Hard times: The merger with Mercy West had everyone in a tizzy. They were particularly upset because the Chief wasn't telling anyone anything about what it would mean for their jobs, leading Derek to come to his office to complain. Meredith, on the other hand, continued to take the position that everything would be fine, and there was nothing to worry about. In the end, our major characters all survived the first round of cuts, and tried to relax with a late-night baseball game.
Kids today: Cristina, thrown off Bailey's service last week, found herself even more desperate for a new position. She looked for cover with Arizona in pediatrics, but battled her dislike of children. When working with kids began to look like the wrong way to go, Cristina was ready to give up. Just then, she learned that Arizona was operating on a tiny baby whose arm was nearly removed during a C-section. Of course, helping repair the tiny baby arm using an umbilical cord artery was enough to bring Cristina around – but by then, Arizona wasn't interested, having concluded that Cristina was just in it to keep her job.
Wigging out: Also looking to rally in her career was Izzie, who showed up at the hospital in her new wig, ready to work. When the surgery she was working on with Derek got complicated, Alex went to try to pull her out, sure she didn't have the stamina for an hours-long surgery. Alex brought her medicine to her in the OR, but Derek pulled her from the operation when she got all sweaty. It turned out she just needed to lose the wig and embrace her fuzzy hair, but Alex told her later that she needs to take better care of herself, since he can't promise he'll be able to provide care for her full-time.
Joint operations: An accident victim came in accompanied by her adult son, a paranoid schizophrenic, who told the doctors that a large, pulsing mass in his mother's abdomen was the result of impregnation by aliens. She struggled to manage his behavior while Bailey diagnosed an abdominal aortic aneurysm that urgently needed surgery. The mother wouldn't go forward with the surgery, though, because there would be no one to care for her son while she was out of commission.
Lexie was responsible for the son, who noticed her lack of a nametag and attacked, believing she was the enemy. He then disappeared, only to reappear by tumbling down the main stairs. Lexie later comforted him by providing him with evidence that the hospital had not inserted a camera into his stomach during his ultrasound, as he feared. She then came up with the idea of operating on the son, even though he didn't necessarily need it, because his mother would be able to stay with him. And together, he and his mother went into surgery.
Linda Holmes is a writer in Washington.