If life-altering experiences were physical scars, the characters in ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ would be covered in them. It is these experiences that have defined who they are today and learning to live with them is becoming quite an obstacle. In tonight’s episode, titled “Scars and Souvenirs,” Meredith uses her near death experience to change her outlook on life, a blast from Cristina’s past shows up at Seattle Grace and George finds out some interesting information about his wife.

Weber brings in a new doctor and potential chief to the hospital. Colin Marlow is a renowned surgeon and also happens to be not only one of Cristina’s former professors but also a former lover. Their past becomes obvious to everyone when Marlow immediately gives her a grabby hug when he’s introduced to the interns.

Cristina tries to blow the whole Marlow thing off with Burke but during a surgery, Marlow casually mentions that he and Cristina dated for three years and that he proposed to her a couple of times but she said she didn’t believe in marriage. When Burke confronts Cristina about this, she tells him that she doesn’t really care about the whole marriage thing but that she’s going through with it to make him happy. Bad answer, Cristina. They have another argument about it later when Burke becomes concerned that she’ll just up and walk away from their relationship the way she did with Marlow. Cristina ends up spending the night at Meredith’s.

Izzie works with a patient that was fragged during the Korean war. Frag, we learn, is being shot by one of your own guys – intentionally. She scrubs in on the surgery and when they present the guy with the bullet, he breaks down. He’s disappointed with the tiny size of the crushed slug, almost as though he was expecting it to be as big as the weight he’s been carrying with him since the war. Izzie tries to tell him that its not too late to change but he’s old and tired and isn’t able to believe her. When he tries to tell her that she couldn’t understand what its like to have something so terrible happen to her that her soul is changed, she tells him that she does understand. He tells her not to let it change her (in a negative way).

The attendings are all aware that Marlow could be the next chief. They spend the duration of the day accusing each other of showing off for him and putting their patients in jeopardy in the process. Once again they bickered like children and irritated Weber who always seemed to be around when it was happening.

Alex moved in to Casa-Intern much to Izzie’s dismay (especially after he walked in on her when she was naked and getting out of the shower). He doesn’t seem to be interested in what’s going on with his friends though and spends most of his spare time with his Jane Doe. She undergoes surgery on her eye and there are complications with the baby but Addison gets it fixed. At the end of the episode, Alex implies to Izzie that he has a hot date (she asked and he didn’t deny). His “date” was a visit with Jane. He tells her not to take medical advice from him because he’s just an intern. She responds that she trusts him and asks him to hang out. Her face is still severely swollen so there aren’t any sparks between the two but its obvious that they’re getting closer.

Derek treats an old friend, Helen Crawford who has a brain tumor. Crawford is played by the beautiful Shohreh Aghadashloo, who has always given me a tiny bit of the creeps after she played Dina Araz in ’24.’ She tells Derek that this is the last time she’s letting him operate on her tumor. After the surgery, no matter what, she’s done. He tries to convince her to have hope and be willing to try again if this time isn’t successful but she’s made up her mind. There is a complication with her heart during the surgery but Derek handles it like a pro and the surgery is a complete success. The tumor is gone and she can finally move on with her life, similar to the man who had the bullet removed except in her case, Crawford is relieved rather than saddened by the success of her surgery.

Susan Grey convinces Meredith to have dinner with her and Thatcher. Meredith, trying to turn over a new leaf after being dead, finally agrees. She and Derek have the Greys over to her house for a store-bought dinner. Its an awkward meal and only gets worse when Thatcher talks about a photograph he has of his other daughter near a tree with a sled. Meredith corrects him and explains that its her in the picture he’s talking about. Just when we think Meredith’s about to blow a fuse, Izzie beats her to the punch and actually does blow a fuse. The power goes out and Thatcher, having once been the owner of the house, goes to check the fuse box. He disappears for a while and Meredith has a chance to chat with her stepmother for a bit. No major conversation but they did manage to have some non-awkward small talk.

Meanwhile, rather than changing the fuse, Thatcher chills out in the laundry room to collect his thoughts. Derek finds him there and tells him that Meredith can be difficult but getting past that is worth it. As the Greys are leaving, Thatcher notices a swing on porch that he remembered when he used to live there. Meredith says it doesn’t swing anymore. Thatcher pulls a pin out of the side of it and tells Meredith that he put it there because she used to catch her fingers in it. They leave and Meredith pushes the swing (which looks amazingly well kept considering its outdoors and hasn’t been used in more than a decade).

Finally, George learns that Callie is an heiress. This explains how she can afford to live in a luxury hotel. George tells Meredith who of course tells everyone, including Izzie. Izzie makes a comment about Callie’s money to Callie and she is furious about it. Callie confronts George when they’re back at the hotel room. She comes out and tells George that she thinks he has feelings for Izzie and that she has feelings for him. George, rather than just denying anything between him and Izzie, uses the argument that there’s no way a blonde, stacked beauty like Izzie would want him. Bad answer, George. Callie interprets this to mean that he’s settling for her because he couldn’t have someone like Izzie. (Some people might consider that a stretch but I’m sure most girls got what she was saying).

She throws George out and he goes to Meredith’s house to vent to Izzie. They get hammered and sit around laughing and talking about the mess that is their lives. George tells Izzie what Callie said and she laughs so hard she gets tears in her eyes. He has his hand on the back of her head and they stop laughing and just look at each other. When we next see them, it’s the next morning, George is in Izzie’s bed and they’re both naked. Izzie comes to the realization of what happened the night before just as we do and the look of horror on her face is priceless.

So it looks like things are once again starting to fall apart between Cristina and Burke, George cheated on his wife with his best friend, Meredith has her mother’s ashes stored in an urn in her closet and Alex looks like he might be headed down the Izzie-road of falling for a patient (its still in the very early stages there but still).

I’ll leave you with this bit of random TV trivia: Marlow is played by actor Roger Rees, whom I recognized as Mr. Racine from the short-lived series from the 90’s, ‘My So Called Life.’ Interestingly enough, the man who plays Thatcher Grey, Jeff Perry was also in ‘My So Called Life.’ Both of them played English teachers.

What did you think of the episode? How long before Callie finds out that George slept with Izzie? Will some kind of relationship form from Izzie and George’s drunken hook-up or will they try desperately to forget it ever happened and resume being “just friends”?

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