Thursday's episode of "Grey's Anatomy" was a jarring return to normal after the crazy emotions of the past two weeks, but it did a lot of what the show does best — quick zingers, medical cases of the overblown metaphor variety, and a few serious surprises. Major spoilers ahead, but if you want to relive the episode,
The Most Juvenile Fight Ever continues at Burke and Cristina's "International House of Silence," where for some reason they're hosting a dinner party for Meredith and Derek despite the fact that they're not talking or even eating the same food. Derek offers that he's heard the Chief's retiring, and Cristina blurts that the Chief already offered the job to Burke, but he took himself out of the running because of tremorgate. Derek is miffed, because he thought the Chief all but promised him the job.
Over at the Casa de Interns, Izzie heads to George's room with a basket of helpful baked goods and runs smack into Callie, who's babbling about George's transformation into a sex machine. "This is not grieving," she tells Izzie. "This is my legs being bent in ways my legs do not go." She slips away, but George can't wait any longer and runs buck-naked into the hall. Ah, roommates.
Izzie and George are assigned to a young woman named Jillie, who has a cervical tumor and a best friend who says she's Jillie's only family. Jillie and Rachel grew up Amish, but they left the community as teenagers. If she's dying, she says, she wants an Amish funeral — except it would mean shunning Rachel, who had already been baptized when she left and is now shunned.
Derek and Bailey try to grab the Chief's attention, and he tells them to talk fast. Derek: "Mine's not fast. Mine's epic." Bailey tells the Chief she wants to open a free clinic, and the Chief basically rolls his eyes, a reaction that will be echoed by Addison, Burke and Derek. Mark, meanwhile, shoves Alex and Meredith on a patient with bedsores, telling them it's their last day of scut work before he leaves Seattle for good. But then Meredith lets it slip that the Chief's stepping down. Mark decides to stick around after all, infuriating Derek, who yells at Meredith for giving Mark a reason to stay.
Callie and Cristina are assigned to a patient who hurt his knee when he blacked out running a marathon, which seems simple until he develops complications that require a fairly disgusting medical procedure. Cristina realizes she doesn't want to be like marathon guy, competing till she's near death. Or single. Or something.
Addison ignores Alex until finally he pulls her into the linen closet. Unlike other times we've seen doctors in the linen closet, they both keep their clothes on. Alex tells her he's not interested in a relationship; he only kissed back because she's his boss and he wants good surgeries.
Addison, Mark, Burke, and Derek confront the Chief, who tells them that yes, he is retiring, and the four of them are ruining what should be a very happy day. Bailey overhears and tells the Chief he should have told her he was stepping down when she pitched the clinic idea. He explains that he wanted Bailey to get used to doing things without him, because one day she'll be chief. The other four, meanwhile, sit in the hallway and bicker. Bailey marches up with letters of support for her free clinic and tells them she's doing it because she needs something to believe in "the way I used to believe in you all." That shuts them up, and they sign.
Izzie explains to Rachel that Jillie's cancer is advanced, and if she wants to go home, the best thing would be to let her. Rachel says as much to Jillie, and when Jillie says she could never shun Rachel, Rachel says of course she can. That makes Izzie apologize to George, who says Izzie can't help him grieve. But before she lets him go, she tells him to be with Callie if that's what makes him happy. Bailey sees Izzie crying, and they end up talking about the clinic. "The Denny Duquette Memorial Clinic," Izzie says. I'm not surprised, but Bailey is.
The Chief shows up at home to tell Adele he's retired, but Adele tells him he ran out of time months ago. Derek, meanwhile, apologizes to Meredith for yelling, and Meredith seems confused, so Derek explains that this is how relationships work: People fight, and someone might even walk away, but then they make up. "Well, how was I supposed to know that?" Meredith says.
Cristina talks! She tells Burke she's in their relationship for the long haul, and if that means losing this fight, so be it. Burke is apparently also in it for the long haul, because his response is: "Marry me." George tells Callie that every time he looks at her, he feels better. He gets down on one knee and delivers the night's second (and, thankfully, final) proposal.