "limited" one who can’t handle truthiness the way most grown-ups can, Bailey tells them both the pictures look great – the cancer seems to be all better now. Relieved, Robbie gives Bailey a big hug and goes into the bathroom to wipe her tears.
Out of earshot, Bailey tells Izzie the real diagnosis: the cancer is spreading faster and wider than a hookers legs during Fleet Week.
Elsewhere, Derek tells the Chief that he’s the most professional, level-headed doctor he knows. Wait. I just fell out of my chair.
Anywho. Derek says Meredith isn’t the only one who crosses the line – the Chief claims she’s just a resident, but he treats her like family. Family he can summon to his office with a page, send on missions for his personal agendas, and order around in general. She is family, by gum; she’s his little sister.
After surgery, Willow and her corporate big sister decide to sue the bastards for 10 million dollars. You can plant a butt load of trees for 10 million dollars. Callie stands looking on with Mark, and thinking about her own family.
Callie: I can’t lie, even if they think I’m wrong. Even if they don’t understand. Even if they think I’m crazy. I’m me. There’s supposed to accept me. They’re supposed to support me, they’re supposed to love me, ya know? I can’t lie.
Later, when Meredith is sure she’s about to be fired, the Chief finally mans up and apologizes for not standing up for her when she was a neglected, sad kid; not in the way she stood up for that little girl earlier. In another part of the hospital, more parental shortcomings are being owned-up to as Robbie admits to Izzie she doesn’t know much, but she always knew her daughter was better than the trailer park she raised her in.
Outside, Cristina calls Owen on his "take care now" bullcrap. He shows her a slip of paper he’s been carrying around; it has other three-word sentences. He tells Cristina that none of those are the one three-word sentence he wants to say to her. But he’s a danger to himself and others, and would only try to kill her during his PSTD REM’s, so yeah, "take care now," is always going to be better than "die insurgent, die," and then later, "guilty, your Honor."
The family of the batterer pays him one last visit to say so long, sucker. Lexie invites Mark to meet her dad, even though he told her he’s never been any father’s favorite boyfriend. But Mr. Grey is in a contrite space right now, so who is he to judge? Izzie gets wheeled into surgery as Alex prepares himself for what might be a final look.
And lastly, Meredith packs up her mom’s old journals and decides to donate them to the Chief’s private library: there’s nothing in them for her. Sorry is hard. But silence is harder.
Next week: Meredith, Derek and the gang wind up for the big wedding. Izzie fears the worst when she begins experiencing familiar symptoms, which may or may not include a bootie call from Denny. It’s Grey’s Anatomy’s 100th episode.