"Time After Time"
Written by Stacy McKee; directed by Christopher Misiano

As Burke and Cristina operate together, Meredith voices over that a patient’s history is as important as his or her symptoms because it helps doctors decide what might be more crucial than it appears. However, sometimes patients try to rewrite their histories, which could be dangerous. No matter what we ignore, our history will often come back to haunt us. Burke and Cristina’s patient starts flatlining and bleeding, and Cristina looks up to see Colin watching from the gallery. At Meredith’s house, Derek tells Susan that Meredith will accept a certain amount of help, but then she’ll start to feel suffocated. Susan has brought groceries over and worries that it’s too much. Derek says he was talking about himself; sometimes he overdoes things. Susan says that she wants to be there for Meredith now that Ellis is gone, and Derek warns her to be gentle. Meredith arrives and points out that Susan brought her groceries last week. She thanks Susan, saying that the act is both unexpected and unnecessary. Alex joins the three as Derek leaves, planning to talk to Webber about the chief-of-surgery position. In an elevator, Mark and Webber are joined by a woman who compliments Webber’s sweater. He winds up spilling information about his divorce, basically scaring the woman off. Mark teases that the woman would rather walk up the stairs than be subjected to more attempts at flirting. He thinks Webber needs a new wingman to help him get back in the game.

Colin finds Cristina, who tells him he’s becoming a stalker. She adds that she and Burke have set a wedding date and will be getting married next month. Colin challenges that she’s not the marrying kind, and she replies that he doesn’t know her at all anymore. He invites her to scrub in on a piggyback transplant, thinking that Burke will want to join him, too. In the locker room, Cristina tells Meredith that Colin is “upping his game,” so she needs to come up with a new gambit to take his queen. Meredith asks if it’s weird that Susan keeps stopping by her house so soon after they’ve become friends (sort of). Alex tells her that mothers do this sort of thing for their children. George enters and chats with Callie, who had a rough night of work. Izzie is the next to enter, praying over a rosary, and Alex thinks she’s doing penance for something bad. George and Callie make a date to meet for coffee that afternoon. Alex takes a photo of Ava, formerly Jane Doe (see “My Favorite Mistake”), as Meredith and Izzie tell her that she looks beautiful. Ava wonders if they shouldn’t wait to take her “after” pictures until she’s less swollen, but the sooner they take photos, the sooner they can get them out to the public so her family can find her. She’s not sure that makes sense, since she looks different now, but Mark tells her that her bone structure is similar enough to the way it was before (plus she has the same hair and eyes) that someone may still recognize her.

In the clinic, Izzie sings the praises of confession to George, telling him that they’re getting a do-over and he doesn’t have to avoid her anymore. He disagrees, saying he needs to keep avoiding her until everything blows over the way his sex with Meredith did (see “What Have I Done to Deserve This?”). A couple named Dustin and Caroline approach Izzie and tell her that their daughter has leukemia and needs a bone marrow transplant. Izzie directs them to hematology, but they’re actually looking for her - their daughter, Hannah, is the baby Izzie gave up for adoption as a teenager (see “Break on Through”). The two explain that Hannah was set to have a transplant, but her donor died, and her parents decided to look up Izzie to see if she’s a match. Izzie tells them she’s willing to donate, but birth parents aren’t usually a match for their children. Caroline says that when Izzie gave Hannah up, Caroline promised to take care of her, but this is something Izzie will have to help her with. After learning that Hannah has been admitted to Seattle Grace, Izzie says she’d like to meet her. Dustin and Caroline want to check with Hannah first. Cristina, Burke, and Colin meet their piggyback patient, Charles, who’s playing chess with himself. Cristina announces that she and Burke are engaged, taking his hand as she explains the procedure to Charles. Colin tells Charles he’s picked the right person to perform his surgery. In the hallway, Cristina tells Burke that Colin was trying to show him up; she adds that he’ll have to put up with her being sweet and nice for a while.

Addison runs into Alex and tells him that as much as Mark is responsible for Ava’s new look, Alex was also helpful. He doesn’t want to take too much credit because it’ll look like he’s trying to build the perfect woman. A nurse informs Addison that the police are on their way over - Ava’s family has been found. Derek meets with Webber and asks if they can stop pretending that Webber has to treat all of the chief candidates fairly. He reminds Webber that when he first came to Seattle Grace, he was promised a job. Webber replies that Derek really came to Seattle because his marriage fell apart. Derek isn’t happy that he’s having to jump through hoops now, and he also doesn’t like that Colin is getting special privileges to perform the piggyback surgery. Webber points out that this is a teaching hospital. Derek wants Webber to support him in front of the board, since his interview didn’t go very well. Even though Webber only has one vote, Derek thinks it’s a strong one. In the clinic, Bailey follows Izzie into the bathroom, where she cries. Bailey tells her to pull it together and tell her what’s going on. Izzie spills that her daughter is there and Izzie might be able to give her a bone marrow transplant. Bailey promises to keep quiet. Izzie says she’s thought about this moment a lot, but she thought her daughter would be older when they first met, and Izzie never expected her to be sick. She asks Bailey what she’s supposed to do.

In a conference room, Alex and Addison meet with a couple named Frank and Joan, who think they’re Ava’s parents. They explain that they never got along with their daughter’s husband, and he disappeared one day while she was at work. She went after him, even though he didn’t want a baby, and they didn’t hear from her for weeks. Today they saw Ava’s picture on TV and think she might be their daughter. They provide a couple of pieces of medical information, like their daughter Shannon’s blood type and the fact that she had her tonsils removed when she was 12. Susan comes to the hospital and finds Meredith, wanting to find a time to sit down and talk with her. Meredith apologizes and says a lot is happening at once. She doesn’t want to be Susan’s charity case or her daughter. “Stop mothering. Just stop,” she says. Alex finds Ava watching herself on the news and checks her throat to see if she has her tonsils. She doesn’t. Frank and Joan enter and start telling Ava about herself. Bailey tells George to look after the clinic for a little while so she can take care of something. George asks what’s going on with Izzie, but Bailey tells him it’s none of his business. Meredith arrives and asks Bailey if she can scrub in on a surgery, but Bailey tells her to help George out in the clinic. Burke and Colin bicker in front of Charles, and Colin notices that Cristina has painted her nails. She claims that she’s trying to pick a polish for her wedding day.

Mark finds Webber in a hallway and asks him to come see something. He then proceeds to flirt with a nurse. “Wing man,” he reminds Webber. Izzie and Bailey head to pediatrics together, and Bailey tells Izzie that when she sees Hannah, she’ll know what to do. She notes that it’s nice that Hannah has parents who care so much about her and try to give her what she wants, the way Izzie would have. “Doesn’t mean you don’t want that girl to want you,” Bailey says. Caroline and Dustin come out to meet them and tell Izzie that Hannah isn’t ready to meet her yet. Dustin asks if she’s going to be tested for the transplant. Bailey tells Izzie that as much as she wants Hannah to want her, Hannah will have to be alive for that to happen. Izzie announces that she’s ready to be tested. Alex goes back to Ava’s room, where she’s been chatting with Frank. She reveals that she’s a second-grade teacher, and her parents want to take her home with them. Ava begs Alex to make it happen even though she’s supposed to be on bed rest and have the baby monitored closely. Derek finds Meredith, who tells him that she yelled at Susan and scared her off. He thinks everything will be okay. Webber spots them hugging as Derek admits that his meeting with Webber went about as well as Meredith’s conversation with Susan.

Alex finds the other interns (minus Izzie) eating lunch in the clinic rather than that old guy’s room they used to eat in. George asks if anyone knows what’s going on with Izzie. Meredith notices that Cristina is wearing nail polish; she says she’s taking Colin’s bishop. She teases Alex for being sad about Ava going home, then says it would suck a lot if her family turned out to be horrible. Alex pretends that he doesn’t care about Ava as more than a patient. George asks Bailey what’s going on with Izzie, saying it’s his concern even if Bailey doesn’t think it is. She still won’t tell him. Meredith approaches next and Bailey gives her something to take to the lab. Meredith knows the tests are Izzie’s but that doesn’t mean Bailey will tell her what they’re for. Elsewhere, Izzie gets ready to donate her marrow; even though she’s given epidurals before, she’s not too thrilled to be about to have a needle put into her spine. Bailey asks if she wants one of her friends there with her, then decides to hold Izzie’s hand herself. George tracks down Meredith and demands to know what’s going on with Izzie. Meredith points out that if Izzie wanted him to know, she would have told him. George says they’re just having a stupid fight, and it would be horrible for him not to be there for her just because they’re being idiots right now. Meredith will only tell him what room Izzie is in. Alex finds Joan outside Ava’s room and tells her that she and Frank can take her home. Joan announces that they can’t - Ava isn’t their daughter. A mother knows her child, and Joan knows that Ava isn’t Shannon. Alex wants her to tell Ava this, but Joan can’t face her.

Back in his office, Webber tells Derek that things have changed - Derek has started a new life in Seattle, and he even has a new love. Derek says this is about his professional life, not his personal life. Webber tells him that being chief will ruin his personal life, and he can’t have everything if he wants to be the chief. “Don’t put your mistake on me,” Derek replies, reminding Webber that he’s the best candidate for the job and that’s the only thing Webber should be taking into consideration. He adds that he doesn’t want or need Webber’s protection. Webber says he’s not protecting Derek - he promised Ellis that he would take care of Meredith. George goes to Izzie’s procedure room and refuses to leave. Bailey decides to give in and leaves George to hold Izzie’s hand. Callie heads to the clinic, reading for her coffee date with George, and Meredith tells her that he’s with Izzie. Colin and Burke perform Charles’ surgery, immediately disagreeing about each other’s approaches. Colin decides that he shouldn’t have invited Burke to help out and asks him to just observe instead. George helps Izzie get dressed after her donation, and Izzie finally tells him about Hannah. She admits that she didn’t really care that much until Hannah said she didn’t want to meet her. Izzie can say Hail Marys all she wants, but she still misses George. She can live without having sex with him again, but she can’t live without having him as a friend. George tells her that she should be proud of what she’s done today.

Cristina heads to the OR after Charles’ successful surgery and asks Burke a clarifying question on the sutures used. After Burke leaves, Colin emerges, having heard the conversation, and tells Cristina that despite having played a game with her all day, what he just saw was real. He knows she knew the answer to the suture question because she helped Colin write a paper about the procedure. “The Cristina Yang I knew was concerned with excellence. She would’ve never played the part of helpless girl to build up a grown man’s ego. What has become of you?” he asks. Cristina says she’s learned to think of other people, but Colin thinks she’s compromised herself. He announces that he’s going home - she was right that he made a senseless move in coming to Seattle to chase after a job that’s beneath him just so he could be close to a woman who doesn’t seem to exist anymore. George takes Izzie to pediatrics, where he tells her that Hannah is getting the infusion. Izzie gets her first look at Hannah and they agree that she’s beautiful. Derek heads to the clinic and reminds Bailey that she warned him Meredith could become a problem for him. He thought he could handle all of it because he loves her, but he came to Seattle to be the chief of surgery, and she complicates that. “If this turns into an either/or, you pick the person you love, end of story,” Bailey tells him. “All of this means nothing if you’re alone.” George runs into Callie and quickly realizes that he missed their date. He tells her he was with patients and she says she’s going home.

Alex finds Ava playing Solitaire in her room; she says her father taught her. She asks if Addison and Alex are going to let her go home, or if they’re “too busy making eyes at each other to even ask.” Alex calls her Ava and she corrects that she’s Shannon, saying that Joan and Frank are her people. He replies that they don’t know who her people are yet, but Ava thinks he just wants to keep her for himself. “Isn’t it sad that I’m the best you can do?” she asks. Alex calls her Ava again and she reminds him that that’s not really her - he made her up. As Meredith voices over that some people believe they’re nothing without history, Mark takes Webber to the ECB, despite the fact that Webber doesn’t drink. Webber thinks Mark believes he’ll get the job as chief if he can get Webber a date. Meredith voices over that eventually we all have to choose between history and moving on. At home, Burke tells Cristina that now that Colin is leaving, she can go back to being the person she was before. She calls Derek at the trailer but he doesn’t answer the phone. Susan returns to Meredith’s house and refuses to let Meredith send her away. Susan blames herself for Thatcher not reaching out to Meredith when she was a child, then says she’s just trying to find a way to be there for Meredith now. Meredith admits that she’s only ever had an overprotective, overbearing mother, and compared to her, Susan isn’t so bad. Webber flirts with a woman at the bar, quickly learning that she’s a lot younger. Addison arrives and tells Webber to practice on her. They dance together as Meredith voices over, “We have to remember sometimes the most important history is the history we’re making today.”

THE TITLE IS A SONG BY…: Cyndi Lauper

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Cristina: “You’ve never played chess?”
Meredith: “I’m not a geek.”

Alex: “You may be confused since you were basically raised by wolves, but this is what mothers do. They stop by, they stock the fridge. Dude, you think she might do our laundry?”
Meredith: “Hey! Get your own fake mom.”

Ava: “I know this is gonna sound terrible, but I’m not bad looking.”
Meredith: “‘Beautiful’ is the word you're looking for.”
Izzie: “I was gonna say ‘hot.’”
George: “I was gonna, too, but I think I would’ve gotten in trouble.”
Bailey: “You would have.”

Cristina: “You’re gonna have to put up with me being nice and sweet for a little while.”
Burke: “That’ll be a nice change of pace.”
Cristina: “Shut up.”
Burke: “That’s more like it.”


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