Despite all the teasers and build-up leading to the big Episode 100, Meredith and Derek do not get married this week. Let me just get that out of the way right now. But there is a wedding, and it's actually much better than the wedding we were led to expect. Really, nothing that happens before the last fifteen minutes of this episode matters, and I'm not sure that I can adequately explain to you those fifteen minutes that do matter, but I'm going to try to give you a decent recap anyway.
The Chief has been recruited by Derek to "deliver" Meredith's wedding present. Meredith didn't even know that they were supposed to get wedding gifts and wants to turn down Derek's gift since she didn't get one for him, but changes her mind when the Chief reveals that the gift is her first solo surgery - a colonoscopy overseen by the Chief. I think the original plan was for Derek to oversee the surgery, but he somehow decided that operating on people's brains was more important than watching his future wife operate on buttholes, so the Chief stepped in. Nothing much comes of this, other than the Chief complimenting Meredith at the end and saying her mother would be proud, even if she wouldn't be able to say so.
Callie is picking up a second shift running the ER when a semi hits an SUV full of kids on their way to their college graduation. While Callie is running around trying to keep things flowing, Arizona is pestering her to tell her what was wrong with their date the previous night. Callie obviously doesn't want to talk about it, and is busy trying to save some lives, but Arizona won't let up. Callie finally explodes and tells her that the problem was that she couldn't afford the restaurant they went to and Arizona makes some kind of placating gesture about staying in and eating pizza from now on and I really just could not care less. I really like them as a couple, but this just seemed ridiculous.
And how the hell does a doctor not have seventy fricking dollars? I have seventy dollars and I don't even have a job right now! I know those bastards make more money than I do. Callie needs a financial counselor, STAT!
Oh, those college students? They all die. Every single one. Except for the valedictorian chick who's all angsty because she didn't sleep with one of her friends and now will never get a chance. But the dead adult/children have an effect on the doctors. George is broken up because the only one who survived is the one he didn't touch. I may be wrong, but I think this may be the first patients who've died under O'Malley's care, so it was kind of a major shock to him. McBadass tries to reassure him by explaining that he wouldn't have been able to save that one girl if George hadn't handled all of the others. Owen tells him that Trauma is a team sport and George is just as responsible for that girl surviving as everyone else, but George seems less than placated. When one of the kids talks about being with his girlfriend even when they know they shouldn't be, because they love each other that much, Cristina seems to start considering trying to make things work with Owen. And when Alex convinces the valedictorian to make her valedictory address about her life beginning today to him to take her mind off of her friends in preparation for her surgery... we'll come back to that.
Izzy, of course, is excited that the dream wedding she planned is finally happening. Her mets seem to be cleared and she seems to be in good health and spirits, so she's cleared to go to the wedding. But then she starts seeing Denny again. Bailey and Derek give her another MRI, but can't find a tumor anywhere. Finally, Derek gets the idea to map her brain waves when she hallucinates Denny in order to locate the problem. It works, but Derek realizes that the tumor is so small and recessed that he can't operate. As he's wishing aloud that there was something he could do for her, Bailey comes up with an idea, though we're not let in on the idea quite yet.
This sets up a chain reaction of Derek suggesting it to Meredith and so on (though we're still not told what's up) and I finally figure out what their plan is when Meredith talks to Alex. We're definitely let in on the plan when Meredith comes into Izzie's room with the dress in her arms and tells Izzie that this isn't her dress. Izzie doesn't get it and thinks Meredith's getting cold feet until Meredith lays it out and tells Izzie that this is Izzie's dress and Izzie's dream wedding about the same time as Alex shows up in a tux.
The wedding's all sorts of beautiful, and I don't even really like weddings. Izzie asks Yang to be her maid of honor because Cristina saved her life by outing her about the cancer and Meredith serves as Alex's best man.
As Izzie's walking down the aisle, she has a weak moment and stumbles, so George gets up and walks her down the aisle, effectively giving her away to Alex.
When the priest asks them to recite their vows, Izzie laments that they didn't write any, but Alex busts out with a modified version of the valedictorian's speech, talking about how his life begins today, he is becoming a man and husband and will stand by her through everything no matter what and it's incredibly sweet and I did NOT cry, I don't care what you heard!
....and that's really the episode, other than Izzie's hair falling out until Alex tells her to just shave it off because she'll still be hot bald. He's kinda right, too.
The teasers for next week's season finale hint that Izzie's going under the knife and there's a risk that she'll lose her memory. Wouldn't it suck if she didn't remember Alex?