And we’re back. Last year seems like a lifetime ago, which makes sense because the shenanigans at Seattle Mercy Grace West are not unlike a Lifetime movie. Chief Do-As-I-Say, Not-As-I-Do is off the wagon, but only Meredith has seen the shame of his swaying by the jukebox, mumbling the words to “Bad Romance.” Mark and Lexie are still playing parents to his iPod-wearing, baby-carrying, brat of a daughter, Sloan. Owen has chosen Cristina, much to Teddy’s dismay. She teaches Cristina how to spot the bleeders in the operating room, all the while, she’s bleeding into her shoes.
These days, Lexie feels like the odd girl out, too. Just when she thought life was coming together for her — hot boyfriend, kick-ass apartment, friends across the hall, less spazzing out at work — in walks Mark’s surprise daughter, Sloan. Nothing like a bit of trailer trash with a baby bump to ruin your day. Now, she can’t even get any morning nookie without Sloan busting in, demanding someone make her pancakes and give her pocket money.
Lexie pads across the hallway to Cristina and Callie’s place to take a shower but this one’s taken.
There goes the hot water.
At the hospital, Teddy tells Cristina she’ll be doing her first solo cardio surgery, sending her into orgasmic convulsions. Everyone’s getting some but Lexie, who’s reduced to giving Sloanie Lynn Spears a sonogram.
Spying something amiss with the baby, Lexie summons Mark and everyone takes a better look. There are bands of tissue wrapped tightly around its legs, endangering the limbs. “I can’t have a stumpy baby,” Sloan insists. Who can? You can’t even take them out for a walk; it’s more like a drag.
Even though Arizona is the resident baby saver, Mark calls in Dr. Addison Montgomery, because this is the Very Special Crossover Episode with Private Practice. And, the redhead count has been way down since the last round of layoff.
Meanwhile, Cristina’s cardio patient is a seemingly harmless mouse who turns out to be a huge pain in the ass. Not only does she insist that her pumpkin allergies are relevant, she demands she be given a new pillow, and PS., her blanket smell makes her neck itchy. After Cristina has thoroughly studied the procedure to install a mechanical heart valve, mouse lady announces she’s changed her mind about what kind of heart valve would make her happiest.
Cristina would love to give the woman a new pillow, right over her face, but bites her tongue because she wants this surgery more than life itself, even if it means learning a completely different procedure.
In some other part of the hospital, there’s some nonsense going on about trading surgical procedures for sex between Alex and the Mercy West doctor, Reed. Too bad he’s still married. Meredith overhears everything and reminds Alex that his wife’s name is Izzie. No one’s seen her in months. Alex says bitterly, “Yeah, well turns out your stupid Post-It is ten times the marriage my church wedding ever got me.”
The Reed and Alex storyline doesn’t interest me one bit, except whenever I see Reed, I know that Sue Sylvester would call her a “ginger pygmy with eyes like a bush baby.” That makes it worthwhile.
Over the New Year, Derek went from McDreamy to Most Happy Fella for no particular reason. He’s all smiles and twinkly eyes these days, and follows Addison’s suggestion to fix Bailey up with single men from radiology. One hapless guy who dares invite Bailey to lunch gets an earful about her effed up life, which ends with, “It’s devastating, but not completely, because it turns out I like sleeping crosswise in the bed and not having to shave my legs.”
And so what? She’s still a rock star. She’s got her rock moves. And she doesn’t need your cafeteria tuna salad tonight.
Elsewhere, Cristina is bullying a lab tech to give her one bovine heart valve and one porcine heart valve, so she can play “Cow or pig” with mouse lady, putting a fresh spin on the age-old question, “Chicken or fish?”
In the O.R., Addison runs into a problem fixing Sloan’s baby’s legs. She can try something risky but Mark, who’s suddenly over-protective and uncharacteristically paternal, tells her to pull the plug on the entire operation. When Sloan comes to, she’s pissed she’s going to have a stumpy baby. She admits she’s stupid, but not too stupid to know she’s incapable of taking care of a healthy baby, let alone one she has to literally drag to daycare.
Derek is growing more and more suspicious of the Chief’s behavior. The Chief hasn’t operated in months, he’s sleeping on his office couch, and making Meredith watch his version of home movies: old surgery footage. Neither Bailey nor Meredith will tell Derek that the truth is, the Chief fell off the wagon and landed in a tub of gin.
Also not talking? Teddy. Cristina is up to her elbows in a chest cavity when things go awry. As mouse lady starts to bleed out, Cristina scrambles to find the problem while Teddy sits nearby, blithely reading a magazine.
Owen comes busting in, demanding that Teddy help his girlfriend. What a guy. He encourages Cristina, but underestimates her, supports her but doesn’t quite respect her skills, and loves her but doesn’t get her.
Teddy: This patient is not going to die. She’s going to save this patient.
Cristina: [mumbling] Pig or cow?
Owen: [whispering] If you’re sitting on your hands because you’re angry with me.
Teddy: Get over yourself.
Cristina: Dr. Hunt, you are blowing my concentration! Now get out of my O.R.!
True to form, Cristina figures out what to do. Yang for the win. While Cristina basks in the glow of her own awesomeness, Owen and Teddy realize things will never be OK among the three of them.
Lexie would like to win one, for once. Mark tells Sloan that not only will they be going to see Addison in LA to try again, (and making a guest appearance on Private Practice) when they return home, she and the baby can live with him and Lexie.
Um, don’tcha want to ask your girlfriend if she’s cool with that? Because Lexie is definitely not cool with it. All she wants is a boyfriend she doesn’t have to share with a needy stranger, to be a priority, and the use of her own bathroom. And not be a grandmother before she’s 30. Lexie tells Mark she feels marginalized.
Mark: Don’t make me choose between you and her.
Lexie: Why? ‘Cause you’ll choose her?
Mark: [long pause] Yeah. I’ll choose her.
Lexie: I think our relationship just ended.
The kids grow up and won’t need you one day, Mark. Then what? Well, you can always sleep diagonally with Bailey and her furry legs, I guess.
Back at the hospital, Cristina is on fire with excitement after her first successful solo heart surgery. She tells Owen she finally feels like she has air in her lungs again. She’s exhilarated beyond the telling, until Owen punches the life out of her and says Teddy is leaving Seattle. In a panic, Cristina runs after Teddy, who’s about to disappear into the Parking Lot of Oblivion.
Desperate, Cristina offers Teddy things that she can’t possibly deliver: more money, a bigger lab, different patients.
Teddy: It isn’t about that.
Cristina: Wait, wait, wait, wait. No one has ever believed in me like this. You believe in me more than I do. And I need that. I’m going to die here without that.
Teddy: Cristina —
Cristina: You know, just tell me what you want! I’ll make it happen.
Teddy: I want Owen!
Cristina: Fine! Done! Take him!
Cristina gasps, but her words can’t be sucked back into herself. It’s too late. They stand, stunned. And you thought trading sex for surgeries was wrong.