“Grey’s Anatomy” recap (11.17): It’s Been a Long May/December

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The last time we were in Seattle, Derek had rushed back home to explain why a woman was answering his phone. Yet even after his explanation (she’s just his research fellow WHATEVER!) Meredith remains unconvinced that this isn’t the beginning of the end for them. She heads out the door for work, even as he asks her to stay, and tells him to maybe spend some time with his children. Watching Derek’s sad, mopey face, is almost as painful as a leech swimming around in your sinus cavity. But I’m getting ahead of myself. We get a flashback to nine weeks prior, where Derek meets this fellow Renee, who is doing some research he’s interested in. This is Renee.

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Yup. At the hospital, Meredith arrives to consult with Alex on a teen patient of his who is fading fast while waiting for a liver transplant. When she tells Alex that Derek is home, he tries to get some info out of her about the mystery women but Meredith is all business, which Alex knows isn’t a good sign.

In the scrub room, Owen finds Amelia and they goober it up for each other. “Ha, remember yesterday when we were about to bang but got interrupted again? Ha, stupid pagers, stupid patients and their brains and traumas. Let’s reschedule that bang, shall we?” And they do. Well, I’m paraphrasing.

Steph, after spending so much time working with neuro, is super far behind in her hours with other specialties, which she complains about to Jo. Yet, when April offers them both some time in the pit, Jo snags it. Way to be a friend, Jo.

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Owen gets a page for a personal matter and, much to his surprise, his mother Evelyn (played by the great character actress Debra Mooney) has been brought in to the hospital after a bad fall in the shower. And she’s not alone. She has her much MUCH younger boyfriend John with her, who Owen knew nothing about. Owen assumed he was a first responder since he was in his firefighter’s uniform. Amelia tries to diffuse the situation as Owen blows his top. He thinks that John must be some grifter trying to take advantage of his mother, and threatens to change all the locks and passwords in his mother’s home. Richard pulls his ass out of there before the fists go flying.

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Meredith and Alex visit their young patient Danny, who is suffering so bad from liver failure that his skin is yellow and jaundice. He’s got a hell of a spirit though, even as he’s in tremendous pain. Alex has been treating his issues with antibiotics, but Meredith suggests a more aggressive and riskier surgical treatment, that Alex doesn’t agree with. Danny’s older sister, and medical proxy, doesn’t want to do anything that could jeopardize his health even further, but Danny is interested in the surgery.

Jo has a patient who has had a headache since she returned from a trip to China. The patient is panicking that it’s SARS or Bird Flu, because she’s also been getting nosebleeds that mysteriously disappear when she goes to wipe her nose. Jo sees what she’s talking about, but this is no nosebleed. Nosebleeds don’t slither.

Ben and Jackson are working on a patient who has been growing a new ear on his arm. Ain’t science grand? When Steph spies the patient, she approaches Ben a bit too friendly-like. He reminds her that he’s married to Bailey, who is amazing and also scary. Steph immediately backtracks. She was just trying to snag the surgery, and offers him 50¬†bucks. No deal.

Alex confronts Meredith about suggesting the risky surgery to Danny without talking it over with him first. He thinks something is up, and asks if it’s because of the streak or maybe, I don’t know, DEREK?

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Flashback to seven weeks prior in DC, where Derek is admiring Renee’s work. She looks back at him with awe and the crushy heart eyes of a student. A brilliant adult student, but a student nonetheless. She was inspired by her sister who has autism, to work on this type of research and Derek is impressed. While she’s sneaking peeks at him, it doesn’t go unnoticed that he sneaks one back. Derek may love Meredith and have a hairline that defies the laws of nature, but he is a human.

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