Momma Shepherd comes to town and meets the staff of Seattle Grace, the creepy serial killer gets brain surgery, McBadass finally asks Cristina on a date, Sloane begins to cut himself some slack, the wizard gives Bailey's buddy a new kidney, and Izzie finally dumps Denny, but he's still not gone! And how is it that I've just now noticed that every episode this season is named after a classic song?
The creepy creepy serial killer's brain is swelling and Shepherd makes the mistake of warning him that continued swelling could cause him to die. Sensing an escape from the death penalty, Captain McSlashy tries to refuse surgery, but Shepherd just points out that when he loses consciousness and thus is no longer able to make informed decisions, it just takes two doctors agreeing that he needs the surgery to perform the surgery.
On the way to an MRI, McSlashy and Bailey's pet anklebiter cross paths. The kid mentions that he needs a liver and some intestines and McSlashy (again sensing an out) offers up his. Of course, this is unanimously vetoed by all of the doctors, but the seed is planted.
Inevitably, McSlashy loses consciousness and Shepherd tries to get Meredith to sign the documentation to operate on his brain, but Meredith apparently isn't sure that they should force the surgery on him, no matter how bad of a person he is. Cristina jumps in and signs the forms, so Derek tells her to scrub in on the surgery.
In the midst of this drama, McBadass pops up, asks Cristina to help him with a few patients, and asks her out on a date, almost in the same breath. Cristina looks puzzled and he explains that she told him not to be so hot and cold, so he'll pick her up around eight and then walks away before Cristina can even agree to the date.
Bailey's still freaking out over the crumbsnatcher and pages the new pediatric surgeon in the middle of the night to discuss some crazy surgery that could theoretically buy the kid a bit more time to find an organ donor, but the surgeon tells Bailey to get off her nuts and chill out until a donor is found.
Eventually, a donor is found, but the kid's immune system is so supercharged by frequent blood transfusions that his body rejects the organs. The kid now has roughly 24 hours to live unless a new donor is found.
Meanwhile, Shepherd's mom has come to visit and Meredith and Sloane are both freaking out. Meredith is worried that she'll make a bad impression since she isn't shiny and happy; Sloane is terrified that the woman who basically raised him will find out that he's hooking up with Lexie and be ashamed of him.
Sloane needn't worry - there's a funny moment when he confesses to Momma Shepherd and she thinks he's talking about Meredith. She gives him a horrified look and sighs "Oh Mark, not again!" before he explains that he's talking about her little sister. Momma Shepherd has a short conversation with Lexie before telling Mark that she's a sweet girl and he really needs a young girl since he "has the emotional maturity of a horny 15-year-old boy". It's kind of sweet to see someone tell Mark to give himself some credit and not be ashamed of himself so much. I do believe I've mentioned that Sloane has become one of my favorite characters on this show. It's cool to see someone who first appeared as a total slimebucket show some real character growth.
Meredith, meanwhile, recruits Izzie to help her pretend to be the happy shiny person she thinks Momma Shepherd would expect before giving up and confessing that she's conflicted and slightly troubled and is the type of person who would feel sorry for a serial killer. Momma Shepherd gives Meredith a very weird look, tells her that it was nice to meet her, and walks away. You'd think Meredith just crashed and burned, but Momma Shepherd later gives Derek her engagement ring that she was saving for him to give to the right girl. Derek has doubts, but his mom points out that it takes a special person to feel compassion even for a bad man and his seeing things in black and white and Meredith's...not compliment each-other well. Derek finally agrees with her that Meredith is the one. Momma also tells Derek that he needs to let go of his anger over his dad's death.
Watching Meredith meet the mother of the love of her life has an effect on Izzie. She tells Denny that she wants to meet his mother, she wants to marry him and spend the rest of her life with him, but she can't because he's dead. He asks her if she's dumping him and she tells him that she guesses that she is. Alex later tells her that he's been thinking that they should take a road trip to see some corn in Iowa. His mom also lives in Iowa and he thinks that she would love to meet Izzie. Of course, this is exactly what Izzie wanted and she runs off to get some tequila to celebrate. While she's gone, Denny sits down next to Alex and tells him that they need to talk.
When Momma Shepherd meets McBadass, she mentions that she used to be a nurse in the navy and speculates that he must have some stories from Iraq. He gets a nervous look and tells her that none of them were anything she'd like to hear. Later, she asks him how he's sleeping and makes some suggestions on herbs that may help him sleep better. He thanks her for her concern but says that he's sleeping fine and leaves while she watches him with a thoughtful look on her face.
As an aside, Tyne Daly turned in a really nice performance as Momma Shepherd, especially in her interactions with Kevin McKidd as McBadass. Alot of the story in their interactions was conveyed not with dialogue but with nonverbal communication - facial expressions, body language, and whatnot. Very nice, subtle work on both of their parts.
Anyway, McBadass later shows up to Cristina's apartment over an hour late and drunk off of his ass. He tries to explain that he just wanted one drink to take the edge off but it got out of hand. It's left unstated that he was trying to drink away his memories of Iraq, but it's pretty clear that's what happened. Regardless, Cristina wants to hear none of it and suggests he take a shower because he smells like a distillery. He thinks that this is a great idea and jumps into her shower fully clothed. He calls to her and begins to answer her earlier question about what he considers his best surgery. He tells her a story about a man who had almost all of his limbs shot off and was riddled with bullets. Somehow, McBadass used his entire body to maintain pressure on the way to the combat hospital and somehow saved the man's life. When he got home, the man wrote him a letter thanking McBadass for saving his life and then shot himself in the head. As I've said before, Cristina loves 'em damaged. She climbs into the shower with him and kisses him.
When Meredith hears about Bailey's patient rejecting the new organs, she comes by to tell Bailey how sorry she is. In the course of conversation, Bailey mentions that they have twenty-four hours to find a new donor.
Meredith goes back to McSlashy's room and tells him, by way of warning him what not to do, about the part of his brain that is no longer protected by skull. She explains to him that if it's damaged again, his brain will begin to swell again and he may suffer brain death. She then walks away, leaving it ambiguous whether she did this for the boy or because she felt sorry for McSlashy and his date with the noose or the needle.
McSlashy moves his pillows and begins slamming the top of his head into his bed. As he slams harder and harder, traces of blood begin to accumulate until the screen goes blank.
I was expecting something along these lines since last week, but this was still brutal enough to get a oh dayamn out of me.