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It's a fairly intense episode this week. Denny's still around, Bailey has to babysit a Cylon heart surgeon and a man haunted by his own heart, and the McCrew has to save a human pretzel's life while Callie builds him a new skeleton and deals with Erica Hahn suddenly leaving.
With Hahn "just gone", the Chief is on the hunt for a new Attending Cardiothroacic Surgeon and he's tasked Bailey with wooing one of tonight's guest stars - President Laura Roslin from Battlestar Galactica - into joining the staff. Continuing the BSG references, the guest surgeon seems more like a Cylon, obsessing over rules and regulations and things being just a certain way to the exclusion of everything and everyone else around her. Because I have a cousin with Asperger's Syndrome, I recognized the symptoms fairly early, but I think we were really supposed to spend the episode wondering what was up with her, so I'm sorry for spoiling that surprise.
The Cylon (ok fine, her name is Dr. Virginia Dixon) is visiting Seattle Grace to perform a heart transplant on an American Indian man who has had a too-small heart implanted to help his faulty one for almost six years. The man doesn't want any heart but his own, though, and says that he's been haunted by the woman whose too-small heart he had received. Since Dixon's obsession with science and rules and what can be seen and proven conflicts with the man's religious beliefs, there's this whole... thing between them that Bailey finally resolves by asking the Chief to institute a rule that all staff must respect the beliefs of their patients. The Cylon seems satisfied with this and everyone seems to be happy.
During the operation, as soon as the "supplemental" heart is removed, the man's heart starts beating on its own. Dixon is shocked, but rationalizes it by theorizing that the six years that the man effectively had two hearts gave his own enough time to rest and heal enough to now be healthy. The man attributes the miracle to more mystical factors and notes that he is no longer haunted.
Bailey's wooing appears to have failed, since Dixon is less than pleased with Seattle Grace and her treatment while she is there. On the elevator, Dixon asks Bailey if she knows what Asperger's Syndrome is and points out that while she doesn't pick up on sarcasm or humor cues that well, she knows when she's being condescended to and made fun of and she doesn't appreciate it. She gets off of the elevator and leaves the hospital, muttering "I don't think I like this hospital at all."
Speaking of hauntings, Denny is still around and stalks Izzie all day, whether she likes it or not. She spends most of the day studiously ignoring him and/or telling him to go away. She even consults the haunted heart patient, asking him how he plans to get rid of his haunting. He plans to burn the replacement heart, since his tribe (I can't remember whether he's Apache or Navajo) burns all of the belongings of their deceased to make sure that the spirit does not cling to anything and moves on. Before she leaves for the night, Izzie gives Denny another speech about how much she loves him and will always love him, that she really wanted to have a life together, but it didn't happen and they both need to move on and tells him goodbye. She then goes home and has Alex help her burn one of Denny's sweaters. When she comes back in, thinking that Denny is gone, he's sitting on her bed and tells her that he's there for her. She's in denial and insists that he's not real, but he makes her touch him and, as far as she can tell, he really is real... really real... there has to be a less clumsy way to say this.
Anyway, they start making out. I can't think of any explanation for this other than Izzie's losing it, either going legitimately nuts, has a brain tumor, or something like that. Alex is going to be heartbroken about being left for a ghost that's not there, which really sucks because I was starting to like this new, "it's okay to be sensitive and show emotions" Alex, which will undoubtedly disappear soon.
The other guest star (who will probably become a regular) is Sadie, played by Melissa George. She's introduced to us by showing up at Meredith's house first thing in the morning, jumping into Derek and Meredith's bed, and chasing off Yang and Derek, who both go downstairs to commiserate over coffee. Through some before-work-exposition by Sadie, we find out that she and Meredith went to college together and she decided to put off her residency to work in a morgue so that she could have all the fun of cutting without the pressure of keeping them alive. She continuously refers to Meredith as "Deth", to which Yang keeps muttering "It's Mer!" Unfortunately for Sadie, she's assigned to be one of Yang's interns, so expect Yang to be even more rough on her than she is to all of the others.
The big surgery of the night is on a homeless man who fell asleep in a dumpster, was emptied into a garbage truck, and was crushed by its compactor. He's somehow still alive, but his chest has been impaled by his own femur. For your reference, the femur is that bone high up on your leg that connects to your waste. The dude has his own hip bone thrust into his chest. Seriously, go google it, I'll wait.
See? I told you, isn't that freakish?! While the doctors are removing the dude's femur from being wedged under his collarbone, he wakes up and begins screaming, understandably so. Once they calm him down as much as possible, they explain that he's bleeding to death and they need to operate immediately, but he doesn't want to live if he won't be able to walk. McBadass initially concedes to the patient's wishes, but Derek points out that in the civilian world, and especially Seattle Grace, they are there to save lives. Hunt gets the point and gives the man a pep talk to convince him to keep fighting to live. Meanwhile, Torres has devised a way to effectively build the man a new lower skeleton so that he'll have a chance at walking again. Unfortunately, during the surgery to repair the man's internal injuries and "install" Callie's new skeleton, the man dies.
Callie, who's kept a brave face regarding Ericha leaving up until now, breaks down crying and berates all of the other surgeons for not being able to keep the man alive, but it's very obvious what she's really upset about. Yang, who earlier accidentally found out that Hahn and Callie had been dating, and Sloan get all of the other doctors to leave so that they can comfort Callie.
Early in the day, Yang notices Lexie's bandaids covering up her wounds from the interns' practice sessions for IV's and stitches and jumps to the conclusion that Lexie is a "secret cutter". Yang of course mentions this to Meredith who actually shows some concern and asks Lexie if everything's okay before flat-out asking if she's a cutter. Lexie laughs it off, but goes to the other interns and tells them that they need to be more careful, lest they be busted. Sadie has somehow snuck in and mocks Lexie's caution, saying that you sometimes need to take risks to learn. Sadie then pulls off her top, cuts herself deeply with a scalpel, and asks who would like to stitch her up. All of the guys instantly raise their hands.
During the surgery on the human pretzel, Sloan compliments Lexie's technique on a difficult stitch and the Chief compliment's Yang's teaching technique, figuring that she must have taught Lexie. The problem is that Yang can barely do the stitch, so she knows she didn't teach Lexie. Yang finally puts all of the clues together and busts in on the interns, telling them to shut their independent learning lab down.
At the bar after work, Yang, Sloan, and Callie are drinking together when Yang notices McBadass leaving and follows him out. She grabs Hunt's arm to talk, but he freaks out and starts yelling at her before pushing her against the wall and kissing her. Yang just walks away.
The previews for next week look kinda awesome. We get a glimpse of what looks like Izzie getting nekkid with Denny's ghost, further reinforcing my belief that she'll end up either in surgery or committed by the end of the season. We also see the interns planning on performing an appendectomy on one of their volunteers before having to run and find a resident to help them out. Lexie apparently asks Meredith for help. It looks like they may go too far and kill someone.