Things are a little sunnier in Seattle than when we last left our favorite doctors: Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) and Derek (Patrick Dempsey) seem to be on good terms after their massive fight last week and Zola is no worse for the wear after missing her princess tea party.
And the interns are starting off their second year, which means their lab coats are now embroidered with their names. Exciting! Something’s definitely up with Shane (Gaius Charles), though — and Alex (Justin Chambers), too, who appears to be avoiding Jo (Camilla Luddington).
And speaking of interns, Leah's (Tessa Ferrer) ready to take it to the next level with Arizona (Jessica Capshaw), a prospect Arizona looks a little less than enthused about. If that’s not enough relationship drama for you, Owen (Kevin McKidd) and Emma are officially dating (and she’s working on a pediatric case with Arizona), and worst of all: things are still sketchy between Cristina (Sandra Oh) and Mer after their fight last week. Kiss and make up, guys!
So what’s got Meredith so preoccupied? She’s trying to find unfinished research on portal veins, so she can get a research grant. Why are they unfinished? Her mom was working on it. You know, when she died. Great. And who wants to cash in on their dead famous surgeon mother’s project?
And Derek’s not having a great day at work. He and Callie (Sara Ramirez) teamed up to help a patient gain use of his hand back, but Callie’s pulling out — she needs to focus more on her own specialty. Without her help, Derek’s a little shaky on the outcome, and he tells the patient instead of removing his tumor, he’s just going to do what he can in surgery. But the patient says no dice. Either take the tumor or don’t take anything.
Something’s wrong with Richard's (James Pickens Jr.) shoulder, and Jo just can’t figure out what it is — especially since Richard’s not helping. Even though he’s her teacher, she’s gotta work through this one on her own.
Cristina’s trying her hand at a surgery that’s never been done before, and runs into Emma… and promptly announces she’s Owen’s ex-wife. Moment of panic or one of sabotage? You decide. But her surgery is successful, even if her patient — who’s spent all his money and more on living out what he thought was his final years — has mixed emotions about not dying from a tumor he thought was inoperable.
And after Leah starts bragging to the other interns about her hook-up with Arizona, Arizona sets the record straight — it was a bad decision because she was lonely. Leah’s pretty heartbroken, though.
Alex is at some random sketchy bar when his dad sits down next to him and he offers to buy him a drink. His father quickly realizes just where he knows Alex from… and it’s not his family. It’s the hospital. And Alex isn’t too forthcoming about the fact that he’s his son, either.
And Jo’s finally figured out what’s wrong with Richard, and even though it’s bad news — pancreatic psuedo cyst — we see Richard smile for the first time this season. Yay!
Back at the bar, Alex and his dad are playing music together — OK, how cute is this, even if his dad has no idea it’s actually father/son bonding. It reminds him of when he taught his son how to play guitar, and shows him a picture of his son — a kid who isn’t Alex, another kid he left. And after an angry outburst, Alex punches him and gets kicked out of the bar.
And the moment we’ve all been waiting for, folks: Cristina makes an effort to get back in Meredith’s good graces while Mer’s working on her application for funding to print 3D portal veins. And Meredith’s still pissed Cristina hasn’t been there for her in the way that she should, and while we hate to see them on the outs, she makes a lot of good points.
Jo finally gets her confrontation with Alex on why he’s been avoiding her, and he blames her for getting attached to the idea of his father again. Ugh, this whole Alex’s dad situation is just not working out for anybody.
Meredith comes home to Derek and a house full of sleeping babies (the best kind). Derek’s got a good idea about how Meredith can make her research her priority without letting her mothering skills fall by the wayside — he’s going to do less so he can be there for the kids, and show her not to feel guilty about spending the next year working hard at her career. We love these two.
Work crazy hours with strangers’ lives in the balance, or play with babies all day? Yeah, we’re gonna take Derek’s option this time.
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Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.