"Testing 1-2-3-"
Written by Allan Heinberg; directed by Christopher Misiano

As she prepares for Susan’s funeral (see “The Other Side of This Life”), Meredith voices over that surgeons are always learning and putting what they know to the test. Down in Meredith’s kitchen, Izzie, Cristina, and Alex study for their intern exam, Cristina forcing them to keep working without breaks. George is absent because although Cristina is using Callie’s flashcards, George has Callie. Alex asks a question about the most common cause of diarrhea in hospitalized patients, and Meredith enters and answers it correctly, adding that it’s the same thing that killed Susan. The other three discuss Meredith’s condition, Cristina noting that “her fake mom was better than her real mom.” Meredith will be going to the hospital, then to Susan’s funeral before taking the intern exam. Cristina thinks she’s fine and has studied enough, telling the others to leave her alone. In their hotel room, Callie helps George study, then spots a note from Mercy West telling George that he’s been accepted for his transfer there. She’s more excited about the idea than he is. At the hospital, Meredith and Derek meet up in an elevator. He tells her that he brought a suit in case she wants him to come to the funeral, but she doesn’t. Burke finds Cristina still studying and tells her that the minister needs a copy of her vows before the wedding (which is the next day). She gives him only five seconds to talk about their wedding, and he tells her that his best man can’t make it, then asks for her vows again. She cuts him off and makes it clear that she’s not going to think about the wedding until after the exam.

Derek, Burke, Bailey, Addison, Mark, and Callie are all paged to the ER, and Mark wonders if Webber has gathered them to announce who he’s chosen to replace him as chief. Bailey tells him that he won’t be making his recommendations to the board about chief of surgery and chief resident until the next day. They’ve all been paged because a group of lost climbers were found on Mt. Rainier and are being brought in. Webber arrives and clarifies that three climbers have been found but one is still missing. Since the interns are about to take their exam, they’re not able to help out, which leaves the residents and attendings in charge of the patients. Ava helps Alex study, then talks about her baby, noting that she has her father’s nose. Alex realizes that she’s remembered something, but Ava denies that anything has changed. Burke, Derek, and Webber wait for an ambulance together and Webber asks if Burke is ready. Burke thinks he’s talking about doing surgery and says he’s always ready. Webber is actually talking about the wedding, which Burke is not so much ready for. Webber admits he wasn’t ready for his own wedding until he saw Adele walking down the aisle. He asks if Burke has chosen a new best man, and Derek thinks that Burke is about to ask Webber to do the honors. He’s not - he wants Derek to be his best man. Derek guesses that it’s because everyone else has said no. All he really has to do is plan the bachelor party, and he quickly takes care of that by suggesting that they go for drinks at the ECB after work. The climbers begin arriving, mostly with severe frostbite, and the doctors get to work. As the interns watch from nearby, pretending to study and lamenting that they can’t work, Cristina tells Meredith that if she asks Webber, he’ll probably let her take the exam a different day. Meredith says she doesn’t need to.

George tells Izzie that he was accepted at Mercy West, and now he thinks he needs to transfer. Bailey catches the interns not studying and reminds them that the five interns with the lowest scores on the exam will be cut from the program. Alex runs into Derek and asks if the craniotomy he performed on Ava could have affected her memory. Derek says it probably couldn’t have, but Alex reveals that Ava remembered something. Derek agrees to run more tests, though they’ll have to wait and see if she remembers anything else. Joe and Walter arrive looking for Addison, needing a consult for a woman they’re hoping to adopt a baby from. Addison is happy to help and tells them to set up an appointment, but the appointment has to be now because the mother is only in Seattle for the day. Izzie finds George and tells him he doesn’t have to transfer to Mercy West. She worries that without George, the interns will fall apart. George says he can’t stay if it means he has to see Izzie every day and be tempted to cheat on Callie again. Alex goes back to see Ava, wanting to run a neuropsychological test on her, but she refuses. He points out that she’s been sitting around for weeks wanting to get her memory back, but now that she’s remembered something, she’s acting like it’s not a big deal. He quickly realizes that maybe this isn’t the first thing she’s remembered. Meredith and Cristina get in some last-minute studying before Meredith heads off to the funeral, but before she can leave, Thatcher arrives to tell her not to come. Webber joins the group and Thatcher yells that Meredith killed Susan after Susan trusted her and came to her for help. He adds that he doesn’t want to see or hear from Meredith again. Molly shows up to take Thatcher back to the car, where her sister Lexie is waiting, and Thatcher says that Susan was all he had.

Alex refuses to leave Ava’s room until she tells him the truth, so she admits that a few days ago she woke up and could remember everything. She didn’t tell Alex because, as she claims, “there’s nothing to tell.” She tells him a little about her marriage, which was so quiet that that it drove her so crazy that she ran off for a vacation in Seattle. Ava hasn’t called her husband yet and won’t tell Alex her real name. In the locker room, the other interns get ready for the exam, Izzie, George, and Cristina having brought everything that Meredith will need. Alex joins them, followed by Webber, who sends everyone except Meredith up to the test. He tells Meredith that Susan’s death wasn’t her fault, and he’s sure that Thatcher knows it. “Stop acting like my surrogate father,” Meredith replies, adding that Webber’s affair with Ellis doesn’t make him her father. In the ER, Derek and Burke chat with the three climbers (Jack, Dale, and Andy), who reveal that they were tied together and all of them fell. When they regained consciousness, the other climber, Lonnie, was missing. The others had to leave him to save themselves, but Dale says that they had a choice and shouldn’t have left him behind. The interns head to the testing room (Cristina giving out the last-minute advice that in cases of uncertainty, the answer is always B) as Addison examines Joe and Walter’s birth mother, Rina. Rina’s main problem is heartburn, and Joe’s main problem is anxiety. Rina mentions that the other couple she’s considering includes a woman who’s been trying to get pregnant for ten years. Addison doesn’t want to hear about this and changes the subject to the baby - which is actually two babies. Joe freaks out.

Halfway through the exam, Meredith has yet to answer any questions, but George is the only person to notice. As soon as the test is over, he runs out after her, but she disappears. He tells the other interns that she didn’t take the test, and Cristina advises him to give Meredith a minute on her own. Burke, Derek, Bailey, Callie, and Mark gather to discuss the climbers; Derek, Burke, and Mark all want Callie to assist in their patients’ surgeries. She goes with Burke, who asked first, but agrees to help Mark and Derek as well. The doctors don’t like this agreement so Bailey tells them to play rock, paper, scissors, which Burke wins. After the others leave, Mark tells Bailey that he’s sure Webber is going to pick her to be the chief resident. Meredith quietly passes Derek, not speaking to him, as Cristina follows her. The other interns gather, worrying that Meredith will have to repeat her intern year since she flunked the exam. Cristina refuses to let Meredith fail, but she’s not sure what to do. Bailey pages the interns and assigns them to assist with the climbers’ surgeries. She then confronts George about wanting to transfer to Mercy West, reminding him that Seattle Grace is where he’s learned everything, and now he’s going to throw that relationship away. George says he’s trying to do what’s best for himself, since he’s had personal issues recently. She says she doesn’t care about his personal problems, but she does care about his professional life and thinks he’s making a mistake. George walks away, passing Izzie and ignoring her, as Callie looks on. He meets up with Meredith in the waiting room, confiding that he feels like he’s on a speeding train and just wants to get out for a few minutes. “Looks like I’m off the train,” she replies. He says that they’ve both lost a parent and it’s led them to make some horrible decisions that they’ll have to live with for a long time. Meredith tells him to go back to work, since he’s still on the train.

Addison heads to the ER, where Adele has been brought in after a fender bender. She doesn’t want Webber to know that she’s there, and she especially doesn’t want him to know what she tells Addison next - she’s pregnant. Addison examines her, advising her to stay overnight for observation. Adele refuses but Addison notes that getting pregnant at her age is a miracle. Adele says she’d gotten used to the fact that she would never have children, and now she’s divorced and going to have a baby. She won’t tell Addison who the baby’s father is and refuses to let her tell Webber that she’s there. Webber runs into Addison in the hallway and tells her he’s heard the news; she thinks he’s talking about Adele, of course, but he’s talking about Joe and Walter adopting. Alex joins Meredith in the waiting room and she asks if he’s going to give her an inspirational speech, too. He’s not. In a hallway, Izzie tries to talk to George about Meredith, but he doesn’t think she’s his concern since he won’t be working there for much longer. She blasts him for thinking that they can’t still be friends, asking if he listened to anything Bailey said to him. As the climbers talk about leaving a man behind, Addison and Callie scrub in together and Addison confides that she can’t have children. Callie tries to be sympathetic but admits that it might be a good time for her and George to have a baby, since they’re working on fresh starts. Addison teases that they won’t be friends anymore if Callie gets pregnant. George tracks down Webber, who thinks he’s there to talk about his transfer, and asks to talk to him about Meredith. Callie, Burke, and Cristina operate on Dale together, discussing the act of testing oneself by climbing a mountain. Callie used to climb when she was in college, and though the experience is difficult, the moment of arriving at the top of a mountain makes it all worth it.

Callie heads over to Andy’s OR to help Mark and Izzie, who need to amputate both of Andy’s hands. Izzie thinks the left one can be saved, but Mark tells her that once the infection has gotten that bad, cutting is the only option. Derek and George operate on Jack, and George is surprised to learn that Derek doesn’t know what happened with Meredith during the test. Alex goes back to see Ava and chastises her for keeping quiet about recovering her memory, since she knows now how many people have been looking for her. She notes that her husband obviously doesn’t want to find her, since he didn’t come looking for her. Alex reminds her that she has a daughter now, then says he’s not going to lie for her - if she doesn’t tell everyone the truth, he will. Ava notes that he doesn’t know anything to tell, since she still hasn’t told him her real name. “You’re right. I have absolutely no idea who you are,” he replies. George pages Izzie to the scrub room to tell her that he’s figured out how to help Meredith, but he needs Izzie’s help. He also says he won’t transfer to Mercy West until he knows that Meredith is still in the program at Seattle Grace. Izzie announces that he’s not leaving the program. They made a mistake, but it was just sex; he doesn’t want to feel like a cheater and she doesn’t want to feel like a home-wrecker, but the truth is that the sex didn’t mean anything. She denies that she has feelings for him, which means he can stay at Seattle Grace. She leaves, heading to a supply closet to cry.

After helping with the climbers’ surgeries, Callie gets some praise from Mark, who notes that Bailey might not be a shoo-in for chief resident after all. Bailey overhears and remarks that she hadn’t thought about Callie being in the running. Callie says she’s good at her job and is definitely qualified for the position; even though Bailey is obviously Webber’s favorite, Callie should still be able to take a shot. Izzie takes Meredith to a conference room where Webber is waiting to administer the test to her. “You are not my father,” Meredith says. Webber says he knows, then hugs her as she cries. The interns look on as Meredith takes her test (Derek once again standing nearby but going unnoticed), and Cristina notes that they still have a big event in front of them - her wedding. Addison arrives at the ECB and learns that she’s been invited to Burke’s bachelor party, since the guest list was pretty sparse and Derek needed more people to show up. (Which is also why Mark is there.) Addison refuses to strip for the guys, instead going to get them drinks. Burke asks Derek how Meredith is doing, but he has no idea. “Shouldn’t be this difficult, should it?” he asks. “Probably not,” Burke replies. However, he thinks that when he sees Cristina walking down the aisle, it’ll all be worth it. At the bar, Mark asks Addison how L.A. was; she just says it was different. She tells him their relationship doesn’t have to be this strained, and he agrees to try friendship. Joe tells Addison that things didn’t go too well with Rina, and despite the fact that Addison thinks he’ll be a good father, Joe doesn’t think he’ll be able to handle it.

Webber spots Adele in a hallway at the hospital, and she ducks into a bathroom to avoid him. He talks to her through the door, trying to pretend he’s moved on. Meredith hosts Cristina’s bachelorette party, and Cristina complains about the vows she still hasn’t written. Izzie goes off about Cristina, Meredith, and Callie having what everyone wants, but if they couldn’t have what they wanted, they wouldn’t take it for granted. Meredith thinks she’s talking about Denny. Back at the ECB, Derek meets a woman we’ll later learn is Lexie Grey (Chyler Leigh). She asks if she can buy him a drink, confiding that she’s had a bad day. He turns her down, since he’s at a bachelor party, but agrees that it might not be the best decision. As George sits alone in a hallway at the hospital, Ava finds Alex in the NICU with her baby and tells him that her real name is Rebecca Pope. Webber finally goes into the bathroom looking for Adele and finds her unconscious on the floor. Walter brings Rina to the ECB, where she tells Addison that her heartburn has gotten worse, then suddenly collapses. At the hospital, Bailey calls Tucker to say goodnight to her son, but is interrupted when an ambulance arrives carrying the fourth climber. He’s alive but happens to have an axe in his head. Webber yells for help for Adele as she begins to bleed.


THE TITLE IS A SONG BY…: Barenaked Ladies

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Addison: “Oh, like brain surgery is so impressive.”
Derek: “It is, actually.”

Joe: “So I was hoping you could take a look at her? You know, kicking the tires, checking underneath the hood?”
Walter: “Car metaphors? No.”

Izzie: “It’s not like she actually flunked. She…she just didn’t write anything.”
Alex: “It’s kinda like she actually flunked.”

Addison: “Why am I the only girl, by the way? What am I, the entertainment? I am not stripping.”
Derek: “That’s okay. We’ve seen it already.”
Mark: “True.”
Burke: “I haven’t.”

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