Braiiiiiins. No, no zombies (that’s next week), it’s just Derek, taking over narrating duties on this week’s Grey’s Anatomy. See, Derek sees patterns everywhere. It’s his job to connect the dots, and find new paths. The patterns are what make us uniquely…well…us. What we think, who we love, it’s all in the minutia of the pattern. Derek is currently working on a new, innovative project. His patient Mickey, a quadriplegic, is hooked up to sensors and using his mind to move things on the computer screen. One day, this technology will be used to help people like Mickey live fuller, more independent lives. Technology! Fuck yeah! Mickey is totally jazzed, but asks Derek where Callie is. You see, Callie and Derek have taken on this project together, and she is nowhere to be found. Derek has bigger fish to fry than a missing Calliope however. Mickey’s brain is bugging out. Derek realizes he has inadvertently taken his red coffee cup to work with him, and asks Ross to stash it in baby Bailey’s diaper bag when he gets a chance. (The mug has a guest-starring role, ok?)
The interns are officially taking a step toward being less awful. Today is the day they get lab coats with their names stitched on them. They also move up to those cool, open wood lockers. It’s like Christmas, if Christmas were really boring. The interns are all talking at each other. Everyone has secrets they want to spill (Leah and Stephanie) or boyfriends they want to bitch about (Jo). In one of the lockers, there is a lab coat with Heather Brooks’ name stitched on it, and the sight sends Ross heading for the hills.
Jo calls Alex, who is heading out and manages to slip past her. He’s been avoiding her for days and it’s starting to take its toll on her. Arizona is hanging by the nurses station (per usual) and Leah slides her overeager beaver right next to her. Leah asks if Arizona got her text about passing her exams. Yes she did, and she responded like any non-committal, slightly terrified paramour. Congratulations. The look on Arizona’s face whenever Leah is around is priceless. Like one part horrified, one part nauseated, with a dash of arousal. Arizona, it happens to the best of us. Leah tells her that she had a lot of fun, with the kissing and the first basing. She’s ready to take it further, but Arizona’s eyes say, “Quiet. Quiet. QUIET!” Leah gets the hint and zips it before she bounces off, riding high on a sliver of flirtation.
Guest stars Annie Potts and Jere Burns arrive in the ER, and are amazing from the moment they open their mouths. The husband busted his ankle and April tells Stephanie that he needs some X-rays, including one for his chest, and an ortho consult. Paging Dr. Torres.
Things with Owen and Emma have moved past the baked goods-stage, into something a little more serious. She’s visiting the hospital for the day and Owen is all ruddy cheeked and smiling. He asks if he can start telling people about them, and she is happy at the prospect of telling the world. She literally runs into Cristina on her way out, and Cristina teases Owen about her. “Is it bring your girlfriend to work day?” She puts up a good front, but it can’t be easy watching another woman make the man she loves smile like that. Cristina runs into Meredith who is preoccupied and still a little pissed off. Mer is trying to settle on a research project, and blows Cristina off.
Richard is suffering from shoulder pain, and he’ll be damned if he isn’t going to make this a teachable moment. Jo is his student today, and she’s trying t get to the root of his pain while Bailey observes. Meredith crashes the party to ask Bailey’s advice on which research project she should go for. She has some choice options, and Bailey is impressed with Meredith’s moxie. One of her choices is a project that her mother was working on in the days before she got truly ill. Richard gives that one his vote and mentions her mother’s notes are in a journal at his home. He then tosses Jo out of his room. The red mug made its way to Ross, and now it’s found its way to Richard’s room. Jo grabs it as she heads out for a much needed cup of joe.
Stephanie, also caffeine-deprived, grabs the mug from Jo and take a big slug. All is well until Stephanie sees the films from her broken ankle patient, and she drops the mug in shock. It shatters in a spray of Fiestaware sadness. The man has an enormous tumor on his heart. Ross is really upset that Stephanie broke the precious mug, but like any normal person, she blows him off. Stephanie gets Yang to look at Ankle Guy’s heart films, and consult with the couple.
Derek finally tracks down Callie and asks if she’s ok. He’s concerned that she wasn’t there for Mickey’s simulation earlier. Callie confesses that she’s trying to get her groove back and concentrate on fixing herself. That means less time for other things, like the project with Derek.
Emma is planning to observe a surgery that Arizona is performing with Alex, and Leah escorts her to the room. Misinterpreting Emma’s admiration for Arizona’s work, she gets instantly jealous. Leah gets a double whammy of disappointment when Arizona won’t let her scrub in. Alex puts on his best lezbro hat, and teases Arizona about being a shirt chaser. At first she looks appalled, but then a smile creeps across her face. Sometimes, you just need a friend to keep you brutally in check.
Jo is jogging through the halls on a mission. She’s got Ellis Grey’s journal (Richard sent her to get it) and tracks down Meredith to pass it along to her. She finds Meredith, chatting with Callie. Meredith fills Callie in on her possible research projects. When she tells Callie about her mother’s portal vein project, Callie gets excited. She tells Meredith that this is part of her story: finishing her mother’s work and making a name for herself in the process. Callie is “reinvesting” in herself at the moment, and challenges Meredith to do the same. Meredith isn’t quite sold, so she hands the journal over to Ross and takes her leave.
Ross decides to approach Derek and request to leave his service. Derek admits that he acted unfairly when it came to the competition between Ross and Brooks. Before they can get too far into their discussion, Derek spies something unpleasant in Mickey’s MRI. A glioma. Mickey’s got a tumor in his brain, and that’s why the results of the simulation were a bust. Ross asks if it can be treated, and Derek suggests the possibly of using a special medical glue that’s been show to be effective in brain AVMs. The closer he looks though, Derek realizes the tumor is too close to the brain stem and treatment would be unsuccessful.