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Meredith gets pissy with Derek for taking the credit for their clinical trial, Sloan teaches Callie how to love the glazed donut, George picks up some interns in the expansion draft, Bailey and the Chief try to but Seattle Grace back on the map, and Lexie Alex and Izzie learn lessons in caring.
All of Seattle Grace is abuzz with the news of a major medical journal publishing Derek and Meredith's clinical trial, but Meredith's upset that it's only called "The Shepherd Method", with no mention of her contribution. Sloan seems to be at once envious and inspired, mocking Shepherd's fame while doing research of his own into possible experimental treatments for ENT complications. Chief is excited because the fame from Shepherd being published and Bailey's planned domino kidney transplant procedure could put the hospital back on the map.
Hahn and Callie come back to Callie's apartment and finally seal the deal. Callie is left a bit unfulfilled, but Hahn seems more than happy with the experience. Callie goes to Sloan to complain about her failed trip into ladyland, but he's more concerned with Shepherd's published trial and then refuses to listen, dubbing the idea of one girl talking about how much she hated her girl-on-girl experience depressing and "just wrong". Finally, she corners him and begs him to teach her the right way to go down on a woman, noting that just because he doesn't have a published clinical trial doesn't mean he's not a genius. Sloane agrees to teach her "the Sloane method" and she goes back to give hooking up with Hahn another shot.
The Chief has decided that our favorite residents must each give up an intern to George (except for Meredith, who already lost George), so they spend the rest of the episode tormenting their interns while they decide who they'll give up. Lexie tries to get the other interns to stand up for themselves and demand respect, but nobody is listening. Lexie also decorates George's locker to celebrate his first day as a resident, but he - predictably - doesn't even notice.
Bailey has finally organized a 12-person (6 donors, 6 recipients) domino kidney transplant surgery. I lost count of the times I re-watched this scene trying to follow everyone and I'm still not sure I got it all, so let's just hit the high points. Each recipient has a loved one who was willing to donate their kidney, but was not a match for their loved one. So, via some labyrinthine process, the donor will donate their kidney to someone who is a match for them and also has a loved one who will receive a kidney from another person whose loved one needs a kidney and will receive a kidney from someone else whose loved one needs a kidney, and so on. Most of these people are background and the only ones you really need to know about is Mr. Mercer, a recipient; Mrs. Mercer, a donor; PJ, a donor; Curt, PJ's dad and a recipient; and Lindsey, a donor who seems to have no loved one receiving a kidney. The only person who can keep track of the whole thing is Lexie, who earns herself the nickname "Lexipedia" because of her photographic memory. I didn't come up with it, but I'm using it! Yang wants one of the removed kidneys as a trophy, and the other residents begin clamoring for one, too, but Bailey shoots them all down.
Over time, it turns out that PJ is bitter towards his father for not being around when he was younger and is receiving a $10,000 "Christmas present" from his father in exchange for donating his kidney. Also, Mr. Mercer has been cheating on his wife with Lindsey and she is donating a kidney in the hopes that it will make him choose to leave his wife. Izzie and Alex decide not to expose PJ and his dad for fear of ruining the operation, but Mrs Mercer finds out about her husband's affar and backs out of donating her kidney, jeopardizing the entire domino procedure. The doctors are unable to find a replacement donor and begin to discharge all of the participants, but Mrs. Mercer has a change of heart after Bailey tells her about what a gift a kidney is and that she wouldn't only be doing it for her husband, but for five other people who need new kidneys to survive.
After the surgery, Bailey takes Mrs. Mercer to see the family of the woman who received her kidney to help her understand the gift she's given. It's a good move on Bailey's part, to help Mrs. Mercer focus on the positive and help her move past her husband's betrayal, to help her not feel like it's one more thing stolen from her.
PJ continues being a dick to his father and Izzie has to fight the urge to punch him. She and Alex have a big confrontation over caring vs. not caring enough and Izzie tells him that he needs to decide if he's going to be a decent guy or a total ass, because she's getting tired of trying to keep track. When Curt begins having seizures because of complications from the surgery, Alex confronts PJ about being a selfish douchebag and tells him that if his dad dies, PJ will never have another chance to show he cares and he'll learn to regret it. Izzie drags Alex away, but he apparently has an effect on PJ since the kid rolls his way into his dad's room and they have a nice cry together.
On a personal note, this storyline - especially the resolution - may have been kinda corny, but it really effected me. The worst thing in the world I can think of would be having my boys grow up to hate me. I love those midgets.
After the surgeries, Lindsey is wondering why Mr Mercer hasn't come to see her or called. She complains that, after she gave up a kidney, he has to make a decision. Yang points out that the fact that he hasn't come to see her or called or asked for Lindsey probably means he's made his decision. Lexie overhears this and develops the dawning look of comprehension.
George finally has his interns and none of them respect him as their superior. Instead they just tell him to lighten up and walk away. When Lexie realizes that she's not one of his interns, she asks him if he even tried to get her and then rips into him about all the things she's done for him and he hasn't even noticed. She tells him that she's an idiot and he's an ass and walks away. George is so damn smooth with the ladies! Actually, I think he'll realize that he's been an ass and they'll end up making a run of it.
George checks Mr Mercer's vitals while Mr Mercer whines about his wife leaving him. Both realize that they're alone now and things will have to be different.
Cristina's getting horny and has started to look for a new man, or at least a new lay. She ultimately dismisses all of the interns as possibilities because "interns are weak" and she needs a man. She's commiserating that Burke was a man and begins to leave when she hears a familiar voice and turns around - McBadass is back!
Meredith spends the show whining, as she always does. This time, she's complaining about Shepherd hogging the credit for the trial and her failure to measure up to her dead mother. Shepherd tries to explain to her that he would have had to take all of the blame if it had failed since she's only a resident and hasn't even scratched the surface of what she needs to learn, but she's not hearing it. Bailey shows some mercy to the clueless neurosurgeon and explains that, whether he realizes it or not, Meredith busts her ass for Derek and a simple "thank you" would go a long way. He takes her advice and sneaks one of the removed kidneys out for Meredith as a memento of her big surgery and as a "thank you" for doing so much in the trial.
Izzie busts her way into Alex's room to tell him that she cares about him. She won't go crazy and she won't try to kill herself and she won't go away no matter how much he pushes her away. He tells her to get the hell out, but she just keeps repeating that she cares about him and she knows he cares about her until he kisses her just to shut her up. I don't think Alex deserves Izzie, but I have to admit they make a good couple in that total-opposites-that-balance-each-other-out way.