New blood: Owen brought a doctor named Teddy Altman (played by Kim Raver of "24") to be Cristina's much-needed cardio attending. Teddy turned out to be an old friend of Owen's from the military. Cristina bristled at Teddy's presence at first, but when Teddy let her do the work on a tricky and fascinating cardio surgery, Cristina unsurprisingly came around. Later, when Owen and Teddy talked, it was clear that while they were platonic friends while he was in a relationship with his former fiancee, Teddy had hoped that might change if he ever became single. And it looked like he might not have put up a fight, had the timing been different.
She's back (for now): Izzie showed up with a former teacher of hers, Dr. Singer, eager for Derek to have a look at his worsening cognitive problems. With Percy's help, Derek diagnosed Singer with a condition requiring fairly simple surgery. But when Singer explained that he didn't have the money, Izzie had to go to the Chief to get the procedure done pro bono. Beleaguered over the budget, the Chief resisted, but when Izzie threatened to go to the press and the board, Singer got his surgery and recovered, and the bullied Chief took another blow.
Izzie had also left some drama behind, of course. Her abandoned medical bills didn't come up, but her feud with Percy took off again right away. Meanwhile, she wouldn't even speak to Alex, who got updates from a nosy Meredith until he finally cornered Izzie for a talk. When Izzie lashed out at Alex, saying she blamed him for losing her the job she loved, he reminded her that she bolted on their marriage without so much as a discussion and said, "I can't forgive you, either."
Losing ground: Adele showed up at the hospital concerned about the Chief, who hadn't come home the night before. She was convinced he was having an affair, until Callie clarified that Bailey is just the Chief's "work wife," at which point Adele insisted the Chief was sleeping with someone. Bailey couldn't help trying, in spite of herself, to figure out whether it was true, leading to suspicion of such unlikely candidates as Reed and Lexie and even Izzie. A more serious problem, however, developed when the Chief's surgical patient turned yellow and it turned out that the Chief clipped his bile duct — a serious surgical mistake that drove Bailey to plead with him to "get a handle" on whatever has been bothering him. He decided, in response, to hand his surgeries off to Bailey for a while.
But later, at the bar, the Chief — a recovering alcoholic — accepted and drank a glass of vodka, meaning that far more is amiss in his life than an affair or a surgical slip-up. And it looked like Meredith saw it happen.
Linda Holmes is a writer in Washington.