The merger is complete and Seattle Grace is under attack. Swarms of orange-clad Mercy Westies show up for their first day of school like they own the damn joint. No one’s happy about it, least of all, Izzie, who wants to have a throw down with the redhead who has the nerve to take George’s old cubby.
Everyone convenes in Meredith’s room, where she’s recovering from her recent liver donation-ectomy, to gripe and resign themselves to careers in the coroner’s office. Meredith gives them a pep talk based on the plot of Aliens. “They can’t attach themselves to our faces, and then when we’re eating spaghetti, explode out of our chests and skitter across the floor. This is our ship!” she assures them. Well, good, because I’m pretty sure their HMO doesn’t cover this.
Cristina is feeling lower than ever. Does anyone remember the heady days when she was a shining star in the cardiothoracic universe? She doesn’t either. Meredith tells her to nut up and get out there.
Recently re-hired as an attending surgeon, Callie reports for duty, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, which is really only a good thing if you happen to be a squirrel.
With Mercy West closed, both the extra staff and overflow of patients make for a crowded emergency room. Owen tells both the home team and their bitter rivals to fan out and work wherever they’re needed. A Westie chimes in that at Mercy West, they played zones. Cristina suggests he shut his newbie pie hole, but Owen likes the idea and dismisses her in front of everyone. Let’s see — he beats on her in his sleep, doesn’t talk much, refuses to have sex, and now this. Are there any advantages to dating this guy? ‘Cause I’d love to hear them.
Bailey tells Callie there’s someone there to see her. She peaks into the waiting room and sees her estranged dad catching up on “Goofus and Gallant” with a 2-year-old issue of Highlights magazine.
The realization of what’s really going on slowly spreads across Callie’s face. It’s an intervention of the Catholic kind. She backs away, reminding him, “You can not pray away the gay.”
He shouts her full name, like that ever works beyond the age of six, “Calliope Iphegenia Torres!” so she yells back again, even louder, “You can not pray away the gay!“
Well, now, some people really do think prayer works. I don’t know if it does, or if it’s just wishing with hand gestures. I’m still trying to figure out the answers to questions like, “Who’s on first?” “What’s that smell?” and “Why you hitting yourself?”
Hotter than a two dollar pistol, Callie makes a beeline to Arizona, who’s in the closet – the supply closet, that is. Somehow, Arizona is not as hepped up over the news when Callie exclaims her dad wants to “disinfect you from my life.” That’s ridiculous. Everyone knows to remove the gay; all you need is some club soda and a clean cloth.
Why can’t Arizona be in charge of everything?
Around the hospital, each doctor has a Westie up their ass: Cristina tramples one to beat him to a bleeder, Lexie gets stuck with a younger version of herself, Alex steals a patient’s chart away from Redhead #11 in a series, while Izzie warms up to a guy with a freakishly large head and lumpy face.
Let’s call him Dr. Potato Head.
Meanwhile, in the Oval Office, the Chief meets with a bossy Asian lady from HR, who’s prepared an idiot-proof speech for firing staff. He tells her he doesn’t need any help because he’s awesomesauce. She knows otherwise and informs that him his amazing people skills have resulted in a wrongful termination lawsuit from an intern. Just one?
“So, this is the speech,” she says coolly as he rolls his eyes, “don’t deviate.”
Back in the ER, one patient tries to attack another. A Westie tackles the angry man, earning him a round of applause from the room. Owen gushes over the guy’s obvious football experience while Cristina looks around, wondering “Is everyone on crack?”
The patient tells Cristina he wants to thank the Westie for saving his life. Cristina replies indignantly, “No, I saved your life. I’m still saving it.”
The Asians may not be getting any respect these days, but the redheads sure are having their moment in the sun. Owen and a carrot-top Westie gang up against Alex and then wander off to compare sunscreen preferences.
Heeding Arizona’s advice, and still hoping to hug it out with Pops, Callie tries to have a real heart-to-heart with him. But within seconds, he’s tossing out verbal grenades like “eternity in hell,” “an abomination” and “where did I go wrong?” You can almost see the hair on the back of Callie’s neck bristle. Even the priest suggests ix-nay on the ell-hay.
Mr. Torres whips out some Bible flashcards and starts rattling off the Crazy Christian Top Ten.
Meanwhile, Father Kevin has suddenly taken a vow of silence and just sits there.
Callie: 1, Pope: 0.
Elsewhere, Lexie’s patient, Billy the Burglar, has stolen her annoying nemesis’ journal and gives it to her for ammo. Given Lexie’s photographic memory, she could probably breeze through it in five minutes and return it with no one the wiser, but she tucks it into her pocket instead. Owen grants Dr. Football a surgery that Cristina feels belonged to her. The betrayal is so deep, she’s beyond words and walks away from him in disgust.
Only Izzie and Dr. Potato Head are above the dirty tricks and patient stealing, or so she thought.
Carrying over coffee for two, she overhears him telling his orange teammates, “She can’t do enough for me. It’s like I have my own surgical bitch.”
She dumps his coffee at his feet and runs home to tear up the sweater she was knitting him.
Arizona finds Callie alone in a lounge, crying her eyes out. So much for the Father-Daughter Sack Race at this year’s Seattle Grace Mercy West Field Day.
Alex and his Westie argue over a patient’s diagnosis until the man’s daughter gives them both what for: “Enough! Your behavior has been disgusting! I mean, all you’ve done all day is take pleasure in how the other one got it wrong, how they screwed it up…”
While the hospital spirals into entropy, the Chief is nowhere to be found and probably in his office, practicing his golf putt. Even snarky, iron-willed Cristina Yang has finally cracked and goes to Meredith’s room to fall apart.
“I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m chasing after surgeries I don’t care about. Do you know how long it’s been since I held a heart in my hand?… I miss Burke. I miss him all day… And I got picked, not because of some favoritism, but because it was right… And I felt seen.”
She climbs into bed with Meredith and watches It Happened One Night with her, rather than go back out there. Oh no. I rely on Cristina to maintain a sense of superiority, sarcasm and misanthropy. This is disturbing. It’s like seeing your mom cry for the first time.
The only person for five miles with no issues and a level head is Arizona. She finds Callie’s dad staring into space, wondering if an exorcism would be against hospital policy. He doesn’t want to talk to her, but she delivers her own Come to Jesus speech, telling him that she’s from a family of war veterans. They live for honor and duty to country. And she’s not named for the persnickety state the refused to observe Martin Luther King Day and Daylight Savings Time, but for the battleship her grandpappy served on: the USS Arizona.
Raised to be “a good man in a storm,” her dad had only had one question after she came out, “Are you still who I raised you to be?”
If Callie’s dad ever comes to his senses, Arizona will make a good man in a storm-in-law.
Lexie has also seen the light and returns the purloined pocket journal to her nemesis. Things aren’t going so well for Izzie, who was so fired up about Dr. Potato Head’s betrayal, she accidently puts her patient in cardiac arrest, and knocks her off a kidney transplant list.
It’s the last straw. Dr. Izzie Steven gets paged to the Chief’s office and is summarily fired. You’d think donating $8.7 million to build a free clinic would buy her a little job security, but apparently, the Chief has the memory of goldfish.
“You can’t fire me for having cancer! I’m pretty sure that’s five kinds of illegal!” she yells. And then adds, “You let me come back after I cut an LVAD wire!” as if pointing her horrifying mistakes helps her cause.
The HR lady reminds the Chief to stick to The Speech, but not before he blurts out the gossip that Derek, Owen and Alex all question her stamina. The Chief will not only throw you under the bus, he’ll drive it right over you.
Outside, Callie’s dad tells her he’s changed his mind about the whole gay thing. As her father, it’s his job to catch her if she falls. At least someone still has a job.
From piety to PFLAG in ten seconds flat, he suddenly asks (fingers crossed!) about weddings and grandkids. “If Arizona wanted to spend the rest of her life with me? Yeah, I’ll put on a big white dress and dance down the aisle.” And assuming her pediatric-inclined girlfriend wants kids, she says “sure!” to that too.
Arizona Robbins is magic. And eats meat!
Happy endings are not in the cards for everyone, however. Alex finds Cristina still hiding out in Meredith’s room and tells them both that Izzie has left him a “Dear John” letter and disappeared. Parking Lot of Oblivion claims another victim.