What is it about men, indeed! It's another all-male episode, but they're not camping this time — they're hard at work, both in the hospital and out. So, why is this episode so devoid of estrogen? Well, Callie (Sara Ramirez) and Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) are off to a conference. Mer (Ellen Pompeo) and Der (Patrick Dempsey) are co-habitating but not talking as much. Owen (Kevin McKidd) and Cristina (Sandra Oh) are still walking on eggshells. Lexie (Chyler Leigh) is in surgery all the time, and Bailey (Chanda Wilson) and Teddy (Kim Raver) are just preoccupied. So we're left with the guys and all of their emotions. That's right, we just used "guys" and "emotions" in the same sentence.
Okay, let's talk Seattle mass traumas. Train crash, ferry crash, plane crash, roof collapse, multiple shootings, sinkhole, and now stampede! And a stampede of dorks, nerds, and geeks, no less. Apparently a comic convention went awry when a crowd tried to rush through a small entry, and scores of people were injured. This guy Carter, dressed as a hobbit, is barely hurt but experiences heartache upon seeing the sweet visage of April (Sarah Drew). Alex helps him channel his inner hero when a pissed-off behemoth of a man starts assaulting hospital staff... that is, until Owen breaks the giant's jaw with his fist. (Go Owen!) Then there's the guy who lost an ear and sensation below the waist but is much more upset about his friend not relinquishing a "TARDIS" tchotchke. (It's a Doctor Who thing. Shonda's a fan.) As it happens, the friend sells the TARDIS to help pay for the surgery.
Mark (Eric Dane) isn't giving Jackson much practice on his plastics service, and Derek is almost able to woo him to nuero, but then Mark catches on. He lets Jackson reattach the TARDIS guy's ear by himself, and then he confronts Derek about trying to poach Jackson. But Derek tells him that all this anger is coming from his sexual dry spell and his insecurity about not getting the Chief of Surgery position. Meanwhile, Alex's behavior is irritating Derek, but Alex sincerely apologizes, saying that his fifth year is kicking his butt (including the paper on the African immigrants that he's struggling to write.)
Ben is back at the hospital, and he clashes with Eli even before he finds out that Eli is (ahem) "attending" to his favorite attending, Bailey. Also, Owen decides to scrap his office and stay mobile — Bailey, ever the opportunist, takes his lamp. Baby Sofia rolls off the couch and onto the floor, and Mark is worried until Alex assures him that nothing's wrong with her.
Alex (Justin Chambers) and Jackson (Jesse Williams) have some serious bonding time in this episode. They cover for each other when April (Sarah Drew) finds a thong in the laundry. They "find the joy" of surgery with Richard (James Pickens Jr.). They share the same excuse (an "appointment with Mayfield in 22") to cover their behinds. They even help each other recover when they find out that that excuse implies that they have erectile dysfunction.
But most of the testosterony bonding happens at the site of Mer and Der's dream home, which, by the way, is already looking so freakin' good. First it's just Derek working on the deck. Then it's Derek and Owen. Then it's pretty much all the guys. It's where they all go to talk about feelings (though you'd never hear them admit that) and work out their frustration with power tools. They feel all macho and proud until they realize that a bottle actually rolls off the deck — it's not level. Gents, stick to your day jobs.