Aaaand we’re back. Back to the slow-motion, sleep-deprived, and exciting world of being an intern on Grey's Anatomy. From the locker room to the lunch dates and the nicknames, we have to admit it: We’ve missed this place. And although this new batch is the poor man’s equivalent of Bailey’s (Chandra Wilson) interns, the intern world itself hasn’t changed all that much. The attendings are still gods, the hours are still long, and the chief still scares the crap out of all of them. Except now, they eat lunch outside.

In the locker room that we know so well, the fresh-and-shiny interns begin their day with the predictable who’s-on-what-service debate. Interns Leah (Tessa Ferrer) and Stephanie (Jerrika Hinton) fight over cardio god Cristina (Sandra Oh), everyone tries to avoid Meredith (Ellen Pompeo), and April (Sarah Drew) earns her own nickname … the dud. Not quite as awesome as Medusa and yet, it could be worse.

So while intern Shane (Gaius Charles) spends his time celebrating lump and bump day with “the dud” by removing sickening attachments from people’s body parts (apparently, this is what you get stuck with if you fail the boards), Jo (Camilla Luddington) starts her day with some BS … literally. Alex (Justin Chambers) has a surgery to get to, so in classic attending fashion, he dumps his gross case on Jo. But when another of Alex’s patients goes into labor, Jo is put to the test. And cue the slow-motion intern sequence. You know, because she’s a little overwhelmed, confused and, well, slow. Once again, literally. Don’t worry, the baby lives. But we’ll come back to that.

In the battle for Cristina’s heart, Grumpy (Stephanie) and Perky (Leah) go head-to-head. Grumpy has the dance moves, but Perky comes ready to play … up until their competitive edge causes them to nearly kill a patient and therefore get suspended from the OR by super-commanding and super-scary (albeit absent) chief Owen (Kevin McKidd). Cristina might want to give them a lesson in competition. Then again, maybe she shouldn’t.

As Cristina’s interns fail, Medusa’s one intern, Heather (Tina Majorino), succeeds … but not in surgery. Instead, Heather is put on phone duty for the day, which means that in addition to getting to call all of Derek’s (Patrick Dempsey) sisters in search of a viable nerve for his hand, she also gets to find out that Meredith’s pregnant. Bonding with McDreamy’s family and getting threatened by Meredith all in one day? You gotta love being an intern.

Away from all the phone calls and competition, Shane is struggling to get through lump and bump day without vomiting. But, surprisingly, April’s attitude is as fiery as her freshly dyed hair, and she teaches her intern a valuable lesson in bedside manner. It’s a lesson that will later win Shane the opportunity to scrub in on Derek’s hand surgery. Score.

OK, so now that we know what the interns are up to, so let’s take a brief moment to acknowledge the patients: You have the two hot and single parents who unite in the NICU only to be pulled apart (and back together) by a heartbreaking situation that involves both of their babies needing the same heart, the guys who shot and then ran over bigfoot, and the 15-year-old girl who leaves her child. And that brings us back to Jo and Alex.

Could they be the new Mer and Der? After quite a bit of teasing, a little bit of sarcasm and being called princess one too many times, Jo finally snaps when her patient decides to leave her baby. And by snaps, we mean that she pins her patient’s mother up against a wall. It’s only when Alex pulls her off that he learns her story. She’s not a rich little princess. She was a foster child. She had a messed up childhood (aka she will fit in just fine). And just like that, Jo assaults a patient’s family member and steals Alex’s heart all at once.

But Jo isn’t the only intern with a rough side. After being thrown to the wolves (Derek’s sisters), Heather finally stands up to Meredith and Derek for putting her in the middle of their marriage. We mean … phone duty? Sounds like something Mark (Eric Dane) would’ve done. And Heather isn’t having any more of it. Luckily for her, she won’t have to, because Derek’s sister Liz (Neve Campbell) is in town! Mission accomplished.

All in all, the interns did what we expected them to: Some failed, some succeeded, and at least one captured the heart of a much older attending. Although nobody performed heart surgery in an elevator, all is still right with the world.

Here’s what we learned: Even Derek’s hands are sexy, there is such a thing as top-notch camouflage, and more surprisingly, there is such a thing as an optimistic(ish) episode of Grey’s. And we love that our one-time favorite interns have turned into the hot-shot attendings who are deserving of slow-motion admiration.

And in those doing the admiring, we have the new batch of horrified, overjoyed interns. We have Heather, the slutty one (Flashback: Alex); Shane, the optimist (Flashback: Izzie [Katherine Heigl]); Leah, the overly competitive one (Flashback: Cristina); Stephanie, the competitive-with-a-sensitive-edge one (Flashback: George [T.R. Knight]); and Jo, the sarcastic and smart girl with a dark past (Flashback: Meredith).

Now that you’ve been formally acquainted with the second (or third or fourth) coming, it’s time to get back to the Grey’s world as we know it: fast-paced and full of attendings and other adult issues. For example, did we just hear Cristina say she wants a divorce in next week’s promo?

We miss the intern locker room already.

Catch the next new episode of Grey’s Anatomy on Thursday, December 13 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

Samantha Highfill is a contributing writer to Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter at @samhighfill.

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