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[Season 3, Episode 13: Originally aired Jan. 25, 2007]
Recap of Events:
No one believes that their life will turn out just kind of okay. We all think we are going to be great. And from the day we decide to be surgeons, we are filled with expectation. Great expectations of who we will be, where we will go.
Not able to handle the grief from losing his father, George seeks escape by having a lot of sex with Callie. She is confused over his unusual grieving methods, and starts avoiding him because she is unable to take the frequent sex. Izzie tries to reach out to her best friend, but George refuses to talk about his loss. The pair, together with Addison, work on a young woman, Jilly, who has a large cervical tumor. Jilly undergoes radical hysterectomy to remove the tumor, but the cancer has spread to the bladder, making it stage 4 and terminal. The doctors cannot do anymore for Jilly, causing an affected George to leave the operating room. Rachel, Jilly's best friend, turns Jilly's Amish parents away when they come to visit. The best friends left their Amish community at 16, and promised to be with each other "from the cradle to the grave". Rachel has been baptized and she is forever shunned by the Amish community. Since Jilly has not been baptized, she wishes to return home to die and have an Amish funeral, but is torn because she would have to shun Rachel if she returns home. Rachel then forces Jilly to return home with her parents even if she has to shun her. An inspired Izzie decides to let George go, so that he can pursue his happiness with Callie. George then proposes to Callie after realising he is in love with her.
Burke and Cristina are still not talking to each other, even when Burke invites Meredith and Derek over for a dinner party and excludes her. Cristina is assigned to Callie, but they rub each other the wrong way. The two treat a runner, who passes out during a marathon due to dehydration. They do not realize the aspirin he took for his cold is accelerating the dehydration and muscle break-down process, until his condition is critical. Callie has to slice open his legs immediately without anaesthesia in order to save his life, and Cristina is impressed by this. The Chief assists with the surgery. Cristina realises through this that she does not have to win every race, sometimes finishing it is enough. She breaks the silence by talking to Burke first. He responds by saying "Marry me", leaving her stunned.
The Chief decides to step down, so that he can patch things up with his wife Adele. Derek is upset to find out that the Chief had previously asked Burke to succeed him, before the hand tremor incident was exposed. Derek was promised in private that the Chief position would have been his if he came over to Seattle Grace. Meanwhile, Mark sends Meredith and Alex to debride a comatose patient with stage 3 decubitus ulcers every 2 hours. He forbids them from getting any assistance from the nurses, as a farewell gift to them because he is leaving Seattle Grace. He is informed by Meredith of the rumors that the Chief is stepping down, and decides to stay to fight for the position. Derek finds out and blows up at Meredith for making Mark stay in Seattle when he was just about to leave. However, he apologises to her and the two make up.
As the rumors of the retiring Chief spread through the hospital, the attendings immaturely fight for Richard's affections. Meanwhile, Bailey decides to open a free clinic because she feels disillusioned at how little she can do as a surgeon. Her experience with Jilly, whose cancer could have been caught much earlier and cured, validates this. However, she cannot persuade the attendings to sign off her proposal, and is shell-shocked to find out that Richard is retiring. She is upset that Richard made her run around getting support for her proposal without informing her of his retirement plans. He tells her that he was trying to make her get used to doing things without him because one of the attendings will be Chief, but eventually in a few years, it will be her that will be Chief. Confidence reinstated in her, she manages to force Derek, Addison, Burke and Mark to sign her proposal. She faces another obstacle of funding, but Izzie offers her inheritance to Bailey, on the condition that her free clinic with be named the Denny Duquette Memorial Clinic in honor of him.
When the Chief returns home to Adele, he rings the doorbell and surprises her with flowers and says along the lines of "I'm home." She tells him that when she told him that she couldn't wait any longer for him a few months back, she meant it, and it turns out that another man is in the house. Adele shuts the door on Richard, and he will most likely cancel his retirement.
Elsewhere, Addison has been avoiding Alex since she kissed him in Joe's bar. He gets tired of her avoidance and drags her into a linen closet. He tells her that he is not interested in a romantic relationship with her, and only wants to work with her on her surgeries, and he is unable to do that if she keeps avoiding him. She agrees to stop avoiding him, and offers to let him scrub in on an ovarian torsion that needs emergency surgery.
We all think we're going to be great and we feel a little bit robbed when our expectations aren't met. But sometimes our expectations sell us short. Sometimes the expected simply pales in comparison to the unexpected. You got to wonder why we cling to our expectations, because the expected is just what keeps us steady. Standing. Still. The expected's just the beginning, the unexpected is what changes our lives.
- Enchantment, by Lily Frost
- Ships, by the Umbrellas
- Love Show, by Skye