Family seems to factor in quite a bit this week. Thatcher Grey gets out of rehab and sparks off some drama for Meredith and Lexie. Izzie's mom shows up to drive her insane. Callie is still trying to deal with the fallout from her father's visit last week and how it's affecting her relationship with her family. And finally, there's some craziness with a father who's a patient this week. There is also some family drama for some of this week's patients. Mix in some absolutely amazing writing on the part of Shonda Rhimes and her staff, and it's no wonder that Grey's has become my favorite show on television!
Somehow, I had gotten it into my head that Thatcher Grey was dead, but he shows up tonight fresh out of rehab and twenty-nine days sober. You never hear him make the request but the Chief, well-versed in the steps of recovery, pages the Grey girls to his office so that Thatcher can engage the ninth step - making amends. After she hears her father's prepared apology speech, Meredith thanks him, wishes him luck, and walks away. Lexie, probably because she has a much more recent relationship with Thatcher, tearfully accepts his apology and lets him back into her life.
Later, Lexie asks Mark to come to dinner that night to meet her father. Sloane quietly freaks out and tries to explain the multitude of reasons that this would be a bad idea, including his being closer to Thatcher's age than Lexie's, before being "pulled" away to work with Callie on a hippie that fell out of a tree.
Callie is upset that nobody in her family is talking to her after her fight with her father. Yang and Sloane both suggest that she tell her family that she broke up with Arizona since it's really none of their business and it's not worth her suffering. I think she should tell her family to shove it because it's none of their business, but I'm not all that close to my family. Arizona reserves comment on the idea.
The hippie girl had been living in a tree for six weeks to protest a land developer wiping out a forest to put up some condo's. The land developers, for their part, simply bulldozed the tree with her in it, causing the girl to break almost every bone in her body. The girl's sister - whom, it turns out, is a corporate lawyer of some sort - storms in and berates the hippie girl before telling her that she worked out a deal in which the land developers would pay her medical bills and agree not to sue or prosecute her for trespassing in return for her signing a contract not to sue them. The hippie's response falls somewhere along the line of "screw the soulless corporate bastards". The sisters fight until Callie - who had been subtly mocking the hippie - stands up for the girl and points out that no matter how stupid she may have been, she was also undeniably brave and should maybe be cut some slack. Before the lawyer can respond, her sister goes into v-tach. Callie identifies the cause as internal bleeding in the femoral artery and rushes her into surgery.
After a ton of surgery, the hippie girl makes it out alive. While waiting for her to recover, her sister decides to become angry that the land developers weighed the costs of risking her sister's life versus waiting for her to come down and decided that bulldozing her was an acceptable risk. When the tree humper wakes up, her sister tells her that she filed suit against the developers for ten million dollars.
Touched by the younger sister's determination to stand up for what she believes in, Callie decides not to lie to her family and insist that they accept her for who she is. Similarly inspired, Sloane decides to go to dinner with Lexie and her father.
Alex greets a woman visitor and asks if he can help her. After some shameless flirting that Alex doesn't reciprocate, the woman finally tells him that she's looking for Izzie. When the woman enters Izzie's room, a shocked Izzie greets her as "mom" and you can almost see the disgust on Alex's face. Izzie's mom makes a nuisance of herself, gossipping about all the goings-on at the trailer park and not really listening to Izzie about how serious her cancer is, instead relating stories from her psychic and the Tyra Banks show as proof that Izzie will be fine. When Izzie finally make her understand how serious things are by drawing a comparison to the thyroid cancer that killer her grandmother, her mother falls apart and Izzie fears that her mother will never leave and instead will stay and drive her insane until the cancer takes her or she just kills herself.
Bailey finally confesses to Izzie that she called her mom, thinking that Izzie was just protecting her and would want family close. Now understanding that Izzie was protecting herself from her mother, Bailey lies in front of Izzie's mom about the results of a scan, thus making her feel like it's okay to go home. Privately, Bailey confides that some of Izzie's "mets" (I have no idea what those are, can someone comment and help me out?) shrank, but new ones have appeared. Izzie thinks this means no surgery, but Bailey insists that they'll operate aggressively and then deal with what's left, demanding that Izzie not give up.
Throughout the day, McBadass has nothing more to say to Cristina than pleasantries such as "Take care now." and "Hey there you." and it begins to bother her more and more as the day wears on. When a man comes in with multiple gunshot wounds, Owen gives most of his attention to George and only pays cursory attention to Yang, which grates on her even more.
The man was shot by his roughly six-year old daughter. The mother claims that it was an accident and that the girl didn't mean to hurt her father, but the five bullets still in the man's body and evidence of 12 more shots going through him say otherwise. Gradually, the story comes out that the man has been physically abusing his wife and daughter and the girl wanted to put an end to it.
When the mother tries to take her daughter to apologize to her husband before he goes into surgery that he quite possibly won't survive, Meredith lets all of her issues bubble to the surface and rips into the woman. Meredith tells her that her daughter is stronger than she is by refusing to be a victim and she will not let her make her daughter a victim like she is.
When The Chief pulls Meredith aside to talk to her, Meredith rips into him about treating her differently and abusing his power to butt into her personal life. The Chief finally has enough and tells Meredith that if she wants to be treated like just another resident, then she is to stay at least 100 feet away from the woman and her daughter and, if she gets any closer than that, she will be suspended pending review of her fitness for the program.
Derek, caught between the two, is obligated to take Meredith's side. In a discussion with the Chief, he points out that Richard is the most professional man that he knows except when it comes to Meredith. Derek points out all the ways in which Richard, for all of his insistence that he's neither Meredith's father nor responsible for her, treats Meredith like family.
The husband pulls through the surgery and Meredith, unable to keep her mouth shut, goes to the wife and apologizes with the Chief giving warning shouts in the background. Meredith tells the woman that she apologizes for her harsh words, but she can't let her daughter's story be that she shot her abusive father. She tells the mother that she owes it to herself and her daughter to get out of this and not let them be defined as abuse victims. Meredith then walks away and tells the Chief that she'll pack her things to leave,
The Chief, though, has been soaking it all in and follows Meredith into the locker room. He starts out angry, but then calms down and tells Meredith that he saw her family fall apart after he broke off the affair with her mother, but did nothing. He says he let himself off the hook by telling himself that he wasn't Meredith's father and it was none of his business, but he was wrong. He apologizes for not standing up for her like she just did for the little girl. Meredith finally accepts his apology and gives him a half-hug and I "awwww" a little.
Later, as everyone's going home, Cristina confronts Owen and demands to know what's up with his smiling and cheerful, empty pleasantries. She asks if this is some kind of "choke 'em and forget 'em" thing and I'm ashamed of myself for laughing. Owen hands her a piece of paper and explains that it's a list of three letter phrases that he put together with his therapist that he could say to Cristina instead of the three words that he really wants to say but can't because it wouldn't be fair to her. He goes into much more detail and my heart breaks both at their pain and the fact that I will never ever be able to write something as awesome as this. These people are good!
The episode ends with Yang tearfully telling Owen "take care now", Mark meeting Thatcher, Izzie telling her mom goodbye, and Meredith boxing up her mother's journals because she no longer wants them but thinks the Chief may like to have them.