The merger of Seattle Grace and Mercy West has everyone freaking right out of their scrubs. Not only does no one dare go home, let alone screw up or get some shut-eye, there’s a good chance the hospital will be renamed Smercy Grest, or Macy Gracy, or just plain old, “The Chief’s Place.”
Cristina is more unhinged than her peers are because A) she’s ambitious as all get out, and B) she’s off the cardiac rotation and so desperate to find a chair before the music stops, she’s willing to pretend she likes snot-nosed children to get into pediatrics. Yes, kittens, things are that bad.
Cristina: You’re safe because of Derek. Izzie’s safe because of cancer. Alex is Bailey’s new favorite. You know, even George would have been spared because he’s Owen’s guy. Cardio has been a revolving door around here. And no one’s got my back.
Meredith: So, Arizona is your cover?
Cristina: She’s merger-proof. She keeps little kids alive. No one likes a dead kid.
But everyone loves a fanciful wig. Izzie shows up to work wearing an Eva Gabor number, insisting it looks real and not at all like a fox died on her head.
The redhead count is up to five, in case anyone cares.
Alex wigs out because she’s just back from the brink of death and should be home watching Oprah. But no — Izzie’s there to protect her job, lest some other resident with a clean bill of health and a full head of tresses takes it from her.
Young Lexie is also taking her job very seriously and races down the hallway, her arms full of plasma. She trips and does a spectacular face plant, landing on the entire supply. Clean up on Aisle 4.
The only doctor seemingly unaffected by the merger is McSteamy, who reminds Derek it’s just a “financial restructuring.” I love corporate America. Other real euphemisms I’ve heard over the years: “Strategic contraction,” “right-sizing,” “re-balancing of human capital” and my favorite, ” synergy-related headcount restructuring.” Whatever you call it, the result is the same: you’ll finally have time to put all those loose pictures into photo albums, start that garden you’ve been talking about for years, and create 12 different versions of your resume to appear as if you’re equally qualified to be Vice President or a receptionist.
Derek can’t take the suspense any longer and barges into the Chief’s office, demanding to know who stays and who goes. The Chief bellows he doesn’t owe anyone, let alone Derek, a damn thing, throws him out on his ass, and goes back to playing eeney-meeney-miney-moe with the staff directory.
Elsewhere, the formerly racktastic Adrienne Barbeau shows up as a woman with a huge growth in her stomach and a paranoid schizophrenic grown son. The son thinks his mother has an alien inside her belly. It’s actually moving, so Bailey and the others aren’t sure it’s not an alien. I’m just happy to see Maude’s daughter still gets work in a town where your chances of getting hired fall at the same rate your breasts do.
Up in pediatrics, Cristina is suffering all kinds of indignations. Not only is Arizona making her wear a cutesy teddy bear on her lab coat, she’s being forced to play hide ‘n seek games with a little girl patient. Yang throws back the covers and tells the kid to grow up, while the kid’s mom watches with disappointment.
The paranoid schizophrenic man becomes suspicious of Lexie because the lab coat she changed into after her plasma face plant incident is missing a nametag. Clearly, she’s one of “Them” and to protect himself and his mother, he attacks Lexie and runs off in search of a tinfoil hat.
Arizona and Cristina are seeing another young patient. This one wants some pudding. Good thing Yang went to Smith, Berkley and Stanford. She should be able to find the cafeteria no problem. Which is more than Lexie can say – she’s lost a six-foot man who’s running loose in the hospital, angrily ranting about aliens and hidden cameras. Oh, wait — there he is, falling down a flight of stairs and busting his spleen. Time to start shopping for an interview outfit, Lexie.
This puts a monkey wrench in Bailey’s plan to operate on his mom, who has an aortic aneurysm the size of a pineapple in her gut. It could blow at any time, killing her, and leaving her son to fend for himself.
Just as I’m about to poke my eyes out from recounting all these jejune scenes, in walks Callie. Arizona is as happy to see her as we all are.
Arizona: Hey! What are you doing here?
Callie: Oh, I just stopped by to get some old case files.
Arizona: For what?
Callie: This job opening in Portland.
Callie: Yeah. The merger — I mean, the Chief already got rid of me once.
Arizona: Yeah. No. Well, it’s smart. That’s smart of you to have a backup.
Oh, stop it. Callie is not moving to Portland, Oregon. Arizona lets that one go and tells Callie that Cristina is working with her and her kids. Callie snorts sarcastically.
Arizona: What? Did she say something to you?
Callie: She doesn’t have to. She’s Cristina.
Arizona: OK, you have to tell me here. I don’t know what that means.
Callie: I shouldn’t say anything, she’s my roommate.
Arizona: [silently dumbfounded]
Callie: And you’re my girlfriend. Girlfriend trumps roommate. OK, fine. She’s Cristina; she’s all about cardio. She’s probably sucking up to you to get through the merger. Is she good with the kids?
Arizona: She’s sucking.
Meanwhile, Cristina is probably in the basement, buying the mortician a coffee and admiring what he’s done to the morgue.
Actually, she’s cornered Owen and is pushing him towards the Chief’s office, insisting he put in a good word for her. “That list is everything. That list my future. It’s my salvation. The list is life!” she exclaims. Owen is flabbergasted.
“Schindler’s List? You’re comparing the merger to the Holocaust?” he asks. Cristina’s officially lost it.
If the Chief’s list is going to be racially balanced, Cristina is safe because not only did this nameless Asian accidentally rip a fetus’ arm off, she had caterpillars living on her face.
Should she even be in an operating room? I’m pretty sure you can not sterilize those.
In other medical news: Lexie redeems her worth by proposing some slightly unnecessary surgery to Bailey. If the paranoid guy gets his spleen fixed, then his mom will stop worrying and agree to have her own lifesaving surgery at the same time. Mark re-attaches the baby’s arm, thereby proving his job security. And Izzie throws vanity out the window and lets a nurse remove her oppressive wig during a surgery with Derek.
Meredith tells everyone to check their email — the Chief has chosen to have HR do his dirty work — anyone getting fired will have a pink slip in their inboxes. No one of any importance gets cut, natch, but suffice it to say, the redhead count is way down.
Back at Callie house, Arizona comes home and comes clean.
Arizona: I hate, hate, hate this merger. Because I hate long distance relationships. I don’t believe in them. So, you can’t move to Portland.
Callie: When I mentioned it this afternoon, you didn’t seem to mind. You were like, “Move to Portland.”
Arizona: I didn’t know I was allowed to mind. I didn’t know if we were girlfriends, but then, you said “girlfriend.” You called me your girlfriend. So, I need to know. Am I your girlfriend?
Callie: [laughs] Yeah.
A few seconds after she’s confirmed her girlfriend status, Arizona starts bossing Callie around.
Weird. It usually doesn’t take so long.
While Callie and Arizona search for U-Haul rates, the rest of the gang have opted to put aside their work troubles and play some baseball. Cristina doesn’t want any part of this jocky distraction, and Lexie is still upset about half her class getting canned.
Owen yells at Cristina to stop worrying about the future and concentrate on what’s right in front of her, and promptly fires a fastball at her head. She knocks one into center field without even trying.
When things look bleak, hitting something really hard works every time. What this country needs are less flowery speeches and more Whack-a-Mole.