"Staring at the Sun"
Written by Gabrielle Stanton and Harry Werksman; directed by Jeff Melman

Meredith voices over about blind spots as she takes a bubble bath with Derek and tries to remind him that they’re taking things slowly. He agrees, but she wants to go even slower because they’re starting fresh (see “Where the Boys Are”). This means no sex because, as Meredith points out, last time they started out with sex and things didn’t turn out very well. Plus, she thinks it’s fun to wait. Meredith voices over that sometimes our blind spots keep us from seeing things we shouldn’t ignore. She goes to see Ellis, who apparently hasn’t been eating; Ellis says it’s because she’s been too busy in the OR. Meredith apologizes for not visiting much recently and Ellis snaps that she can’t coddle her right now. Webber appears with some food for Ellis, and Meredith decides that he should stay instead of her. She heads to the hospital, where she tells everyone in the locker room that the dark and twisty Meredith is gone and “bright and shiny Meredith” will be taking her place. Her attempt at a good mood is ruined when she learns that George’s dad was admitted the night before (see “Where the Boys Are”). Izzie explains that he passed out and fractured his clavicle, though George says Callie thinks it’ll be fine. The interns study Harold’s labs, which Bailey comes looking for, and George tries to convince himself that Harold will be fine. Bailey assigns him to scut for the day, knowing that he’ll be distracted.

Derek comes into work in a good mood, which confuses Addison. She guesses that he’s going to be mature about their breakup, and he confirms that he wants to be professional as long as they’re working together. He notices that she’s still wearing her rings; she says they seem to be stuck and she can’t get them off. He cracks himself up by suggesting she try soap. “You are a very strange person, Derek,” Addison says. He tells her he’s just bright and shiny. In Harold’s room, Callie tells George about tending to Harold’s shoulder and how one of his brothers didn’t even flinch. Bailey arrives and tells everyone that she’s scheduled an endoscopy for Harold. Jerry wants to know why and won’t let George explain it, even though he’s a doctor. George tells his brothers to shut up, earning a warning “O’Malley” from Bailey, which cracks up all the O’Malley men. Mark greets Izzie and Alex, his interns for the day, with sexist remarks and orders for them to pick up his dry cleaning and get him a sandwich. George bugs Bailey to let him assist with Harold’s endoscopy, but she reminds him that he can’t work with a family member. She does allow him to pick another intern to assist. George heads to an OR and sees Cristina, who’s working with Burke (of course), and doing an entire procedure by herself.

Bailey, Derek, and Meredith receive a trauma patient, a five-year-old girl named Mia who was hit by her mother’s SUV. Meredith thinks a woman with her named Anna is Mia’s mother, Mrs. Hansen, but she’s actually the nanny. As the doctors tend to Mia, Anna tries to explain that Mia wasn’t supposed to be in the driveway. Mr. Hansen blasts Mrs. Hansen for not being there and the two fight over whose fault the accident was. Bailey blames the SUV, noting that they have large blind spots. Derek wants to take Mia up for a head CT, and when Anna tries to comfort her, Mrs. Hansen tells her to get away from her daughter. As Cristina scrubs out of her surgery, George praises her for doing the procedure by herself, though Cristina tries to play it off like she was just assisting Burke. Burke asks how Harold is and George tells him he needs an endoscopy. He wants Cristina to assist and Burke says that’s fine. Cristina reminds him that they’re supposed to operate together that afternoon, but Burke offers to postpone the procedure. “Your dad better get something interesting wrong with him real fast,” Cristina tells George. “You’re a sick, horrible person,” she replies. Back from their errands, Izzie asks Alex why he puts up with Mark’s orders. Alex is sure that someday Mark will let him work on a case. Izzie wonders if doing plastics is really worth it. Addison blasts Mark for treating his interns like slaves, but when she complains to Webber, he doesn’t seem to care.

Izzie and Alex tag along with Mark as he visits a patient named Frank who has just gotten pec implants and talks about himself in the third person. Mark gives Alex orders and tells Izzie to just watch, though Alex argues that she’s a good doctor. George bugs Cristina again about the procedure she did by herself, this time adding that he saw Burke’s hand shaking while they were fishing. He thinks the two things added together mean something strange. Cristina tells him to go sit with his father and worry about him if he needs something to worry about. George says his father’s fine and tries to bring up Burke again, but Cristina just walks away. Mrs. Hansen tries to comfort Mia as Meredith and Bailey get her ready for her CT scan, but Mia wants Anna. Jerry and Ronny play the pick-a-car game (see “Thanks for the Memories”) with Callie in their father’s room, impressed by her choice of a 1968 Mustang. George arrives, saying again that Harold is fine, then asking to talk to Callie privately. He then chastises her for getting chummy with his brothers, but she says she doesn’t mind. He tells her he can handle his family by himself, then reminds her that she broke up with him. Later, George nervously watches his father’s procedure.

Meredith and Bailey operate on Mia, and Bailey notes that her recovery will be difficult. Meredith remarks that with parents like the Hansens, Mia didn’t have it very easy to begin with. Bailey tells her that people do the best they can. Meredith points out that they didn’t even know their daughter’s blood type or favorite song. She thinks that people who want high-powered careers should think twice before having kids. She quickly realizes that she’s said this in front of Bailey, who tells her to worry about the surgery and be quiet. George and Burke run into each other at the OR board and Burke asks how Harold is doing. George mentions the procedure Cristina did alone and how she said she was just assisting. Burke says she probably just didn’t want to rub it in and make anyone jealous. George asks if Burke is okay, mentioning that Burke has gone through a lot recently and can talk if he wants to. Burke is, of course, fine, just like everyone else. Addison finds Derek and asks him how far their maturity goes; are they just engaging in pleasantries, or are they allowed to interact? She wants to talk about Webber, who she thinks seems down, but Derek points out that he’s separated from Adele. Addison thinks he needs someone to talk to, and she wants herself and Derek to volunteer. Derek suggests that she take off her rings and stop nagging him, since they’re not married anymore. He does agree to go talk to Webber with her, though.

Alex removes Frank’s bandages and Frank is thrilled with what he sees. He explains that he got the implants for his girlfriend, and he doesn’t want her to see them until they’re perfect. Alex thinks Frank’s girlfriend asked him to get implants, but Frank explains that his girlfriend has a new trainer at her gym. His last girlfriend left him for a guy with hair, leading Frank to get plugs; this time he doesn’t want to take any chances. Izzie doesn’t understand the appeal of fake breasts, so Frank invites her to touch his, then compare with Alex’s. Mark catches Izzie with one hand on Frank’s chest and the other on Alex’s and comments, “This is why I don’t work with interns.” After Mia’s surgery, Bailey and Meredith tell Mrs. Hansen that Mia’s bleeding has stopped and she might not need any more surgery. Meredith mentions that Mia keeps asking for Anna, who the Hansens have fired. Mrs. Hansen says that Mrs. Hansen blames her for Mia’s attachment to Anna; both Hansens work, but Mrs. Hansen being a working mom is worse than Mr. Hansen being a working dad. She loves her job, but she loves her daughter more. However, she’s good at her job and not as good at being a mother. In Intern Alley, Meredith complains to George about the Hansens having a child when they knew they weren’t going to spend a lot of time with her.

George tells Cristina that he talked to Burke and thinks he’s fine. He mentions to the others that Cristina did the procedure by herself and they’re impressed. Alex and Izzie talk about themselves in the third person, having spent all morning with Frank. George asks Cristina why she’s lying about the procedure and she lies about lying. Meredith gets annoyed and Cristina notes that she’s not so bright and shiny anymore. Izzie and Alex both think the bright-and-shiny thing is getting old anyway. In Webber’s office, Derek and Addison confront Webber over his depression and he notes that they’re finally agreeing on something. He announces that Adele wants him to retire. Derek thinks that’s crazy, but Addison understands that Adele wants to spend more time with her husband. The two start arguing about using work as an excuse, as well as using other women. Webber tries to tell them that he’s been visiting Ellis, but they’re too busy fighting over Webber and Adele to hear him. Webber finally tells them to stop helping him, deciding that he misses Adele and doesn’t want his marriage to be over. Addison tells him it’s not over until he decides it is and that it’s not worth the sacrifice. The conversation ends when Cristina arrives with some paperwork. Webber then finds George and tells him he’s gotten his father’s test results back.

George and Cristina head to Harold’s room to wait for Webber to tell the whole family the news together. Jerry taunts that they don’t tell George anything because he’s not a real doctor. Cristina thinks that Webber wants George to give the family the news, but George wants to wait for Webber. George finally reports that the results of Webber’s biopsy were abnormal. Cristina elaborates that Harold has esophageal cancer which has spread to his stomach. He’ll need to undergo chemo and radiation, as well as an operation to remove the cancer. In a stairwell, George tells Meredith and Izzie about the cancer, adding that Callie slept with Mark. He also spent the whole day worrying about Burke when there was nothing wrong with him. He doesn’t think he can deal with what’s going on, noting that Cristina had to give his family the news. Izzie remarks that “no one gets it right with their own family,” and Meredith confirms that she never does. Izzie mostly can’t believe Callie slept with Mark. “I don’t get you people,” George says, and Meredith tells him that women make a lot of bad decisions. Alex checks on Frank, telling him he can’t believe he went through with this surgery. Frank thinks that Alex and Izzie are dating, then guesses that Izzie left him for another guy. Alex says it’s complicated and Frank tells him to make some grand gesture that will “uncomplicate it” and give Izzie what she wants.

Meredith tells Derek that Mia’s second MRI shows bleeding around her brain, which means she’ll need another operation. He thinks she’s tough enough for a second surgery, noting that they don’t have an option anyway. “Not so bright and shiny,” he says. As Harold undergoes an ultrasound, Cristina tells him that they’re looking at his heart because there were some abnormalities on his EKG; they want to make sure his heart is strong enough to get him through surgery. Harold says that George told him Cristina was the best intern to assist with his surgery, not to mention the best intern in the hospital. She’s happy to hear this, but that happiness is short-lived with a tech has her look at some test results. She and Burke page George to Harold’s room and tell him that Harold’s aortic valve is leaking. It needs to be replaced before he can undergo cancer surgery. George announces that Burke will do the surgery and Cristina will assist. She starts to leave and he asks her what’s wrong with Burke’s hand. Cristina says Burke is fine and Harold will be as well. George is sure that Burke is lying and Cristina is helping him cover something up, but she won’t admit it. The two don’t realize that Bailey has overheard their conversation. Webber calls Meredith to his office and tells her that he can’t visit Ellis anymore because he needs to focus on fixing his marriage. He recognizes that Ellis sacrificed a lot only to have everything turn out this way.

Alex tells Izzie she’s going to help him remove the tube in Frank’s chest, even though it’s against the rules of her probation. Alex doesn’t care if Mark finds out, and Frank thinks this is the grand gesture he encouraged Alex to make. Derek operates on Mia as Bailey, Addison, and Callie watch from the gallery and talk about having kids. Bailey asks if Addison ever thought about having some; Addison says Derek wanted kids but she wasn’t ready. Callie would love to have a bunch of kids, but Bailey tells her she’d having to stop working to take care of all of them. Callie, however, would be willing to have a nanny take care of them. Addison isn’t sure what to do with her rings, and Callie tells her that post-divorce wedding rings are “bad juju.” She thinks Addison should either bury or burn them. Addison offers them to Callie, but Callie doesn’t want rings with bad juju. She adds that her mother’s kind of crazy and Bailey tells her not to talk about her mother like that. She laments that when she left for work the morning before, Tuck loved strained peas, and by the time she got home, he wouldn’t eat them anymore. “Life moves so fast. Everybody moves on,” says Addison. Callie leaves, saying she’s not ready to move on. George corners Cristina and tells her he wants her on his father’s case because she’s “a freakin’ robot” and never makes mistakes. He usually wants to learn from her, but right now he wants her to be human. In a stairwell, Izzie thanks Alex for letting her take out the tube, and they banter a little in third person. He grabs her and kisses her, but she’s not quite ready for that.

Mia wakes up after her surgery and Meredith tries to get her to say her name, but Mia asks for Anna. Even when her parents arrive, Mia just wants her nanny. George tells his father that his surgery will take place in the next couple of days, but he’s not sure exactly when. Jerry isn’t sure why he needs heart surgery, and Ronny isn’t convinced that Harold has cancer at all. The brothers want George to speak English to them, not medical-speak, and the three blow up at each other. Callie shows up and explains the situation using a car metaphor. The brothers understand and realize how serious the situation is. Meredith passes by Mia’s room again and sees that Anna and the Hansens are all there. She voices over that our brains might use blind spots to protect us. Meredith stops by to see Ellis again and tells her that Webber won’t be coming to visit her anymore. Ellis guesses that he’s gone back to Adele and laments that she’ll have to raise her daughter alone now. Meredith tells Ellis she did the best she could, and Ellis cries. Cristina tells Harold he’s ready for surgery, but he’s not sure how to tell his wife about his situation. Cristina announces that George is great and she just wants Harold to know that he did well raising him. At the ECB, Izzie tells Alex she didn’t know he felt that way about her. He apologizes and they talk in the third person again. Bailey calls home to sing her son to sleep as Addison throws her rings into the sound and George lies in bed, looking scared. Meredith and Derek take another bath together and agree that they’re okay not being bright and shiny as long as they’re together.

THE TITLE IS A SONG BY…: U2

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Derek: “Hey, good morning, Addison!”
Addison: “What’s that supposed to mean?”
Derek: “It’s a greeting. Used in civilized cultures in their civilized environments.”
Addison: “You’re smiling.”
Derek: “It’s called happiness. I understand why you wouldn’t recognize it.”
Addison: “Wait…so we’re being mature about this?”

Mark: “Is it Bring a Hot Blond to Work Day? Nobody told me.”
Izzie: (coughing) “Sexual harassment.”

“Well, he’s separated from his wife. That usually doesn’t make a person giddy. Except in my case.” - Derek

Izzie: “Izzie and Alex do not believe you.”
Meredith: “What are you two doing?”
Izzie: “Izzie and Alex have a patient who speaks about himself in the third person.”
Alex: “They thought it was annoying at first, but now they kind of like it.”
Meredith: “Good. Is it going to stop soon?”
Cristina: “Wow, what happened? This morning you were all bright and shiny, and asking to be kicked in the face.”
Meredith: “I am. I’m bright. I’m shiny.”
Cristina: “Yeah.”
Izzie: “Izzie thinks this whole bright and shiny thing is getting kind of old.”
Alex: “Alex agrees.”


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